Mar 042013

This week Horizon Hobby UK kindly sent us a sample of the newest aircraft to come from the Hangar 9 stable. It is a Quique Somenzini Yak 54 102″ all composite masterpiece. Quique has developed the Yak54 design for many years and this is a combination of all his knowledge of competition & design at the very highest level.


This aircraft will be fitted with the following equipment.
Engine = DA120
Exhausts = MTW TD75k’s
Receiver = Spektrum AR9110 power safe
Servos = Spektrum A6030’s
Smoke = PowerBox Smokepump
Transmitter = Spektrum DX18

Here is what Hangar 9 have to say about their latest aircraft….
Designed by top aerobatic pilot and skilled model designer Quique Somenzini the Hangar 9 QQ Yak 54 ARF is a large scale radio control version of the highly popular full-size aerobatic aircraft.

During development of this championship winning model Quique Somenzini and Hangar 9 worked very closely together to ensure that the model would represent not only the very latest in design but also offer superlative flight performance. This partnership together with the level of pre-fabrication has resulted in a model that is we believe beyond comparison in the giant-scale aerobatic market.

The kit comes highly prefabricated with centre pivot hinges and double bevelled control surfaces for maximum deflection and crisp flight responses. Constructed entirely from highly durable and lightweight composite materials through out, the model is finished with a stunning pre-painted colour scheme. The flawless paint work is achieved by painting the model in the mould during manufacture and the highly visible design of the colour scheme provides that all important aid to orientation for successful 3D/competition style flying.

In addition to the extensive amount of pre-fabrication the QQ Yak 54 ARF also features top-quality durable components like the pre-painted fibreglass engine cowling and lightweight aluminium landing gear complete with pre-painted wheel spats. The two-piece wing and tail-plane for convenient storage and easy transport to the flying field.

Designed around the powerful Evolution 124cc petrol engine the huge cowling can also accept several other large capacity engines. Mounted with “Soft” engine mounts to reduce vibration and overall noise levels through airframe resonance, the model is quite suitable for use in noise sensitive areas.


Wingspan 2600mm (102inch)
Length 2400mm (94.5inch)
Flying weight 12.7-13.2kg (28-29lbs)
Engine 120cc petrol engine
Radio 4 channels minimum
Servos 6 required

-Quique Somenzini designed giant scale version of the Yak 54
-Full composite material construction through out
-Highly durable and weather resistant model requires little maintenance.
-Surfaces painted in the mould for precise painting and colour match for a great finish.
-Engineered for light weight without sacrificing strength or rigidity
-Centre pivot hinges which eliminates the need for differential
-Large control throws allow extreme deflections of control surfaces
-Delivers outstanding 3D performance
-Engine soft mounts deliver quieter operation and extend airplane and servo life
-Supports several different silencer options
-Designed primarily around the124cc Evolution engine
-Huge cowl will accept a variety of large petrol engines
-High quality hardware included ensuring precision and longevity.
-Colour scheme ensures high visibility, very important for 3D/competition style flying
-Giant scale control horns
-Turnbuckle pushrods included
-Two-piece plug in wing panels
-Plug in tail-plane
-Painted aluminium landing gear
-Internally mounted fibreglass cowl (no mounting bolts showing)
-Pre-painted fibreglass cowl
-Pre-painted fibreglass spats

The Hangar 9 promo video.


Fuselage box, each part is wrapped in foam and arrived unharmed. The box is very sturdy and it clearly adds that extra protection

The wing box, well protected with foam and cardboard as well as individually wrapped in wing bags. A superb addition to this kit that will keep your Yak looking like new for longer

Fuselage unboxed, the in the mould finished is superb and its very light.

We decided to start on the fuselage although the instructions direct to the wing first.

The Engine Dome/Box is fixed to the main fuselage using a softmount system. Studs protrude from the main fuselage and the dome fixes to it with grommets & nylock nuts. It reduces noise as it isolates the vibration from the engine

For the DA120 20mm standoffs are required to space the engine correctly. My dad turned these hard nylon ones on the lathe

DA120 mounted and holes for the headers cut. The engine dome has carbon toes on the inside for extra strength

Inside the engine cone houses the throttle servo, we used a Spektrum H6040 high speed.

Quique has devised a superb method of fixing the canopy to the canopy frame. He uses magnets to hold the clear visor whilst the glue sets. It is a great idea and the magnets take a good hold. We sourced them from Cermag Ltd near Sheffield.

A dremel was used to smooth the each of the canopy frame and rough up the contact surface.

We used Canopy Glue to bond the visor to the canopy frame, it takes a few days to dry, but its totally clear when it does.

The canopy marked, masked and the bonding face roughed up to help the glue adhere to the clear visor

Another close up view

The magnets used to hold the visor to the frame. The clear visor fixes behind the frame, so it’s flush tidy finish.

The magnets take a strong hold.

For this large rudder I decided to use a JR8711 30kg servo, with such a large arm and extreme throw that bit of extra torque is required. The new Hangar 9 4″ double arm is also shown here, these are heavy duty and will take high loads transmitted through it.

The rudder closed loop horn connected. The large heavy duty ball link is of high quality, which is typical of this kit.

The tailwheel fitted, this is normal hangar 9 type, strong and durable.

The box that contains the wing & tails, they are inside the bags which will double up as superb wing bags for transport to and from the field

The elevator halves top & bot. The pictures don’t do the finish on this aircraft justice. The control horns are pre installed and are extremely strong fibreglass material. The servo recess into the elevator half and the slot for the arm is pre cut.

The elevators connected up, again a heavy duty rod and ball link coupled with a massive 2″ heavy duty Hangar9 arm give lots of throw

this should be enough elevator!! Nearly 80-deg up & down. If you look at the video this is why the flat spins are so flat and slow!!

the solid elevator linkage

The aileron servo mounts are screwed into the wing in pre cut openings. You are required to glue the plywood supports to the hatch and glass them for extra strength. With the huge aileron’s a strong servo mount is essential.

The holes need threaded with a self tapping screw and this thread bound with CA. Out choice is BSI thin.

It’s important to protect the hatches whilst you construct the mount and glass the frame, as the surface could easily get scored.

The aileron hatch to be screwed in place.

The wing root, all fixing points are pre installed, this is how it comes from the factory

Top & Bottom of the wings, they feel very light and obviously incredibly strong and rigid

The Spektrum A6030 servo installed in the wing with the 2″ H9 arm, you can see the hatch method of servo retention is neat & tidy.

Just to give you an idea of what sort of throw we can expect from the enormous ailerons, I’m looking forward to trying to keep up with them in the air!

The fuselage side decals really boosts this fantastic scheme

This simple rudder detail, proves less is more, Aircraft Studio Design is an Italian company run by famous fullscale scheme designer Mirco Pecoraro, he designed this scheme for Quique and Hangar 9

The designer, manufacturer and aircraft

The left wing panel

The right wing panel

Fuselage is getting there

The DA120 & ignition installed.

A close up of the soft mount system, rubber grommets reduce vibration & therefore noise

This is a cowl baffle (right at the front), this forces cool air onto the fins of the DA120, this will maximise cooling. We use light ply & fibreglass it in place with a light bandage.

We elected to use a Spektrum 2s2000 lipo & Spektrum VR5203 regulator to power the ignition

Heavy Duty switch for ignition

Lever for Choke & cooling outlets in bottom of cowl to let the warm air from the engine out.

Cowl baffles with cowl installed, we paint these black to match cowl


When using the DA 120 it’s neccessary to cut a small clearance hole for the plug cap.


Hole cut to allow plug cap to not to foul the cowl.


In the kit there is a supplied fairing to cover the plug cap, it simply fibreglasses in place and gives it the finished look. There is also something about a bulge in the cowl that spells performance in my eyes, I’m thinking GT Mustang bonnet!


Cowl finished with some decals


The Canister Mount was made up from some plywood. This is the method we have used for many years. A DXF download will be available.


The mount was held in place with some carbon cloth and the silcone glow fuel tubing is weaved through the mount to support the canisters and take up most if not all of the vibration.


MTW TD75k Short Canisters and flex header, MTW will produce a Kit for this aircraft, this is an early development set, the finished article is likely to not include the flex.


The canisters are front intake and outlet



A view from above.


The underside of the fuselage has some vent/cooling slots cut just behind the canisters to allow the hot air they produce to escape

Battery trays installed in fuselage, just behind fuel tank/wing tube socket

Wooden rail is epoxied in place, with micro balloons, its large enough to accept a wide range of batteries

The A123 6.6v batteries in place. The battery rail gives room for adjustment, if CG needs altered

Both batteries installed, you can also see the AR9110 RX, those two MPX plugs are for the Aileron servo extension, these are much more robust that standard servo extensions


At the wing root to fuselage interface we applied 3M Paint protection film, this was to protect the fuselage against the wing rubbing and marking the gel coat/paint.


We added some felt material to reduce some of the canopy vibration, fibreglass doesn’t absorb vibration like wood, so it was just a precaution.


All ready to fly, hopefully the snow will clear


I’m waiting on a nice new Truturn spinner and a new Mejzlik 28×12 to come, but for the test flights the boomerang shapped Elster 28×12 will be fine. This is a very good prop actually and is very quiet.




Flight Report

The test flight of the Yak took place on a cold afternoon with freezing conditions and plenty of snow about. Luckily the flying site at Tyrella us right beside the seaside so the snow had lay at it.

With all the initial checks for range, fail safe etc all going with a hitch it was time to get in the air. As I expected the aeroplane was solid right from the off. I had never flown a full composite airframe before and wasn’t sure what to expect. You can tell there is a rigidity and preciseness about this aeroplane, that is in part due to the composite construction but mainly to do with the design geometry & Knowledge Quique has worked on and fine tuned for many years.

The aircraft tracks very well and if allowed can fly fast, it handles very predictable at all speed ranges and will make a very good precision IMAC aircraft. I believe if setup specifically for precision with shorter arms it would give most 40%’s a run for their money. Without setup this aircraft had virtually no coupling in Knife Edge and with a single servo there is no issues with rudder authority.

In 3D flight the aircraft has a light feel with lots of authority in all attitudes. I was able to preform very tight Harrier turns up right & inverted with ease and no sign of a dropped wing. It would give you a lot of confidence. The rolling harrier settle in nicely and the rotation can be slowed or sped up very controllable. The huge elevator throw makes the newer crop of 3D moves like pop tops really crazy, I was able to get 3 & 4 flat pirouettes without have to carry much energy into the entry and exit is very predictable and safe. The slow flat spins are really impressive and this simple manoeuvres is so impressive to do and a joy to watch this!!

Overall I’m really excited about what the QQ Yak54 has to offer. With a little more time I will dial it into my own personal feel, but this won’t take long. The hard setup work has been methodically & skilfully designed into this airframe and it will make the aircraft do what you want it too.

It is a true testimony to Quique skill and experience and it makes a great addition to the Hangar 9 lineup!!

Here are some pictures,





Ready for test flight, notice the snow capped mountains in the background, an unusual site in Northern Ireland.


Yak at the seaside.


Yours truly with Horizon Hobby UK’s new Yak54.


The pictures don’t do the finish on this aircraft justice.


We added some additional vinyl to that supplied in the kit, here it’s the HHUK Logo.


Aerobatics NI Logo.


In a Knife Edge pass, without any setup this aircraft has little or no KE coupling.


Rolling Harriers are very predictable with the Yak.


Great colour contrast on the bottom of the aeroplane.


Inverted Harrier’s feel solid.


Upright Harrier’s have authority at all speed ranges and at different angle of attacks.


You can see the large elevator throws here.


Prop Hanging is as easy as any large aeroplane I’ve flown.


Getting it close in.

A big thanks to Horizon Hobby UK for the opportunity to test and review this aircraft for them. It will make a superb freestyle model for the upcoming IMAC season, I just need to work on a new routine to do it justice!!

I recently visited North Down Model Aircraft Club and one of the members Stewart kindly shot some footage of the Yak. Here it is,


 Posted by at 12:09 am

  2 Responses to “Hangar 9 Yak 54 QQ Composite”

  1. LOL, you need a 170 with that???

  2. Nice work.. What prop you have used?

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