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  1. #1376
    bob1393's Avatar
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Hi Dean,

    Did you get the R54 manual with the plane? If not, I can give you the recommendation that Bruce Tharpe (BTE) gives for control surfac throws.

    BTW, congrats on your purchase - you'll love the plane - flies great.

    Bob
    AMA CD/Leader Member, JPO Dist XI VP

  2. #1377
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    I approched the jet learning curve in a very similar manner. I bought a Reaction 54 jet kit and am about to start building it. My plan was to put in a Jetcat P-70. I just finished my Patriot XL after a prolonged building period (embarrasingly long build). I tried to fly it a week ago and never got off the ground. The problem is the length of the nose gear and the angle of attack on the ground. The nose is slightly down. I have two questions. The length of the nose gear is limited by the bulkhead and the leading edge of the wing. What did you do to adjust the angle of attack of the nose gear? What is your angle of attack of the plane on the ground?

  3. #1378

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    bob1393,
    No I did not get the manual. I would greatly appreciate the recommendations that Bruce gives for surface throws, Thanks.

    ArtW,
    I had the same problem with my Patriot XL. The way I solved the problem was to use flaps on takeoff, about 15 - 20 degrees. Let the plane gain enough speed to let the plane get light then pull back on the stick. It made the difference between night and day. I tried everything and that was the best answer.

    Dean

  4. #1379
    bob1393's Avatar
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Hi Dean - here's the info right from the manual:

    Ailerons 3/4" up, 5/8" down
    Elevator 5/8" up and down
    Rudder 1-1/2" left and right
    Flaps 60 degrees for full flaps - 1/8"down elevator with full flaps
    CG 6" - 7" from leading edge of wing at fusealge with UAT full and gear up

    Here in the northwest most of us are using only about 40 degrees of flaps for landing, but I have seen others using 60 degrees. You'll have to experiment to see what you like.

    I had 15% EXPO on elev and ail but didn't notice much difference. I changed to 25% but haven't flown it yet with that.

    If you have enough channels - put nose gear steering on a separate channel and mix with rudder. This way you can adjust throw and trim of nose wheel independent of the rudder.

    Hope this helps. If you need anything else let me know.

    Bob
    AMA CD/Leader Member, JPO Dist XI VP

  5. #1380

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    G'Day Dean,

    I have a Wren Supersport (18# Thrust) in my R54. No need to worry about the integrity of the airframe. I don't dive or pullout at full throttle but full power straight and level and vertical climbs are great.

    regards



    Tom Watson
    Sydney Australia

  6. #1381

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Thanks Bob for the info. I will be very useful.

    Dean

  7. #1382

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Tom
    So I really do not need to derate the turbine, right? After looking the jets over very well, I see it is very strong and well built. So I will fly it with the turbine the way it comes. Thanks for the input.
    Dean

  8. #1383
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Well, Tommy's input is valid, but keep in mind that his model is glassed and painted. That thin layer of glass adds significant strength and stiffness to his model, so he's had no trouble with 18 pounds of thrust. I still recommend no more than 14 pounds thrust for this design. Yes, guys are flying with more, and so far there have been no issues with the design. No matter what power, you need the discipline and common sense to back off when the nose is pointing down.
    BTE - Home of Quality-Minded Model Aircraft Kits.
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  9. #1384

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Bruce,
    Point well taken!!! I will use throttle management. Thanks
    Dean

  10. #1385
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Hey Tommy, without seaching all through the thread here, how heavy did your ship turn out to be with the glassing? Am just starting my build, P-70 power, and want to glass, but am not sure how much heavier this will make it. Course I guess that depends on the builder! .
    Still amazed at how Bruce and his team get all that stuff in the box. I bet Christmas at the Thorpe residence is impressive! LOL

    Chris

  11. #1386

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    G'Day Chris,

    My Reaction weighs just a little over 20 pounds. I did the entire model with .6oz glass cloth and two coats of epoxy resin thinned with rubbing alcohol, sanded right back, (the dan parsons method). Then I used a two pack epoxy primer and sanded it nearly all off till Icould just see the wood. Then a thin coat of primer to get an even white. Then two thin coats of white two pack and trim with red two pack. Then two coats of two pack clear. I tried to keep the paint to a minium. I think the main weight gain was the wings. If I were to do it again, I would glass and paint the fuse and tail and wingtips, and monokote the straight part of the wings. I would do without the top hatch as I have the UAT up the front of the wing. All that is in the boat tail is the ECU, gas valve and the servo controlled fuel valve. I don't use a ECU controlled fuel valve. I am about to fit a weatronics receiver so I will have to rearrange the install under the front hatch. I will probably get rid of the BVM brake valve, (don't need it on grass) and move the retract switch somewhere else. The Weatronics RX is quiet large but I think the weight wont go up too much as I can use two Li-Ion batteries.
    I chose the glass and resin finish because I am not very good at monokote. My first reaction was monokote all over and it started to look a bit second hand after about 20-30 flights.
    I also chose to round the corners more than specified in the plan. I wanted a "Slippery" look. I also made fillets for the wing and tail joints.
    I fly the thing whenever I can (the weather is very hot here at the moment and we have fire bans which mean no jet flying. I fly from a really good field with 900 feet of close mown grass and another field with just 300 ft of ordinary grass and a tall outfield. The reaction handles both fields with no problem. I can land on the small field and easilly stop before half way.
    As I said before, I NEVER have full throttle when the nose is pointing down. If I want a really fast pass I start to open the throttle just before I pullout. By the time I get full thrust I am straight and level. I see my mates with their Big Jetcat powered kangaroos and Rookies, and I think my Reaction, 1. Looks better, 2 Flies faster (or at least as fast), 3 Flies slower and is more maouverable, and 4 Lands much slower.

    I will find out how fast when I fit the Weatronics RX, It has a GPS and measures speed etc.


    This is really an amazing model, You will love it.

    Regards

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    Tom Watson
    Sydney Australia

  12. #1387
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    That's some great info, Tommy. And your craftsmanship really shines in those pics. That's a fantastic bird!

    Yes, I'm a worry wart about overpowering. Tommy sounds like he uses the proper restraint. But it's easy to imagine another pilot, with the same setup wanting more, more, more. Maybe our fictional pilot does a few straight and level passes at full throttle. The adrenaline starts pumping and the throttle gets pushed in early on the shallow dive for his next pass. Wow! Now let's see what she can really do... He climbs high in preparation for the next pass, the throttle is left at full, the nose goes down to near vertical. Pulls out ten feet over the runway and... incredible, nothing happens except an awesome high-speed pass. OR, perhaps, BAM! There goes an aileron. OR maybe it's not built to Tommy's standards and RIP! There goes some wing covering followed by a slow roll into terra firma.

    This hasn't happened to any R54s that I know of, but I've sure seen enough crash and blooper videos of other jets shedding parts during a high-speed pass to know that it's possible. If you are truly a speed adict and want to push an airframe to its limit, the Reaction 54 is not your plane. There are other ships out there that are built for speed. That's not to say the R54 is a slug! In my book, 120-140mph top end is nothing to sneeze at.

    This post isn't intended for anybody in particular. It's just some generalized ramblings of a lone model designer trying to bring some perspective to the matter. The R54 was designed when the 11 lb. RAM 500 was king. I knew the future would bring more power, so it was designed a bit bigger and beefier than needed at the time. I will admit that I did not envision these small turbines putting out 18 lbs. of thrust so soon. It's truly amazing what the turbine designers are doing!
    BTE - Home of Quality-Minded Model Aircraft Kits.
    www,btemodels.com

  13. #1388

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Hey guys,
    I just had a very nice delivery from UPS. A brand new P70 from Jetcat. What a piece of work!!! Now all I am waiting for is a mount which the person I purchased the R54 from is having Bruce send one to me. Looks like this is going tobe quite an adventure.
    Dean

  14. #1389
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Very good points Bruce, and not to be taken lightly. Is a concern when the model is pushed out of what it was designed to do. It's also a tribute to how well you design airplanes, I remember that back from a friends Venture 60. I guess that just means that all of us that are opting for the new breed, like the P-70 as I did, should heed the warning and use a good dose of caution.

    Tommy! That bird is amazing. I really love what you did with the fillets! Wonderful and makes the bird look like it going 200 just sitting there. With the few added pounds I bet your floating on landing is not as pronounced. I will give the glassing some more thought where the wings are concerned. I really like the idea of a painted airplane this time, have always done Monokote and wanted something a bit more durable. Thanks again for sharing those pictures! Hang in there, that burn ban will be over before you know it.

  15. #1390

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Hi Guys

    My kit has arrived at the Post Office and I must go and collect it. I can`t wait to start building it.

    Regards
    Craig

  16. #1391
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    My second R54 is almost done! I added STOL tips on this one; rib #14 was omitted. The tip blade is a sandwich of 1/32 ply and two 3/32 balsa sheets. They are rigid and light, and hopefully will withstand the air loads. I omitted the aft hatch and placed the retract air tank in the fuselage above the boat tail. The UAT is in the forward fuselage area. A JetTech fuel tank is used...facing forward. Trim brakes and Robart struts will be used. Haven't balanced it yet...but hoping no lead is needed to achieve balance. Photos are poor quality, will take some more with the plane outside once the gear is installed. A PST600R will be used. It will be neat having two R54's flying!!
    Speedbrade
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    Speedbrake

  17. #1392
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Some more pictures. The turbine hasn't been installed yet....will probably have to wait until the model is back in the states this summer. I'm stationed on the island of La Maddalena, a small island off the northern tip of Sardena, Italy. A real hardship tour!! As with my first R54 (built in Holland last year) this one will be shipped back to the states in April or May. So hopefully it will be flying in July or August. There is no RC jet flying on Sardena or La Maddalena. In fact the only RC activities are cars and helicopters.

    One neat component used on this project is the fuel dot installed aft of the hatch. Made by McFueler, this aluminum fuel dot looks really cool and works even better. Those of you who have seen or used one know what I'm talking about. The tail surfaces haven't been permanently installed to make it easier to box and ship.
    Speedbrake
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    Speedbrake

  18. #1393
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Well heck, I used the same photos. Trying again....
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    Speedbrake

  19. #1394
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Great job ! Nice touch putting the fuel dot in the aerial refueling recepticle area !

    Marc
    Marc Thomson
    Dundas, Ontario, Canada

  20. #1395

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    speedbrake,

    Nice Job! It looks awesome. I'm interested to see what your mods do to the flight characteristics?

    Dang, we've got a balmy 19 degrees here. My P-70 won't pump jet fuel "gel"[:@]. I can't wait for warmer weather to fly it again.

    Steve

  21. #1396
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Samo,
    I can't give you an informed answer as to what effect the tips will have. Perhaps Bruce can offer some ideas. I put the tips on for several reasons. First, I thought they would look cool. My inspiration came from the Boeing 737. Those tips are absolutely awesome. I couldn't duplicate those tips exactly because the B737 tips are much narrower. I've read that the tip blades decrease wing tip vortices and thus minimize drag. Second; I knew that straight wing tips would decrease the wing area, something that wouldn't affect flight performance. About 70 square inches were removed by omitting rib#14. I'm hoping the decreased area will minimize the floating tendency during landings. Third; I watched 3D planes with the wing blade installed to enhance knife edge flight...and those blades enhanced stability. I thought that would be a good thing for a jet flying at much higher speeds. I expect at a minimum the tips to enhance stability....super smooth flight.

    Here's a thought: what if the decrease in wing area is offset by a decrease in tip drag!! Thus no change in flight performance.

    I'll let you all know what effect, if any, the tip have after a couple of flights.

    Cheers,
    Speedbrake
    Speedbrake

  22. #1397

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Question?? I know the elevator throw is 5/8" up and down but where is that measured, at the center where the elevator is wider or at the end of the elevator? Thanks

    Dean

  23. #1398

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    I have had a lot of fun with my Reaction 54, but it is time to move on to something new. I may just retire her or put her up for sale what do you guys think stick her back or sale her off?

  24. #1399
    bob1393's Avatar
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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Hi Dean,

    Bruce will probably jump in here, but from my experience, it's always measured from the widest point.

    Bob
    AMA CD/Leader Member, JPO Dist XI VP

  25. #1400

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    RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

    Thanks Bob, That's the way I have it setup. It's better to be safe.

    Dean


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