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Kyosho do this ARTF kit so well. I had read other reports about this model in the modelling press and they all spoke very well of it. So when Nigel asked me what would be a good low wing trainer, on which he could move onto, the Ag-Wagon came to mind. Added to this he said we could use the plane for glider towing and it would be nice to have a quick build and scale kit and the Ag-Wagon fits both bills nicely.
Nigel put this kit together in his usual way, very accurate, straight and true. He also wanted to power it by a four stroke and for this he chose an ASP 80 FS to which he added his own design exhaust with two outlets. This does sound both quiet and realistic. By adding all this engine to the front he put the radio gear towards the back of the fuselage (a little further back than is shown on the plan), this has balanced the plane spot on the CG. He used standard Futaba servos throughout, remembering a releasable hook for glider towing so this added up to six servos. He used a six channel RX and a large mAh battery so we can tow gliders all day.
The test fight took place in late November 1999 and after the first flight which was used to find out about the stall and spin recovery characteristics the aircraft was gently put through aerobatic manoeuvres eg. Loops, rolls and stall turns. It performed all these and more with ease and flies these manoeuvres much better than it really should. If the model is flown with positive G and character ie barrel rolls, steep turns and low crop dusting runs followed by steep pull ups and reversal turns it really does look the part and gives the pilot a lot of satisfaction.
When we were happy with the flying characteristics of the plane it was time to hook up with a glider.
The glider chosen for the towing was my Pilatus B4 at 86 inch span and a little over 3 lbs in weight. The Ag-Wagon was more than capable and towed her to a good height with no trouble at all. Due to the fact that it has a four stroke in the front driving a big 13 x 6 prop you can shut the throttle put it on its nose and be back on the ground quickly as it doesn't build up speed to fast with that prop acting as a brake.
Later during the year 2000 we were able to take this aircraft to some flying and scale days where lots of people saw it in action as a tug plane. We also pulled up our 1/5 scale T21 Sedbergh which is somewhere in the 9 ½ to 10 lb weight, plus it is very draggy with all those struts and open cockpit but the Ag-Wagon coped admirably well and looked very scale to boot. This we were able to demonstrate quite a few times at the last model weekend at Old Warden in September 2000. The way she gracefully tugged the Slingsby aloft gained several admirers.
So in conclusion what are my opinions about this Kyosho master piece. Well it makes a good first scale low winger, good intermediate aerobatic plane and a great medium sized tug plane able to cope with 10 lbs plus and 3 ½ mtr sailplanes.
Nigel has just re-engined his Ag-Wagon with an OS91 four stroke and kept the CG in the same place so it has made it better for hauling into the air those 3 ½ mtr gliders.