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-   -   Phoenix Models Tucano(PC-9) GP/EP Review and Build (https://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73189)

dahawk 02-15-2014 01:04 AM

Phoenix Models Tucano(PC-9) GP/EP Review and Build
Just received my new Phoenix Models 40 Tucano from Tower Hobby. From order to door took all of 3 days. Wow factor.

First impression as I opened the box ? Wow !!! I finally found the Holy Grail of ARF's !

This plane is wood/balsa & fiberglass cowl.

WS; 62"
Length: 54"
Flying weight: 7 lbs
Wing Type: Naca airfoil
Covering: Oracover
Hinges: CA type
LG. Fixed wire for mains with oleo strut for stearable nose gear
Canopy: spring latched type
Cockpit: scale instrument panels with HUD 2 Pilot figures included
Spinner 58 mm included
Engine mount Comes with Gas and electric parts included stand offs.

Needed to complete:
Servos: 4 standard
Motor: I'm using a Powerup 46 from HURC 620kV, 1000 watt max power
ESC: Skypower 80 amp w/ 6 amp linear BEC from HURC
UBEC: Yes. I'll use a separate UBEC with buss-tie circuit
Prop: 13 x 6.5 or 12 x8
Lipo: I'll be using 5S. Motor/esc will handle 6S

This plane oozes with quality and craftsmanship throughout. The covering is impeccable. I'm especially impressed with the sheeting. Unlike some others I've had, there's no see-through soft spots on this one. Clearly designed old-school.

It came well protected , double boxed and all subcomponents taped or in nice bags and organized logically. There was one little nick in the port side exhaust pipe. An easy repair.

The plane is designed to accept retracts and even included vacuum formed plastic wheel wells. On other Phoenix models , they typically have used air or mechanicals but this plane will accept servoless retracts.
They must not have received the 2010 memo that servoless have improved drastically in the last few years.

There are no flaps included on this model. They could be modded but frankly, I don't think it needs them. Worse case, you could go with flapperons. The ailerons are long. One less thing to worry about.

Here some pics:

Grand opening / unboxing


Parts laid out


Minor blemish on port side exhaust pipe


I'll read through the manual a couple of times and get started tomorrow. Plan to take my time on this one.

Did I mention the price? . Ready? $129.00 shipped. Combing the planet for an affordable PC-9 I was taken back. Sebart, Seagull, Ecomm, Unique models, etcetera. When I found it. my first thought was: Are you eff'n kidding me ? Still shaking my head on this.

I've paid a lot more for far lesser quality foam planes. Heck the bare Multiplex Tucano kit is $179.00 Go figure.

I'll post progress over the next two weeks. With my wife out of town, I've commandeered the kitchen table. It must be completed by March 1 or my @$$ is grass. Hopefully, I'll get to the Maxford Globe Swift built also.

Here's the link: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...%3Eano+gp%2Fep

From other sites, the Phoenix Tucano 40 has great flight reviews.

Already got me thinking about other Phoenix models but okay, I know, first things first...


Hawk :tc:

CHELLIE 02-15-2014 01:14 AM

Good Find Hawk :ws: Nice Plane and Price :$ Dont forget that I get to do the Maiden Flight on this One :D :D :D LOL Take care and have fun, Chellie

gramps2361 02-15-2014 01:57 AM

That is a sweet looking plane, and setup it right you'll be able to haul the mail. looking forward to seeing your progress great price, and I think they have free shipping going on now. I haven't bought a ARF in over a year.Hmm

Dahawk don't go getting any glue on that kitchen table dead give away you've been up to no good in the kitchen.:)

xmech2k 02-15-2014 06:26 AM

Nice one! Looks great. When I get my MPX Tucan (for some reason they didn't call it a Tucano) flying, we can compare notes!

waytooslow 02-15-2014 03:27 PM

dang nice plane. Might have to score me one!

dahawk 02-15-2014 07:00 PM


Originally Posted by CHELLIE (Post 940017)
Good Find Hawk :ws: Nice Plane and Price :$ Dont forget that I get to do the Maiden Flight on this One :D :D :D LOL Take care and have fun, Chellie

Wish you could !

dahawk 02-15-2014 07:01 PM


Originally Posted by waytooslow (Post 940070)
dang nice plane. Might have to score me one!

Working on it today. So far, so good.

Gramps , no CA on the kitchen table. Bought some debonder just in case. Yikes !

dahawk 02-15-2014 11:01 PM

A little progress today. Had to run out and get some supplies. Lowes, Wal-Mart and then got side-tracked at Harbor Freight. Have a hard time leaving that store. LOL

Got the CA hinges on the ailerons and the Aileron servos installed. Think I'll go ahead and install the mains and then I can put the wings off to the side.

I'm so impressed with this plane.

Post progress tomorrow.

dahawk 02-17-2014 04:08 AM

Long day. Nearing the finish line. Replaced stock rods with stiffer ones. They seemd a little weak to me.

Servos installed and operational. I noticed elevator throws are light. The horns are very close in to the fuse but that should not matter. Have clevis on second hole from the end. It's not bad , just not as much as I thought. The manual only calls for 8mm. Rudder and ailerons seem normal.

Mounting of the Wings ceremony tomorrow. Mount cowl, prop, spinner, front axle and wheel. Then on to my CG machine. General clean-up and walk-around. Maybe add some of the decals. Wonder why there's a cut out in the decal sheet. Maybe something was not politically correct?

Will get her dialed in on the DX9. Awaiting new TX but for now, I have an Orange w/stabilizer available. Think I'm gong to get a genuine Spektrum with satellite.

If I get a chance, I'll take her outside and run a taxi test on the driveway. Maiden later on in the week depending on weather.

I still have the Maxford Temco Globe Swift to build but now I'll have almost 2 weeks to complete. Whew !

This is one impressive plane. It went together similar to my VQ DHC Beaver. Nothing too complicated. Well built, high quality ARF.

Here a few pics from the build:

Completed both wings including LG, Servos and horns. Tested each. CA hinges are included. I pinned the CL's and they went in as easy as 3.1416


Installed Motor and ESC. The Hurc Power up 46 and Skypower 80 w/BEC. I'll add a UBEC with buss tie circuit later. The hole pattern for the stand-off matched the Hurc Motor perfectly. The distance from prop adaptor to firewall is right at the prescribed 110 mm. Whew ! Christians 1, Romans 0.

Carved out hole on firewall with Dremel for cooling. It lines up perfectly with the air scoop which is part of cowl. Added CNC machined nose gear and turning arm. Funny they would go to that much trouble and then have wire mains. Man, that nose gear /strut assembly is as " Toit as a Toiger !" LOL Need to figure out how to reduce the internal spring tension.

Concerned about the stiff wire mains . You would thing they would have had one spring loop. She'll get oleo struts soon.


Aligned and installed H-stab with 30 min epoxy. Added Ca hinged elevators and then the rudder to the pre-installed V-stab. Added horns , rods, and clevises. Changed the rods to stiffer ones. The stock rods seemed a little flimsy.


Here'a pic of the canopy . A lot of scale detail including a HUD for each of the two pilots. Not something you usually see in a $120.00 ARF.


Completed Tucano tomorrow !

xmech2k 02-17-2014 05:08 AM

Looking good! Nice detail in the cockpit. Do you plan to add retracts at some point? It looks like they might have been doing an earlier Smoke Squadron scheme. Strange about the missing stickers.

dahawk 02-17-2014 05:29 AM


Yes, this plane is screaming for retracts. There's an addendum in the manual. They even include vacuum formed wheel wells to drop in. I figured I'd first fly her dirty and see how she goes.

Looking for a set of metal trunnions that are slow acting, say 3 sec or greater. It's funny, on their other models, they set them up for air and mechanical type. Factory is in Vietnam. Oh well.

The plane is about 7 lbs flying weight w/ 5S lipo. My Powerup 46 weighs 10 oz alone. They basically sheeted the entire plane. Not kidding when you say: " knock on wood" LOL This thing is built like a brick you know what.

CHELLIE 02-17-2014 05:49 AM

Wow, You Sure got that done Quick :)

rcers 02-17-2014 01:24 PM

Looks great can't wait to see it in the air.


dahawk 02-17-2014 05:03 PM

Thanks Chellie and Mike,

Has gone together great so far. Even someone like me can build this thing. LOL

Not crazy about the cheapo spinner. Have ordered a GP with aluminum backplate.

Had to cut back the nylon wing bolts about 25mm. No big deal there.

Already thinking retracts. Since I epoxied in the hardened wood blocks, I'll need to dremel them out when the time comes. Will need a set to support a 7lb plane . Want slow, scale acting with oleo struts.

More pics later today.

The next week and half will be devoted to building stuff.

Still need to video the flight of the X47B 70mm edf for the $75.00 contest. Should get a special award for world's ugliest rc plane- LOL

dahawk 02-19-2014 04:50 PM

EMB-312 Tucano
When I first started going over the plane my first thought was: " old school" and I mean that in a good way. Yes, the full sheeting adds weight but I'll take the weight over see-through panels or the type of balsa arf you can accidentally poke your finger through. My level of expectation was low considering the price and when I opened the box , my jaw dropped.

Is the plane 100% perfect? No , there's always something and this plane is not without a few quirks or things that could be better. Lack of flaps( not a big deal for me) . Funky LG design. In dire need of retracts. Surprised they went to the trouble of a CNC machined nose gear assy and then the wire and wood blocks for the mains. Cheapie spinner( replacing with GP) Flimsy rods ( an easy upgrade) . Wing bolts too long ( a quick fix)

But as far as fit and finish ? 5 stars. Impeccable. Bang for the buck ? 5 stars . C'mon, $120 ?

Ease of assembly? 5 stars. Really only took me 2 days off and on to build. There was very little glue needed and much of the plane is already pre-assembled like the firewall with built-in blind nuts. The integral vertical stabilizer, one less thing to fuss with. A finished and scale detailed canopy with two pilots, headsup displays, 3D panels. Nice to not have to detail a canopy.

So, I'm basically finished. Applied some of the decals. Await a better spinner and better rx w/ satellite. Plus, I still need to test CG.

Have not installed the antenna's or strakes in the v-stab.Was feeling around for the depressions in the covering and gave up. Will the strakes actually help this plane fly better? Doubt it.

Left the foam bomb off . Apparently the Brazilian Air Force uses this plane for counter insurgency besides being a trainer.


Hope she flies well. At least she looks good. Maiden soon ! Chellie, American flies direct to DFW from ONT- LOL


gramps2361 02-19-2014 07:43 PM

Your Tucano looks great hope I read about about awesome maiden flight.

dahawk 02-20-2014 02:53 PM

Thanks gramps,

Hope to enlist the help from rcer's(Mike). Almost ready.

One thing I enjoy doing with all my planes is delving into the history of the full scale version. All this time I thought the Tucano was a Pilatus PC-9 built by Embrear under license. Much like Beechcraft builds the Texan II for the USAF under license.

From what I can tell in researching, it's actually an Embraer 312 and has its roots in Brazil, not Switzerland.. They in turn licensed it to Shorts Bros in the UK who were awarded a large contract from the RAF.

They now make the Super Tucano 314. Pretty cool history !

So no, it's not a PC-9 after all.

rcers 02-20-2014 02:57 PM

Happy to help. :)

waytooslow 02-20-2014 04:53 PM


Originally Posted by rcers (Post 940513)
Happy to help. :)

Let Bob crash.. errr fly it.... Just make sure I am there when you guys maiden it.

gramps2361 02-20-2014 09:00 PM

Make sure there's a video! . I want to see Mike give this a good wringing out make sure everything is up to snuff. Nothing like a maiden flight with a WOT one foot off the deck inverted pass down the flight line.;):Q

rcers 02-20-2014 10:06 PM


Originally Posted by gramps2161 (Post 940533)
Make sure there's a video! . I want to see Mike give this a good wringing out make sure everything is up to snuff. Nothing like a maiden flight with a WOT one foot off the deck inverted pass down the flight line.;):Q

Easy to do when it is the other guys money. :) HA!

gramps2361 02-20-2014 11:51 PM


Tell you the truth I have maiden a couple of planes for other people, and I was more nervous than I was doing a maiden flight with my own plane.

waytooslow 02-21-2014 04:30 AM

have maiden a few for other folks -- crashed one due to poor electronics. I am same -- I am more inclined to push the envelope on my own.

dahawk 02-21-2014 01:01 PM

I don't mind maidening at all but it sure is nice to have an observer standing by.

xmech2k 02-21-2014 04:20 PM

Lol! There's guys in my club who won't maiden a plane if there are any observers!


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