This model has certainly been around for a little while, and some of the hardware and construction techniques are not like todays "modern" foamies... BUT do not let that fool you...! I built this airframe box stock with all the included hardware, with two minor exceptions. #1) I installed a Dubro Micro Steerable Tail Wheel (Cat. No. 926) and #2) I installed the Twisted Hobbys' rear motor mount kit.
The front mount could also be used, but it just seemed a little more convenient to me to use the rear mount kit with the motor included in the Twisted Hobbys' power combo for this model. One thing to note, if using the stock motor mount, pay attention to how you install it, because it has Right Thrust built into the tabs, so pay attention to this... the Twisted Hobbys' mount does not have any built in thrust, so if you want some, just shim under the left side of the motor, which I do recommend.
The servo selection in the Twisted Hobbys combo, was also spot on. They included an oversize servo for the ailerons, this was good, as that servo has to work all four of the ailerons, and it does so without breaking a sweat.
For receiver, a Spektrum SPM4651DSMX SRXL2 Serial Telemetry Receiver with an Aura5 was used. This set up allows for some telemetry data, all the benefits of the Flex Innovations Aura5 (also available at Twisted Hobbys), AND access to all the relevant Aura data adjustments from the Spektrum transmitter..! Super nice.
The Build - as mentioned box stock build with the few exceptions noted. Most of the time I like to do the foamie builds with most of the glue joints being done with FoamTac. For this build I did use thin and medium CA for most of the build with the exception landing gear fairings and wheel pants, I did want those components to be flexible. This kit being of older vintage does use alum. control rods and stiffening rounds. You could certainly replace all these items with Carbon Fiber, but I found no reason to do so, the included alum rounds for these purposes work just fine. Another kinda old school item was the wheels, they are simply hard light weight plastic, again you could replace these with some modern wheels with foam tires, but I also found that the stock ones work just fine. The power combo recommended (motor and esc) by Twisted Hobbys for this model is the same as they recommend for their light weigh 39" mono planes, like the Flash Reloaded. A good set up, given that this plane weighs the same as the Flash. Wing incidence was really easy to set up, all that was needed was a little care in paying attention to making sure that the lower wing is fulling engaged in its fuselage saddle and that the upper wing struts are all fully engaged into their respective slots. Put everything together dry, take all your measurements to make sure the wings are perpendicular to the fuselage, etc, then hit all the joints with CA and Kicker.
Flying and Radio S/U - Maiden was a non-event, always a good thing. As mentioned, the Aura5 was used on this model. I did do the initial setup with a PC attached so that I could more easily set the Control Throw limits, but other than that, all the stock Aura5 setting were used for control throws and gyro gains. FM1 is no gyro, FM2 is medium throws and gains and FM3 is high throws and high gains. After flying a handful of times, I believe that the gains for FM3 could be raised up some. The initial flights were done with the motor mounted straight (as stock with the Twisted Hobbys rear mount kit), but I will add in some right Thrust by installing washers under the left side of the motor. With the motor straight, some rudder trim was needed, and it did fall out a little in a roll when on its left side. Inverted flight required just a little push. Knife Edge did have a little coupling, but very manageable with complete KE circuits very doable. Hovers without issue and has plenty of pull out power. Landing for this model like to be under a little power (1/4 throttle or so) and shallow decent. Under full power this plane behaves very nicely as well as at lower power settings. It can be slowed down to a crawl easily and is fun to bring to a full forward stop in a little head wind.
Conclusion / Comments - I went into the project knowing that this was an old school kit, and thought it was worthy of an electronics upgrade. The motor, esc and servos in the Twisted Hobbys power combo are a perfect match for this model, and the addition of an Aura5 and the mini SRXL2 receiver were the icing on the cake. This model looks spectacular in the air, and your flying buddies will surely come over and comment to you after they see it fly. With the configuration of the landing gear, it is best to take off and land from a smoother surface. It could however be hand launched without issue and "flopped" down for landing if flying off a grassy surface. At first the landing gear seems a little "short", and maybe it is compared to the full-scale counterpart, but once fully assembled and in the air, it looks and feels just fine.
I look forward to flying and having fun with this model much more in the coming months.