The amount of detail can include just an instrument panel and a pilot figure or a completely detailed replica of the full-size counterpart. Scale competitions like the Top Gun Invitational are great opportunities to see firsthand beautiful models that include panel lines, rivets, weathering, fully concealed control linkages, hidden switches, finely detailed cockpits, and much more! Such detail serves as a source of inspiration, which brings us to my current project.
Recently, I purchased a 1/4-scale Super Decathlon originally built by my friend John Wood. John incorporated scale features like a hinged door and window, rib stitching, navigation and landing lights, and a full interior. Since the aircraft was built some time ago, I installed a new engine and changed the servo, battery, switch, and wiring installations, so all components would be hidden to keep the scale features unique and unblemished.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
It is important to first decide what components will be used and how much detail will go into the aircraft. You need to carefully examine the space that’s available for mounting your RC gear, fuel tanks, etc., before starting your project. In addition, you’ll need to keep an eye on equipment placement as for a proper center of gravity. While it may not always be possible to hide every single component, visible RC hardware should be kept to a minimum.
On a giant-scale gasser of this size, redundancy is important. Therefore, I use two switches, two voltage regulators, and two LiPo battery packs to power my receiver. The Decathlon has a total of seven servos, so I decided to use a Spektrum 9-channel receiver powered by two 2000mAh packs and two Spektrum VR6010 voltage regulators. A third 2000mAh 2S LiPo pack is used to power the ignition module for the Zenoah G-38 engine. I also used an engine choke servo so I wouldn’t have any mechanical levers on the exterior of the model.
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