Ogar SZD-45 from The Wings Maker: Online review

Jan 24, 2012 3 Comments by

Looking for a high-performance powered glider that’s capable of full aerobatics and extreme flight attitudes? Check out David Vaught’s online review here. With a huge 98.5-inch wingspan, the Ogar has plenty of room in its fuselage for camera equipment, so it’s an ideal platform for aerial surveillance.

The Wings Maker Company is always trying to outdo themselves with new renditions of some great aircraft.  The Zaklady Szybowcowe Doswiadczalny model 45A Ogar (greyhound) or better known as the SZD-45 Ogar is a Polish made motor glider recaptured in this molded EPO foam fuselage and foam/lite-ply and covered 98.5” wingspan pusher motor glider.  It is remarkably big with special attention in the design for the hauling of camera equipment inside the fuselage.  The wings use a thin tapered profile narrowing to only 4 inches at the tip but providing lift in the upper range of glider wing loading at 10.32 oz./sq.ft.

The SZD-45 Ogar is offered in two versions. A more ARF version requires a motor and four micro servos ($124.99) while a pre-assembled RTF-style kit ($219.99) includes the installed motor and micro servos with servo leads provided.  Both use a long carbon spar (8x900mm) for the wing and both include a very nice padded wing bag for transporting the Ogar wings to and from the flying site. Decals are sticky-backed, apply easily and perfectly replicate a full scale version of the Ogar.  In fact most to the build time is consumed by cutting out the decals.


One should consider the Ogar a high performance motor glider capable of full aerobatics and extreme flight attitudes.  Pilot skills are required that push this aircraft slightly out of beginner flight envelope.  As well, knowing proper setup, weight and balance and transmitter mixes gives one reason to believe a more advanced pilot would have more experience in getting the most out of the Ogar.
Unique features
The Ogar is plenty powerful with an 11.0 volt LiPo on board and easily climbs out from a hand launch.  One of the really cool features of the Ogar kit is a foam take-off pod that stabilizes the huge wingspan for a ground roll.  The full-scale version had wing tip wheels and at about 10 MPH it could actually taxi without touching anything other than the centerline wheel.  Both the R/C version and the larger version have a steerable tail wheel.  The system works very well and as you can imagine the take-off roll is very short.  The pod uses very small wheels so a hard surface it pretty much the requirement.

The pre-assembled version requires only the installation of the horizontal stabilizer.  This is glued in place and when complete, was perfectly square with the wing tips.  Wings are held in place with a rubber band clamping system that uses a small wire hook provided to get the rubber bands stretched between the two wings.  The hookup is made outside the fuselage so you pull one wing in tight and grab the rubber bands out of the opposite side of the fuselage and hook them to the opposite wing.  Ailerons use a “Y” connector, but if you wish to have differential ailerons you can replace the connector as there is ample room to reach inside the fuselage.

I used a Castle Creations 25 amp Phoenix ESC and those wonderful units have along leads to reach not only the receiver, but also the battery.  I quickly connected the ESC to my Castle Link and programmed the ESC to brake the included 9x6x3 folding prop that is included.  You do not quite get a full fold down as it has to fold toward the tail and over the nose cone.  It does work well though.

From the beginning I knew this was going to be a photographic platform for aerial work. The fuselage is huge and I was easily able to cut down through the foam and create an opening that not only provided a full image panorama, but also protected the camera from hard landings.  I used the GoPro Hero camera that adds only 94 grams to the Ogar. The placement of the camera was purely to align with the fuselage cut-outs and in the end I was able to add a 2550 Eon Lite 11.1v battery up front (170g/6 oz.), gain a perfect CG setting, and maintain my all up weight at 1320 grams, 40 grams under the design weight.

Conclusion
By all rights this is an RTF plane, but to get the finish you will need to cut out and install the decals.  The SZD-45 Ogar is a wonderful plane to fly and the potential is incredible.  A pan and tilt camera could easily be mounted to the fuselage interior frame and only a slight weight reduction in the battery would be required.  This is an easy build and the wing bags are perfect for moving around and storage.  I only wish the horizontal tail had some form of removable system.

IN THE AIR
You will quickly appreciate the huge fuselage cavity and the magnetic canopy as you prepare for your flights.  But first take the time to be sure you have your CG and your controls exactly as indicated.  You do not need a lot of control movement so 15mm of aileron may not seem like much, but it is plenty to roll the Ogar.  Too much and the Ogar will want to roll over on its back.  The same is true for the elevator with only 12mm of movement in either direction. A large piece of lead is provided with the kit as ballast if you do not intend to install a camera or other gear.  Use the ballast in concert with your battery to obtain a weight as close to the recommended 1360 grams and within the 65mm behind the wing leading edge CG.

I preferred to hand launch the Ogar.  At full power it leaves your hand and starts to climb with excellent stability.  Trims reacted quickly and I was flying level at partial throttle in about a 12 mph wind.  At 1320 grams (2.9 lbs) the Ogar is very stable with your hands off the sticks.  On the other hand, you can roll the Ogar over on its side very quickly.  Once the wings catch a little air they are more than willing to follow the windward lead.  This in no way affects the ability to control the plane as all control surfaces provide more than adequate response, you just have to pay attention with a cross wind.

While not a vertical performer I was able to climb to 750 feet in just seconds, but had to stay on the sticks to keep the plane from rolling out of the climb.  The glide ratio is influenced in the same way the full scale version reacts to cooling ports, the prop, and a wide fuselage, so don’t expect a completely agile lightweight soaring glider.  More or less that is why it is a powered glider.  The glide slope is more than adequate though for photography and with a quick burst of power you can return to the heavens in a matter of seconds.

Landings are a non event.  Stalls do occur, but I never saw anything close on approach. The Ogar steady decreases altitude and will slide across the grass well protected on the underside by a nose bumper and the centerline wheel.  The prop is fully protected so you should never have to replace it because of a ground strike.

General Flight Performance
>Stability – This is spot on and rightly so, with the Ogar’s wingspan and long fuselage.  Trims were easily employed and the Ogar reacts well to adjustments.

>Tracking- Mixes will correct any tendencies to wander off course.  Most that I recognized were associated with the throttle inputs.

>Aerobatics- The Ogar does what a soaring bird should do with loops, rolls and inverted flight.  The extremes to make these quicker should be tempered by the wing flex and overall aircraft weight.

>Glide and stall performance – With a wing loading of 10.36 oz./sq/ft. you have a glider, but not a high performance soaring aircraft. The glide ratio is 28:1 for the full size version and I would agree the same is pretty close in this well designed replica.

 Pilot Debriefing
After a few introductory flights I would suggest mixing in the rudder and elevator to the ailerons to make sure the Ogar makes coordinated turns.  This is a simple mix.  I also found the need to mix in a little down elevator to the throttle to keep the nose from rolling up in a steep climb.  These really enhanced my flying enjoyment.   Once trimmed the Ogar can roll, fly inverted and loop with a great deal of style. As you fly and look at the pictures provided, notice the flex in the wings.  I would use caution in extreme aerobatics.

The kit version does not include the motor or servos.  Nine grams servos are very consistent in size, but motors are not.  Because the Ogar motor fits into a bucket type motor mount the outside dimensions (28mm) of the motor must be correct.  The Ogar can accommodate two World Model motors in the KM0283010 (1015KV, 180 watt) or the KM02832R1 (1010KV, 225 watt) and both operate perfectly with a 25 amp ESC.

Highlights

  • Very large with the ability to haul a load
  • Great power delivery from the KM0283010 brushless motor
  • Two versions to accommodate any flyer plus a wing bag
  • Hand launch or ground launch

 

Gear Used
Radio: Hitec Optic 6 FM
Brushless motor: KM0283010
Battery: Eon Lite 2550 mAh 11.1v
Prop: 9×6 3-blade foldable

Specifications

Model:  SZD-45 Ogar
Distributor: The Wings Maker (www.thewingsmaker.com)
Wingspan: 98.5 in.
Wing area: 667 sq. in.
Length: 45 in.
Weight: As built 2.9 lbs.
Wing loading: 10.36 oz/sq. ft.
Radio req’d: 4-5 channel Micro (Hitec Micro 05S)
ESC: Castle Creations 25 Amp Phoenix
Price: $219.99 preassembled and $124 as a kit

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAWN VAUGHT

 

 

 

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About the author

Executive editor About me: I’m a publishing professional who has a passion for aviation and RC, and I love creating issues, books and a website that help RC pilots to enjoy this sport even more. I admire scale aircraft and enjoy the convenience of flying smaller electrics.

3 Responses to “Ogar SZD-45 from The Wings Maker: Online review”

  1. Stan says:

    Hi,
    One incorrect fact in that the Polish name for ‘OGAR’ is not greyhound but bloodhound.
    Polish for greyhound is ‘CHART’.

  2. Gord Seifert says:

    Well, where is that video? At the very top of the article it suggests checking out the video ‘here’ as if there were a link there. But there isn’t. And at the top of the responses David suggest checking out his blog to see the video. But it isn’t there either. What’s up folks?

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