|Want To Go For A Twin With A Difference?|
Not wanting to let the electric revolution to pass me by, I decided it was time to dive into this developing side of our hobby. But what should I buy? With my interest in scale models I wanted an aircraft that not only looked good but one that was also a little unusual.
I started to think of a twin-engined aircraft. Not something I would normally contemplate with I/C engines. Something out of the ordinary was what I needed, but what? With so many Twin Stars about I had to look hard! Then I saw it! Slough Radio Control Models (not now available from Slough RC Models) have regularly advertised in the magazines and there it was leaping out of the page at me! The Partenavia! A semi scale, all foam ARTF kit that looked fantastic. And at £69.99 a good price too. It had to be the one.
To The Game
where to start?
I would advise that you take a long hard look at the sticker sheet and work out exactly where to cut. Each printed piece has been squeezed onto the sheet and because you use not only the coloured parts but also the clear sections it takes some time to work it all out. The old adage 'Think twice cut once' is very good advice in this case.
The largest stickers are those that cover the top of the wings. From trailing edge to wrapping around the leading edge you have to be very careful that creases do not appear. It is almost impossible to correct any errors at this stage. The clear part of the stickers acts as a top hinge on all control surfaces.
Once all the stickers were on the aircraft, it seemed almost ready to fly. This is the first model that I have ever constructed, that was 'decorated' before it was built!
After fitting the liteply receiver shelf behind the cockpit it time to assemble the steerable nose wheel and main undercarriage. This is very straightforward and the instructional diagrams are very precise. The pre bent nose leg is mounted in a hard wood block that in turn is glued into a recess in the nose. I found that the hole in the hardwood block needed easing out a little to give a free but positive rotation of the nose leg. All three wheels are provided, as are some very light weight ABS spats. All these assemble in a conventional manner.
Next, select the correct push rod and sleeves (snake) for elevator and rudder/nose wheel activation. In the kit I had these where .8mm piano wire with a white 2mm outside diameter sleeve. Don't confuse the orange 3mm tube, as this will be used as an rx aerial guide.
The push rods and sleeves are next epoxied into their appropriate slots on the inside surfaces of the fuselage. GRP horns are fitted to the control surfaces and the provided connectors are then put in place. The rear top decking and fin are fitted after the horizontal stabiliser. All parts fit together well and most have male and female location lugs moulded into them.
& Motors Installation
I managed to ease out the slot with some careful sanding and specially made sanding blocks, so that in the end it all the wiring disappeared under the spar just!
The wings and fuselage have holes moulded into them to take mini servos. I used Super Tec Naros. You could also use Hitec HS-81's if you wish. Any larger servos and you'd have to open up the moulded holes to take them. I don't think however, that the small extra weight of large servos would unduly hamper the aircraft's performance.
One final deviation, but one that I found worthwhile, was to buy a pair of Graupner spinner/adapters. They are a little expensive at £8.95 each, but with 6x4 Graupner props, they do really finish of the motor installation very nicely. In fact the model in the box photograph utilises these spinners. So, decide for yourself, but I don't think you'll be disappointed.
This just about finishes the building side of the Partenavia. Mount the battery (1900Mah 8 cell pack in my case) and a speed controller. I used the Jeti 35 controller. Then check the balance point. The correct CG should balance the model on the main spar, at 77mm from the leading edge. My aircraft needed a small piece of lead placed in a slot right at the tail end of the fuselage, to balance the model without too much of a nose down attitude.
So, with my cameraman Paul (Pylon) Board at the ready, I pointed her nose into wind and opened up the motors. The Partenavia accelerated quickly away and after a conservative distance I gently pulled back on the stick. Bowling down our tarmac runway the wheels made quite a racket! As she lifted off, everything went quite eerily silent. But she continued to climb. Several clicks of down trim were introduced. This settled her into a much more subdued gentle climb.
Time to throttle back a little. I immediately felt right at home with this model. Turns were very smooth with little or no tendency to drop her nose. And in spite of the flat bottom wing section, there was no tendency for the model to zoom upward after fast banking turns.
The Partenavia covered the sky remarkable quickly on this very still day. A few low passes for the camera, then after about seven or eight minutes I could feel that the power pack was coming to an end. After a long banking turn onto finals I levelled her out and she floated on quite some distance, but touched down perfectly.
So, to sum up in a few words. If you like your (semi) scale models and you want to get into electric with something a little different then I thoroughly recommend you go out a get a Partenavia You won't regret it and it makes such a pleasant change to all those Twin Stars!
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