So after about a year back in RC, I got bit by the pattern bug. I looked around and contacted some friends to see what I might have been able to buy used from someone, but didn’t really find exactly what I wanted.
On the recommendation of a friend, I looked at AJ Aircraft’s Acuity. It comes in a 2 meter version as well as a 62″ version. For many reasons, mostly because this will be my first season to fly pattern, I went with the 62″ version. Also, I already had the 6s 5000 mah batteries that I needed to run this plane as it would be set up.
I set this plane up with a Hacker A50-16s. I used a Castle Creations Edge 100 amp esc, which is too much, but again, what I had and perfectly suitable for that setup, so on it went.
I propped it with a XOAR 16-10e wooden prop for now. The 16-10 seems to pull it just fine. It is not fast and I do use WOT in an upline, but it has plenty of power and great flight times. After 7 minutes of pattern flight, I still have about 20-25% of my battery left.
I moved to this plane from my Kaos. It is much different than the Kaos. After flying this plane for a while, the Kaos feels like it weighs 3x as much, even though it doesn’t. AUW on the Kaos, with the 6s/5000 is 7lb 14.6 oz. AUW on the Acuity 62″ with the same battery is 6lb 15.4 oz, so it’s really only about a pound lighter. The Acuity is so much more maneuverable and so much more agile… it’s a joy to fly. Learning to fly the pattern with the Acuity in a crosswind is more tricky as it is more susceptible to deviation from crosswinds. It “weathervanes” more than the Kaos did. A wise person told me that learning to fly pattern is all about learning to use the rudder, and that is correct in my experience.
Fuselage (rtf no batt): 3 lb. 14.4 oz.
Canopy and thumb screws: 5.6 oz.
Right Wing: 8.3 oz.
Left Wing: 8.4 oz.
Wing Tube: 1.2 oz.
Gensace 6s/5000mah Lipo: 1 lb. 9.5 oz.
Total AUW RTF: 6 lb. 15.4 oz.
The CG is supposed to be about a half inch behind the wing tube. With my 6s/5000 all the way forward, mine balanced perfectly. This is great because when I move the CG back later on as I set it up for snap rolls and other maneuvers that perform better with a CG further back, I simple will move my battery back on the tray. There is a good 3-4″ to do this. I’m not sure if this was incorporated into the design, but it worked out perfectly at least on my model.
I set my plane up very simply with a Spectrum AR610 receiver and Hitec Digital Mighty Mini servos for elevator and ailerons and a full size high torque Hitec digital rudder servo. I am not running a separate receiver battery.
Overall, I love this airplane. For about $450 delivered, I found it to be a great value for an entry level pattern plane. It will no doubt carry me much further than the Sportsman class as well.
It was packed brilliantly in a large box with lots of compartments and using lots of tape… instead of styrofoam. It had foam where needed, but it is very smartly packed in a non-wasteful (and easy to dispose of) way. Assembly is very simple and straightforward using the PDF building plans available on AJ’s web site.
Below is an eCalc report on the setup of my Acuity 62″.
I’m a little over 100 flights in and loving this plane. I haven’t pushed it aerobatically. I’m sticking to perfecting the Sportsmans pattern with it. It’s competitive against the litany of 2 meter planes that i have faced in competition as long as my thumbs are cooperative.
I’ll soon be ordering the 2m version and moving the 62” to backup status.