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Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

The Pilatus PC-21 shown here is produced by ESM and distributed through Troy Built Models. TBM and ESM have an impressive lineup of warbirds available. The PC-21 comes factory painted to scale, has pre-applied decals which are covered with a clear coat, functional flaps, and most hardware included (screws, rods, fuel tanks etc...). Fixed landing gear and wheels are included in the kit, and pneumatic retracts are available separately. The fuselage is epoxy resin fiberglass. The wings are built up, then covered with Solartex fabric and painted. ESM planes are very high quality at a very reasonable price.

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Product Review:
Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

Perspective By:
Jason Miracle

Manufacturer Contact:
Phone Hours: 9am-6pm Eastern Phone: (941)342-8685 Fax: (941)894-3383

Manufacturer Website:

www.troybuiltmodels.com

FlyingGiants Ratings:

Packaging:
Kit Quality:
Ease of Build:
Huckability:
Overall:
Introduction

Highslide JS


The Pilatus PC-21 shown here is produced by ESM and distributed through Troy Built Models. TBM and ESM have an impressive lineup of warbirds available. The PC-21 comes factory painted to scale, has pre-applied decals which are covered with a clear coat, functional flaps, and most hardware included (screws, rods, fuel tanks etc...). Fixed landing gear and wheels are included in the kit, and pneumatic retracts are available separately. The fuselage is epoxy resin fiberglass. The wings are built up, then covered with Solartex fabric and painted. ESM planes are very high quality at a very reasonable price.


Out of the Box:


Highslide JS Highslide JS Highslide JS

The airplane arrived double-box and well packaged. The outer box had a nice fist sized hole where UPS tried their best to destroy the contents, yet the airplane didnt have a scratch on it. All components were individually bagged and well organized. Everything you need to assemble the airframe is included. The fiberglass fuse seems well made and was very nicely finished. The covered and painted wings and stabs were also nicely finished….not a wrinkle to be found! After sorting through the contents, it was time to dig in.

Product Specifications

Overall length: 81.5" Wingspan: 71" Wing area: 6.0 sq ft. Weight: 15.2lbs

Assembly

To complete the PC-21, I decided to use a DLE-30 (from South East RC Engines) with a pitts-style muffler, Hitec 645mg servos, and my Futaba radio. I also chose to install the optional retracts. The optional retracts are well worth the money! They add a lot of scale detail with functional oleos and scale wheels. Assembly started with the wings. Mounting the aileron and flap servos was very easy using the included hardware. The retracts dropped right into the wing with no fuss. In short order, the wing halves were glued together and ready to be mated with the fuse.

Highslide JS 1 Highslide JS 2 Highslide JS 3

The fuselage was next. Attaching the horizontal stabs required drilling a couple of holes using the included plywood drill guide and some epoxy. The linkages for the elevators and rudder are neatly hidden inside the fuse. This keeps the outside of the fuse clean with no control horns or linkages ruining the sleek lines of this aircraft. The elevator and rudder servos dropped right into the provided bays. Buttoning up the tail of the fuse is finished by attaching the fiberglass hatch. Next up was mounting the DLE-30 motor. After taking a few measurements, I determined I would need to fabricate a stand-off to get the motor in the right location. I used some scrap dowel rod and lite-ply. The fiberglass fuse makes it easy to bolt the motor in place. After making some paper templates to mark the cut-outs for the carb and muffler on the cowl, the nose of the fuse was complete.

Highslide JS 5 Highslide JS 6 Highslide JS 8

All that was left was to hook up a throttle servo, install the air tank and valve for the retracts, and strap in a battery and receiver. With assembly complete, I only needed to check the CG and program my radio to get the PC-21 ready to fly!

Highslide JS 9

In the Air

Finally the day had come when the PC-21 was ready and waiting to fly. Fuel up the tank, pump up the retracts and do a quick range check, then it was time to start the DLE-30. The DLE-30 started up very easily and required very little tuning to idle reliably. The PC-21, with its tricycle landing gear, exhibited great ground handling. It reminded me of my early days flying my trainer. Not knowing quite what to expect, I lowered the flaps half-way and gradually increased the throttle. The PC-21 lifted off gently and climbed out very well at just ¾ throttle. Gear up and throttle forward…this thing really grooves! The first thing I noticed was its unique stance in the air. It appears to fly with a nose-down attitude which results in a very fast looking airplane. I loved it! All too soon it was time to land, and the PC-21 did not disappoint. It slowed down nicely without flaps and showed no sign of wanting to snap or stall on final.
Highslide JS Highslide JS Highslide JS Highslide JS
Many thanks to Ron at SouthEast RC Engines who provided the DLE-30 for this review. The motor was all that was promised and more! It was simple to mount, started very easily after just a few flips, and purred like a kitten right out of the box. I spent very little time getting the motor tuned to idle reliably and turn the 18x8 prop very strong. I will definitely look to Ron at SouthEast RC Engines and the DLE-30 for my next 1.20 sized project. I will be posting a full review of the DLE-30 from SouthEast RC Engines shortly so check back!
Highslide JS

Conclusion

Troy Built Models and ESM have released a great flying warbird with awesome scale looks. The PC-21 is a unique model that is sure to turn heads at the field. Anyone who has experience building an ARF should have no trouble putting this model together. With as easy, fast, and fun as it is to fly, it is one of my new favorite planes to fly.

Phone Hours: 9am-6pm Eastern Phone: (941)342-8685 Fax: (941)894-3383 www.troybuiltmodels.com

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Old 11-25-2009, 08:56 AM
Registered User
Kiwi's Avatar
Chile
Joined Jan 2006
5,983 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

I think you could make a good bird out of this by going electric as well. That would certainly give a whole lot more scale sound and save cutting holes in the purdy looking cowling.

Looks like I need a new project and this one fits the bill.
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:56 AM
~Ken Shaffer
Pakratt76's Avatar
Clyde, OH
Joined Jan 2007
6,131 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

I got the honor of seeing Jmiracle piloting, and this bird flying first hand....
One sweet looking devil in the air for sure... wow, what an eye catcher!
Even got to flip the prop to start it a few times... I touched that plane...
yeah! Good Job Jmiracle!
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:03 AM
Suspended Account
Amelia, Ohio
Joined Feb 2006
10,844 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

Nice review Jason. Can't wait to see it fly.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:09 AM
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Al Lewis's Avatar
Port Orchard, WA
Joined Nov 2007
6,910 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

Great review and a beautiful plane!! Great job!!
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:37 PM
needs more yaw authority
Central PA
Joined Oct 2008
1,593 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
I think you could make a good bird out of this by going electric as well. That would certainly give a whole lot more scale sound and save cutting holes in the purdy looking cowling.

Looks like I need a new project and this one fits the bill.
There was an electric version of this at this years SEFF, it rocked.
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Old 12-30-2009, 04:40 PM
Say Ah!
DiabloKid's Avatar
Centreville, Va
Joined Jan 2006
569 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

I got one recently, trying to figure out a engine for it. I dont want to hack the cowl bad either
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:48 PM
Flyin' Around
Surprise, Arizona
Joined Nov 2009
3 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

would a zenoah G26 mag engine work for this airplane or is it too wide for the cowl??? thanks.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:51 PM
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jmiracle's Avatar
Findlay, Ohio
Joined Jan 2006
1,383 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

the nose of the PC-21 is very narrow...just about any engine is going to require some pretty good relief cuts. I used a DLE-30 in mine which has a side mounted carb and a pitts style muffler. You might compare the overall dimensions of your motor with that of the DLE-30 to get an idea of how much extra, if any, you'll need to trim the cowl.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:52 AM
Flyin' Around
France
Joined Oct 2006
1 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

Hello all,

I am new here and just discovering this PC-21 review. Congratulations and thanks Jason.
This Pilatus model is not new for me because I am building my own 1/5.35 semi-scale model.

I am looking for information regarding the incidences and do not arrive to get them.
So does someone is able to provide me the incidence for the wing (and washout?) and the horizontal stab?
If possible, the engine thrust as well.

Thanks a lot
Regards
Didier
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:46 AM
jtec/radiowave's Avatar
Mooresville, North Carolina
Joined Jan 2006
1,676 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

we have actually been doing a lot of custom mufflers for engines going in this airplane. Due to the taper on the front of the cowl we have been doing some modifications to keep everything inside the cowl. We have done everything from a zenoah G-23/26, SV-26, ZDZ 40, & DL -30.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:23 PM
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jmiracle's Avatar
Findlay, Ohio
Joined Jan 2006
1,383 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtec/radiowave View Post
we have actually been doing a lot of custom mufflers for engines going in this airplane. Due to the taper on the front of the cowl we have been doing some modifications to keep everything inside the cowl. We have done everything from a zenoah G-23/26, SV-26, ZDZ 40, & DL -30.

wow! This is cool stuff! I would be very interested in a solution for this plane and the DL-30. Replacement cowls are cheap enough that it would be worth the effort to replace it to clean up the looks a bit.

I've thought about modifing the exhaust manifolds that come with the plane to fit over the carb cut-out on the DL-30....if the muffler didn't chew up so much of the opposite side, this may be very doable!
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:59 PM
workin on rollers!!!
rcflyguy's Avatar
Findlay, OH
Joined Jan 2006
1,569 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmiracle View Post
wow! This is cool stuff! I would be very interested in a solution for this plane and the DL-30. Replacement cowls are cheap enough that it would be worth the effort to replace it to clean up the looks a bit.

I've thought about modifing the exhaust manifolds that come with the plane to fit over the carb cut-out on the DL-30....if the muffler didn't chew up so much of the opposite side, this may be very doable!
Also, a rear carb mod is hopefully comming soon!
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:33 PM
Flyin' Around
Stockholm , Sweden
Joined May 2009
22 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

Hi to everyone

Jason, very good review about the Pc 21 , this is definitely an eye catching babe , and I´m falling for it, I´m considering getting one myself , and the obvious choice for a powerplant , is gas , but instead of the DL-30 , I was thinking about the ZDZ 40RE , which is a rear exhaust engine , with an inverted pitts muffler ( since there´s no room for a canister , due to the nose gear) , I have one 40Re in my Aggressor 240 , and it´s a very good engine , but then, it may be overkill , due to it´s size , What do you think about it? , all suggestions are welcome.

Peter
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:36 AM
Flyin' Around
richaur's Avatar
Australia
Joined Jan 2007
3 Posts
Re: Troy Built Models Pilatus PC-21

How about a Syssa SAP-180 - 30cc rear mount carby and rear mount muffler? Has anyone got the firewall demensions?
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