The Husky – formerly Christen’s and now Aviat’s answer to the Super Cub. The Aviat Husky is a two place utility plane designed to get into and out of tight spaces carrying a lot of stuff. That stuff can be supplies, gear, anything you want – the Husky is going to get what you want to where you want it! The plane itself has been around for thirty years already, and it’s even been modeled a few times. What IS new, is this 1800 mm (71″) SOLIDPOR® Foam Husky PNP from Graupner! The plane looks very scale, including some rivet and panel lines, and flies very scale as well! STOL take offs and landings should be a breeze, and as their website states, “Any Six-channel radio will be sufficient to operate and fly the Husky”. I love the looks of a good ol’ high wing bush plane, and the Husky doesn’t disappoint!
Wingspan: 1800 mm (71 in)
Length: 1200 mm (47 in)
Weight: 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs)
Difficultly Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Material: SOLIDPOR® Rigid Foam
Items Required to Complete the Husky
In addition to the Husky PNP airplane, you’ll need a six-channel radio system (minimum). For this review, I will be using the new Graupner mz-12 PRO transmitter and a Falcon 12 six-channel receiver.
You’ll also need a 4S 2100-3200 mAh LiPo battery of your choice and an appropriate LiPo battery charger.
Fast, easy assembly
Two-piece wing with quick release mechanism
Easy access battery hatch
Carbon fiber wing joiner
Two sets of wheel included
Additional accessories available to fly any time of the year
Landing and navigation lights
Decals may be tricky to install for less experienced modelers
Propeller required minimal balancing
The Graupner 1800 mm Husky arrived in a colorful box with some nice artwork and specifications adorning it. Inside, I found a lot of items packed very neatly into a rather small space -Every cubic inch of box space was utilized!
With all of the major parts unwrapped and laid out, I finally got a feeling for how large of an aircraft it really was! The decal-less airframe really leaves the final color scheme open to each modeler…
There are several sheets of colored decals – they can be mixed and matched to whatever the modeler chooses! I’m leaning toward the blue decals myself.
In addition to the large sheets, there’s a smaller sheet that includes the windscreen and side windows, and several other decals to customize the airplane.
The large battery hatch should make changing LiPo packs at the field really quick, and the 40 Amp ESC and brushless outrunner motor are pre-installed. The front of the ‘cowl’ is held in place with magnets, making access to the motor easy if ever needed.
There’s a huge hatch in the top of the cabin area that makes it really easy to access the inside of the fuselage for routing all the required servo and light wire extensions, and the side ‘window’ hatch is removable to install the receiver of your choice. A lot of the wiring is pre-installed as well!
All of the Y-harnesses required are included with the Husky, and the small amount of hardware required is very high quality! The prop shaft was pre-installed on the composite propeller, and a single machine screw secures the spinner to the prop shaft.
The aluminum main landing gear comes pre-assembled and is ready to install – If you’re not into the wheel pants, or fly from a rough surface, you can switch over to a set of tundra tires – yep, they’re included in the box, and NOT an additional purchase! The tailwheel assembly is ready to install as well.
The main wing joiner and tail supports are all carbon fiber, and look to be well made.
The tail surfaces are pre-hinged and have the control horns pre-installed as well – There’s also several carbon fiber supports pre-installed in the fin and rudder, and stab and elevator!
The wing halves are ready to install – the flap and aileron servos are pre-installed and the linkages are already attached! The recessed aileron hinges and drop hinges on the flaps add to the scale look, as do the aluminum wing struts. The end of the mid strut ‘supports’ simply drop into holes in the wing. All of the hardware on the wing struts is pre-installed and adjusted to fit without any modification by the modeler!
I’m really liking the two-piece wing with Quick Release Mechanism – It should make for easy wing installation at the flying field. The landing, navigation, and strobe LED lights are all pre-installed and ready to connect to the special LED controller. The LED controller is simply connected to the receiver for power.
The manual is broken down into five parts – four written languages and an illustration section. The illustrations are so good, that you’ll be doing most of the assembly from them – the written part of the manual is more specification and setup. I’d still recommend reading through the written part before starting assembly, as there’s some valuable information in there!
There’s a few items I want to touch on before I get to assembling the Husky. First, get yourself a piece of soft foam to lay on your bench. The SOLIDPOR® Foam is plenty rigid, but the surface can be scratched and dented by a rough work bench. Second, I found it much easier to apply the decals before the plane was assembled. Being able to lay the fuselage on its side made applying the large decals easier. Finally, if you’re not a master decal installer, get help from another person – some of the blue and yellow decals are very large and can be a handful! With all of the decals installed, it was time to assemble the Husky.
The pre-assembled main landing gear was attached to the fuselage with four machine screws – I really like the springs that Graupner has added to the aluminum gear!
The horizontal and vertical stabilizer were slid together and attached to the fuselage with a pair of machine screws – make sure not to over-tighten the screws and strip them out!
Two more machine screws were added – one for the lower rudder hinge, and one to hold the tail wheel assembly in place. The Husky is going together really quickly!
I connected the ball-end pushrods to the elevator and rudder control horns. The nylon insert locking nuts will definitely keep thing in place – With that, the Husky was starting to look like an airplane!
I installed the upper and lower carbon fiber tail supports using a few drops of Slo-Zap Thick CA and some Zip Kicker. The pre-cut supports almost fell into place! Make sure that you poke a hole in the decals on the vertical stabilizer prior to installing the tail supports so that the support is glued to the foam and not just the decal.
The Graupner Falcon 12 receiver’s antenna was slid into the pre-installed antenna tube before securing the receiver in place with some adhesive-backed hook n loop tape. With all of the servos and extensions connected to the receiver, the ‘window’ hatch was snapped in place.
Now this is one of those features I think every manufacturer should do – the aileron and flap servo wire extensions and the LED light connector were glued together with a drop of CA between them, and then glued into a special slot in the plastic wing root – this makes the wiring connection really clean! Using a fine-tipped permanent marker, I labeled the connections. This should make assembly at the field fool proof!
The carbon fiber wing joiner tube was slid into the fuselage, and the wing was then slid onto the tube. with the wing close to the fuselage, I connected the three wires to the receptacle in the fuselage.
I slid the wing tight against the fuselage and snapped the wing lock closed. The wing strut was secured to the fuselage with an over-sized body clip.
At the center of the wing strut is a brace – this brace is non-structural, and added for scale appearance. The rounded ends slip into plastic pockets in the wing. Graupner has even thought to add a couple of ‘antennas’ for looks, and they simply snap into slots in the wing root.
The propeller and prop shaft were installed, and secured by tightening the prop nut. A single machine bolt in the center of the spinner holds it in place. Though this one doesn’t have a back plate, the spinner looks nice!
I added a piece of the included adhesive-backed hook n loop tape to my 4S 2100 mAh LiPo battery pack, and slid it into the battery tray. Unfortunately, my 2100 mAh packs are a little too small for the large opening, so I made a spacer to fit between the tray and the battery. It’s just a couple of scraps of light ply with a piece of adhesive-backed ‘loop’ tape attached.
I slid the spacer in place, followed by the battery. The battery was now tight in the opening, and the pre-installed ‘hook’ strap keeps the battery in place. For the record, there’s plenty of room for higher capacity 4S packs – it just adds more weight to the plane. My 4S 4000 mAh LiPo packs fit nicely, but they weigh about a pound each! The 2100 mAh packs weigh just over seven ounces each! Thankfully, the battery slot in the Husky is pretty close to the Center of Gravity, so a larger pack won’t drastically change the balance point.
At this point, I ran the motor for the first time, and felt a vibration in the airframe. I removed the propeller, and set it up in my DuBro Tru-spin prop balancer. After sanding the backside of one propeller blade, I was able to balance the prop perfectly – after reinstalling it, the vibration was gone. This balancer is one tool I love having in my workshop!
With the battery installed, I set the control throws to the recommendations in the manual, and the Husky was ready to fly! I’m really liking the LED lights in the wings!
On second thought… Being November, my local flying field hasn’t had much in the way of maintenance lately, I decided to install the Tundra tires included with the Husky. Don’t get me wrong – the wheel pants are a nice touch, and look good, but I LOVE big tires! After removing the two-piece wheel pants, wheels, and axles, I installed the Tundra tire axles – They’re shorter because the wheel hub is not as wide as the standard wheels. The machine screw and locking nut were removed from the longer axle and reused.
I added a couple of washers to the inside of the wheel and one on the outside to keep the side movement of the wheel hub to a minimum. Changing the wheels sure gave the Husky a different look – I like this look!
Now she’s ready to head to the field!
I was able to finish up the Husky quickly, and it was ready for our first real break in the weather. It happened to also be Thanksgiving morning! My video pilot and good friend, Jim Buzzeo, met me at the field for a little bit of Thanksgiving flying. The wind was nearly nonexistent, making the 30° temperature bearable. The sun was shining brightly, and there wasn’t much for clouds in the sky – All in all, it was a really nice day for late November in Minnesota!
I secured a battery into the battery compartment and snapped the hatch in place. The plastic parts seemed to be holding up well in the colder temperatures! After walking the plane out of the pit area, it was set on the grass to taxi out to the runway. The large Tundra tires made easy work of the grass as the power system pulled the Husky along, and the steerable tail wheel was very effective.
As the throttle was advanced, the nose pulled slightly to the right, but it was well within the range of correctable. The Husky left the ground just seconds later, as the pre-installed motor and ESC had more than enough power to pull the five pound, two ounce bushplane around! Two clicks of left aileron, four clicks of down elevator trim, and a few left rudder clicks had the Husky flying straight and level. It became apparent very quickly that, like the full scale Husky, this model requires rudder coordination for turning. When we tried to do an aileron only turn, the Husky banked fine, but yawed in the opposite direction simultaneously. Add in a little rudder, and the tail follows the nose gracefully – With that figured out, the Husky was flying nicely.
Even with a 4S battery, the Husky is not what I would call a fast airplane – then again, it’s not supposed to be fast! It excels at slow flight – it’s even in the name! STOL (Slow Take Off and Landing) flight requires a lightly loaded wing and plenty of power. The Husky has both! Now, add in some really large flaps, and you’ve got even more fun! But, you’ve been warned – make sure you slow the plane down before dropping the flaps, or it’ll balloon like crazy! The flaps add a great deal of lift to an already lightly loaded wing!
If you’d like, the Husky will perform basic aerobatics. Loops and rolls are easy, and there’s plenty of rudder for stall turns. Cuban Eights can be done as well, but let’s face it – this type of aircraft is looks much better shooting touch and goes, dropping the flaps and floating slowly across the field, and jumping off the ground in just feet.
After getting several minutes of video footage and in flight photos, it was time to land. Since we’d already done some touch and goes, we knew that the Husky was easy to land. With the large main wheels, she’ll land anywhere she wants as well! Even without a breeze, the Husky can land slowly without flaps! Line her up on the runway, and slowly fly it to the ground. keep a light thumb on the rudder, and be ready to make subtle corrections, and you’ll be good to go! All-in all, the Husky flew well with no real bad habits.
Check out the video to see the Graupner 1800mm Husky in action!
I like the new Graupner Husky. It’s large enough to have good presence in the air, and it looks great. Assembling the plane is easy, though the decals add a little level of difficulty. I really like the quick release wing attachment system, and the large battery hatch makes changing flight packs simple. The wheel pants look nice, but I’m glad that Graupner added the Tundra tires as well. There’s plenty of power on tap for all types of flying. In fact, Graupner has a set of floats and a set of snow skis as well – They’ve got you covered for all season flying! I’ve got to hand it to Graupner – they’ve got a good looking and great flying airplane with the new 1800mm Husky PnP!
Graupner USA: www.graupnerusa.com