Great Planes Super Stearman

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Background

This is my first foray into the world of biplanes. I admire the classic lines of the Super Stearman, which is a modified version of the original Boeing-Stearman Model 75 . A friend at the flying club has this model and when a new-in-box kit became available at a good price it was time to get one for myself.

At the field - 03

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Flight statistics

Flight time: 0h 28m
Takeoffs: 3
Landings: 3

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Specifications

Wingspan (upper): 1816 mm (71.5")
Wingspan (lower): 1753 mm (69")
Length: 1448 mm (57")
Weight: 14.3 lbs
Centre of Gravity: 140 mm (5.5") from leading edge of upper wing
Engine: DLE 20 (20cc 2-stroke gasoline)
Fuel-oil ratio: 32:1
Tank setup: 330 mL Fiji bottle, 3-line system
Receiver: Futaba R617FS
Battery: 6.6V 2500mAH A123
Power management: Tech-Aero IBEC Ultra
Throttle servo: Hitec HS-425BB
Rudder servo: Hitec HS-645MG
Elevator servo: Hitec HS-645MG
Aileron servos: Hitec HS-645MG x 2

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Flight experiences

2017-05-27

A great day for a maiden flight.

It took almost half an hour to get everything unpacked and assembled at the field. I had a friend look everything over and he also acted as my spotter and trimmer for the first couple of flights. After a short takeoff run the plane leapt off the ground and stooged around nose-high as if tail heavy. I had checked the CG before and did so again at the field and I may yet add some nose weight, but in the interim 12 clicks of down elevator solved the problem.

The engine was a little lean in the top end; it sagged and threatened to quit when I throttled up after a low-speed pass, so I richened it an eighth of a turn after landing - that solved the problem. It still pops a bit in the mid range so I am leaning out the low end a tiny bit after each flight. The DLE 20 is an excellent match for this airplane, which cruises between 1/3 and 1/2 throttle. A ten minute flight uses about 90 mL from the 330 mL gas tank (27%).

The aileron throws were too high at first - I dialed those down a little after each of the first two flights. By the third the Stearman was flying beautifully; it is a joy in the air and hasn't shown any nasty tendencies.

I checked before disassembly and was very pleased to find that the plane fits into my truck fully assembled. I was also able to carry it assembled into the basement and set it on the stand. This will cut down on non-flying time on trips to the field.

I recharged the single 2500 mAh A123 battery when I got home; for 27.5 minutes of total flying I put 550 mAh back into it. This gives me more than enough capacity for an event or a typical day of flying.

Stetson Flyers 2017-05-27 - Photo credit Jim Denyer - 03

For more pitcure of the plane in flight and at the field, visit my Great Planes Super Stearman - General album.

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Airframe manual

IBEC manual

Review

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