Next Project:... Intern 66 Balsa Kit

Posted on 12/10/2009 10:47:33 AM
Author: rafe

I wonder if I'm approaching RC burnout?  I had a lot of trouble deciding on my next plane.  Some of the candidates...
  • Mountain Models Firestorm -- a beautiful, big pattern plane from a top-notch kit vendor
  • Nitroplanes PBY Cataliina -- good for snow, eh?  Big.  Cheap ($45) foam airframe
    ($80 as brushed-motor RTF, $140 as brushless RTF)
  • Great Planes PBY Catalina -- Not too $$.  Covered balsa wings, fiberglass fuselage.  Beautiful scale detail, but a bit on the heavy side (relatively high wing loading.)
  • Electro Stick -- big, cheap, but not "light"
I wasn't sure I was up for a big build project.  Takeoff/landing on snow would be useful, at least for the next few months.... but one can always bolt on a pair of DuBro skis and fly almost any plane that way.  (The boys at the BRCF club do that with their big nitro trainers.)

Size matters, I guess.  I've been wanting a plane around 50" wingspan.  Something with enough size and heft that it won't be grounded in a 12 mph breeze.  My biggest plane so far is that baby-blue 'Blitz' with a 44 inch wingspan (and about 14 oz. all-up weight.)

In the end, I decided on "none of the above."  An outfit called Radical RC sells all sorts of balsa kits.  One of their newest is called the Intern 66.  Yep, that 66 is the wingspan, in inches, so this plane will have a wingspan exceeding my height.  The very nice part of this plane is that it's very light for its size, so I'm expecting an easy, docile flyer.  All-up weight is given as 3 to 4 pounds.  I figure it should fly nicely on 600 watts or so.  (As opposed to that 3400 watt motor on Fettah's 72 inch trainer.)

Anyway, here's the pic from the website....

Apparently it can be built with "your choice" of wing dihedral.  The model in the foreground has 5o  dihedral; the one behind it has 1o dihedral.

The kit should arrive within a week or so... just in time for a "forced vacation" between Xmas and New Years. I don't intend to rush the build -- I'll be happy if the plane is ready to fly by the end of January or so.

I'll document the build in this blog.  Stay tuned.


Chip on 12/11/2009 12:13:02 PM wrote:
Very cool. Is it a kit, kit? As in putting together each piece of balsa?

rafe on 12/11/2009 2:03:10 PM wrote:
Yep, a balsa kit. Not an ARF. I just got the shipping notice.

Fettah on 12/12/2009 8:55:26 AM wrote:
What color(s) are you planning to cover it? Are you getting the power equipment and servos from Hobby King or name-brand sources? I look forward to see it in the air.

rafe on 12/12/2009 1:46:17 PM wrote:
I haven't gotten as far as colors yet, Fettah. Got any ideas? I suck at decorating my planes.

The guts were all ordered from Hobby City yesterday evening. It will fly on 3S/5000 (I ordered a couple of those.) The motor is good for about 500 watts. ESC is 50/60A. Prop will be 12x8 - 13x8 for starters.

Alex on 12/12/2009 4:43:20 PM wrote:
Nice looking plane Rafe, should be a good bird. I'm thinking I need a winter project as well, I like the idea of a kit to avoid the cookie cutter look but I don't have work area at my small apartment to really tackle a kit. Tools and skills are in short supply as well. Well come to think of it, I have my Align T-Rex 500 as my winter project. Looking forward to your build write up and review of the kit and flying qualities once built. Good on ya mate!

Chip on 12/12/2009 5:53:16 PM wrote:
I like that White/Red color scheme in the photo, very Coast Guard and good contrast. Blue and orange are always good too.

I'm horrible with color selection as well, but I use a cool site to help with contrasting (but complimenting) colors:

On the top left, click Complement [sic] or Triad then pick your base color on the wheel and it will pop in the rest of the colors you should use in the top right section.

After you submit your post, an email with a verification link will be sent to you to activate your email address. You will only have to do this once. Your post(s) will not show up until you click this link.

Display Name:  
Email Address: (not displayed)  

Use [img]URL[/img] to embed an image in your post.