Durafly Retro Junior
The Durafly Retro Junior is the second entry in the new Retro series by Durafly, a house brand of Hong-Kong based internet hobby retailer HobbyKing.
Introduced in November 2013, the all-EPO model is designed to look like a vintage balsa free flight model, down to a simulated glow engine cylinder head, optional decorative wing bands and internal framework simulated with paint. Looks notwithstanding, the Retro Junior is a modern four-channel electric aircraft with preinstalled electronics, requiring only the user's choice of receiver and a 1300mAh 3S lithium polymer battery with an XT60 connector.
No glue is required for assembly; final assembly of the Retro Junior is done with bolt-on components. An error in step three of the assembly manual of early production units relating to the operation of the ailerons has been addressed in newer production runs; HobbyKing recommends that all users refer to their online addendum.
The model appears to be based on the Keil Kraft Junior 60, a 1946 design with a 60" (1520mm) wingspan from the United Kingdom still popular today.
With its exceptionally high dihedral, the Retro Junior is relaxing to fly and to land and will manuever with very little aileron input. It has a tendency to ground loop when taking off from a paved surface; it is necessary to smoothly and quickly apply full throttle and to be prepared for torque steer and torque roll. This is a characteristic of most vintage model aircraft and the Junior's tendency to do so should not be viewed as a flaw. Though it is not designed to be an aerobatic model, it will perform basic loops at high throttle settings. Despite its looks, the Retro Junior is an exceptionally lively flyer at high throttle settings.
The high dihedral also renders the ailerons partially ineffective unless rudder is added during turns, whether manually or via mixing on a computerized radio. The Retro Junior will in fact steer via rudder only; it is an easy task to connect the rudder to the receiver's aileron channel and to use the ailerons as flaps. Steering via rudder is important at slow speeds since attempting to steer the Junior with the ailerons may cause a tip stall.
- Wingspan: 43.3" (1100mm)
- Length: 30.1" (765mm)
- Flying weight: 24.5 oz (695g)
- Motor: Turnigy Aerodrive DST-1100 brushless outrunner; 1100Kv
- Propeller: Durafly 8x6 slow flyer; an 8x6SF propeller from APC and a 3mm collet may be substituted
- Servos: Four 9g analog
- ESC: Durafly 20A with 3A BEC and XT60 plug
- Price (USD): $122.98 from the USA warehouse plus applicable tax and shipping