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Old 10-24-2008, 03:38 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 1,588
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Default RE: First Aerobatic Plane

I went from a trainer to a Great Planes Cessna for a while, and ended up repairing that several times. By the time I retired it, the incidence was so far off that it would auger in just when I cut the throttle. Then, a friend gave me a Slow Poke (a worse choice than the Cessna for a second plane, I think) and I flew it for the rest of the season, until I brought it out again this year with a smaller engine. I got it back by flying and landing inverted! Needless to say, it's down for a new firewall and engine mount. Maybe try again next June, perhaps.

Then, another friend let me try out his Twist. He had his rates reduced and the plane set up so it would almost takeoff by its self. That day, I put about 5 flights with no fuss. It was the most forgiving machine I flew, besides the trainer I had and the only real difference was that I had to keep the wings level myself. And that was easy enough to do. He also had some rudder mixed in with the ailerons, making "bank and yank" turns a no brainer. Or, I could use ailerons and rudder as to my preference, based on my experience with the Slow Poke.

Then, I finished my Rapture 40, which Great Planes recommends for those who have "mastered" their trainers. It would fly like it's on rails, very smooth when trimmed out. But you can really see the bumps when there are gusts. One day, I was testing its slow flight capabilities by kite hovering in the wind, before I had it balanced laterally. That's when I learned to respect that bird, as I ended up with a nice bill for a prop, spinner, balsa stock, covering, epoxy, and hardware (That'll be $50.00, sir, and thanks for your business). Not to mention, I balanced the wing properly this time. It comes in hot, and I let another friend try it out, and he's a very experienced pilot. It scared him when he did one of his famous snap rolls (oh yes, it'll snap!), after which he handed the transmitter back to me. Later, he said that the Hangar-9 Funtana is a slower and more forgiving plane, and that he would not recommend this "trainer" for someone who has recently signed off their high-wing. But, he also said that he would fly the heck out of it. What can I say; not bad for my first build, eh?

With what I know, here's what I would do: Consider the Twist as your next plane after your Stick (which you recently purchased). Set the rates moderate, as per instructions. Dial in oh, say, about 35% expo or there abouts, on the elevator and ailerons. Rudder, if your radio has that capability. Practice a few hover landings with your Stick. Then, take the Twist out for a spin (and it'll do that like a fishing lure if you want, or it'll roll nice and slow, it's up to you). Then, you'll see just how versitile and fun these 3D type planes can be. Hot or mild, as to your preference. Enjoy!