Scratch-built BANDIDO GRANDE

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!

lp1.jpg (180366 bytes)

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 radio.

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 pieces parts.

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 snowing rain.

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 bigger one!

The pix should give an idea what the plane looks like finshed. RCMBanditoGrande.jpg   

lp2.jpg (203377 bytes)

lp3.jpg (120895 bytes)

lp4.jpg (239060 bytes)

lp5.jpg (152992 bytes)

The canopy came from Fiber glass Specialties, made for the Grande. They make all sorts of cowls and canopys.

lp6.jpg (96702 bytes)

lp8.jpg (181292 bytes)

lp9.jpg (185732 bytes)

lp10.jpg (138447 bytes)

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.

lp11.jpg (132706 bytes)

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 the building.

lp12.jpg (156466 bytes)

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.

lp13.jpg (53634 bytes)

lp14.jpg (62394 bytes)

lp15.jpg (124282 bytes)

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 18X6.

Almost there!  
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.

lp16.jpg (79099 bytes)

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 going crazy!

lp17.jpg (99934 bytes)