United States, SC, Charleston
Joined Feb 2010
Just got home from my maiden flight. Put three batteries through the VisionAire. I'm a "sport flyer" so feel like I'm a good target customer for this plane. My others are the T-28 Trojan, F4F Wildcat, and P-47D Thunderbolt. I also fly a micro P-51 and a version 1 UMX Beast (I have never tried the v2 Beast with AS3X, I'm still on my original one). Even though I don't do 3D the UMX Beast (v1) is my favorite plane, precisely because it does all the sport moves quicker and better (for example, no altitude loss or down elevator needed on a barrel roll with the Beast, and the split-S turns are just so easy to pull off in a tight airspace). In a nutshell, for me, the VisionAire is the parkflyer sized Beast I've been waiting for (well, without the awesome biplane looks). What an awesome plane it is. It's a keeper and worth getting.
First, our field is bumpy and has longer grass. My tail-dragger P-47 Thunderbolt just noses over when I try to drive it on the ground there, for example, so it's useless unless I hand launch it and go pick it up from the field where it lands. This is absolutely no problem at all with the VisionAire. In fact, it goes as good if not better on the ground of our field than my T-28 Trojan with the tricycle nose gear. HUGE PLUS for me in terms of ground maneuverability. I didn't have a single issue with getting it to move over bumps, even if it started in a rut.
First battery, I placed it all the way forward to the stop in the nose. Took off, it seemed to want to fly down (too much down elevator or it was nose heavy), but I didn't want to trim it with this AS3X in it. On the first flight I experimented with the Dual Rates but not the 3D (the ch 5 Gear switch). For me, even as a "beginning-intermediate" pilot the full rates as QQ suggested were the best. After one comparison time with both sets of dual rates, I stuck with the full rates for the rest of the time. First landing was so easy, no problems, it landed so easy and slow. Second flight, put the battery as far back as I could with the front strap still barely on it, which helped a bit on the nose down issue, but not completely. I may try a click or two of up elevator trim next time, but I worry about doing that on this AS3X (my entire time today, not a single click of trim, just fyi). Anyway, on the second battery I came around flying slow (but on the full DR rates), and flipped the gear switch to 3D in flight at full rates and played around. Despite only a few days of harrier practice on the phoenix sim, it was easy to get this plane to do it, and I think it even hovered for a minute, but I was so high up for fear of a mistake I couldn't tell. I even pulled off one waterfall with it (again, with only a few days of sim trying it). On the third battery the wind started picking up, say gusting in the 8mph range, I was too scared to do 3D like that, so kept it in general flight mode, and it sure seemed to handle the wind well for me. I think I did the best looking hammerhead of my life. I did try knife edge in general flight mode at full rates, but it seemed to be losing altitude, and with the wind, I just quit trying it without more sim time. Even if I never tried 3D with it, I would love this plane for just fun sport flying with precision and quickness, the exact qualities I love about my v1 Beast.
I set the timer for 5 min as the manual and Chuck suggested. My other big planes can go more than that, so I'm hoping this one can too, I just didn't want to risk it, but longer flying times would be nice. I would be very interested in anyone's feedback on the true length of the stock battery (I only have the stock charger so can't measure what it takes to recharge it to figure this out myself).
I know plane preferences are subjective, but for me, this is probably my new favorite bigger plane. From the awesome ground handling to precise sport movements, slow flying ability, and easy landings, this is a winner! I clearly didn't (nor could I personally) get to try out all of the true 3D stuff with it, so don't know if my review would be helpful to a hardcore 3D person, but if you are a sport flyer, I think you will love this plane, and be able to not only use it just for sport flying, but also to try out some 3D stuff if you are interested in learning it. It's one of those planes that makes you seem to be a better pilot than you are, even just doing sport stuff.
Thank you Parkzone / Horizon Hobby / QQ for another great plane!