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For those who may not know Bob Frey he is a well respected scale builder and flyer who has been competing at the highest levels of competition for many years. Bob's specialty is warbirds and he has flown as many different types as anybody I know. As such, I respect his opinions and take his recommendations to heart. I am fortunate to number Bob among my good friends and I would like to thank him for taking the time to fly the Hellcat and also to write up the report below.

Bob Frey's Pilot Report on the RCFW Hellcat

Thanks Chad for giving me the opportunity to fly your new Hellcat, As you know it reminds me a great deal of my old Taylor that I had a few years ago so I was eager to get the feel of it. Overall, I would have to say your new design is better than the one I had, primarily because it is much lighter. Mine was about 14 pounds and yours at a little over 10 just makes everything better. I don't see you adding more than 1/2 pound with paint and final detailing, so it should retain all of it's good habits once that's done. Also, mine had a very sensitive elevator for some reason, and I noticed right away yours did not. I was impressed with the ground handling even with the moderate direct crosswind we had Saturday. The rudder definitely has good authority and we where able to make relatively straight takeoffs and landings. Among WWII fighters, I've found Hellcats are typically moderately good on ground handling. Not the best but definitely not the worst. So for an absolute scale Hellcat yours is just fine. The OS 61 has adequate power at this weight and I was really surprised how fast the ship is in level flight. I was able to do a relatively big loop too, with a full power shallow dive entry. But if I was going to do one this size, I'd probably opt for a mild 90 2 stroke. This probably has more to do with my particular style of flying which is fast and open. Actually the 60 would probably be fine for most modelers. This airplane really grooves nicely in the air. I could detect no pitch or roll issues at all and rolls are very little work to keep straight. Top rudder banked low passes are really impressive. There's no doubting it's a Hellcat. I agree with some of the little changes you're planning that we talked about, like shortening the landing gear just a bit and replumbing the tank. You should be very proud of your accomplishment, and I wish you the best of luck with it. From what I saw when you brought it to the last One Eighth meeting, there is a lot of guys interested in it. Bottom line, I'd give your Hellcat as it stands now a solid 9 on a scale from 1 to 10. The one point I'm knocking off is mainly for absence of flaps. Those would make the ship a near perfect Hellcat. The other big thing wrong with it is it's yours, not mine. But thanks again for letting me fly it.