It was in the May 1975 issue of R/C
Modeler magazine that I first saw the Airtronics
Aquila sailplane (she's way too graceful to refer to her merely as a
glider). Airtronics had not introduced a kit yet, but they were selling a canopy
and hardware kit along with plans, so I ordered them and scratch built my first
Aquila. I was 17 years old then. It was covered to look like the one in the
photo above (which would become the kit box label photo). Not having lite ply
for the fuselage, I used hard balsa. Somehow I eventually managed to destroy
Aquila #1, but by that time a kit was available, so I bought one and also the
ABS plastic fuselage. A standard
Hi-Start was used for launching. Back in the 1970s, there were still plenty of
areas, even near small cities, to stretch out a Hi-Start - unlike today where
large enough fields are rare. The December issue of R/C Modeler of that year
contained a prototype build review of the Aquila. Of course it received the
highest ratings possible.
Product Test: Airtronics Aquila
Aquila by Airtronics, P.O. Box 626, Arcadia, California 91006, is a Standard Class
sailplane with a wingspan of 99.9" and a total wing area of 810 square inches. The
wing utilizes polyhedral, with a 9.6% flat bottom airfoil and a total wing area
of 810 square inches. All-up weight of our prototype was 43 ounces with a wing loading
of 7.6 ounces per square foot. Two servos can be used for control, although three
are recommended to utilize the Aquila spoiler system.
basic materials used in construction consist of Italian poplar, balsa, and spruce
in the fuselage; balsa, spruce and plywood in the wing; and balsa tail surfaces.
All hardware is included in the kit including spoiler cables, tubing, spoiler hardware,
adjustable tow hook, brass tubing, music wire wing joiners, rudder hinges, stabilator
bellcrank, pushrods, skid, horns, clevises, spoiler return weights, spoiler hinging
material, canopy, and other miscellaneous items.
The plywood fuselage sides are pre-shaped and drilled and there are two large
easy-to-read plan sheets and very specific step-by-step instructions including construction
sequence photos. The kit is beautifully machined and all parts fit together perfectly.
The Aquila has made quite a record for itself in the contest circuit and features
a very strong climb and high launch with both electric winch and Hi-Starts. It has
an excellent speed range and a long, flat glide with a low sink rate. It has responsive
controls with the spoilers especially effective for spot landings. However, the
Aquila is not difficult to fly and performs more like the larger Open Class sailplanes.
It is a superb sailplane from both a construction and performance standpoint for
the sport and contest pilot alike.
R/C Modeler magazine Airtronics Aquila product review ratings
R/C Modeler Prototype Aquila Specs
Aircraft Type: Sailplane
Manufactured by: Airtronics, P.O. Box 626, Arcadia, California 91006
Mfg. Suggested Retail Price: $59.95
Available From: Bolh Manufacturer-and Retail Mfg.
Recommended Usage: Comp. sailplane, Standard Class
Wingspan: 99.9 Inches
Wing Chord: 9" root, 5.75 "tip
Total Wing Area: 810 sq.in.
Fuselage Length: 46.2 Inches
Radio Compartment Dimensions: (L) 11.0" x (W) 2.2"x (H) 2.0"
Wing Location: Shoulder
Wing Dihedral: 2.5" (8°)
Airfoil: Flat Bottom
Wing Planform" Constant Chord & double taper
Stabilizer Span: 25.25 inches
Stabilizer Chord (Incl. elev.):. 4.25" avg.
Total Slab Area: 106.0 sq. in.
Stab Airfoil Section: Diamond
Stabilizer Location: Top of Fuselage
Vertical Fin Height: 10.1 inches
Vertical Fin Width (incl. rudder): 7" max.
Mfg. Rec. Engine Range: NA
Recommended Fuel Tank Size: NA
Landing Gear: NA
Recommended No. of Channels: 2·3
Recommended Control Functions: Elev., Rudder, landing spoilers
Basic Materials Used In Construction:
Fuselage: Air-Ply, balsa, spruce
Wing: Balsa, spruce, plywood
Tail Surfaces: Balsa
Hardware Included In Kit: Everything needed is included
Plan Size: 53" x 23" (2 sheets)
Building Instructions on Plan Sheets: Yes
Instruction Manual: Yes (12 pages)
Construction Photos:. Yes
Kit Includes: Shaped Parts
Mfg. rec. flying weight: 40-44 ounces
Wing loading based on rec. flying weight: 7.5 oz./sq. ft.
Posted April 27, 2019