Sunday, December 17, 2017
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Precision Aerobatics Bandit ARF 3D Racer

There is always a question of which power system to outfit an electric model with. With so many options on the market, this can pose a real challenge. The folks at Precision Aerobatics have done the hard work for you, and their PA Thrust 40 brushless motor has been proven by their engineers and test pilots to be the optimal choice for this model. I totally agree; the power is incredible. I really like the carbon reinforced airframe because of its light weight, superb flying traits, and rigidity. The Bandit is a real 3D performer.

NEED TO KNOW

MANUFACTURER: Precision Aerobatics

DISTRIBUTOR: Precision Aerobatics

TYPE: 3D aerobatic ARF

FOR: Intermediate through expert pilots

PRICE: $234.95

NEEDED TO COMPLETE

Four channel computer radio system, four micro servos, PA Thrust 40 brushless motor, PA Quantum 45A Pro ESC, propeller, 3S or 4S 2200mAh LiPo flight battery, hand tools, soldering iron, glue

ASSEMBLY

I received the Precision Aerobatics Bandit with every option that PA offers. The Bandit is available as a basic kit or with any number of options including every component to fly the airplane with exception of the receiver. If mango and white doesn’t float you boat, the bandit comes in two other different color choices of green/white and blue/white. The airframe is constructed of intricately laser cut carbon fiber reinforced balsa and plywood airframe with two piece wing, carbon wing tube, large radio hatch with preinstalled canopy, carbon landing gear, painted fiberglass wheel pants and cowl, wheels, carbon pushrods, control deflection gauge, decals, hardware package, and direction booklet.

My complete Bandit as package including a Powerful Thrust 40 brushless motor, Quantum 45 amp brushless speed control, prop adaptor, carbon spinner, carbon fiber wheel pants, 12×6 VOX prop, carbon fiber servo arms, 4S Li-poly battery pack, Deans connectors, high torque Voltec VTS-70MG servos, servo wire, carbon fiber vortex generators, and fabric wing bags. The staff at Precision Aerobatics has extensively tested many variations of components and sells the best components suited for the job. Buying a package deal from PA will guarantee optimum performance and will even save you a few bucks while you’re at it!

The air foiled stab has a flat section in the center that fits securely in a slot in the fuselage. It is self aligning and locks into position before actually being glued into place. The tail surfaces features flex style hinges. The wire tail wheel fits into a drilled hole and slot at the base of the rudder and is set with epoxy. The carbon landing gear secures to a carbon plate that is anchored to carbon rods. Seems to be a common theme here… strong and light! The wheels and pants install with traditional methods. The canopy hatch has carbon locating pins up front and four rare earth magnets on the rear. As well as the hatch is attached to the Bandit, you MUST put the appropriate cooling air exit in the bottom of the fuselage. If not, the hatch it will “pop off” due to the high pressures obtained in the fuselage at high speeds in flight. I have to be honest and admit I totally spaced out at the part where I was supposed to remove a panel of covering on the belly. The cowl requires the mounting screw locations to be drilled and then installed with wood screws. The two piece wing uses a light weight carbon fiber main spar with carbon alignment dowels for anti rotation. The ailerons are recessed into the wing and offer a unique gapless hinging method. Optional carbon VG’s can be installed on the wings if desired. Use a razor to cut the covering at precut slots and press the tabs on the VG’s into wing and secure with thin CA.

 

For a radio system I used JR 12X transmitter, Spektrum AR6200 6 channel receiver, Voltec VTS 70-MG servos. It is my first experience with Voltec servos and found them quick like a bunny and built for business with metal gears and brass reinforced servo arms. PA recommends splicing the servo lead over the use of heavier less efficient extension leads, so I did just that and found the process to be easier than I thought it would be. The elevator and aileron servos mount in the tail. All the servos were fitted with PA extended carbon fiber servo arms. All control surfaces use a carbon fiber control horns that fit snuggly into channels and secured with CA. The carbon fiber pushrods use a nylon ball link at the servo arm end and aluminum “Yoke” at the control horn. Epoxies secure the linkages on the ends of the push rods and are not adjustable after set.

Before installing the power system the motor box has to be installed. The motor box is an awesome display of laser work with small square stock and carbon fiber reinforcements. The fuselage former is keyed for the motor box and slides right in. Carbon fiber pins lock the motor box into place on the fuselage but the joint is dependent on a bead of epoxy around the parameter for maximum integrity. The Thrust 40 motor is shoe horned in a lightening hole and screwed into the carbon reinforced fire wall. Huge plastic air scoops direct cooling air directly on the motor. The Quantum Pro 45 amp speed control was mounted to the motor box with zip ties and has a built in BEC providing power to the radio system. Both the Precision Aerobatics 4S 2200 mAh Li-poly battery and Quantum speed controller were fitted with Dean’s connectors. A beautiful carbon fiber spinner and VOX 12X6 prop finish the motor installation.