Global Hobbies Gigolo
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Home > Articles & Tips Index > Product Reviews > Global Hobbies Gigolo

[Courtesy of Klaus Weiss - kkw1 "at", August 1998]
Klaus is the newsletter editor for a club near Sydney, Australia, known as the Heathcote Soaring League.  Heathcote is one of the oldest soaring clubs in Australia.


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The Global Hobbies Gigolo is a fully aerobatic, 3 channel slope soarer, with a wide performance range, and yet, it can be easily flown by those who have mastered the mere basics of radio control flight.

The Gigolo has a lot to offer the pilot who is in the market for a second model, or the experienced pilot who wants to fly a model which will do virtually anything asked of it. The kit contains everything required in the way of hardware, except the recommended *Sullivan pushrod set No.505, if you choose to install those controls.

The fuselage is almost ready to cover, requiring only a light sanding with fine grade paper, to give a smooth surface for the covering material. The wings are balsa sheeted foam cores, with lightening holes cut out along the span. The trailing edge of the wing has been faced with balsa, as has the leading edge of the ailerons. The trailing edge has been faced with balsa, so you only need to cut the slots for the aileron hinges. Ailerons are manufactured from balsa stock, have been bevelled and are ready to cut the hinge slots. Empennage has been cut and shaped from sheet balsa and stick construction.

Let's look at the assembly.

WING. The instruction booklet states that the dihedral angle has been built into the centre ribs of the wing halves, so that when you join them, the angle is set. The wings on my kit did not have any noticeable dihedral in them, but on closer scrutiny, I settled on 10mm under one wingtip whilst the other half wing was flat on the board. Make sure that you have it going the right way. (ie. the servo box cutout is on the underside as the wing tip is propped up ready to be joined.)

Join the halves with 30 minute epoxy, and when cured, attach the torque rods and trailing edge centre pieces to the wing. Lubricate the torque rod wires with Vaseline or similar, to prevent them sticking to the balsa T.E. or inside the hinge/bearing.

Cut the slots for the hinges, in the aileron stock, then trial fit but don't glue them yet. Re-inforce the centre section with glass cloth and epoxy resin and when cured, trial fit the wing to the fuselage. Align it correctly and hold it in place with some masking tape, then drill the holes for the mounting bolts through the wing and on into the installed plywood mounting blocks in the fuselage. Secure the blind nuts in the blocks with a dab of thick C.A., making sure not to get any into the threads. You may not be able to pull the blind nut tangs into the plywood from underneath. I glued a piece of hard 3mm balsa to the underside of the plywood, at both front and rear mounting plates, and the blind nut was securely seated.

Cut the hinge slots for the elevator and rudder and trial fit to the fuselage. I also sanded the trailing edges to a moderate taper for better aerodynamic shape. You could now cover the wings and tailplane, then glue the hinges in place with epoxy. I also covered the fuselage at this time.

It is an easy matter to install the pushrods into the fuselage, and I used a flexible nyrod for the elevator and pull/pull wires for the rudder. Try and glue the nyrod outer to the fuselage in as many places you can reach, to prevent it flexing under load. Epoxy the stabiliser and elevator in place, then the fin and rudder. Install the radio gear as outlined in the instructions, then cut and fit the canopy to the plywood base, using RC256 glue or Zap-a-Dap-a-Goo, as I did.

You can hold down the rear of the canopy/hatch in whatever fashion you like, but I am happy to secure it as outlined in the instructions, and have many slope soarers which have this method employed to hold the canopy in place. They certainly don't pop off.

Balance the model at the recommended C.G. to start with, and also ensure lateral balance is O.K. (ie. one wing tip is not heavier than the other. (Actually that should have been done prior to covering the wing, so that lead could be secured near the tip if necessary.) Set up the control throws as stated in the instructions, and we should be right to go. Make sure that the aileron servo does not foul on the elevator and rudder controls.

FLYING. The Gigolo was balanced at 77mm aft of the wing leading edge, at the fuselage and wing join line. I required 55gm of nose weight to balance at this point, and I drilled a shallow hole into the inside of the nose block to house the lead. Total flying weight was 975gm. I also set the wing incidence at 3 degrees positive, so that the model would fly in lighter winds.

Actually, it took many weeks for the wind to co-operate, but the day finally came when it turned to the southeast, so off to the local slope I went. My mate, Bruce Kerl did the honours, launching into the 20 - 25 knot (28 - 35 kph). Two clicks of down trim were all that was required to penetrate into the lift, and the Gigolo flew hands off into the wind, requiring only slight corrections when it was buffeted by gusts. A couple of passes for photographs, and I took over the controls, with teeth chattering and hands shaking (from the wind chill, of course.). The Gigolo soared out over the ocean and a click of up elevator trim had it at an impressive height in about 30 seconds.

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Loops were as large, or as tight as you wished to make them, with very positive elevator control throughout the manoeuvre. With down trim, the Gigolo really kept on the step, but there was no whistling sounds of wind speed, indicating a clean model with little drag. With a little ballast, this model should really move, in wind strengths around 20 knots or over.

Roll rate was not as crisp as I expected, taking into account the large ailerons and a generous throw. Overall, with the suggested control surface throws and the recommended CG position, the model flew like a trainer and would not cause any anxious moments for a pilot who has graduated to ailerons. The Gigolo performed all the manoeuvres that I could put it through, and flew inverted just as well as it did right way up. You wouldn't want to tame it down any more by reducing throws on the ailerons and elevator, but I am going to increase ailerons and move the CG back a little, and do a few programming tricks on the JR3810, next time out. It is all up to the pilot to experiment with the settings which suit him (or her!).

Overall, the Gigolo represents very good value for money, and doesn't take much time to complete. It is well made from good materials, and offers much to the experienced pilot and novice alike. Several pilots flew the Gigolo on the day, and all had a good time. A fun slope soarer, worthy of consideration for your dollar, and a quick build.

The Gigolo was supplied for review by L. O'Reilly Pty Ltd, 42 Maple Ave, Keswick. S.A. 5035. and is available from your favourite hobby shop.

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