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Help Me Choose The Right Aerobatic Plane

Old 10-30-2008, 08:46 AM
  #1  
Sam_K
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Question Help Me Choose The Right Aerobatic Plane

Hi All,

I've been researching the Internet for weeks looking for my next plane and I'm still not feeling very confident about choosing so I thought I would ask for your opinions. First here's some background on my skill level.

I'm 32 and have been flying R/C for about 16 months now. I flew a Multiplex Easy Star for the first 6 months and then an E-Flight Mini Ultra Stick for the last 10 months. I have been aggressive about improving my skills and have over 30 hours air time on the sticks (I log my flights). I have just passed the Gold Wings certification test (An official test from Australian R/C association) which covers basic aerobatics such as figure 8s, loops, rolls, spin, imelmann, cuban 8s, procedure turns, etc. My latest achievements is that I can do unlimited axial rolls while maintaining altitude and I can now also do rolling circles.

I am a careful, diligent and safety concious person with my plane maintenance, pre-flight checks and flying behaviour and both models I have owned so far are still in good flying condition. There have been some bingles but nothing catastrophic.

I am now ready to step up to my next plane. I get a lot of enjoyment out of progressing my flying skills so I've decided I'd like to step up to a more capable aerobatic model. I am also interested in just about every other type of plane (jets, gliders, float planes, warbirds, etc) and I don't have a lot of money to spend on R/C, so I'd really like to be able to buy just one good all-rounder aerobatic plane because my next few purchases after this one are going to be other types of flying.

At present I like traditional style aerobatics and trying to improve my precision flying, but I don't want to rule out 3D later on when my skill
improves, so something that is capable of both would be great. (Is this an impossible requirement?)

Things that I currently find limiting with the Mini Ultra Stick are: A) It's had a few bingles and isn't exactly a precision aircraft anymore (not that it ever was) B) It's small and quick which makes precision flying harder, C) It won't knife edge and has a lot of roll coupling on rudder (according to my limited experience).

I have four Spektrum DS821 digital servos that came with my Spektrum DX7 radio that I would like to use.

With all of this in mind I am thinking of an ARF with a wingspan of around 1.5 to 1.6m (59 to 63") and weighing around 3 to 4Kg (6 to 9lb). It will have to be electric powered because there are no clubs near me that allow IC flying (because of local council) so I understand that it will most likely have to be a conversion project.

It doesn't have to be scale but of course I am a sucker for good looking planes, I'd like something nicer looking than the stick.

All my aircraft have been ARF so far so I would prefer something that comes with good instructions and doesn't need a lot of building experience to get it right. For example, from my research it seems that CMPro models have minimal instructions and can require some modification and/or undocumented work to get them together properly. I don't want a plane that flies like a dog because I didn't know that I really should have fixed this or that design flaw before gluing together.

So far Seagull looks like a good brand on the cheaper side with good instructions and positive comments online but I'm interested in hearing about anything else as well as long as it is available in Australia.

Thanks in advance for your comments!

Last edited by Sam_K; 10-30-2008 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Corrected stick time
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:45 PM
  #2  
powerlines
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I do not like the Seagull stuff.. Look at the Hangar 9 Showtime 50.. I just did a conversion.. Not hard at all and it is GREAT.. Light and flys very strong. I have a Motorfly 3628-800 on it and flying on 4S 4000 and a 5s 4200... It is insane on the 5s and will fly very light on the 4s and still pull from hover.. Lands like a trainer. very slow.. Just move the weight to the back of the recommended..

LATER
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:00 PM
  #3  
Sam_K
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Nice looking plane and the optional SFGs are very interesting. Odd that the 90 size version is cheaper than the 50! Why wouldn't you just go with the 90?

--EDIT--

The DS821 servos are slightly under the recommended servo power for the 90 size and definitely not good enough for the rudder (150 oz/in recommended! Yikes!! ), however they are plenty powerful for the 50 size without being overweight.

Also the 50 size version is built with electric power as an option so presumably would not require any DIY conversion work for e-power.

Last edited by Sam_K; 10-30-2008 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:18 AM
  #4  
jooNorway
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The Angel 50 from Sebart is a nice plane which flies extremely well for its size. Highly recommended. I love mine, and I am a demanding man
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:08 PM
  #5  
Sam_K
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Thanks for that one jooNorway, the Angel is a very nice looking plane, and light too!

I've done a bit of poking around and it doesn't look like the Showtime 50 is available from our local importer.

Another possible contender that I am looking at is the Stevens Aero Cap 232 40e.

Which brings me to another question. There seems to be a rather wide range of flying weight between these three aircraft. The Showtime 50 is 3kg (57" ws), the Angel is 2.2kg (62.6" ws) and the SA Cap 232 is 1.2kg (55" ws). That is a HUGE difference in weight for three planes that are similar in size. A very appealing feature of the SA Cap is that it'll take a much smaller (cheaper) power system due to being barely over 1/3rd the weight of the Showtime 50.

I'd love to hear some comment on that weight difference. Is the SA Cap just going to explode into a pile of matchsticks on my first untidy landing, or is the Showtime 50 just unnessesarily heavy? (to accomdate the IC power option?)

Cheers,
Sam
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:20 PM
  #6  
Bub Steve
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Originally Posted by Sam_K View Post
Hi All,

I've been researching the Internet for weeks looking for my next plane and I'm still not feeling very confident about choosing so I thought I would ask for your opinions. First here's some background on my skill level.

I'm 32 and have been flying R/C for about 16 months now. I flew a Multiplex Easy Star for the first 6 months and then an E-Flight Mini Ultra Stick for the last 10 months. I have been aggressive about improving my skills and have over 30 hours air time on the sticks (I log my flights). I have just passed the Gold Wings certification test (An official test from Australian R/C association) which covers basic aerobatics such as figure 8s, loops, rolls, spin, imelmann, cuban 8s, procedure turns, etc. My latest achievements is that I can do unlimited axial rolls while maintaining altitude and I can now also do rolling circles.

I am a careful, diligent and safety concious person with my plane maintenance, pre-flight checks and flying behaviour and both models I have owned so far are still in good flying condition. There have been some bingles but nothing catastrophic.

I am now ready to step up to my next plane. I get a lot of enjoyment out of progressing my flying skills so I've decided I'd like to step up to a more capable aerobatic model. I am also interested in just about every other type of plane (jets, gliders, float planes, warbirds, etc) and I don't have a lot of money to spend on R/C, so I'd really like to be able to buy just one good all-rounder aerobatic plane because my next few purchases after this one are going to be other types of flying.

At present I like traditional style aerobatics and trying to improve my precision flying, but I don't want to rule out 3D later on when my skill
improves, so something that is capable of both would be great. (Is this an impossible requirement?)

Things that I currently find limiting with the Mini Ultra Stick are: A) It's had a few bingles and isn't exactly a precision aircraft anymore (not that it ever was) B) It's small and quick which makes precision flying harder, C) It won't knife edge and has a lot of roll coupling on rudder (according to my limited experience).

I have four Spektrum DS821 digital servos that came with my Spektrum DX7 radio that I would like to use.

With all of this in mind I am thinking of an ARF with a wingspan of around 1.5 to 1.6m (59 to 63") and weighing around 3 to 4Kg (6 to 9lb). It will have to be electric powered because there are no clubs near me that allow IC flying (because of local council) so I understand that it will most likely have to be a conversion project.

It doesn't have to be scale but of course I am a sucker for good looking planes, I'd like something nicer looking than the stick.

All my aircraft have been ARF so far so I would prefer something that comes with good instructions and doesn't need a lot of building experience to get it right. For example, from my research it seems that CMPro models have minimal instructions and can require some modification and/or undocumented work to get them together properly. I don't want a plane that flies like a dog because I didn't know that I really should have fixed this or that design flaw before gluing together.

So far Seagull looks like a good brand on the cheaper side with good instructions and positive comments online but I'm interested in hearing about anything else as well as long as it is available in Australia.

Thanks in advance for your comments!
GWS FormmosaII the plane for you, Great plane!! bub, steve
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:46 AM
  #7  
Sam_K
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Thanks for the Formosa II suggestion stevecooper, but I wish it was just a teensy bit larger as I am shooting for around the 1.5m WS sort of range.

I already have a 1m WS aerobat (Mini Ultra Stick) and since I've been looking at the bigger planes I'm sorta excited about the prospect of having something noticeably bigger.
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:56 AM
  #8  
Bub Steve
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Originally Posted by Sam_K View Post
Thanks for the Formosa II suggestion stevecooper, but I wish it was just a teensy bit larger as I am shooting for around the 1.5m WS sort of range.

I already have a 1m WS aerobat (Mini Ultra Stick) and since I've been looking at the bigger planes I'm sorta excited about the prospect of having something noticeably bigger.
I, Like most of us guys think bigger is better,HaHaaa! But like my X said, It's what you do with it not how big it is ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,HaHaaa! I've got a backroom full of 60-80"'ers (slimmers)and there go'in out the door as fast as I can give um away, ( shed a few today )They got$$$$ on me so I backed down a bit, There a hoot though, your good bub, steve
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Old 11-27-2008, 03:06 AM
  #9  
Sam_K
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Finally got a price on the Showtime 50 from a local supplier. $420!!

$420 a bit more than I wanted to spend. These are guys are typically quite price competitive so I don't think shopping around is going to get it any cheaper for me.

The Aussie dollar fell hard when the global finanical crisis hit and prices have risen sharply at all LHSs. For example another plane I am looking at is the Pulse XT 40, it's price has gone from $200 to $320.

The SebArt Angel 50 is still listed at $315 at another supplier, that is supposedly the old price, I might see if they still have old stock at that price.
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:08 AM
  #10  
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I bought a plane!

I was getting a bit scared by all the price hikes going on, so I dropped in at my nearest LHS this afternoon to have another browse through what he actually had on the shelf which might hopefully be at the old lower prices.

Right up the back in the far corner, on the top shelf, almost completely hidden behind other ARF boxes, I found an old Phoenix Accipiter. This box had been there since the shop owner bought the shop 2 years ago and looked like it had been there a lot longer than that. He immediately offered it to me for $180 which was a lot less than the $260 tag stuck on the box! To cut a long story short, it is now sitting on my dining room table.

I'm about to start a build a thread so the story will continue shortly over there...

For now, here is a picture of the major parts dry fitted together just to give you an idea.

I'm so excited!!!
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:08 PM
  #11  
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Here is the build thread
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