AUTHOR: Larry Pasman
This is my winter project up here in the frozen north, with 14" of
snow and in the teens it time for building, bet you Texicans like winter with it cooling
down to the 70's? Its starting to look like a airplane! This is my 25cc Toro conversion
mounted with lotsa room to spare!
The only tools necessary was a scroll saw to cut out all parts, and the
normal building tools. So far I have about $90.00 of balsa into it and about $65.00 into
the canopy, tail wheel and landing gear. Covering will be about $50.00. I am going to use
Ultracote, the plans call for Monocote or Ultracote for the added strength. I have heard
from the locals and a competition builder that Monocote has gone down hill in quality. I
haven't decided on what scheme I want yet.
I decided to use the Carl Goldberg tailwheel which was a $24.00 unnecessary purchase.
There is not a kit made of the Bandito Grande, however you can get a lazor cut balsa for
$250.00 from a couple of places.
My costs for just the plane should be about $210.00 covered not including the engine and
The motor is a 25cc Toro conversion that I have $135.00 in it including Mark Fuess
installing the CH ignition for me.
The radio I am using is the Airtronics RD6000 Super of which I have several receivers and
servos. Mixing flaperons.
So I should have about $350.00 into the plane ready to fly, not including the radio
Wheels, fuel tank and all hardware come out of my junk boxes of many years of collecting
I have so far 21 hours of building time in it. I am very suprised on how fast it is
building, but there again its winter here, we hit 33 degrees today and raining snow, or
As a scratch build it probably one of the easiest, very little cutting involved and no
small parts. The instructions are very good and the plans are very clear. I took the plans
to work and copied it then cut out the templets and glued them to some old paneling, then
cut out the paneling for templets. I could cut 5 ribs at a time 20 required. The liteply
fuse sides I did the same thing and cut all 4 at one time. The rest is all 36" balsa.
I did use a balsa striper and cut all stringers from balsa sheets, this cuts costs a lot
rather than buying the stringes already cut.
There are several of the .40 Bandito's scratch builds here and the plane is building for
under $150.00 not including the motor and radio, and they all fly great. I just wanted a
The pix should give an idea what the plane looks like finshed. RCMBanditoGrande.jpg
The canopy came from Fiber glass Specialties, made for the Grande. They
make all sorts of cowls and canopys.
I don't plan on wheel pants, both our fields are course grass and not real
smooth. So I use larger than normal wheels. Plus I have never had good luck keeping wheel
pants on the landing gear, they always seem to fall off or get torn off from the grass and
such. The covering is done now except for pin striping. I broke down and ordered a
fiberglass cowl, now comes trimming and painting it. I just got a airbrush, that will be a
new experience. I did find some paint that is very close to the Ultracote
Test flying will likely occure sometime April or May, we don't get much decent weather
there til' then. I have seen snow in May. We are back to winter again after 39 days
of above normal temps and a few good flying days. We hit 40 a couple of times. Its blowing
snow and 12 degrees (f) chill index of -8. Been flying my electrics, gas and glow engines
are not reliable below 40 or so.
The canopy has been tinted very dark now, beside there are no sombreros
around here. Just ball caps and camo. Just haven't decided on how to do the tail feathers
yet. The red stripes are transparant red over the pearl white, with chrome automotive pin
striping.All covering is Hanger 9 Ultracote. I have some smaller "bandito" guys
already printed on the decal for the tail. I think I have spent more time covering than
I use either Klotz syn or Belrey MC1 at 50:1. The Toro is still pretty new
and has only 1/2 gallon through it so I will be running it a bit rich for awhile. But its
not quite stock the cylinder has had some major porting work. It turns an honest 8850 with
a 16X8 with the CH ignition. Mark has seen the motor and installed the CH for me. Likely
won't be running the motor until spring when the plane is ready to go.
Its spinning a 16X8 prop, so far I will start with the Master airscrew,
but will likley end up with a 16X8 APC. The Toro pulls it at 8400 rpm, should be plenty of
power for a 11 lb airplane. The engine seems to be real happy with the 16X8, I may try a
All up dry wieght without the spinner is 10 lbs 12 oz. the spinner is supposed to be 3.76
oz Which makes it RTF at 11 lbs even. That comes in at 20.1 oz wing loading and the Toro
conversion produces 13.26 lbs thrust. Wet weight should be about 12 lbs. Gettin' a bit
ancy for good weather.
Maiden voyage today!
I am thrilled, the little Toro ran a bit rich but flawlessly. I believe that the high
humidity and 85 degrees made the tune a little off. With all the trials and tribulations
with getting the engine running right it was worth it on the first flights..Had to run it
without the spinner it just vibrated too much, I will have to balance it.
After doing some serious range checking and several runs down the runway to see how it
would react, it was time to see if the Bandito Grande would fly. About 1/2 throttle and
some right rudder the Bandito lifted off very gracefully the first turn to the right was
very smooth, then came level flight, no trim adjustments. The Bandito Grand then made
several lazy trips around the field and some figure 8's, by now I am a nervous wreck and
need get settled down a bit, finally got settled some and attempted the first landing, it
needs to be slowed down way early and the idle was a bit too high, couple of clicks of
throttle trim and it settled in for a nice smooth landing. This is one nice flying
airplane! The next 3 flights were just to settle me down, the only other trim adjustments
was a couple clicks of down elevator at full throttle. I wanted a nice lazy flyer and got
it. I did not attempt any aerobatics, but I like to just fly, besides I have a Dazzler for