F LY R C M A G A Z I N E MIDSIZE ELECTRIC BIPLANE FLIGHT REPORT MAXFORD USA Nieuport 28 by Roger M. Post Jr. A convenient, semi-scale WWI fighter SPECS PLANE: Nieuport 28 40” ARF MANUFACTURER: Maxford USA DISTRIBUTOR: Maxford USA TYPE: Midsize, semi-scale WWI biplane FOR: Intermediate to advanced pilot WINGSPAN: 40 in. WING AREA: 380.25 sq. in. WEIGHT: 37 oz. WING LOADING: 14.01 oz./sq. ft. WING CUBE LOADING: 8.62 LENGTH: 33 in. RADIO: 4 channels required, with three servos; flown with a Spektrum DX7 transmitter, a Spektrum AR6110 receiver and 3 Hitec HS-55 Feather servos POWER SYSTEM: Maxford USA Uranus 28309 outrunner brushless motor, Maxford USA Uranus 25-amp brushless ESC, Thunder Power 3S 11.1V 2200mAh 25C extreme V2 LiPo battery, EMAX 9 x 6E electric propeller FULL THROTTLE POWER: 28 amps, 312.48 watts, 8.93 watts/oz, 142.85 watts/lb 90 FLY RC MAGAZINE TOP RPM: 8,685 DURATION: 10 minutes MINIMAL FLYING AREA: Sports field PRICE: $155.99 COMPONENTS NEEDED TO COMPLETE: A transmitter, a receiver, 3 micro servos, 25-amp outrunner brushless motor, 25-amp brushless ESC, 3S 11.1V 1300 to 2100mAh LiPo Battery and compatible charger, 9x6E electric propeller and a separately available optional Detail Upgrade Package that contains a windshield frame, wheel covers, cockpit coaming, stall horn, air intake tube and a 1/8 scale WWI pilot SUMMARY The build quality on this ARF is superb, and its airframe is much stronger than the standard laser-cut built models I have seen. Lots of interlocking structures help to provide the rigidity. The covering is well-done, too, and you’ll want to pick up the optional Detail Upgrade Package, as it adds the required finishing touches that enhance the Nieuport 28’s overall appeal. See a Video Scan bar code or type find.flyrc.com/081107 PHOTOS BY WALTER SIDAS D esigned by Gustave Delage and built by Nieuport, the N.28C-1 first flew on June 14, 1917, and entered service in March 1918. It was designed to replace its various Nieuport predecessors, but it, too, was already outdated before it entered service. However, the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) of the U.S. Army Air Service desperately needed fighters, and with the unavailability of new French SPAD S.XIII because of a lack of engines, the AEF accepted 297 Nieuport 28s into service until the SPADs arrived. The Nieuport 28 was a highly maneuverable and easy-to-fly fighter, but had an unreliable Gnome 9-N rotary engine, and its performance against the Albatros D.III and later German fighters was lackluster. It also had a problem with its wings’ covering ballooning and detaching from its plywood structure, but that was soon remedied. It served with the AEF for only five months before being replaced by the SPADs. However, a few U.S. aces got their starts and some of their initial victories in the 28, including the U.S.’s top WWI ace Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker of the 94th Aero Squadron, a.k.a. “Hat in the Ring” squadron, who’s Nieuport this model resembles. Maxford USA’s 1/8 scale N.28C-1 is a solidly built model that consists of lite ply and balsa structure that is pre-covered. When I looked inside of the fuselage to check out the build integrity, I was reminded of the old days and how models used to be built. From the forward fuselage all the way to its aft section, this model is solidly built. When the time comes, the “beefed up” forward section will help in balancing the model. The fuselage, wings and tail surfaces are jig-assembled from laser-cut balsa and plywood and pre-covered, with precut hinge slots and CA hinges with pre-punched pinholes for alignment. The box also contains prefinished cabane and interplane struts, a full set of insignia and marking decals, windshield, pre-painted fiberglass cowl and plastic headrest and rigging wires. The extensive hardware package includes everything required to setup the aileron, rudder and elevator pushrods and linkages, preformed main landing gear with rubber wheels, a steerable tailwheel assembly, and pre-painted and -installed wooden fairings. hook and loop battery-strap material and all the other required hardware to complete the model. A detailed and illustrated instruction manual rounds out the box’s contents. Some of the special features include the 9-cylinder dummy AUGUST 2011 91 MAXFORD USA NIEUPORT 28 engine and two scale Vickers .303 in. machine guns. Also, the motor mounting position is adjustable to fit most popular motors and the aileron linkages are fully concealed. There is an optional detail upgrade package available separately, which includes a windshield frame, cockpit coaming, dummy fuel-system venturi, engine air-intake tube, wheel covers and a pre-painted 1 / 8 scale WWI pilot figure. angled brackets, swivels, etc. After this, hook up your radio and power system to ensure that everything works and moves in the correct direction. The horizontal stabilizer is attached first, but there wasn’t any sort of visual align- Left: Although not true to scale, a nice tailwheel assembly is included in the ment reference to ARF that is held in place with two wood screws. I used micro fasteners to TIPS FOR SUCCESS ensure it was level and connect all pushrods to their respective control horns. Right: The elevator and rudder servos mount inside the fuselage onto a laser-cut plywood rails. As this model involves some intricate assemsquare to the fuselage. bly, it is best to have some building experiSo, I deviated a bit and attached the landing From here on, the empennage instructions ence under your belt before attempting its gear assembly, with the wheels included, and were straightforward; just keep in mind that construction. With that in mind, read and rethe bottom wing to the fuselage, which now the elevator needs to be attached before you read the manual to familiarize yourself with provided some visual references and set the add the vertical stabilizer. The CA hinges that the various assembly procedures. Next, sort fuselage level. I then centered the stabilizer Maxford provides for all control-surface through the hardware to ensure that everyand marked where the covering needed to be mounting have pre-punched holes for the thing you need is there and that you are removed. Once the epoxy dried, I removed pins you use to keep the hinges straight, and familiar with all the various screws, bolts, the bottom wing. even, when inserting and gluing them in place. This is a very handy feature and much appreciated by the builder. When mounting the elevator and rudder servos, connect their respective arms to their pushrods and then place the arm on the servo. With this connection, allow each servo to find its “place” in between the servo rails and then attach them with the screws that come with the servos. I used Hitec’s HS-55s, which fit perfectly between the rails. This method will prevent any binding of, and awkward linkage angles for, the servos and their pushrods inside the fuselage. Again I deviated from the instructions and used Du-Bro Micro Connectors to attach the pushrods to n an overcast day with an air temperature of 40 and not a breath of wind to be found, my the control surface horns. I was not Nieuport took to the air. Using the Thunder Power battery described in the Specs, the fond of the method in the instructions, Nieuport required almost full throttle to advance it through the grass and attain enough takewhich gave you a 50/50 chance of getoff speed to become airborne; total takeoff roll: 25 feet on grass. The motor box’s built-in right thrust ting it correct. kept the right rudder input to a minimum. The last item for the empennage is the As soon as the 28 rotated, I brought back the throttle to about 2/3 and let the model climb out. At 30 flying wire attachment. On its Nieuport 1 feet AGL, I added several beeps of down trim and brought the throttle back to just under /2. The air28 web page, Maxford put out an plane seemed happy here, but I could tell it was still a little tail heavy. I wound up adding another addendum that includes four items; the two ounces to quell the tail-heavy aspect. connection of this wire is the first. True to WWI aircraft form, the rudder plays an extremely important role in the turning processs. I wound up using a bit of rudder in the turns along with the standard aileron input. This combinaApparently, they aren’t using the tion seems to work the best for turning, whether it was left or right. spring or swivel any more to attach the A few passes down the field for the photos, and then it was time to take the 28 aloft for some aeronon-looped end to the tailwheel brackbatics. Using high rates, the Nieuport loops well, but it needs some forward speed to attain any kind et’s forward screw. Check the web page of roll assimilation. Barrel was about the best one to be achieved. It spins nicely and the rotation for this and three other appended steps. stops when I let go of the sticks. Uncharacteristically of WWI biplanes, it flies well when inverted and After attaching the ailerons to the didn’t require any forward-stick input—something about all that added down trim. There’s plenty of lower wing, their servo is mounted to power and rudder authority for stall turns, wingovers, Cuban-8s, etc., but it isn’t meant to be flown as the provided hardwood blocks and a 3D, as there isn’t that much power and the roll rate would have to be significantly increased. then glued into place. Although it is not The model has a fairly gentle power-off stall, and I didn’t notice any wing dropping, and when the mentioned in the instructions, I power is cut, it has a very flat glide angle. To land, simple line up on the runway’s centerline, cut the power and glide in for a smooth touchremoved the covering under where the down, employing a slight flare just before the wheels contact the grass. Nothing to it! blocks attached for better adhesion. Bob All-in-all, a fun model to fly, if you fly it in the way a WWI aircraft is supposed to fly. Smith’s gap-filling CA was used for this. When it came time to connect the O 92 FLY RC MAGAZINE MAXFORD USA NIEUPORT 28 aileron pushrods, I only remove the bolts again used the micro that hold the wing to connectors. With a sinthe cabanes. gle servo driving both The motor is mountailerons, the connectors ed on a separate box, gave me the ability to and that box is then mechanically center attached to the structhese surfaces. ture that comes out of The four landing wires the firewall. When are now assembled; be looking at the box, The two machine guns mount on curved sure to measure these so note the two arrows plastic piece that is glued to the top, middle of the cockpit. The forward edges of the the correct 10 3 / 8 -inch that are “lasered” into molded blocks in the plastic part align with length is used for this the top. They point the leading edge of the aft cabane strut. step. The cabanes and forward, and when the top wing’s mounting correctly placed, note hardware are added to the right and down the top wing’s underthrust of the smaller side, and I would recfirewall where the ommend not tightening motor’s X-beam everything. This will mount attaches. come later. Another addendum The remaining four item is associated 91/2-inch flying wires are with the ESC’s placeassembled and attached ment. It is now to the fuselage’s sides— advised to mount it The fiberglass cowl comes pre-painted and two under each cabane under the motor on the 9-cylinder dummy Gnome is pre-glued into place. Note the air intake and venturi strut. There are four, the tray that juts out on the starboard side. small, predrilled holes from the main firethat pinpoint exactly wall. This will help where the swivels for these wires attach. with the model’s balancing, plus it proAs I already attached the landing gear vides more cooling for the ESC. and wheels, I just cut off the excess axle Cut out the plastic machine-gun mount length and cut out and attached the wheel and attach it, and the two machine guns, to covers that come with the optional packthe fuselage. Note that the forward end of age. In the aforementioned addendum, for the gun mount’s molded block lines up the wheels to fit on the axles, their hubs with the leading edge of the aft left cabane. need to be drilled out with a 1 / 8 -inch or Ensure that all radio components are 3mm drill. properly hooked up, attach the four angled Next up is putting the top wing in place. L brackets to the bottom wing (do this now This is supposed to be done with the rather than when it is attached to the fusecabanes attached, but I found it easier to lage) and then mount it to the latter. Make press fit the cabanes—sans wing— into sure the wing is perfectly perpendicular to their respective slots (brown one goes on the fuselage. the left side and the fit here is very tight Now comes the fun part. Attach the four for both, so go easy) and then re-attach the struts to their respective angled L brackets top wing to the cabanes. The wires don’t (the longer struts go on the forward brackhave to be removed for this procedure; ets), but don’t tighten the bolts all the way. Attach the eight flying wires to their coinciding springs and now tighten all strut and cabane bolts. With this, the biplane’s rigging and decalage are essentially set. The next thing I checked was the alignment of the wings when looking down at the model’s top or planform. They weren’t parallel, so I loosened the cabane and strut bolts slightly, positioned the top wing so it was parallel to the bottom one and then tightened the bolts again. Now, I had a biplane with the correct wing alignment. From here, the cockpit coaming, headUsing the typical X-shape mount, the Uranus rest, windshield and pilot are added. I 28309 motor bolts to the pre-built motor box, and this sub assembly is then glued into place again used Bob Smith’s gap-filling CA, with 5-minute epoxy. 94 FLY RC MAGAZINE which dries instantly, so be sure to have the alignment perfect when placing these items. Before the cowl is attached, cut the battery’s hook and loop straps and place them in their respective holes. To mate these pieces, it helps to use two ball drivers to reach through the open firewall holes and press the straps together. Add the cowl, propeller, air intake tube, venturi and the decals and the assembly portion is finished. The next step is balancing the model, and the manual says that 31/2-inches back from the top wing’s leading edge is the spot. Using a heavier Thunder Power battery pack that weighed 6.2 ounces, I used 3 additional ounces of stick-on weights to achieve a level-looking balance. Another way to balance the model is to turn it upside down and place your fingers on the most forward portion of the bottom wing’s leading edge. If the model hangs level, then it is good to go. When I set the control throws, I added 25 percent expo on all high rates and 20 percent on the low ones. The aforementioned addendum includes inches of movement for all control surfaces. CONCLUSION Although a couple of items need to be thought of in a different way during the assembly process, overall, I found the Nieuport easy to put together. Read over that manual a few times before you dive into the building process, as it will help you to understand how things go together, especially where the wings’ flying wires are concerned. Once it’s properly balanced, it’s a nice flying WWI model that Maxford replicated from the full-size version that belongs to The Great War Flying Museum in Brampton, Ontario. = Links Bob Smith Industries, www.bsiadhesives.com, (805) 466-1717 Du-Bro, www.dubro.com, (800) 848-9411 EMAX Propellers, www.pulserc.com Great Planes Model Distributors, www.greatplanes.com, (800) 682-8948 Hitec USA, www.hitecrcd.com, (858) 748-6948 Maxford USA, www.maxfordusa.com, (866) 706-8288 Spektrum, distributed by Horizon Hobby, www.spektrumrc.com, (800) 338-4639 For more information, please see our source guide on page 121.