RCU Review: Hangar 9 AT-6 Texan - 60


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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: October 2003 | Views: 45251 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon

    Review by: Greg Covey



    Distributed exclusively by:


    Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    Fax: (217) 352-6799
    www.horizonhobby.com



    See the AT-6 Texan in action!
    CLICK HERE

    Windows Media Player

    Packaging:
    Construction:
    Hardware:
    Manual:
    Ease of Assembly:
    Completeness of Kit:
    Covering:
    Takeoff (Scale):
    Landing (Scale):
    Basic Aerobatics (Scale):
    Stall Char. (scale):

    • Excellent quality of construction and covering
    • Superb detailing
    • Solid feel in flight
    • Complete hardware

    • Mechanical retract plastic coupling is a bit weak requiring perfect adjustments for locking

    Hangar 9's AT-6 is a beautifully crafted rendition of Fred Johnson's full-scale Texan. His plane can be seen thrilling audiences at air shows around the country. Few aircraft in aviation history, let alone those still flying today, can claim such a dramatic impact on so many generations of pilots from so many countries.

    The North American AT-6 Texan is a teacher, warrior, and living legend. For more detailed information on this second phase of WWII combat training, visit the fact-filled, on-line article hosted by Horizon Hobby.

    Although this is an Almost-Ready-to-Fly (ARF) kit, it does have some construction features that can be challenging to the less experienced modeler. The AT-6 Texan flies very well but requires intermediate to advanced level skills.

    The AT-6 was originally intended to be powered by a .60 size glow engine. Today, there are proven electric power systems designed to replace glow-powered models with similar power and footprint. My MaxCim 13Y brushless motor and controller was a perfect replacement solution that would not only fit in place of the glow engine, but result in a much quieter flying model that needed no wiping off after the flight.

    Kit Name: AT-6 Texan
    Manufacturer: Hangar 9
    Price: $254.99
    Wingspan: 67.5” (1714mm)
    Wing Area: 706 sq. in. (45.54 sq dm)
    Length: 48” (1219mm)
    Ready to fly weight: 144oz. (9lbs)
    Wing Loading: 29 oz/sq. ft

    Power System Parts Used:

    • MaxCim 13Y brushless
    • MaxCim (MaxN32-13Y) brushless motor
    • MEC Superbox 3.75:1 w/16T pinion (MaxGR3.75-1/4)
    • MaxCim 25-cell Controller w/ 3amp BEC (Maxu35-25BEC)
    • APC 15x10 e-prop
    • E-Calc Numbers using two different 44oz flight packs

      On 26-cells of CP1700SCR NiCd

      - 47amps @ 24.5v
      - 7840 RPMs at prop
      - 77mph
      - 6-7 minutes of scale aerobatics/cruise
      - 129 watts/lb.

      On 20-cells of CP2400SCR NiCd
      - 34amps at 20.2v
      - 6580 RPMs at prop
      - 64mph
      - 9-10 minutes of scale aerobatics/cruise
      - 76 watts/lb.


      Radio System:

      5-channels with 5 servos
      Aileron/Elevator/Rudder/Throttle/Retract controls

    REQUIRES FOR COMPLETION:

    • 2 Hitec HS-85MG "Mighty Micro" servos for rudder and elevator
    • 2 Futaba S-148 standard servos for ailerons
    • 1 Hitec HS-75BB Retract servo
    • 1 Harry Higley Safety Spinner Hub (SPN014) 1/4-28
    • 1 Hangar 9 1/7th scale US WWII Pilot (HAN8311)
    • 2 18" servo extensions
    • 1 servo "Y" adapter
    • 1 Hitec 555 micro receiver

    Kit Contents

    The kit comes with all the major parts pre-assembled and covered in Hangar 9 Ultracote. Each part was individually wrapped with protective foam and cardboard dividers. A pre-painted fiberglass cowl and colored plastic canopy compliment the beautiful color scheme. Additional small parts like a rear pilot seat, pilot control console, mock radial engine, decal sheet, and, colored air scoop add to the details.

    The mechanical retract set is build right into the each wing half. Motor mounts, wheels, steer able tail wheel, fairings, and a complete set of hardware are also included. A 55-page manual contains step-by-step instructions and photos for every major section of construction. I found the documentation to be both complete and helpfull.



    Hangar 9 provides a very detailed and complete kit for the AT-6 Texan
    The quality of construction is fantastic! I was impressed with the solid yet light feel of the AT-6 fuselage in my hands. The Ultracote covering needed no touch-ups with the heat gun and the color scheme was very eye-catching.

    Excellent material quality and craftsmanship was immediately noticed
    The wing comes ready to assemble and takes only a short period of time
    After hinging the ailerons, the two wing halves are joined together with a pre-cut joiner and 30-minute epoxy. It is best to test the alignment and fit of the parts first before gluing.

    The aileron servos are installed under hidden hatch panels in the wing. The servo mounting blocks allow for any size servo to be used under the hatch but I had some spare Futaba S-148 servos so I choose to use them. I created my own extensions, about 24", using a section of flat ribbon cable. The middle sized servo arm was used and I had plenty of swing using the outer hole.
    The servos are hidden under pre-made hatch panels
    The tail group installed without issue. All the parts fit well in the pre-cut slots. My only deviation from the instructions was to use white glue instead of epoxy since I only had the 5-minute type. The white glue allowed me time to position and tape the parts in place before drying.
    The stabilizer covering was removed before gluing it into the tail. The elevator joiner ends were sanded before gluing for a better hold.
    The finished stabilizer with a nice little plug for a sponsor.
    The MaxCim motor mounted easily using the 0.8oz motor mount kit (G96307). I used the screws and captive nuts that came with the AT-6 hardware kit.

    A MaxCim 13Y brushless motor has a a power range that extends from 6 cells direct drive to 25 cells with gearing. A single motor and control can be used to replace a .40-.60 size glow engine using a similar footprint and prop shaft offset. Brushless motors offer more efficient operation over a wide range of currents, allowing high power for take-off and aerobatics, while giving up nothing in very efficient part throttle cruise power for long flights.

    The MaxCim MAXu35C-25BEC controller is a "true" digital (microprocessor) speed controller requiring no set-up or adjustment. It comes with a built-in 3amp Battery Eliminator Circuit (BEC) that uses the flight pack to power the receiver and servos. When the battery voltage becomes low enough, the motor is disabled, leaving power to the receiver and servos for a safe landing.

    When combined with a maintenance-free brushless DC motor like the MaxN32-13Y, it requires no timing adjustment or brush break-in period. It also provides a true "Plug-n-Play" solution. You can truly just set it and forget it. No more adjusting needle valves!

    The wing mounted to the fuselage with ease. The kit supplies wooden dowels, reinforcements, and blind nuts to make this operation smooth and provide a perfect fit.

    The retract servo installed well using the detailed instructions in the manual. I ended up cutting off the ends of the retract control wires to allow the servo arm to go past center. This kept the servo from binding at both positions. For those of you that are new to retracts, it is best to consult with an experienced modeler to get them set up properly.


    A hex wrench is supplied in the kit for installing the quick connects on the retract servo and the wheel collars. I choose not to install the wheel fairings to simplify things until after a few flights when I was satisfied with the retract adjustments and operation.


    The plastic wing strake halves are first glued together and then wrapped around the wing. Once the strake was glued into place, I noticed a slight overhang on the lower side of each wing half. To fill the gap, I cut a piece of thin light plywood and sanded it to match the strake. Lastly, I painted the wood to match the color scheme.



    The flight battery was made from 3 packs.

    The 3-packs fit perfectly into the existing AT-6 framing. They were pushed up front to meet the back of the firewall and then held in place with some foam pieces.

    The flight battery was made from 3 packs.


    I drilled air cooling holes through the plastic mock radial engine plate and firewall. This helped keep the motor and controller cool during flight.
    The dummy air scoop was converted into an active air scoop that would draw air into the fuselage to cool the battery packs. The MaxCim Charging jack provides for re-charging my flight packs right in the plane. The Remote LED diagnostic indicator allows me to test for proper controller operation at a glance...a true convenience!
    For the air flow exit path, I used two of the Master Flow (RLSC1) 1" Circular Louvers from LL Building Products (975172).

    Before

    The job isn't finished until the Hangar 9 pilot figure I purchased from Horizon Hobby is painted and mounted.

    After

    The finished AT-6 Texan electric conversion was Ready-To-Fly (RTF) at 144 oz. It looked stunning! After some final tweeking of the mechanical retract linkages, the control surfaces were set per the manual and my WWII trainer was finally flight worthy.

    photo by: Ed Granger
    * photo by: Ed Granger

    A picture perfect take-off!
    photo by: Ed Granger
    * photo by: Ed Granger
    The Hangar 9 AT-6 takeoff was very scale-like. It required some right rudder and we hit the retract switch on channel 5 of my Futaba Super-8 radio just as the plane left the flying field. It was a fantastic site to watch the Texan head out with such authority!

    No trimming was needed and the plane flew well balanced using the recommended CG setting

    After gaining some altitude, we checked the trim settings. The plane flew straight without any changes so we brought it back for a low and slow pass down the flying field. Now it was time to give the AT-6 a real workout.

    The AT-6 was given a full workout of aerobatic maneuvers and stall testing

    The AT-6 was almost as much fun to watch as it was to fly. We performed some loops, rolls, and simple aerobatic maneuvers that displayed the planes superb flying characteristics. Our stall testing showed that the plane managed and recovered very well using the recommended CG setting of 4 3/4" behind the wing leading edge (not counting the blue undercarriage but rather the yellow wing edge).


    Practicing some low field passes helped prepare myself for a proper landing

    Performing low field passes was a great deal of fun. The plane slows up fairly well but it is not a parkflyer. Landings required a good initial setup since the planes rolls for a good distance after the wheels touch down.

    Several times I found myself coming in too hot for a proper landing so I would throttle back up and fly around for another approach setup. My AT-6 wanted to float just above the ground before touching down so it is best to ensure that you are standing somewhere that allows for a good perspective on the entire runway and that you have sufficient taxi space after the wheels hit the ground. Often, this spot is about mid-field for most people and then touch the wheels to the ground as it crosses your standing point.

    A very realistic looking fly-by of the Hangar 9 AT-6 makes it fun to watch

    Don't be afraid to belly land the AT-6 in emergency situations when needed. It works very well on grass surfaces. We tested this when one of the retracts failed to go down so we brought it back up and landed safely on the flying field grass.

    Scale Take Off
    932 KB
    Windows Media Player
    Fly By
    1.36 MB
    Windows Media Player
    Touch 'n Go
    1.18 MB
    Windows Media Player
    Roll & Landing
    1.88 MB
    Windows Media Player

    See the AT-6 Texan in action!

    Windows Media Player
    7.46 MB

    The Hangar 9 AT-6 is a beautiful looking and scale flying model. The construction is almost all wood with the exception of the fiberglass cowl and ABS parts that provide such impressive detail. The wood sections are skillfully covered with Hangar 9 Ultracote and the fiberglass cowl is pre-painted. My AT-6 has been flown at several local R/C shows thrilling many modeling enthusiasts. They were all amazed at the quality of covering and attention to detail that Hangar 9 has built a reputation on.

    The conversion of this .60 size aircraft to quiet, clean electric power was easy. The MaxCim electric power system has much less vibration than its glow counterpart and there is no oil film to clean up afterward so my AT-6 will keep looking sharp for a long time to come.

    The AT-6 is an excellent flying R/C model and had no bad tendencies during our many test flights. Takeoffs required some right rudder and landings were a bit hot for an unskilled pilot so I recommend an intermediate to advanced skill level for safe flights.



    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    (217) 355-9511


    Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    Fax: (217) 352-6799
    www.horizonhobby.com


    MaxCim Motors, Inc.
    57 Hawthorne Dr.
    Orchard Park, NY 14127-1958
    Phone/Fax: (716) 662-5651
    http://www.maxcim.com/


    Diversity Model Aircraft
    10223 Kaiser Place
    San Diego, CA 92126
    (858) 693-8188
    http://www.flydma.com/

    Tower Hobbies
    Harry Higley's Safety Spinner Hub 1/4-28
    http://www.towerhobbies.com/

    Comments on RCU Review: Hangar 9 AT-6 Texan - 60

    There are no comments

    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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