The electric retracts feature inner and outer doors as well as strut covers. The landing gear wells
are factory painted.
The author glued small disc magnets to the plastic cannon barrels to make them removable.
scrap piece of sheet plastic. The plastic is
glued into place just behind the battery
tray. The receiver and control box attach
using self-adhesive hook-and-loop tape.
The stock power system for the
Bearcat includes a 540 Kv brushless
motor, 60-amp ESC, and a 12 x 7 four-blade propeller. The propeller must be
assembled, but it goes together easily. I
was surprised that the propeller did not
require balancing and it ran smoothly.
Access to the battery tray and radio
gear is provided via a magnetically
secured hatch just forward of the canopy.
The elevator servo, rudder servo, and ESC
are located below a plywood battery tray.
The servos are accessible with the tray in
place; however, the tray is easy to remove
and its absence makes servo adjustments
The battery is secured in place with a
meaty hook-and-loop strap. A swatch of
rubbery nonslip material is provided to
keep the battery from sliding fore and aft.
I tacked the swatch to the plywood tray
using a small dab of Goop adhesive on
each corner. The overall retention system
works great and battery removal is much
easier compared with my usual method
of using hook-and-loop tape between the
battery and airframe.
Another scale feature of the Bearcat is
a set of faux 20mm cannon barrels that
can be inserted into the wing. They look
great, but I was convinced that I would
quickly break them if they were glued
into place. I was also concerned that they
would fall out and get lost if I didn’t
secure them somehow.
I solved this dilemma by gluing 1/8-inch
diameter disc magnets to the inside end
of each barrel using thick CA glue. I also
glued a mating magnet to the base of
each socket in the wing. This allows me
to install the barrels at the field and pop
them back out for storage and transport.
Two additional magnets glued to the
underside of the battery hatch provide a
convenient place to stow the dismounted
There are no instructions for applying
the vinyl markings. It is a time-consuming
process, but easy to do. Rough cut the
selected decal and remove only the paper
backing. With the decal still attached
to the clear top sheet, apply the self-adhesive vinyl to the model. When the
decal is in place, you can peel away
the clear cover sheet. You’re left with
semigloss markings that conform well to
The manual provides suggested throws
for all of the control surfaces. Aileron
and flap movement posed no problems.
In order to get the indicated amount
of high-rate throw on the rudder and
elevator, I moved the clevises to the
inner location on their respective control
horns. I also increased servo travel using
the dual-rate menu on the Futaba 14SG
transmitter (125% for rudder; 135% for
I originally set up my Bearcat to fly
with a FlightPower 4S 3,350 30C LiPo
battery. With this battery fully forward,
I had to add 1. 5 ounces of ballast to
the front lip of the cowling to get the
indicated center of gravity (CG).
I have since flown with batteries
ranging in capacity from 3,000 mAh to
5,000 mAh. All of them worked well.
When using the larger packs, I locate
them slightly rearward to maintain the
Flying the Bearcat
Some warbirds can be a handful to
get off of the ground, so I steeled myself
for a tricky maiden flight takeoff roll.
The actual departure turned out to be a
nonevent. I gradually added power. The
Bearcat required little rudder correction
and it quickly reached flying speed. All
of my subsequent takeoffs have been
Retracting the landing gear significantly
cleans up the Bearcat’s profile. The gear
quickly cycles up and down. One of the
spring-loaded inner gear doors on my unit
61 Model Aviation APRIL 2017 www.ModelAviation.com