Originally by Frank Granelli for Sport Aviator
The Hangar 9 Alpha 40 (left) is the exact same aircraft as the Alpha 60 (right). The only difference is size. The Alpha 60 is 54 in. long, has a 72 in. wingspan, weighs 7.25 lb and is powered by an Evolution .60 cu. In. engine. The Alpha 40 is 52 in. long with a 63 in. wingspan, weighs 5.5 lb. And is powered by an Evolution .40 cu. In. engine.
Both are great basic trainers. The Alpha 60 is easier to see since it is larger. But it is heavier and therefore has more momentum than the Alpha 40. The Alpha 40 uses less fuel and costs about $75 less than the Alpha 60. Otherwise, both aircraft fly and handle about the same. So which do you pick?
This is a pilot’s choice. If you don’t have the best eyes or you really prefer larger airplanes, get the 60-size. If you think most of your next few models will be in the 40-size range and want to save some money and enjoy lower operating costs, the 40-size airplane is for you. Most manufacturers offer trainers in both sizes. Hobbico for instance, has the HobbiStar 60 trainer plus the 40-size NexSTAR and 40-size Superstar trainers.
Read more about selecting a trainer model: