Hangar 9 'Sbach'





Shoes and handbags

After receiving one glitch too many while flying on my last visit to Kirkistown, I decided it was time to ditch my faithful 35mz 3810 and catch up with the rest of the club with a 2.4 system.  Wanting to stay with JR, I decided on the XG8 which had all and a little more than I would probably ever use.  Now, as my wife very often tells me, you can't buy a new pair of shoes without buying a new handbag etc to go along with it , so I decided it was pay back time and new plane had to be got to go along with my new transmitter.
After the disappointment of the 'Bullet,' I had a look through the Hanger 9 range and the 60 size Sbach caught my attention.




After a text and a few phone calls with Stewart, he organized the plane for me through Robert Graham at Mid Ulster Models.  I spoke to Robert a few days later about a new radio and when he said he had the XG8 in stock I asked him to hold one over for me.


The build

Five days later and I was collecting what I had ordered and also other bits and pieces (its surprising what Graham has in his shop) which I would need to finish things off.  That Friday night was spent reading through the Sbach instructions and also flipping through the instructions for the radio, its unreal all that can be adjusted and mixed with new radio sets!

It was Saturday before lunch when I unpacked the plane and laid out the parts for a few pics and decided the build would begin in earnest after a bite to eat.



The first parts to be fitted were the aileron servos; four screws hold the servo in and four more to secure the hatch.  The manual managed to cover two pages of photographs and very detailed instructions on how this should be done.  Still, I suppose its good to know I've been doing it correctly all these years.

The ailerons were already hinged so that's the wings finished!
Undercarriage next, and with the wheels already fitted, holes already drilled and blind nuts already fitted, both in the fuselage and in spats, the hardest part was making sure the undercarriage was fitted the correct way round.


Elevator and rudder servos were quickly located and fitted as the holes are pre drilled.  The push rod outers were again already fitted.  I'm lovin' this plane more and more!

The fin is part of the fuselage, so next was the tail plane.  A dry fit to check alignment proved to be a waste of time as it was spot on. The metal rod that inserts through the fuselage then into the tail plane was glued in place with epoxy.  As I had to make a bit of a jig to hold things in place until the epoxy hardened, that was the building finished for the first day.


Day two and the rudder/tail wheel were quickly fitted as the slots were already cut for the mylar hinges and the hole in the rudder was pre drilled for the tail wheel.  Again, everything lined up perfectly.

As things had progressed so quickly with the build my thoughts turned to which engine I was going to fit.  The recommended two stroke was a 61 to 91 or a 91 to 1.25 four stroke.  Other alternatives were a 15cc petrol or it could be converted to electric, for which the power box was supplied.  I had a Thunder Tiger 91 four stroke and also various two strokes to chose from.  It was Michael who made up my mind, saying that, as it was a scale plane, the four stroke might be the way to go.  Afraid that it might not be powerful enough as it was at the lower end of the recommended size, I decided not fit the cowl until after the test flight.

The pre drilled holes in the firewall aligned perfectly with the engine mount although I did have to remove 1mm off the inside of each leg for the engine to fit.  Testing the cowl, which has all holes pre drilled and blind nuts fitted in the fuselage, I was surprised that it was able to be fitted over the engine with no cut outs being made (although I did have the main needle removed)  and again alignment with the spinner was perfect.  Well done Hanger 9!

Day two was finished off with the elevators. The two elevator halves are joined by a link wire as they are controlled by one servo.  Once again holes were already drilled and a channel cut out for the link wire.  So all that I had to do was epoxy in the wire joiner and cyano the mylar hinges.  Again, the instruction manual goes into great detail as to how this should be done.



My first dislike(s)

Having been very happy to follow the instructions and everything being 100% (?) correct, I was surprised when it was suggested the tank should be installed along with a former, which, when glued in place, would completely encase the tank.  This meant it would make tank removal a major job and I can think of very few planes I have owned that the tank has never be removed. 

I made a new former from lite ply, something the same shape as the original but left the top section open.  This will allow easy removal of the tank at anytime.

This was day three of the build (Monday) and I began to think that flying on Saturday, just eight days after collecting the plane, was a distinct possibility.

Radio installation next and straight away while setting up the elevator throws, I noticed the two halves of the elevator did not line up!  There was nearly a 3mm difference.  My shoulders dropped.   If I had noticed this before it would have been easy to correct.
Leaving it was the only option at this stage.


Fitting 2.4 things

Fitting the radio gear took nearly as long as it took to build the plane.  This was due to having to refer to the manual quite a lot for the various (and endless) functions on the XG8, and also making enquiries about exactly which way the aerial should be pointing when flying.  No point in going into detail about this, but I will be following the supplement supplied along with the radio.  I used the supplied hook and loop tape (don't you just love the American logic when naming things) to secure the receiver and satellite.  Although only a 62" plane, there is loads of room in the fuselage so this was not a problem.



The all important centre of gravity check was carried out and seven ounces of lead was needed to balance the plane at the 'safer' end of the measurements.

Everything was more or less ready to go now but unfortunately, the weather on Saturday prevented the maiden flight.  That was a real bummer as I was going on holiday for a week the next day.  Michael was keen to see the plane and also the transmitter so after a few texts, he was on his way to my house.  Michael's first impression of the plane was fine, but as I pointed out the difference in the elevators, things changed!  Michael thought the difference was too much to be ignored.  I thought for the basic flying that I did it would be okay.  To cut a long and complicated story short, Michael took the plane home to correct the fault while I was away on holiday.

The fault turned out to be due to the pre-cuthinge line not being made on the center of the tail plane.  This in turn lifted up and distorted the elevator.  My fault for not noticing this during assembly, but at this late stage of the build I will admit to being a tad complacent as things had gone so well.


Maiden Flight

Two weeks later and it was time for the first flight.  After a little fine tuning on the Thunder Tiger 91, it was time to go.

Tracking for take off was good with little or no rudder required (think I was on auto pilot at this stage, so I'm not really sure) a little elevator input and she was climbing as straight as could be with no aileron trim needed.  The only trim required was a few clicks of up elevator for straight and level flight.

Hanger 9 said that this Sbach has the feel of flying a much larger plane and, to be fair, I think they have achieved this as I think it is the nicest flying plane I have owned.  In the turns, no matter now tight, the tracking remains the same.

Landing was called, and for a maiden flight and a horrid digital trim on the throttle, things went very well.




The fact I would have be able to fly this plane one week after purchase is all down to the amount of work already carried out by Hanger 9 and the accuracy of assembly, apart from the elevator. The only other problem encountered was after the third flight, one of the three aileron hinges had pulled out from the main wing. From what I could see, it looked like when the hinge was inserted. it missed the block inside the trailing edge.  I didn't notice anything while flying so things could have been a lot worse.

With the pilot and cowl now fitted I think this is a very nice plane and is capable of doing a lot more than I will ever ask of it.

I have to give a big thanks to Michael for sorting the elevator while I was away sunning myself.






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