A curved firewall
permits thrust angle
loosening two screws.
An ElectriFly 3S 2,200 mAh LiPo battery provides flight times averaging approximately six minutes.
I added a hook-and-loop strap to securely hold the battery in place.
smear a small amount of threadlocker
to the female threads of the yoke. The
purpose of this unusual method is
to avoid getting any threadlocker on
the plastic spinner. My first spinner
became brittle and crumbled in areas
that had been contaminated with the
threadlocker I used (Permatex Blue
#24200). I’ve had no more problems
since by keeping the plastic clean.
Flying the Rapide
The manual indicates an exceptionally
wide center of gravity (CG) range
for this model (30%-43% Mean
Aerodynamic Chord). After numerous
flights, I’ve settled on approximately
35% (25/8 inches behind the leading
edge) as my preferred balance point.
Experiment and see what suits you.
Launching the Rapide is easy. I am
unable to get a good grip under the wing
for a traditional overhand throw, so I
prefer to grab the fuselage just behind
the wing and use an underhand launch.
The power system can lift the airplane
vertically out of your hand if you want it
to—simply power up and go.
How you fly the Rapide is up to you.
You can certainly follow the classic
path of a powered glider with a zoom
climb, followed by a thermal-searching
glide back down. This model has a
great climb rate at full power. After you
reach altitude and chop the throttle, the
propeller will fold back to reduce drag.
Another alternative is to fly the
Rapide like a sport airplane. It is fun
just cruising around, even at low power
settings. The airplane can carve its way
through a wide range of four-channel
aerobatics. There is plenty of power and
control authority for loops and rolls.
Even with high rates, these maneuvers
are more graceful than snappy.
The Rapide is capable of sustained
inverted flight, but it requires a healthy
application of down-elevator. Less
elevator is required with the CG
positioned more rearward. The only
maneuvers where this airplane struggles
are those requiring a powerful rudder.
My Hammerheads and stall turns
are sloppy, and knife-edge flight is
completely off the menu.
More often than not, I combine
gliding and sport flying in the same
Model type: Aerobatic powered glider
Skill level: Intermediate
Wingspan: 60 inches
Wing area: 364 square inches
Length: 42. 5 inches
Radio system: Tactic TTX850 2. 4 GHz
transmitter; Tactic TR625
Power system 950 Kv outrunner brushless
(included): motor; 13. 5 x 7 folding
propeller; 40-amp ESC; four
Power output: 41. 2 amps; 461 watts; 188
watts per pound
Flying weight: 2. 5 pounds
Wing loading: 15. 6 ounces per square foot
Components Four-plus-channel radio
needed to system; 3S 2,200 mAh LiPo
complete: battery and charger; basic
flying area: Club field
Flight time: 6 to 7 minutes
• Quick assembly and durable construction.
• Slop-free control linkages.
• Strong climbs and smooth aerobatics.
• Aileron servos susceptible to damage.
AT A GLANCE ...
Photos by the author
57 Model Aviation MAY 2017 www.ModelAviation.com