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The fourth production Sportster is available as an ARF
Online and tablet app bonus flight video
Photos and article by Greg Gimlick.


SPECIFICATIONS
Model type: Sport Scale ARF
Skill level: Intermediate builder; intermediate pilot
Wingspan: 59 inches
Wing area: 529 square inches
Airfoil: Semisymmetrical
Length: 39 inches
Weight: 58 ounces (ARF weight); 85 ounces ready to fly
Power system: 35425 outrunner brushless motor; 60 amp-brushless ESC; 14.4-volt (4S) LiPo battery; 12 x 8 electric propeller
Radio: Four-channel radio system with four servos
Construction/finish: Built-up wood with MonoKote covering
Street price: $219.99 (airframe only)

TEST-MODEL DETAILS:
Radio system: JR 9503 transmitter; Spektrum AR6210 DSMX receiver; four Power Up 12-gram metal gear servos; six-inch Y harness.
Ready-to-fly weight: 85 ounces

POWER SETUP #1
Motor: E-flite Power 32 brushless outrunner (4250-770)
ESC: Castle Creations ICE 75
Battery: 4S 4000 mAh
Propeller: APC-E 13 x 8
Flight duration: 8-9 minutes

POWER SETUP #2
Motor: Heads Up RC Firepower Sport 40 (4248-06)
ESC: Castle Creations ICE 75
Battery: 4S 4000 mAh
Propeller: APC-E 15 x 8
Flight duration: 10-12 minutes

PLUSES
• It’s a Gee Bee!
• Easily removable battery hatch held by magnets and dowels.
• Perfect covering job.
• Online updates for manual.
• Flight performance.
• Overall ARF quality.

MINUSES
• Gear legs needed shimming to reduce play.




The kit’s contents taken from the box. The covering job is perfect: no wrinkles or crooked seams.



It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Gee Bees. I’ve had Gee Bee Model R aircraft ranging from micro to 1/4 scale and I loved them all.

When I found out that Maxford USA was releasing a new Gee Bee Sportster Model E, I had to have one! Having built a couple of Maxford’s unique offerings in the past, I had high expectations.

Granville Brothers Aircraft operated in Springfield, Massachusetts, from 1929 until 1934. The brothers—Zantford, Thomas, Robert, Mark and Edward—built 24 aircraft. Although the R models come to mind for most, the Gee Bee Model E is considered by many to be the definitive member of the Gee Bee Sportster family.

Its seven-cylinder, 110 hp Warner Scarab radial engine and its Townend Ring stood out as unique features. The narrow-chord cowling ring fitted around the cylinders was theorized to reduce drag and improve cooling, a theory still argued by some today.

All four of the Model Es produced were destroyed in crashes, including one flown by Zantford “Granny” Granville who was killed in February 1934 while landing in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The ARF arrived in a double-layer box inside an outer box, so not even the roughest treatment would have damaged the contents. Everything was unwrapped within minutes so I could examine the parts. The well-done fiberglass wheel pants are things of beauty.

The engine cowl with cylinders already painted and attached was a nice surprise, too. The covering job was perfect—no wrinkles or crooked seams, and it shined. If I had one negative first impression it would be that the black striping between the red and white surfaces is much too wide for scale accuracy, but that’s a minor quibble.

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