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Mirko’s Airtech Fitness

Mirko Bodul sent in this review on his Airtech Fitness, a French made 2-meter slope or thermal plane.

I received my FITNESS early last March and have been flying it since the end of March. A very easy plane to build and fly with no bad habits; ailerons, elevator, and rudder are the control surfaces. Stalls are nothing more than the classic “mush;” no nasty spin on the wingtip or other nerve racking behavior. The plane accelerates well in dives, and “zooms” very well for height recovery as do most Airtech planes.

This fast, 2-meter, thin winged plane flies in very light lift or in howling 35 mph winds – with no ballast. I don’t bother with ballast. I get irritated if my unballasted plane does not fly in all conditions. This plane has never irritated me. For those of you who must absolutely load up with dead weight, the plans advise no more than 500 grams of ballast, that is to say, a little over a pound. The plane comes in at about 35 ounces overall weight. Airtech, the manufacturer of this fine kit, recommends using 1.5 degrees of down aileron (flaperon) in light lift to help while flying in thermals. The S7012 airfoil is exceptionally efficient in light lift.

Airtech Fitness at Platteville, WI

 


The kit comes with wings already sheeted with obechi; wingtips are formed and attached; the stabs are already formed and have tubes set in for the stab pins. All it needs is plywood over the root of the stab as well as the wing root. The wing rod tube is already placed in each half of the wing. The leading edge is already finely formed and mounted. The aileron servo wells are already routed out; I used the flat Hitec 125 servos for the ailerons. The wing is held to the fuselage with two nylon screws at the trailing edge, and with special countersunk screw heads near the leading edge. If you keep the wing in two parts, this plane will travel easily in a very small container. I chose to make a one piece wing.

The stab bellcrank is also already set into the fuselage, as well as the elevator and rudder pushrods. The rudder post is set into the fin, but you have to mount the hinges and rudder to this post. The plywood servo tray for the rudder and elevator are almost a perfect fit to the fuse. This kit could really make a guy lazy. The canopy is carbon and the fuselage has kevlar reinforcement strips from nose to tail. Rather than trying to stuff the receiver behind the battery, I placed it under the wing. An easy fit for a JR 610 or JR 700.

The ailerons are “live” hinged. Most Airtech kits with ailerons have this feature. A strip of glass cloth is already laid between the top sheet of the wing and the foam at the hinge junction. The whole aileron is thus hinged; wood sheeting covers the under gap of the wing at this hinge juncture. This must be very carefully routed out to get the aileron to move; and the upper sheet has to be lightly and carefully scored on the hinge line. These two steps are probably the hardest part of the whole short building procedure. The FITNESS is a very fast kit to build.

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