The Super Stearman roared onto the scenes as a powerhouse showman in the 70’s, and now ElectriFly has given us all the chance to be show pilots with our own RC version. See how this muscle-bound little brute performed for Kurt and Rob’s 5X5 inspection!
Upon inspection of the kit, you’re immediately taken by the fact that a near-weightless fuselage is going to be yanked around by a big .10 Rimfire motor. Your attention however is quickly turned to the assembly: one of the smoothest builds we’ve ever experienced. Everything fits perfectly! Considering the complex alignment throughout a biplane’s airframe, the Stearman went together like a Swiss watch. Our APC prop was dead-on and needed no balancing so before we knew it, our Stearman was ready to take to the skys.
Throws were set to factory recommendations and with our rates plugged into our T8FG Futaba Tx, we lined the Stearman up on the runway for it’s maiden flight. If we were relaxed up to this point, everything suddenly changed. The Stearman is a powerful little bipe and you realize the shortness of the fuselage as soon as you apply power. The Rimfire .10 give the airframe a healthy shot of torque as you roll into the throttle and your reflexes are tested for sudden rudder and aileron correction and the Stearman jumps off the ground. Things happen pretty fast on that first take-off so make sure your rates are set to low and your eyes are focused. We took off with a crosswind so things were a bit accentuated.
The Stearman, in the air, takes complete charge. Rolls, Snaps, Loops, Knife-edges, Inverts, and big air maneuvers like Cuban 8’s, Split-s’s and anything else you can muster make the Stearman seem bigger than it is. The short-coupling means the tail has no objections to stepping in front of the nose so be prepared for everything happening quicker than expected. We found ourselves executing basic aerobatics on low rates as we got used to the Stearman’s willingness, no, eagerness, to get wild. What you’ll find is that the Stearman also behaves quite nicely when you back off the gimbals and fly relaxed. A wide flight envelope makes the Stearman a blast to fly, but not for the beginner or faint of heart!
Once all the excitement is over, the Stearman settles into a nice glide slope and sits down on the runway with the best of the bipes. Note: I said bipes, not high wing trainers so keep the tail up, set it down on the mains, and then lower the tail for a gentle rolling stop. Three-pointing a biplane often results in a tip stall to a cartwheel during the attempt for many new bipe pilots, so be conservative until you learn the Stearman’s tendencies.
A beautiful, fun to fly re-creation of the Super Stearman!