World Models LA Racer 40 Review

Review by Gunnar Hovmark, Staff Contributor

Equipment Used:

Transmitter: Spektrum DX5e

Receiver: Spektrum AR400

Receiver battery: Instant 6 V 2500 mAh NiMH

Servos: Futaba S3003

Engine: Enya 35-4C, weight 400 grams approx.

Propeller: APC 11x6

Misc: Radio power switch with Futaba charging socket, silicon fuel tubing and a 3 mm brass tube, extra 100 mm servo wire and a 150 mm Y harness for the aileron servos.

 

Pros:

- Easy and quick assembly

- Very aerobatics capable, yet easy to fly

- High quality hardware

- Clear plastic cowl template

- Can actually be used for racing, look here.

 

Cons:

- The covering under the nose came loose after a while

 

Intro:

The Ultimate 40 from The Wings Maker that I reviewed a while back got a very short life. I proved once again that low level aerobatics are dangerous, so now I needed a new plane for my old Enya 35-4C engine. One of my favorite shops (RCFlight.se in Skövde, Sweden) advertised The World Models LA Racer 40, and it looked like a suitable choice, even though it’s really made for more powerful engines.

 

Assembly:

This is an ARF model with everything included except the RC equipment and the engine. Everything is very similar to the Ultimate. I don’t know exactly how The Wings Maker and The World Models are connected, but they’re obviously close. All the hardware and the fuel tank look exactly the same and the manuals are very similar. Assembly is quick and easy. The main parts are already built and covered. Even the control surface hinges are already glued in place. Do as the manual says, and be sure to use thread lock when the manual says so.

 

The hardware kit is very complete. There are even screws for attaching the engine to the engine mount, and sponge plastic that’s pre-shaped to hold receiver and battery. I didn’t use the sponge plastic this time though, I’m trying hook-and-loop strips instead.

I painted the firewall with my favorite fuel proof paint. (Alcro Entré floor paint, Swedish brand.)

 

The LA Racer is obviously designed to have the engine installed upright. The position of the propeller axle hole in the cowl relative to the engine mount shows that. I decided that an inverted engine installation would look better anyway. To make that work I had to push the cowl up as much as possible, so I got a gap of a few millimeters between the cowl and the top of the fuselage. Doesn’t look too bad.

 

Like the Ultimate, this model has a clear plastic cowl template. You just trim the clear plastic cowl to fit nicely over the engine and muffler. Then you wrap it around the ”real” fiberglass cowl and draw the outlines of the openings you need on the cowl.

With my engine I got the CG position a few millimeters behind the position given in the manual. I fly like that and it works very well. Most people who buy this plane will use a bigger engine, and then CG position should be spot on.

Total weight of my LA Racer 40 is about 2.2 kilograms with an empty tank.

 

The wing is fastened with two screws and is easy to remove for transport and storage.

One thing I didn’t do, but obviously should have done, was to make sure that the covering was properly fastened around the firewall. On about my 12 th flight the covering came loose under the nose. I have now fastened it with Loctite, seems to work.

There is a double sided adhesive patch that you're supposed to use to fasten the pilot figure inside the cockpit. It sticks well to plywood, but not to the plastic pilot, so some glue is needed there.

 

Flying:

My old engine provides a lot less power than this plane is designed for, but it is still adequate for takeoffs and aerobatics, although the performance is not sparkling. The LA Racer performs a lot better with this engine than the Ultimate did, which probably shows that monoplanes have less drag than biplanes. Also, the LA Racer has a much slimmer fuselage. If you equip it with a high performance two stroke engine I believe you will really have a racer.

Turns look good without any rudder input. It performs loops and rolls very well. For spins and snap rolls you need more elevator and rudder travel than I have used so far. A potential problem here is that the gap between the stabilizer and the elevator on my LA Racer is so tight that it limits elevator travel. I think it can be remedied with a little force and maybe a small cut here and there.

Landings are easy, landing speed is fairly low and the LA Racer is easy to keep on course. A very nice plane to fly.

 

Conclusion:

This is a well made plane, except for the little covering flaw, and a very complete ARF. It’s very aerobatics capable and yet easy to fly. I’d say this is a very suitable first aerobatics plane, and it’s also a fun and relaxing plane for the more experienced pilot. Also useful for racing apparently. My old and weak engine provides adequate power for it, so if you use an engine of the recommended size I think you will learn why it’s got ”Racer” in the name.

 

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