Monday, August 10, 2009


GWS has a few planes that I would suggest as a first plane for anyone looking to start flying the fighters. I prefer the GWS kits because of their affordability and the fact that you can easily find replacement parts. They look true to scale and are available pre-painted or white. I like the white versions so I can base the paint scheme on a truly historic squadron of pilots. The PT 17 Stearman is a great first trainer with stable flight characteristics that has a rich history. Many advanced modelers choose to fly it over their more challenging warbirds. The PT 17 can be flown with the stock brushed motor that it comes with or be upgraded to a brushless 370 or 400 class motor. With the 400 class, I can get 10 or more minutes of flight time and have plenty of power to pull some aerobatic maneuvers. The PT 17 maneuvers slow so make sure you have plenty of altitude before you put it through its paces. The model is designed to be flown gentle, so if you plan on flying super aerobatics with it you will have some reinforcing to do. If you intend to fly scale with some basic maneuvers this is a great kit to start with. In building a GWS kit the assumption is that you have some building experience (or willingness) and maybe some leftover parts from an earlier trainer. Unless of course you are willing to start from scratch. The directions are easy to understand and once you have done one GWS kit you basically have done them all. All their kits are essentially put together the same way and utilize the same parts tree for the little plastic parts. Be careful to achieve the correct center of gravity. I always aim for a little nose heaviness especially at first. Practice your landings up high by decreasing throttle or cutting it completely and see how she'll glide. Get comfortable with it and practice making a good landing approach into the wind. Right before your wheels touch, cut the throttle and flair slowly. On the grass, be prepared to nose over. Try to land where the grass is thin. Congrats you have advanced to a T 6.

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