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Article, photos, and video by Tom Sullivan.
Watch some of the configuration options and a flight video.
Read the full review in the December 2014 issue of
Model Aviation.



Abridged Review

Read the full review in the December 2014 issue of Model Aviation. The full review includes build details and more flight characteristics.

Many words can be used to describe an airplane’s looks. When I see the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, the first word that pops into my mind is “utilitarian.” It has a squarish design, with long, thin wings and a wide main gear stance that makes it a great Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) aircraft.

The Beaver is used for cargo and passenger hauling, crop dusting, and has been widely adopted by armed forces as a utility aircraft and bush airplane. More than 1,600 were produced until the original line shut down in 1967.

The subject of this review is Hangar 9’s 110-inch ARF version of the Beaver. It uses primarily balsa and plywood laser-cut construction with a few fiberglass and vacuum-formed plastic parts. All are covered in white UltraCote with red and black trim. The preprinted fiberglass parts nicely match the color scheme.

The Beaver is a large airplane with a number of scale details, so there are quite a few parts in the box. The wings are a two-piece, plug-in design, as are the stabilizer halves. The fuselage features prehinged, preinstalled cabin doors, two per side. Also included are parts to give the aircraft scalelike detail, including a dummy radial cowl, cabin seats, a cockpit, and a dual-wheel yoke.

A selection of good-quality hardware comes with the kit. Firewall drilling templates are included for various engine installations and a fuel tank is included if you decide to use gasoline power.

Initially, the only questionable piece of hardware seemed to be the elevator pushrod. It is made of three steel rods, spot welded together to form a “Y” controlling each elevator half. But, I’ve flown the Beaver quite a lot using this pushrod and have had no problems.

One thing that did catch my eye was several places showing scuffs and scratches right out of the box. There were wrinkles and bubbles in the covering, and the seams were noticeable.

As can happen with review airplanes, we often receive one of the first available production samples. I hope that is the case so these problems would be unique to the review Beaver. Regardless, after a good half hour of work with my heat iron and gun, I was able to smooth most of the wrinkles and bubbles.

Assembling the aircraft at the field is surprisingly simple for a model of its size. No tools are needed. The wing struts are held in with a clip and the wing halves are held to the fuselage with a thumb-tightened nylon bolt.

Not knowing how effective the flaps would be, I chose to not to use them during the first takeoff. Even without flaps and with only half power, the Beaver quickly accelerated down the runway and was off the ground in a couple of hundred feet.

After the Beaver was up to a safe altitude, I backed off the throttle and found it would easily cruise around between one-third and half throttle without flaps.

With the trim passes completed, I decided to try out the flaps. As you might expect with a STOL-type design, the flaps are extremely effective. With half flaps, the Beaver will slow down to a ridiculously slow speed, yet it is still fully controllable. I could do incredibly tight horizontal Figure Eights with the Beaver close to knife-edge, and yet it didn’t fall out of the sky at these slow speeds.

Raising the flaps cleans up the airframe and allows it to become aerobatic. Although the full-scale Beaver doesn’t do loops and rolls, the Hangar 9 Beaver performs them with ease. Rolls are slightly slow because of its large 110-inch wingspan. It makes a good barnstormer-type airplane with snaps, Hammerheads, and even some inverted flight. It looks odd doing some of those maneuvers, but it is fun.

When it comes time to land, simply drop the flaps and glide it home. It might require a touch of power to maintain forward speed, but it’s a pussycat and could make a good trainer.

Since completing the Beaver, I’ve put nearly two dozen flights on it with no problems. I find it relaxing to fly late in evening with the landing lights shining brightly. Because of its size, the wind barely affects it.

The electric power system is more than the Beaver needs. You can cruise at no more than half throttle for more than 25 minutes on a single battery, but it is nice to have extra power when you need it!

Read the full review in the December 2014 issue of Model Aviation.



Specifications:

Model type: Scale ARF
Skill level: Beginner to intermediate pilots
Wingspan: 110 inches
Wing area: 1,485 square inches
Airfoil: Semisymmetrical
Length: 66 inches
Weight: 16.5-17.25 pounds (recommended)
Power system: 30cc gas; 160-size electric (recommended)
Radio: Six-channel minimum (recommended)
Price: $699.99


Test-Model Details

All-up weight: 20.5 pounds
Power system: E-flite Power 160 electric; E-flite 6S 5,000 mAh LiPo (two in series); Castle Creations Phoenix Edge 120HV ESC
Radio: AR7610 Spektrum receiver; six Spektrum A6150 digital servos; Spektrum 2S 2,000 mAh LiPo receiver battery; several servo extensions of varying lengths


Pluses

• Laser-cut balsa and plywood used for construction.
• Includes tank, wheels, and all control hardware.
• Prepainted fiberglass cowl and main gear fairings are included.
• Removable stabilizer and wing halves make for easy transportation.
• All parts and templates included for gas or electric powerplant.
• Fuselage doors (two on each side) open wide for great cabin access.
• Many scale details are included, such as corrugated control surfaces, a dummy engine, and parts to make a well-detailed cockpit.
• Wonderfully stable in the air, yet capable of mild aerobatics.
• Effective flaps are included.


Minuses

• The included manual missed several steps, but included unneeded ones. A revised manual is online that addresses of some of these problems.
• There were many wrinkles and bubbles in the iron-on covering.
• There was more hangar rash than I would have expected for a new kit. The covering seam joints were noticeable, especially on the fuselage.


Video Review




1 comments

Do you think that your electric set up can handle adding float to Beaver

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