Phoenix Models Tucano GP/EP ARF

I rescued this airplane from hanging from the ceiling in my local hobby shop on consignment. It is an ARF (Almost-Ready-to-Fly) model. It had the electric motor and the speed control and all of the radio equipment installed.

This airplane is made to accept retractable landing gear. Today’s modeler can get all kinds of landing gear that don’t require any outside servo. They just plug right in to the radio and mount onto the plane and you’re off and running with retracts. The problem is, you hear people complain about them a LOT. You see them fail a LOT. Tower Hobbies had these retracts that are made just for this airplane. They require servos to do the work, but I find them a lot more reliable and durable than the cheaper servoless models. Plus they are kinda old school, so I went with them.

The guy who put it together mounted an Elite Power 52 Brushless motor on it. This motor is rated at 590 K/V and will take a 6S battery. With the extra weight of the two retract servos, I opted for 6S power. I propped it with an APC 12-10. It has a Castle Creations Lite 100 ESC that seems to work just fine. It has a consistent beep every few seconds to let you know that it is armed. The instructions say you can remove that beep if you use Castle’s programming interface for the ESC. Problem is, this works only on Windows computers and I haven’t had a Windows computer in my house since the early 2000s. So I live with the beep.

With the Power 52 motor and the 6S 45C 5000mah battery, I get crazy fast flight for about 5 minutes. The plane sets up and lands better than anything I have. It is smooth and very, very stable on landings.

I added 3.5 oz to the tail to get it to balance.

Overall, I really like this airplane. It’s very aerobatic and has lots of reserve power. I get lots of comments on it.

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