Westwings Kit

Wingspan 1050mm (41.3")
Wing Loading 36gm/dm 2 (12oz/sqft)
Flying Weight 530gm (19oz)
CG (percent of MAC) 32%
Motor Graupner Speed-400 7.2V with FG1.5 gearbox
Propeller Graupner Slim prop 20.5x10cm (8x4")
Speed Control 10A with BEC and brake
Battery 7 x Sanyo KR600AE (8.4V)
Receiver Hitec 555
Servos 2 x GWS Naro Std
Controls Rudder, Elevator, Motor
Construction Balsa, Liteply, Solarfilm Lite

Contruction is mostly balsa and Liteply, most parts being CNC milled. Curiously, the instructions made a big deal of saving weight by using the lightest possible radio and covering, but the fuselage sides were solid liteply! I wanted to use less expensive (heavier) electronics, so I compensated by lightening the airframe. Cutting large holes in the the fuselage sides saved 30gm. Replacing the wheels with lighter ones saved another 15gm. I covered the model in Solarfilm Lite, which is easier to apply than the doped Airspan recommended in the instructions (it may be a bit heavier than Airspan, but you don't have the added weight of balsloc and dope).

I was not happy with having to take the wing off to change batteries, so I cut out a hatch in the bottom of the plane, and added an angled battery tray that goes under the receiver and servos. The hatch cover has a padded block sticking up to prevent the battery sliding forwards during flight.


The instructions didn't explain how to hold down the removable motor cowl. I used a couple of small magnets (salvaged from a broken CD laser unit) attracted to bits of tinplate. The supplied ABS nose moulding didn't fit properly, so I just glued some scrap balsa onto the nose and sanded it to shape.



As its name suggests, the Beguine is a nice flyer. It is very stable, but remarkably responsive. At full throttle it climbs strongly and can loop from level flight. Typical flight time is 10 minutes (more if I keep below half throttle). Landings are easy as it just floats in. A little throttle helps to keep it going straight when it touches down, followed by taxiing back to the pits!

Takeoffs from grass can be a bit 'hairy', unless the grass is very short. On a freshly-mown strip, grass clippings tend to get sprayed all over the bottoms of the wing and tail. If the grass is too long I handlaunch, which is easy but not as much fun.