Hangar 9 ARFs Stand Up to Scale Scrutiny

Posted:  Sunday, November 02, 2003
Copyright:© 2003 Horizon Hobby, Inc.

We gave two of Team JR's most accomplished scale modelers our most realistic-looking ARFs and asked them to evaluate their appearance and performance. They did so by entering the planes in competition at this year's U.S. Nationals in Muncie, IN. Needless to say, we were more than pleased with the results.

Mr. Foley and the P-51

Like father, like son. Jeff Foley and son Brad with their 1st-place planes

When it comes to big names in scale competition, they don't get much bigger than Jeff Foley. Jeff has won numerous scale competitions, including top honors at this year's Top Gun event with his beautiful Me-109. Who better to evaluate the scale looks of Hangar 9's 1.50-size P-51?

When Jeff received the kit, rather than assemble it himself, he decided to let his 15-year-old son Brad do the honors. Don't let Brad's age fool you. When it comes to modeling skill, this is one apple that didn't fall far from the Foley tree. Brad had the model built and ready to fly in just four days. That includes time he took to swap out the stock mechanical retracts for Robart pneumatics. Team Foley felt the Robart system's scale-looking oleo struts would give the P-51 an even greater edge in realism. The only other modification he made was the addition of a pilot figure. The trim scheme, cowl and airframe were left exactly as they came out of the box.

15-year-old Brad Foley took first place in Novice Fun-Scale with his P-51 Mustang.

Brad entered his handiwork in the Novice Fun Scale class at the Nats. The stock trim scheme matched the full-scale paint scheme so well that he was able to earn the maximum possible points for scale appearance in that class. Where pilot and plane really excelled, though, was in the flight maneuvers. The younger Foley was able to replicate scale maneuvers so well with the Hangar 9® Mustang that he scored enough total points to beat a T-28 that actually had more scale functions than his model.

When it was all said and done, Brad Foley took home the 1st place plaque and the distinction of being one of the AMA's youngest national champions.

Terry Nitsch took second place in Open Fun Scale with his Cessna Skylane

Mr. Nitsch and the Skylane

While Brad Foley was competing in Novice Fun Scale, champion jet modeler Terry Nitsch was competing in Open Fun Scale with Hangar 9's Skylane. We sent Terry the Skylane to evaluate and asked him to dress it up with any scale touches he thought might make it look more realistic. When Terry got the kit, however, he said he was so impressed with the scale looks as they were, right out of the box, he felt there wasn't much he could do to improve on it. As Terry put it, "It's got corrugated control surfaces, authentic wheel pants, realistic wing struts and gorgeous scale lines. There was simply nothing left for me to do."

Terry finished 2nd with the Skylane, but only because he was edged out of first by just a few points in flight performance. In scale appearance, however, Terry said the Skylane scored the highest of any of the competitors in his class.