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This kit was provided by The Balsa Cabin, Maldon, Essex.
On opening the small box I was confronted by a clear plastic moulded canopy and various sheets of ¼ balsa. Some of these were already cut to shape to form the wing, rudder and tail plane. Other sheets formed the fuselage sides, top decking and under sides. Together with a diagram sheet, list of contents, and one sheet of instructions and various accessories, including spinner and torque rods for the ailerons, this completed the package.
The instructions were adequate but not intensive but fine if you have previous experience with model making. Not a kit for the complete beginner.
Construction progressed quickly. I started by assembling the wing and tail plane on a flat board. This entailed sticking the various pieces of shaped balsa together to form a swept back wing and swept back tail. When this had dried I moved onto the fuselage. This was a basic box construction but it was important to make sure that all the joints were sound especially the fillets in the corners as this is where their strength lies.
The next task was to dry fit the ailerons and trailing edge making sure that the torque rods were carefully fitted and greased. I then moved onto the tail plane again taking care that the torque rods ( control horns are supplied with the kit) for actuating the elevators were soundly fitted and greased. Once everything was dried it was time to get out my razor plane and start to make shavings by shaping the wing to achieve a symmetrical aerofoil profile and the fuselage rounded corners.
When the model is nicely shaped you need to make two hatches. One in the front of the wing and the other behind the wing. These will be for the fuel tank hatch and the radio hatch. The throttle snake was then fitted to the sides of the fuselage, through the bulk head into the aircraft and back into the radio bay.
The engine, an OS 32 FX, was fitted onto the engine mount which was then fitted to the bulk head using rubber raw plugs (obtainable from B & Q). This gave a soft mount to the engine and helped with noise reduction.
A spinner was fitted and the engine cowl built around using the balsa supplied. Again using a razor plane and sandpaper this was shaped and blended into the fuselage. With the shaping finished I covered the fuselage, wing, tail plane and control surfaces using a grey Profilm.
Assembling the wing, tail plane and fin to the fuselage was done using a slow setting epoxy making sure that everything was square. The model was then left over night to set.
Now it was time to fit the ailerons and elevators taking care that the hinges were sound. Servos were fitted in the rear compartment together with battery and receiver. This all balances out the engine at the front. After joining the ailerons, elevator and throttle to the servos I found that the model balanced in the correct C of G position and therefore didn't require any further ballast.
A cockpit was added from my 'spares' box as I didn't like the shape of the one supplied with the kit.
With the engine bay painted and fuel proofed I then plumbed the engine to the fuel tank which is located in the front access hole.
As the aircraft was looking a little 'grey' I added lots of camouflage by using patches of cream and brown profilm and insignia from red profilm. The whole model was then dusted with a matt fuel proof using my spray gun. The final result was a 'plane which looked very much like a MIG 21.
The test flight went well. The Demon certainly is fast. Loops can be made very big. Rolls are axial and the stall is very friendly allowing the approach to be made at a reasonable speed. Landings need to be planned a little more than with a Sport Plane as you need to kill the engine at about 5' and belly land onto the grass. One of the most impressive manoeuvres so far is a slow run with the nose held high and then open up the throttle and accelerate vertically rolling until the model is a small dot in the sky. Caution must always be used when flying this model as it becomes a very small speck very very quickly and orientation becomes a problem.
On the whole I would recommend this model for intermediate flyers and builders.
|Wing Span||85 cm||(33")|
|Weight||1.43 kg||(3 1.4 lbs)|
|Powered by||OS 32 FX||(.25/.46 2 stroke)|
|Propeller||APC 9 x 7|