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  1. #201

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    I just talked to Mark at Hobby Services and he said the AT-6 Retracts that are on order have a stronger case than the plastic case on the present ones????
    We''ll see???

    I am still going to make a block-"U" shaped box out of 1 mm steel that will cover the bottom and sides and the flange of the gear (not the ends). I will also make a cut out of the top of the block so that the black mounting flange will be sandwiched between the metal. This should provide the needed strength and eliminate the stress on the plastic or fiber flanges!!

    When I get it made I will send pictures.
    Insanity: Keep doing the same thing expecting a different result.

  2. #202

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    If your invention turns out to be a saving grace you might want to consider taking orders.[sm=teeth_smile.gif]

    Curt

  3. #203
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Curt;

    This is what so good about this hobby!!! Someone will come out with a answer to this problem and will make a ton of money!!
    Way to go, TomTreese!!! Can not wait to see what you come up with!!!

    BTW: Curt,
    I had a blast flying my Texan yesterday!! One of my flying buddy wife was at the field with her camera and got some great shots of my low fly-by with the Texan. As soon as she email me the pictures, I will post here.

    Sonny
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  4. #204

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Hello everyone! I'm new to the site and have been following this thread for a while now. I have been wanting to purchase this plane for a while now but am discouraged by the reported gear failures. Does anyone make a replacement retract gear set that is mechanical for the at-6 or is the pneumonic the only option? I've been wanting to purchase an AT-6 for assembly with my grandfather as he is up in years now and we have had such fun putting others together. He is a retired pilot and flight instructor as well as former Air Force so this is an aircraft that we both have been wanting to build. Aside from the gear malfunctions, would you recommend the TF model or is there a better option available? Many thanks in advance!

  5. #205

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    I will have the brackets made before I receive the replacement gear from Tower. I don't see any reason to try it without the brackets. If the new gear is stronger, great,but
    I'm not going risk the wing on it.
    If it works well I'll have some made and offer them on this site.
    The AT-6 is a great looking and flying plane to be grounded due to a poorly designed retract. All my other mechanical retarcts have steel sides and mounting flanges. It should be less expensive to bend a couple of strips of metal than to mould that plastic case??? That's all it is, is plastic.[:'(] It's not even the fiber filled composite material(motor mount material) in the Robart.

    Should be interesting.
    Insanity: Keep doing the same thing expecting a different result.

  6. #206

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Groundpounder17,

    If you started reading this thread from the beginning you are aware that I am the person that initiated this thread. I will be both candid and objective in regards to this AT6 and yes I will get rebuttals from some of the others but here we go.

    First off, I have been in this hobby a very long, long time. I was the first person in my club to buy and build an ARF when Kyosho came out with a P51 that looked like it was made out of peach basket wood and covered with a material that was impregnated with the graphics and glued to the wood frame. The plane was difficult to assemble and flew like a brick. I stayed away from ARFs for a long time until I bought the Hangar 9 P51 when it was first introduced. I was pleasantly surprised by the construction, fit and finish and flight characteristics. The only modification that I made was to put 1/8th spacers between the rail and the retract flange at the rear of the retracts. This in essence moved the wheels forward and greatly improved ground handling and takeoffs. I have built other ARFs from other manufacturers and have been satisfied until now.

    AT6:
    Pros: Construction overall is very good. Choice of materials is very good. The set up of the battery and receiver is a neat idea. Since I have not flown the plane I have to depend on Sonny's appraisal.

    Cons: Control surfaces are of open and rather weak construction that lends itself to bad covering and I could not get the wrinkles out of mine no matter how hard I tried. There were countless wrinkles, sags that would not iron out. They used Monokote trim sheets in a number of areas and they had wrinkles. And lastly the lousy retracts.

    Those of us that have fully assembled the plane would not be able to install pneumatics. I have sent my retracts to Hobbico and waiting to see what they send me. I do not know if there are other mechanical retracts for this plane.

    In the meantime I have bought and am building the H9 60 size JUG. The covering and construction is excellent and the build will be just as easy as the P51. And from the big thread on RCU it is a good flyer.

    Take it for what it’s worth.

    Curt

  7. #207

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    There is a possible set of metal mechanical retracts from, franktiano.com. They are for a P-47 but could be bent to fit the AT-6. You would also have to shim the retarct well.
    They are very strong but they should be for $106.00.
    I have a set but want to try my metal reinforcement first.
    Insanity: Keep doing the same thing expecting a different result.

  8. #208
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Groundpounder17,

    As far as flying the Top Flite AT-6 Texan, it is a dream!!! When all trim out, the plane will fly hands off. The takeoff can be a hand full. When adding power for takeoff use so rudder to keep the nose down the runway. The tail will come up on its own, but she is not ready to fly yet. The plane will dance on the main gear when its ready to fly. After lift-off keep it low to build up speed before you start a climb-out. The low fly by with the gear up will blow you away!!! If you have Real Flight 3.5 Flight Sim, they have the AT-6 Texan. This will give you a good feel on how the rc model will fly.

    Curt gave you a very good pro and con's on this model and I agree with him. I did install air retracts on my Texan, but I had another set of wings to work with and I am glad I did.
    This is a sweet airplane to fly and you will have the flight line to yourself when you fly. People just love to see it fly!!
    I hope this help you!!

    Fly hard and play safe everyone!!

    Sonny
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  9. #209

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Thanks for the replies everyone. According to the franktiano.com website which carries the mechanical metal retracts, they are heavy duty units that feature HD struts(3/16"). The only ones I saw available were for the T-6/P-51. "These retracts fit Hanger 9, Topflite, and many other ARF warbirds. The dimensions of the retract chassis are: Length 1.6" Width .75" Height 1"."

    Are these considered reliable retracts or are the Robostruts pneumatic retracts considered a higher quality, more reliable configuration? I went ahead, bit the bullet, and ordered a TF at-6 texan today. I will just plan on replacing the retracts and re-enforcing the gear trays during assembly. I would rather have a mechanical setup but considering the time, money, and work involved I will like to build it in with the best gear and system available. I would very much like to hear other's opinions on this. Would the Robart's 618 robostruts fit this model or would the regular 618s be the proper choice if I decide to go with robart's? Thanks again for all of your help. I will be sure to keep you all informed of my decision and build. The thing I really enjoy about the RC community is the friendliness and eagerness to help. I haven't met a flyer that was not more than willing to help and that is something that is very much appreciated.

  10. #210

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Oh well, you went and ordered it anyway [sm=confused_smile.gif]

  11. #211

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    The Hanger 9 AT-6 gear has a lot of bad reviews because the struts bend very easy. Also they do not make the plane anymore. I have a used set of Frank Tiano P-47 retarcts and they are very strong but there is a lot of play in the locked positions and no way to correct it. The struts are going to be difficult to bend to fit the AT-6??? It could be done but I don't like the play, which is why I have them. The guy who had them in a P-47 wasn't happy with them.

    I am having the metal box and top made for the new Topflite gear so it will be ready when the replacement arrives. Tower says late April

    This should work, even on the original retarcts, since there will be very little, if any, pressure on the plastic flanges. You will just need to reinforce the mounting area with epoxy or CA.
    Insanity: Keep doing the same thing expecting a different result.

  12. #212
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    groundpounder17;

    Please let us know how your covering looks when you receive your AT-6 Texan. I hope they address this problem too!!

    Sonny
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  13. #213

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    My Texan should be here on Friday at which time I will thoroughly inspect it. If the covering is in poor condition I will send it back and go a different route. I'm willing to replace the gears and remove minor wrinkles but if it appears to be of poor quality I will not hesitate to return it. I'm considering engine choices at this time as I plan to take my time with the build and am curious to the amount of room under the cowl. I was thinking of putting a Saito 115 under there but after hearing about the problems with cam lubrication I am now considering a YS 110 which is only $10 more. I'm aware that this engine is a little long (121 mm) compared to that of the recommended os 91 surpass II so I am concerned about fit.
    Does anyone know if this engine will fit?

  14. #214

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Groundpounder,

    Earlier in this thread I discussed my covering. I had to completely recover one of the ailerons because I could not get the wrinkles out. Overall, the plane is very nice and the covering on mine was fairly good other than the control surdaces. The one thing that did get me a bit miffed was the fact that the covering did not behave like the MonoKote I have been used to working with in the past. It simply did not respond to heat as rapidly or to the extent that I would expect. It did not have the "feel" of Monokote. I am not saying that it is or is not Monokote - just that this stuff was a real bear to work with. In the end, I was quite happy with the way the covering looked. My only issue now is having the time to get mine together and in the air. Maybe after little league season is over.....[]
    Hope yours has better covering.

    Steve

  15. #215

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Groundponder,
    My AT-6 covering was perfect. This is the first ARF that I did not have to use the heat gun to shrink out the wrinkles Amazing!!!

    I used the OS FS 91 II on my AT-6. It fits perfectly under the cowl and has plenty of power. In fact to fly at scale speed I need ony 50% throttle. I have six Saito's and this is my first OS 4-stroke and I love the put-put sound and the ease of tuning. Ten flights and have never touched the needle. There is no blead nipple so I had to drill a 1/8" hole in th top of the cowl to add after run oil in to the carb. air intake. (The engine is inverted) I inseret a straw into the hole and into the carb. and add 5cc of Air-tool oil through the straw. Works great and I don't have to remove the glow plug every time.

    With the Tower discounts the OS 91 costs about $80 less than a Saito.

    Later I will list all the building modifications I made on my AT-6. Will also include some pictures.

    Insanity: Keep doing the same thing expecting a different result.

  16. #216
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    groundpounder17,

    Go with the OS FS 91 II engine. This is a perfect match for this airplane!! One thing is that you don't have to mod the cowling to make it fit. On pages 2 & 3 of this post, I have upload pictures of how install will look. I want to keep as much scale look as I can. I also went with a onboard glow system that is so sweet!!! I have my system set to where the glow is on at low power and off at high power. I also have posted pictures of the onboard glow system.
    Go with the OS FS 91 II and you will be happy!!

    Sonny
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  17. #217

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    I have followed Sonny's lead on this and purchased an OS 91 along with the Sullivan glow driver. I have everything I need to get this bird in the air - except time.

    As a sidenote - related to TF quality, due to the great deals at Tower right now, I also recently purchased the TF Cessna 310 ARF and I have to say that it is the most beautiful piece of work I have seen as far as ARF's go in this price range. Outstanding workmanship. In general for the price, I think that TF quality is still there, but as with anything imported, there are periods where quality may stray out of bounds so-to-speak from time to time. It should not be the consumer's problem, but it happens and at least in my history with Tower - they always make good on these issues. With my discounts, I got the 310 for a base price of $319. The box is huge so the shipping tacks on an additional $65 - but still worth it.

    Steve

  18. #218
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Yea, I also reviewed the 310 two years ago, that is one sweet plane!

    http://www.rcuniverse.com/magazine/a...article_id=870

    There is a very large thread about it in the "Twins" forum
    Mike B. AMA# 42400 www.gettingairborne.com
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    \"Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.\" - Groucho Marx

  19. #219
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Steve,

    You are right. Sometime quality do fall and people get mad, but, the name Top Flite has been around for a very long time in this hobby.
    You will love the Sullivan glow driver. You will not believe how low you can get the OS FS 91 II at idle.
    Wow!! A Top Flite Cessna 310!!! Your wife must love you!!! One of my club member has one and he love it!! The only draw back is the total cost he has in the plane, $1500.00
    Now find some time to build and fly the Texan!!!

    Sonny
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  20. #220

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Well, this is all a result of selling 11 NIB planes at a recent swap meet. Now I have the $$ to at least get what I want for a later build. I should say, I had the $$.

    MinnFlyer, I have read the review and some of the thread, which helped me make the decision to buy the 310. For the money, it was a no brainer...
    I guess I'll be quite busy when (if) I retire someday.

    Steve

  21. #221

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Groundpounder.
    Began building the AT-6 1/25/0
    1. Used OS-91 FS II engine. It fits perfectly and has more than enough power for scale flight with a APC 14x7 prop.
    2. Servos: all Hitec: HS-75/ retracts. HS-325 for throttle. HS-475 for all the surfaces.
    3. Like all my ARF's I completely paint the inside from the firewall to first bulkhead with alcohol thinned 30 min. epoxy. This fuel proffs and strenghthens this critical area.
    4. CA'd the wood around where the retracts servo and gear will be installed. This was a good move since nothing broke whrn the retract block split on the 10th landing.
    5. I used Radio South CA hinges. I would rather use pivot point hinges like they have on the flaps but the horizontal stab and the tail fin are not thick enough. I never use the cheap CA hinges supplied!!!!
    6. When you remove the retract set screw on Pg 13/4. There are two set screws in each hole.
    7. The elevator control is interesting>> I use CA in the slot of the filler block for strengh, then filled it with vaseline so the epoxy will not bind it.
    8. Pg 16/9 In stead of a clevis I used a "Z" bend to attach the elevator push rod to the last hole in the control arm. You will never be able to adjust that end. I then used a clevis on the servo arm that does allow some adjustment. I trimed some covering off of the filler block to allow for the CA I used after the Horizontal stab. was glued in place.
    9. You will have to raise the tray for the throttle servo so that it is in line with the throttle push rod. You also need the room for elevator servo arm. Picture below. Pg 20/2 doesn't work?
    10. I used two Hobbico combined "Y" harnesses reduce the wires comimg out of the wing that attach to the 12" servo wires from the Receiver
    11. The standard servo arm on the HS-75 was long enough for the retract wires to make their full cycle.
    12. I used a two line fuel system with a Dubro easyfill fuel probe. I was able to install the probe in the space between the firewall and the front cowl support. I hate cutting holes in the cowl.
    13. It took quite a while to get the dummy radial enging to fit perfectly in the cowl. The method shown on pg 23 works well. But measure several times then use a few drops on CA to hold it in place till you can epoxy it. There will be a 2mm space between the inside of the cowl and the edge of the dummy radial. I inserted some white yarn in that space to hold the epoxy and provide a complete bond.
    14. I also installed some red ignition wires on each dummy cylinder.
    15. Removing one space between the cylinders is sufficient as long as it is directly in line with the cylinder head.
    16. I epoxied (6 min) the cockpit floor to the balsa but cut a hole where the turnover post, seat backs and instrument panels attached so the glue would go to the wood and not just the plastic.
    17. I cut a 1/2" dowl for the base of each pilot and cut a 1/2" hole in the floor to glue them in place.
    18. The canopy was attached with canopy glue and 4 screws.
    19. I did not like the way the air scoops were to be attached, so I filled both with balsa blocks so that there would be a wood to wood bond. I felt that air rushing into the opening at 60+ mph would stress the bond of a thin plactec surface. The scoop on the bottom needs the additional strength to survive the bumping it receives when attaching the wing.
    20. There is very little cutting needed on the cowl since the OS 91 fits nicely inside. You do need to cut a slot for the exhaust and above the cylinder head for fit and air circulation. I made the opening a little larger so I can insert a glow lighter since I don'y like remote or onboard glow slstems. The cowl support block on the bottom need's to be off center to clear the cylinder head!!!
    21. With the battery installed aft of the receiver it took 3/4 oz of lead on the tail to balance at 4+ inches. Flew perfectly. I also added 3/4oz of lead in the left aileron well to balance it laterally.
    22. I cut a 1/4" hole in the top of the cowl to allow a plastic straw to be inserted into the carbeurator air intake so I can add after-run oil.
    23. The control throws recommended in the manual are fine.
    Enjoy. I hope my gear modification solves the weak gear box problem


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    Insanity: Keep doing the same thing expecting a different result.

  22. #222

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    TomTreese,

    Excellent post and advice. You should have started your own build thread to showcase your plane. It looks great! Let me know how your custom built retract housing works out. Thank you all for your assistance and advice. There is no better way to tips and knowledge than from those with first hand experience. Many thanks!

  23. #223

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Hey Thread Team,

    I sent my questionable retracts to Hobbico and they in turn sent me a new set. I am looking at these and darn if they don't look like the ones that I sent them. One curiosity is that I noticed five screws in the side of the case and I cannot remember if the originals had screws. Does anyone out there have the originals and can tell me if there are screws holding the two halves together?

    Curt

  24. #224
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Yes, there are
    Mike B. AMA# 42400 www.gettingairborne.com
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    \"Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.\" - Groucho Marx

  25. #225

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Five screws!!!. If the new case isn't any stronger then my metal box is going to be vital.

    I just noticed on the Tower site that the AT-6 retracts delivery date has been move from late April to Late May[:@]

    So I think the set you received was from the old style and not the "improved" model???? If there is such a thing???
    Insanity: Keep doing the same thing expecting a different result.


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