The more I get to work with the folks from some of these great hobby companies for the author's forum, the more convinced I am that they have the greatest gig in the world.
I'll be working directly with one of those company reps and together we plan to iron out the kinks in the documentation of my current project for the authors' group.
I think I may have come off too harsh in my assessment of a model's hardware in my previous blog, especially after reading the blog of the gentleman in question who supplied me with the plane in the first place. He's been to factories all over Asia and seen first-hand the real craftsmanship and care that go into these ARFs of ours. The factories are clean and orderly, the employees well-compensated.
As Vietnam grows in stature as a producer of goods, so too will issues like the ones I've had with hardware disappear. Buy with confidence in the meantime and if you have to spend a few extra bucks on hardware, so be it.
In any event, it's my pleasure to continue to work out these minor issues now so that you won't have to later.
Friends, stay tuned to either RC Power and/or The E Zone for my first of two new reviews, this one being a terrific new 41" electric Yak 54 from Carl Goldberg. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Still having issues with the VQ P-51, all of which could have been avoided either with better documentation or better hardware. However, that's the point of these reviews. I run into the problems, the distributor and I work 'em out. Badda bing!
On the bright side: Hardware isn't expensive, the distributor has taken genuine interest in working with the factory to correct the problems and best of all, this plane is going to look stunning in the air. That is, once I get it there.
I have not just one plane to review. I have two. In the interest of expediency, I've been working like the proverbial one-armed paper hanger to get these birds ready.
Bird number one, a hitherto unknown Carl Goldberg Yak 54 electric, shall take to the air on Thursday.
Bird number two, a VQ Model P-51 Mustang 40, is nearly finished. That plane's had a few assembly and hardware issues, but they're pretty much sorted out. I predict that Vietnam will soon be an RTF force to be reckoned with once they address some minor problems.
I haven't written Model Aviation yet regarding a letter that someone wrote regarding the laziness of those who assemble ARFs, one page over from an op-ed praising the proliferation of these models which have allowed those without the room or the time to build a kit or scratchbuilt to hone their piloting skills.
Frankly, this guy has insulted a whole lot of us and I'm calling him on it.
I've learned to fly in record time on RTFs and ARFs. I also happen to have a kit waiting in the wings; I can't wait to start in on it. For that matter, I have two assembled kits in need of repair (see my previous entry) which will require the same modeling skills a kit does. This will be a fun part of the hobby that everyone should try.
I can't help it, I tell you. I have a soft spot for old stuff with some life left in it. One of these days, I'll talk about the mangled 1900 Conn cornet my musical instrument technician friend and I bought back from the dead a few years ago.
Yesterday, our flying club had a really fun R/C swap meet. I bought a few small items to sell and I actually did sell some stuff. Bought a few small items as well, so I broke even financially.
As the event wrapped up, the club's VP asked if I wanted a plane he couldn't even get five bucks for. It's an old Global Hobby Raven 40 profiler that he built from a kit. Except for a bad case of "garage grunge," it's all there less radio and engine. Pushrods, clevises, everything including a 1998 AMA membership decal. I even have a brand-new 8 oz. DU-BRO fuel tank which I was trying to sell, but I'm glad I didn't since that is precisely the tank this model calls for.
If I didn't take it, it would have been off to the stomping pile just before it would have hit the trash can.
Not good. The stuff that did get stomped was crashed beyond repair. Not this little 3D. There simply isn't anything wrong with it beyond a slightly damaged rudder servo box.
The other wayward (or is that "wayweird?") orphan is a Piper Cub 40 which was also a kit build. Again, pretty much all there except for one missing wing strut, one broken wing strut, the landing gear and some torn covering.