We love hearing from our readers: Your emails, tweets, and comments quickly let us know what you’d like
to see more (or less!) of in upcoming issues and online. Here’s what some of you are saying about Model
Airplane News magazine.
Model Airplane News
88 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897
Recently, for our “Question of the Week,” we
asked what turns our readers on about scale
RC airplanes and their favorite pieces of scale
detail. For the diehard MAN editors, perhaps the
most important detail is a scale pilot figure—one
with the correct equipment and goggles. Here
are some of the answers we received.
Adam Graves: I like the whole package of a truly
scale airplane: working flaps, scale propeller,
dummy engine, retracts—the whole nine yards.
Add a functional bomb drop and a sliding canopy
and you’re really cooking with gas.
Keith A. Voelker: While any additional scale
appearance and/or functional item will always
enhance a scale airplane, one of my favorite
additions is the RC pilot’s ability to fly the plane
in as scale a manner as possible. For most of us
several yards and more away from a scale plane,
the appearance of all the scale items blends into
the entire plane. What is left is the entire plane’s
overall appearance for what it really is: namely,
flying as the original full-scale plane flew.
Dan Dirksen: I really like a well-detailed cockpit.
There are many models with scale outlines,
working flaps, retracts, bomb drops, etc.
However, the cockpit is where my eyes are first
drawn to when I look at a scale model. There
are so many features to most cockpits that one
can spend almost as much time in the cockpit
detailing as building the rest of the plane.
Hank McCabe: I think detailing is very important. To me it’s personal satisfaction, even
though, like Dan said, it is time-consuming. But
it’s well worth it in the end.
Jeb: I agree. An accurate and realistic scale pilot
is the most important to me. There are many
available at high prices. Unfortunately, anything
priced for the average modeler is just plain ugly.
Facebook Photo of the Week
Some of our most popular online posts are
our picks for the “Photo of the Week,” and you
guys never fail to add your comments and likes.
Recently, we posted an amazing flight shot of an
A- 6 Intruder designed and built by Mike Selby and
flown by Gen. Raymond Johns, USAF (retired), as
photographed by ace photographer David Hart at
the 2012 Top Gun Scale Invitational at Paradise
Field in Lakeland, Florida. The 1/5-scale A- 6 was a complete composite design with Mike
producing all the tooling and molds for the 55-pound Top Gun entry. The 120-inch-span model
was powered by a B300F turbine engine, and it tied for the High Static Score award in Team
Scale with a score of 99.423. Here’s another great ground shot of the Intruder and Mike’s team.
U In Our Mailbox Saito Gas Conversion
I just learned that a local RC club member has an almost-new Saito 180 GK for sale at a
super attractive price. I know that Saito four-stroke engines have an excellent reputation,
but I am wondering if there is a gasoline conversion for this engine. I have given up all my
glow equipment and only fly gas now.
—John Philbrick, Nolensville, TN
John, we agree that the Saito line of four-stroke engines does
indeed have a reputation for long-lasting quality and reliability.
However, I am not aware of any conversion kits available to
switch the 180 GK over to gasoline. There are aftermarket
electronic-spark ignition systems with magnetic timing pickups
available and even mini spark plugs that will screw right into
place, but the trouble is that some of the rubber parts in the
carburetor will quickly break down when exposed to gasoline.
Also, switching to a gasoline-compatible carburetor would be
problematic. It is possible, but I do not think it would be worth
the effort or the expense when there are so many new two-stroke gasoline engines available in
the same size and power range.—GY
AP: I lived next to McCord AFB, and the
A- 6 Intruder was the loudest plane I
ever heard. Darn, they are loud.
DH: Hey! That’s one of my old shots!
EAR: Ahh! Love me some A- 6!
JT: Wow! What a great photo. I met
Mike and Ray at Top Gun when they
were competing with his sweep-wing
AB: I remember that airplane. It has
been several years. I hear Mike is no
longer in scale modeling.
In our September issue, there were a few typos that reader Walt Moore pointed out in our article “How to Break
In Your Engine.” In the “Engine Operation” section, it should read “the engine makes one revolution for every
power cycle,” not two. Also, in the “Engine Terminology” section, it should state that the wristpin connects the
piston to the crankshaft, not the crankcase. Finally, Walt points out that for ABC engines, the main needle valve
should not be opened four turns (which is OK for ringed engines). ABC engines need heat early on in the break-in
process to open up the tapered cylinder walls and make them more parallel. Very rich settings provide cooling,
such that the cylinder walls don’t wear in properly, remaining tapered. We agree. And with all things important,
as with engine break-in, always read the manufacturer’s instructions.—G Y