Classic Remote Control Airplanes Kits Reviews – Perfect Trainer 40 (PT-40)

by Dante Medine

Specifications

  • Wing Span: 60 in (152 cm)
  • Wing Area: 675 sq in (4355 cm²)
  • Length: 49.0 in (125 cm)
  • Weight: 5.25 Lbs. (2.4 kg)
  • Engine:
    • .35 – .46 2 – cycle>
    • (5.5 cc – 7.5 cc 2 – cycle)
    • .40 – .48 4 – cycle
    • (6.5 cc – 8.0 4 – cycle)
  • 4 Servos required

The Perfect Trainer 40 (PT-40) is an AWARF, covered in what has become industry standard for ARF’s, polyester film. The kit comes complete with all components and hardware, only glues are required. A photo illustrated manual is included, which is easy to follow for anyone who reads English but plans are not included. Packaging is good. The particular plane purchased came missing the wheels and with a tear in the wing cover. The wood used is of good quality. Overall impression was that this plane is above average for ARF trainers in terms of construction, color, packaging, quality, and completeness.

The tear was repaired with a bold, orange strip of heat shrink covering, which greatly improved visibility. The usual 2″ foam wheels are not adequate anyway so these were not missed. DuBro 2.75″ rubber wheels were used instead, which greatly improved tracking on grass.

For a novice builder, the estimated 20 hours construction time is adequate. This plane was built in 8 hours using a fully fitted shop. Some fitting and light sanding of parts is required. The tail fits together nicely and squarely, without a lot of attention. The wing was joined with epoxy and all other joints were made with CA. The firewall is adequate for an engine up to .40 size but was strengthened by adding triangle stock to the corners on the engine side. The plane is definitely tail heavy so the engine should be mounted and fitted last and as far forward as possible. The supplied fuel tank is round, which does not allow the battery pack to be used as ballast. Instead, a square 10 oz tank was used and placed on top of the batteries immediately behind the firewall. The recommended throws were used for all control surfaces. The plane should be balanced nose heavy to provide good tracking. The supplied push rods for throttle and steering are inadequate so cable was substituted.

A Thunder Tiger Pro46 2 – cycle glow engine with an 11×6 prop was chosen to power the model. DuBro mounting bolts were used instead of the supplied Great Planes bolts to mount the engine.

For the initial flight, flying conditions were ideal; sunny day, light wind, no clouds and a paved runway. The first takeoff was smooth and steady. The plane climbed easily with the Pro46. After leveling out, very little trim was required. All control surfaces give smooth and gentle response. The plane landed gently and easily. Flight was predictable with no unusual or bad tendencies.

The Pro46 is too powerful for this model. It can fly the plane into a good wind at only 1/3 throttle, which is not efficient for the engine design. A 10×6 prop requires a bit more throttle but does not allow the plane to reduce velocity enough for a slow landing. A good .40 sized engine is all that is required using a 10×6 prop.

The plane flies well in a strong wind but is difficult to land. With the generous dihedral, it gets buffeted on all sides and moves in all directions which is a common deficiency for trainers. In the hands of a competent flyer and after increasing control throws, the plane is capable of all the basic maneuvers; loops, Immelmans, eights, Cuban eights, hammerheads, and rolls.

The Great Planes PT-40 is a good flier and definitely a good trainer. One of its strong points is that it is genuinely all wood, which is entirely repairable after those inevitable hard landings. It does not require extensive building skill nor time. It is definitely a good choice for any novice or beginner accompanied by an instructor. As a first plane, it is highly recommended in either kit or AWARF form.

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