This Durafly Balsa Series kit features a low parts count and assembly
can be completed in an hour or two.
Two pairs of magnets, which aligned perfectly right from the factory,
hold the removable dual cockpit canopy securely in place.
right side of the cowl, a testimony to the fact that the full-scale
airplane was powered by a Menasco air-cooled, four-cylinder
This model is identified as a Plug and Fly kit, which means
that the only other items that the builder must acquire are a
minimum four-channel radio system and a 3S 2,200 mAh LiPo
battery. I recommend a different battery and will discuss that
All servos are included and preinstalled, as is a brushless
power system. The Hextronik HXT900 9-gram servos
(four) in this model are a favorite of mine because of their
dependability and price.
The first order of business when unpacking a new kit is to
inventory the parts and quickly review the assembly manual. I
was pleased to find that Durafly includes not one, but two, 10
x 6 propellers in the box. All of the components were nicely
enclosed in sealed plastic bags and were abundantly padded
with pieces of thick, white foam.
The 20-page assembly manual is brief because the bulk of
the work was completed at the factory. Large photographs
clearly illustrate the steps required to assemble the model,
while the text that accompanies the photos is terse and, at
I noticed a few wrinkles in the covering, mainly in the solid
balsa stabilizers, and spent some time making sure it was tight
The crux of assembling this quick-building kit includes
gluing the two wing halves together, attaching the fixed main
gear, installing the 10 x 6 propeller and spinner, and gluing the
horizontal and vertical stabilizers in place.
It was necessary to route the metal rudder and elevator
pushrods into the flexible pushrod sleeves that are factory
installed in the fuselage. I found that the elevator pushrod
would bind slightly, inhibiting the elevator from returning to
neutral when the stick was released. I think that the factory
may have bent the pushrod sleeve into too tight of a radius
at the aft end of the fuselage. A little graphite rubbed on the
metal pushrod helped minimize the binding.
I used five-minute epoxy to glue the two wing halves
together. A short, composite construction wing spar/joiner
adds strength to the union. The wing does not feature flaps
and they are not offered as an option.
Durafly installs the ailerons, the aileron servos, and the
pushrods at the factory. The elevator and rudder are prehinged
and preattached to the stabilizers. All of the control horns are
also factory installed.
The assembly manual suggests using thin CA adhesive when
gluing the tail surfaces in place, but I opted to use epoxy. With
its more controllable viscosity, it is worth the additional cure
time. Thin CA tends to run and I did not want to risk spoiling
the bright covering scheme.
I dry-fitted these components in place in the provided
slots at the aft end of the fuselage to check that they were
perpendicular and parallel to the rest of the airframe. There
was no need to sand the slots because the empennage fit
correctly out of the box.
The spatted, fixed landing gear assembly slipped into
slotted hardwood blocks in the wing and was secured with the
included gear straps. Before installing the propeller, it must be
reamed out so it will slip over the threaded propeller adapter.
I had an extra Tactic TR624 six-channel 2. 4 GHz SLT-compatible receiver on my bench and decided to use it in
the Ryan. This allowed me to use the new Tactic TTX650
transmitter—an attractively featured and affordable 20-model
Final assembly involves applying the included squadron/
aircraft numerical designation and the USAAC roundels. No
pilot figures are included in the kit.
Total time to get the airframe assembled was less than two
hours. The final part of the assembly involved the rigging wires.
68 Model Aviation M AY 2014