manual is generic, covering many airplanes of the same manufacturer.
Some specifics about the SBach 342 are not covered.
full scale Sbach 342 is one of the newest aerobatic airplanes
to come on the market. It was certified only a couple of
years ago, and its great performance and capability helped
conquer the market in a relatively short amount of time.
The 342 is a two-seater version of the Sbach, making it
a very good plane for acrobatic training.
The Sbach 342 has very distinctive and large canopy
which leads to a large fuselage and side area. Along with
giving the airframe a distinctive look, the side area helps
in knife edge flight making slow passes a breeze.
The look of the plane must have seduced a great m any number
of us as many manufacturers are currently producing scale
version of the SBach in various sizes.
RedwingRC delivers their Sbach 342 in a 30cc size, developed
specifically for 30cc power plants. The plane is available
in 3 different colors schemes: the very classic black and
red lightning, the orange/black/gray and the blue/black/gray
combination, which is the one we are testing today.
ships the plane in a rugged box. All of the components are
wrapped and secured in place to protect against damage during
shipping and handling.
main components of the ARF are displayed in the picture
above. This is a very classic ARF kit, with the structure
entirely build and covered. Only a few evenings are required
to finish the plane.
designed a very good looking fiber-glass cowl. The cowl
seems to be cleverly oversized slightly in comparison to
the full size version to accomodate for the cylinder of
the gas engine. That makes for a better looking airplane,
and a much easier engine installation.
of the most stunning models to come along the
RC world in recent years is the Sbach 342. RedwingRC's
30cc Sbach 342 is a thing of beauty!
The scale version
of the Sbach 342 exhibits sexy curves, that
this 30cc version retains.
On our 30cc Sbach
we recommend the DLE30 or DLE35RA. The Sbach
has a very good wingloading and power to weight
ratio, helping it excel in 3d flight. It excels
at harriers, being very stable in slow flight,
not ever wanting to tip a wing. You are sure
to be impressed with the quality parts and ease
of assembly. Our 25% rc planes are made to have
it all - scale appearnce, great looks, awesome
flight. What more can you ask for in a 30cc
area: 1020 sq. in.
up flying weight: 10.5-11lb depending on
CG: 5 to 5 1/8" from the LE at the root
of the wing
20x10 for sport
20x6/8 for 3d
ARF arrives with all complete accessory pack required to complete
the airplane. We decided to use a DLE35-RA to power the airframe
along with HS-7954SH servos on all surfaces except the
throttle where a standard size servo can be used. The receiver
used for this test is a high voltage Futaba R6208, which can
handle the high voltage delivered by a 2S lipo.
assembly starts with the installation of the tail wheel
and support.The manual recommends to open the fuselage
on the side where an access door should be located, to
install the provided blind nuts inside the fuselage. However,
the access door was barely visible and the door itself
was missing from the kit. We choose instead to install
the tail in a more conventional way by using wood screws
directly on the fuselage floor. The thickness was verified
first, and three 1/2"-long screws hold the assembly just
steering control is linked to the rudder directly. We
replaced the wheel collars that came with the kit by another
set, to reduce the play with the tail bracket. The hole
in the tail wheel support is a bit larger than the wheel
axle, and a spacer must be used to reduce the gap. Lukily
we had a wheel collar with a shoulder that was exactly
the right size. Make sure you use thread lock on these
bolts as our assembly came off during the first flight
and it was an episode to search for the small components
in the grassy area of the field.
rudder is then mounted to the fuselage once the two heavy
duty control horns are glued on each side. We used a mix
of 30 minute epoxy and microballons for all gluing during
the plane assembly. The rudder is articulated with pin
style plastic hinges. The fuselage and rudder are pre-drilled
at the required hinge locations making this an easy task.
installation of the main landing gear installation is
straight forward and does not require any glue. The wheel
pants are mounted using two blind nuts, provided with
ARF contains all the servo horns and plate extensions
required for the mounting of the servos. They are all
made of carbon fiber. We used the control horn extension
that was supplied for the pull-pull rudder servo installation.
The horn is really big for this application, but we found
it to work out pretty good.
for the wings, the ailerons are hinged with five pin type
hinges. Make sure you protecte the hinge with grease during
the gluing process to avoid any glue intrusion at the
hinge. The excess glue can be simply wiped out after
insertion of the hinge with a damp cloth.
the covering gently with your thumb will help reveal
the edge of the aileron servo slots that need to be trimmed
before the servo installation.
control horns are then glued in place. RedwingRC used
the same type of horns for all control surfaces which
are very heavy duty and also match the airframe in color.
The linkages are easily adjustable after installation
using a small spanner as they are cross threaded.
elevator servos are mounted externally on each side of
the fuselage on the tail. The servo pockets and the holes
for the carbon fiber stabilizer tube will have to be located
by pressing gently the covering until the edges can be
positively identified. A sharp exacto knife is used to
cleanly remove the covering from those locations.
two elevator servos were matched using a Hitec programming
box in order to achieve the same neutral positions and
end points. The location of the ball link on the control
horns will be adjusted to your liking depending on the
throw you want from the control surfaces. RedwingRC recommends
+/-45 degrees for 3D flying. The distances shown in the
picture above were reduced to the inner holes as the throws
provided from the 2" arms were just too much. Overall,
the heavy duty plastic arms that are provided with the
7954SH servos should do fine.
motor installation is very easy if you chose to install
a DLE 30cc. The hole locations have been marked on the
firewall, and the best position for the throttle servo
is shown in the manual. Since we opted for a DLE35-RA,
the hole pattern was slightly different, and we had to
measure the location of the two lower holes using the
upper holes as reference. Luckily the holes have not been
pre-drilled which would have make the task of converting
from 30 to 35cc a bit more daunting as we would of have
had to seal the holes and drill new ones as the space
between the 30 and 35cc mounting locations overlap.
edge of the firewall will need to be trimmed to get the
exhaust of the 35RA to fit. We relocated the throttle
servo on the side of the firewall to achieve a direct
connection for the throttle linkage. Note that in the
pictures a Z-bend is shown for the throttle which was
then later replaced with a proper ball link connection
the receiver and ignition batteries were mounted as far
forward as possible to help with balancing the plane.
The inside of the canopy is nicely protected from
the smoke/gas/oil coming from the motor with 2 wood panels.
ignition was mounted under the motor mount. It is not
shown in the picture but we also used some foam to protect
cowl needs to be cut on several location in order to have
an exit for the exhaust tubes. This can be easily
achieved using a piece of paper as a template. Note that
the cylinder head is enclosed in the cowl which makes
the overall apperance of the Sbach a very applealing one.
cowl is attached from the inside of the fuselage using
4 hidden bolts which further helps the looks of the SBach.
Two of these bolts are accessed by removing the canopy,
and two have to be screwed from the side or front of the
cowl. Another larger hole was cut underneath the
cowl to provide an exit location for hot air.
The plane was balanced at the recommended CG, which is
located at 135 mm from the leading edge at the wing root,
or just behind the wing tube. It took no less that 270g
of lead to get the plane to balance properly, on
top of a nice Tru-Turn 3-1/2" aluminum spinner.
After the usual
pre-flight check list,
the plane we taxied to
the center of the runway in preperation for the maiden flight. Our
first impression was good: the plane is
easy to handle on the ground, despite the strong wind we had the day of
the first flight.
After giving some thorttle, take off happens rather quickly and
at only 1/4 of the throttle, which told us that we might have to
adjust the throttle curve a bit. The climb out was strong and level
needing only a few clicks of trim to fly level. We did not observe
anything out of the ordinary as we flew a couple of simple circuits
around the field. The
usual inverted CG test showed that the CG might be a little on rear
side as the airframe wanted to fly level while inverted and climb a
touch on a 45 degree inverted climb. Since this is a 3D plane, we
decided to let it be.
slow passes showed that the airframe can really slow down nicely. We
performed a fewstall tests at altituted and found that the SBach does
not really want to stall unless it is absolutely not moving. As it
slows down, it looses altitude while remaining level but only at the
absolute stall point does it drop a wing. This is good for 3D but would
have to be adressed for pattern as it would be difficult to complete a
sequence without doing the stall spin easily. One thing about maidening a
plane and doing a review at the same time is that there is always the
risk of crashing on the first flight. That is why we try to get as many
pictures as possible on the first flight. The key to taking good
pictures is a slow flying airframe and we found that it was an absolute
pleasure to slow the SBach down for some nice photo opportunities. The
Sbach 342 loves
camera! The plane is very smooth even at low speed, and the series of
crowd pleasing events.
we had enough photos, it was time to let this aerobatic beast express
itself. We started with standard pattern figures. The roll rate is very
fast even on medium rates, and it would be good to reduce the rate even
lower to fly pattern. Cuban eights figure, stall turns,
ease. The Sbach 342 showed a good precision flight
envelope and was tracking all of the manuevers with ease.
rates were then switch to the highest range to bring the fun to the
next level and check the plane in the domain it was designed to
perform: 3D flight. Harriers were
easy to perform, with a light tendency to wing rock if not corrected. A
blip of the throttle and the airframe was nose up and in a very
controllable hover. The power from the DLE-35RA is more than enough to
keep the airframe in a hover around mid stick. Letting go of the
aileron compensation, we observed that torque rolls were quite violent
as the 20" propeller swung the airframe around quite quickly and we had
to compensate a touch with the ailerons to slow it down.
provided by the
DLE-35RA allowed for a strong vertical acceleration from a hover.
then took the airframe high for a series of spins. We found that spinds
can easily be flattened with full elevator input and performing knife
edge spins were a breeze as well. Snap rolls were easy to stop upright
or inverted and we did not see a major tendency to bury the airframe in
As most large 3D airframes, the Sbach is very light and not built for
all out speed. That is
something to remember in the downward section of a stall turn where it
is very hard to resist the urge to go all out on the throttle but for a
few full throttle passes that we performed, we did not see any
fluttering or issues with the SBach handling this speed and the overall
performance was pleasing.
RedWingRC 30cc Sbach 342
has presented us with a very good looking Sbach 342
which is priced very competitively against the large
offering of 30cc 3D planes out there. Building the
SBach is a very short and enjoyable process which
can be completed in only a few short evenings. Overall,
the light airframe performs as advertised and has
a very wide flight envelope ranging from slow and
controllable flight to confidence building post stall
manuevers to very precise pattern and we could not
find anything to not like on the SBach. This
one is a keeper for sure.
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.