|Out of the box - No Good!|
Build Date - July 2008
|Airframe Type -||Low Wing||Flying Type -||Sport/Speed|
|Wingspan =||43 inches||Length =||31 inches|
|Wing Area =||237 sq. inches||All-Up Weight =||24.5 ounces|
|Motor -||Balsa Products BP2217-6 OR||Wing Load =||14.9 oz/sq. ft.|
|Propellor -||8 x 6 APCe||Power =||302 watts|
|Thrust =||34 ounces||Thrust/Weight =||1.39|
|Battery Type -||3S1P 30C||Capacity =||1800 mah|
|Speed Control -||Castle Creations 25 amp||BEC -||Integral|
Out of the box - No Good!
What can I say, I bought it cause it looked cool and had what appeared to be a decent review on the Forums. I still think it looks cool but here is what happened.
Out of the box and flight ready in a couple of hours. The fuse is fiberglass so it has lots of room inside and it is relatively stiff. Torsionally it is a little weak in the rear. I put a set of GWS Nano servos in it using the bits from the kit and followed the directions to the letter. It came with a cheap brushed speed 400 coupled to an open 4:1 gearbox which mounted up with no problems. I added the included 30 amp ESC and the battery pack it came with, an 8 cell NiMh, 1800mah pack. For an RX I used a Berg 5ch (72mhz).
It simply would not fly!
With a fully charged pack, CG dead on, zero added thrust angles, trimmed to the book, correct prop, motor break in complete, etc., it would not ROG. It would roll fairly quickly, it would rock back on the landing gear and hop a bit but it would not take off.
The next thing I tried was moving to a Polyquest 1500mah, 3S battery. I figured, maybe the supplied battery was just very old and the voltage was dropping to low. This did not help although the plane did roll faster and hopped a little farther. The battery got fairly warm.
Next up, Hand Launch
Ok, so I gave up, went home, looked over everything I had done and found no faults. I weighed the plane and it came in at 31oz with the original Nimh pack and 27.5oz with the PQ pack. I looked at the online video showing the plane flying and realized there was video of it flying, there was video of it landing but there was no video showing it taking off!
This time I went out to the local ball field which had an upper and lower field separated by a 25 foot embankment which was the perfect launch area. I got her all ready, radio in one hand, plane in ht other, throttle to the max and let her go at about a 10 degree angle (up). GAAAAA! The plane basically kept that attitude but headed for the ground and landed HARD bending up the cheap wire landing gear and scuffing the cowl. (It did look like it was almost flying however).
Next, not to be beaten, I went to a higher hill. This time success! (sort of). Same exact scenario but with the added 10 feet of drop space it got enough air speed that it actually flew or rather stayed "up". I also had launched it at an almost level angle. Then, more dissapointment. It did fly but only for about 5 minutes as it didn't really have enough power to climb more than 1 or 2 feet a minute so I essentially did a few big laps using every bit of power and skill to climd to almost eye level before the battery/motor just could'nt keep it up and I landed once again, bending up the cheap gear. The gear would probably work on a paved runway but this was a grasss field.
Ok, clearly the motor gearbox is crap so I drove from the ball field to the LHS and asked what they had in stock to replace the motor. All they had was an e-flite 400 outrunner which seemed better than what I had but still a little weak. I didn't care, I bought it and went straight home to "fit" it to the plane. This little excersize took a half day because of the mods I had to do to the fiberglass but it came out well and shaved 3.5oz of the plane weight! Iswapped the ESC out for a Castle 25 I had, left the Nimh pack at home and headed out ounce again. In static run ups, it clearly had more thrust and prop speed so naturally I imagined it was going to be AWESOME!
OK, it wasn't awesome, but it did ROG and fly well. Not terribly fast in level flight but in a steep dive it was impressive. It was boring and now expensive boring. Over the next several years, I took it out on occasion to remind me what a boring plane is like and to also remind me to never believe the advertising!
This year a group of fellow flyers came out with a Midget Mustang which purportedly did over 100mph. At a spring fly-in event I finally saw one and was blown away! The Mustang has a 20" wingspan and weighs about 20 ounces and I thought of this plane and my other dissapointment the Extra 330L which had a very similar story. I inquired about the motor/prop/batt combo and was told it was a BP2217-6. Well I had a couple of BP motors and they are well made so I ordered this model ($24.95), got a couple of 1600 3S packs and put it all together.
This baby is fast! The BP motor weighs just 3 grams more than the e-flite but with the 8x6 prop it is wicked. I took the gear off (drag) and hand launched it and would guess relative to other fast planes I now have, it levels out in the 80MPH range and responds like a wicked pylon racer. Very cool, very exciting and I might even be tempted to bring it out more than once a year!!!
- Buy recommendation - Only if you plan on putting in a killer motor
- Build skill - Intermediate
- Pilot skill - Intermediate/Advanced (withh said killer motor)
- Lesson learned - Do not trust the advertisements, check the forums!