Originally Posted by Var.
A decent outrunner and ESC with 100-200 more watts of output than the Visionaire? That's about 50 USD. A receiver without AS3X? (which I don't want) 5-20 USD. 4 servos..30-40USD for ones that are probably overkill for this airframe.
The reason HH wont sell us the ARF kit for say...$120 is because they know we'll go and build it for cheaper. They have phased out ARF kits, and I'm telling you guys...the next step is a proprietary ESC/receiver brick like the UMX models already have. The want to be the Apple of the RC world. Keep selling you locked down packages for a bigger profit margin.
Case in point...the carbon z Yak fuselage has been on backorder for ages. They don't want you building the thing from scratch.
Another example ...the visionaire parts list has no pictures or description so you don't go and try to piece one together.
What are HH's strengths?
1-They make modular, no gluing required, decently designed airframes that go together in the time it takes to charge the battery.
2- Customer service
They leverage this to their advantage and force you to buy servos, motors, ESCs, and receiver from them when all they are good for is the airframe.
I totally hear you, sometimes I'm frustrated with their pricing and the approach that they take. That being said, until recently their customer support was top notch, which I think in part contributes to the high prices. I will say I saw one of these VisionAire planes at a hobby store up north and I was pretty impressed with the overall build quality, definitely some good engineering and from what I could tell pretty good QC on these, especially for something made from foam. I'm still having a hard time getting past Horizons pricing, Hobby King, Nitroplanes, and others have shown us just how inexpensive this hobby can be... I will say though, I recently bought a twisted hobbys mini crack yet, and when you get the box in the mail and open it and inside is the teeniest box you've ever seen filled with flat pieces of EPP foam, you start to wonder about spending $160 on it... But then you fly it, and you realize why you spent the money!
They are also really pushing things with this new certified horizon partner program. A good friend runs a hobby store and he can't get these visionaire's yet because the first batches went out early to the certified partner hobby stores. I understand Horizon is trying to reward higher volume stores, and incent smaller dealers to move more product, but it's definitely frustrating for us customers who want to drive business to particular stores but are penalized for doing so by having to wait. Fortunately, the weather is not very conducive to flying right now so I'm just biding my time and researching... The new Blade MCPX BL has my rapt attention as well, I just can't stop handing Horizon my hard earned cash!
Right now my biggest concern is that apparently their historic generous support policy of shipping parts without much or any proof of purchase has caused so much abuse that they are locking things down. This is really unfortunate for the rest of us, as that policy is a big reason why many prefer doing business with horizon over other companies that are cheaper. I had a good hour conversation with one of their support techs over this issue, and told him that there are better ways to ensure the system isn't being abused (like requiring defective parts be returned) than making it very painful to get support for their products.
At the end of the day though, walk into almost any major hobby store and what is the predominant product that you see being sold...Horizon's brands... So clearly they are doing something right.
For now, I spent the evening tonight installing a hobby king orange 3 axis gyro v2 into my typhoon 2. I figure if we get a day with less than 25mph winds, maybe it will be a cheap alternative to the visionaire until they come in at my preferred LHS...