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A-10 Thunderbolt R/C "Park Flyer" Airplane, retail $59.95 (www.historicaviation.com...)
Manufactured by Tuffoam™ R/C (www.TuffoamRC.com)
Last updated 08-22-12

Wel, thuh kompanie thaat maiks thuh Tuffoam™ R/C Power Planes A-10 Thunderbolt "Park Flyer" Airplane kant spel thuh werd "tough", but they still make an excellent product.

This isn't a flashlight, household lamp, Christmas light set, or other thing that glows, but since I love things that fly (also why I added a seperate section titled "PRODUCTS DESIGNED TO FLY" on my website), and because it has several LEDs in it to help you see it during those pesky night missions, I figured "what the hey".

This is a medium-sized (16" {40.60cm} wingspan), lightweight, easy-to-fly remote controlled airplane. It has two motors (not just one like many other R/C aircraft), and is steered by varying the power to each motor, not with an adjustable horizontal stabiliser like single-engine R/C airplanes (and most real airplanes for that matter) have. Its propellers have three blades, not two like most other R/C airplanes. And it has weels so it can take off from and land on hard surfaces such as sidewalks and unused streets.

The "nose art" is what's known as "tusk" nose art; in that it vaguely resembles a very wild animal with a mouthful of sharp teeth with much larger "tusks" coming out of the lower jaw.
The way the "eyes" are depicted makes the "animal" look rather pissed off too.

The overall markings on the aircraft signify that it is an Air Force Reserve plane.

The following is from an email sent by a pilot; this person knows more about aircraft than I do.

I read a few of your RC aircraft reviews, and you have a pretty serious misconception stated at least twice in discussions of models with 2 motors: In full-sized aircraft or in RC, the horizontal stabilizer is NOT primarily involved in turning the aircraft. It does have a secondary role in turning, which I'll return to later. I have dabbled in RC aircraft a couple of times in my life (I'm essentially your age) and I also have a private pilot's license for full-sized aircraft, although I have not exercised that privilege since moving out of Colorado.

The first part of your misconception seems to be that the horizontal stabilizer controls horizontal movement. Not so.

There are three rotational movements: yaw, pitch and roll. Yaw is the horizontal displacement of the nose and tail about the vertical axis. Pitch is vertical displacement about a horizontal axis roughly aligned with the wing, and roll is vertical displacement of the wing tips about a horizontal axis roughly aligned with the propeller shaft.

The fixed horizontal stabilizers (the little wings usually at the back of the aircraft that stick out horizontally) and movable elevator attached to them (or the "stabilator" or "all-flying stabilizer" in the case of a single piece which moves in its entirety) control PITCH. Although this points the nose up or down, and so generally increases or decreases lift, it really controls airspeed: nose-up leads to slower airspeed and nose-down leads to higher airspeed. The aircraft's "state of trim," which depends more or less on the position of the elevator or stabilator, tends to maintain a constant airspeed, although the varying airflow with changing engine power off the propeller does affect trim speed somewhat. POWER translates into climb or descent: at a constant airspeed, more power means climb and less power means decent, and at a constant power more speed means descent and less speed means climb (until you reach the "region of reverse command," when induced drag increases so much that lower speed means MORE power is needed to maintain level flight, or in the most extreme case: when the wing stalls and a small decrease in speed leads to a loss of lift and RAPID descent). This is a common-sense situation: it takes more power to go uphill at a constant speed than downhill, whether in an airplane, car, bicycle or scooter. The lack of a solid hill doesn't really matter.

So, you probably really meant that the VERTICAL stabilizer (the fin sticking up at the back of the fuselage), which affects yaw, controls turning. This is also wrong, although not completely in the case of some RC aircraft. However, unlike in a surface vehicle, YAW, although it does slew the nose sideways, does not turn the aircraft in the sense of causing it to travel in a circular horizontal course. That is actually the result of ROLL, or banking. Rolling into a modest bank angle causes the lift vector of the wing to point sideways as well as up. The sideways force becomes a centripetal force that moves the aircraft in a horizontal circle. The only centripetal force provided by yaw directly is the vector of the engine's thrust resulting from the yaw angle, and except for military jets, the engine's thrust is WAY less than the force of the wing's lift, and is not enough to turn the airplane through a decent arc. (Other exceptions exist in 3D aerobatics, but I'm ignoring that.)

In fact, in a really well-designed airplane, the rudder is hardly needed to turn, and in RC aircraft, low performance planes with 2 channel control have rudder and elevator, but high performance 2 channel planes have aileron and elevator control. (Assumes either glider or constant-power engine/motor. Read as "3-channel" if you want a throttle control, too.) Low-performance models use yaw-roll coupling to let the rudder CAUSE the roll needed to turn the plane, usually via excess dihedral in the wing, but ideally, roll is controlled directly by ailerons. The problem is that ailerons cause roll by increasing lift on one wing, which raises that wing but also induces drag (lift is not free of cost) and slows it down. The wing going up needs to go faster, not slower, to go around the outside of the turn, so this causes "adverse yaw:" the plane tends to turn the opposite of the intended direction, at least while the roll is occurring (the effect becomes less, but not zero, while maintaining a constant bank angle). The rudder is primarily needed to provide a yaw force to offset this adverse yaw and lead to a "coordinated turn" in which there are no net yaw forces, also described as lack of slip or skid. (Deliberate slip is a another use of the rudder to increase drag on the aircraft, and skid can cause the fun/dangerous spin or snap-roll when combined with stall. Brief rolling motions with proper rudder use leads to a "Dutch roll" in which the heading of the airplane doesn't change while the wings rock back and forth. Look them all up if desired!) Older airplanes had lots of adverse yaw, and needed active footwork on the rudder control pedals to make a nice turn or good Dutch rolls, but more recent and more clever designs can make almost-coordinated turns with your feet off the rudder pedals, at least at average airspeed.

There IS an important roll of the horizontal stabilizer in turning: If you want to turn and simultaneously maintain constant altitude, you need to pull back on the stick (pitch the nose up) to increase lift, since as you roll the lift vector would otherwise be the same force. With part of the force directed horizontally, the aircraft would begin to descend unless lift increased, so total lift must increase by either more power (and more airspeed) or more pitch (and slightly reduced airspeed). The latter is usually chosen, so to turn an airplane properly, you use aileron to roll and simulanteously rudder to control adverse yaw, then as the bank angle increases, back stick to increase lift and maintain constant altitude. It's all much easier when you are in the aircraft and can FEEL the results vs. an RC model or flight simulator program, except the consequences of mistakes are worse.

It is a Tuffoam™ Power Plane, 8000 series, distributed by Paul K. Guillow, Inc.

This is a replica of the Lockheed A-10 Thunderbolt - an aircraft used by the United States military much after World War II.
The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is an American single-seat, twin-engine, straight-wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic in the early 1970s. The A-10 was designed for a United States Air Force requirement to provide close air support (CAS) for ground forces by attacking tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets with a limited air interdiction capability. It is the first U.S. Air Force aircraft designed exclusively for close air support.

This flying model is 1/35 scale - so it is larger than you might expect. It's not *HUGE*, but it isn't puny either.


This toy is remarkably easy to use for an airplane...here's how to get it flying:

Assemble it (see the included instructional material - you really only need to install the landing gear {wheels}), screw the antenna into the top of the remote control, and as with any rechargeable product, charge the flight battery (see directly below) -- then you can pretend to fly a really large dragonfly (well, that's what the kitty cat would think it is if it were designed to be flown indoors).

1: On the remote control, turn the "on/off" switch to the "on" position.

2: On the bottom of the airplane's fuselage (body) in front of the battery door (very near the charger port), there's a black slide switch. Use a fingernail to slide this switch forward to the "on" position.

3: Move the left-hand (throttle) joystick fully forward and fully back a couple of times; doing this allows the airplane to "find" the frequency that the transmitter is on. When the motors roar to life, move the stick to the lowermost position and allow the plane's motors to "wind down".

4: Hold the airplane (level, not pointed up or down) in one hand, push the left hand stick on the controller up (toward the front), and firmly but gently toss it straight forward.

Alternately, you may place it onto a hard (paved) surface with a decent length of clear space ahead, and attempt to get it to lift off - this may *OR* may not work however, depending on whether or not the motors have sufficient {vulgar slang term for multiple male testicles; 5 letters, starts with "B" and ends with "S", rhymes with "walls"} to do this. If it does not lift off from the ground, there is no need to be concerned; the A-10 was not designed to lift off on its own and if it does, simply consider yourself lucky (this one does -- please see the video father down this web page showing this!).

5: The motors should immediately throttle up, and the airplane should now begin to climb. Be certain to aim the remote control more or less up at all times; this will help to reach maximum range of the R/C.

For additional instructions & tips on how to fly, please read the instructional material that comes with the product.

There's a yellow button on the front of the remote in front of the left-hand (throttle) stick; when this button is pushed, the starboard (right) motor nearly instantaneously spins up faster than full throttle; the motor immediately returns to its previous speed when this button is released. It is labelled in the instructional materials as the "trick button". This button causes the starboard motor to come on at more than full power regardless of the joystick setting -- even if the stick is all the way back so that the motors are stopped, the starboard motor will still roar to life whenever this button is used.

Additional investigation has revealed that this button is used for performing some aerobatic tricks: when you have the plane at an altitude of 30 feet or greater, you can press this button for "a couple of seconds" to "cut power to your left engine and have the plane do some twisting aerobatics".

Turn the airplane and remote control off when finished using them.
Same switches as before, but slide them in the opposite direction this time; and in the opposide order (airplane first, then R/C).

The battery in the airplane itself is rechargeable; however the batteries in the remote will need to be changed from time to time.

To change the batteries in the remote, turn the unit upside-down, place both thumbs on the texturised areas near the top of the battery door, and firmly push toward the bottom edge of the remote. The battery door should then come off. Very gently place it on the ground, and kick it into the garden so the hungry, hungry praying mantids will think it's something yummy for their insect tummies and subsequently strike at it...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead.

Remove the eight used AA cells from the compartment, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

Insert eight new AA cells into the compartment, orienting each cell so its flat-end (-) negative faces a spring for it in each chamber.

Finally, place the battery door back on.
Aren't you glad you didn't kick that battery door into the garden with all those hungry, hungry praying mantids now?

Here is what a praying mantis looks like.
I found this guy on the morning of 09-08-06 clinging to the basket of my scooter.

To charge the flight battery in the airplane itself, plug one end of the included charger cord into the jack on the upper left front edge of the remote control (near where the antenna sticks out), plug the other end into the receptacle for it on the underside of the airplane's fuselage (body), and slide the switch near the center of the remote control's upper surface to the right.

A red & a yellow-green LED on the control should come on. When the yellow-green LED turns off, the airplane's battery pack is charged: Unplug the charger cord from the airplane and from the remote, and slide the switch on the remote to the center position.

The flight time per charge is stated at "over 5 minutes".

The A-10 Thunderbolt R/C "Park Flyer" Airplane is meant to be used as a toy in a dry area outdoors, not as a flashlight meant to be carried around, rained on, thrashed, trashed, and abused, so I won't try to drown it in the toilet tank, bash it against a steel rod or against the concrete floor of a patio, let my sister's citty kats go to the litterbox on it or let my parent's big dog's ghost lift his leg on it, run over it with a 450lb Celebrity motorised wheelchair, leave it outside in the rain, stomp on it, pee on it, use a medium claw hammer in order to bash it open to check it for candiosity, fire it from the cannoñata, drop it down the top of Mt. Erupto (I guess I've been watching the TV program "Viva Piñata" too much again - candiosity is usually checked with a laser-type device on a platform with a large readout (located at Piñata Central), with a handheld wand that Langston Lickatoad uses, or with a pack-of-cards-sized device that Fergy Fudgehog uses; the cannoñata (also located at Piñata Central) is only used to shoot piñatas to piñata parties away from picturesque Piñata Island, and Mt. Erupto is an active volcano on Piñata Island), send it to the Daystrom Institute for additional analysis, or perform other indecencies on it that a flashlight might have to have performed on it. So this section of the web page will be ***SIGNIFICANTLY*** more bare than this section of the web page on a page about a flashlight.

This airplane features a true ducted fan engine design; in which the props are completely surrounded by the engine nacelles, as opposed to being exposed as they would be on most all other propeller-driven aircraft -- R/C or otherwise.

The remote control's maximum range is not stated for this particular model; but for the P-38 Lightning (another Guillows {Tuffoam™} 8000-series), it is stated as 150 feet.
The frequency of this particular unit is labelled as 27.000MHz.

There is a thin white wire coming from the back of the airplane;
***DO NOT*** pull, cut, or otherwise remove it!!!
This is the airplane's antenna, and it is absolutely necessary for the wire to be intact for the airplane to maintain contact with the remote control!!!

This airplane is intended for outdoor use *ONLY*.
The field in which you fly should measure no less than 300' by 300'.

Photograph of the remote control.

Photograph of the LED on this airplane, illuminated of course.
This is as the airplane is upside-down.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the red "Receiving control signal" LED in this airplane.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the red "Power" LED in the remote control.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the yellow-green "Charge cycle in progress" LED in the remote control.

USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

This is the baseball field I will make all of my flights in.


Test unit was purchased on Ebay on 04-23-11 (or "23 Apr. 2011" or even "Apr. 23, Twenty Double Sticks" if you prefer), and was received at 1:59pm PDT on 05-02-11 (or "02 May 2011" or even "May 02, Twenty Double Sticks" if you prefer) .

UPDATE: 06-06-11
I had planned on flying this product at a nearby baseball field this past weekend, but my elderly father fell down and now requires near-constant assistance, so I have to stay home for the indefinite future.

UPDATE: 02-10-12
I flew it at Celebration Park in Federal Way WA. USA on the 6th of this month. It was way too windy; the following brief video on YourTube shows you exactly what I mean:

This video is approximately 1.71657603476 megabytes (1,874,407 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than eight minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.

UPDATE: 05-16-12

The area of the park I made my 05-15-12 flights in contains two socker fields; the photograph directly below shows but a small part of this locale.

Deceleration is rather sluggish because the motors "wind down" instead of abruptly stopping when the throttle is released; however if it looks like you're headed into a tree or over a fence, there is a way to defeat this: Let up on the throttle (the left-hand stick on the Tx), then quickly "tap" the right-hand stick in either direction and the motors should stop at once! Steering the airplane is still possible; however since the motors are spaced so closely together (and they are the sole source of left/right movement) the plane may be sluggish to respond...in some cases, you just might be best off letting it crash.

We can thank my stepmother for this tip: she suggested it after I had returned home, and what do ya know it works!!!

Trim adjustment is easy (just turn a knob on the R/C and/or move the vertical elevators)

Deceleration is rather sluggish because the motors "wind down" instead of abruptly stopping when the throttle is released; this can cause the airplane to fly into a tree -- but a workaround is available (please see 05-16-12 update above)

    MANUFACTURER: Tuffoam™ R/C
    PRODUCT TYPE: Remote-controlled airplane
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 3 (2x white, 1x red)
    SWITCH TYPE: Slide on/off on bottom of product's fuselage
    CASE MATERIAL: Plastic & compressed foam
    BEZEL: N/A
    BATTERY: 8xAA cells (remote), 3.7 volt 150mAh NiMH rechargeable (plane itself)
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER- AND URANATION-RESISTANT: Very light splatter-resistance at maximum
    ACCESSORIES: NiMH flight battery, wind ribbon, charge cable
    SIZE: 16" wingspan x
    WEIGHT: Not equipped to weigh the product
    WARRANTY: Not specifically stated (reads "reasonable amount of time")


    R/C ratingR/C ratingR/C ratingR/C rating

A-10 Thunderbolt R/C "Park Flyer" Airplane * www.historicaviation.com...

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