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Written by Jon Barnes
Abridged review and flight footage.
Air racing excitement for glow or electric aficionados.
Featured in the April 2015 issue of
Model Aviation.


Model type: Sport scale ARF
Skill level: Intermediate
Wingspan: 60.35 inches
Wing area: 450 square inches
Wing loading: 32 ounces per square foot
Length: 51.57 inches
Weight: 6.6 pounds
Power system: Requires .46 to .55 two-stroke engine; .52 four-stroke engine; or 1,000- to 1,400-watt electric power system
Radio: Six-channel minimum with six (electric) to seven (glow) servos
Construction: Conventional balsa and plywood
Covering: Oracover
Street price: $239.97

Test-Model Details

Motor used: Great Planes RimFire .55 brushless outrunner
Speed controller: Great Planes Silver Series 60-amp with BEC
Battery: FlightPower FP30 5S 18.5-volt 4,350 mAh LiPo
Propeller: APC E 14 x 7 or 13 x 10
Radio system: Tactic TTX650 six-channel 2.4 GHz SLT transmitter; TR625 2.4 GHz SLT six-channel receiver; four Tactic TSX47 standard digital servos; two Futaba S3170G retract servos
Ready-to-fly weight: 7 pounds, 4 ounces
Flight duration: 8 to 10 minutes


• Nicely laid up and painted fiberglass cowl.
• Includes a robust set of suspension-equipped alloy struts and mechanical retracts.
• Easy access and plenty of room for larger flight batteries.
• Includes the required mounting hardware for glow and electric power systems.


• Stock position of the rudder control horn somewhat limits elevator travel in the up direction

Abridged Review

Read the full review in the April 2015 issue of Model Aviation.

Phoenix Model introduces its Genesis 50-size sport scale ARF as a model of the “most successful aircraft in racing history.” Any conversations about air racing history inevitably lead to the Reno National Championship Air Races. Held annually since 1964, this event is rooted in the historic Cleveland Air Races of the 1920s, 30s and 40s.

The Phoenix Model Genesis is a 1/8-scale .46- to .55-size sport scale ARF that can be powered by a nitro or electric power system. The Oracover covering scheme bears a strong similarity to Kevin Eldredge’s full-scale Nemesis #4 production kit. The fuselage is large, while the wings are short, thin, tapered, and feature a narrow cord. The entire kit is traditional balsa and light plywood construction.

Phoenix did a particularly amazing job of recreating the complex, flowing curves of the Nemesis using wood as the modeling medium. Most modern ARF kits that feature retractable gear now use electric retracts. Phoenix includes a pair of old-school mechanical retracts, although the assembly manual also alludes to using electric retracts. A pair of nicely machined suspension-equipped struts is also included.


The included 15-page assembly manual features sketch-style drawings.

Electric poser requires a small plywood sub firewall to be mounted to the main firewall, to create the proper motor standoff and spacing. I chose the RimFire .55, because of its slightly higher net power rating and specified ability to swing larger propellers. After all, the full-scale Nemesis was famous for flying fast! However, the differences between the two motors are subtle at best. With identical dimensions, either motor will fit.

Assembling the Genesis may require tools not normally used when assembling an ARF. Curved-tip scissors work best for trimming out the gear bays. I initially rough trimmed them until they would start to slip into the openings in the bottom of the fuselage, making the necessary small clearance cuts last.

Each mechanical retract has its own quality Futaba retract servo. Mechanical setup is much easier than when using one servo to drive two retracts. After retracts were installed, I noticed that when retracted, the geometry between the two was different. Closer examination revealed that the hardwood mounting blocks embedded in one wing half were slightly canted. Remedying this was as easy as shimming the low end of the mechanical retract with a couple of flat washers.

TAs do most Phoenix Model kits, the Genesis includes the necessary pieces to use either nitro or electric power.

TA Rimfire .46 or .55 brushless electric outrunner is the perfect drop-in brushless power system for the Genesis.

Phoenix integrates a battery tray into the forward section of the fuselage. The RimFire .46 and .55 outrunners are rated for either five- or six-cell LiPo packs. I had several Flight Power 5S 4,350 mAh packs on hand from a recent review so I started with them. They fit nicely on the battery tray, but sliding them all the way forward resulted in the Genesis being too nose-heavy. I shifted the pack rearward to get close to the recommended center of gravity—65mm aft of the wing’s leading edge. As built, the Genesis tipped the scales at 116 ounces.


While verifying the control-surface throws, I noticed that the rudder pushrod was interfering with the elevator; deflecting the elevator too far upward would cause it to contact the rudder pushrod. I adjusted the elevator’s high-rate throw to keep this from occurring.

The Genesis looks fast sitting still! Its sleek fuselage is noticeably narrow when viewed from the side, and yet abundantly wide when viewed from the above or below. Its main gear has a fairly wide-set stance. This, coupled with the lengthy fuselage, makes for a model that tracks nicely on the ground and during departures.

After a few flights using the 13 x 10 propeller, I installed a 14 x 7 one. The Genesis has plenty of clearance to go to larger diameter propellers and the Rimfire .55 is rated to handle more load than was being placed upon it. I also shifted the battery slightly more rearward.

The Genesis is a nice .50-size model and yet, the more I flew it with the 14 x 7 propeller, the more comfortable I became at slowing it down for landing. The sight it cruising sedately around the pattern at times messed with my senses.

The bright blue-and-white covering scheme is easy to see, even when the Genesis is racing across a cloud-filled blue sky!

As equipped and flown for this review, the Genesis is an intermediate-level sport model that can easily provide flight durations of 10 minutes or more when using a 5S 4350 LiPo. Although newer pilots may be challenged by the speed it offers, veteran pilots will probably want to make it go faster.


The Phoenix Model Genesis is one of the larger Reno-style racing models that I have flown. It is a sturdily constructed balsa and plywood kit that will appeal to both electric and nitro enthusiasts. It can be configured as a relatively benign sport model or built up for all-out speed. If going the latter route, it will be wise to respect the potentially high wing loading of the narrow-chord wings.

It is not uncommon to find small groups of pilots who enjoy Pylon Racing at an informal club level. The models used are usually park flyer-size and priced accordingly. This larger .50-size Phoenix Model Genesis might be the perfect platform to explore taking the racing up to a higher, more exotic level!

-Jon Barnes


Phoenix Model/Hobbico
(800) 637-7660


(800) 637-7660

(800) 637-7660


I custom fit a Rimfire 80 in mine with a 15/10 prop. and whew, does it go. I have upset the
old school gas, glow and even the turbine crowd at the field. The vertical power is amazing.

Gear is not far enough ahead so on club grass fields it will nose over when taxiing. I shimmed mine with washers tipping them further forward with some success.

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