Aaron Ham firstname.lastname@example.org
My Favorite Feathered Flier
NEED TO KNOW
MANUFACTURER: Hangar 9
DISTRIBUTOR: Horizon Hobby
TYPE: Sport Aerobatic ARF
FOR: Intermediate to advanced pilots
The Christen Eagle from Hangar 9 is a great performer from start to finish. The assembly is very straight forward with little to no modifications needed and is a beautiful airplane both on the ground and in the air. It is small enough to fit in most vehicles fully assembled but does have a very easy wing removal system designed by Hangar 9 that cuts assembly at the field to minutes if necessary.
The manual starts the assembly by securing the landing gear to the airframe and although they also instruct you to also attach the wheels and wheel-pants, I tend to leave them until the end of the assembly to avoid possible hangar rash due to all of the flipping and jockeying of the airplane during the build. You can however attach the gear fairings to the fuselage during this first step so you don’t forget. RCZ56 or Zap Formula 560 canopy glue works great.
You can also secure all of the fiber hinges with thin CA as one of your first steps with the rudder being the only exception – the horizontal stab needs to be in place first. BUT….don’t forget to glue the steel elevator joiner in place when you attach the elevators. I once made that mistake a long time ago. If you forget, bad words are sure to escape from behind your pearly whites. Also, be sure to drill a small hole in the center of each hinge pocket, as instructed, in both the airframe side and the control surface side. This will allow the CA to better penetrate the balsa and the hinge. Do not use CA accelerator.
It is best to mount the lower wing to the fuselage when it comes time to secure the horizontal stab to the fuselage. Take your time and make absolutely sure the tips of the stab are square to the tips of the wing. Once you are satisfied with your markings, glue the tail in place with 30-minute epoxy and let it sit for at least a couple hours.
Installing the servos and the linkages is no different than any other model. I do, however, want to thank Hangar 9 for pre-drilling the 3 screw holes in each of the surfaces for the control horns. Although not a big deal, it does save some time trying to get them all in the exact spot that they need to be. Call me crazy, but I was happy. Smaller hands and a bit of patience may be required when installing the center cabane struts. It’s a bit of a tight fit for those with larger hands. Be sure that each socket head cap screw has a small amount of thread lock and that all four screws are in place and started before securing. A cross threaded screw may elicit those bad words again.
Hangar 9 offers a few options when powering your Eagle. They graciously included a firewall template for both an electric and glow engine setup. I chose to use the very powerful and reliable Saito 125 four stroke engine for this Eagle and the fit was perfect. The only thing I needed to do was rotate the carburetor 180 degrees to be in the correct position for the throttle pushrod. I added a 90-degree muffler adaptor with a DU-BRO muffler extension to the stock muffler and an Expert On-Board glow system to my project to avoid cutting holes in the beautiful cowl. Be sure to install the included baffle into the cowl if you choose the glow setup as I did for cooling. It fit fairly well but I did need to do a small amount of trimming for a perfect fit.
With everything in place, I finished the assembly by adding the wheels and wheel-pants, balanced the airplane in the middle of the recommended range of 5 to 5-1/2” back from the leading edge of the top wing and finally programmed the control throws into my transmitter. Now, I wait for a nice day for its maiden flight.
Not many tips are needed when assembling an airplane from Hangar 9. Their reputation of high quality airplanes speaks for itself. You can consider using larger servo control arms from DU-BRO for a bit more clearance out of the aileron servo covers and plan to maiden the Eagle with the CG in the middle of the range or forward until you get comfortable with it. The aft CG is excellent for advanced aerobatics but is a bit less stable and requires an experienced set of thumbs if conditions are less than ideal.
|The wing removal system makes taking the wings off for transport easy.
|The wing caddy is used to remove the wings and keep them together.
|Close up detail of the Saito engine installation.
|The radio system installation is very clean as there is plenty of room in the fuselage for everything.
|Another view of the engine installation.
|The scale painted pilot and instrument panels.