Kyosho '09 Motorised Hang Glider'

Written for 'RCM&E' October 1981.

Picture of motorised hang glider

The kit - Assembly - Flying

Powered hang gliders, or microlight aircraft, are currently very popular and represent one of the very few industries which appear to be enjoying full order books at the moment.

It was, therefore. obvious that someone would produce a model of this type of aircraft sooner or later and Kyosho have the honour of being the first manufacturer to do so (unless, that is, you know differently...). For 0.09 - 0.11 cu. in. motors and 2 - 3 function R/C gear. it has a span of 1629mm (63.75") and is claimed to be to a scale of 1:4.5.

The Kit

The structure is formed almost entirely from two sizes of aluminium tubing, a small size which is used for the fuselage framework, and a much larger size to support the nylon sail. Construction of the basic fuselage is virtually complete apart from fitting the radio gear, motor and pilot. Receiver and battery pack are accommodated inside the pilot figure. this being supplied as five plastic riouldings.

A simple silencer with universal mounting is supplied, together with a 7" x 5". pusher nylon propellor. The sail is supplied ready stitched and merely needs the leading edge tubing fitted inside it.


Comprehensive stage-by-stage assembly instructions are supplied. Experience would indicate that these should be closely followed. For various reasons. the review kit was assembled in a somewhat different order and it soon became clear that this was making things rather more difficult. Nonetheless. the kit was completed in about five hours plus the time taken to paint the pilot figure.

The servos Tor aiieron and elevator are bolted to two brackets suspended from the upper fuselage tube and are connected to a simple mechanical mixer which bolted through this main tube. From this, two pushrods extend forwards to the control links on the sail spars. If fitted, the throttle servo is attached to a plate on the bottom of the fuselage by means of servo tape and has a simple wire link to the throttle arm.

Two brackets at the rear of the fuselage accomodate the motor. Two of the mounting holes are slotted and this, together with a little sideways bending of the support tubes, allow virtually any motor to be fitted. For the review model, a well-used OS 10 was fitted and literally dropped straight in.

One tricky point in the assembly lies in assembling the pilot, complete with radio gear, connecting everything up, and fitting the pilot to the fuselage. a 6 channel Futaba receiver can just be fitted into the lower half of the pilot bv a little bit of bending and forcing. There is plenty of room in the torso for the battery pack. The simple answer to the problem of connecting everything up is to use three aileron extender Ieads fiited to the receiver with the socket ends extending just outside the pilot. This is not the neatest solution, but by far the most practical.

Assembly is completed by adding the sail and its supports. The main spars come in two parts with a joint made by an overlapping tube and two bolts. Two plastic bearings are fitted onto the spar and it is essential to get these moving freely. The holes should be carefully opened up until they are a slightly sloppy fit on the spar. When the whole assembly is tightened up, this sloppiness will disappear. After inserting the spars in the pockets in the sail, the whole lot can be offered up to the fuselage and bolted into position. Two pieces have to be cut out of the sail to clear the outer bearings. The instructions give dimensions for these cutouts but a better job can be made by cutting to suit on final assembly.

The bracing wires above the sail are made from shirring elastic and are purely for decoration.


The instructions give a suggested control throw of 40 degrees each way on the elevators and 20 degrees each way for ailerons. Connecting up the standard servo output disks on their outer holes gave just this amount.

It was immediately apparent that, in hot weather, there could be cooling problems with the pusher motor, and it is felt that the use ot a well run-in-motor is very desirable.

First flights were carried out over a gentle slope with the wind blowing up the slope. Power with the OS 10 on straight fuel was very marginal with a ceiling of about 20 feet, unless some slope lift could be found. Elevator control was fairly good, but if too much up was applied. the model simply settled to earth in a nose high attitude. Aileron control took a little getting used to as it was somewhat dependant on elevator setting. With the model in a level attitude, ailerons were very sluggish with a tendency to turn the wrong way due to adverse yaw. With the nose held high, there was little, if any control. Only in a nose down attitude was there any real response.

On the next outing, the model was flown from a flat rield and the motor was run on 10% nitro fuel. Under these conditions, the model was an absolute joy. Great fun could be had by deliberately invoking adverse yaw to do tight flat turns. With a glide angle of about one in four with the motor throttled, spot landings were simplicity itself.

The third outing was back on the original slope with the wind blowing along the slope. These conditions did not suit the model at all. In any sort of turbulence it is a real handful.

So, there you have it, a delightful toy for the experienced modeller, but not, in our view, suitable for the beginner.

Coloured divider

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