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LiddleRod - a Unique Micro RC Plane Kit

Build the LiddleRod in a day - ParkZone motor and micro-brick perform flawlessly

 

LiddleRod micro RC model airplane

Light weight LiddleRod micro RC model plane

The LiddleRod micro electric RC plane kit is an innovative laser-cut balsa model kit designed exclusively for the remarkable and poplar ParkZone 2.4 GHz Spektrum DSM2 brick (the brick contains the receiver, electronic speed control and two servos), along with the ParkZone PKZ3624 geared electric motor and propeller combination. This is the same electronics and power unit supplied for ParkZone P-51 Mustang.

Note that this electronics and motor combination provide all the thrust needed for the LiddleRod and should not be confused with the much smaller motor provided for the lighter ParkZone Cessna 210 or Vapor RTF micro airplanes. You can even practice maneuvers on a computer flight sim!

LiddleRod is a complete kit

The LiddleRod kit is available from Stevens AeroModel. The LiddleRod is a very complete kit with just about everything needed to complete the plane. The LiddleRod kit contains a set of CAD plans, laser cut balsa and hardwood, control horns and linkages. The only items you will need to supply are normal building supplies such as glue and lightweight covering for the wing top surfaces. Skills used to build this plane are easily employed converting Guillow free flight kit designs to RC flight as described here.

The LiddleRod is a quick building kit - mine was complete in a day


LiddleRod airplane kit contents

LiddleRod kit and ParkZone electronics (servos in the brick at right)

On the Stevens Aeromodel website you will find a detailed photo illustrated construction guide that must be followed precisely. The LiddleRod is an exceptionally well thought out model airplane design with careful attention to model aerodynamics.

The LiddleRod has a low parts count combined with an innovative self jigging fuselage that permits a rapid construction pace. I completed my LiddleRod in a day, including taking time to carefully study the instruction sheets.

ParkZone electronics are a perfect fit

The LiddleRod is designed expressly for the ParkZone electronics and all the components fit nicely into place. I would not recommend the LiddleRod for either a first time RC pilot or builder. The LiddleRod kit is very well planned with a precision fit to all the parts. The LiddleRod is a small airplane and you will need some experience and finesse to prepare and fit items like the control linkages.

 

LiddleRod balsa model airplane components

LiddleRod fuselage, tail surfaces and wing

The LiddleRod is built as a complete unit with the wings glued in place. The LiddleRod’s wings are relatively short to allow for aerobatic flight, and the required washout is built into the wings during construction. Again, the paramount need to carefully study and follow the illustrated construction manual.

For example, the manual directs that the wings must be covered on their top surfaces only or there will be a significant decrease in flight performance. I am not fully sure of the reasoning behind this. But there is no doubt the engineering supporting this fun little model indicates that you are well advised to cover just the top surfaces of the wing.

LiddleRod ParkZone electronics

ParkZone geared brushed motor and electronics brick

As the LiddleRod is designed for a specific type of ParkZone power system and electronics, there is minimal chance that your version will come out overweight. My LiddleRod tipped the scales at 1.1 ounces.

I’d say that the only phase of construction that required a bit of extra concentration is fabricating and connecting the control linkages. The LiddleRod instructions provide clear directions. You just have to be careful that the linkage runs are not binding anywhere and that your controls are perfectly centered before you glue the heat shrink tubing in place.

The LiddleRod is so lightweight that there is no need to cover the fuselage. To save weight, I followed the instructions and covered just the top of the wings.

The ParkZone motor and propeller provide plenty of thrust, and the LiddleRod was airborne in no time after a light hand toss. The LiddleRod is a nimble, agile and responsive flyer. You do need to keep ahead of the plane, as it is small in size and moves right along.

The ParkZone 120 milliamp lipo battery can be shifted fore and aft along the fuselage side to provide the proper center of gravity. I found that having the battery a bit towards the aft CG range helped with proper flight a lot. As I mentioned earlier, the ParkZone geared motor and prop provides plenty of power, and most of my flying is done at half throttle.

 

LiddleRod in flight

LiddleRod in flight test

LiddleRod is for intermediate flyers

I highly recommend the LiddleRod for intermediate level builders and pilots. The LiddleRod kit parts fit together perfectly and the entire airplane can be constructed in a day.

The LiddleRod provides something pleasing and different from the fleets of micro ARFs we all see today. With its lively and responsive flight characteristics, the LiddleRod is a lot of fun to fly indoors as well as outdoors when the wind is calm.

Ensure that the wing is built with the required washout in place and the controls have their full range of motion.

When you show up with your LiddleRod at your local indoor flying venue you will be certain to attract a lot of attention with this unique, fun to fly micro aerobat.

Author: Gordon McKay


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