Stinger - a plane that's been synonymous with burning
holes in America's skies for decades. The kits came
in many sizes throughout the years, from a .10 size
all the way up to a 106" wingspan Monster Stinger!
A couple of years ago, I had a kit-built Giant Stinger,
and I loved it. I loved its flight envelope as it
would do almost anything I wanted it to. From mild
to wild, the Stinger could do it all! Mine had one
problem - the one-piece wing was too long to fit in
my truck box and get the roll-up Access Cover closed.
Because of this, the Giant Singer only got to the
field when I was bringing IT alone. I had often wanted
a smaller Stinger, but as my time was always short,
I didn't have time to build a kit Stinger - that's
IF I could even find one!
the Toledo Expo this past April, I saw it for the
first time: The Great Planes Stinger II! I was immediately
drawn in by its color scheme. This new rendition of
the classic Stinger has lots of great features built
into it, AND it's an ARF! This plane just begs to
be wrung out in the sky!
without wasting another second, let's open the box!
and Light Ply Construction
Cowl and Wheel Pants
Color Contrast Between Top and Bottom of Plane
Stinger II arrived well-packed in a very nicely colored
box. The box had lots of great full-color pictures of
the plane along with specifications and recommended equipment
information. There is a relatively low parts count, so
I'm hoping it won't take me long to get it assembled!
of the features I really like were the large canopy/access
hatch with installed pilot figure, the colorful trim scheme,
and the fiberglass cowl and wheel pants, and the aluminum
wing tube and landing gear. One other item that I found
to be better than the original Stinger was the two-piece
included instruction manual lives up to Great Planes' high
standards. The illustrations follow the written instructions,
and though the Stinger is not a beginner's plane, any novice
could assemble it without any trouble.
started with the wing panels. After pulling the servo wire
through the wing with the pre-installed string, the mounting
screw locations are marked and drilled. A servo screw was
turned into each of the four holes, the screw removed, and
a drop of thin CA was added to harden the wood surrounding
the hole. I then installed the servo using the hardware
that came with the servo.
control horn, clevis, and pushrod are pre-assembled as shown,
put into the correct position on the aileron, and marked.
The holes were then drilled and a drop of thin CA added
note: The easiest way I have found to thread the pushrods
is to secure the non-threaded end in my cordless drill.
All I have to do is hold on to the clevis and let the drill
do most of the work!
pushrod was cut to length, bent at a 90 degree angle, and
secured to the servo arm using the included Faslink. I added
the recommended 6" servo extension, and secured it using
the included heat-shrink tubing. The last step in wing assembly
was to secure the anti-rotation pin using epoxy.
assembly starts with installing the wing panels on the fuselage.
The horizontal and vertical stabilizers are then test-fit
on the fuselage. When satisfied with their fit, I secured
both stabilizers using 30-minute epoxy. A little more epoxy
was used to secure the tail wheel wire in the rudder, and
then the rudder was installed using the included CA hinges.
Another thing I'd like to mention at this point is that
the elevator halves are pre-hinged!
PUSHROD AND CONTROL HORN INSTALLATION
the same technique from the aileron pushrods, I prepared
the elevator pushrod assemblies. Then the rod was slid into
its guide tube, the control horn location was marked, and
the holes were drilled on the elevator.
a slight modification of the rudder control horn, it and
the pushrod were installed just like the previous elevator
installation. I did have to make a slight bend in the rudder
pushrod to allow it to move smoothly when connected to the
ELEVATOR AND RUDDER SERVO INSTALLATION
marking and drilling the servo screw holes, a screw was
turned into each of the eight holes. Once the screw was
removed, a drop of thin CA was applied to harden the servo
mounting area. The servos were then secured to their mount,
and the pushrods were marked and bent. Finally, the FasLink
connectors were added to secure the pushrod to the servo.
LANDING GEAR INSTALLATION
landing gear set up was really easy. The axle was secured
to the landing gear leg with a locking nut, a spacer and
wheel were slid onto the axle, and a wheel collar was then
added to the axle. The wheel pant slid over the wheel and
was secured to the landing gear leg using two small screws,
and then two more screws attached each gear leg to the fuselage.
MAKE SURE TO USE THREAD LOCKING COMPOUND WHEN SECURING ANY
METAL TO METAL CONNECTION!!!
FUEL TANK, BATTERY, AND RECEIVER INSTALLATION
the fuel tank was next on the list. The instruction manual
states to use the included fuel tubing in the tank along
with the fuel clunks, however, I chose to add a section
of hard tubing in the middle of the fuel lines in the tank.
Adding the hard lines prevents the fuel clunks from sliding
forward and lodging in the front of the tank in the case
of a hard, nose-first landing. The assembled fuel tank was
then secured in the fuselage with six inches of the included
hook-n-loop strap and a piece of foam under the tank (not
chose to use three different colors of fuel tubing to differentiate
the lines. In my set-up, the green line goes to the carburetor,
the red line goes to the muffler fitting, and the blue line
is for filling and draining the tank. The colored fuel lines
I used are available from DuBro.
the battery pack and receiver were easy, as there is a location
for both right behind the wing tube. Using the remainder
of the included hook-n-loop strap, I secured both the battery
and receiver and padded them with some more foam. The receiver
switch and charging jack were intstalled on the right side
of the fuselage. Since I used a Futaba 2.4 gHz receiver,
the two antennas need to be placed perpendicular to one
installing the engine mount and marking the engine's location
using my Great
Planes Dead Center Tool, I removed the engine and drilled
and tapped the engine mounting bolt holes.
engine was attached to the mount using the included 6-32
the replacement for the high-performance 46FX,
it's no wonder that the .46 AX shares many
of its features. The raw power. A remote needle
valve. Mounting bolt patterns. A balanced
"D"-cut crankshaft supported by dual bearings.
CNC-machining for the piston and other parts.
And the same exclusive ABL cylinder liner
that has made FX reliability a byword. But
all the same, the 46AX is a different, and
better, engine. Why? Because times change
and technology advances. And because O.S.
uses the best of both to make a good engine
a better engine.
the engine installed, I marked and drilled the throttle
pushrod hole using a long 3/16" drill bit. I then pushed
the guide tube into position, leaving 1/4" protruding from
the firewall, and secured with CA.
throttle servo was then installed (just as was done for
the rudder and elevator servos), and the pushrod was installed
and secured to the throttle arm on the carburetor and the
quick connector on the servo.
that the engine is mounted, we'll move on to adding the
cowl. After locating a piece of card stock, I marked and
cut out the hole for the cylinder head, and taped the template
in position. Since the Stinger's cowl has such large cheeks,
I was able to simply remove the head from the engine for
cowl clearance. If you are not comfortable with removing
the head from the engine, you must remove the engine from
cowl is then slid into position, followed by the spinner
back plate, propeller, and prop nut. Once I was satisfied
with the fit, I taped the template to the cowl, and traced
the hole onto the cowl.
cutting and grinding the cowl holes to their final shape
using my rotary tool, it was put back in place to find the
locations of the five retainer screws. I used the directions
and measurements given in the manual, and everything was
spot-on! The screw holes were hardened with a drop of thin
CA in each, and the cowl was secured in place.
almost done! I installed the prop and spinner again, and
assembled and installed the fuel filler line holder. The
instruction manual states to install this on the front lower
section of the firewall. Now, I have big clunky fingers
that don't fit well inside a small hole behind a muffler.
After I had installed the cowl, I noticed how much room
there was in the cheek, so I set the filler line holder
on top of the cowl mount. It fit perfectly, so I secured
it there instead. Now, it is much easier for me to reach,
and there's no risk of touching a hot muffler during a quick
refill for another flight!
wings and wing joiner tube were then installed, the two
thumb-screws were tightened, and the large top hatch/canopy
was installed and secured.
last important item- I checked the CG on my Great
Planes C.G. Machine. The Stinger came out perfectly
balanced at the recommended 3-1/4" from the leading edge
of the wing at the root! I was pretty impressed.
Well, let's get this plane out in the sun, shoot a few pictures,
and get it in the air!
day for the maiden flight had arrived, and I was planning
on shooting the footage for the video as well. Unfortunately,
the timing didn't work out for shooting the video that night,
but the maiden flight did go well.
firing up the O.S .46 AX, I taxied the plane out onto the
runway and immediately noticed how well the Stinger II handled
on the ground. It sure is nice when the research and development
team gets everything right- including the ground handling!
turned the nose of the plane into the wind, and advanced
the throttle to full - That's when I first realized that
this plane/engine combination was going to be a riot!!!
The Stinger rolled about 25-30 feet, took off and climbed
out at a 45 degree angle!
took the plane up to a safe height, made a few passes around
the circuit, and trimmed her out. Once satisfied, I performed
some high and low speed passes. High speed passes, while
not blisteringly fast, are a lot of fun! Slow passes are
equally as fun, and she'll slow down very nicely and still
have control authority.
let's get on to aerobatics. The Stinger excels at aerobatics!
If there's a maneuver you can think of, this plane can do
it. It will do all of the simple maneuvers (Loops, Rolls,
ect.) with no problem at all, and most of the more complicated
stuff too! I absolutely LOVE doing things like Stall turns,
Cuban eights, Split s's, and Immelman turns, as well as
the "Humpty Bump", and snap rolls. I have standard Futaba
servos in my Stinger, but I'd also bet that with faster,
higher torque servos, she would probably do well at simple
3D maneuvers as well!
a really great 10 minutes of flying, I brought the plane
back down to Earth. That first landing can sometime be a
bit nerve-wracking, but I felt completely at ease landing
the Stinger. All I had to do was keep the wings level with
about 3-4 clicks of throttle on, and she settled in so nicely
and landed beautifully! A little back pressure on the right
stick (for mode 2 pilots) and the flair was perfect for
a three-point landing.
day that the video was shot was a bit on the windy side
- the wind was blowing at 12-15 mph pretty constant, but
the Stinger handled it like a champ!
Planes Stinger II
the Video (21.4 meg) CLICK HERE
new Great Planes Stinger II - Easy to assemble, Loads of
fun to fly, and reasonably priced. There's not much more
to say! As a side note, when I received the Stinger for
review, I still had my truck. Between then and when I sat
down to write the conclusion, I traded off my truck for
a smaller, more fuel efficient SUV. I am happy to say that
the Stinger II will fit, FULLY ASSEMBLED, in the back of
my GMC Jimmy! Now, I have a stinger, and I can take it to
the field too!
Futaba Corporation of America
Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021
Champaign, IL 61826-9021
Phone: (217) 398-8970
Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021
Champaign IL 61826
Phone: (217) 398-8970
DuBro Produsts, Inc.
P.O. Box 815
Wauconda, IL 60084
Phone: (800) 848-9411
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.