Dynam RC Gee Bee Y
The Dynam RC Gee Bee Y is an affordably priced EPO semi-scale R/C airplane manufactured by Shenzhen Dynam Industry & Trade Co., Ltd. of Shenzhen, China. It is distributed in North America by online discount hobby retailer Nitroplanes of City of Industry, California USA and is available as a near-RTF version with a Dynam four-channel radio system or as a plug-n-play version which requires a suitable radio system and battery.
Both versions come with full hardware, a small phillips screwdriver, preassembled landing gear, a spare propeller, diecut pressure-sensitive decals and a predecorated pilot figure with its own foam-safe CA for mounting it.
A small allen wrench and two tubes of contact cement are included, but there is no socket head hardware. The cement is not called for in assembly and it may have been provided for repair purposes.
Final assembly is quick and simple, but the screws used to hold the tail assembly in place are both difficult to install and do not adequately hold the tail in place. The tail in the example shown in the photo was permanently attached with thirty-minute epoxy.
The PNP version will require both electronic and mechanical adjustments of the servo arms and clevises. The user's choice of battery connectors may be necessary because of the unusual proprietary connector on the ESC. Soldering a new connector might need to be done on the model since the matte-finish paint used on the cowl and fuselage at the factory makes the cowl difficult to remove.
The Gee Bee is modeled after the two-seat Granville Brothers Gee Bee Model Y Senior Sportster of 1931, of which only two were built. The model depicts NR718Y, custom built for the E.L. Cord Corporation to serve as a test bed for their 215-horsepower Lycoming R-680 radial engine, the first ever Lycoming brand aircraft engine.
In 1933, pilot Florence Klingensmith was the first woman to enter the $10,000 Frank Phillips Trophy Race at the International Air Races in Chicago, Illinois. The Phillips was a 100 mile, twelve-lap pylon race and was open to planes with no limits on engine size. This race was the main event at the Nationals that year.
Florence flew NR718Y, then owned by Arthur Knapp of Jackson, Michigan. The fabric-covered craft's original 220 horsepower (164 kW) Lycoming R-680 engine had been replaced with a 670 horsepower (500 kW) Wright Whirlwind. Late in the afternoon of September 4, one day after her 29th birthday, Florence was flying in fourth place ahead of four male fliers, averaging over 200 mph through the first eight laps. Then, just as she was passing the grandstands, a bit of red fabric fluttered down from the fuselage. The stresses of the race were apparently too much for the overpowered light craft. Florence immediately veered off the course and flew steady and level straight south to a plowed field a couple of miles away. Suddenly the plane nosed over into the ground from about 350 feet up. Florence died instantly and had apparently attempted to bail out. Her parachute was found tangled in the fuselage. Organizers used her death as a excuse to bar women from the Air Races.
Florence's body was shipped back to Minnesota for the funeral. The businessmen who had bankrolled Florence's first plane served as pallbearers. She was interred at Oakmound Cemetery, a few miles from where she was born.
A replica of NR718Y was built by Ken Flager between 1970 and 1984 and is powered by a 300-horsepower version of the Lycoming R-680 engine fitted to the original.
The model is well balanced both forward and aft as well as laterally and flies very well. Takeoffs are easy and require little or no elevator input. Once airborne, the Gee Bee flies much like a sport plane as opposed to a 1930s air racer. The model exhibits no bad habits and intermediate to advanced pilots will find it relaxing to fly.
Rolls performed with the recommended aileron throws are very scalelike; it is possible to do so with little or no elevator input.
The Gee Bee glides quite well which aids in landing, but the steel plates which comprise the landing gear within its foam surroundings combine with the foam-tired wheels to make the landing gear somewhat bouncy. Depending on surroundings and runway length, landings might be best performed with a long, shallow final approach while keeping the model's gliding capabilities in mind.
- Wingspan: 50" (1270mm)
- Length: 45.8" (980mm)
- Wing loading: 42.2g/sq dm
- Flying weight: 49.5 oz (1250g)
- Servos: Detrum 9g analog
- Battery (RTF): Dynam 2200mAh 20C 3S 11.1V lithium polymer with proprietary connector
- ESC: Detrum 40A brushless with proprietary connector
- Motor: Dynam BM3715A-KV900 brushless outrunner
- Propeller: Dynam 12x6 electric
- Transmitter (RTF): Dynam 2.4GHz five-channel sport radio with servo reversing, analog trims, aileron sub trim, non-proportional fifth channel for retracts and a throttle hold switch
- Receiver (RTF): Dynam seven-channel with gear control channel and two auxillary channels
- Catalog number (both versions): DY8955
- PNP/RTF prices through Nitroplanes: US$119.00/$179.00