by: Tim Hatton [ ]
This graceful looking T-tailed glider is made almost exclusively out of carbon and aramid fibers (Kevlar). The fuselage is a monocoque structure including a two seat cockpit. The wing surface is a carbon fiberglass hard foam sandwich. The single liquid cooled engine powers a two blade propeller. The engine is not designed to lift the craft into the air from the ground, but to maximise the amount of time in the air. The ASH 25 can be flown by both occupants and has a maximum take off weight of 750 kg (1654 lbs).
Founded in 1925, Schleicher is the oldest Sailplane manufacturer in the world and the largest of the German sailplane builders. Schleicher sailplanes span the entire breadth of the market, starting with single and double seat trainers and following through all four classes, with top designs in every category (Training, Standard, 15 meter, 18meter, and open class).
Very sturdy box with reinforced ends. There is a photograph of one of the kits subjects, D-KXDD , on the box cover. All resin parts are placed in multi cell plastic bags. Canopies, masks, decals and photo etched [PE] parts are sealed separately. For added safety there are lots of foam peanuts stopping things from rattling and moving around.
-26 x resin parts approximately.
-2 x vac formed canopies.
-2 x small pre coloured photo etched frets produced by Eduard.
-1 x kabuki canopy masks produced by Eduard.
-1 x decal sheet.
-5 x A4 pages of building and painting instructions.
-4 x A4 pages with 21 colour close up photographs.
Fuselage amazingly cast in one piece and includes the tail. The casting block need to be removed, but the contact areas along the lower fuselage is very thin and should present no problems separating it. As the fuselage on the real thing is of a monocoque construction there is not a panel line to be seen. In fact the only lines are the ones around the rudder. There are three open bays: one for the cockpit, another for the single wheel undercarriage and the third is where the retractable motor is located. The motor bay for the retractable engine has some good detail although this area does not have a lot in the way of detail on the real thing. In the fuselage there are two holes on each side of the wing root where the wings are attached. The tail wheel is cast with the fuselage and looks very good.
Cockpit seats and side console are cast integrally with the fuselage. I have to say the quality and the skill of the casting dealing with undercuts in around the cockpit is stunning. The benefit to the modeler is for a much easier and faster build. The cast detail on the seats include cushions and the rear seat has harness attachment points. The cockpit area is further detailed with resin instrument hoods, the choice of two styles of hood for the front occupant. The fairing between the two canopies is a separate resin piece. The majority of the excellent cockpit detail is made up of pre coloured photo etched parts produced by Eduard. The instrument panels look very good indeed. Each instrument panel is made up from two components. There are four different styles of instrument panels to choose from. CMR have to be applauded for not going for generic instruments. Other pre coloured photo etched parts include seat harnesses, rudder pedals, control sticks, air brake and undercarriage levers and a few other things I can't identify. All in all a very well detailed cockpit.
Canopy: the good folk at CMR have provided two vac formed canopies formed on two sheets. The canopies are thin, very clear and can be displayed open or closed.
Wings CMR have included three sets of wings, the difference being the spans and the addition of winglets, the vertical extensions to the wingtips. The one piece wings themselves are cast in the stronger black resin. There are a couple of reinforcement rods cast into the resin of each wing. The exposed rods at the wing root need cutting back a little, although not too much as they provide a very positive fit into the fuselage. The wings included with this release are:
There is some very fine panel lines and around the air brake.
The stabiliser is also one piece and sits on top of the vertical tail. There are a couple of tiny locating pegs for the holes on top of the fin.
Propeller Unit: the structure that the prop is attached to is made up from three resin parts. There is a choice between two different two bladed props and the blades are amazingly thin. If you don't want the prop showing then there is a one piece door to cover the engine bay. The door needs to be cut in half longways if you are displaying the propeller unit. There is a little thin resin flash around some of the components that needs cleaning off. Off course if you don't want the clean lines of the glider spoilt with the propeller unit, then you can always not attach the unit and fit the doors closed.
Undercarriage: just the one wheel with this sailplane. Wheel is one piece and is nicely detailed. The undercarriage door is one piece, which is very handy if you are displaying the model wheels up. If you are displaying with wheel down, then the door is cut length ways in two.
Photo Etched Parts: the two sheets are produced by Eduard. The coloured fret has some incredible detail on it.
Masks: the Kabuki masks are just for the canopy, and are produced by Eduard. Some additional masking is required for the top of the canopy, use liquid masks or the off cuts from the Kabuki tape.
Instructions: includes a parts guide, two pages of build instructions and two page painting guide. The black line drawings are superb and very descriptive. There are eight stages in the construction. Included in the construction guide are two very useful black and white images of the cockpit.
The twenty one colour images provide plenty of detail of the cockpit, the propeller and mast in the stowed and fully extended positions. There are also images of the Schleicher in flight. The in flight images provide some interesting references to the angle and amount of flex on the wings in flight.
Colour Schemes: for five aircraft including:
A N877SF, Steve Fosset, USA.
B HB2379, Switzerland.
C G-CDPX, UK.
D VH-DWA, Australia.
E D-KXDD, Austria
All aircraft are RAL Traffic White overall, any markings are provided as decals.
Decals: are silk screen printed and they look very good indeed. Colours are strong, registration is very good and there is minimal carrier film. All the markings are printed as decals including the distinctive cheat lines below the canopies. There are some interesting non standard lettering to some of the registration numbers.
Conclusions. this is a stunning release from CMR, the immediate very positive impression when seeing the one piece fuselage has the creative juices flowing. The clean lines and almost perfect aerodynamic form should appeal to any students of flight. This should prove a relatively simple and quick build. If Sailplanes are your thing then this is a must have product. If not then you should try one as it will make an interesting contrast to your powered aircraft flight line. Nice one CMR