Carl Goldberg PITTS MONSTER
I have owned several of these biplanes and enjoyed every minute of them. This ARF is easy to build and has excellent hardware. The only change I made was to move the tail-feather servos to the rear of the fuselage. I did this to counter-balance the engines(s) I had selected for this airplane.I tried several engines including a Saito 1.80, an MVVS 36cc gas, a BME 50, and a Tartan 50cc twin. The worst of the batch was the MVVS closely followed by the Tartan.
The Tartan looked cool, but what a POS. It ran very un-reliable and was severly lacking performance for a glow fuel engine. It was heavy too. After 2 doggy flights it was removed.
My next engine was an MVVS 36cc gasoline engine. This was a dog too. It couldn't get out of its own way. It weighed less than the Tartan, but it was just as big of a POS as the Tartan. This engine was so disappointing it never got off the ground. I suppose I could have bench-run the engine and discovered its painful lack of power...
I then followed up with a Saito 1.80. It flew with excellent authority. It has good vertical, and makes excellent power. The thrust is excellent and it has that deep four stroke sound. But it consumes glow fuel like it was free.
I put about 35 flights on it with the 1.80 and it was enjoyable but it lacked the brutal power this airplane deserved. That's when I decided to install a BME 50cc gasoline engine it. The BME 50 weighs about what the Satio 1.80 weighs but it cranks out 5.0 Horsepower on gasoline and slings a 22 inch prop.. That's exactly what I'm looking for. So another engine installation was about to begin.
The BME 50 fit nicely in the cowling considering its size. This is my last engine installation... (on this biplane) The power is incredable. It will climb out of sight at 1/4 throttle. I did re-enforce the firewall with fiberglass to support the engine and this really wasn't an option. I flew the Monster with a 22x8 wood prop and it did very well. The ground clearance is a bit close but acceptable. The Pitts Monster really came alive with this engine! The aggressive nature of this engine is perfect in the 14 pound Pitts. I can easily get 20 minute flight with the original fuel tank and still have plenty of fuel to land. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble by going with this engine in the first place, but at least I know what works & what doesn't... The exit vents are manditory to keep the big engine running cool.
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This photo is my taxi out for flight number 88 on the BME 50. I just love this biplane! Notice the monster 22" prop, it only takes 1/4 throttle and about 2 feet of runway to get airborn. The aerobatics are crisp, clean, and precise. This is without a doubt a hotshot pilots airplane. Its awesome looks, active controls. and massive power gives me full command of the sky... I guess that's why it was dubbed the "Lone Ranger".
Another Pitts Monster is about to immerge from my lab. This one will be powered by an OS 1.60 FX engine. This engine is powerful and light, as compared to the BME 50. It won't have the brutal takeoff accelleration of the BME but it should be super aggressive none the less.
EDITORS NOTE: This aircraft is not for the faint of heart, or novice pilot. Even with the recommended engine and CG balance, its tracking nature can be most unforgiving. In other words, it goes precisely where its aimed. I'd also like to note here that I have 37 years of RC modeling under my belt. DO NOT attempt to over-power this airplane without making the necessary structural re-enforcements. If you feel the need for brutal power, e-mail me and I'll gladly detail the REQUIRED changes to the airframe.