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Frequently Asked Questions About the Super Flyin' King

Answers by Bruce Tharpe

Q: What engines do you recommend?

A: There are lots of good choices in the 60cc to 80cc range that would work great. Current builders are using all sorts of engines, so we should soon have a healthy database of experience to draw upon. A good 'ol G-62 would be an excellent choice for the SFK as would the Fuji 64. The 3W-75i in the prototype is a fantastic engine with far more power than necessary, but the power may come in handy for aerotowing or float flying in the future. The 3W-75i installation is well-documented in the instruction book.

Q: How many servos do I need and what do you recommend?

A: The prototype uses eight servos: one on each aileron, flap, and elevator half; one for the rudder; and one for the throttle. It's up to the builder whether or not to split the elevator into left and right halves. I recommend ball-bearing servos with at least 100 oz.-in. torque for all of the control surfaces. Hitec HS-700BB servos (now discontinued) that I used are a natural for this model because they are big, slow, strong, and relatively cheap. They provide 133 oz.-in. of torque at 4.8 volts and only cost about $30 each.

Q: Can I put a nosewheel on it?

A: The SFK kit is sold strictly as a taildragger, but the big Robart nose wheel unit #159 could probably be adapted. The modified SFKs that were built for NASA used 3/4" steerable nose wheel struts from Sierra Precision in Ohio.

Q: Do the STOL wingtips really help the wing's efficiency?

A: They certainly can't hurt, but it's also pretty hard to quantify. Personally, I used them because in my mind's eye I could "see" it with these tips long before it was built. It's just that kind of airplane.

Q: What is the wing loading?

A: Most people are surprised when they learn my model weighs 36 pounds. Frankly, I was too! But we tend to forget how much wing this beast really has. The SFK has 23-1/2 square feet of area! That translates to a wing loading of only 24.6 oz/sq. ft. On a model this size, that's incredibly low.

Q: Can I build it without flaps?

A: No, not as normally provided. All of the wing ribs and flap/aileron ribs are already cut for you in the kit. We could probably accomodate a special request for a non-flapped wing, if that's what you really want.

Q: How many rolls of Monokote did you use to cover it?

A: About ten.

Q: How much payload weight can it carry?

A: Oooh, that's tough to answer without actually testing. My guess is it that it wouldn't even breathe hard with ten pounds of payload. Twenty pounds should be very manageable with careful piloting. More than that and I'd consider some beefing up in certain areas.

Q: How big is the cabin?

A: The inside dimensions are 7" wide x 11.5" tall x 25.5" long. That's over 2000 cubic inches!

Q: How do you transport that thing?

A: Well, the three-piece wing is no problem, but the fuselage is a pretty big chunk of airplane. It's nearly eight-feet long, so any vehicle that can handle a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood should be adequate for hauling the SFK. My old '77 Dodge van gobbles it up nicely. Builders can make the entire tail assembly removeable, and the landing gear can be removed if you really need to squeeze it into your vehicle.

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