RCU Review: RedwingRC SBACH

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    Contributed by: Burc Simsek | Published: February 2014 | Views: 35473 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Wings Maker DF032

    • Great scale looks.
    • Generous cabin for component placement
    • Well priced
    • Very wide flight envelope

    • The manual is generic, covering many airplanes of the same manufacturer. Some specifics about the SBach 342 are not covered.
    The 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.

    RedwingRC 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.

    The 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.

    RedwingRC 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.
    Manufacturer Information
    Price: $399


    One 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 plane?

    • Wing span: 73"
    • Wing area: 1020 sq. in.
    • All up flying weight: 10.5-11lb depending on build style
    • Length: 69"
    • Engine: (30-36cc engine) Recommended: DLE30, DLE35, PTE36
    • Radio: 6 channel recommended (4ch possible)
    • Recommended Spinner Size: 3.5"
    • Recommended CG: 5 to 5 1/8" from the LE at the root of the wing
    • Recommended Prop Size:
      • 18x8/10, 20x10 for sport
      • 18x619x6/8, 20x6/8 for 3d

    The 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.


    The 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 fine. 

    The 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.

    The 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.

    The 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 the kit.

    The 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.

    As 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.

    Pressing 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. 

    The 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.

    The 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.

    The 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.

    The 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.

    The 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 not pictured.

    Both 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.

    The ignition was mounted under the motor mount. It is not shown in the picture but we also used some foam to protect against vibrations.

    The 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.

    The 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.
    Photo shoot

    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.

    Several 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 the camera! The plane is very smooth even at low speed, and the series of side slips were crowd pleasing events.

    Once 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, hesitation rolls etc... were all performed with ease. The Sbach 342 showed a good precision flight envelope and was tracking all of the manuevers with ease.

    The 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. The power provided by the DLE-35RA allowed for a strong vertical acceleration from a hover.

    We 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 the snap.

    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.

    The RedWingRC 30cc Sbach 342

    RedwingRC 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.

    Pictures and videos were shot at:

    Comments on RCU Review: RedwingRC SBACH

    Posted by: tailskid on 02/25/2014
    Very nice review and your pictures are very clear! Yadidgood!!!
    Posted by: yyk1966 on 03/13/2014
    Hello In my browser the www.redwingrc.com link (at the bottom of the article) redirects to www.mcmod.fr
    Posted by: SD1 on 03/13/2014
    I do like a good Sbach. They did a nice job curving the vertical stab into the turtle deck. Most others don't do that.
    Posted by: OldBone on 03/26/2014
    Thanks Burc, for this nice review. Only missing the AUW with this composition, I am curious about all the extra nose weight. Does anyone can give me a number?
    Page: 1
    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.

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