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Sundowner F1 ARF Sport Racer to Go

6/6/2007 by Jim Booker

Copyright:© 2007 Horizon Hobby, Inc.

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background border image Hangar 9 Sundowner
Sundowner Cowl shot

Hangar 9 and Horizon Hobby are breaking some new ground with the Sundowner F1 ARF sport racer. The Sundowner lets anyone dream they are Ray Cote tearing down the back stretch at the Reno Air Races on their way to a Formula 1 first-place finish. Just as important, this airplane is not only easy flying but nice-looking and, with the beautiful UltraCote® finish, it stands out at the flying field and makes you a hero all the way around.

You might want to consider the Sundowner as your next RC airplane project. It has some very important features that make assembly easier and flying very enjoyable. The ARF assembly process is done in the "Hangar 9 way" using balsa, plywood and UltraCote for construction. The resulting workmanship of the finished airplane makes a person proud to display the model anytime.

The Sundowner two-piece wing set Shot of the rear servo hatch

The airplane also features some practical aspects. Plug-in wings have become a "can’t do without" feature, making transportation to the field easy, even in a subcompact car. The removable top hatch makes radio and fuel tank access simple and easy to work on during installation or maintenance at the flying field. If you decide to make this an electric-powered conversion, the removable top hatch really simplifies the installation and removal of the flight batteries.

All the servos for the Sundowner are mounted inside the model and this contributes to the very smooth appearance. You might think this would make it more difficult to work on, however, removable fuselage access panels make it a breeze.

Image of the landing gear and pants.

One really nice touch that I like is the prepainted and mounted pilot with a very cool race-styled helmet. Also included are the well-done fiberglass cowl and wheel pants. These are areas where many people have difficulty. Having the molded and painted parts really contributes to a well finished model that looks every bit as good as the image you have in your mind when you start this project. Thanks Hangar 9.

Image of different motors.Next is the choice of an engine or power plant. The airplane was actually designed around the Evolution 26cc gas engine. The 26cc really makes a nice-flying sport model. Or, if you are looking for racing performance, you can power the Sundowner with an Evolution 35GT2 engine. The Saito 4-stroke 1.20–1.80 engines are excellent choices and produce great flight characteristics. Of course, the common 2-stroke 1.00–2.12 cubic inch glow engines are good choices as well.This airplane has a lot of flexibility when it comes to the right power system, and electric power using the E-flite Power 160 BL is also good choice. The removable hatch really contributes to this wide choice of power systems.

The Sundowner F1 ARF is all about flying, and it provides a great experience for sport modelers of all types every time you take it to the flying field. This model excels at beautiful aerobatics of the classic kind. Loops, rolls, Immelmann turns, chandelles and Cuban eights are flown like the Sundowner’s on rails. Landings and takeoffs are straight ahead with little need for rudder correction due to the aerodynamically balanced design. You might find that low passes down the runway catch everyone’s attention because its flight is so smooth that most people find it easy to fly, even at full throttle speeds.

So as a recap, the Sundowner provides everyone a chance to experience a great-looking ARF model designed for Giant-Scale sport racing but performs perfectly for just fun flying on a Sunday afternoon. Using a gas engine makes operation easy, inexpensive and fun. A radio such as the JR6102, 7202 or Spektrum DX7 will provide all the functionality required. A total of 5 servos with one in each plug-in wing are needed. Using a flaperon mixing feature means that no "Y" cord is required and setup is easy. The excellent and smooth flight characteristics fit well with sport pylon racing requirements but also make the Sundowner easy for just about any pilot to handle

Hangar 9 Sundowner in Action.

Our RC hobby offers many different kinds of models with differing flight characteristics. The Sundowner FI ARF gives you a chance to fly classic aerobatic maneuvers with a beautiful airplane that has the realistic looks of an F1 racer and exceptional "crowd appeal." You are not going to be disappointed when you build this airplane but, more than anything, it will leave you with a big smile while you explain all the features to the interested people at your flying field. Tell them Hangar 9 helped out a little bit.

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