The elegant Sebart Pilatus PC-21 in 50E size

PC-21_flight_1

In 2011 Sebart released the beautiful and quite big Pilatus PC-21 in an 50 electro class. Typically design by Sebart where he sacrifices the scale look and scale accuracy  a bit for improving the flight characteristics.
That is known and it always leave you with the best flying experience ever.
When the first reviews came in, it was indeed a very capable flying machine with light 3D and F3A possible but most of all a real presence in the air.
Not surprising because of its size, it is very visible and a real looker.

Build

2014-05-20 16.05.17

Build was just as most Sebart planes uneventful, good instruction manual & everything solid and safe packed in an enormous box. The fuselage is a one piece balsa structure and only the stabilizer and elevator needs to be mounted.
The wing is build as one piece, two retracts are already mounted and wired. The aileron servo’s are full size but half height and I opted for smaller hitec 8058MG.
No flaps but although the instructions suggest using flapperons, the reviews counter that need.
The steerable nosewheel is also already installed with retracts and a small analog steering servo.
Best to use a mixer on the radio that disables the steering servo when retracted.
A nice simple door mechanisme concludes that part.
As motor Sebart usually suggest Hackers, but I usually go for scorpion. A scorpion S-4020-530Kv was collecting dust and it was time to get it into shape for this beauty.
I hope it would be enough, its rated up to 1500W and I assume the PC-21 could require a bit more (it did).
The 530Kv was perfect because on 6S it could use a 14 or 15″ prop instead of the suggested 16″.
I was sure our grass runway and the small wheels would not do 16″ props much good.

A castle creations ICE 100 and an emcotec safety power switch completed the powertrain.
The canopy must be shut with m3 bolds and that would prevent easy access to the main battery.
The emcotec has a nice magnetic switch on the outside of the fuselage and closed or opens the 100A switch. Perfect!.
2 pilot figures gave some scale looks and the bird was ready within 1.5day.

First flight.

2014-05-25 07.02.40

Well, its been ages since i flown with a nosewheel plane and never with tiny retracts on grass.
I remember the countless reviews where the retracts just broken on grass runaways and I hope this 3.8Kg beauty would not suffer from it and I could do a 3 point touchdown on maiden.
Sebart recognized it in 2012 and the retracts seem to be improved.
Several range checkes later I opened the throttle and the PC-21 took to the sky. Minor trimming and I left the gear out for the first set.
Don’t want to give murphy a change of his famous law. Very easy flying, nothing special and my heart was pounding when I set her to the final landing leg.
Just to be sure I walk to the intended touchdown point so I could see the bird perfectly and just before touchdown I gave a little up and a sam throttle to flair the PC-21 and the result was the very 1st perfect landing without any issues.
WOW.
The 5 min flight took around 1800mAh from my 6S 3700mAh pack so for the next flight I set the timer to 8 min and changed for fresh batteries for the next set.

Landing practice and mild dynamic flight :

The next 4 flights a lot of landing practice and some faster loopings, 4 point rolls, knife edge and stall turns.
As aspected the 1500W max of the Scorpion was on the lower side for sustained fast flight because during pull outs and start it took 2200W.
However in level cruise flight only 600W was needed and after 8 Min it was cold to touch.

During the flight and landing preparations I noticed that on occasion not all 3 legs come out of the bays, so it needs to be watched with care.
Landing is not that difficult and certainly doable on grass but you need to prepare the approach and touchdown with great care.
Besides that, the audience certainly likes the PC-21, it is a delight to fly it and it can do almost everything you ask of her.
A true keeper and will be placed in my mental favorite list

2014-05-25 07.03.15

Specifications:

  • Takeoff weight: 3750gr
  • Motor: Scorpion S-4020-530Kv
  • ESC: Castle Creations phoenix ICE 10
  • Battery: Turnigy zippy flightmax compacs 35C 6S3700
  • Static Thrust: 5900 gram
  • Peak power 2300Watt
  • Airtime: 8-11 min.
  • Prop: Xoar 14×8 3 blade, former prop APC (gas)  14×7
  • Spektrum DSMX & TM1000 telemetry