Derek Robertson

fantrainerAt the opposite end of the spectrum from the F16, but also inspired by Graham Donaldson, who flew his version of this little cracker at last years Hazlehead event, my recently completed electric Fantrainer finished in the Lufthansa livery.

It's small, the 32" wing span makes this my wife's favourite model (we have a very small house &&& we don't have a remote controller for the TV, but can change channels from the toilet!)

Construction is very straightforward, simple and quick, but what makes it different from other balsa models, is that all the separate components (wings, fuz, tailplane, booms and fan shroud) have to be a snug fit and covered before final assembly. Most of the balsa came from the scrap box! Instead of moulding a clear canopy, I used a hollowed out block of blue foam sanded to shape and given a coat of white glue to seal the foam, before finishing with black paint.

The only fiddly bit involved rolling the 1/32" ply fan shroud around the card board jig. Graham suggested beefing up the wings a little by replacing the balsa spars with spruce. Apart from that, it's as per plan. Incidentally, I used Solarfilm to cover the whole model.

Flying? Absolutely spiffing && straight off the board! Eleven minutes of very stable flight, and capable of mild aerobatics too (loops & rolls no problem). With around 20 or so successful flights to look back on, the two crashes I've had with this model have been down to pilot error! The first prang was the result of "being confused" whilst flying inverted, and the second involved a spectacular spiral dive into the industrial after adjusting the aileron trim in the wrong direction. ooops! Even more surprising was how little damage the plane actually sustained.

The AUW of the Fantrainer is 20 ozs, carrying micro Rx and 2 micro servos. Power train comprises of a 9.6v 8 cell 1100 Nimh pack, Kontronik speed controller, 480 race motor and pruned 4.7 x 4.7 prop.