by Graham Woods


My Minivec was a pain to put together. I used the recommended Savox, metal gear, digital wing servos but had to cut the lugs off them to fit them in the correct place for the aileron and flap horns, the servos don't go where you think they ought so the holes in the shrouds consequently didn't fit, I had to make some others. I also ripped out the stiff-ish elevator and rudder snakes and replaced them with a carbon elevator pushrod and a closed loop rudder. The elevator servo must touch the bottom of the fuselage if you do this modification although it is difficult to do (getting the elevator horn clevis in place requires cutting into the fuselage/rudder post. Oh yes, having cut it off, I made the rudder larger too (but mine shown were still needs to be even bigger). It was difficult to fit all this stuff in the narrow fuselage (a model feature pioneered by brother David in his 80s Aeolus). The enormous ballast tube in the fuselage is overkill but apparently one must use it as it seems to be part of the fuselage design. I'm still worried about 4 instead of 5 Intellect NiMH cells running six digital servos though, if I can get them to fit I might try Eneloops.


The Minivec is very quick with a fantastic, fast axial roll and does everything aerobatic one would need. It does really not need the huge amount of ballast it can take in the wings and fuselage, it's fast enough. In fact, if one uses it all in you are asking for trouble because I believe it would flick; it feels as though it is ready to flick at moments of mega-elevator movement in any case. I haven't tried all the 691g ballast I've got made for it and don't intend to try. I use full camber flaps and elevator-snap-flap but pull too hard and I don't think mine can be trusted in anything but super slope or super thermal lift. The first time I pulled tight into a stall turn it skewed out, a sure sign for me. I believe this is because the model uses a symmetrical section and the wing stalls. I hate symmetrical sections. I personally prefer something with a little camber. My Minivec soars well with its flapperons down and crow landing is very effective, almost too effective, I needed 70+% elevator compensation! The bottom hinged flap movement is fantastic, pity the ailerons were not on the top surface to get lots of easy (non-binding) up-aileron in the same way. Con: I didn't like the way it always as if it's flying nose-up.


Looks nice, the surface finish is excellent, everything fits (except the wing servos on my version); the mega, square carbon dowel only needed the lightest of sanding. The tail fits well. The canopy is cut to a nearly perfect fit and is not carbon. As I said earlier the snakes were stiff. It needed a piece of moulded lead in the nose plus some extra (see image left). The use of the 'Multiplex' green plugs and sockets means the model goes together really quickly on the slope, holding the wings on with tape however is a problem—there's not much room on the wing fairings for sticky tape. Wings—trouble is, I'm not sure what the wings are like inside; David tells me they're not too hot after seeing the insides of his after replacing two busted wing panels which sprang apart in a crash and later mid-air.


It flies beautifully but... not for the beginner though, use full ballast and I reckon you'll wreck it no time. Lovely plane now I've fiddled with it.

Update August 2011—Had a little prang—landed flat on the slope with a bang—fuselage split open and cracked —damaged the wing root too—luckily it went back together, more or less, with a little cyano.

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MiniVec Video

Click this image for a short headcam video using Keyring  Camera #11