I finally got my Pica pitcheron sloper done and in the air. Considering it took all of about an hour to get the gear installed and the radio programmed, I am a goof for waiting so long to get this cool pitcheron slope plane in the air. The only other work I did to get it ready was to sand the leading edge a bit where the Mylars had left a bit of a ridge. From past experience with my own bagged planes as well as those from other builders, this is a good performance trick to get the most out of the airfoil and the plane.
I had a couple of test flights last week in 4 or 5 mph of wind. I got the Pica close to trim and was able to make a few passes but there was not enough on that day to keep it in the air on the small hill I was flying.
Today was a lot different. After a decent morning with Weasels and Dave’s Easy Star at Big Bay and Atwater I took a break to go to a meeting. When I got back to Atwater about 4PM the rain was light and the wind was straight in about 15mph. Now this is more like it! I figured the Pica would like these conditions and I was right! It is a fast little guy and really handles well. I am glad I got the test flight in last week because I only had about 20 minutes of flying before the rain picked up enough to quit. Better to spend that time rippin’ it up than trimming the plane!
I am a pitcheron fan so the Pica fits right in with planes I like. I fly my Pixel a bunch and the Pica is similar but quite a bit faster. The Pixel does have an edge in lighter air but once the wind is up a bit the Pica seems to be the way to go.
One note on trim I got from an RC Groups thread is that the trailing edge of the wing is well below the centerline of the fuse for level flight. Good tip because the Pica would have had a ton of up trim if it was set up. Not my favorite on a first flight! That said, I like the positioning of the wing. It gives the Pica a slightly nose down fuse attitude in level flight that I think makes it look fast and cool.
For gear I used Hitec HS-85MGs, a 370mah NiCad pack and a FMA M5 receiver.
I ended up with the CG on the front of the wingrod or slightly in front of it and that seems pretty good. I’ll be playing around with it a bit more but I think it is really close. The plane flies fast and inverted flight is good with very little down stick needed.
I’m looking forward to a lot more flying with this speedster and the fact that it breaks down into a really small package means I’ll have it with me a lot.
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