Distributed through: AirBorne Models
4749 - K Bennett Drive
Livermore, CA 94551
Phone: (925) 371-0922 www.airborne-models.com
Three years ago, I reviewed The World Models P-56 Paulistinha. The P-56 is a Brazilian version of the Piper Cub with a few modifications, but still retains the good (in my opinion) looks of a Cub. A high wing, tandem seat tail dragger is my idea of a fun plane! While the Paulistinha itself is not a new name to The World Models/Wings Maker line-up, they have added a new size. With a .40-.46 size plane that fits in the car, and a 1/3 scale behemoth, TWM had pretty a pretty good base for small and BIG versions. With all of the gas engines on the market, and 50-55cc size becoming popular, they decided to fill a vacancy - thus the 50cc Paulistinha was born!
I just happened to have a DLE55 sitting on the bench looking for a new home, so I contacted Fai Chan, of Airborne Models, about reviewing this new plane. A few days later, the 'Pauli' arrived at my front door!
I'm really excited about this plane, so I'm going to get the box on the bench!
Price: $549.99 (Accurate at Time of Review) Stock Number: GA065 Wingspan: 118 in (3000 mm) Wing Area: 1990 sq in (128 sq dm) Weight: 18.5 lb (8.45 kg) Length: 75 in (1900 mm)
Center of Gravity: 4.9 in (124 mm) Back from the wing's leading edge at the wing root Radio Used:Futaba 7C Engine Used:DLE 55 Channels Used: 5 total - Aileron, 2 x Elevator, Throttle, Rudder,
My first thought when I received the Pualistinha for review was, "WOW! This is a huge box!" And a large box usually has a large plane in it - I was not wrong. As I started unpacking the pieces, I was happy to see that all the individual components were bagged and taped together to prevent damage during shipping.
There was a fairly low parts count which usually means it will take just a few evenings to assemble the plane.
I really like the one-piece servo hatches with mounts molded into them - what a great way to make hatches! The included hardware was also of very good quality and I felt no need to replace anything, and there's several large sheets of decals included as well!
The firewall is fiber-glassed, adding strength, and the one-piece landing gear definitely looks up to the task of carrying the large plane on the ground. An interesting feature I found was that TWM indicates all areas of covering to be removed with colored dots - this made it easy to know where to start cutting!
With the two door sections that open, there is ample room to get both of my hands (or my head - yes, I tried) inside to work on the interior of the plane, and the laser cutting and assembly is top-notch
The assembly manual is very typical for TWM - not many words are used, but there are LOTS of assembly illustrations that do a very nice job of putting the Pauli together. It's probably not a bad idea to look over the manual a couple of times before you begin assembly, though, to familiarize yourself with the different symbols that are used throughout assembly.
Assembly began with the wings - more importantly installing the aileron servos! I finally found a use for those little round wheels that come with most brands of servos! Four bolts and nuts secured the included servo arm to the smaller wheel. The servo, with arm attached and centered, was secured to the hatch and an extension was added.
EDITOR'S NOTE: When assembling any plane, especially one with a gas engine, always be sure to secure all bolts/nuts (any metal-to-metal connection) with thread locking compound! Also, be sure to physically secure servo extensions, so as to avoid them coming apart with vibration.
Aileron hinging was next on the to-do list. TWM uses some really neat hinges for this process. They consisted of a pinned hinge, but each half had small 'wings'. I really liked this style, because the hinges would only go into the wing in one position - since all of the slots were pre-cut, and they were all cut correctly, this set-up gave me a good fit, and allowed for free motion of the hinges.
For this step, I used an epoxy called Epo-Grip. One of the beauties of Epo-Grip is that when the two parts are mixed together, the epoxy has the consistency of petroleum jelly. This simply means that the epoxy stays where I put it, and doesn't run all over, making for an easy clean-up process! After carefully adding a drop of light oil to each side of the hinge point, some Epo-Grip was added to each of the 14 hinge pockets (7 on the wing and 7 on the aileron), and the aileron was installed.
The aileron servo hatch was installed next using the included screws. When inserting a screw into a piece of wood, I run the full length of the screw into its hole, remove it, then add a drop of thin CA to the hole - this allows threads to be formed in the wood, and the CA hardens them to help the screws stay tight. The control horns were assembled and installed - they are easy to install, and quite heavy-duty! All of the pushrods have threaded rods preinstalled, so finishing them only required adding the clevises.
With a little trial and error, the correct length of the aileron pushrod was determined, and then installed with a bolt and locking nut on each of the clevises. Adding the wing strut was next, and was easily assembled, following the instruction manual.
Editor's Note: I did not tighten the two large bolts that attach the strut to the wing at this time - this will be done later, when the wings are attached to the fuselage.
Fuselage Tail Section Installation
Fuselage assembly began with attaching the tail portion to the larger section of the fuse. Again, I chose to use Epo-Grip, because it stayed where I applied it. When the epoxy had cured, I applied the included tan and red covering material to cover the tail joint.
Tail Feathers Installation
On to the tail feathers! Using the same technique I used on the ailerons, the elevator hinges were installed. Two steel rods were then slid through the fuselage (for the removable horizontal stabilizer halves) and the stabs were slid onto the rods.
A single screw at the front of each stabilizer half secured the stabs to the fuselage. The rudder was hinged, next, by the same means as the ailerons and elevators.
Tail Wheel Assembly Installation
I liked the scale looking tail wheel assembly, but there was a minor problem with it. If it were to be installed per the manual, the bracket would not sit flush on the bottom of the fuselage. This is due to the tail wire bracket that sits under the tail wheel assembly. To remedy the concern, I ground a portion of the tail wheel bracket away with my rotary tool. This allowed all pieces to fit against the bottom of the fuselage correctly.
Wing Strut Anchor Installation
Cutting the covering at the specified locations revealed the anchor points for the wing struts. There is one wood screw and one bolt used per each side - the bolt threads into a blind-nut installed on the inside of the fuselage.
Main Landing Gear Installation
The main landing gear was installed using six plastic straps and twelve screws. I then snapped the four plastic tabs onto the wire gear, and using some masking tape, aligned the landing gear covers. When they were correctly placed, I marked the location of the four tabs and removed the covers. The locations I had marked were drilled, and the covers were installed using the included machine screws, washers and nuts.
After grinding two flat spots on each of the axles, the wheels were installed with a wheel collar on each side. Lastly, I secured the wheel covers using three screws per cover .
On to engine installation! I first drew up a template for my DLE 55, taped it to the firewall using the marks imprinted on the firewall and drilled holes for the four engine stand-off bolts.
The bolts (with washers)were installed from the back side of the firewall.
The stand-offs were installed, follwed by the engine.
There are two things you can count on in giant scale.
The first is that you can always use a little more power. The second is that there's a DLE engine to deliver it.
That means you'll have the throttle response you need at any time and attitude...and the power you need to nail any maneuver you want to fly.
Electronic ignition is the no-hassle answer to simpler starts, higher performance and minimal RF noise.
With DLE, accessories are an added value instead of an extra cost. The DLE-55 package includes electronic ignition, a muffler, spark plug, gasket, bolts, machined aluminum standoffs, a throttle arm extension and a mounting template.
Displacement: 55.6 cc (3.392 cu in)
Bore:1.77 in (45mm)
Stroke:1.38 in (35mm)
Total Weight:55.3 oz (1570 g)
Engine (Only) Weight:47.6 oz (1350 g)
Muffler Weight:3.5 oz (100 g)
Prop Range:22x8 - 24x8
RPM Range:1,350 - 8,500
Fuel:Gasoline/oil mix - 30:1
Muffler Type:Cast Can
Crank Type:Ball Bearing
Carb Type: Walbro
I mounted the throttle servo and installed the pushrod - there are two large cut-outs with lots of room to accommodate any servo position, depending on your engine choice.
A little high-temp silicone was applied to the exhaust port, and my Bisson Custom Muffler was secured to the engine!
Bisson Custom Mufflers was established in Toronto in 1970 by George Bisson. Not satisfied with the muffler on one of his aircraft, he decided to make one for himself. After hearing his muffler at the local field, friends and fellow flyers starting asking for mufflers for their own aircraft. Hobby shops started ordering shortly after that and it has now developed into worldwide sales.
George retired from the business in 1987, handing it over to his son Jim. Jim and his wife Sue worked part time making mufflers in the evening while holding down full time jobs during the day. They moved in 1991 to their present home in Parry Sound, Ontario where the company is now based. The company is now run by Jim and Sue and their two sons, Lance and James.
As a family operated business, their focus is to offer excellent quality and service. They take pride in their workmanship and even more pride in putting their name with it. They want to offer you, the customer, a top quality product for years to come.
Bisson can fabricate a muffler of nearly any shape or size - for the Paulistinha, a custom muffler was needed to fit inside the cowl.
Fuel Tank and Lines Installation and Spark Plug wire Routing
I set the tank up as a two line system, with the intent to use an in-line filling device. The tank was easy to assemble, and took just a few minutes. I left the fuel line as a large 'loop', as it made pulling the line through the firewall easier.
With the double-sided tape attached to the tank, the assembly was held in place with the included, large zip-tie. In the event of future maintenance, it will be easy to remove this fuel tank!
The tank's vent hose and spark plug wire were then routed so as not to touch the muffler. I have found that the best way to keep things neat is by using a co-ax cable clip, found at most hardware and home-improvement stores. I simply remove the nail and use a #4 x 3/4" screw. They work great, and so far, have not been damaged by fuel or heat!
As I stated in the beginning of this section, I had planned on using a two-line setup with an in-line fuel filler. Unfortunately, I had a hard time finding room to install the filler, so I resorted to a three-line system. There wasn't much room to install anything else forward of the firewall, so I added a Du-Bro 'Fill-it' system, and installed it above the fuel tank. The filler line was looped back into the fuselage for installation.
Cowl Fitting and Installation
One of the nice things that TWM includes with their models is a clear 3D cowl template. This template made cutting and fitting the engine cowl a piece of cake! In just a few minutes, I had the cowl rough fitted, adjusted and then neatly trimmed to fit well and look great!
The small rubber grommets were installed in the four pre-drilled holes, and the the cowl was attached to the fuselage. Yes, it was that easy!
Installing Elevator and Rudder Servos
Back to the tail section, again, it was time to install the two elevator and single rudder servos. I added a 36" servo wire extension to each of the three servos, cut the covering in the marked locations, and installed the servos. Editor's Note: I also installed the elevator and control horns in the same manner as was done for the ailerons.The pushrods were all pre-cut to length with threaded rods pre-installed, so assembly and installation was easy.
Tail Rigging Wire Installation
Moving on to the tail wire rigging! I pierced the covering at the marked spots, added a drop of thin CA to harden the pre-drilled holes and installed the rigging mounts. Yes, I even used a drop of thread locking compound on these small bolts - I certainly don't want them to come loose in flight!
The eye-bolts were attached to the clevises, and one end of the included wire was attached to the eyebolt. This was done to complete the four tail rigging wires, and went easily with about 12 " of left-over wire.
Radio Gear, Windows and Windshield Installation
Since most of the servos are installed outside of the cabin, there's plenty of room inside for working - at one point, I'm sure I heard an echo in there while working! The ignition and receiver batteries were stacked and wrapped in foam, as well as the receiver itself. Since I'm flying the Paulistinha with my Futaba 7C transmitter, I glued two short tubes to the servo tray to hold the dual antennas. With an airplane this size, and using a gas engine, I like to keep everything secure inside and out - using a few small zip-ties, the servo wires were held in place to avoid anything moving around and potentially becoming unplugged while flying.
All of the side windows were installed next, and I love using Formula '560' canopy glue from Pacer Technologies and distributed through Frank Tiano Enterprises. I simply ran a bead of the white glue around each window and held them in place with masking tape until the glue dried. One great feature of this glue is that it's white when applied, but dries almost completely clear! With the windows installed, I cut the instrument panel decal to size and applied it.
The Paulistinha came with two painted balsa dowels. Though the instructions state to install them with epoxy, I spent a little time to make them appear as part of the upper wing structure - this involved cutting out a small section of the upper leading edge area and cutting a bevel onto each of the two balsa dowels. The lower sections are simply epoxied in place at the corners of the instrument panel. These dowels are installed for looks only, and provide no structural support.
The instruction manual stated to glue the windshield in place like the side windows. I have never liked gluing the windshield in place, so I went to my spare parts bins and found 8 servo mounting screws. A few minutes later, I had the windshield installed, with the option of removing it at a later date, if it ever needed to be removed!
The last detail to cover in the cabin was installation of the false cabin floor and pilot figure. The figure was held to the floor using double sided tape, and four screws (one in each corner) held the floor in the cabin. Personally, I like the look of an open cabin, so the pilot and cabin floor were removed for easier access to the ignition and receiver charging plugs and switches.
Final Wing Installation
We're almost done! The four self-tightening wing latches were assembled, and two were slipped in place with the long aluminum tubes in the left wing panel.
The wing tubes were slid through the fuselage, the right wing was installed, and the remaining wing latches were secured.Now, if you remember, I stated earlier not to tighten the wing strut bolts. It was finally time to do this, but only after the opposite end of the strut was attached to the fuselage anchor point. I really like the fact that the wings can be easily removed by releasing two latches and one bolt/nut per side - this really makes field assembly quick and easy!
Finishing it Up
Just a couple of items left to mention. There are two door latches included with the airplane. They are more than adequate for holding the two-piece cabin door in the closed position. However, I added a pair of latches that are mounted on the inside of the door - they look more scale, and do a great job of holding the door closed at the same time.
The red button below the Du-Bro Fill-it Station is an ignition kill switch. Since the cabin had plenty of room, I decided to mount the charging jacks/switches for the ignition and receiver internally. Not only does this keep them safe from the elements, it also makes for a nice, clean looking fuselage. Unfortunately, this makes stopping the engine a little more difficult (for those of us still not using optical kill switches). I fabricated and installed this little switch to make shutting the engine off easier and safer. The switch is a normally on, momentary off switch - that means that when the switch is pressed, the circuit (power to the ignition) is turned off. When the switch is released, there is power going to the ignition again. I purchased the switch from a local electronics parts store, and soldered it into a 6 " servo extension.
The last item installed was my 24x8 Falcon propeller - it almost looked too good to use!
That's it! Assembly has been completed, so let's head to the field and see how she flies!
After sitting for almost a year, I finally had a good reason to fire up my DLE 55 again! With the fuel tank full, I closed the choke and started flipping the large 24" Falcon prop - to my surprise, the DLE coughed and sputtered on the 8th flip! Four more flips with the choke open, and the 55cc gasser was idling perfectly. Since the engine was last run in August of 2012, the needles were still set for the correct temperature and needed no adjustment.
Holding full up elevator, I taxied the Paulistinha out to our grass runway - the large tires had no problem making their way across the ground, and the tail wheel had plenty of authority to steer the large plane!
I started advancing the throttle - at approximately half throttle, the Pauli had enough airspeed and broke free from the ground! I was amazed at how quickly the Paulistinha was airborne - it took a maximum of 30 feet to get the large plane off the ground - I'm sure a full throttle take off could be done in half that distance!
The Paulistinha gained altitude very quickly. When it was at a safe height, five clicks of down elevator trim were added to keep the plane flying straight and level at 1/3 throttle - that was the only trim correction needed!
Since this plane is basically a Cub, I brought the throttle back to see how it would fly at minimal speeds. I did find that while the plane will slow down to nearly a crawl, the plane feels a little 'pitchy' at slower speeds - after the first flight, I added 35 % expo on the elevator, and the Paulistinha flew much better at slow speeds!
High speed flight was tested next. With the 24 x 8 inch Falcon prop, the Pauli will not break any speed records, but it covered a fair amount of ground quickly! I will say this - a 24 inch prop grabs a lot of air! I did find that high speed flight required holding some down elevator for level flight, but this type of plane looks better flying at slower speeds, and I did not find this to be a fault.
With a 118 " wingspan, I found that performing a roll required a lot of space and a lot of down elevator when inverted - the Pauli will roll over, but it does so very slowly! Loops and stall turns are loads of fun and look really cool with this large plane!
When I was ready to land, I cut the throttle back to idle about a hundred feet off the East end of the runway and let the Paulistinha lose some airspeed and altitude - it was really cool to hear the wind whistle around the plane as it came down! Very little correction was needed to get the plane back on the ground - just as all three wheels touched, I managed to find a small rise on the field, and the Pauli took a little bounce before settling in. That was it! My first flight on the Paulistinha was done, and I really enjoyed it!
Check out the video to see her in action!
The Wingsmaker 50cc Paulistinha
I really like the Paulistinha - it's a great flying plane, it's quick easy to assemble, and it looks nice too! Though the Pauli is a large plane, field assembly is quick and required only a Philips screwdriver and a pair pliars (for the wing strut bolts), and took just a few minutes. The Wings Maker has added another great looking, great flying plane to their lineup with the new 50cc Paulistinha!
Distributed through AirBorne Models
4749 - K Bennett Drive
Livermore, CA 94551
Phone: (925) 371-0922 www.airborne-models.com
Distributed through Hobbico
2904 Research Rd
Champaign, IL 61822
Phone: 1-217-398-8970 www.futaba-rc.com
Distributed through Hobbico
2904 Research Rd
Champaign, IL 61822
Phone: 1-217-398-8970 www.dle-engines.com
Distributed through Bob's Hobby Center
540 N Goldenrod Rd
Orlando, FL 32807
Phone: (407) 277-1248
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.