Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Guillow’s PC-6 Porter Review

Lately I have been thinking about what really holds my interest in the model aviation hobby, there are several types of model airplanes but it comes down to a couple of factors; the challenge of getting good flights and the flying sites I have available. Unlike many people that enjoy only free flight or only radio control, I enjoy certain aspects of both. My radio control flying is mainly gliders which have the constant challenge of staying airborne by flying in air that is lifted by thermals or deflected up from a slope. 

For free flight airplanes I am normally restricted to small flying sites so I normally fly cheaper rubber powered sport models that I can stand to lose or fly scale-like rubber models that for my skill level stay within the confines of a smaller flying site. I have built these same types of models with electric RC but after they are flying well, I quickly lose interest. Flying the fragile free flight model powered by strands of rubber without control just seems more satisfying. 

Guillow's PC-6 Porter in Flight

Guillow's DHC-2 Beaver Electric RC 

The last scale-like rubber free flight model I completed was the Guillow’s PC-6 Porter which is modeled after a Swiss utility plane designed in 1959. I know this by reading the review article by accomplished free flight modeler Don DeLoach in the October 2013 Model Aviation magazine. In the article he gives some tips and rates the kit fairly high even in regards to the weight of the balsa which in older Guillow kits could be very heavy. This is also a laser-cut kit and many of the pieces are interlocking. You do have to be careful in fitting the pieces together as I pushed too hard on some fuselage pieces and broke several pieces.

Another reason for me selecting this particular kit was the full-size airplane has a rather long nose which should make balancing the airplane easier without adding weight in the nose. I left out some of the stringers in the fuselage to reduce the weight and covered with Esaki tissue instead of the supplied tissue. As of yet I have not added any of the decals or color trim but I might yet.

For my first flights I started with a single loop of 3/16” Tan Super Sport rubber which was adequate to fly the airplane but there was little climb. When I switched to two loops of 1/8” rubber, the airplane had a slight stall right after launch because of the power burst. Adding some right thrust appears to have fixed this issue.  The airplane looks rather realistic in flight and if it does stall the recovery is pretty quick.

For future challenge I plan to try a larger Peck propeller and longer strands of rubber. As it is, the airplane is flying to the edge of my tiny flying field.

Bill Kuhl


Check Out my Building and Flying Guillow's Model Aircraft webpage

Additional Info 6/17/2015

Thread on Hip Pocket Aeronautics from Designer or Porter and Beaver Kits

As noted Don DeLoach has won a contest in 2014 with his PC-6 Porter and placed high in another.

My Blog Post on STOL Aircraft 

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