When the Hangar 9™ 1.20-size Ultra Stick hit the scene over a year ago, it breathed new life into the predominantly .40-size Ugly Stick genre by offering a bigger Stick in ARF form. It also added several other innovative twists that really spiced up the basic design's perform-ance, such as extra large control surfaces and an optional quad flap configuration. The 1.20-sized sport ARF had an exhilarating roll rate and an unheard-of short takeoff and landing performance.
Although larger in size, the Ultra Stick retained the classic elements of the Ugly Stick, such as light wing loading and a simple design that didn't require a lot of fuss. It has since gained quite a following among flyers around the country, but the folks at Hangar 9 realize that the majority of Stick flyers remain in the .40-size range. This is why they have created a smaller size version that brings the Ultra Stick back to its .40-size roots, while still retaining all of the fun and exciting advances that the 1.20-size Ultra Stick pioneered.
The Ultra Stick .40 is almost identical to its 1.20-size predecessor in every respect except size and trim coloring. It comes out of the box 90% prebuilt from top-quality balsa and ply and is covered with genuine Goldberg UltraCote®. It can be built with standard ailerons or the optional quad flaps and includes all the necessary hardware needed to complete assembly. Its universal motor mount will accept a wide range of powerplants from .40-.58 two-strokes to .50-.72 four-strokes. Its trim scheme is similar to the trim pattern of the bigger Ultra Stick but uses blue and yellow accents on white instead of black and red on white.
We flight tested the Ultra Stick .40 using a variety of two- and four-stroke engines, but, as you might imagine, had the most fun at the upper end of the power range when we installed a Saito .72 4-stroke. Even though we were using one of the heaviest engines recommended, it took no more than 1.5 ounces of lead in the tail to keep the center of gravity where it belonged. Naturally we had to try out the quad-flap option too.
We started out using low pitch and roll rates on the transmitter and achieved a roll rate of 2.5 seconds/360 degrees with full deflection, which is plenty for someone moving up from a trainer. Loops at the lower rates were about 35' in diameter with no tip stall tendencies during hard pulls on the elevator. Slow speed handling at low rates with the flaps up was equally favorable and stalls were a non-event. The plane would simply mush forward slightly and softly nose over.
After loafing around the pattern for a while with the low rates, we decided to turn it up to "11" with the high rates. Loops were a significantly tighter 25' in diameter, both inside and out. We could pull even tighter when we mixed a little elevator in with the flaps. Mixing aileron-to-flaps so that they acted in unison like one big aileron spun the Ultra Stick .40 around the roll axis so fast, it was impossible to calculate the rate with any degree of certainty. Let's just say it's a real attention grabber for bystanders.
Like its larger scale predecessor, the Ultra Stick .40's quad-flap design gives it out-standing short-field performance. Flipping the flaps into "crow" (ailerons deflecting upward, flaps deflecting downward) we could execute approaches as steep as 90 degrees right over the runway threshold and still land and roll out with runway to spare. Takeoffs with the flaps down were more like blastoffs, especially with the prodigious power of the Saito .72 pulling out front. Often we were airborne in less than the length of a picnic table.
There is no question the Hangar 9 Ultra Stick .40 will make an excellent second plane for anyone looking to explore the world of aerobatics. Its economical .40-size power requirement won't break the bank, and its benign flight character-istics at low control rates won't overwhelm. Once an inter-mediate flyer has gained a little confidence flying the plane, they can then fly at high rates and experience all the thrills the Hangar 9 Ultra Stick .40 has to offer.