Shortly before its release in 2004, a thread was started in the Jet Forum of RC Universe about the Reaction 54 kit from BTE. Thread starter Brian B in Minnesota probably had no idea at the time that it would grow into one of the biggest, longest lasting threads in RCU history. It is truly a clearing house of ideas and information about the kit with well over 3000 posts from R54 builders all over the world. However, there is now so much good information buried deep within the thread that it has become difficult to go back and find it all. You could build a wing in the time it would take to read all those posts! This index is an attempt to organize the various posts into the categories you see below. Although every post contains some entertainment value, the ones listed here are just the ones thought to be most helpful or interesting. "P" means the post contains photo(s).

Last Update: November 8, 2014 through post #3192

Want to read the entire thread? Click the RCU logo above to go to the very beginning.

#171   rcguy! goes with the classic red/white/blue sunburst. Also see #172. P
#273   tschuy show his nearly-done model. First customer-built R54 to fly. P
#319   Gary Szetlak displays his yellow and orange beauty.P
#365   Tommy Watson shows his pretty blue and yellow jet, top and bottom. Also see #402 P
#369   DP01 from Canada unvails his stunning R54 in Snowbirds colors. Flight report #1099. P
#370   fast jets displays his camoflage scheme. Another Canadian masterpiece! P
#443   nitrovmaxer shows pics of Helijet's (Dean Wichmann's) elegant purple/white R54. P
#524   Ron Stahl shares a pic of his patriotic R54. P
#538   booker-RCU shows his all-white jet and gives us a peek under the hood. P
#604   mach1-RCU posts pics of the first R54 with side inlets. Also see #605-606. P
#621   Tommy Watson unvails his second R54, glassed and painted. Also see #685. P
#665   kzmori from Japan shows his gorgeous R54 with rounded-off fuselage. P
#686   u2fast went with a military scheme, inlets, wingtip rails. Also see #830 and #885. P
#718   rcpete347 went for maximum visibility with this one. Inlets. Also see #825, 1023, 1677. P
#730   bnova used templates to duplicate BTE scheme, substituted Royal Blue. P
#783   wooden shoes displays his red, yellow, and white R54. Also see #784. P
#792   phillfix from Australia joins the R54 family. Striking white, orange, purple. P
#844   rcbart from Canada debuts his color-shifting R54. Wild! P
#879   afterburner shows his nearly-done red, white, and blue R54. P
#882   wd40 shares a pic of his simple-but-classy R54. Also see #932 (inflight pic).P
#889   booker-RCU shows buddy Chuck's super hi-viz jet. It might glow in dark. Also see #1079. P
#1011   hoppy99 joins the fun with his Air Force R54. Flight shot #1046. P
#1036   Doc Yates unvails his Navy R54, built by wd40. PST power. P
#1111   jclittle flies his two months after ordering kit! Flight shots #1120-1121. P
#1143   f6hlct displays his fiberglassed and painted Navy R54. P
#1151   BalsaBob debuts the "Cartoon Network" R54. Unique, to say the least! Also see #1169. P
#1189   MrMike shows his R54 in Navy colors. There seems to be a trend developing... P
#1192   causeitflies-RCU displays his Navy R54 with inlets. Also see #1193 and #1206. P
#1198   Ken F. adds his R54 in Navy colors to the mix. Inlets, P-80 power. Also see #1199. P
#1210   wooden shoes shares group photos of four R54s at Liberty Bell Rally. P
#1258   JohnVH shows us some great flight shots. P
#1342   samo shakes things up with a coast guard scheme. Inlets, P-70, 18.5 lbs. dry. P
#1391   speedbrake unveils his second R54, in Air Force colors. Winglets. Also see #1392-1393. P
#1436   jon focal plane displays his red, white, and blue R54. P
#1558   Bruce Tharpe finally finishes his second R54 with PST. BTE scheme, different colors. P
#1560   autothrottle shares pics of his P-70 powered R54 in Marines color scheme. P
#1584   tahfiet in Germany does his maiden flights in primer. See more in #1585 and #1679. P
#1628   pyropup introduces his R54/P-60 combo. Also see #1627. P
#1720   Jeremy300 unvails TWO new Canadian R54s, Wren 54 Mk. III and PST power. P
#1729   Eddie P shows his highly-modified R54 with Royal Navy color scheme. Also see #1788,2026. P
#1834   Planker07 reveals his P60-powered R54. White with flourescent green highlights. P
#1847   tahfiet painted stripes, checkerboards, flames. Gorgeous! Also see #1848, 1862, 1863. P
#1925   Molar mender took some in-shop photos of his R54 with Citabria-inspired color scheme. P
#1969   ww2birds based his striking color scheme on a blue/yellow Panther. Also see #2103. P
#2006   u2fast reveals his 2nd R54. Canopy, inlets, bombs, tall gear, camo paint. Sweet. P
#2059   Square Nozzle shows his red/white Patrouille Suisse color scheme. Also see #2060, 2451. P
#2078   racer8297 joins the fun with his new yellow and blue R54. Also see #2154. P
#2195   kkn from the island nation of Malta shows his new R54 navy trainer. P
#2227   redline7000 is DONE!!! British scheme is simple, but striking. P
#2387   Ayrtonsenna from NZ used a cool russian arctic camo scheme. Also see #2496, 2504. P
#2416   maxvertical finally paints (been flying in primer 2 years). Gorgeous! Also see #2426. P
#2441   Pitts S1S shows us his glossy R54 fresh out of the paint booth. P
#2512   ajcoholic in Canada posts some great flight shots. Also see #2532P
#2521   Stevembh in Australia unvails his freshly re-built and painted R54. also see #2523. P
#2528   viper65 in Canada shares a couple of excellent flight shots. P
#2574   rfrantz finished his R54 in a Thunderbirds scheme.P
#2671   Pitts S1S buddy used printed vinyl for a spectacular sport scheme. Also see #2675. P
#2693   Mike06659 did a little photoshopping, still pretty awesome. P
#2698   knifeedgeyak joins the fun with his new, yellow R54. P
#2729   PaulD shows his P70-powered jet with simple white/green colors. P
#2783   Asif is all smiles with his new orange/white Navy trainer R54. P
#2801   JustFlyIt went with a bold red/white/blue sunburst combo. P
#2920   bobparks2 shows us his highly-modified R54. Also see #2923, 3000. P
#3007   Split S delivers a stunning R54 painted with flames, checkerboards, more. P
#3011   Split S displays his personal ship with Thunderbirds scheme. Also see #3027, 3030. P
#3063   chrispol posts pics of his R54 powered with a KingTech K-60. P
#3144   kranie shows us his not-quite-done R54. BTE scheme, but different colors. Striking! P
#56   rcguy! builds airframe in 3 days (in a small shop). May enclose nose wheel opening.
#64   Bruce Tharpe on why he uses the "controversial" push-pull cables for elevator/rudder.
#66   Tommy Watson posts first pic of the thread, his bare-bones airframe. A milestone! P
#106   Tommy Watson shares some building pics. P
#125   tschuy displays his wing construction. P
#203   tschuy shows a tool he made for drilling the rudder pushrod hole at 30 degrees. P
#245   rcguy! reports final weight 18lb 10oz. See #313 for updated weight.
#329   tschuy reports final weight of 18.2 pounds.
#376   Bruce Tharpe responds to a builder who needed 18oz. of lead in nose to balance.
#528   wd40 posts some bare bones pics to show his progress. P
#737   gbjets shares a tip for drilling the wing dowel holes. See #744 and #755 for pics. P
#815   gbjets offers a modified process for attaching leading edge sheeting. P
#819   u2fast displays his equipment installation. P
#961   Topgun2mo recommends fuel proofing inside fuselage, mainly for spill cleanup.
#2482   Pterosaur describes his alternate process for attaching leading edge sheeting.
#566   mach1-RCU unveils his "F-54" bare bone pics, sparking off the inlet craze. P
#586   mach1-RCU posts a drawing of his inlets with basic dimensions. P
#633   u2fast went with simplified inlets and wingtip rocket rails. Also see #645 and #682. P
#715   samo added LE strobe lights. Battery helps with balance.
#746   topgun2mo begins conversion to L-39. Lots of mods. Read #746 through #755. P
#766   bobparks2 adds some aerodynamic insight on topgun2mo's conversion. Interesting!
#778   bnova used a latch instead of rubber bands on his fuel hatch. P
#978   Topgun2mo updates us on his highly-modified kit. Also see #979 and #983. P
#1145   BalsaBob uses bolts to hold his main hatch. P
#1166   f6hlct modified the rudder linkage with a tiller bar, as did mach1-RCU in #1160. P
#1326   speedbrake adds winglets to his second R54 for a different look. Also see #1396. P
#1417   Tommy Watson describes the process of how he added sleek fillets to his wing and stab. P
#1445   mach1-RCU added a speed brake to the bottom of the wing. P
#1450   Bruce Tharpe chimes in on the speedbrake discussion. Read #1444-1456.
#1453   speedbrake sums up his thinking on notching the boat tail for starter clearance. P
#1500   Eddie P refits an old R54 with inlets and canopy. Also #1501,1502,1611,1613,1620,1623. P
#1523   maxvertical dolls up his R54 with elegant, upswept vortex wingtips. Foam and glass. P
#1618   myersflyers made molds for inlets and a clear canopy, also reshaped nose and fin. Cool! P
#1678   tahfiet adds decorative drop tanks, toys with idea of functional centerline tank. P
#1684   tahfiet continues work on functional centerline fuel tank. Also see #1685. P
#1732   DP01 built a second hatch, with canopy, for his existing R54. Brilliant! Also see #1739.P
#1738   Eddie P displays his streamlined servo covers for the wing servos. P
#1849   Molar mender extended the rudder chord 1.5 inches. P
#1850   KJ-66 modified his wing for longer Robart main gear. Continues to post #1871. P
#1920   ww2birds added a servo-operated speed brake to the top of his fuselage. P
#1960   Molar mender shows us his smoke boat that mounts under the wing. Also see #1963. P
#2438   Eddie P provides a link to his detailed build thread on RCGroups. P
#2617   Pitts S1S shares pics of his 3-piece wing with wing tubes. Discussed through #2630. P
#2670   speedbrake is adding spoilers to the top of his wing. P
#2813   bobparks2 starts building his optimized inlets. Also see #2825, 2827,2829. P
#2840   bobparks2 describes his lighting system using a BrainCube controller.
#202   rcguy! describes his Monokote techniques.
#559   Tommy Watson gives fiberglassing tips. Also see posts #561 and #1386. P
#644   Tommy Watson compares weights of Monokoted vs. glassed R54s
#1127   f6hlct shows bare-bone model with fiberglass applied, ready for paint. P
#1438   countryboy posts link to Dan Parson's glassing technique, endorsed by Tommy Watson.
#2363   Stevembh from Australia describes a sanding sealer/fiberglass finish. Runs through #2370.
#3113   bobparks2 has some thoughts about painting over plastic film. Not happy thoughts.
#61   Wocketman suggests digital servos not needed; comments on redundant battery systems.
#65   Tommy Watson argues the case for digital servos.
#380   rcguy! discusses his antenna routing on outside of fuselage.
#385   tschuy describes his whip antenna. See post #271 for pics. P
#397   rcguy! switches to a Revolution whip antenna and shows installation. P
#417   rcguy! reports increased range and solid feel with whip antenna.
#518   tschuy answers the question "is 8 channels enough?" tschuy only uses 7.
#601   Bruce Tharpe posts list of recommended servos, Hitec digitals.
#1008   rcguy! answers a question about using LiPo batteries.
#1379   Bob1393 posts recommended control throws and CG range directly from BTE manual.
#1406   rcguy! extends the aileron and flap leads into radio compartment for easier hookup. P
#1515   Tommy Watson refits his trusty R54 with Weatronics receiver. Also see #1528, 1530. P
#1525   DP01 shows how he mounted his whip antenna so it's concealed under the hatch. P
#1529   causeitflies-RCU offers another idea on mounting a whip antenna. P
#1532   Bruce Tharpe posts a note of caution against mounting anything to the canopy/hatch.
#1539   maxvertical shares general installation pics. P
#1602   maxvertical shares more pics and details of his very clean equipment installation. P
#1755   Bruce Tharpe lists all the servo extensions used in his personal R54.
#2391   Ayrtonsenna lets us peek at his very tidy equipment installation. P
#25   Bruce Tharpe answers the question "is a P80 too big?" (Quick answer: YES).
#28   Bruce Tharpe shares his thoughts about using the P70 (2004).
#145   tschuy posts link to turbine mounting strap kit available from Dreamworks.
#208   rcguy! shows his P60 installation. More info in #209-211. P
#588   bobparks2 shows a Wren mount that might work well on the R54. P
#596   mach1-RCU displays his custom mounting bracket for P60. P
#872   Bruce Tharpe comments on using FOD screens; has no problem with them on the R54.
#990   Tommy Watson explains how he mounted his Wren ECU in the boat tail. P
#1201   Ken F. shows and tells about his P80 installation. Also see #1202. P
#1287   Bob R2 answers question about "drastic" thrust angle of the turbine in this design.
#1405   pjacq shows his installation of SWB Mamba turbine. P
#1415   jon focal plane is another P70 believer after flying from a 300 ft. runway.
#1650   tahfiet flew his with a P60 and PST J600R. Gives the nod to PST.
#1974   ww2birds shows his custom Wren Super Sport installation. P
#2587   ww2birds re-fits his R54 with Wren 100 - 22 lbs. of thrust! Also see #2590.
#2871   KC36330 shares lots of pics of his P70 install, tank area, and under the hatch. P
#2979   afterburner starts a discussion on high-power turbines (18-22 lbs). Guys are loving them!
#3033   brglazza shoots us a quick flight report with JetCat P100-RX. Also see 3035.
#51   John Redman comments on fuel capacity/flight time for P-60 and P-70.
#71   Ron Stahl proposes method for three-tank system, 74 oz. total capacity.
#153   rcguy! introduces the Kevlar tank from Jet Tech - 72 ounces. P
#155   rcguy! posts link to Jet Tech.
#162   rcguy! shows his (first) installation of the kevlar fuel tank. P
#475   rcguy! reverses his tank so clunk is in rear; reports better feed to UAT. P
#476   rcguy! shares a clever tip for keeping track of the fill line plug. P
#626   Wocketman provides sensible general advice for Festo usage.
#680   bobparks2 measures true capacity of the Jet Tech and Du-Bro tanks. Interesting! P
#843   bobparks2 adds more thoughts on tanks; proposes F-16-style belly tank.
#987   BalsaBob displays an interesting layout for his UAT, pump, ECU, etc... P
#1020   hoppy99 floats the idea of adding a 24oz. tank in the radio compartment. P
#1555   JimBrown describes his fuel system with 50oz. tank + 24oz. tank + UAT.
#1556   Bruce Tharpe shows new tank setup. 50oz. + 16oz. with filter clunk. Also see #1557. P
#1727   maxvertical provides hard numbers for fuel usage with P-70. Continues in #1728.
#1881   Square Nozzle revives the "clunk forward?" topic, debate rages through #1899.
#531   swansons shows his pushrod-style steering linkage. More details in #533. P
#675   rcguy! comments on Robart gear and wire struts. 86 flight from grass - no problems.
#676   Helijet plugs his Aurora Diamond retracts and struts. Also see #971. P
#929   f6hlct shows his installation of spring-loaded nose wheel strut. More info #1246. P
#973   rcguy! uses silicone sealer to keep steering cables from fouling.
#974   Topgun2mo shows shows a different solution to the same problem. P
#996   woodenshoes skins this cat yet another way. Clever and simple! P
#1026   Bruce Tharpe explains the Robart-soft-nose-strut saga, since corrected.
#1309   hoppy99 spills the beans on his modified Robart struts and home-made nose gear.
#1402   pjacq shows installation of Jetpower trailing link struts. Also see #1410. P
#1543   maxvertical lists the Robart retracts and struts he chose for his R54.
#1578   maxvertical descibes the mods he made to his Robart struts. See correction in #1581.
#1775   speedbrake descibes his Robart strut mods. Also see #1780, 1806, 2276.
#1781   Eddie P chimes in with his Robart strut mods and trailing-link nose wheel strut details.
#2159   ww2birds used Robart 660 mains, Dreamworks nose strut. Continues through #2169.
#2288   maxvertical describes an odd wing sheeting crack - landing gear related. P
#2347   racer8297 installed small Pro-Links in his wing. Also see #2349.
#2931   xxq111 kicks off a discussion about electric retracts. Continues through #2936.
#3020   Legnum shares detailed pics of his air system install. Also see #3023, 3040. P
#22   Bruce Tharpe explains reasons for recommending Kavan electromagnetic brake.
#248   tschuy describes the Compact UniBrake and provides links to suppliers.
#311   tschuy shares details of his Compact UniBrake installation. P
#530   rcguy! opts for Trim wheels and brakes; shows installation. P
#544   booker-RCU discusses Trim brake problems and solutions.
#736   Tommy Watson compares Kavan and Compact UniBrakes on grass - he's used them both.
#1004   Bruce Tharpe defends the Kavan brake once again as fitting the R54 "spirit."
#1093   Doc Yates compares UP-6 (proportional) and Jetronics (electronic) brake valves.
#1222   BalsaBob shows how he mounted Trim wheels and brakes to wire struts. P
#1223   DP01 shares his method for mounting Trim wheels and brakes. Also see #1226. P
#258   Bruce Tharpe declares heat shields mandatory during turbine starts. Also see #261.
#262   jetflyr describes his lightweight heat shield made from 6" drier duct.
#263   Tommy Watson shows his heat tube made from galvanized downpipe. P
#280   hoppy99 displays a start tube made from 5" stove pipe. P
#295   tschuy used 8" stove pipe for his start tube. Simplest one yet. P
#2092   Molar mender made his start tube from single-wall stove pipe. Nice handle. P
#2883   warbird_1 covered the entire bottom or his tailboom and stabilizer to protect from heat. P
#325   tschuy is first to fly! Detailed report. FTE T-500 power.
#335   rcguy! gets his P-60 powered bird in the air for the first time. P
#353   Gary Szetlak puts five flights on his new R54. P
#364   rcguy! gets more stick time and gives a detailed flight report.
#434   Tommy Watson describes his maiden flight; dubs Bruce "a genius."
#438   Helijet reports on his first outing; calls it the "best overall jet trainer."
#448   rcguy! cartwheel after flameout; describes damage and repair.
#470   afterburner asks about short grass fields and gets two quick replies (#471-472).
#491   rcguy! reports speeds in level flight and after dive (163 mph!) measured with radar gun.
#498   Bruce Tharpe makes some general comments about using the throttle wisely.
#704   Tommy Watson fliess his second R54, this one with a Wren Super Sport. Also see #708.
#835   u2fast maidens his in stiff crosswind; calls it a "non issue." Wished for more fuel capacity.
#894   rcguy! responds to question "is rudder big enough?" (Quick answer: YES).
#999   bnova reports on his maiden flight - at Florida Jets no less! P
#1016   hoppy99 gives a quick flight report on performance with 18 lb. Simjet.
#1104   DocYates enjoyed the first two flights of his new R54 with PST power.
#1155   f6hlct flies; love it. Reminds him of 70's pattern ship. P
#1182   Bruce Tharpe gives a landing tip and links to videos showing proper approaches.
#1186   jclittle swaps P-70 for P-60 in his R54; says he won't go back.
#1213   BalsaBob relays his thoughts on the performance with a P-70. P
#1216   afterburner gets airborne; shares link to video of maiden. Brave man! P
#1227   JimBrown joins the R54 family with 3 flights off 430 ft. grass runway.
#1237   speedbrake flies his well-travelled R54, survives four flameouts. P
#1345   samo compares his re-built R54 with P-70 to original with P-60. P-70 wins. Also see #1422.
#1373   Bruce Tharpe answers why he's more comfortable with a forward CG. It's a "feel" thing.
#1387   Bruce Tharpe muses about fictional pilot with over-powered R54. Worry wart!
#1536   Eddie P flies his stylized R54 at California Jets. Also see #1624 for his thoughts on CG.
#1587   Tommy Watson claims top speed of 194 mph measured with Weatronics receiver. P
#1591   georbeckha claims 183 mph (radar gun) with P-70. Went back to a P-60!
#1643   maxvertical raves about his R54/P-70 combo. Follow link in #1645 for "must-see" video. P
#1771   speedbrake reports on his second R54; this one with winglets. See #1776-1777 for pics. P
#1826   Planker07 did his maiden from a 350-foot grass strip. P60 power, all went well.
#1904   flyinfool1 gets his waiver, then wrings it out. Likes to "park" it in 10-15mph headwind.
#1946   flyinfool1 won't let a little snow stop his fun. He added snow skis to his R54. Wow!P
#1949   Molar mender did his maiden flight on a blustery New Years Day, 2008. P
#2118   racer8297 reports on his first two flights with P70 power. Windy, no problem.
#2231   Square Nozzle says he was nervous during the checkout, but still got his waiver. P
#2302   ww2birds installed telemetry system in his R54, provides hard numbers. Interesting!
#357   Bruce Tharpe addresses flap design, crow, floatiness on landing.
#360   rcguy! chimes in with his flap usage with quartering wind.
#452   Bruce Tharpe passes on advice from Dean W. and John W. who use less than full flaps.
#454   tschuy describes his usual landing procedure.
#468   Bruce Tharpe philosophises on the reasons for differing landing techniques.
#489   Tommy Watson finds a comfortable landing technique. More in #873.
#866   Bruce Tharpe responds to questions on flap usage and optimal CG.
#1323   bob1393 reports four flyers in the NW have settled on 40 degree flaps as optimum.
#1483   DP01 uses crow (popped up ailerons) with flaps, as do several others. P
#1538   causeitflies-RCU reports pitch up with crow. Something to watch for.
#1637   Taul Paul posts an interesting pic comparing two R54s with different flap settings. P
#1743   DP01 lists all his control throws. He uses extra aileron differential and crow.
#2149   dsiems adds his vote for using crow, 1/2" on the ailerons.
#2223   Eddie P chimes in on crow usage, CG location, ground stance.
#3151   Square Nozzle boils down his landing advice to a simple phrase: "don't let it land".
#87   rcguy! shows how the R54 fits in his Santa Fe hatchback. P
#266   tschuy recommends www.oil-store.com for cheap turbine oil (Bruce's choice too).
#424   tschuy and his R54 make the front page of his local newspaper. P
#798   Bruce Tharpe responds to inquiries about a smaller version for the Wren 44.
#802   bobparks2 adds his thoughts on the proper sizing of the "R44".
#851   rcguy! introduces his one-of-a-kind R44; 72% size of R54. P
#941   bobparks2 talks about flutter, in response to concern about sloppy rudder linkage.
#1051   Tommy Watson reminisces about vintage pattern ships. Read through #1069, funny.
#1230   rcguy! sells his R54; shows helpful pics of wooden shipping crate. P
#1520   Ron Stahl compares specs of R54 and Ziroli Turbinator.
#1744   John Palica kicks off a discussion on fire extinguishers; continues through #1749.
#1759   bmullica asks for good stepping-stone models to turbines. Read through #1765.
#1795   causeitflies-RCU wins "Outstanding Flight - Sport" at 2007 Heart of Ohio. P
#2171   bobparks2 expounds on the inherent safety of the boat tail/fuel tank protection area.
#2254   DREAMER-RCU shows his scaled-down EDF rE-action. Also #2259, 2317, 2576, 2828. P
#2293   cjshaker found a wing bag for the R54. Link provided.
#2504   Ayrtonsenna wins "Best Sport Jet" at 2010 Anzac Jet Rally. P
#2538   bobparks2 mulls several options for converting to EDF. Continues through #2542.
#2736   TommyWatson built this down-sized R44 with fascinating color scheme. P
#3083   bobparks2 runs the numbers on the wing attachment strength - dowels and bolts.
#3088   Ron Stahl tells us about his friend's R54 with nine lives. A little funny AND a little scary!

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