By Alan Isaacs
After the demise of my trusty Cermark Pheonix I was looking for a replacement and discovered The Pelikan T-400 on Watts Up Hobbies website.
A Quick call to Ian Lewis confirmed my initial idea that this was the model I was looking for, especially after getting hold of a Global Cobalt 400 motor.
The box arrived beautifully packed in corrugated cardboard and opening it revealed a well packed kit.
Containing a very well finished Glass fuselage, a three piece wing, tailplane and very comprehensive hardware pack Including a very nice aluminium Spinner / Middle Piece with a cooling hole thru the center.
Upon study of the parts I can only comment that the finish and covering of all built up parts was far better than I could have done. The covering material is Clear Red Oracover with white control surfaces and with the exception of the rudder, all pre-hinged.
From the outset it became clear that this is not a completely ARF kit but a builder with a modicum of experience will have no problems in assembling this model in around 20 Hours.
The Instruction leaflet is a small A5 booklet that has been translated from Czech and leaves a little to be desired, but presents few major problems.
Assembly begins with Joining the tips to the wings using the ply dihedral braces with a mixture of epoxy and microballoons for filling the tiny gaps at the joins. The wing hold down dowel is fitted and the assembled wing is aligned so the center line of the fus is in position for the wing bolt which is reinforced by a ply plate with an inserted blind nut. (installed later)
The Aileron servos are fitted in the wing bays and connected with the usual pushrod system. It is necessary to make up a couple of *servo leads to reach the center hole. I removed the plug ends so the wires would pass through the built in tubes that run through the wing, then rejoined the plugs - No problems here! The final step is to fit the supplied glass fairings over the push rod exits and servos. (I used PVC tape for this)
*Tip - Go to Dick Smiths and buy a couple of meters of 1.5mm hook up wire Red, Black and White- stick one end in the vice, the other in your electric drill and twist 'em up into a fairly tight twist - this stops any stray RF interference from long flat leads.
This part is where I really began to notice the sparse instruction Manual!
It is necessary to do quite a bit of cutting at the outset of the fuselage construction process - If you don't have a Dremel with a cutting wheel - get one!
The first job is to cut an access hatch in the wing seat area to take the battery pack and the vent holes need to be cut for motor cooling. There are no detailed instructions for this but common sense tells you it is needed.
Now is the time to epoxy the ply reinforcer plate with the wing hold down blind nut in place over your pre-drilled hole.
The Engine Mount / Firewall is a disk that is epoxied to the fuselage, they suggest using a gap of 2mm from the front of the fuselage - Ignore this and mount it flush with the fuselage front which is pre-cut to take account of the right and down thrust needed.
Tip: When you order your T400 -add a fiberglass engine mount to your order - the supplied three ply one is not substantial enough
I used a Dremel with a triangular grind head to cut the vent holes in the fus and a cut off wheel in the creation of a hatch under the wing for the battery pack.
I pre-fitted the Servo tray to the battery mount plate to check that all the wires and bits and pieces would fit. (Not glued at this stage - need to check the CG with all components) I also added a velcro tie down for the pack. The battery pack is mounted on a foam block which angles it towards the canopy in the event of a nose down crash the battery will exit through the canopy hatch rather than the motor, ESC and servo tray - a good idea I thought!
The T-Tail is attached by a blind nut and nylon bolt which is epoxied to the inside of the fin at the top, once lined up a steel dowel is fitted to hold the alignment.
The supplied servo tray is glued in place under the canopy hatch.
Final job is to fit the supplied rudder and elevator pushrods which are supported by the placement of balsa block wherever along the fus they'rė needed.
The motor I used is a Wattage Cobalt 400 with an 8x4.5 prop with direct drive - this produces tons of power for this 23 oz model. A Kan NiMh 1050 battery pack supplies the go juice and a Slim 35/45 ESC with braking manages the throttle.
The gentle hand launch into the wind with full throttle proved that the motor has more power than it needs and a mild torque roll was starting so I throttled back - Even on half throttle quite a steep angle of climb was attained and at around 200 feet I cut the motor and settled into the glide - beautiful! This model is light and responds to the gentlest thermal with a twitch - 15 minutes later the thermal "tossed me out" and I lined her up into the wind and gently floated down for a perfect greaser landing - The only trim needed was a touch of up elevator to steady the glide but this was taken out after moving the CG to 66mm from the leading edge (I had it slightly tail heavy)
This is a great little glider for lightish conditions and will be a perfect model for those lovely calm winter days. The pre-fabricated parts are beautifully finished and the building component is not onerous for an experience builder - This model is not a true ARF but building is a lot of fun and few challenges. Buy one NOW! It is Great Value for $249.00!
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|Wingspan||1.6m||AUW (as reviewed)||23oz
||Radio||R.E. Ailerons, Throttle (4 Naro BB servos)
||Power||(As reviewed -Not supplied) Cobalt 400 Direct Drive +Kan 1050 NiMh - Slim 35 BEC -ESC-8x4.5 Folding Prop
||Supplier||Watts-Up Hobbies - Hastings
||Overall Rating||9.5 out of 10