Asked Questions About the BTE Venture 60
Answers by Bruce Tharpe
Q: The Venture 60 sure looks a lot like a Four-Star.
Is there some connection?
A: Yep! I used to work for Sig and designed the original
Four-Star 40 and Four-Star 120. I'm very proud of those
designs, but the Venture 60 is a follow-up design that incorporates
all the changes and improvements I always wanted to make.
For the record, the Four-Star 60 was "engineered"
by another designer and was released about a year after
the Venture 60 hit the market.
Q: What are the main differences between the V60 and
the Four-Star 60?
A: There are several. 1) Sig added considerable wing structure
to the FS60 kit. No doubt the wing is stronger and stiffer,
but I personally think it's unnecessary and results in a
model that's nearly a pound heavier than the typical V60.
2) The FS tends to pitch towards the belly when rudder is
applied. The V60 features vital changes to the tail group
that result in arrow-straight knife-edge flight. 3) The
FS is famous for bouncy landings due to the main wheels
being positioned too far forward. The V60's thicker, swept-back
aluminum main gear takes care of that. 4) The parts in BTE
kits are machine-cut, so they have smooth, sanded edges
that aren't die-crunched or laser burnt. And every piece
of wood in a BTE kit is sorted and inspected for correct
density and grain.
Q: What do you mean by "machine-cut" parts?
A: Our main tool for finishing parts is a spindle sander
with a vertical sanding drum. At the top of the drum is
a pilot bearing used to guide an aluminum template while
parts below are being sanded to their final shape. This
makes incredibly accurate parts with smooth edges, ready
to glue. Notches are done by hand with a scroll saw - after
a few thousand notches, you get pretty good! Simple parts
are cut with a bandsaw. You will never see die-cut parts
in a BTE kit.
Q: Does the V60 use dual aileron servos?
A: It's designed to use a single servo in the center of
the wing; torque rods are provided in the kit. Many builders
choose to install dual aileron servos. BTE now offers an optional modification package
that includes everything you need.
Look under Venture 60 Resources for a link to the instructions.
Q: Can the V60 be converted to tricycle landing gear?
A: I suppose, but it would take considerable re-engineering
on the builder's part. Don't let the taildragger configuration
stop you from enjoying this design - it's very stable on
the ground, tracks easily on the takeoff roll, and adds
to the model's simplicity and light weight.
Q: Can I handle the V60 as my second airplane?
A: Yes! If you're comfortable with your 4-channel trainer,
the V60 will be a very nice step up. I've had many builders
tell me their V60 was actually easier to fly than their
trainers. This is understandable because trainers can be
SO stable that they actually "fight" the pilot,
while the V60 simply does what the pilot commands.
Q: This will be my first kit. Can I do it?
A: Absolutely. Download the photo-illustrated instruction
book and you will see how the builder is guided through
every step, including radio and engine installation. And
if you have any questions while building, I'm just a phone
call or e-mail away!
Q: I'm thinking about clipping the wings for better rolls;
what do you think?
A: I haven't done this myself, but it's a common mod. Those
that have done it report higher roll rates with just a slight
increase in landing speed. Sounds okay to me if you want
to go that route.
Q: How about eliminating the dihedral, making the wing
A: That's a mod I heartily DO NOT recommend. It will spoil
the straight knife-edge characteristics, it will look funny
(all flat wings look droopy to me), and it will
bring the tips just that much closer to the ground during
Q: How long does it take to build?
A: Well, it depends on the builder, of course. My father
and I actually framed up an entire V60, ready for covering,
at a model show in seven hours. Fifteen man-hours seems like
a reasonable estimate. If you're like me, it will take longer
to cover than to build.
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