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Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Old 10-14-2014, 11:49 AM
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Last edited by lumpy649; 10-14-2014 at 11:51 AM. Reason: double post
Old 10-14-2014, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by picard1
What updates have you made to the kit/plans?
Very minimal, almost not worth mentioning. The basic design is unchanged. As mentioned, the kit will now come with a 60 oz tank (instead of the 50 oz tank of earlier runs). There's a new, beefier hatch latch that will be shown on the plans. The instructions were written about ten years ago and a lot has changed in the RC and turbine world since then. Some of the pics show out-dated equipment, but hopefully the information is still applicable. Honestly, most of the changes to the book are related to the new computer and software I'm using now. Page formatting and fonts required fixing - sounds like dumb stuff, but it's important to me.
Old 10-15-2014, 03:22 PM
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Hope they are available before the snow starts to fall. That way I can have all winter to build.
Old 10-29-2014, 07:59 AM
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Time for new landing gear.
My wing is built with Robart retracts and struts.
I am tired of bending the struts on our very rough grass field.
Last weekend I landed softer than you could set the plane down by hand and still bent a strut enough for it to not retract fully into the wheel well on the next flight.
I bend at least one set of gear every year.
By the time I shorten the Robart struts enough to get the correct length, there is just not much spring travel left.
Does anyone know of a trailing link strut that will fit into the same gear cutout in the wing that will work good with the R54. Mine is a little on the heavy side.
Old 10-29-2014, 08:15 AM
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Here is the official announcement that I sent out a few days ago to eager builders on my notify-when-ready email list. Orders have been brisk, thank you all!

*******************************************


Hello Reactionaries,

It has taken me far too long to get these kits made, but they're finally ready. Wish I could explain why it takes so much time, but the simple answer is there are just a heck of a lot of logistics associated with a kit like this. A surprising amount of time and effort is needed not only for the wood parts, but the printed instruction book, plan updates, retract packages, wheels and brakes, mounting brackets, hardware packs, boxes, labels, and the list goes on. Quite a challenge for a one-man operation, but I love every minute of it and I hope that translates into the final product.

There were only a couple of minor changes to the kit. It now comes with a stronger, all-metal hatch latch and the fuel tank was upgraded from 50 oz. to 60 oz. There is also a new retract package featuring easy-to-install electric retracts from Robart. The actual airframe remains unchanged - it has proven itself since its introduction nearly ten years ago to be a rugged design that's easy to build and exciting to fly. And since you build it yourself, it provides a level of pride and satisfaction that no ARF can touch.

The plan is to start packing kits on Monday morning, and shipping kits that afternoon or Tuesday. If you would like to order, you can do it on the phone or by using PayPal. I'm happy to send you a PayPal invoice to make ordering easy, just send me an email list of what you want. If you call and I'm not there, please leave your name and number and I will call you back. That goes for questions before, during, and after the sale - I'm always happy to help. And don't worry about missing out on a kit if you want to think about it for a while. I cut a big batch, and they should remain in stock for months to come. How's that for a hard sell?

To refresh your memory about the Reaction 54 kit and learn more about the new electric retracts, pricing, turbine combo deals, and much more, please visit the freshly-updated R54 webpage at http://www.btemodels.com/r54.html And whether you have been waiting for this announcement for a few months or just a few days, thank you so much for your patience. In a perfect world I would keep all of my kits in stock at all times, and I'm working hard to get there.

Thanks again,

Bruce Tharpe
Rogue River, Oregon
1-800-557-4470 (US, Canada, Caribbean)
1-541-582-1708

Last edited by BruceTharpe; 10-29-2014 at 08:17 AM.
Old 10-29-2014, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by flyinfool1
Time for new landing gear.
My wing is built with Robart retracts and struts.
.
Do you use Robostruts?
Old 10-29-2014, 07:09 PM
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Bench is clean, tools sharp, wren on the test stand. Just waiting for the big box from Oregon!

Les
Old 10-29-2014, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by lhatton
Bench is clean, tools sharp, wren on the test stand. Just waiting for the big box from Oregon!

Les
The funny thing is that Bruce manages to fit all that wood in a box that's pretty small if he's still packing it the same way when I got mine. He packs it like a puzzle. Once you take a few parts out, you can't get them back in the right way to close the box.
Old 10-30-2014, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by flyinfool1
Time for new landing gear.
My wing is built with Robart retracts and struts.
I am tired of bending the struts on our very rough grass field.
Last weekend I landed softer than you could set the plane down by hand and still bent a strut enough for it to not retract fully into the wheel well on the next flight.
I bend at least one set of gear every year.
By the time I shorten the Robart struts enough to get the correct length, there is just not much spring travel left.
Does anyone know of a trailing link strut that will fit into the same gear cutout in the wing that will work good with the R54. Mine is a little on the heavy side.
The Prolinks from DreamworksRC have been great for me. For some reason I had a heck of a time learning to land the Reaction 54 softly. No clue why, its a beautiful plane to fly. The Prolinks held up amazingly. And now that I am landing the jet correctly they are even better.

http://www.dreamworksrc.com/catalog/Pro-Link

There are several places in this thread that discusses then Pro-links.

Don
Old 10-30-2014, 05:40 AM
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Dreamworks' website says the struts are for the Reaction ARF. Do they also fit without modification on the kit built version?
Old 10-30-2014, 05:49 AM
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I have built three wings for my R-54 over the seven years I have been flying it. One with the original wire gear which I changed over to Robart Robo Struts. Another with Robo struts and the third with Pro Link trailing link struts. Unfortunately the Pro Links will not fit in the wells built for Robo struts. The trailing link requires that the well for the wheel be positioned rearward to allow for the rearward rake of the wheel and lower strut link.

After many botched landings I have put 1/4" of crow in my R-54. What a difference. My experience, or lack of, has taught me that you can land with little or no bounce if you set up your approach properly and "don't let the plane land". That works, but crow gives you that extra little bit of assistance to keep the plane on the ground.

Last edited by Square Nozzle; 10-30-2014 at 05:51 AM.
Old 10-30-2014, 06:52 AM
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I have the Robart #670 Robo Strut for my main gear.

The only bouncing I get is from terrain. I get the same bouncing into the air on the takeoff run. You have to be really on your toes during take off run to make sure you get it back down quick until it actually has enough airspeed to be flying. The radar gun has clocked me as low as 18 MPH just before touchdown.

I'll do some measuring to see if those Dreamworks will fit or can be modified to fit.
Old 10-30-2014, 07:42 AM
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I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem to relocate the wheel well during construction for trailing link struts. I'm disappointed in the Prolinks on my Falcon 120. I had to replace them after 100+ flights. Now I'm up to 225 flights and these are showing their wear. Sure, I've bounced a few landings but the springs stretch easily and they are pretty loose at the knee joint. I just ordered a kit and am thinking about using the Robart knee action struts. Has anyone had experience with them?
Old 11-05-2014, 12:58 AM
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Hi!
Had 5 flights yesterday with GPS telemetry onboard. In no wind condition, Max speed level flight was 288km/(178mph), and slowest with full flap/gear down 35km/h(22mph).
Engine is a VT-80, amazing speedrange!!

regards from Svenn, Norway
Old 11-07-2014, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceTharpe
Yeah, John, I knew there would be guys "bummed" about not being able to bolt on a 18lb (or bigger) turbine, but I will have to live with that. I hope to be selling this kit ten years from now, and expect turbines to continually creep up in power. You are already seeing it in the 54 class. The norm used to be 11-12 lb, now it's 13-14. Wren is talking 18lb with its Mark III. Sorry, I have no plans on doing a larger version of the model.

Matt, no structural mods need to made as far as I can tell. On the Reaction 54, the turbine hangs externally from the fuselage tail boom, and the front of the engine is actually above the trailing edge of the wing to protect it from FOD. That vertical space was sized for the 54 class turbines, but there's just enough room for a P-70. The P70 is just a little heavier than the typical 54-class turbine, which means you have the extra weight of the turbine plus extra balance weight in the nose. It will probably require a custom mounting bracket which is not too big of a deal.

Ultimately, I think the P-60 is going to become a very popular choice for this bird.

Bruce Tharpe - BTE
Congrats Bruce! 10 years on and you ARE still making the kits :-)
I can't think of higher praise than that!
Old 11-08-2014, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by highhorse
Congrats Bruce! 10 years on and you ARE still making the kits :-)
I can't think of higher praise than that!
Very cool!

PaulD
Old 11-08-2014, 11:52 PM
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Thanks guys, but what is really cool is this amazing thread and all of the input and support from the Reaction family over the last 10 years. This was driven home over the past couple of days because I've been combing through the last four years of posts in order to update the Reaction 54 Thread Index on my website. In case you have not stumbled across it yet, the Thread Index is a list of direct links to what I consider the most interesting and helpful posts in this thread, organized into several categories. Here's the link:

http://www.btemodels.com/r54threadindex.html

What is really humbling is the first category, Photos of Finished Models. What an amazing collection of jets, all R54's under the skin, but since they were all hand-crafted and finished by their builders, they are all unique in their own special way. You should all be proud of your efforts and I can't thank you enough.
Old 11-09-2014, 09:09 AM
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Bruce, I've always tried to adhere to the old adage "Do it right the first time". You did it right the first time and it shows by the R-54 following you have. I have several jets in my stable but when I go to a jet rally, you can be sure my R-54 is in the truck. I've had more than the average pilots share of issues with landing because the R-54 loves to fly so much that it doesn't want to land and I love to fly it. Thanks for a great, fun, airplane.
Old 11-09-2014, 01:39 PM
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I just got my R54 kit from Bruce. It looks like it's going to be a fun project and a fun airplane. It's also amazing how far turbine technology has advanced in the last 10 years. Manufacturers are now getting up to 24 lbs. out of a 54 sized turbine. Kero start and integral solenoids simplify the installation. I'm planning on putting my Merlin 90 in mine. At 21.5 lbs. it should go like heck.

Joe
Old 11-09-2014, 08:09 PM
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Just for reference: 10 years ago the hot new engine was a P-60, a Futaba 9C was plenty of radio, and there were posts in the thread about where to run antennas :-)
Old 11-29-2014, 05:29 PM
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Can anyone tell me what trailing link struts to use with the Robart gear? Thanks in advance!
Old 11-30-2014, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by hollywood_07
Can anyone tell me what trailing link struts to use with the Robart gear? Thanks in advance!
These may work with mods to the wheel well opening:
http://robart.com/collections/robost...ut-3-wheel-max
Old 11-30-2014, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by hollywood_07
Can anyone tell me what trailing link struts to use with the Robart gear? Thanks in advance!
Just curious why you want the trailing links on the Reaction?
Old 11-30-2014, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by afterburner
Just curious why you want the trailing links on the Reaction?
one word: Grass
Old 11-30-2014, 12:18 PM
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A word about trailing link gear on the R-54. I had Pro Link trailing links on my R-54 and found that if you screw up a landing, which will happen, the gear will create a rearward twisting moment on the wing structure and increase the possibility of wing structure damage. Visualize the wheel being behind the strut vertical axis. When the lower link reacts to the landing load, the load transfer to the gear mount wants to pull the strut rearward. With a straight strut, the landing load goes straight up the strut to the mount. On a rough grass surface the same thing happens, only to a lesser degree.

Last edited by Square Nozzle; 11-30-2014 at 12:22 PM.

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