Seagull Models P-26A Peashooter 30cc ARF – Part Two: Flight Review

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Wow! I can’t believe what a busy summer it has been! I’m sitting at my computer writing this second part of the P-26A Peashooter review, and it’s already mid-August… Where has the summer gone? For those of you who don’t recall, Part One of the Peashooter review was published on RCUniverse back in May of 2018, and I was suppose to get the flight review done shortly after that. Unfortunately, several other projects and a trip to visit the Seagull Factory in Vietnam delayed the flight review. If you would like a refresher, follow this link for Part One:  Seagull Models P-26A Peashooter 30cc ARF – Part One.

Equipment Used:

For those of you that don’t want to go back to Part One, here’s a list of the equipment that I used to get the Peashooter airborne:

Guiding the P-26A is an all star cast of Hitec radio gear! From the ground, I’ll be using my Aurora 9X transmitter – my new favorite from Hitec! A Maxima 9 Receiver will be in command of the seven HS-5645MG Metal Geared Digital Servos and one HS-5485HB Standard Deluxe Digital servo.

Providing the pulling power is an RCGF 35cc Rear Exhaust gasoline engine. This engine is great – it starts easily and runs strong and reliably! The 35cc RE will be swinging a Falcon 20×8 Painted Civilian Propeller that adds a bit of scale realism to the Peashooter.

Photo Shoot

I finally got the Peashooter to the field – between mine and my video pilot’s schedules, it’s been BUSY, to say the least! But, at the first opportunity we had to meet up at the field, we took it – and got some flying done as well! I arrived a little before Jim Buzzeo, my video pilot, to assemble planes and get the ground photography completed. Take a look below – the Peashooter looks GREAT!

Flight Report

I readied the P-26A for flight by filling the tank and double-checking the receiver and ignition battery condition.  The choke was closed on the RCGF 35cc RE, and I flipped the prop a few times before it dawned on me that the engine had not been run in nearly a year. So, instead of incessantly flipping like a mad man, I grabbed my 4S LiPo powered engine started and pressed the rubber cone to the face of the Falcon Prop. This made easy work of drawing fuel to the carburetor, and the engine started quickly then quit. With fuel now at the carb, I opened the choke and hand started the 35cc RE gasser easily.  The engine is still fairly new, so it’s running a little rich, but she sounds really good! With the engine warmed up, the Peashooter was ready to fly – taxiing out to the grass runway went well, and the steerable tailwheel did a great job directing the aircraft. The gear is narrow, but I didn’t notice any tipping of the plane at slow speeds.

With the nose pointed into the light breeze, the throttle was advanced, and the Peashooter started rolling! The tail popped up quickly, and the P-26 was airborne in approximately 200 feet! I was immediately happy with the performance of the RCGF 35cc RE and Falcon 20×8 Propeller – it proved to be a winning power combination for the Peashooter. The P-26A climbed out easily, and was ‘two mistakes’ high in just a few seconds. Control surface trims were checked and adjusted, which involved some up elevator and right rudder adjustment. The ailerons were spot-on, and required no adjustment.

Now that the Peashooter was flying ‘straight and level’, we could find out how well it flew. First up was high speed testing – we were a little surprised by how fast the Peashooter would fly, just because of the large amount of potential drag on the airframe – that large round cowl and dummy engine, and the huge wheel pants make for a lot of forward-facing surface area. Once again, the RCGF 35cc RE and Falcon 20×8 prop were doing an outstanding job! Slowing the plane down made the P-26A less forgiving – at slower speeds, she will stall. Granted, the stall is mild and the Peashooter will fly out of the stall with power added, but it’s definitely something to watch. Dropping the flaps helped to keep the Peashooter controllable slower than without them, but we quickly learned to respect the  flight envelope of this airframe. One more thing – the flaps look really cool when down, due to their unique shape!

Moving on, it was time for some mild aerobatics – loops were easy, thanks to the power available, and showed no tendency to snap at the top. The Peashooter carries a lot of momentum up and over the top of the loop, so it’s imperative to pull the throttle back just before going fully inverted. coming down the back side of the loop was much easier than I thought it would be – I was fearing that the horizontal Stabilizer and elevators were too small to provide positive control in this situation. As it turned out, my fears were misplaced! Rolling the P-26 was fun, and despite the small fin and rudder, the loops were quite axial! The ailerons provided more authority that originally expected, yet weren’t over-controlling in normal flight conditions.

Now, for the final test – landing the Peashooter…….

Getting the P-26A back on the ground was easy. Getting the Peashooter on the ground, and making it look like a greased-in, perfect landing proved to be more difficult, and we never figured out exactly why. We tried several landing attempts, none of which were graceful. The airframe, though, is exceptionally great at taking abuse! On two occasions, the P-26A stalled about three feet above the runway, and dropped to the ground – the plane was undamaged, except for a landing gear block that broke. Now, this was mostly my fault, because during assembly of the landing gear, I managed to get two of the four wheel pant mounting screws drilled in at the exact point where the hardwood mounting blocks were glued to the light ply base attached to the wing. The block simply broke free at the glue joint! I repaired this by adding six #4 x 1-1/4″ wood screws  (two in the front and four in the rear) to the block assemblies. This made for a much stronger mounting solution! Subsequent hard landings proved that the blocks were now much better suited for the Peashooter.

Check out my video to see the Seagull Models P-26A Peashooter 30cc ARF in action!

Summary 

I think Seagull has added another nice scale addition to their list of unique aircraft. The P-26A Peashooter looks great, and flies well. Sure, the landings may not be great every time, but the airframe is tough, and will survive anything short of an all-out crash. The covering and decals make the Peashooter look awesome, and you will definitely have a one of a kind airplane at your field with the P-26A. I would recommend that the Peashooter be flown by high intermediate to expert pilots, just based on how the Peashooter lands. Let me just sum it up this way – the landings are definitely worth it to fly the P-26A Peashooter! This is one plane you will not forget – and that’s awesome!

From my shop to yours, that’s all for now – Happy Flying! – GB

Contact Information

Seagull Models –   www.seagullmodels.com

SkyShark Hobbies (New US Distributor for Seagull Models) –   www.skysharkrc.com

Hitec –   www.hitecrcd.com

RCGF Engines –   www.rcgfusa.com

Falcon Propellers –   www.justmodelprops.com

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