Tower Hobbies Kaos 60 – A blast from the past

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Introduction

If you are just mastering your trainer and looking for your next sport plane, the Kaos 60 might just be the ticket you are looking for. With a small parts count that will provide a quick and easy assembly and the capability to be powered by your choice of glow or electric power plants, the Kaos 60 should provide the a stable and reliable platform to allow aspiring pilots to improve their skills. The design of the Kaos 60 also provides an allure to those who are interested in the vintage aspect of this design as it is also one that is Vintage RC Society legal, but one that has been modernized to take advantage of modern day electronics. So without any delay, lets put one together and take it out to the field to see if it delivers on its promises.

Featuresmanuf

  • Two piece wing for easy transport.
  • Low parts count for quick assembly.
  • Quick release hatch for easy access to electronics and flight battery.
  • Fiberglass cowl.
  • Parts included for glow and electric power.
  • VRSC legal design.

Specifications

  • Wingspan: 62″
  • Wing Area: 748 in²
  • Wing Loading: 22-25 oz/ft²
  • Length: 57.5 in”
  • Weight: 7-8.25 lb

What You Get

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The Kaos 60 arrives in a plain box with all of its components wrapped and securely taped down in a very organized fashion. Removing the components from the box will reveal the low parts count of the Kaos 60 ARF hinting at a very short assembly time to get the airframe ready for flight.

Several notable features of the Kaos ARF are the options to support both electric and glow power options, the enclosed fiberglass cowl and the quick release hatch for easy access to the inside of the fuselage.

The Assembly

With a low part count, the assembly of the Kaos 60 should not take too long. The provided manual is a good reference and illustrates clearly the assembly process with tips on achieving the desired control throws and C.G. for a successful first flight. Note that there is no glue used during the assembly process.

I started the assembly process by installing the aileron control servos in each wing. The openings for the servos had to be enlarged a bit to support standard servos. I also used a Z-bend pliers instead of the provided clevises to make the connection to the servo arm. The main and nose gears can then be installed. During the installation of the nose gear, I stripped out the small set screw that holds the steering arm in place and had to replace the arm with a Du-Bro counterpart which I had in stock.

The tail is bolted together and attached to the tail section of the fuselage. Two small lock nuts hold the assembly in place. A plastic wrench is provided for you if you do not have a tool in this size which is convenient.

As this air-frame will be assembled using the electric option, I assembled the motor mount next. The assembly was very quick thanks to the precision of the laser cuts on the provided parts. The motor mount was mounted to the nose of the airframe using four bolts. A RimFire .80 and Castle Creations 80A ESC were provided for the review. After quickly attaching the shaft to the motor and soldering the leads on the ESC, the power system was ready for assembly in the fuselage.

The provided holes in the motor mount lined up perfectly with the X-brace provided with the .80 RimFire motor. The ESC is mounted to the bottom of the motor mount per the manual. At first, I was not sure if I liked the looks of the ESC mounted in this fashion as it did require an unusual cut on the cowl but I decided to leave it like that and it has not bothered me since.

A few cuts were made in the cowl to provide clearing for the front of the ESC and cooling for the electronics and the cowl, along with the provided spinner were mounted to the nose. The alignment of the spinner to the cowl was very good without requiring any spacers. The four screws that hold the cowl in place attach to hard wood in the fuselage which made the overall assembly as sturdy as it can be. I installed the rudder and elevator servos in the provided locations of the fuselage and made the connections to the control arms. Note that the rudder servo actuates both the rudder and the steerable nose gear.

After making the connections of the push rods to the rudder and elevator linkages, I installed the provided receiver/battery plate on top of the servos and secured the R7008SB receiver and a 1300mAh LiFe RX battery. I installed a switch on the right side of the fuselage and completed the assembly by cutting out the covering over the cooling hole on the bottom of the fuselage.

Flight Report

Transporting the Kaos 60 to the field is a bit awkward due to the fixed landing gear attachments on the removable wings and the fuselage. I found it best to carry the fuselage in a plane stand which also made the task of field assembly much easier. The Kaos 60 goes together very quickly at the field as the wing bolts are easy to access and there are only two leads to connect the aileron servos to the receiver extensions.

Ground handling is very good with the steerable nose gear. The thrust from the RimFire .80 and the 15×7 APC propeller is IMG_2250quick to get the Kaos rolling and in the air in no time at all. Once in the air, the Kaos required a bit of trim and was flying level before the first circuit was completed. After the airframe was trimmed, we started to play around with the power that the RimFire .80 provided through the 15×7 APC propelled and quickly found that the Kaos was a blast to fly at full throttle. Vertical lines are very good with this power setup and high speed passes are exciting though the airframe seems to be limited by drag with the thick wing and exposed gear. The Kaos 60 seemed almost impossible to stall, slowing the airframe down and waiting for a wing to drop resulted in the airframe just gliding and loosing altitude. Inducing a stall by pitching the nose resulted in a very controllable stall which was recovered easily by application of throttle. This made the landings a breeze as well as glide ratio of the Kaos is easily controlled on final approach with throttle off to settle on the mains for perfect landings almost every time. The final flare and touch down should be handled with care to avoid a nasty last minute bounce from the wire landing gear.

On the aerobatic side, the Kaos 60 is meant to be an introductory plane for aerobatics. It can perform most maneuvers that you can perform on a sport plane such as point rolls, loops, snaps, stall turns, etc… Extended knife edge flight does not seem to beIMG_2320 among its list of approved flight envelopes as the Kaos starts to fly an respectable knife edge but quickly looses altitude even at full throttle most likely due to the lack of side surface on its fuselage. Inverted flight is easily controlled with just a touch of down elevator required to keep the nose level.

The recommended power system is great at allowing for a mix of throttle usage. I kept full throttle reserved for mostly up lines and found that I was able to reach 8 minutes of flight before the telemetry on my 18SZ was telling me that the flight pack was reaching low voltage. After landing and charging batteries, there was on average 60-80% capacity being put back in the packs.

 

Summary

The Kaos 60 is targeted to pilots who will be transitioning to aerobatic flying or to persons who are interested in the heritage provided by the classic design of the Kaos. From the perspective of satisfying the first part of this claim, I can say comfortably that the Kaos 60 would make a great transitional plane for the aspiring pilots. During the preparation of this review, I had my brother visit me who I would say is a novice pilot that is out of practice. I was very comfortable in setting him up with the Kaos 60 to let him explore the capabilities of his skills knowing that the airframe was meant specifically for this purpose.

I am personally not old enough to have built and flown the original Kaos versions from the 70s but several pilots from the field have given positive compliments on the looks and flight performance of the Kaos 60 to make me believe that it should satisfy the vintage enthusiast as well.

Gear Used

 

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