Psycho – An aerobatic sloper from Airtech in France

Posted by Greg Smith on Nov 11, 2001

airtech psycho


Airtech Psycho

This French built sloper is an affordable aerobatic sailplane. The fuselage has been designed with knife edge flight in mind and the generous rudder helps the cause. It flies lighter than its weight would indicate and with flaps is capable of landing in tighter spots than its size would lead you to believe. It is very docile, but carries speed well and will perform linked aerobatics with little energy loss.


Airfoil: 6061
Span: 90.5
Area: 630 sq/in
Surface loading: 15 oz/sqft
Weight: 66oz
Control: Aileron, Flaps, Rudder and Elevator
Radio: Hitec Supreme, Hitec HS-85mgs for the ailerons and flaps with standard Hitecs in the fuse for the Rudder/Elevator, 2400 mah pack.

The Psycho is made by Airtech in France and was available in the US from

The first flight was at my test flying slope which is not a great hill but has a good bail out area. Only about 50 feet high. The wind was about 12 mph. It was just what I wanted from a test flight. I lucked out on the stab incidence and as I tossed it out, it went straight and level. I gingerly checked the controls and everything seemed fine. Since the slope is small and the wind was a bit light I got a very good idea of how it handles light lift. It is docile and predictable. Adding a bit of camber helped it climb. I tried  a few stalls which were straight and slower than I expected. I flew it for about 20 minutes getting the feel for it and decided to take it to a different but more difficult to land at slope where the lift is better. BTW, landing was easy to control. Crow with a bit of down elevator compensation. The rudder is very effective!

airtech psycho
Greg and the Psycho at Sheridan Park


So, the second flight was at the site closest to my house. It is about 70 to 80 feet and has very good lift for a small slope. The wind was straight in and about 15 mph. This is what I would consider a good minimum wind speed (at least at this slope) for the Psycho to start having fun. I was able to do huge loops, good axial rolls, great hammerheads and a bit of inverted flying. With another 5 mph I would think it will really come into its own. I would like a bit more lift to try knife edge type stuff. This hill has a very small, up the face of the hill landing area and I already had enough confidence in the plane to even launch it here, knowing I would have to land eventually, so I think that reflects how well it flies.

Things to change in the setup. I already removed an ounce after the first flight and have the CG back at 90mm and will go back another couple of mm still. I want to maximize its inverted capability.

I am sure the bigger slopes we have (180 to 200 ft bluffs on Lake Michigan) will provide more lift and I can really wring it out.

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