OK, I’m back with the flight report on the new Seagull Models Nieuport 28 Replica. Summer 2019 proved to be extremely busy for myself and my video pilot, so trying to schedule time to fly was difficult at best… If you haven’t read the Assembly review on the Nieuport 28 Replica, you can find it here: http://www.rcuniverse.com/articles/review/seagull-models-nieuport-28-giant-scale-20-26cc-arf-part-one/. Take a look below at the photo shoot section of the original article!
We finally got back to the field on a really nice Saturday afternoon in late October. It was a bit on the breezy side, with the wind gusting to about 15 MPH, but the air temp was 65° F and the sun was shining bright with a clear blue sky. Jim Buzzeo, my video pilot and good friend, arrived just as I was unloading the Nieuport 28 Replica from my van. We assembled the plane, filled the fuel tank, and fired up the RCGF 20cc gas engine. The engine has been run several times before, and on a couple different planes, so it was raring and ready to go. The Falcon 16×8 Beechwood propeller looked great on the nose of the Nieuport 28 – the shape of the blades looks just ‘vintage’ enough to look right at home!
Because it was getting late in the year, the grass was longer than usual at our field, but the large wheels on the Nieuport did pretty well. It nosed over once when taxiing, and then again once on the initial takeoff roll. Unfortunately, the propeller broke on the latter attempt, but I had a spare Falcon 16×8 prop with. A quick prop swap, and the Nieuport 28 was ready again. We determined that the best takeoff technique was to push the throttle to nearly full quickly, to get the plane rolling.
Once rolling, the tail came up and a few feet later the main gear left the ground! Originally, I thought that the 20cc engine might not be enough power for the 14 pound Nieuport (in the assembly review, you’ll see that I added 36 ounces (1020 g) of lead weight to the firewall to balance the plane). Thankfully, the RCGF 20cc gas engine provided plenty of pull to get the giant scale bipe off the ground easily. She climbed out nicely, and in a few seconds, the Nieuport was flying at a comfortable altitude. A trim pass was done, and the plane required just one click of up elevator!
The Nieuport was flown around for several minutes, and we tested the slow and high speed flight characteristics. This plane definitely likes to fly a little faster than something like a Cub, but the speed is manageable. The Nieuport will slow down, but the ailerons (which are only on the lower wing) will get a little ‘mushy’ feeling, so be ready for that. We did find that the high rate setting improved the aileron control at slower speeds, but made the Nieuport twitchy at higher speeds. The plane seems to fly the best above half throttle with the lower control throw settings. That’s why I’m grateful that there are triple rate switches on most new transmitters!
We also found that making good looking turns required both the ailerons and the rudder. bank the airplane with the ailerons first, then steer the Nieuport 28 with the rudder. There is plenty of control authority with the ailerons and elevator, but with the wind gusting to 15MPH and maybe even more, we didn’t feel comfortable doing much for aerobatics. I have no doubt that the RCGF 20cc engine had enough pull to do some nice loops!
As we were getting ready to land the Nieuport 28 replica, the wind gusts were getting stirred up into some pretty good turbulence at the west end of our field. One such gust pitched the nose of the Nieuport down at about a 60° angle headed for the ground. Jim was quick on the sticks, and had the plane flying level again in a half second or so, but it was a little bit startling. I don’t believe this was a defect in the airplane, rather just a tough wind condition.
A couple more passes were made to calm the nerves a little, and then we set up for the Nieuport’s first landing. Again, we were worried about the grass length, so we switched to the higher control throws to keep the tail on the ground when it touched down. The landing ended up looking great, right up to the last moment, when the grass caused the Nieuport to tip up on it’s nose. Still, I thought it was a good landing, and under normal mowed grass conditions the landing would have been perfect!
Check out the video to see the Seagull Models Nieuport 28 Replica Giant Scale ARF in action!
After assembling and flying the Seagull Models Nieuport 28 Replica ARF, I must say that I do like this airplane. The matte finish on the covering makes it look vintage, and the colors are great in the air. Assembly was a little more involved than a sport plane, but it was still an enjoyable plane to assemble. The RCGF 20cc engine and Falcon propeller did a great job pulling the 14 pound plane around, and the engine sounded pretty great as well! This plane is definitely NOT for a beginner, but a good intermediate pilot should be able to fly this WWI biplane with no trouble. If you’re into vintage bipes, and you’re not looking to build a kit over several months, go out and get yourself this Nieuport 28 Replica ARF from Seagull Models! All of the accessories and products used in my reviews can be found at the links below – check them out for all your needs! From my shop to yours – Happy Landings! -GB
Seagull Models: seagullmodels.com
VQ Warbirds: vqwarbirds.com
RCGF Engines: rcgfusa.com
Falcon Propellers: justmodelprops.com
Bob’s Hobby Center at Steve’s Hangar: shopbobshobbycenter.com
ZAP Adhesives: franktiano.com/zap-adhesive