By David Vaught
See photos below
Hyperion’s Super Chipmunk 70E is more than an electric airplane ARF. N1114V has a story to tell and the name Art Scholl is sure to come up at your local flying field. Skip Volk also had a lot to do with N1114V, but it was Art that made this Super Chipmunk famous. After Art had used two other versions of the Chipmunk to fly both world and U.S. aerobatic competitions, he began flying air shows using this rendition of the Super Chipmunk. And fly them he did—with a vengeance! Through the 1970s, the N1114V flew as many as 138 air shows with Art at the stick. Imagine if you will, the big and colorful Chipmunk flying down the runway as Art cut a ribbon with the vertical stabilizer—inverted!
With a wingspan of 64 inches, Hyperion’s Chipmunk 70E, powered by their HP-Z4025-10 motor, Titan 80 ESC, Ticool BEC, digital Atlas servos and 18.5 volt battery, is a trip down memory lane. Covered and decaled exactly like the original, with fixed landing gear, quality balsa and lite-ply construction, symmetrical airfoil and a huge horizontal and vertical stabilizer, the Chipmunk is the perfect .40-size electric for intermediate pilots who want a plane that is fully aerobatic and delivers more than enough history to draw a crowd on the flightline.
No doubt about it, Hyperion has created a semi-scale model of the famous Super Chipmunk that would make anyone want to relive the wonderful flying accomplishments of Art Scholl. From his inverted ribbon cutting to out of this world Lomcevaks, the Super Chipmunk is a perfect 10.
Hyperion provides well-illustrated and detailed written instructions in two separate documents. The benefit is you get accurate and up-to-date build instructions that accurately take you through each and every part of the build.
Beginning with the wings, I experienced no real difficulties from start to finish. If you use fiber hinges to attach the ailerons and secure with CA and then join the wing halves, you have a complete wing in very little time. The tail feathers follow a similar sequence and were square with the fuselage with no need for adjustment prior to gluing. In about two hours, you have the Super Chipmunk framed.
Hyperion’s adjustable motor mount fit perfectly with the firewall blind nuts. I found it was necessary to move the large brushless motor back to make sure the cowling cleared and to ensure the cowling was aligned with the fuselage. On the underside of the forward fuselage, there is a slope that is exposed unless the cowling is far enough aft. In a word, the cowling is huge. The motor shaft is constructed of fiberglass and painted perfectly to match the covering and I had no problem getting it to center within the cowl.
Installing the canopy and decals completes the build. I recommend that prior to installing the decals, you wet the surface with a mixture of about a quart of water and a few drops of dish soap. This gives you time to either move the decal or lift and replace the decal while the surface is wet and you have time to press out the bubbles under the decal. When the water evaporates, the decal will stick firmly with no bubbles and the completed product looks great.
The most difficult build sequence of the project is correctly setting the wheel pants. While the instructions show the process during the wing build, the only way I could be sure they would be straight and level was to wait and install them with the wings in place and the plane set level on the workbench. In this configuration, I was able to mark the wheel pants and then drill them so both were even and level the fuselage. Even after spending considerable time making sure I had the wheel pants correctly located, they did not want to fit around the landing gear tightly. I used longer screws and some small spacers to achieve a good fit. The wheel pants and landing gear are about the only things that are not exact to the original N1114V. Later versions had retracts.
Probably the most time-consuming part of the build are the decals and wheel pants. Otherwise, you should have about one or two evenings invested in building the Super Chipmunk. I used Hyperion’s Atlas digital servos and did my setup using my laptop. With the USB cable and software, I was able to perfectly center the servos and set the end points for each. The benefit in using this method is I have enhanced trims using my transmitter beyond what is normally available. I also used Hyperion’s TICOOL BEC that provides power to the receiver regardless of the amperage drain that’s placed on the battery by the servos and the motor. I recommend these enhancements for the Super Chipmunk.
Finally, I used Anderson PowerPole connectors to make sure I minimized resistance and to ensure the high-amperage Hyperion motor had all the juice it needed. In addition, the lead wires for the Lite Storm battery are nearly 5mm thick and require a substantial soldering surface. Any smaller connector would be a compromise.
IN THE AIR
I always fly off of grass, but on occasion find dirt leftover at the sod farm I use as a flying field. A smooth runway and short grass provide the best ground handling for the Chipmunk. I taxied several times on the dirt runway and taxi response was no problem. The Super Chipmunk sits solidly on the mains and tailwheel. At 7 pounds, with a length of 52 inches, stability on the ground is excellent.
If you couple the weight with a wide stance, you get a straight takeoff roll. Rudder correction was minimal and once the roll began, little is needed to maintain a track down the runway centerline. I was very pleased that throughout flight testing, I needed little trim adjustment and where I wanted the plane to go it went. In the air I put the big airframe through a range of maneuvers, but quickly engaged my high rates because the low rates we too slow. I noticed as I flew that stalls were present both at the beginning of some maneuvers and were hanging in the shadows when I got too slow. I was rescued by the powerful Hyperion 1200 watt motor and 14×8 prop that immediately corrected the situation. When you hit the throttle, you hear it and almost feel the power available. Loops, rolls, inverted flight and Art’s famous Lomcevak are no problem, but require entry speed and power. This is not a 3D bird, but rather a plane that flies like its mentor and requires that you respect your airspeed.
One might think with a plane this large, that flaps would be a part of the model. I wondered about that until I lined up on final and found the Super Chipmunk to be a gentle and predictable plane in the landing sequence. I kept power on over the threshold, then eased back the power and touchdown was solid and stable. You must not forget the momentum this 7-pounder has, so give yourself plenty of runway to get stopped. A mid-field touchdown might have you off the end of the runway after a long rollout.
There are so many things that contributed to my enjoyment of building and flying Hyperion’s Super Chipmunk. Its looks, quality materials, electronics, flight characteristics and history make this something worth being a part of. I believe the only thing left to my imagination with this project was seeing Art actually standing on the wing outside the cockpit waving to the crowd on a low flyby. But you know, a simple aft movement of the canopy, a plastic figure waving and Wow! Now wouldn’t that be something to see?
Normal Flying (Low Rate)
Aileron ±10 degrees 25% expo
Elevator±16 degree 25% expo
Rudder ±28 degrees 30% expo
- Gorgeous model
- Outstanding stability in all flight attitudes
- Quick build
Transmitter: Airtronics RDS 8000 2.4GHz
Receiver: Sanwa 92824 8-channel
Servos: Hyperion Atlas Digital HP-DS20-FMD
Motor: Hyperion HP-Z4025-10 /1200 watts
Motor Mount: HP-Z40-FRTMNT
ESC: Hyperion HP-Titan-80-PO OPTO
BEC: Hyperion TICOOL with noise elimination
Battery: Hyperion Lite Storm 4500mAh 30C 18.5 volt
Model: Super Chipmunk 70E
Type: low-wing aerobatic
Wingspan: 1,628mm (64 in.)
Wing area: 44.6 dm sq. (691.3 sq. in.)
Length: 1,334mm (52.5 in.)
Weight: 2,750–3,000g (6.2–6.6 lbs.)
Wing loading: 22 oz./sq. ft.
Prop: APC 14×8 Sport