Some Words from the Designer, AC Glenn
After the 2019 US F3A Nationals, Bryan and Brett approached me about joining CK Aero and developing my own design. I started creating the design of this airplane with the assistance of Alexander Safarik, who is well known in the model airplane industry for his incredible CAD and 3D drawings. I started with an original idea that I devised a few years ago on the trip back from the 2017 FAI F3A World Championship. After a successful showing, Chuck Hochhalter, my caller and close friend, convinced me to create a design for myself. The airplane originally took life as The Ariel with the help of Mark Hunt who was instrumental in the design process. Based on some positive feedback and lessons drawn from the concept design, we started again with an updated profile. Alexander has been instrumental in the design process with his ability to take even the smallest changes and augment them to its fullest potential.
One of the main things you will notice with The Pioneer is even with the sequences constantly changing and growing towards a biplane style design, I have still chosen a monoplane design to start with. This is for a few reasons that may seem small to most. With biplanes, the judges are able to see every mistake and therefore the correction of the mistake more prominently than with monoplanes. Also, the ease and quickness of the assembly and disassembly of the monoplane provides a decrease in time wasted at the flying field. Due to my hectic lifestyle and limited availability, this aspect allows me to maximize my time towards practice flights.
From an aesthetic perspective, I’m very particular on being consistent with the same color scheme for my personal airplanes. This allows me to know what the airplane is doing in every angle due to my eyes and brain being trained to see specific colors in certain spots. I reached out to Chuck Hochhalter and gave him free reign to create a highly visible scheme for the stock design. I wanted to keep the color combination that I have always used as I have found that orange, red, and purple are easily seen in any lighting condition. Chuck had this to say:
“I wanted something similar to your existing scheme that flowed nicely with the lines of the plane. Also with the larger fuselages in the new designs, I didn’t want to make the fuse look like a large flat profile. I wanted the scheme to flow, like movement, and not be stagnant by drawing your attention to key focal points for orientation and good contrast.”
Taking notes from previous designs, I find that I prefer a slimmer fuse aircraft. This is mainly due to my flying style. I fly a little faster than most and have found that wider fuse airplanes carry a lot of drag. So compared to The Ariel I flew in 2018, the fuse is slimmed down significantly. I have also added a T-can to bring the knife edge performance closer to the performance of a biplane. However, you will notice that the T-can isn’t a very large one. This decreases the sensitivity of the rudder around (the) center but provides the power needed for knife edge maneuvers. Andrew Jesky was instrumental in this design decision as he executed testings with a smaller T-can on his Element design.
|Designed For||The Serious Competitor|
|Size Class||2 Meters|
|Powerplant||All Electric Power Units|
|Finish||Seamless, Whole Airplane Hand Painted|
Bryan will verify alignment and fit from the factory and then apply his current, personal settings to the airplane so that you have the most up to date and perfect setup available. So what’s the big deal? Why would you pay someone else to look at your airplane? Why isn’t the airplane already perfectly setup from the factory?
Despite the tremendous efforts of the factory it is just prohibitively difficult and unrealistic to teach factory workers, with little to no knowledge of modeling, to consistently and accurately set incidences and verify trueness to one tenth of a degree. Despite this we are trying our hardest and the airplanes get better and better as time goes on. This is not unique to our factory — we have found gross errors in models at all price points. We are up front about that reality. While we assure you the airplane will fly great out of the box, the Designer’s Touch ensures you get the absolute best alignment from Bryan himself. In addition, Bryan is constantly testing on his designs to find the perfect setup. If he has found another 2% from the airplane by moving the incidence two tenths of a degree, you will get the benefit of that knowledge first.
Bryan will make sure the fit of all the critical components meets the highest of standards — any small issue (which could become a big issue with time) with the fit of a wing tube, wing pin, stab tube, etc. is taken care of for you.
A personal inspection of the airplane by Bryan will eliminate any of those nasty surprises we’ve all had occasionally. An area with not quite enough glue, a chip in the paint, a small crack in the chin cowl…. all are things sometimes unavoidable. With the Designer’s Touch you have peace of mind that you won’t have to deal with such an inconvenience.
At the end of the day the Designer’s Touch is all about having that peace of mind. Your airplane will be straight; your airplane will be true; your airplane will be precisely and accurately set up; your airplane will just be right.
The Designer's Touch is offered for $300
We're now offering build services straight from Bryan's shop! We will install all of your equipment and deliver a ready to fly pattern ship built by one of the best in the world. We'll address your specific needs! Special requests are welcomed and priced on a case-by-base basis.
General overview of pricing:
$200 Motor installation (Glow or Electric)
$200 Servo installation, including control horns glued into control surfaces
$1000 Complete build, ready to fly (soldering of batteries and ESC is not included)
$1500 Complete build, airplane flown and trimmed to Bryan's satisfaction; includes a day of coaching if you can meet Bryan in Baton Rouge for pickup
The CKAero Alchemy was voted favorite "modern era" pattern plane by 7,000+ members of RCPPoAE Facebook group!
Swap colors on the standard scheme at no additional cost. Change the base color, move the colors around, or use your own colors and our painters will find the perfect match.
Dream up the color scheme you always wanted but could never do yourself for a flat $500 fee. Metallics, fades, flag effects... you name it, we make it possible.
Save money on our builder's kit and use your modeling skills to create your own masterpiece. We can accommodate all levels of completion to fit every budget.
Have your airplane with our wood, built-up wings and stabs for superior lightness. Available all the way from a complete laser cut kit to finished, almost-ready-to-fly (ARF) panels.
Shipping and Delivery
Our typical delivery time is 6 months from the time the airplane is ordered. This can sometimes be longer during certain times of the year or for factors outside of our control. The coronavirus pandemic has caused some challenges with our factory but we are still producing and delivering airplanes at a largely normal rate.
If you wish to get the airplane shipped direct to you the quoted price (and the price at the top of this page) INCLUDES shipping to your door. If you request the designer's touch, or any other build services, we have to ship the airplane from our shop to you. Many customers choose to pick their airplanes up locally in Baton Rouge or to meet Bryan somewhere on the contest circuit, which we are happy to do at no cost. If the airplane must be shipped options are typically Greyhound (~$150) or UPS/FEDEX ($300-$400). Shipping prices have recently increased significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
We've worked extensively with our factory to reduce any shipping incidents but they are an unfortunate reality at times. We guarantee your satisfaction! If there is an issue with your airplane we will do everything in our power to remedy that. If you decide to reject the airplane because of shipping damage we will work with you on a personal basis to ensure a win-win outcome. These issues are handled on a case-by-case basis due to the unique nature of each incident.
Almost every time we put another order in with the factory we include a few airframes for stock. Due to high demand those airplanes are usually spoken for by the time they make it to the United States. If you would like to put your name on our waitlist we will be happy to contact you when an airplane becomes available from stock, or if an airplane becomes available due to a complication with another customer.
We can work with you on custom color schemes, color swaps, painted logos, painted names and numbers, and anything else you can dream of. Just ask!
Payment must be made in full to secure your order and start production. We must have this policy because of the custom nature of each order. That said, we do occasionally work with customers on a case-by-case basis. We will do our best to work with your needs.