With my birthday coming up next month, and my Sniper X II
(48" 23oz epp 3d plane) in two large pieces from a tx stick mishap, I’ve been considering using the gear out of it in a better flying balsa plane. The Sniper was a good trainer plane, but was fairly flexible and lacked that locked-in precise feeling. It was also surprisingly unstable in certain attitudes for a lightweight foamy, with some significant wing rock in slow harrier, unlike some similar foamies I’ve flown. With a 6.5 oz/sqft. wing loading, and a large side area and profile fuse, it didn’t behave particularly well in the wind. In the typical afternoon breeze here in LA, typically gusting 8-12 mph, it was much like flying a rc kite. While this is fun for a while, it is hard to practice many maneuvers in, and gets old quickly for me. I really enjoy spins and tumbles, but the big light and draggy epp planes just lack momentum for that stuff. I’m hoping to put the gear in a really well built balsa airframe that is known to be a great flyer, so I can concentrate on my flying skills and not worry about the plane.
Here’s what is flying the Sniper around:
Motor: Hyperion Zs3007b-24
1110 kv 83g 37mm diameter
ESC: Hyperion Atlas 35A LBEC
Prop: Xoar 11x5 #1 choice. Typically used HK 11x5.5 apc clone or EMP 10x4.7 sf. when not using landing gear.
Batts: 1250-2200 3S Rhino 30C, Turnigy 20c, Hyperion 35C, 109g-193g
Servos: (Aileron, Elevator) Hyperion DS-11 SCB 10g 1.7Kg/cm digital programmable
Servos: (Rudder) Hyperion DS-11 AMB 10.5g 2.1kg/cm metal geared digital programmable
Rx: Spektrum AR 6110e
That setup typically pulls ~42A peak with a fresh 1550 30C pack, 420+ watts, which quickly drops to below 400 watts. Flight times of hard 3d in the 6 minute range with a 1350. This setup has been reliable and comes down with temps ~110 F on esc and motor. It moved the 23-26 oz Sniper around with pretty good authority, hovers at or just above 1/2 throttle. I think I could get away with a 12x4 or 12x5 xoar if i wanted and was careful on the throttle.
After lots of reading, it seems like the 3D Hobby Shop AJ Slick 42”
seems to be a perfect plane for this gear.
Wing Area: 375 sq. in.
Weight (RTF): 28-34 oz.
Wing Loading: 12-14 oz/sqft
It’s known to be an incredible airframe, much loved by almost every owner. My existing gear would be on the slightly heavier and more powerful side, which I think would be a boon for tumbling and handling in wind. Unfortunately, it’s at least a month from being back in stock.
My other choice for the existing gear would be a Precision Aerobatics Addiction 40"
Wing span: 1000mm /39.5"
Weight: RTF approx 750g / 26.5oz
Wing Area: 485 sq.in
Wing Loading: 7.9oz/sq.ft
It's a slightly lighter airframe with lower wingloading, but also known to be an incredible flyer and very forgiving as well as strong. I do worry it wouldn't handle the wind as well as I'd like, being so light and floaty.
Both those choices will take direct transplants of all the gear from the Sniper, no other cost than the airframe. The other plane I've been wanting for months is a 3DHS Vyper. I had been saving cash for a 65" Vyper, but now I think I may be leaning more towards a 70" 30CC plane, either 3DHS Slick or any of the many $300 25% gas arfs. The long flight times and low initial cost of gas over big electrics is very attractive to me right now, and I have a good field and a pickup truck, so they are a reasonable thing to consider.
So I was thinking that if I intend to buy a 70" gasser and not a big electric Vyper, I may as well pick up a 46" Vyper right now instead of a slick. My servos would be fine for the Vyper, but I'd need a bigger motor and ESC, so it'd cost double what the other two would.
I'm just not sure if the Vyper will be a good plane for me yet. I like to fly hard and tumble hard, but I'm definitely not a great precision pilot yet. I can hover, but I'm still working on torque rolls, and stable coordinated slow rolls only last a few revolutions before I get out of sync, though I'm improving every day I fly. I'm also practicing on a sim often, which I find very helpful. I don't want to step into a plane that needs a good firm guiding hand to stay in a harrier or hover and get frustrated because I can't keep up. I hear how easy the slick and addiction are to 3d, and I love that idea. I'm not sure how much more challenging a Vyper is going to be to harrier low and slow or do nice waterfalls with, compared to a Slick. The ability to zoom around with the warbirds or do big pattern maneuvers as well as handle the winds really well are what attract me to the Vyper.
My apologies for the long rambling post, thanks to anyone still reading
Any thoughts at all are welcome, I'd love to hear from anyone who has flown these planes.