Tuesday, November 7, 2017

AMA Alpha - Pre-release Impressions

I was fortunate, along with other people to get a sample of the new Alpha rubber powered foam and balsa model airplane. The one I received came in a very attractive box and even included a 20:1 winder plus 80 inches of rubber strip. Assembly is very quick but there are a couple of areas you might find a tight fit and need to be careful.

AMA Alpha

The slot on top of the rear of the fuselage was rather tight when I tried to insert the vertical fin. You need to grab it near the bottom in the rear and carefully pull it into the slot. Too much force and the foam can buckle.

Contents of Alpha
Take Care Inserting Vertical Fin

Inserting the propeller nose piece over the balsa fuselage was rather a tight fit also. I sanded off the edges at an angle ever so slightly to make it possible to push the assembly over the balsa. Gary Hinze suggested pushing the balsa against a hard surface to compress it slightly, probably a better idea.

Propeller Nose Piece can be a Tight Fit

Another tight fit is the plastic wing clip that attaches the wing to the fuselage. There were a couple of very thin metal pieces that are to be used in the front of the wing at the center joint, I have not done anything with those yet.

Clip to Hold Wing Halves

Anxious to get some short flights in, I flew my Alpha in a local park on my lunch break. It was windy at times and cold but I did get several flights in using very limited winds in the rubber motor. With the wing held on by the clip it is easy to adjust the CG by moving the wing location.

I hoped to give a longer report on the Alpha after I have flown it from a larger field. The AMA Flight School website has more details on the Alpha and a couple of lessons in PDF format.

11/12/2017 Additional Flights

I replaced my first flight video with two new ones where the wind was lighter.

Bill Kuhl

 http://www.amaflightschool.org/alpha  - AMA Website Alpha Details

http://www.modelaircraft.org/shopama/dept.aspx?id=1adc2b6e-966b-4e6b-a40a-87a08c2d - Purchase Alpha

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