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Old 03-08-2009, 06:10 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Default RE: Great Planes Escapade .40 ARF

I finished building my Escapade last night and took her out for the maiden today.

Mods I added some plywood to both the wing index and the main wheel spars (under the fuel tank tray). I also added 2 braces between the wing index and main wheel spars. I used epoxy to fuel proof the area in around the fuel tank including the mods I just mentioned. I also used epoxy to glue the main wing together. I wicked CA into all of the hinges as a precaution although as I mentioned in an earlier post I could see the CA around each hinge when I inspected the plane out of the box. I should have taken pictures during the build but I got so obsessed with finishing the plane that I never remembered to pick up the camera.

Equipment My plane is powered by a Thunder Tiger 46 Pro with APC 11x7. I used dual aileron servos (Futaba 3004's I think). A 2500ma 4 cell NiMH battery (4.8 volt) mounted under the receiver. I needed a one ounce Harry Higley prop nut to balance the plane. I used all of the hardware that came with the kit except I used metal clevis's instead of the stock plastic ones and I used z bends instead of those 90 degree plastic things.

I'm new to flying RC. I built a Great Planes Trainer 60 kit about 12 years ago and never flew the plane. It sat in my garage unused with all my RC stuff that I purchased from back then. I started flying the last week of December 08 until now. I started flying an old Nexstar hand-me-down plane given to me from one of the guys at my club, with all the equipment I just put in the Escapade. I flew the Nexstar for 1.5 months. It was heavy from previous crashes but good to learn on. I currently fly the GP Trainer 60 that I built ages ago and now the Escapade. The GP Trainer 60 is fast but also heavy. I need to weigh it again but if feels like 7 or 8 lbs. It has a symmetrical wing and was considered an intermediate trainer back when they were selling it.

Back to the Escapade. I really like this plane. I setup the plane with high rate throws and setup my radio for dual rate on ailerons (75%) and elevator (80%). The Escapade feels really nimble in the air. I flew 4 flight today each one using about 3/4 tank of fuel. It was comfortable looping, rolling and flying inverted. I learned how to snap roll the plane and did quite a few of those today. My first attempt gave me 2 snap rolls in a flash. After that I would do at least 3 snap rolls at a time. Lets go back to my first flight today. I flew the plane about 3/4 throttle most of the flight. I used full throttle a couple of times while listening for flutter. I didn't hear any. A few rolls and loops during the first flight but I took it easy. The plane lands really easy no issues landing except I need to agree with the earlier post about the tail wheel. It handles a little twitchy on the ground due to the tail wheel. Keep in mind this is my first tail dragger and it could be me at this point but it might be worth trying a different tail wheel. I inspected the tail assembly after every flight and I didn't see any problems with the elevator wire or any stress on the tail what so ever. The rest of the flights were flown at 3/4 throttle and powered back on dives (quick on dives but not flat out). For me this plane is really easy to land. I've flown every weekend this year and today was the most fun thanks to this plane and the tips from all who have added to this thread.

ptuxbury you mentioned that your tail assemble moves with the higher rates. I had problems at first getting my stabalizer to index into the elevator assemble. The first time I installed them they wouldn't go all the way together. I pulled them apart, cleaned the area where the stabalizer fits into the elevator (there was some glue from the factory getting in the way). Once I cleaned the glue drips out the tail went together straight and strong.