Model type: Semiscale ARF
Skill level: Intermediate
Wingspan: 70 inches
Wing area: 860 square inches
Length: 50 inches
Weight: 7 to 7.8 pounds
Wing loading: 19 to 21 ounces per square foot
Radio required: Four-channel with five standard servos for glow power; four-channel with four standard servos for electric
Power system: .53 to .61 two-stroke; .53 to .65 four-stroke; or 1,200 to 1,700-watt brushless motor; 75-amp ESC; 4S to 6S, 4,000 to 5,000 mAh LiPo battery pack
Street price: $229.99
Power system: Great Planes Rimfire .60 brushless outrunner; Castle Phoenix Edge 75-amp ESC
Battery: Turnigy Nano-Tech 5S 5,000 mAh LiPo
Propeller: APC 12 x 6E
Radio system: Futaba T7C radio; Futaba R617FS receiver; four Hitec HS-485 servos
Ready-to-fly weight: 6.84 pounds
Flight duration: 8 to 10 minutes
• Color scheme matches Erik Edgren’s aircraft, including the N-number.
• Clear and accurate instructions.
• Ease of assembly.
• Does aerobatics easily and is a joy to fly.
• Scale wing struts not included.
• Pilot figure not included.
If you’ve selected this aircraft to assemble and fly, you probably know it’s a modified clipped-wing Taylorcraft that started life as a BC-65 model.
The full-scale aircraft is owned by Erik Edgren, who flies the T-Clips in aerobatic air shows. Erik advertises the airplane as possibly the only clipped-wing Taylorcraft currently flying air shows with the original-size engine. Erik uses all of the control surfaces and the 85 hp Continental engine for, as he says, “twistin’ it old school.”
Upon opening the inner box, you will see that the wings and tail surfaces are all neatly taped in place. Under the cardboard divider is the rest of the model—including the fuselage, cowl, landing gear, and hardware package. This is not a receiver-ready or a ready-to-fly model. Some assembly is required, but there is a construction manual that also includes tips for new fliers.
Similar to many of the newer ARF aircraft on the market, the windscreen/forward fuselage section is held on with magnets and wooden dowels. This allows you to exchange batteries without removing the wing for each flight. Be sure to look at the sides of the model’s box to see how to open this section of the fuselage because it isn’t explained in the instruction booklet. The first decision to make when assembling the T-Clips 70 is the type of power system you want to use. Sig has designed the model to use either electric or glow power (EG).
I decided to use electric power. If you choose to power your aircraft with a glow-fuel engine, a .60 size should be powerful enough. A glow-fuel tank is provided.
After you decide the power type you want to use, take the instructions to your local hobby shop and purchase the additional components needed to complete the model.
The preslotted and hinged aileron, elevator, and rudder make quick and simple work of adding all of the hinged control surfaces. I always keep a paper towel handy in case some of the thin CA glue runs.
Servo selection is up to you. I used Hitec HS-485 servos for all of the control surfaces.
If you decide to change the model from electric to glow powered, or the other way around, it is an easy procedure. Simply remove four bolts to switch powerplants.
Add the aileron servos to the under-wing panels and route the servo wires out from the end of each panel. Next, add all of the control surface hinges per the instructions and use thin CA glue to attach them to the appropriate parts. It only takes a dab of glue on each side. Check often to make sure there are no runs. When the glue has cured, work the control surface back and forth and then pull it to ensure all hinges are firmly attached.
Using the three included bolts, attach the main gear, the wheels, and the wheel pants. It couldn’t be easier to do, and takes roughly 15 minutes. Attach the tail wheel and the bracket for the rudder and you’re almost finished with the outside of the model. The only thing left to do is assemble the pushrods and clevises to the control surfaces. If you take your time, it could take an hour or two to complete.
Attach the servos to the inside cabin. The instrument panel, wind screen, and wing-mounting hardware are preinstalled. Measure the distance for your motor and add the provided socket-head bolts to secure the motor to the firewall. Make sure the engine’s propeller shaft and spinner will exit the cowling before screwing everything together!
Sig included an arming switch with the aircraft as a safety option. The mount is already located in the fuselage side, simplifying installation. This keeps your power system from being armed until you are ready to fly and your fingers are away from the propeller. Great idea!
Scale details, such as wing struts and dummy screws and bolts, would look great on the T-Clips. The included scale version of the full-scale aircraft’s instrument panel is a nice touch. A photo of the full-scale aircraft is included with this review and could be used for Fun Scale documentation. All you need is one picture of the full-scale aircraft. You are now ready to go fly in a fun competition!
The T-Clips Taylorcraft is an aerobatic aircraft with a semisymmetrical wing. With a powerful Rimfire .60 electric motor and a 5,000 mAh 5S LiPo battery, the T-Clips has more than enough power. In fact, if you are just sport flying the model you can fly it on roughly half throttle and use the extra power for aerobatics with vertical aspects such as a loop, stall turn, Immelmann turn, Split-S, Chandelle, and others.
The T-Clips tracks straight down the runway, but the initial flights were made in a 90° crosswind, requiring some rudder. Make sure the main wheels roll freely before you arrive at the field. If you don’t, the model will veer toward the slower wheel.
I followed the instructions to set up the radio for high and low rates and exponential. You’ll want to use the high rates on aerobatic maneuvers such as an aileron roll. Trim adjustments were minimal during the first flight.
This is a good model if you have progressed from the trainer stage with aircraft such as the Sig Kadet or Kadet Senior. I recommend using high-torque servos with the T-Clips.
I’m impressed by the T-Clips—the manufacturer’s attention to detail, as well as the model’s quick building time. It looks great in the air, flies nicely, and will garner its share of attention at the field, so go ahead and learn to twist it old school.