Great Planes Revolver .46

Great Planes Revolver .46

The spinner and pilot figure are included – nice!

Reviewing Great Planes’ Revolver 70 last year prompted me to take a look at this, the smaller and older model first introduced in 2007. Unhelpfully, both models seem to be called simply Revolver with neither name seeking to differentiate size so I'll call this one Revolver .46.
    In essence the model is a traditional mid-wing sportster beautifully and cleverly styled in my opinion. It adopts plug-in wings, long strip ailerons and profiled tail feathers. Designed for a .91 four-stroke and equivalents, the larger of the two spans some 70” while this, the smaller, spans 59” and is designed for a .46 – .55 two-stroke, four-stroke equivalent or a brushless outrunner. I’ve fitted an O.S. 46AX two-stroke here and it’s just perfect with plenty of power so don’t be tempted to fit something bigger; the model won’t really need it.
    Great Planes tend to add a few items to their kits that other manufacturers don’t (and really ought) so you’ll find a lovely aluminium spinner, a good pilot bust and carbon undercarriage legs that combine to add substantive finishing touches to this already attractive model.
    It’s covered in Monokote which I assumed to be a good thing but the material isn’t impressive. Few ARTF models come out of the box with this many wrinkles these days and while (as the manual alludes) running over with an iron helps, there are better covering materials out there – Oracover this certainly isn’t.
    General build quality and fit of parts is fine, the hardware fine too although, annoyingly, some bits were missing notable some spat retention bolts. It all goes together pretty well, perhaps the niggles being;

• The undercarriage leg bolt holes and captive nuts don’t align very well.
• The engine mount bolts (for bolting the motor to mount) were too short

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A real 'racer' look don't you think?

Great Planes suggest the use of a Pitts type muffler so as to reduce the amount of cowl cutting but I left the O.S.’s famously effective silencer in place – it’s quieter than a Pitts silencer, very quiet in fact and, in my opinion, doesn’t detract from the appearance. Not only that but cowl cutting complexity is little different whatever you decide to go for.
    An electric motor stand-off should really be included with the model yet isn’t, you’ll need a Great Planes item, or after-market item. The suggested set up entails a 4260 800Kv outrunner and a 6S Li-Po battery for which the removable top hatch provides easy and ample access.  
    It’s designed to accept standard size servos and those with a standard torque rating (say 3-4kg) will be fine. There’s an amendment slip relating to the C of G, that itself isn’t very clear but the suggested balance point of 110mm back from the leading edge at the root is good so I've not felt the need to alter this.
    There’s little difference between the low and high rate suggestions, which is pretty much as you’d expect for a model that’s designed for the traditional sport aerobatic role. As always, it’s best to start with the low ones and go from there. 

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POINT’N’SHOOT
Take-off is perfectly straightforward – tracking is good so just a smidgeon of elevator is required to hold the tail before the model gently rises. You can yank it off the deck of course but, much to my preference, it’s easy to reproduce a nice long, lazy, full size type take-off. All the way though, the model’s slow speed handling is excellent – it’s not going to bite unless the pilot does something to invite trouble.
    The first obvious aspect to the machine's flight pattern is the smoothness and precision that’s apparent. It’s no surprise that competition pattern ships adopt a mid-wing layout and I can honestly say that, short of a pattern ship I’ve not flown a smoother .46-size i.c. machine than this.
    What’s interesting is how the smaller .46 equipped model differs in character to the larger machine – for its size it’s a bit faster and, suitably trimmed, a bit snappier too. The O.S. 46AX isn’t cheap yet it’s one of the best 46s money can buy – a real beast of an engine yet smooth as a turbine too. Fitting an O.S. 55AX would be unnecessary really although an SC .52 would be a good match if funds are tight.
The roll rate can be whatever the pilot requires, subject to rates and expo refinement. Maxing out the rates produces a fast and satisfyingly axial response. Inverted flight needs perhaps more forward pressure on the stick than some models yet feels comfortable at all times and the machine holds the vertical lines very well so I’ve done nothing more than add a few clicks of trim here and there to tweak the performance. The engine down-thrust and C of G shouldn’t need tinkering with.
Spin entry and exit is straightforward, the spin rate fast enough thanks to the large rudder which also makes knife-edge flight another straightforward proposition, point rolls too.
Landing the Revolver is uncomplicated although the slippery smoothness shouldn’t be ignored so it’s important to bleed off sufficient speed in the base leg and approach before touchdown. The carbon undercarriage absorbs bumps very well but come in too fast or drop down quickly and you’ll find yourself airborne again but that’s no problem, the model should forgive you and a gentle increase in throttle and elevator will allow for a safe fly round and another attempt.
The fuel tank is big so endurance is very good – a comfortable 10-12 minutes with the .46. 

GOOD SHOT
The advertising blurb describes the Revolver as a ‘real sports car’ of a model and it is certainly a beautiful and refined drop of sportster that advanced-intermediate and experienced pilots will love. Some small niggles pertain where assembly is concerned which Great Planes should really nail (the model has been available for 4 years!) but the real obstacle is price – it’s imported from the USA so transport costs mean it comes at a sports car price in the UK which is a great pity and has obviously restricted widespread adoption.
    So is it worth paying £214.99 for the Revolver when £117.99 will buy say, a Seagull Harmon Rocket? Sadly most flyers will find that one difficult to justify.

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DATAFILE
Name:    Revolver
Model type:   ARTF sport
Manufactured by:  Great Planes
UK distributor:   Ripmax
RRP:    £214.99  
Wingspan:   59” (1500mm)
Fuselage length:  48” (1220mm)
All-up weight:   6-7lbs
Wing area:   563”
Wing loading:   24 – 28 oz / sq. ft.
Suggested engine:   46-55 two-stroke
Engine used:   O.S. 46AX
Suggested motor:  800Kv 4120 size outrunner
Suggested electric system:  6S Li-Po, 60 amp ESC
  

 

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