Seagull Models Aviat Husky .75-.91 (20cc) ARF

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huskytitle

Introduction

“The Aviat Husky – designed to take you places a runway isn’t necessary”. That’s how Aviat aircraft describes their high-wing, tandem seat, go anywhere plane. The Husky can be adapted for skis and floats, and can carry a lot of cargo! Like the Super Cub, the Husky is designed to get into and out of places other aircraft can’t go. This makes it a favorite for many pilots!

While not a new release from Seagull Models, I thought their Husky deserved a review – it appears to be a good looking plane and would be a nice substitute for someone looking for something other than a Cub! So kick back, grab a beverage, and let’s take a look at the Seagull Models’ Aviat Husky!

Specifications

Wingspan: 79.9 in (2030mm)

Wing Area: 922.3 sq. in  (59.5 sq. dm)

Length: 50 in (1270mm)

Weight: 7.9-8.8 pounds  (3.6-4 kg)

Engine size: .61-.75 2 Stroke

Engine size: .91 4 Stroke

Engine size: 15-20 cc Gasoline

First Look

The Husky arrived in the standard Seagull double-box. With the shipping layer removed, a simple label laid out the specifications and requirements for flying the Plane. Removing the top showed that the parts were all bagged and taped or stapled in place. I laid all all the parts out on the bench to look them over and found all parts were accounted for and everything was in great shape!

Here’s a neat feature – the servo tray is not installed at the factory. The servos are first mounted to the tray, and then it is installed. A ‘tab and slot’ keep it secured in the rear, while a pair of machine screws secure the front. The landing gear is plenty robust for the plane, and includes foam wheels, fiberglass wheel pants, and a sprung tail wheel assembly.

I like that the paint lines on the cowl match the UltraCote covering, and the colors are very close as well! The windshield comes pre-cut, painted, and ready for installation. A nice top hatch allows easy access to install the wings, and the aluminum wing joiner tube is kept hidden in front of the hatch.

The ailerons are pre-hinged at the factory using fiberglass hinges and a long pin. This method allows for easy movement of the control surface and gap-free hinging. The red and white UltraCote covering on the wings and tail surfaces was in great shape, and required no re-shrinking out of the box. A nice sheet of decals is also included to add detail to the completed model.

Items Used for Completion

My standard array of Hitec gear will be controlling the Seagull Husky as she takes to the sky. From the ground, I’ll be using my trusty Hitec Flash 7 transmitter. On board the Husky, a Hitec Optima 9 receiver will be taking care of the Hitec HS-485HB Deluxe Servos.

Power will be provided by the RCGF 20cc Beam-mounted gasoline engine, and a Falcon 17×6 Beech wood propeller. Because my flying field has very thick grass, and is a little rough, I decided to replace the 2″ included foam wheels with a pair of DuBro 5″ Inflatable wheels.

Manual

The Husky’s manual is pretty typical for Seagull Models. There’s a lot of good photos and a little written instruction. Take some time to read through the manual before you start assembly – it’s always a good plan!

 

Assembly

Assembly began with hinging the flaps. Seagull has these surface mounted hinges that work really well, and are easy to install. Each of the three hinges is attached to the wing and flap with six small wood screws.

After sanding and test-fitting all of the fiberglass hardware (wing strut mounts and aileron and flap control horns), they were epoxied in place. I was able to easily get all of the parts installed with one batch of 30 minute epoxy. While the epoxy was curing, I mounted the aileron and flap servos to their respective hatches, and installed the hatches. When the epoxy had fully cured, I assembled the flap and aileron pushrods, centered the servos and control surfaces, and adjusted and installed the pushrods.

The main landing gear and and tailwheel assembly were installed next. If I were installing the included wheels and wheel pants, I would have done that at this point. However, I opted to hold off on installing the large 5″ DuBro wheels until later, as the Husky sat better on the wooden stand without them. As with any metal-to-metal machine screw installation, a few drops of blue thread locking compound will keep fasteners tight!

The wings were temporarily installed to the fuselage, and the horizontal stabilizer was fit and marked. I carefully removed the covering from inside the lines – this will allow the epoxy to adhere to more than just covering material. When I had verified that the fit was perfect, I epoxied the horizontal and vertical stabilizers in place with a single batch of 30 minute epoxy.

When the epoxy was curing, the elevator joiner wire was epoxied into the elevator halves. After the epoxy had cured for both previous steps, the elevator assembly and rudder were attached with CA hinges and thin CA. The fiberglass control horns were then attached to the elevator and rudder with epoxy – the control horn for the rudder is one piece, and it is passed through a slot in the rudder. The ’tiller’ arm and steering springs were then installed to complete the tail wheel assembly.

The RCGF 20cc Beam mount engine is at the top of the recommended engine range, and required a little work to install. After removing the pre-installed blind nuts from the firewall,  I attached the engine to its mounts (the black mounts came with the RCGF engine) and marked the new mounting location on the firewall. With four new holes drilled and the blind nuts reinstalled, the engine and mount were attached to the firewall. As it turned out, the Husky had a nice recess in the firewall – this was designed to be a space for a 2 stroke muffler. It also served as a nice space to install the electronic ignition module. A few pieces of DuBro 1/4″ Foam Rubber insulated the module from vibration, and a shortened craft (popsicle) stick and two DuBro Servo Screws kept the module in place.

I installed two more pieces of DuBro 1/4″ Foam Rubber under the fuel tank – the Zip-tie secured the tank against the front mount, and the fuel lines were run through holes in the firewall. I chose to drill holes in the firewall for the fuel lines to route them to better locations than simply running them through the center hole. A piece of 2-56 wire was installed to make a choke pushrod, and will be cut to the proper length after the cowl is installed.

As I mentioned earlier, the elevator and rudder servos are first mounted to the servo tray, and then the tray is secured in the fuselage. It’s a good system, and allows for easier installation in smaller spaces. The machine screws thread into blind nuts in the fuselage – it’s best to use a couple drops of blue thread locking compound on the screws to keep them tight.

The rudder is connected to its servo with a pair of pull-pull cables. One end of the cables is attached to a rigging coupler and clevis as shown above, before inserting them into the tail end of the fuselage.

Once the cables are inserted into the fuselage, the metal clevises were attached to the rudder control horn – one on each side of the rudder. The cables were then attached to the rudder servo by attaching two more rigging couplers and clevises in the same manner.

The elevator pushrod was then assembled and installed.

The throttle servo and pushrod were installed next. Because of the RCGF 20cc engine’s rear mounted carburetor, the pushrod is custom-made from DuBro parts – a pair of ball-links, a brass coupler, and a 2-56 pushrod made up the assembly, and it worked perfectly!

As you can see, the DuBro 5″ wheels are quite a bit larger than the included wheels. Thankfully, the axles were long enough to install the larger wheels without any problems. These larger wheels will make flying from thick grass much easier!

Engine assembly was buttoned up, and the cowl was installed using the card stock and tape method. A DuBro Fill-It fueling system was installed to make adding and removing fuel easier. With the cowl in place, it was time to install the Falcon 17×6 Beech wood Propeller.

The included decals are plenty nice and will make the Husky look good, but I have a vinyl cutter. I decided to make my OWN N-Numbers for my plane!

The wings were attached to the fuselage by sliding them onto the aluminum joiner tube and securing with a pair of nylon thumb screws. There’s a large opening in the wing root and in the top end of the fuselage, so passing the servo connection leads into the fuselage is easy! The fiberglass strut connector tabs were epoxied into pre-cut slots in the struts. I added a servo screw to each of the tabs to make sure they stay in place. A ball link was then threaded onto the top two ends of the strut, and then attached to the wing with a pair of machine screws. The screws that came with the plane were a little too short for my liking – the nylon part of the locking nut just touched the end of the screw, so I went to my local hardware store and purchased four longer screws. the lower end of the strut is attached to a metal tab installed to the bottom of the fuselage.

Four short strut braces were then made and adjusted to the correct length before attaching them to the wing and struts.

A pilot figure is included, but for the sake of simplifying the installation, I opted to leave the pilot out. The Hitec Optima 9 receiver was installed on top of the false cabin floor pieces. The top hatch was secured with a pair of machine screws, and the windshield was installed. I decided to attach the windshield with screws rather than glue – there’s plenty of plywood around the windshield mounting area, so installation with screws was easy!

A quick check of the Center of Gravity (CG) showed that it was balanced perfectly, so the receiver and ignition batteries were secured to the fuselage floor directly under the CG. With that, I charged the batteries, and the plane was nearly ready to fly!

Photo Shoot

Flight Report

The RCGF 20cc engine was brand new, so I broke it in before flying the Husky. The nice part about this is that I was able to give the hardware a ‘shake-down’ and check it before the plane went up in the air. Thankfully, after 2 full tanks of fuel, none of the hardware had rattled loose, so the Husky was readied for flight!

The 5″ wheels I added to the Husky made it easy to taxi through the grass and take off! The throttle was advanced, and in short order, the tail rose off the ground. A few more feet, and the Husky was flying! I think the engine got to about half-throttle before the wheels left the ground. The 17×6 propeller pulled a lot of air! After gaining some altitude, I tried the first aileron turn – to my surprise, there was no turn! The Husky simply banked, so I added in a bit of rudder. At this point, it was clear the the Husky required rudder and aileron to make a turn. With that lesson learned, I set out to see what else she could do.

Next came high and low speed flying. Well slow and slower, really. the 17×6 prop doesn’t allow for a whole lot of speed, and that’s OK. The Husky wouldn’t look very scale screaming along too fast! At full throttle, she was quick without being too fast. the plane flew at very scale speeds! Slow flight was very good – the Husky would lumber along easily at 1/4 or less throttle, and still stay flying. Stalls were mushy nose drops – I added a little power and she started flying again.

I tried a few aerobatic maneuvers next – loops and rolls are possible, as well as stall turns and the like. But it just seems out of the norm for the Husky to do aerobatics. It was more at home doing maneuvers like crabbing in to landing and dropping in short with full flaps. Now these looked SCALE! Short take offs at full throttle were a lot of fun to do as well!

Bringing the Husky in for a landing and setting her down is easy. I found that I didn’t like the braced main landing gear, as it was very rigid. There was no give in the gear, other than the air in the 5″ DuBro tires. In the future, I will probably modify the bracing so the landing gear has some give.

All in all, the maiden flight was a success, and every flight thereafter was more enjoyable – Check out the video below to see the Husky fly!

Summary

I really liked the Seagull Models Aviat Husky – it went together without any real concerns, looks good, and flies really well on the RCGF 20cc gasser. If you’re looking for a good ‘bush plane’ to add some big tires to and go out and have fun, this is the plane! Well done, Seagull, well done!

Contact Information

www.sigmfg.com

www.sigplanes.com

Available through SIG Mfg and SIGPlanes.com

www.rcgfusa.com

www.hitecrcd.com

www.justmodelprops.com

www.hobby.dubro.com

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