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I have probably maidened a few hundred planes in my time but there is always a bit on anticipation just before hitting the gas to see what happens..
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RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 Maiden Day

My YAK and I play in the wind

Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz

Flight video by Gihad Jawhar and Clark Ponthier

Posted – 4-3-2015

Note: Because of the windy conditions on the original maiden day I am going to produce another “maiden day” when the winds are more reasonable to better show the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55. I will add a link here when that video/story is posted.

The morning of a maiden flight always features a bit of nervousness. Aside from a pilot being over confident and doing something stupid with a plane, the maiden flight is probably when our models are in the most jeopardy. At 4am on the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 maiden day I could already hear the wind outside the shop and that wasn’t doing my nerves any favors. The good news is that the wind slowed just enough to make putting the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 into the sky this side of stupid and it survived its maiden day.

Flight One

I like maidens that do not feature any heroic saves or desperate stabs at the trim buttons trying to coax a plane into flying straight and level. The RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 needed three clicks of aileron to fly hands-off 30 seconds into the maiden. I won’t be able to confirm the trim until the wind dies down but for now the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 was going where I pointed it and the motor probably wasn’t fully up to temperature yet!

We had stiff, gusty winds on maiden day (left) but the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 did well in those situations. Ground handling (right) is remarkable thanks to the great tail wheel design.
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The only down side to my RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 flying traits is that I had it decidedly nose heavy. Go to idle and the nose begins to drop, roll it inverted at ¾-throttle on a 45-degree up line and the nose again curves downward. I would also find that the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 tended to nose down on landing, all certain signs that I had too much nose weight. However, it was heartening that just a touch of elevator flattened the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 out for landing with no sign of wobbly wings or stalling. I made a mental note to move some weight during the week and went back to flying.

Bucking the Wind

The RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 does react to strong, gusty winds, particularly when you get above 50-feet high but those responses are more subdued than I can remember any plane I have flown. We had stiff winds quartering across the runway most of the day and I did have to use a touch of rudder to keep it straight on the runway and did have to keep up with the ailerons to keep the wing level but the control inputs were surprisingly small and the responses by the YAK remained crisp. This plane does not fear the wind.

I did put the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 through inverted and upright flat spins and it seems to want to do both very well but the gusty winds were elongating the spins and trying to stand the wing up. Inverted flight needed a bit more elevator than I like to maintain level but that is certainly a product of the CG being too far forward.

Overall I was more than happy with how the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 flew. It was easy to control and surprisingly easy to land even in the gusty, often cross winds. The rudder is very effective and doesn’t appear to have any bad influences on the rest of the airframe. I tried one flat circle and the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 did it well but I really want to try all that in lower winds. I’ll bet the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 really shines given even moderate flying conditions. I will be making a second “maiden” video the next time we can fly with more reasonable winds. Watch for a link to that video in the list below.

Conclusions

Certainly the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 isn’t a beginner’s plane but with the help of an instructor, an intermediate pilot should be able to learn the aerobatic ropes with the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 by progressively increasing throws as their comfort level rises. The RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 can be very gentle but ramp up the controls and you get to see why the YAK 55 is such a well-respected aerobatic machine.

The RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 flies great inverted (left) even though I had too much nose weight keeping it stable when inverted is easy.
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RedwingRC does a good job of picking out hardware for this kit. Plus they include lots of carbon fiber accessories like the wing tube, horizontal stab spar, carbon fiber servo arms plus the main and tail wheel gear also feature carbon fiber! The instructions that come on disk are more than adequate for someone with model building experience to produce a great flying airplane.

Even better news is that the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 sells for $559.50 (4-3-2015) plus shipping which puts this plane near the lower end of the 50cc price spectrum for a plane that can easily be rated near the top of that class. A big additional plus is that the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 flies well on a 50cc motor. You don’t have to stuff a 60 or 70cc engine in to get it working. There are probably more 50cc motors in more shops right now that can be used in this plane and stretch your hobby dollar a long way.

RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 Segment 1 – Click Here

RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 Segment 2 – Click Here

RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 Segment 3 – Click Here

See the RedwingRC 50cc Yak 55 product page – Click Here

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