Cessna 40

Mike Baillie

Always fancied trying at this.....so I nearly did!

Having spent many happy hours "improving" my ARTF kit to bring some realistic hope of survival to the first few flights, I was almost desperate to get my Cessna 40 into the air.

Six months earlier, (young family!) John Barnes had been press ganged into the role of technical helpline for the assembly and as such had to be the man at the sticks for the first flight! I didn't know any better so his "Mode One" (whatever that is) didn't even confuse things.

The big day arrived and after loading all the essentials except for more clothing, we trogged off to the widest open space possible for the inaugural flight.

Setting up servos / control surfaces was trouble free, and after some double checking I successfully hand launched my pride and joy forward into the unknown. A dip earthwards as the airspeed built up, and then she pulled away skyward, and more importantly all looking under control. No immediate barrel rolls and inverted ploughing of the field! In a word...relief.

It was great to see some airtime being achieved with steady flying and much concentration by the pilot! Well he's been away from engine power for a few years now! [1976 - JB]

First impressions were...fast. Couldn't quite believe the groundspeed, and suddenly I appreciated the need for space. Flying was taking full time inputs from John and after my wee dabble on the sticks we concluded this one wasn't quite the "trainer" she looked like - more of an acrobatic high wing fun machine. Good for those with some idea of what they're doing but no inbuilt stability for making my early flights any easier! Maybe a little ambitious on the selection stakes?

So, the result is I'm now quite addicted having seen what's possible, frustrated at having been told what's probable, and itching to get some of my own stick time to make those mistakes I think won't happen to me ...but inevitably will! Can't wait.....

[A fully symmetrical wing section and no dihedral, what really kills this model as a 'trainer' is the weight. The box says 4.3lb. To get it to balance Mike had to add stacks of lead sheeting to the nose. Weight without u/c is 6.5lbs. Neutral stability (zero 'parkability') and 30mph landings. So that's what the 'F' in ARTF stands for! JB]