I have had this model for over a year but have only just got around to flying the maiden. A combination of last year’s incessant bad weather, electronic glitches and my own nervousness following one or two ‘eventful’ maidens on other models had been putting me off. As it turned out, the maiden was a complete non-event after a few clicks of trim she was flying beautifully and instantly became my new favourite plane.

The model itself is an ARTF produced by Flight-Model and sold by Staufenbeil in Germany, who made my decision to purchase easy by offering free shipping to the UK. The airframe components are nicely constructed in a traditional combination of lite ply, balsa and Oracover film. The design is intended for electric power only and has it been constructed correspondingly light with a wing loading of around 21 oz per sq ft.

The basic particulars are:
Wingspan: 222cm (87 inches)
Wing area: 70dm2 (7.5 sq ft)
Length: 143cm (56 inches)
Flying weight: 4.5kg (159 oz)

The build was straight forward, the only real complication being finding space in the house big enough to assemble it! My usual building room is only 6 inches wider than the model’s wingspan meaning that if was impossible to get the wings on over the wing tube so final stages of the build were done in the spare bedroom.

Propulsion is provided by a 6s LiPo and an Eflite Power 60 turning a 16×8 prop, giving around 5kg of thrust and 1000 watts of power at full throttle. I fitted high torque digital metal gear full size servos (TowerPro). Receiver power comes from the ESC’s in built BEC (Castle Creations 100 Amp). To provide some redundancy to the receiver power, I have fitted a Scorpion Backup Guard. This is a neat little device that monitors the receiver voltage and incorporates it’s own battery which will kick in in the event of failure of the main supply, hopefully preventing any chance of losing control.

The model’s flying characteristics are very docile making this a relaxing and enjoyable model to fly. The light wing loading and ample power combine to make the take off easy, full throttle will see the model airborne after a few feet so throttle moderation is required for a more scale-like take off!

As is typical of these high wing types, rudder is needed in the turns to stop the tail from dropping. This could be mixed in on the radio but I prefer to add rudder manually. The relatively large control surfaces mean there is plenty of authority and mild aerobatics are certainly within the model’s capabilities. Flight times of over 15 minutes are possible on a 5000mAh battery so there is plenty of time in the air to practice these manoeuvres, or just stooge around doing nice scale like passes. Landings are again helped by the low wing loading and the model can be slowed right up for a gentle touch down.

The Taylorcraft is a lovely looking plane, the lines of which are captured well by this model. The larger size of the model certainly gives it presence both on the ground and in the air. Electric models of this size are still relatively uncommon and I have received a few surprised comments from people expecting to find one of those noisy IC engines under the cowl!