GWS Slow Stick
The GWS Slow Stick is a very simple high-winged three-channel electric R/C model airplane manufactured by Taiwanese corporation Grand Wing Servo-Tech and distributed by US-based Horizon Hobby of Champaign, Illinois. It was designed to be cheap, easy to build and to fly very slowly in calm conditions. It makes an excellent trainer and many people have taught themselves to fly with one. It is also easy to modify and has a huge number of enthusiastic fans.
- The fuselage is a 10mm square, thin-walled aluminium tube, onto which slide a number of plastic parts.
- The wing is a single large piece of heat formed Depron, colored red on the top and made to resemble a German WWI fighter. Fibreglass rods are taped to the leading and trailing edges and joined with pre-bent aluminium tubes.
- The tail is also pre-colored Depron, glued to the fuselage. The rudder and elevator must be cut, bevelled and taped.
- The undercarridge is pre-bent and just presses into the plastic wing support.
- An experienced builder can build a Slow Stick in an hour or two, but most of the work is installing the radio and pushrods which can take a while for a beginner to work out.
- The prop and gearbox are vulnerable in a crash, although a prop-saver will help if you remember to shut the throttle before hitting the ground.
- The rest of the plane looks fragile but usually survives all but the worst crashes because of the low flight speed.
The Slow Stick does indeed fly very slowly for a relatively large aircraft. Stall speed is not far above walking pace and top speed is probably only about 20 MPH (32km/h). It is also very stable, although with large rudder throws it is manoverable enough to fly indoors and can perform tight loops.
The Slow Stick does not fly well in wind, although it is possible for an experienced pilot. If a beginner can feel the wind on his/her face and see leaves moving, there may be too much wind to learn to fly this plane.
Half a football pitch is plenty of space for a Slow Stick, although a novice would be advised to have more space. An experienced pilot can likely fly in a gym.
The Slow Stick is very easy to hand launch. The stock wheels do not perform well in all but the shortest possible grass, tending to cause a noseover on landing. Landings are otherwise very easy; with the power off, it will nearly land itself.
- Length: 954 mm (37.6 in)
- Wingspan: 1176 mm (46.3 in)
- Wing area: 32.64 dm² (505.9 sq in)
- Flying weight: 405~440 g (14.3~15.5 oz)
- Wing loading: 12.4~13.5 g/dm² (4~4.4 oz/sq.ft)
- Power system GWS EPS300C or GWS EPS400C
- Propeller: GWS EP1180 or GWS EP7035
- Recommended batteries: 2/3AA270~400mAh / AA600mAh/7.2V
- Servos: GWS PICO, NARO or MINI
- Radio required: Three-channel or more aircraft system