About this Plan
Omega. Radio control sport model. Aerobatic Trainer By ModelHob, for 4 Channel RC and .21 to .40 glow power. Wingspan 53 in, wing area 480 sq in.
Update 08/06/2020: Added kit review from RCM&E, October 1988, thanks to RFJ.
Quote: "Kit Review: Modelhob Omega. Built by Peter Goulstone, described by Ian Peacock.
SPAIN IS NOT HIGH AMONG the model manufacturers worldwide, one tends to think more of Japan, USA and even our own kit producing businesses as being 'where it is all at!' Yet amazingly the Spanish MODELHOB company boasts a kit range of more the three dozen different types and their own indigenous range of model engines.
Who or what is behind this amazing company, I'm not quite sure, but one thing is certain, the designer's flair and ingenuity varies tremendously from kit to kit, some being awsome in their completeness and accuracy, yet others containing design philosophy that is definitely questionable!
The kit under appraisal is the MODELHOB OMEGA, a 52 in wing span, low wing aeroba-tic type, with excellent potential.
Like many foreign kits, the OMEGA has impressive and colourful box art which in itself should help to establish a good 'sales appeal'. Inside the box, the story is the same, with excellently cut wood parts, comprehensive accessories and first class balsa covered foam wings. There are no written instructions as such but copious photographs on the rear of the printed plan illustrate every step.
Quite clearly from this plan and photo set, the OMEGA is predominantly sold with a built up wing and the foam wing apparently being offered as an option. Chart Hobby distributors (Micro-Mold), the UK importer and distributor of the MODELHOB range, advise that only the foam wing version is available here in Britain. To a large extent, therefore, the plan and the photo instructions become superfluous.
Construction starts here: Where one starts with any model is a matter of choice and we started with the wing. Balsa wood covering is not common with British kits and tends only to be associated with the more expensive continental imports. It does, however, produce a much better wing covering and from the quality point of view, the OMEGA wing could not be faulted. From the construction angle there was still a little left for the modeller to do and the undercarriage blocks needed the most work. The blocks and their respective trunnions needed gluing together and drilling for the U/C wire and the holes in the wing opened out to receive said blocks. A milling cutter had been used to take out about 1 /3rd of the foam in the wing and at least showed where the blocks were to be located. Careful knife work (or a hot blade in a soldering iron as shown in the step-by-step photos) was needed to open up the holes to the correct size, whereupon the blocks were epoxied in place. Servo box cut-out was a simple fretsaw job and wing joining a matter of 5 min epoxy. Wing tip blocks were of soft balsa and ready shaped to fit. The front of the wing contains the locating dowels fitted to a ply plate which forms the front of the lower wing fairing. Each piece was pre-shaped and fitted exactly. At the rear of the wing, the ailerons were also pre-shaped as were the centre parts of the trailing edge that hold the aileron torque rods. Local ply reinforcement top and bottom of this area was pre-drilled for the wing hold-down bolt and to clear the aileron torque links.
All in all, a very satisfying wing to build, holding no surprises other than the pleasant one that everything just fitted properly.
The fuselage also shows signs of accuracy and completeness coupled with some innovative design! The sides, top and bottom of the now widely accepted balsa box structure, fit into spindle moulded, slotted quadrant, producing a fuselage with ready rounded corners. We found that one of these mouldings was some three inches too short and had to make up the short fall.
However, as this was the only area of wood shortage, it was felt that it was probably damage rather than omission, for the kit had been in the office for some little while. From the firewall rearwards, the fuselage is con-ventional in that it is a balsa box (with rounded corners) containing the usual ply doublers, etc. What isn't clear, however, is the fact that, unlike most models, where this 'box' is parallel over the distance from wing leading to trailing edge, the taper starting aft of the wing, the OMEGA fuselage tapers to the tail FROM THE WING LEADING EDGE!
As there is no top view of the fuselage on the plan, one could easily erect the formers at right angles to one side in the more normal way and then find trouble when adding the second side (we did - and had to knock the formers off and start again!). A bit more clarity here would have helped. Wing retention uses dowels at the front, into a pre-drilled ply plate, and a single nylon bolt at the rear. The moulded nut plate screws to the relevant ply former and once more, all of the holes are pre-drilled and everything fits!
Front end innovation: It is at the front of the fuselage that innovation strikes, for the fire wall is a glass filled plastic moulding incorporating slots in its rear side that mate up to the front of the ply fuselage doublers which are retained with small screws. The front side of this fire wall incorporates the moulded-in engine bearers and steerable noseleg bearings. While unusual in its design, this moulding does its job superbly and one just cannot imagine any way that the builder could get, say, the engine thrust line wrong. Even the holes for the throttle push rod and the fuel feed tubes have been moulded in! As if this wasn't enough, the upper front fuselage (cockpit cover) and lower front cowl are also plastic mouldings, only this time they are from soft, light, polythene-like flexible plastic.
Because the fuselage taper starts at the leading edge of the wing, the fuselage sides splay out towards the nose and some consi-derable effort is needed to pull them in to fit the fire wall and a large clamp is shown on the photo sheet. Wetting the front of the fuselage sides (both ply and balsa) and pulling them in with the clamp until dry certainly helps to alleviate some of the stresses.
At the rear end, all of the tail parts are pre-cut and all of the edges are machine rounded. In fact there is considerable evidence of machining operations on much of the wood. Little work is needed to finish these parts other than a perfunctory lick with fine garnet paper. Slots to receive the tailplane and fin are jig milled into the fuselage top and sides respectively.
Detail work is of equally high standard. The sloping front fuel tank fits exactly into the tank bay! So exactly that one cannot afford to make mistakes with the plumbing! Nylon snakes are provided for all the control runs and the 'goody pack' contains every nut, bolt and washer needed to complete the kit. Low bounce, slick tyred wheels are supplied, retained with press on star type washers. Personally I've never liked this type of wheel retention, but I must say that they have proved to be totally trouble free in operation.
Up at the motive power end a Spanish ZOM 35 is recommended, but as all of my vast collection of ZOMs were in use elsewhere (sarcasm will get you nowhere Peacock. -Ed.) we elected to use an elderly but still serviceable K & B 40 F. This was obviously a bit wider than the ZOM and judicious use of a file was needed to get it to fit between the bearers.
There was no attempt made to break any speed records in the building of the OMEGA, but the fit of parts, quality of wood and general high standards throughout the entire kit should reduce building time to a minimum for those who thirst after the flying and begrudge every minute spent on the bench.
Finishing is always a matter of personal taste but Pete Goulstone is, like me, a bit of a traditionalist, preferring a paint finish to that of film. Undoubtedly a model of the structural style of the OMEGA could easily be covered in one of the more popular heat shrink films, but not ours! Mixing tradition with modern thinking the OMEGA was given two coats of HOBBY POXY 'PREP', a polyester finishing resin, rubbing down after each coat. Top colour of yellow and blue was also from the HOBBY POXY paint stable giving a good gloss colour that is totally fuel proof, and which has proved to be most hard wearing over the ensuing flying period.
So what about the flying? Well the day of days turned out to be something of an anti climax, the fear and trepidation that faces us all upon the first flight of any new model simply melting into the dust! The OMEGA flew and flew well. Perfor-mance with the C of G as stipulated and the control throws set to 'what looked about right!' (there is no reference to the move-ments on the plan!) was superb. The ageing K & B still had plenty of urge and pulled the OMEGA through a series of fairly bloody-minded check-out manoeuvres on the very first flight. Minor trim adjustments showed that the OMEGA was capable of pulling through all of the aerobatics as straight and true as anyone could wish.
Stall turns were clean, rolls crisp, and spins both easy to enter and quick and positive to exit. Inverted flying requires just a touch of `down' and for prolonged inverted there is sufficient down 'trim' to fly it hands off.
Conclusion: Just what sort of kit do you buy for your hard earned pocket money? Well most kits are like the curate's egg, good in parts! Yet it is difficult to find fault with OMEGA. Certainly it is no novices model, both from the assembly and the flying point of view, but if you have progressed to the point where you feel confi-dent enough to tackle low-wing aerobatic models then the OMEGA holds no unpleasant surprises. Wood quality throughout is excellent and so is the cutting and machining. The very comprehensive accessories are as good as you will find anywhere and probably the only major gripe was that there is no plan view of the fuselage on the drawing itself. In the absence of any written instructions in English, this additional drawing would have been of immense help! Apart from this point, anyone experienced enough to fly the OMEGA could certainly built it square, true and light! The unusual 'all plastic' front end is a bit innovative and might attract some and dissuade others. It worked well and therefore should not be considered in any way off-putting!
Flying performance is all that could be asked of a pattern type, .40 powered vehicle. It is neutrally stable and goes just where you put it. Control response remains good right down to the stall, which, when it happens, is clean, straight and easily recovered! (although I must admit I have only tried this out at altitude!). Landing, take off and touch and go manoeuvres are smooth and although there is only limited movement on the steer-able nose leg, at first felt a bit suspect, it turned out to be more than suf-ficient for good ground handling.
I'll be the first to admit, that I like to find something to 'pick holes in' with any kit for a review crammed with accolades and praise always reads a bit suspect, but with the MODELHOB OMEGA it is difficult to pick any faults other than those already mentioned and they are minor in nature.
I've now had six kits from this manufacturer through my hands for test and before anyone even dreams of saying I'm in the pay of MODELHOB let me state that the OMEGA is the exception to the rule - would that they were all this good! Not surprisingly a kit of such superb quality as this does not come for nothing. In terms of value for money the OMEGA ranks fairly and squarely alongside those other prestige manufacturers (say from Germany and Japan) and does, in fact, represent good value for money."
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