There are many different types of flying in our RC
world, including sport, pattern, scale, jets, warbirds,
aerobatic, electric, vintage and many others. But
regardless of what type of plane people fly now, almost
all of them started off in the same place. And that
was with a trainer. Stop and think about it, we all
started off learning to fly with a good old trainer.
And for the most part those trainers are pretty much
the same. I would be safe in saying that a huge majority
of us started out with a .40 sized, high wing, flat
bottom, semi-symmetrical, tricycle landing gear, trainer.
Some of the more popular over the years have been
names such as Sig Kadet Senior, Great Planes PT-40
and 60, and the Tower Hobbies bare bones trainer.
These are just some of the few out that that we all
used to get started. And for many years things in
the training world haven't changed much. But there
are some changes coming that will make a huge difference
in the world of trainers.
Over the years in this hobby one thing that I've always
heard said is "Bigger is better". And that's
pretty much true when it comes to RC aircraft. Smaller
aircraft can tend to be a bit "twitchy"
and can be harder to see as they move away from the
pilot. But bigger aircraft will be more stable in
the air and will be smoother as they respond to control
inputs, and a bigger aircraft will be able to be seen
from farther away. All of these lend to making bigger
aircraft better to fly when compared to similar smaller
aircraft. So it's natural to think that a bigger trainer
is going to be better for the learning process for
students learning to fly.
Trainer GT on display at the 2013 Toledo Weak
year I attend the Weak Signals RC Show held in Toledo,
Ohio, more commonly called "The Toledo Show".
One booth I always look forward to seeing is the Aeroworks
booth, because I want to see what new planes they
have each year. Over the years I've really liked a
lot of Aeroworks planes and just can't wait to see
what they have to offer each year. This year as I
approached their booth I saw a high-wing tricycle
plane sitting front and center in their booth. My
first comments was "It looks like a trainer".
Their answer to my comment? "It is a trainer".
One look and I was sold, I knew that I wanted to get
my hands on this plane to see what it holds in store
for people who want to learn to fly.
one quick word about this review before we get started
here. Since we are talking about a trainer here I
am going to gear this review to the level of people
that don't have a lot of experience in the world of
RC. So for those pilots that have lots of time on
the sticks please bear with me because we're trying
to help those guys thinking about buying this plane
to get into flying with.
let's dig in and take a look at the Aeroworks Trainer
Smooth and easy movements resulting from size
easy to land due to size
to see due to size
Designed for gas engines
size is easier to work on
Professionally built and covered
option for club trainer/candy drop
make great glider tow plane
Cost may be a bit prohibitive for some
Small nose gear set screw inadequate for nose gear stearing
Price: $449.95 (Prices current as of review published
GT with DLE-20cc combo package - $679.90
Trainer GT with DLE-30cc combo package - $704.90
Stock Number: E310 Wingspan: 88" Wing Area: 1320 in² Weight: 11 - 13 lbs Fuse Length (Rudder to front of cowl): 70.5" Fuse Length (Rudder to front of spinner): 74" Engine: 20cc to 30cc Center of Gravity (CG): 5" back from the leading
edge of the wing at
fuselage side. Included with the plane is a CG tool that
will help set the
Engine, Gas 20cc or 30cc. DLE-20 or DLE-30 recommended
5 Servos - Aileron, Elevator, and throttle 80 oz. minimum
Rudder 170 oz. minimum
Spinner, 3 in. Aluminum recommended
Ignition power system
36" extension for elevator, 2 -12" extension
for ailerons in wing, and 2 - 18" extensions for
receiver to ailerons
(or 18" Y-harness if you want to use one channel
Propeller - 17x6 for 20cc engine or 19x8 for 30cc engine
and Materials Needed To Assemble Plane
Allen wrenches US and Metric.
Electric drill and selection of bits
Flat head screwdriver
Hobby heat gun
Hobby iron and covering sock
Needle nose pliers or crimping tool
Pen, pencil or felt tipped marker
Ruler and tape measure
CA kicker (optional)
Thick, Thin and Medium CA
let me start of by saying that the Aeroworks trainer GT is
big, I mean it's BIG, ok it's REALLY BIG!!! Do you get the
impression that this plane is BIG? In almost 2 decades of
RC I've had a lot of experience with a lot of trainers and
I think that I've seen most that are commonly used for training
people to fly RC, and I've never had a problem getting them
to fit on my building bench in my shop. That changed with
this plane, as you can see in the pictures. The box is well
over 6 feet long and barely fits on my bench. Opening up the
box reveals the graphics for the plane, the vertical and horizontal
stabilizer packaged in plastic wrap, and a cardboard box at
each end of the box containing various items. Everything is
well secured in the box and there no damage to anything that
I can see.
we start unpacking the box we find the wing halves packed
in bubble wrap which does a good job of protecting the wing
halves during shipping. Under the wings is the fuselage which
takes up almost the entire length of the shipping box. As
with the other major assemblies in box, the fuselage is wrapped
in plastic to protect it. As I was unpacking the major parts
of the box I pulled out a piece of cardboard that was separating
the wings from the fuselage. I set it aside and didn't think
anything of it, thinking that it was just a piece of cardboard.
However, I noticed later that there were actually parts taped
to the underside of the cardboard. So care needs to be taken
as you unpack the box to make sure that get all the parts
unpacked. Included in the Instruction Manual is a list
of all parts that can be used to inventory all parts to make
sure you have everything as you unpack the box.
the cardboard boxes on both ends of the box we find all of
the smaller parts to Trainer GT. Included in this are a very
nice high quality fiberglass cowl, an instruction manual CD,
small rolls of Ultracote covering materials, several bags
of parts, balancing tool, and clear plastic window parts.
I started to unpack the big parts of the plane I really liked
what I was seeing. All of the control surfaces of the plane
are pre-hinged. I was worried that a plane like this would
be done with CA hinges, but Aeroworks did the job right and
used hinge points on all the control surfaces. I gave all
the control surfaces a good pull to make sure that they were
securely attached and nothing came loose, so that's a good
sign. Hopefully they won't come off in the air. As I look
around the parts of the Trainer GT I'm really liking what
I'm seeing. Moving up to the front of the fuselage the firewall
shows some homework went on here as well. The plane is set
up for 20cc-30cc gas engines. Looking at the firewall shows
blind nuts and the firewall center all setup for a 20cc engine.
A quick look at the manual shows that there are instructions
for a quick conversion if you want to change this to 30cc.
Also, the firewall is pre-sealed as well.
all the smaller hardware shows no lack in quality here as
well. Everything included in the smaller hardware was very
good quality and lives up to the reputation that Aeroworks
has come to be known by. One thing that was very interesting
was that the entire fuel stopper assembly was completely assembled.
This was a really nice touch in the kit. A 15 oz fuel tank
is included with the plane as well a fuel tank vent that flush
mounts on the fuselage. Included with the plane are are templates
used to cut the ventilation holes in the cowl, drilling guide
for the firewall, and an Aeroworks deflection gauge used to
set the throws for the control surfaces. The hardware for
the controls surfaces are all high quality.
windows are included in a sheet that will need to be cut out
and glued in place. The graphics on the plane are adhesive
decals and are high quality decals that stand out. Aeroworks
has a tool they have started including with planes that I
think is one the the greatest things since sliced bread, their
CG tool. This tool is designed for each specific plane and
hooks over the wing tube on the plane and then allows you
to lift the plane to check the plane's balance. It's a great
way to check the balance on larger planes that can be harder
to balance otherwise.
we've got everything unpacked and sorted out. Let's dig
in and start getting this plane put together!!
"Manual" that Aeroworks ships with the
kit isn't actually a traditional paper manual. Instead
it's a CD with PDF copy of the manual on it instead.
In today's technology age this is something that
we are going to see more and more from manufacturers
of aircraft. The manual that is provided in PDF
format is easily viewable on any personal computer
or tablet and is more than enough to successfully
get the plane put together. The folks at Aeroworks
have really done an outstanding job on the manual
for the Trainer GT, and having a target audience
of beginner pilots the manual does a very good job
of explaining every step that has to be done. There
are clear color pictures that illustrate each step
so that there is little doubt about what needs to
be done to assemble the plane.
though I work in the IT field and technology is
where I earn a living I guess I'm an old fashion
kind of guy in that I like paper. I went ahead
and printed out the manual so that I had a paper
copy. I like to do this so that I have something
in my hands that I can read through completely
before I start assembling the plane. I also like
having the paper so that I can jot notes on of
anything I need to pay special attention to as
I work through the assembly of the plane
I received my plane there was an addendum tucked
into the shipping label on the box. This included
several changes in several steps throughout the
assembly process of the plane. As I mentioned above
I went through the manual and penciled in the changes
to the steps in the areas mentioned in the included
Tightening And Re-shrinking The Covering
I first opened up the box and unpacked the Tranier GT I thought
I was going be able to skip this step. When I got all the parts
out of the box the covering was tight as a drum and looked picture
perfect so I thought that I really wouldn't have to go back
over it and tighten it up. Unfortunately it was actually almost
a weeks time between when I took all the parts out of the box
and when I could get back to them and start on this review,
and when I got back to them everything looked like a raisin
that was all wrinkled up. It was incredible how much the covering
had changed over that time. So it was time to tighten up covering.
The first thing the instructions tell you to do is to remove
the windshield from the plane so that it doesn't get damaged
by any heat as we re-shrink the covering. I've found the best
way to tackle covering is to first use a covering iron to go
over the areas that are over areas that is attaches to areas
such as hard wood first so that the covering materials won't
pull away when you start to re-shrink it.
the edges are all sealed back down then take a heat gun and
use it to shrink up the covering. Start in the middle of the
big areas and work out to the edges. I love working with Coverite
that this trainer is covered with because it's so forgiving.
If you make a mistake you can simply work it back out. Just
keep working it and you'll get all the wrinkles worked out of
the covering. After all the wrinkles are gone I like to seal
the covering back down to the wood structure. I've found that
this helps to keep the wrinkles out for a longer period of time.
To do this put a hot sock on your heating iron and then go back
over the covering sealing the covering down to the wood structures.
Checking Glue Joints
I get started putting together the plane let's finish up a few
quick things. First off, a build stand. This plane is big. I've
talked about it a couple of times now already and I'll talk
about it one more time. Here I'll mention a stand. As you work
on this plane you'll find that if you have a stand like the
one that I have shown in the pictures you'll find it's a lot
easier to put plane together. You can get the PVC to put one
together at your local home improvement store and it only takes
a few minutes to build. The second thing is boo boo's. We all
have them. Glue drips where you don't want them to go. Here
above you can see I had one on an aileron. I had a drop of thin
CA drop that hit the aileron when I wasn't paying attention.
The best thing to do here is to simply not get bent out of shape
because it's really not a big deal at all. It's an easy fix
and nothing to worry about. Keep some acetone on hand. If you
don't have acetone on hand nail polish remover will do.. Pour
some acetone on a paper towel and rub it on the spilled CA and
wipe it off. It will remove the CA spot quickly and easily.
A word of caution: do this in a well ventilated area as acetone
vapors can do a number on you.
suggests that you use thin CA to go over and reinforce
glue joints on the fuselage. With the size of this plane
this is actually pretty easy to do. It's pretty easy
to get your hand in inside of the fuselage and with
a small applicator tip on a bottle of thin CA work a
bead of thin CA down most of the wood joints of the
fuselage. While I couldn't get my arm all the way back
to the tail, I could get about 2/3 of the way back to
the tail of the fuselage.
recommends using Hitech 635HB servos for the ailerons. The
specifications for these servos are 69 oz of torque on 4.8v
and 83 oz of torque using 6v batteries. So this is what I
had to use to base my choice of servos on. Looking through
my box of servos I had a group of JR DS 821 servos which have
88 oz of torque on 6v, so this is what I planned on using.
the assembly of the wing by checking to make sure the extension
is long enough to reach all the way through the wing to the
exit out through the base of the wing. Do this by placing your
aileron servo in the servo socket and make sure the attached
extension can reach out to the base of the wing. Then use a
supplies safety clip to secure the extension to the servo lead.
Located in the servo area in the wing will be a small piece
of wood lightly glued in place with a pull string secured to
piece of the wood in the aileron servo area is easily broken
out in order for you to use the string to pull your aileron
servo wire through the wing. At the base of the wing there is
another small piece of wood located there that has the other
end of the string attached to it that is also easy to break
you have both ends of the string broken loose you can pull your
servo wire through the wing. If it hangs up as you pull it through
just take your time and "jiggle" it a little bit to
get it through all the ribs. Once you have the wire pulled completely
through the wing use a small piece of tape to secure it on the
inside of the wing at the base so that it doesn't slip back
into the wing while you are storing or transporting the wing
to and from the field.
mount the your servo in the wing first drill pilot holes for
each servo mount hole. Use a servo mounting screw to tap threads
into the balsa wood of each mounting hole for your servo. After
the threads have been cut into each hole wick thin CA into each
hole. This hardens the wood so that the threads hold the servo
the CA time to dry before mounting the servo, then install the
servo in the wing. When installing the servo make sure that
the servo mounting screws just barely touch the rubber of the
grommets. Too many people will tighten them down too tightly
which is what you don't want to do here. You just want it to
barely touch the rubber of the grommet. To set the center of
the servo I use this little gadget that is a godsend and I can't
recommend highly enough. I picked it up at the Toledo Show many
years ago and I wouldn't dream of setting up a plane without
it. It lets me set the center of a servo without having to pull
out my radio. If you don't have one of these you can set up
your servo by attaching your receiver and setting the aileron
so that the servo is set in the center position. Once you have
it in it's center position screw attach the servo arm in place.
You're going to take it back off here in a bit, so you'll want
to keep everything handy so you can get it back to center when
you put it all back together.
above is the hardware needed to mount the aileron to
the aileron servo. The control horns for each control
surface are actually 2 piece metal horns that are mounted
so the ball link can be mounted between them. Unlike
other planes Aeroworks recommends completely assembling
the pushrods before actually mounting them on the control
surface. To assemble the pushrod on the Dubrol Heavy
Duty servo arm requires drilling out the mounting hole.
mounting holes for each control horn are pre-drilled
at the factory, but still need to have threads in them.
This is easily done by using one of the mounting screws
in each hole to tap out threads. Once this is done it's
time to mount the control horn. Thick CA is used here
as a thread lock. While there is a bit of working time
here, you will still have to move quickly before the
CA sets. Put a drop of CA on each mounting screw and
screw in place in each mounting hole.
we're back to where we need whatever we used to center
the aileron servo with, so let's get set back up again
so that we can get the aileron servos setup. An easy
setup that I like to use is shown above in the first
picture. Use 2 clamps and 2 craft sticks to easily center
the aileron with the wing. Turn on your radio, or whatever
you are using to center the aileron servo, and center
out the aileron servos. The aileron servo arm can now
be mounted to the servo. If it's off center it's very
easy to use the provided wrench to adjust the center
point until it does now center. Once the aileron is
centered make sure all mounting screws as well as the
servo horn screw is in place.
Horizontal Stab Installation
you move to the step of mounting the horizontal stab you're
going to find out just how big this plane is, and just how small
how your working your working area really is. While my workshop
has been a bit on the small side it's always been enough for
everything I've build, but when I did the the Trainer GT I was
really really pushing the limits to fit all in place.
first steps of installing the horizontal stab are to dry fit
the horizontal stab as well as the vertical fin. Once those
are in place they need to clamped place so that they don't
move while we dry fit their placement. Also, the wings will
need to to be installed on the fuselage in the same manner
as if the plane were ready to be flown. This is where you're
going to find out just how small your shop really is. I found
myself having duck back and forth underneath the fuselage
as I set the horizontal stab because I didn't have enough
room to walk around behind it. So make sure you have enough
room to assemble the plane before you get started on it.
of the biggest things that can be done to make sure any plane
flies well is to make sure that the horizontal stab is set square
to the fuselage and wings. While this may sound like it's something
that is very difficult to do, this is actually a very easy measurement
to make. To start off with first place a straight pin in the
tip of each wing, making sure you place it in the same spot
on each wing. There are lots of different ways of measuring
the distance to the horizontal stabilizer, but here is a trick
that picked up awhile back, and it works really well for me.
Remember that we need to make sure that we want to make sure
that the distance from wingtip to the outside tip of the horizontal
stabilizer is the same on each side of the fuselage. What I
do is take a small piece of twine, or I have found that dental
floss works well here too, and fold a piece of tape over it
and place a mark on it in pen. Now you can use this twine to
measure from the tip of each wingtip to the tip of the horizontal
stab, using the mark on the tape to see if the distance is the
same. Keep adjusting until you have the distance the same on
next measurement that is critical on the tail feathers of any
plane is that the horizontal stab is square to the wing. Stand
behind the plane and sight down the fuselage and ensure that
the horizontal stab is square with the wing, that it is the
same distance from the wing on both sides. When the horizontal
stab is square and everything is in place mark the position
of the horizontal stab. On the underside of the fuselage use
the tri-stock provided to mark guide lines that will be used
to remove the covering before we apply epoxy to mount the covering.
marking the position of where the horizontal stab will be mounted,
as a hobby knife is used to carefully cut through the covering.
After cutting through the covering then it can be pulled away.
Make sure that the covering is also removed for both the horizontal
stab and the tri-stock reinforcing piece that will be put in
the fuselage the covering that is folded over the top of the
stab saddle needs to be removed.
like to take quick moment here to give a shout out for the
epoxy that I use here. Normally the glues that I use in the
hobby are just that, they are glues, and any one name is just
as good as the rest. But I use an epoxy called
Epo-Grip. As far as the actual holding power of this epoxy
I don't know if it's any stronger or weaker than anything
else that I've ever used before. But the real advantage to
Epo-Grip is that it is a paste like product which is a HUGE
advantage for me. When it's mixed together it has the consistency
of peanut butter with really gives me a lot of advantages
as I work with it. I've been using Epo-Grip epoxies for about
6 years now and I can't recommend them highly enough.
mounting the horizontal stab a 30 minute epoxy will need to
be used. This will be for several reasons which include giving
enough time to get the stab set in place as well as having
enough strength in flight to keep the stab in place.
putting epoxy on the bottom of the horizontal stab position
the stab on the fuselage.Use the marks that were made before
to properly position the stab. At the front part of the
stab use clamps to hold down the stab. Put some wood between
the clamps and the stab and fuselage to make sure there is no
damage. At the rear of the stab blue painters tape is a good
way of securing the stab in place until the epoxy sets. Double
check that everything is in place and make sure it doesn't get
bumped until the epoxy has set.
Vertical Stab Installation
the vertical stab starts out a lot like the horizontal
stab, by dry fitting it and marking it's position. Once
the position is marked then the covering is cut and
vertical stab needs to be mounted so that is square
to the horizontal stab. An easy way to set this is to
simply use a square. The one that you see in the picture
above is great for doing this kind of setup and is easy
to find. You can pick them up at you local home improvement
stores. Apply the epoxy to the bare wood area of the
vertical stab and then put it in place. Once again blue
painters tape is used to hold it in place while the
epoxy sets. As with the horizontal stab, I used the
square to check to make sure that the stab was properly
set and then I stepped back from the plane and left
it alone. After the epoxy sets on the vertical stab
there are 2 stab reinforcement strips that need to be
installed. Apply epoxy to these and put them in place,
wiping away any epoxy that oozes out.
with the Trainer GT are several squares of Ultrakote
covering. At first I thought they were for making repairs,
which I thought was really cool that they were there.
But they are actually part of the assembly as well.
The instructions call for cutting strips of the covering
and using it to seal up the seams that are left in the
vertical stab after it is installed.
Elevator Servo Installation
fuselage is setup with a cutout in each former to run
servo wire through. This is a big advantage with the
length of wire that the servo extensions will be running
because without the cutouts in the formers the wires
would just hang loose and would cause problems as the
plane is flying. With the size of the fuselage it's
really easy to get the fuselage wire ru up through the
fuselage. I've got several tricks that I use for doing
this, but in this case I found that a pushrod and a
piece of string (psst, the same string from horizontal
stab works really good here!) work really well. Tape
the string to the pushrod and then starting the elevator
opening at the back of the plane run the pushrod up
through the plane. Like I said, with the size of the
fuselage you can reach inside if you need to give the
pushrod a little assistance as it moves up through the
the string is all the way up through the fuselage the
next step is to bring the the elevator servo wire extension
up through the fuselage, tie the wire to the string.
Make sure the servo wire and extension are secured with
a safety clip before pulling the servo wire up through
up the control horns, push rods, mounting the servo,
installing the servo, and getting everything set is
pretty much the same as it was for the ailerons earlier
so I won't go back through that here again.
Rudder Servo and Pull-Pull Assembly
rudder for the Trainer GT is the strongest of the servos
on the plane and is located in the center of the fuselage.
The control of the rudder is done by a pull-pull setup
using wire cable running through the fuselage to control
the rudder. The rudder servo is installed inside the
fuselage in the same manner as the other servos in the
plane. The two wire ropes used for the pull-pull are
installed through the small opening at the rear of the
fuselage where the horizontal stab is mounted. The pull-pull
wires are going to run forward through the fuselage
and cross inside the the fuselage. To keep the wire
from pulling through while working pull the wire into
the fuselage and then tape it in place to hold it with
a small piece of tape.
I said above, the pull-pull wires cross inside of the
fuselage. Pull the wires through and then tape them
temporarily to keep them from pulling back into the
fuselage until you're ready for them. Looking at one
picture above I marked the servo control horn which
direction was going forward. This was a little bit important
because the servo horns that I used from Dubro do have
a specific center position, and once I had it set I
wanted to make sure that I had the horn properly position
back to the same place as I started building everything
up. The pull-pull wires are very easy to crimp using
a brass sleeve that is provided. The wire is run through
the sleeve, then looped though the brass swage nuts,
back through the sleeve (this is a little confusing,
but look at the next picture below to clear this up),
and then loop the wire back around and through the sleeve
again. Once all this is done then clamp down on the
brass sleeve to lock all the wires down.
thick CA to the brass sleeve to help lock all the components
in place. Assemble the servo arm with the two pull-pull
control arms as well as the pushrod control arm that
will be used for the nosegear steering later on in a
future assembly step. Place the servo arm on the rudder
servo in the same as previous servos.
with previous servos the rudder servo will need to be
centered as the rudder pull-pull control horns are installed.
The control horns for the rudder are assembled
in the same manner as they were for the other control
surfaces on the plane. As the control horns are mounted
on the plane there is one difference from the other
surfaces. The control horns mount using machine screws
through the rudder instead of using wood screws into
wood. To mount the control horns put the control horns
in place and then run the machine screws through the
rudder and then apply blue Loctite before applying a
nut on each machine screw.
the control surfaces for the rudder in place on each
side the cables can now be setup and crimped in the
same manner as they were at the servo end. Use craft
sticks and clamps to secure the rudder in it's center
position and center the rudder servo in the center position
before crimping the pull-pull cables to length. Make
sure that the lengths are correct before crimping them.
Landing Gear Installation
first picture shows all the hardware provided for the
nosegear. Go through your kit when you get it and see
if you have something different. To honest I had a few
head scratching moments and some emails back and forth
with Aeroworks because what the manual showed didn't
match up with what was in the kit. And in Aerowork's
defense, this is normal when a plane/kit first starts
hitting the market. Until they get this supply line/chain
solidified there are sometimes changes that happen that
will make things differ from what a manual will say.
As I read the instruction manual it said "The taper
edge of the landing gear goes to the back of the airplane."
and I sat there trying to figure out which way was tapered
and such. However when I sat the gear on the plane I
discovered that because of the way they have the holes
drilled there is only one way that the landing gear
can be mounted on the plane. This was a change from
the manual, and this is what I was just talking about
in watch out for changes. As the gear is mounted use
a thread locker to keep the bolts tight.
the up landing gear was very easy and pretty straightforward.
There was another change from the manual here. The manual
showed a bolt going through the landing gear and then
a collar installed on the bolt on the outside of the
landing gear. However, the hardware that was in my plane
had a shouldered collar already on that bolt and then
a nut goes to the inside of the landing gear. The wheel
is then slid over the axle and then to complete the
installation a collar is placed on the axle.
nose gear is mounted in using a nylon nose gear mount,
and the blind nuts that are used to mount them are already
in place in the backside of the firewall. Place a bit
of Blue Loctite on the 4-40 mounting nuts and then install
the nosegear mounting bracket in place. For the installation
of the nose gear control horn please
follow this link to an update.
nosewheel is put in place on the axle and then secured
in place with an outer wheel collar. As with all the
other collars the bolt is kept in place with blue locktite.
pushrod for the nose steering is inserted through the
firewall and goes back through the fuselage to the rudder
servo and is screwed into the ball link on the servo
arm for the rudder servo.
the rudder servo and then observe it from above. The
center picture is a bit off center. Adjust the nosewheel
until it is centered
Trainer GT was first designed around the DLE-20 and then then
added the DLE-30 into the mix, and this can easily be seen
in how instructions are laid for these two engines. There
is no reason that this plane can't be used for other engines,
but if you are thinking about getting this plane I would highly
recommend the DLE 20/30. Since the the plane is set up for
the DLE-20, there will be some minor modifications that will
need to be made if you plan to put a DLE-30 in your setup.
I planned to use a DLE-30 in my trainer needed to make
the needed modifications as I indicated above. These
modifications are minor and are very easy to do. To
start off with we need to knock out the blind nuts that
are in place in the backside of the firewall for the
DLE-20. Using the mounting nuts for the DLE-20 put them
in place into the blind nuts and very gently tap them
out. When I say gently I do mean gently. It would be
easy enough to just whack the heck out of it and knock
them out in one or two whacks, but that would more than
likely take a lot of wood out of the back of the firewall
as well, and we don't want to do that either. So just
very gently knock them out with gentle taps.
the blindnuts are off the back the holes need to be
filled back up. Dowels are provided to fill the holes
with. Using epoxy place the dowels into the holes in
the firewall that contained the blindnuts for the DLE-20.
After the epoxy has set use a razor saw to cut off the
dowel at the firewall. Get it as close as you can to
the firewall so that you don't have too much sanding
after you have made the cut.
making the cut on the dowels I used a small sanding
board to sand the dowels flush with the firewall. Aeroworks
provides a template to use to mark the firewall for
use with a DLE-30. To use it, it needs to be mounted
on the so that the centering marks on the firewall of
the plane line up with the lines on the template provided.
Once those match up simply mark the 4 mounting holes
that will be used for the DLE-30.
new mounting holes are drilled out where they were marked
in the previous steps. The mounting bolts that were
provided with the DLE-30 were put down through the firewall
from the backside and then the DLE-mounts were put in
place in order to set the DLE-30 mounting locations.
the 4 mounting standoffs in place the engine was put
in place. Going back to the beginning of the build one
of the included changes that came with the plane was
the distance that the engine sits from the firewall.
The easiest way for me to accomplish this was to simply
place washers between the engine and the standoffs.
This moved the engine out far enough from the firewall
so that the engine properly fits the cowl when it is
placed on the plane.
the engine in place the next step is to get the throttle
cable in place. Assemble the fiber extension on the
throttle assembly for the engine to use as a guide for
drilling the firewall to where the throttle cable will
exit. Use the throttle cable itself to find on the firewall
where to mark to drill for the throttle cable.
the firewall to where the firewall needs to be drilled
for the throttle cable. Once you are sure go ahead and
drill out the firewall where the cable will exit out
from the firewall.
I moved on to finish up the throttle cable I ran into
an issue. The picture above on the left is from the
Aeroworks manual and it shows the throttle cable coming
down and exiting to the right side of the throttle servo,
and this was how the model was supposed to have been
setup. However, looking at the picture in the middle
you will see that the the throttle cable hole was drilled
to the left side of the throttle servo. Because of this
I needed to relocate the throttle cable to run to the
hole that was on the left side of the throttle servo.
In the one picture above I put the handle of a putty
knife underneath the tubing to keep it in place while
the glue dried in place.
the outer housing of the throttle cable has been installed
the throttle cable itself needs to be cut to length.
The tubing is then threaded onto the threads of the
ball links at the servo arm end of the throttle cable.
The cable is then fed into the throttle cable hosing
from inside the fuselage. With this in place the tubing
is then cut to length so that another ball link can
then be threaded on to complete the assembly of the
the Trainer GT is setup for a DLE engine there are accommodations
inside for both the ignition module and for the ignition
battery. This compartment is behind the firewall at
the bottom of the fuselage. Two small platforms will
need to be built from materials that are provided in
the kit. These platforms consist of four small blocks
of wood and a flat piece that is the actual platform.
To assemble the platform put a small spot of epoxy on
each block and then put it on each corner of the flat
platform. Once these are built cut the provided foam
to fit to make a pad for the ignition and the battery.
Use the provided zip ties to secure the ignition and
batteries to the platforms
platforms can then be secured into the compartment with
epoxy. Make sure to test fit everything before actually
gluing into place.
I test fit the ignition battery I was not happy with
the nose gear pushrod. It was routed such that it rubbed
right along to where the terminals of the batteries
where on the packs. Now the batteries where protected
by both heat shrink around the batteries and the zip
tie that lifted the push rod, but it still made me very
nervous to have a setup like this. If the movement of
the pushrod were to rub through the heat shrink on the
batteries it could short them out and then create a
fire. A situation like this is just asking for trouble.
So to feel better about the installation I decided to
cut the blocks in half so that the batteries sat lower
in the compartment and terminals of the batteries were
now below the pushrod.
I run a gasoline engine I like to have a way of killing
the engine from the radio. There are 2 ways that most
people will usually use for doing that: using the choke
or using an optical kill switch. Since the Trainer GT
wasn't really setup for a choke servo I decided to go
ahead and add in the optical kill switch. One nice thing
about these is that when you install them they also
have a super bright LED that you can install on the
side of the fuselage to show you that the ignition is
on. Because the fully charged voltage of the battery
pack of eneloop battery pack I choose to use in this
plane really is above what the ignition module calls
for I choose to also install a small voltage regulator.
in the compartment is ready to be hooked up. The kill
switch and regulator sit right between the battery and
the ignition module. The kill switch runs back into
the fuselage and is mounted on the side of the fuselage.
Mark the fuselage and then use a hobby knife to cut
the fuselage. Install the switch into the fuselage.
Fuel Tank Installation
feature that I found very nice in this plane was that
the fuel stopper was pre-assembled. Assemble the fuel
pickup using a piece of fuel tubing long enough so that
the fuel pick sits just short of the back of the fuel
tank. Once this is ready tighten down then fuel stopper
so that it sits tight in the tank. It's a good idea
to label the lines in the tank so that you can remember
them later on. You'd be surprised how easy it is to
forget which line is which! On the fill/pickup line
there is a "T" connection that is inserted
in the line that will be used to fill the tank. One
side of the "T" goes to the carburetor and
the other side of that "T" will go to a fill
found that pulling all the lines though the fuselage
is easier by using a piece of string tied around all
the tubes. Once they are pulled through the fuselage
the feed line will be put through the firewall and connected
to the pickup on the carb of the engine. On the side
of the fuselage is a pre-drilled hole for the fill line.
This is located and needs to be cut out with a hobby
knife, and then the fill line installed into that fill
vent line is installed in the hole that is located in
the bottom of the fuselage. Pull the line through the
fuselage and use the provided hardware to attach the
outlet to the vent line. The vent line outlet is then
held in place using thick CA. The fuel tank is held
in place by a small block of wood that is screwed into
DLE-30 Cowl Installtion
provides templates to cut the cowl for both the DLE-20
and the DLE-30. Since I have the DLE-30 that's what
I used to mark the cowl with. To mark the cowl for cutting
simply tape the templates in place and then use a Sharpie
type marker to mark the cowl for cutting.
the cowl has been marked for cutting take your time
as you go to cutting the areas. The tools that are used
here will eat up a lot of materials in a hurry so take
your time because a slip means that a mistake could
be very noticeable. But it's really easy to take your
time and easily take time to get the cut outs done.
Then use a sanding drum to smooth out the edges of the
each of the cutouts.
the cowl is cut it still needs to be trimmed so that
the muffler exhaust can fits as well. A very simple
way of doing this is to use a piece of manila folder
to first mark the location of the exhaust location on
the engine and then to transfer it to the the cowl.
After the marking has been transferred to the cowl,
the cowl can then be trimmed to fit so that the exhaust
fits inside of the cowl when it's placed on the plane.
chose to go with a 6.6v 2300 MaH LiFe battery pack from
Buddy RC (formerly EP Buddy) as the power for the plane.
The servos that I used in this plane are all digital
servos and I wanted to have a battery pack that had
plenty of juice in it to feed those servos. To mount
the battery Aeroworks supplies large Velcro straps to
use to secure the battery in place on foam padding.
There is a strap supplied for the receiver as well.
To help myself remember what batteries I have installed
in my planes I place labels in the planes somewhere
that is easy to see, but won't come off in use of the
plane. On the trainer that was on the fiberglass tube
that is in place in the cabin. In normal use this will
be closed up when the hatch is closed, but when the
plane is being charged the hatch is open and I will
know which battery is which.
receiver switch is installed in the same manner as the
ignition switch. An aileron y-harness is used to split
the ailerons and then extensions run up to the rubber
grommets on each side of the wing roots on each side.
These will remain in place, and when the wing is installed
this will be joined with the wires in the wing and then
the wires will be placed in the cavity in the wing itself.
modern 2.4 radios use a small wire element as an antenna,
and I won't go into great detail about installation
of radio components as they are going to vary by each
individual flyer. But a small piece of the tubing cut
from the throttle cable makes for a great keeper to
install the antenna element in when installing in the
windows for the trainer will need to be cut apart as
they are on a sheet with 2 windows on each sheet. Measure
out a line about 1/4" around the edge of the windows
and then cut away the windows. There is an old saying
that says you learn something new every day, and while
doing this review I learned something new. This trick
with using tape for placing the windows was new to me
and I want to thank the guys at Aeroworks for showing
it to me. The trick is to use a piece of tape to make
a small handle on the back of each window
couple of the windows didn't fit very well into the
openings, so I needed to take a file to work the
wood in order to get the windows to fit properly. Using
a red Sharpie is a good way to color the wood red prior
to putting the windows in (thanks again for the tip
Aeroworks!). Formula 560 is the go to glue for putting
anything that has to with a canopy, and that's what
is used here. This glue is the best stuff around bar
none to use for canopies and it's what I used here.
good deal of Formula 560 around the edges of the window
and it's ready to go into place. With the canopy in
place hold it in with tape until the glue dries. Once
everything has finished up and all the internal windows
are finished up the front window can be put back on
goes out of their way to make it very easy for people
to setup their planes, and they give them the tools
that they need to do this with. Here in this review
I used several that were sent along with the plane,
and one that I actually had from other Aeroworks planes
I've owned. The first tool shown above is the Rudder
Throw Meter and is supplied with the plane. To use this
simply tape this guide underneath the rudder and center
the rudder on the "0" mark. Then use the guide
to setup the rudder to the specified deflections. The
next tool that I used actually wasn't included with
the plane, but can be purchase directly from Aeroworks.
I highly recommend that people purchase these as they
are very nice for setting up the plane. Although it's
not impossible to setup the plane without this gauge,
it's just a lot easier to set up with
the gauge that is shown a ruler would be used to measure
the amount of travel for both the elevator and ailerons
in setting up the throws. The last tool is another one
of those that once you see it you kind of ask your self
how did we ever get along without these before we got
them. The CG for the Trainer GT is 5" back from
the wing leading edge at the fuselage edge, but on a
plane the size of this measuring that can get a difficult,
especially for one person. But Aeroworks new C.G. Buddy
Tool makes this a very easy measurement to make now.
What this tool does is slips down over the wing tubes
and the alignment tubes at the wing roots, and then
pushes the wings into the wing fuselage. Once this is
done one person can now lift the plane to check the
CG on the plane. While it looks a little nose heavy
in the picture above it's a funny angle, as the Trainer
GT did balance spot on when I did balance it.
you skip ahead to the Flight Report
you will read that I had problems with the nose gear
on the Trainer GT. What happened when I tried to take
off was the set screw wasn't enough to hold the nose
wheel straight and it turned 90° to the fuselage and
this then let the nose of the plane dig into the runway
and shatter the propeller. If you look at the first
picture you will see that the supplied set screw just
simply isn't enough hardware to hold a plane 12
pound plane. When this happened at the field I thought
to myself, "This is so unlike Aeroworks, what's
going on?". But when I got back home on Monday
I called Rocco at Aeroworks and his answer was , "Oh
sure, we ran into the same problem here and we're changing
the production in the next run." His advice was
the same thing as what I did to fix the problem on my
plane here. I took a 8-32 hex bolt and threaded into
the collar and then reassembled landing gear according
to the instructions. After I did this the nose wheel
held firm and I had no problems being able to steer
plane and was able to take off and land the plane.
when I first fly a plane for it's trim flight I will put
it on the the high rate settings. My thoughts are that I
would rather have the throws and not need them than need
the throws and not have them. And that's where I put the
throws for the Trainer GT for it's first flight, on high
rates. As it rolled down the runway and I lifted off the
ground I knew within 2 or 3 seconds of lifting off that
high rates were going to be WAY too much for this plane
so I changed the elevator and ailerons down to the low rate
settings. With the plane now on low rate I took a couple
laps of the field to get the plane trimmed in which didn't
really take too much. A couple of clicks of right trim of
the ailerons and a click or two of up trim on the elevator
and the plane was flying hand free in level flight. It was
kind of fun seeing such a big bird in the air that was designed
for training people to fly RC airplanes. I was having a
little bit of fun flying around in this new plane, but I
had to remind myself that I was doing a review on this plane
and I didn't have any of the "work" for the review
done yet. By that I mean that we hadn't shot any of the
video or taken any pictures of the plane in flight, so I
really shouldn't be playing around with the plane or "Murphy"
would wind up teaching me a lesson and crash the plane on
me. So I decided that it was time to land the plane so that
we could take it back up to film the plane in flight. That
was where I got my first real test of the plane. On the
downwind side of the field the engine quit on me and I was
going to have to make a dead stick landing on a plane that
I had never flown before. I kept reminding myself that no
matter how big it was it was still a trainer, which in the
end turned out to be great advice. I brought the plane around
on a normal approach pattern to our runway and set it down
right on the end of the runway with no problems at all in
what turned out to be one of the nicest landings I've ever
fueling the plane back up we got setup to take the plane
back out to do our filming for the review and that is where
we ran into the only real problem with the plane that I
had: the nose wheel landing gear. I had noticed on my first
flight that the nose wheel was a bit "springy"
which had me a bit worried as I was taxing out, but I didn't
have any problems getting off the ground for the first flight
so I didn't worry it about too much. However, on the second
flight as we started the takeoff run the nose wheel bounced
a little bit and then turned in on itself as the plane "nose
dived" into the runway. Other than a broken prop there
wasn't any other damage to the plane. Once I was back in
the pits I discovered that the steering arm on the nose
wheel had slipped off the flat spot on the nose wheel shaft
which allowed the nose wheel to turn so that it was at a
90° angle to the fuselage. I loosened the set screw and
repositioned everything to where it was supposed to be,
and then reassembled the nose of the plane. With a new prop
on the plane we fired it back up and headed back out to
the runway to try again to get her back in the air. Unfortunately
putting it back together didn't help as the second attempt
to take off resulted in the same results as the first. The
nose wheel turned 90° to the fuselage. So I gave up for
the day and made plans to call Aeroworks to see if they
knew about this problem. Luckily when I called Rocco at
Aeroworks the next day he said that they knew about this
problem. The small set screw that came in the early run
of the planes simply isn't big enough to hold the steering
arm and needs to be replace with a bolt. He recommended
a 6-32 bolt. Rocco indicated that the next production run
of planes will have this change made to them so future owners
of this plane shouldn't have this problem. Once I got off
the phone I looked at my plane and placed a 6-32 bolt in
the steering arm, but I wasn't happy with the way it was
fitting in there so I actually went with a little bigger
and used an 8-32 bolt to secure the steering arm to the
nose wheel shaft. Click here to See
Reviewer's Notes on this
to the field with the repaired nose gear we felt comfortable
enough with the repairs to fly the plane. Fueled up we taxied
the plane out to the runway and turned her into the
wind and advanced the throttle and we were off. The plane
was off the ground easily at about 1/3 throttle. In fact,
as we were flying around it was rare that we ever went over
1/2 throttle and I'm not sure that we ever used full throttle
at all during the day. The best thing I can say about
the Trainer GT was that it flew, well, like a trainer. Now
I don't mean that in a mean sort of way at all. I mean in
a good sense. The Trainer GT flies like what you would expect
a trainer to fly. It flies smooth, easy, and predictable
and simply doesn't have any bad habits that we could find
as we put her through her paces at the field. On low rate
there is still enough elevator authority to do a very nice
loop and ailerons on low rates will result in a roll with
just a little bit of nose drop. This can be compensated
for very easily by raising the nose before you start the
aileron roll. We took the plane up and pulled the power
back to get it to stall so that we could observe how she
handled, as the speed dropped off the plane dropped her
nose and the right wing dropped as she stalled. Recovering
from the stall was as simple as adding power and flying
out of the stall. We flew the Trainer GT around for 10 minutes
shooting video for this review and then we decided it was
time to see how it behaved on the landing. This was where
I was in for another surprise with this plane. With a plane
weighing in over 12 pounds I figured it was going to take
some time to get her slowed down. But that wasn't the case.
As we made our approach and flared out at the runway the
Trainer GT just slowed down and made a sweet landing on
the mains and then settled down on to the nose gear. Very
pretty landing indeed. I can go on and on about how well
this plane flies, they say that a picture is worth a thousand
words. Well if that is the case then a video is worth ten
thousand words. Check out my video below of the my flight
of Aeroworks Trainer GT.
taken as a whole package the Trainer GT has something to offer
a lot of people more than just your basic student learning how
to fly. Of course the plane will fill the role of a basic trainer
teaching people how to fly. But then it can be expanded from
there to a club trainer to where a club can use the plane to
train a lot of people. Or a club can use the plane to give "demo"
flights to lots of people. Or that can be expanded to add the
candy drop module to the plane and now the plane can be used
at club events to drop candy for the kids. And with a little
modifications this plane could easily be used for glider modifications.
And I'm sure there are even more roles that this plane can fill
that I'm missing as well. So overall, Aeroworks has been able
to find a plane that is going to way beyond that one basic role
it was made for.
at it from the standpoint of a beginner who's just now getting
into the hobby Aeroworks has done their job in KISS (Keep
It Simple Silly). The instructions are very well written and
everything goes together easily. There are no surprises for
the new pilot as they assemble the plane and get this plane
ready to fly. In the time and tools indicators at the beginning
of top of the review I gave these because of the size of the
plane. That is going to the one downside is that the new pilot
is going to have to have a pretty large space to be able to
work on this.
the plane to the field and getting it in the air really showed
some of the Trainer GT's best features. I've always said that
bigger always flies better, and that was truly the case here.
This plane really flies well and a lot of that comes from
the size. Our setup had a DLE-30 on the and we were able to
take, fly, and land and never need ever go above half throttle
as this plane really flies nicely. When it was time to land
this plane really shows it's grace as it flattens out and
simply flares for a landing better than just about any trainer
than I have ever seen before. This is really a sweet plane
in how she flies and I can't wait to get some more time on
I said above, we did have a problem with the nose gear. Rocco
says that the nose gear are being fixed in the next production
run so that it has a stronger screw holding the nose gear
in it. As long as that happens then I think everything should
be good the trainer as all the bugs are worked out. I know
that that was just an initial bug that needed to be worked
out and that Aeroworks did take care of it right away.
plane does have 2 choices for engines, the DLE-20 and DLE-30.
I know that I would have a hard time to convince anybody to
go with the DLE-20 as it's only $30 cheaper than the DLE-30,
and there really isn't going to be any reason why anybody
would put a DLE-20 on the plane. However, for just simple
flying a DLE-30 is simple overkill. In our flying we never
used full throttle with the DLE-30. If you're not going to
do something like towing gliders or similar then I would say
that getting a DLE-30 would overkill. And if a student is
learning to fly I would recommend them to get the DLE-20 so
that they learn to fly with less power, or fly on the was
we would say. Yes, I can hear all of you out there saying
that is what a throttle is for, but I would recommend that
if a student is planning to just learn to fly they may want
to lean towards the DLE-20.
the time that I've been flying RC I've seen quite a few trainers
that I've worked with, and the guys at Aeroworks have really
done their homework to make sure that they've dotted their
"i's" and crossed thiers "t's". The Trainer
GT goes a long way to being a lot of trainer for a lot of
people. One thing that I have seen suffering in trainers for
many is that they are many times small. And small trainers
usually makes them a bit "squirrelly", but when
you start making the trainer bigger that starts making the
plane more stable. And is especially true here with this plane.
This trainer really flies very smooth because of it's size,
and it really tracks nicely in the air. With a DLE-30 on the
nose the plane way more power than it will ever need, but
that gives it the option for doing a lot of different projects
later on down the road. Our club is planning on using ours
for glider ops this summer, which I think it's going to excel
at. Personally I think that Aeroworks has done a really great
job on the Trainer GT.
13953 SW 140 Street
Miami, Florida 33186
Email : email@example.com
Product used - #30 Paste Epoxy
540 N. Goldenrod Rd
Orlando, Fl. 32807
Product Used; Wood Propellers
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.