Finally finished up this model a few weeks ago, didn't get a chance to fly it until this past weekend. A couple years ago I bought a guy's entire pile of RC goodies for $50, mostly old, non-functional or incomplete stuff that he had picked up from someone else and never did anything with. I got a few field supplies, three good engines (one NIB!) a REALLY old/broken Ugly Stik (now restored and flown), and a couple of partially completed kits. The Sky Tiger is probably going to get bashed into something else, but the Super Sportster 40 had a mostly completed wing (minus covering and hinging), and the fuselage was just started.
I finally was able to sneak in a flight Saturday night. It really felt good to see it fly! For as much as I enjoy building, I haven't built a lot of "new" planes, I've mostly fixed or restored old planes (didn't have a lot of $$$ for new models when I was a kid, and now I am much busier).
In normal flight regimes, the plane felt much like any other .40-sized sport model, but a bit more like a larger scale aircraft (which surprised me). It also felt a little loose and skiddish in the air at times, I think I may need to move the CG forward a bit. The instructions call for no more than 3-5/8" aft of LE. Mine came out quite tail-heavy...with a spinner weight and as much equipment forward as I could fit, my CG still came out at about 4". Guess I need to add some lead to the nose.
One thing I found unusual: spins! I have never had an RC model that would spin so easily, and so much like a full-scale (my PT-40 is probably the best up til now, actually). But the Sportster is quite something: pull power, hold back pressure, kick in full rudder, and it will spin like a top, left or right! Really beautiful to watch!
It doesn't seem as forgiving in slow flight as, say, my CG Tiger. On my second approach, I had slowed down a bit more (overshot on first approach, small landing area). For my turn from base to final, I commanded a right roll and some back elevator pressure. There was not much of a response, my ailerons had sorta died. I had to ease off the back pressure and bring in some power to get a normal turn and set up for final approach. I don't really mind this, but it doesn't seem normal for what would appear to be a pretty standard sport flier design.
Roll rate was also pretty tame, but I suspect I just don't have enough throw on the little strip ailerons.
I never much cared for the looks of the Sportster models, so I changed this one up just a bit: instead of the one-piece canopy, I went for an open-cockpit design. I took the original canopy, turned it around, and cut off most of the non-curved area, giving a nice "factory" curved windshield. I also found that omitting the cartoonishly huge wheel pants improves looks (at least to me), which is good because I mostly fly from rough fields.
For power, I am using an old Tower .40 (the 1990s design with the Tower logo drawn into the top cooling fins). It's not particularly strong, but has proven to be a solid runner: I "lost" this engine in a crash back in 1996, it sat in a cornfield in Indiana for 2-1/2 months! I love stuff that works.
I'm thinking of filling out the covering scheme a bit more, maybe put some design on the tail feathers. For now I just wanted to get it airborne and see how it flew.