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Hobby Lobby Pilot-1 1/8 scale Aeronca Champ

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Hobby Lobby Pilot-1 1/8 scale Aeronca Champ

Old 01-13-2009, 12:25 PM
  #1  
Jaybird
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Default Hobby Lobby Pilot-1 1/8 scale Aeronca Champ

I have the 1/8 scale electric Areonca Champ on order through my LHS. it should be in this week. I plan to use am E-Flite 450 outrunner brushless which is the same as I used in the E-Flite Taylorcraft. That is a "clipped wing" version with a 46" span and this Champ has a 52" span and about the same weight. It won't go vertical, but I don't intend to fly it that way. There is a a lot of discussion and building going on over at RCGroups but I haven't found anything here. It may be on RCUniverse, but I can't find it. The 1/4 scale version looks fantastic and if I hadn't just picked up a used BALSA USA 1/4 scale Cub, I would consider it.

Here is HL info on the 1/8 electric.

ACW800 Pilot-1 "Champ" 1/8 Scale ARF

52" wingspan, 32" long, 362 sq. in. wing area, 34 oz. flying weight. All laser cut built-up wood construction with true scale outline and proportions. A contemporary of the Piper Cub; the Champ was its biggest competitor and in many ways its superior. Like its full scale counterpart, the 1/8 scale Champ is a joy to fly, easy and relaxed. Shoot touch-and-go's, cruise around or do some lazy aerobatics, it's all in a day's work with the Champ. The model comes with all main components pre-built and pre-covered with all hinges pre-slotted and ready to glue. Landing gear is pre-bent and ready to install. Fiberglass cowl is pre-finished to match the color of the airplane. Complete step-by-step photo illustrated instructions assure that even a novice builder will be successful. Assembly will take about 6-8 hours. For 4-channel control: Ailerons (2 servos), Elevator, Rudder and Throttle.


Jaybird
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:48 PM
  #2  
Jaybird
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Default RE: Pilot-1 1/8 scale Aeronca Champ

Well my plane is built, but it took me closer to 16 hours to complete, but I'm a slow builder. I spent several hours trying to get the wing halves at the same incedence and to remove a twist and bow in the left panel. The kit seems to be well built and complete. Except for the left wing panel, everthing was ready for assembly and went together fairly well. I did have to sand the stabilizer mount to get it level with the wngs but that was part of the instructions and so wasn't a surprise. What was missing from the manual was to remove the covering on the underside of the stab for glueing to the fuse. The vertical stabilzer interlock nicely with the stab and fuse for a strong and easily aligned assembly. I had to sand the vertical stabilizer in certain places to get it to fit snug down into the horizontal stabilizer due to a slight step that was created. The hinges are glues into the main structures but left unglued on the moving parts for the assembler to do. I did find one hinge that pulled free with a light tug so I used thin CYA on all of them before assembly. The kit even includes tail wire brace fittings. I also added lite ply pieces in through the wing servo mount hatches to give the forward wing strut attachment points something solid to screw into rather than just sheet balsa. The rear point has a nice lite ply hard point built in. The new reccommended CG location seems to be 1-3/4 inch instead of 2 inches and the few that have flown it find it works better.

I'm using an E-Flite Park 450 outrunner motor, 25 amp Pro ESC, Hitec HS-55 servos, JR receiver and an APC 10 x 7 electric prop. Since we have a lot of snow I've mounted homemade skis, but the kit comes with very nice 2-1/4" diameter foam with plastic hub wheels. The landing gear is nicely detailed as well and is a fairly complicated assembly ready to mount.

I trimmed the windshield to allow it to sit at a steaper angle and closer to cabin. The stock winshield rests quite far out onto the upper fuselage and doesn't look quite right. I added an instrument panel and glare panel.

Jaybird
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:41 PM
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Default RE: Pilot-1 1/8 scale Aeronca Champ

There is a product review over on RCGroups at this thread:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=958725

Jaybird
Old 01-15-2009, 12:45 PM
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Default RE: Pilot-1 1/8 scale Aeronca Champ

Here are a couple of pictures with the stock wheels after repairs from the crash and adjusting the landing gear. I've just picked up some floats and will start fitting them up as well.

I guess I like talking to myself here.

Jaybird

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Old 01-17-2009, 11:00 PM
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Default RE: Pilot-1 1/8 scale Aeronca Champ

Well, it still took a couple of tries but I did finally get it flying today. Not the easiest little plane to handle in my opinion and it will take time to get used to it. The first take-off was just like my unintended one… pitch up, roll hard to the right and dive…no time to recover so I cut the power and watched it cartwheel through the snow. It actually stood straight up on its tail at the end and then fell forward onto the skis. The following take-offs were better as I let it lift off by itself and held it low to build up speed. It would climb okay but it has to have coordinated rudder all the time or it just wallows around like a drunk duck. It was quite a struggle in the light breeze that would kick up every once in the while and change direction too. The snow was just stiff enough to support it on take-off (sometimes) but on landing the skis would touch and the plane would start to settle and BAM! The tips dug in and prop hit and over on it’s nose and flop on it’s back.

So, I’m not too impressed with MY flying or the plane at this point. Further study and some repairs are in order.

It was nice at the KVMA field from about 2 to 3 p.m. with 16 degrees F but that wind was COLD!

Jaybird
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:17 PM
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Default RE: Pilot-1 1/8 scale Aeronca Champ

I finally had good weather and chance for a quick flight at noontime today. Light breeze running down the groomed snowmobile trail and sunny skies (almost too sunny with the white snow) and high 40's temps. With the skis on and a fresh pack (I had changed out the receiver last weekend to a four channel because I needed the six channel in another plane) I advanced the throttle and let it lift off. It took off staight into a nice steady climb with little correction. I was able to get altitude quickly and then made a few racetrack patterns to check trim. It needed some right trim, which was surprising as earlier it needed left, but it flew nice and level at just over half throttle. I tried a few stall turns and found that left turns were quicker than right ones. It is quite sensitive to aileron input (unfortunaetly I don't have differential now with a single aileron channel) but it will barrel roll now as it would not before. As I mentioned the sun was very bright and I had a hard time seeing the plane and keeping proper orientation on a couple of passes down field. I tested the stall characteristics and it will slow nicely and fly nose high, but once it breaks, if full up is held it will spin with no other input required. As soon as the back pressure is removed it will stop and can be pulled level. I was able to get it back down in the smooth groomed snow to take a breather. I took off again in just a few feet and and tried a few more maneuvers (loops, stall turns, barrel rolls) and then came back in again. It's funny how when I really try to put a plane in a certian spot I have a lot of trouble, but if I just relax and let it find it's way I have better success. As I mentioned, this plane will slow and float nose high with power, as long as you keep the wings level, and I was able to overfly the area of deep snow foot print craters (which would have been a disaster) and plop it onto the edge of the groomed trail. Whew!. Well, lunch time was over and I headed back with everything in one piece. Still not in love with this plane, but maybe in time and a few more adjustments.

Jaybird
Old 02-12-2009, 12:41 AM
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Default RE: Pilot-1 1/8 scale Aeronca Champ

Keep us posted Jaybird. It looks like a nice plane. Don't be too quick to judge your champ as
this time of the year is not the best to get to know a new bird.

Hemicuda
Old 02-23-2009, 12:03 PM
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Default RE: Pilot-1 1/8 scale Aeronca Champ

I finally got a couple of decent flights on Sunday myself off the snow with a 10 mph wind gusting to 15. We had a couple inches of fresh sticky snow so I took off from the access road with the wind blowing pretty much straight down between the plowed sides. It lifted off quickly and cleanly and climbed well at full throttle. I was able to throttle back once in the air and cruise around pretty nicely. I had recently swapped out the six channel receiver for a four channel to get another plane to have more features. Now I have the ailerons on a single channel and just a bit of mechanical differential. I set the elevator throws to the manual and put in some expo on it and the ailerons as well as ail-rudder mixing. The plane was surprisingly stable in the wind and gusty conditions. I tried a few stall turns and rolls and then a loop. I accidentally used full up on one of the downwind loops and it snap rolled hard and started to spin faster than I've seen any other of my planes. It recovered quickly after relaxing the up input but in trying to pull out of the dive it almost snapped again. I landed and reduced the max up travel and reset my dual rates and tried again. This time it was much easier to handle and full up would not induce and severe snap roll. Again it was surprisingly stable in the gusty wind and I was able to land back on the road after a good flight.

The afternoon brought 12" of fresh wet snow so it will be a while before anymore flights.

So, I'm getting better with it and I'm looking forward to Spring. I was going to try floats, but there is no good rear attachment point so I'll keep it skis and wheels for this coming season.

Jaybird

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