The Kyosho Trainer 40 was introduced in late 1997 in two colour schemes: a rather shocking shade of pink and then two years later a second version in yellow was sold alongside the pink. The yellow version had a host of minor improvements including changes to the nose shape, semi-symmetrical aerofoil and an option for securing the wings with rubber bands. The part numbers were #11605 (pink) and #11805 (Yellow). The pink version was reviewed in RC Model World April 1998 by Peter Grey; Editor of Radio Race Car International. After reading this I bought mine that same year in an effort to actually get something flying. At the time I was forever trying to get my MFA Sport 500 into the air and while my progress with the Century Hawk 30 was going well, I did not know of any nearby dedicated helicopter clubs in which to seek further help. As a member of a plank fliers-only club I felt that I really should get a plane too, if only to quell some of the grumblings!
So enter one extremely loud coloured aeroplane (those grumblings just increased further!). Mine was powered by an Irvine Q40 which never missed a beat considering at the time I was pumping straight castor fuel through it (I shudder at the thought now…). A few sessions on the buddy-box with Mick the resident fixed-wing instructor and I was soon solo and trying aerobatics. Product support was good and the model was one of the first to actually feature as a ‘true physics’ copy in the Tru-Flite 3D flight simulator which aided my flying considerably.
The Kyosho line of trainers right up to the current ‘Calmato’ versions have always had a reputation for being lively and will loop, roll, spin and tail stall all day with a decent engine up front. Indeed the yellow version, reviewed in R/C Modeller October 2000, with it’s semi-symmetrical aerofoil and reduced dihedral would continue on it’s current trajectory without demonstrating significant auto-correction. What they are not however is ‘precise’. As a high winged and floaty design it’s not so easy to place the plane exactly where you want and nor can you exactly guarantee where it will exit. All fine at high altitude but get lower and you enter the realm where you really should be flying a clean-lined low winged design. Cue some overconfidence and after several months of almost non-stop fun I attempted a slow roll a little too slow and ploughed into the deck.
Whenever I visit other people’s hobby workshops I’m always secretly envious of those who still have their original trainer aircraft and have accorded it (a well-earned) pride of place on a shelf. For the last year I’ve had a saved search term on eBay hoping another Kyosho trainer would come up; I was surprised this month to find one un-built in the box. While it wouldn’t be the ‘actual’ aircraft I learnt on, it was close enough. The auction ended much lower than I expected, I guess the colour put most off and it certainly seemed even ‘pinker’ than I remembered.
Although not my ‘first’ aeroplane the Kyosho Trainer was the first with which I actually flew. A couple of others were unfortunately damaged during construction including a Precedent Fly-Boy and another ARTF (Thunder Tiger Eagle 30H) that were both ‘re-kitted’ by a then teething miniture dachshund…. #pinkwasnotmychoice!
I’ve uploaded the manual for the Kyosho Trainer here. Note this manual refers to the pink version #11605. The yellow version #11805 is very similar in construction apart from the balance point is further forward at 85-90mm.