First Appeared in: RCM&E December 2009 Issue
Name: Ultimate 20-300
Model type: 3D / sport aerobat
Designed by: Dave Royds
Wingspan: 39” (991mm)
Fuselage length: 47” (1194mm)
Wing area: 4.3sq. ft. (0.4 sq. m)
All-up weight: 35 – 50oz (1 – 1.4kg)
Wing loading: 8 – 11oz / sq. ft. (2.4 – 3.3kg / sq. m)
Functions (servos): Rudder (1); elevator (1); aileron (2); throttle (via ESC);
Rec’d motor: Hacker A30-16M / Tornado 4240
Not content with the performance of his full-size Pitts Special, Canadian Aerobatic Champion Gordon Price decided to modify it like no other. Such was the interest for his bespoke Pitts components, Gordon went into production and the Ultimate Aircraft Company was born. As his product line expanded the next logical step was to produce a complete airframe, and his diminutive 10-100 bipe hit the market. Following the success of the little home-built, Gordon returned his sights to the aerobatic scene and produced a series of high performance aircraft, culminating in the fl agship 300hp, Lycomingpowered muscle bipe – the Ultimate. Despite the Ultimate gaining in popularity and the order book fi lling up, the company hit diffi culties, forcing its doors to be closed less than a decade after it all began.
Although the day of the maiden dawned with a beautiful blue sky, previous days of torrential rain had turned the runway into a mud bath. Not wanting the risk a nose-over so early in the day, I decided to bite the bullet and go for a hand-launch. Gripping the top wing and with a gentle underarm push, the Ultimate eased skyward. After a few test circuits to adjust the trims, it was time to see what she could do. Throttling up into wind and pulling back on the elevator soon had the Ultimate climbing vertically – gaining a little height and kicking the rudder and elevator over produces a very scale spin; adding a little opposite aileron levels the wings and reduces the rate of descent as she pulls into a controlled, fl at spin. Releasing the sticks and dipping the nose pulls her straight out without any over-rotation or control surface stall. Very nice. Although not designed as an out-and-out 3D machine, she’ll still handle the basic staple manoeuvres with relative ease. Prop-hanging and torque rolling requires very little in the way of corrective input, whilst walls, harriers and elevators are effortless with minimal signs of wing-rock. Knife-edge and hesitation rolls require a few degrees of top rudder to keep the nose up at low speed, but as speed increases the large side area of the fuselage keeps it tracking on the straight and level. Slow speed manners are quite exemplary; inducing a stall merely slows her to a crawl followed by a gradual, controlled descent, needing only a blip of the throttle to return to fl ying speed. Subsequent to the initial fl ights with the Hacker 16M, substituting the motor for the Tornado 4240 defi nitely upped the Ultimate’s aerobatic performance; while she’s never going to be rocket ship, the difference in acceleration and vertical punch-out were defi nitely noticeable.
Article in December 2010 RCM&E