Scale Aviator International Magazine Issue 3 | Page 22

mal things you do like recheck the centre of gravity (CG) with fuel on board. Make sure the throws are per the instructions, controls move in the correct direction smoothly, etc. The retracts worked like a dream and are directly from Hangar 9. These are Robart gear, but specifically designed for this airplane and only available from Horizon Hobby. They fit nicely and have tabs on the struts to easily attach the gear doors. The maiden flight was fairly uneventful. I rotated at about half throttle, pulled the gear up and after one or two trim passes it was grooving like it was on rails. Flying on low rates it is smooth as silk and very scale. If there were any changes due to the additional weight they were all positive. It flies steady and true at all speeds and is particularly stable in fly past and dirty passes. In fact I was quite surprised how stable it was on the first dirty pass with gear extended and flaps at 100%. Opening the cowl flaps and canopy only slow it down a little more, it’s still solid and stable. Just for the record, this engine is not out of the box stock. Right out of the box I took the new engine apart and replaced the factory piston ring with one made by Frank Bowman and followed an article of his to dress the reed block. He claims better compression and quicker break in with his rings. They are softer than the factory rings and made to much closer tolerances. These features improved compression right from the first flip and break in was unbelievably quick. Tuning the engine to the same slightly rich setting each time. The needles needed to be adjusted almost every one of the first half dozen flights and twice more over the next 10 as the engine broke in. I still have some of the two gallons of break in fuel left and usually I go through 4-6 gallons before the tune holds steady and I make the switch to synthetic. My biggest concerns were how the cowl flaps and the canopy were going to stand up. I’m quite pleased with the results and last time out was comfortable enough to try a dirty pass with everything hanging out, gear down, full flap (45 deThe DLE 55RA provides tons of power and easily grees), landing light extended, cowl flaps full open cruises at 1/3 throttle. and canopy open, it was amazingly slow and rock Without question this is the most complex model solid. I’ve built to date and has been quite reliable so far. After 16 flights the engine was ready to come off There’s a fun time ahead to this bird, it looks great the break in mix and run full synthetic oil. In fact and flies even better and that’s adding the addi10 flights since the retune when I switched to syn- tional 5 pounds of detail and ballast. thetic the carb has not required any adjustments. Beginning another scale flight at Wings over Chino On final approach, three in the green, flaps at 35%. One of many great solid flights. scale event. I must admit, this Jug draws a lot of attention wherever I go. 22