When I think of full-scale primary trainer aircraft, two planes come to mind: the Cesnsa 172 and the Piper J-3 Cub. The latter of the two, the Cub, has been through thick and thin, teaching pilots how to fly for over half a century. Think about it, it's the perfect trainer. With a light wing loading and a forgiving airframe, what more can one ask for? These same characteristics carry over into another plane, one that is very much like the Cub, just from another country.
The Paulistinha, a Brazilian copy of the Cub, flies very similar and was the primary trainer of choice for both military and civilian pilots in the 1960's. To put a Cub and a Paulistinha side-by-side, one may notice a few cosmetic differences, but the general design and measurements are almost the same.
The World Models has introduced their version of this Cub-like plane, and it's an instant classic. The Paulistinha boasts a scale color scheme that is different from the black and yellow, but still has all the great characteristics of the tried and true Cub.
While The World Models doesn't waste much expense on the box graphics, they sure do a nice job of packing their product to prevent damage during shipping. All the pieces were individually bagged, and then taped together to keep them in their place within the box. I really like the color scheme on the Paulistinha. The colors are taken right from a full-scale plane, and it's nice to see something different from the standard 'yellow and black' or 'red and white/blue and white' sunburst patterns.
Some of the features that really caught my eye were the ironed-on trim scheme, the scale-looking functional landing gear, and the rugged, painted fiberglass cowl that matched the covering almost perfectly. The World Models did a fine job on this plane across the board!
The manual is very typical for The World Models. There are very few written instructions, but the illustrations do a good job of guiding the assembler through the process. Take a few minutes to look through the manual before you start, and you'll have the Paulistinha together in no time!
We'll start the assembly process with the wings. Using epoxy, glue the servo blocks to the hatches. Once the epoxy has cured, mount the servos using the servo hardware. Thread the servo screws into the blocks, remove the screw and servo, and then put a drop of thin CA in the screw-hole. This hardens the threads, and gives the wood more bite for the screw. I use this method throughout the airframe on every hole that will receive a screw.
Remove the covering at the root rib, pull the servo lead, with extension attached, through the wing using the pre-installed string. Mount the servo hatch to the wing using the included screws. Using the included hardware, install the control horn on the ailerons and attach the push rods.
The wing is now joined using an aluminum joiner tube. Spread epoxy on the two wing root ribs, and in the joiner tube holes. Slide the two wing panels together on the joiner tube, making sure that they fit together tightly. Allow the epoxy to cure, then move on to the trailing edge wing doubler. To achieve a solid mounting surface, I removed the covering, and epoxied the doubler in place.
The wing struts are assembled next, using the brass clips. The struts go together quickly and easily, and mount to the wing using the included hardware. The manual does recommend using a thread locking compound on the strut bolts, as there are pre-installed blind nuts in the wing for the attachment points.
The tail feathers are added next. Test-fit the pieces to the fuselage with the wing temporarily bolted on. This will allow you to check for the parallel and perpendicular lines of the horizontal stabilizer/elevator and vertical stabilizer/rudder assemblies. My parts fit perfectly, without the need for any trimming. When satisfied with their fit, epoxy the horizontal and vertical stabilizers in place, and allow the epoxy to cure.
ENGINE AND FUEL TANK INSTALLATION
Installing the engine mount and engine is next, and could not be easier. The blind nuts for the engine mount are pre-installed inside the fuselage, allowing easy installation of the mount. Adjust the mount to the engine of your choice, mark the engine holes, and drill the holes in the mount. Using the included hardware, attach the engine to the mount, making sure to use thread locking compound on all bolts. The bolts used to attach the engine to the mount use two nuts, but I still put a drop of the blue thread locker on them.
It's time to assemble and install the fuel tank. The fuel clunk came with a piece of gas tubing attached to it, so I removed the gas tubing and replaced it with a section of silicone tubing. The fuel tank is set up with either a two or three-line system. I set my tank up with two lines, and added a DuBro in -line fueling valve after the cowl was installed. The fuel tank is slid into the nose of the plane, and is cradled nicely by the fuselage formers. Glue the balsa support stick in the fuselage behind the fuel tank to keep the tank from sliding backwards.
LANDING GEAR INSTALLATION
Now, we'll move on to the landing gear. Installing the tail wheel and gear is simple, involving only two screws, an aluminum clip, and a bolt and nut. I really like the connection between the rudder and tail wheel wire- it takes a lot of the stress of landing off the rudder.
The main gear comes next, and the only step that was a little tricky was installing the wing strut bracket in the correct location. While the slots are pre-cut, the aluminum brackets have room to move around. I solved this problem by installing the wing, lining up the bracket with the strut, and putting a drop of medium CA on the bracket where it meets the fuselage. This holds the bracket in place while the hole is drilled for it. The bolt that secures the bracket also secures the rear landing gear strap.
Install the remaining landing gear straps, and use the brass clips and included hardware to secure the gear covers to the landing gear. Be sure to slide all three clips on each leg, line everything up, and then drill the holes in the gear covers. Grinding small flat spots on the axles, installing the wheels and wheel collars, and finally the wheel covers rounds out the landing gear installation.
It's time to finish up the Paulistinha! The side windows are glued in place. The manual recommends epoxy, but I prefer to use Formula 560 Canopy Glue from ZAP Adhesives. It dries clear and cleans up with water, making it really easy to work with. The windshield is held in place with four screws- just be sure to hold the windshield tightly to the airframe when drilling the holes and installing the screws.
The World Models includes a clear, two-piece cowl to make cowl installation easier. If you take your time and remove small portions of material, you will end up with a nice fit between the cowl and engine. The large opening on the left side of my cowl was to allow room for the header pipe and muffler to be threaded together.
The elevator push rod is unique to The World Models' planes, and I have used it before with great success. Bending the matching short 'L's' in the pushrod ends can be a little tricky, but with a good set of pliers, it goes quickly. The three nuts and bolts hold the two-piece plastic connector together securely. Installing the control horns on the elevator and rudder are standard procedure, except that the rudder had a threaded rod molded into a plastic base. This makes fine-tuning the rudder control throw easier.
The servo plate must be epoxied in the fuselage, but it takes very little time, and it only fits well in one direction. Mount the servos using the servo hardware, and connect the push rods to the servos. The Paulistinha comes with a nice large piece of foam padding that has two holes already cut in it. I slid the battery pack into the front hole, connected the servo leads to the receiver, and slid it into the rear hole. I then stuffed the whole assembly in the fuselage right behind the tank.
I also added a DuBro kwik switch and charging jack to make charging the receiver battery easy without removing the wing.
Install the included pilot, secure the wing to the fuselage and assembly is done! Be sure to balance the plane before flying. My Paulistinha balanced right in the middle of the recommended C.G. range without moving anything.
Now it's time to shoot a few pictures and send this plane skyward!
It was a perfect Minnesota summer morning for the maiden flight on the Paulistinha. The wind was calm and the sun peeked out from behind the clouds from time-to-time. After a few minutes of tuning the older O.S. Surpass four stroke engine, it was time to see how this plane would fly. A short taxi down the strip proved that the tail wheel has plenty of authority: you may want to add some exponential if your radio has the ability. If not, just be light on the rudder stick, and you'll be fine. The O.S. .52 Surpass had more than enough power to get the Paulistinha off the ground and climbing out. The take-off roll was shorter than I expected for an engine at the bottom of the recommended range.
After flying a few circuits of the field, I wanted to see what the plane could do, and I was pleasantly surprised! Short of 3-D flying, the Paulistinha handled any aerobatic maneuver I could think of, including the nicest knife edge I've EVER seen from a high wing plane! Loops and rolls are graceful, split S's and Cuban eights are a joy to perform, and stall turns are a sight to be seen!
When the throttle is pushed open, the Paulistinha will cover a fair amount of ground (or sky, if you will) in a hurry. Flying at high speed carried no concerns, and is actually quite fun. A slight amount of down trim wass needed to fly level at speed, but let's not forget- this is a flat bottomed wing on a scale model of a primary trainer aircraft. The tracking is right on, and the plane shows no bad habits when clipping along at wide open throttle.
As a scale model of a primary trainer, I was interested to see how the plane handled at low speeds. The Paulistinha does not disappoint here either. The stall, what little there was, was very gentle, and no more than the nose dropping off as the wings quit flying. I added a bit of power and some up elevator and the plane started flying again quickly. Even with the small O.S. .52 in the cowl, the Paulistinha would fly around at 1/4 to 1/3 throttle all day long!
Landing the Paulistinha is such a non-event, that it's hardly worth mentioning. Simply line the plane up on the runway, keep a little speed on until you hit the threshold, and cut the power. It's as easy as that. I tried landing it several times, and each one was as easy as the first!
Check out the video to see her in action!
The World Models Paulistinha P-56 ARF Or, Download the Video (24meg) CLICK HERE
At this point, there isn't much more to say. I know it sounds unrealistic that I couldn't find any real concerns assembling this ARF, but it really was THAT easy to put together. When it comes to flying the Paulistinha, I have absolutely no reservations either! I can recommend it as a second airplane, or even a first plane if you have plenty of help from an experienced instructor. I guess what I'm trying to say is this: If you're looking to add a .40 size plane to your hangar, you really ought to get this one!
The World Models
Distributed by: AirBorne Models
4749 - K Bennett Dr.
Livermore, CA 94551
Website: www.airborne-models.comFutaba Corporation of America
Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021; Champaign, IL 61826-9021
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Frank Tiano Enterprises
3607 Ventura dr. E; Lakeland FL. 33811
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.