124” Extra 300 prototype
Designed for Ultimate Precision
119” Length 2728 sq.in. Wing area
38.9 lb flying weight with the
Powered by DA-200-L, Silenced
by KS-95 cannisters with 2 into 1 Y-headers.
Guidance by Futaba 14MZ /
6014HS Rxs, 8 Futaba S9157 digital servos, 1 Futaba 3050 on throttle
2-5200mah Fromeco Li-Ion Rx
packs, 1-2600mah Ignition pack
Built and covered by Cam
McCausey Competition Aircraft
Paint by Randy Jensen
Vinyl graphics by Daniel
124” Carden Aircraft Extra 300 PRO
Flight Report after 2014 Scale
Aerobatics NATs - July 7 - 10, 2014
Thanks for working with me on the Carden Pro project in the Fall of 2009!
For me, it was one of the most rewarding experiences in R/C. I really
enjoyed working with you through the design process and have found great
pleasure seeing so many Pros flying in IMAC competition.
you believe that the prototype 124" Carden Extra 300 Pro has flown over 2000
flights now and has been used to win five straight AMA Unlimited class
National Championships and five straight William G. Bennett Cup Awards for
flying closest to perfection in any class at the Scale Aerobatics Nats! It
was very windy at the Nats and the Pro cut right through the wind. The
plane is still in great condition - nobody believes it has been flown so
much. I plan to compete again with the prototype Pro in the IMAC World
Championships this fall.
the Nats competition was over I let some of the other competitors fly my
plane. Wayne Mathews (IMAC President) was was shocked at how the Pro tracks
so well and how the snaps are so controlled and come out on a perfect line.
After only two minutes of flight time he told me it was by far the best
flying plane he has ever flown. The Advanced National Champion, Dean
Lampron, also flew the plane and really really liked it. He told me his
father had been talking with you about possibly getting a Pro kit.
also wanted to mention that there were 3 Carden Pros flying at the Nats
which all did very well:
Koelling - 1st in Unlimited
Berninger - 2nd in Unlimited
Edwards - 1st in Intermediate
newer pilots at the Nats definitely took notice of the Pros capabilities!
also flew Freestyle at the NATS with my 2007 118" Carden Extra 300 and
finished 2nd against a group of highly talented kids all under the age of
20. I had not flown a single flight of Freestyle since last summer and had
not flown the 118" Extra since last summer. Some how I was still able to
put together a decent flight! Three different people came up to me after
the Freestyle and told me that they didn't know a 40% Carden could handle
the aggressive freestyle that I flew. I told them the plane was 8 years old
and has held up to many many hard freestyles.
will send you pictures in a second email.
124” Carden Aircraft Extra 300 PRO
Flight Report after 100th
flight on July 8, 2010
My first flight report was in
early April after only 6 flights on the prototype 124” Extra 300 PRO. With
only 6 flights I new this would be an awesome flying precision aerobat, but
only time and the opportunity to fly this plane in a wide variety of
conditions would help me fully appreciate the precision aerobatic capabilities
of this new Carden. I have now logged a total of 100 flights, competed in
four IMAC competitions, and have absolutely fallen in love with my new ride!
I love how this plane
penetrates through very bumpy and gusty winds. I am finding it much easier to
fly clean wind corrected geometry and lines. During the four contests I have
attended this season I have had over 20 different competitors provide me with
positive comments like: “your plane really sits well in the wind”, “tracks
beautifully in gusty conditions”, and “looks very smooth”. I also find that
it does not yaw as much into strong crosswinds which results in a cleaner
sequence presentation and reduces workload during rolling elements in
crosswinds. The thinner airfoil results in very crisp snap roll entries and
the reduction in rotational wing mass helps start and stop the snap rolls
quickly. I am also convinced that the thin airfoil helps me present a cleaner
stall break during spin entries.
I typically fly this plane at
very similar speeds to my 118” and 126” Carden Extra 300’s on horizontal
lines. This plane flies and rolls well at low air speeds due to the light
wing loading. Vertical downline speeds are quite similar to other Cardens I
have flown. In many respects this plane is similar in weight and total drag
to the 118” Carden Extra 300. The 124” 300 has much thinner airfoils
(reducing drag), but it also has much more wing area (increasing drag).
One of the very surprising
aspects of this plane is the huge rudder authority (with a very small overall
rudder area). I have dialed back my rudder to approximately half of full
throw because I simply never need 100% throw. In the past month I have had
the opportunity to fly this plane in 95 degree F, 90% humidity weather that
often results in poor vertical upline performance. I am happy to report that
the reduced drag and very low weight of this airframe allows it to perform
demanding snap/roll combinations on vertical uplines with ease. I am
confident that this plane could fly competitive Unlimited class aerobatics
powered with a DA-150 because it would only weigh 36.5 pounds and the total
drag would be comparable to the 118” Extra 300.
During the course of flying
and testing this plane I have also flipped on the 3D rates (32 degrees
aileron, 35 degrees elevator, and up to 50 degrees rudder). This plane is
very stable in high alpha flight, rolling harriers, walls, flat spins, etc.
and has more aileron authority than other planes I have flown. I believe this
is due to the constant percentage of chord aileron design which results in
larger ailerons near the root of the wing. The plane has also survived my
high speed “wingcheck test” blenders which gives me lots of confidence in the
In my 10 years of competing in
IMAC this is the best precision aerobatic plane I have ever flown. I have had
the best start to my season winning all four contests that I have attended.
During my last flight of the 2010 Scale Aerobatics National Championships I
logged my 100th flight on the airframe. It turns out that the
100th flight led me to win the Unlimited class Scale Aerobatics National
Championship and the Bennett Cup for overall highest scoring percentage in the
contest. There is no doubt in my mind that this plane has proven to have the
capability to win at the highest levels of competition.
Special thanks again Dennis
for agreeing to take on this cool new project. I really appreciate all of the
time and effort you spent working with me. Also a special thanks to my good
friend and builder Cam McCausey who provided very valuable input with airframe
structure design and construction techniques. In my opinion Cam builds some
of the lightest and straightest IMAC competition planes on the planet. It is
really exciting to see our three way Winter collaboration project result in a
true competition aerobatic winner.
Carden 124" Extra 300
Initial Flight Report
History: Last year (2009) I flew a modified 126” (43%) Carden
Aircraft Extra 300 powered by a DA-170/RE3s with a significantly thinner wing
airfoil and smaller tip chord that I had designed and sent to Dennis at Carden
Aircraft in January 2009. I competed in four contests with this plane (won
three and finished 2nd at the NATS in Unlimited). Only a couple of
competitors ever noticed that the airfoil was so much thinner, but I had many
people mention to me that my particular plane penetrated
through the air very well and had very crisp snap entries and stopped on a
Throughout the 2009 season I decided that I really liked the
thinner airfoil significantly more, and that I wanted to design and fly a new
killer precision aerobatic plane for the 2010 season. This new design would
be based upon my experiences competing with Carden Aircraft Extras (two 118”
(40%) 330s in 2003-05, three 118” (40%) 260s in 2006, two 118” (40%) 300s in
2007-08, and two 126” (43%) 300s in 2008-09). The new design would be
enhanced to specifically make the plane the best possible precision aerobatic
In late October 2009 I discussed the ideas with my professional
builder and good friend Cam McCausey and wrote a detailed letter to Dennis
Gergits at Carden Aircraft describing the new design concept. Dennis and Cam
were both excited about taking on this new project. The new plane would have
a wingspan of 124” with a thinner airfoil on the wing, horizontal stab, and
rudder. A smaller cross-section fuselage would also be used (relative to the
126” (43%) Carden Extra 300). We also wanted to make this plane fully TOC,
IMAC, and Clover Creek Invitational legal by keeping ALL measurements on the
new design within 10% of the full scale Extra 300. The fuselage length would
be stretched as much as possible within the 10% rule.
Dennis Gergits, Cam McCausey, and myself worked really well as
a team and spent many hours on the phone discussing the airframe design and
drew up the new designs on computer (as 2-views) so that we could more
efficiently go through the design process. Approximately 20 design iterations
later we had arrived at a final outline of the plane! Dennis then worked his
majic by drafting the full size plans based upon his many years of experience
and the coordinate positions I provided him from the 2-views. Cam McCausey
was instrumental in making many decisions regarding structure since he has
professionally built over 100 Cardens. During the building process of this
prototype Cam did many flexural and load bearing tests on this new airframe to
help guide some of the final structure decisions.
What did we address/accomplish:
1) A precision aerobatic plane that presents as a large scale
aerobat (124” wingspan, 119” length).
2) The thinner wing as well as smaller tip chord are based on
the new airfoil I had flown in 2009. This new wing is significantly thinner
than any offered on previous Carden Aircraft giant scale aerobats. This wing
penetrates through the air very cleanly, sits well in the wind, has very crisp
snap entries, and presents a clear stall during spin entries. The thinner
airfoil also reduces rotational mass in the wings (approximately 6 ounces
lighter than the 126” (43%) Extra) which also makes starting and stopping snap
rolls easier! The ailerons on this plane have more taper and are designed to
have a dimension that is a constant percentage of the chord. The rolling
characteristics of the new plane are great – it rolls very axial on both
vertical and 45 up and downlines.
3) Reduction in
volume / cross-section to reduce drag and allow the use of a 3 bladed prop
with outstanding thrust to weight/drag ratio.
We chose to use
the 118” (40%) Carden Aircraft Extra 300 cowl for the project
since it has a smaller cross-section than the 126” (43%) Carden Extra cowl.
My plane is powered by the DA-200 (which fits perfectly in the smaller cowl)
with super quiet 2 into 1 headers and KS95 canister exhaust system. The plane
could easily be flown in the most demanding aerobatic sequences with a DA-150
since the overall drag has been reduced!
4) In strong winds my previous competition aircraft have yawed
more than I would like into the wind requiring opposite rudder correction to
maintain a straight wind corrected line. To reduce yaw into the wind the side
area and fuse volume behind the cg of the plane have been reduced. I am happy
to report that the design change worked perfectly – the new plane does not
over-yaw into the wind which presents much cleaner in a precision aerobatic
5) The motorbox has been increased in length behind the
wingtube to accommodate a fuel tank mounted further back in the plane. This
allows the fuel tank to be perfectly centered on the CG to eliminate any CG
changes during flight.
6) To maintain a vertical stabilizer/rudder that fully met the
10% scale deviation rules meant that the height and chord of the rudder/fin
would need to be reduced in size (relative to many planes on the market that
rudders that don’t meet the 10% scale outline rule). Based upon 10% rule
design constraints we decided to go with a rudder/fin system that doesn’t have
a helper/counterbalance. We were initially concerned that the smaller rudder
may not be big enough for clean rotation on hammerheads. Surprisingly, the
smaller rudder without a counterbalance has more authority than any other
Extra I have flown. Hammerheads are very easy and the plane maintains knife
edge flight with less rudder throw than on my 118” or 126” Carden Extra. An
added benefit of the shorter vertical stab is that the plane exhibits even
less pitch coupling!
7) With thinner airfoils on all the surfaces and a smaller
cross-section fuse, we were able to design a 124” wingspan plane with a 119”
length that only weighs 38.9 lbs with a DA-200 with lightened cylinder heads
and KS95s with 2 into 1 Y-headers. With a non-lightened (stock) DA-200 and
stock mufflers the plane would weigh 38.4 pounds. The same plane outfitted
with a DA-150 or 170 with tuned pipes would weigh 36.5 pounds! We were
concerned that this new airframe with thinner airfoils might have higher
downline speeds. Surprisingly, the vertical downline speed appears to be
quite similar to other Carden designs (most likely due to the lower airframe
8) The plane structure has been designed in a way that
significantly reduces building time. No diagonals are required on the fuse
sides, gussets have been eliminated, and the canopy glass comes down to the
top longeron allowing for canopy construction identical to the 118” Extra.
The plane was constructed with a 1.5” PBG composite wingtube and PBG composite
9) The super silenced
exhaust system coupled with the 3 bladed prop makes the DA-200 sound like a
well-oiled sewing machine. I’m sure others interested in reducing noise will
be turning this direction! I checked sound at 25ft, 24” off the ground with a
radio shack meter set on dBA – slow setting and the meter read 92!!! Quieter
than any 150, 170, or 200 powered plane I have ever flown.
To date I have six 15 minute flights on the new airframe. I
have been spending most of the flight time trying different CG locations,
trimming, adjusting control throw deflections, and trying to fly as many
different types of aerobatic figures as possible. The first thing that was
clear after the initial flight was that this plane draws very clean lines, and
sits well in the wind (first few flights were in 15-20mph winds). The reduced
drag allows the DA-200 to pull the plane around with ease (even with a 3
bladed prop). Snap rolls are very crisp and stop immediately when I let off
the sticks. The reduction in pitch coupling reduces pilot workload
significantly while doing rolling circles and rolls at the top and bottom of
loops. I will report more as I get additional flights on the plane, but so
far I have not found any bad tendencies!
I am really looking forward to competing with this plane at the
NATS and Clover Creek Invitational! Thanks so much to Dennis for agreeing to
take on this new project – it was a pleasure working with you and learning
from your years of experience designing top notch aerobatic planes. Thanks to
Cam who started building the prototype kit (cut motorbox parts himself) on
Feb. 13 and had it framed up, covered, and painted by March 9 (3.5 weeks) –
truly amazing dedication as a professional builder! The maiden flight took
place on April 5, just in time for me to put the plane in the Toledo Show and
take 2nd place in the aerobatic division! Overall this was
one of the most rewarding projects
I have been involved with. In six months we went from a design concept
on a piece of paper to a finished plane
Thanks again Dennis and Cam!
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Extra 300 Pro Gallery