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Horizon Hobby E-flite Aeronca Champ 15e ARF Review

E-flite's Aeronca Champ 15e ARF delivers stunning scale looks backed by outstanding flight performance. This general aviation classic will provide you hours of pure stick-and-rudder enjoyment.

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Introduction

E-flite Aeronca Champ 15e ARF

Wingspan:60.0 in
Length:37.6 in
Wing Area:499 sq in
Weight:2 lb 14 oz empty
3 lb 7.6 oz w/battery
Servos:JR Sport MC35 (x4)
Receiver:Spektrum AR6210
Battery:E-flite 3S 11.1V 3200mAh 30C LiPo
Motor:E-flite Power 15 Brushless Outrunner, 950kv
ESC:E-flite 40-Amp Lite Pro Brushless ESC
Propeller:APC 11x7E
Transmitter:Spektrum DX8
Manufacturer:E-flite
Available From:
Horizon Hobby
Price:$179.99

OK, I'll come right out and say it: I have a soft spot in my heart for Aeronca Champs. To those who know me very well, that's not a big surprise. I come by it honestly. My earliest memories of flying are riding around in the back seat of Dad's Aeronca Champ. When I was a young lad of only 4 or 5, and I could barely see out the windows from the back seat. Perched high on a faded green boat cushion and wearing a headset that was way too big for me, I had no hope of reaching the rudder pedals. I could reach the stick, however. It didn't take long for me to get the hang of making gentle stick inputs to guide the old Champ around the sky. I couldn't see the instrument panel, and even if I could, I didn't know what those gauges meant. I could see out the window and that was all that you really need in a Champ.

As I grew, Dad made some wooden blocks for the rudder pedals. I could now attempt to taxi the Champ in a straight line, which didn't always turn out as planned. Dad also tried to teach me rudder coordination with Dutch rolls. Since the Champ had a lot of adverse aileron yaw, you had to really work the rudder to keep things coordinated. This is why the Champ made such a good trainer. Flying a Champ would make you a true stick-and-rudder pilot.

Several years went by as we enjoyed the Champ. The day finally came that Dad sold the Champ. I didn't realize at the time how much of a loss that was. I'd give anything to have Dad's Champ back in the family.

So just what is a Champ? Technically, the E-flite Champ is a model of the Aeronca 7AC Champion, or Champ for short. Aeron-who? Let me help you with that. It's pronounced "uh-RON-kuh". Some folks mistakenly prounce it "uh-RON-i-kuh" or they just get lazy and call it an "Airknocker". Aeronca had been building airplanes for several years, but the Champ came out of the post-WWII aviation boom. The Champ was designed to compete with the Piper J-3 Cub. In many ways, the Champ was superior to the Cub, but for some reason, it just never became more popular.

As you might could surmise by now, if there's an RC model of an Aeronca Champ, I'm going to own one. I was thrilled last year when HobbyZone released the Champ RTF, which I reviewed here. At the time, I didn't suspect that Horizon would be working on a bigger version for a later release. Now less than a year after the HobbyZone Champ RTF, E-flite has released the Aeronca Champ 15e ARF as part of its Platinum Series line of kits.

Kit Contents

The E-flite Aeronca Champ 15e ARF comes packaged in a very nicely-illustrated box. On the outside of the box, you'll see plenty of full-color photos of the airplane and the recommended equipment required to complete the model. Before you have a chance to finish reading the model specs on the side of the box, you'll be ripping the box open to see what's inside. When the box is opened, you'll see that E-flite has done an excellent job in packing the airframe parts. As you dig out all the pieces, you'll quickly realize that despite the size of the box, this is going to be one big airplane...and a very NICE-looking one at that!

The E-flite Aeronca Champ 15e ARF is part of E-flite's Platinum Series of kits. This means it is full of so many scale details it will make your head spin. For starters, it has a near-perfect scale outline, so it "looks" like a Champ. Shock-absorbing landing gear, detailed cowling with exhaust stacks and oil cooler, and accurately-modeled wing struts all add up to make this ARF truly a work of art. It is obvious that E-flite did its homework on this one.

The manual is very detailed and full of helpful photos. You'll have no trouble following the clear and easy to follow instructions. Go check it out for yourself...a PDF copy of the manual is online.

E-flite recommends the following equipment:

<font size=-2><a href=http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFLM4015A target=E-flite Power 15 " src="http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/2/2/1/9/2/t4334740-143-thumb-EflitePower15.jpg?d=1318136652" />
E-flite Power 15
Type:Brushless Outrunner
RPM/Volt (kv):950
Motor Weight:5.4oz (152g)
Overall Diameter:35mm (1.4 in)
Overall Length:50mm (1.90 in)
Shaft Diameter:5mm (.20 in)
Number of Cells:34S LiPo
Continuous Current:34A
Max Burst Current:42A (15 sec)
Max Power:575watts

<font size=-2><a href=http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFLA1040L target=E-flite 40-Amp Lite Pro " src="http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/2/2/1/9/2/t4334750-84-thumb-Eflite40AmpLiteProESC.jpg?d=1318137218" />
E-flite 40-Amp Lite Pro
Type:Programmable Brushless Speed Controller
Number of Cells:3-6S LiPo
Max Continuous Current:40A
BEC:Switch-mode / 2.5A
Max Servos:7 analog or 6 digital standard-size
Weight:1.7 oz (48g)
Dimensions:66 x 31 x 12mm (2.6 x 1.2 x 0.47 in)

<font size=-2><a href=http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFLB32003S30 target=E-flite 3S 11.1V 3200mAh 30C LiPo " src="http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/2/2/1/9/2/t4334749-94-thumb-Eflite3200mAh3SLiPo.jpg?d=1318137213" />
E-flite 3S 11.1V 3200mAh 30C LiPo
Type:Lithium Polymer
Number of cells:3
Capacity:3200mAh
Voltage:11.1V
Max Continuous Current:30C / 96A
Weight:9.6oz (272g)
Dimensions (WxLxH):1.70 x 5.20 x 0.9 in

<font size=-2><a href=http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=JSP20030 target=JR Sport MC35 Micro " src="http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/2/2/1/9/2/t4334741-49-thumb-JRSportMC35Servo.jpg?d=1318136653" />
JR Sport MC35 Micro
Type:Analog Micro Servo
Operating Speed (4.8V/6.0V):0.21 sec/60 / 0.17 sec/60
Torque (4.8V/6.0V):30 oz-in / 35 oz-in
Weight:0.6oz (17g)
Dimensions (WxLxH):0.50 x 1.12 x 1.17 in
Gear Type:Nylon

<font size=-2><a href=http://www.spektrumrc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=SPMAR6210 target=Spektrum AR6210 " src="http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/2/2/1/9/2/t4334751-228-thumb-SpektrumAR6210.jpg?d=1318137222" />
Spektrum AR6210
Type:2.4GHz DSM2/DSMX Receiver
Number of channels:6
Voltage Range:3.5 - 9.6V
Antenna Length:Main Rx: 30mm (2);
Remote Rx: 30mm (2)

Weight:0.35oz (10g)
Size (WxLxH):21.6 x 30.1 x 12.3mm

Assembly

Technically, the Champ kit is Almost-Ready-to-Fly (ARF), right? Well, there's a little more involved than just dumping the parts out on the table and expecting the plane to put itself together. Yes, the major airframe parts are pre-built, but it's the details that are going to take some time. Don't worry, the instructions will guide you through each step, and before you know it, you'll have your Champ ready to take to the skies.

I'm just going to hit the highlights of the build in this article. I'll point out some things to watch for and also offer some tips to make the build easier. Refer back to the manual if you'd like to read more about the assembly process.

Let the fun begin!

Wing

Assembly of the Champ begins by installing the aileron servos into each wing panel. Like a lot of other E-flite kits, the servos are attached to wooden blocks glued to the servo covers. This is a very simple process, as long as you pay attention to a couple of pointers.

First of all, pay close attention to where you glue the blocks to the servo cover. You want the servo horn to align properly. The instructions clearly illustrate this, and you can see the result in my picture below.

Next, when the instructions tell you to pre-drill the holes in the mounting blocks, they recommend a 1/16" drill bit. I found that to be a little small, and one of my blocks split when I installed the first screw. I moved up to a 5/64" drill bit and made the remaining holes larger. That worked out much better. Be sure to harden the holes with thin CA as directed.

The wing panels are joined to the fuselage with an aluminum wing tube. A single screw secures each wing panel to this tube from the bottom side of the wing. This is probably the single-most tricky part of the build. I read reports of builders messing this part up and wishing for a better installation method. My installation went just as the instructions described. I took my time and didn't force the screws. My screws did not strip or break, as some have reported. If you are careful, the recommended method works as intended.

The wing struts are a very important part of the model. Installation can be a bit tedious due to the small hardware involved at the strut attach points. Just pay close attention to the orientation of the struts and you shouldn't have a problem. I will point out that my jury struts (the manual calls them wing strut supports) appeared to be a duplicate set. I didn't think they sent me a right and left strut. Turns out that the wire ends of the struts can be rotated by twisting them gently. Not a big deal, but it made for some head-scratching on my part.

Speaking of jury struts, I feel that this scale detail is near the top of the list when it comes to the little things that set this Champ apart from other models in the past. Having those jury struts out there help to complete the picture and make you say "Wow...that plane does look real!" I'd have to say that the only downside of having such nice struts is that it makes removing the wings for transport and storage a little more of a hassle. With the tiny hardware (screws, nuts, and bolts) involved, this Champ is probably better off if you leave the wing on it all the time.

Fuselage

The steps involved in completing the fuselage are installing the main landing gear, tail servos, and power system. All of the required hardware is included in the kit. E-flite has even made your job easier by packaging the related hardware for a certain step into smaller bags. You'll still need to sort the tiny nuts, bolts, and washers to make sure you've got what you need, so be careful you don't lose any of those tiny bits.

Starting with the main landing gear, you'll quickly take note of something you probably haven't seen in any model you've built before...shock-absorbing gear legs. No, I'm not pulling your leg! These landing gear are built to function just like the oleo strut gear on the full-scale Champ. The next thing you'll notice is that there are a lot of little bolts, washers, and nuts used to install the gear. Just take your time and follow the instructions. When you're done building the gear, if you have no leftover hardware, you'll know you did it right.

Installing the elevator and rudder servos in the fuselage is straightforward. When it comes time to install the elevator pushrods, you may have some issue with the tubes being blocked at the aft end. On my Champ, it appeared that some glue had found its way into the pushrod tube. Some careful work with a drill bit or two cleared that up for me. I also added a couple of bends to the pushrods at the servo end to allow the pushrods to enter the tubes at a better angle. This seemed to take some load off the elevator servo.

Installing the E-flite Power 15 motor using the supplied hardware was simple. The blindnuts are mounted in slots to allow the builder some flexibility in motor choices. The ESC mounts to the inside wall of the battery bay area using the supplied hook-and-loop fastener.

Access to the battery bay and equipment area is made simple thanks to the clever battery hatch. You'll see in the picture below that it has a spring-loaded latch at the front and a light ply tongue at the back end. This makes the hatch easy to remove while keeping it secure during flight.

Tail

Since the vertical stabilizer is already built onto the fuselage, all you really need to do is attach the horizontal stab/elevator and attach the rudder. The stabs/elevators are in halves that key into the holes in the fuse. Take special care when gluing to insure everything is nice and square. The elevators are pre-hinged, so just flex them to make sure they operate freely. Typical CA hinges are used to attach the rudder.

Be extra careful in installing the control horns on the tail surfaces. They are made from plastic and are of the horn and backplate variety. The holes in the backplate have a tendency to strip out, causing the screw to lose its bite on the backplate. This could cause a loose control horn if you didn't catch that in your pre-flight. It seemed like the screws could have been just a little bit longer. No big deal in the end, thanks to a little bit of CA.

One excellent scale detail included with the Champ is the nice steerable tailwheel. It uses small springs attached to tiller arms on the rudder to give a scale appearance. The tailwheel lags behind the rudder a little during ground handling (just as it does in the full-scale Champ), but it provides enough control to get the Champ pointed where you want it.

The kit included some monofilament line to use for the flying wires on the tail. I couldn't bring myself to use fishing line on such a nice-looking model, so I opted for some steel fishing leaders. I saw this tip posted here on RCGroups, and it worked out great. Aluminum tubing was used for the crimped swages, and the result was very pleasing.

Radio Setup

Using the recommended Spektrum AR6210 DSMX receiver allowed me to set up the ailerons on separate channels. While it is possible to run the ailerons off of one channel, you lose the ability to program in the recommended aileron differential. The manual gives the recommended control throws for each surface. I set my Champ up according to those measurements and added a little exponential to smooth things out a bit.

Completion

Before completing the installation of the cabin windows, I took a little time to customize the interior of my Champ. First of all, I added a Hangar 9 1/7th Scale Pilot. This pilot is just a tad larger than the recommended 1/9th scale pilot, and I like the way he looks in there. After all, this Champ is right at 1/7th scale, so that works for me.

Another scale detail I added were the windshield braces just like the full-scale Champ. These metal tubes are used to grab onto to pull yourself into the cockpit. Without them, the windshield area on the model just looked empty to me. I fashioned my braces out of 1/8" dowel rods and painted them with grey craft paint to match the interior.

The last bit of interior detailing was to paint the dash a flat black. Using some black craft paint, I painted the area of the dash that sits inside the windshield. Having all of that yellow under the windshield just didn't look right.

Now that everything was completed, it was time to balance the Champ. This is probably the most important step before you fly any model. The recommended CG range for the Champ is 1 7/8" to 2 3/8" (48 to 60mm) back from the leading edge of the wing. This range makes the wing screw (which is at about 53mm) a convenient spot to test the CG. With the battery pack installed, my Champ balanced right in the middle of the recommended CG range at 53mm or right on the wing screw.

Flying

You guys weren't really interested in what it took to build the Champ, were you? You came here to read about how well the Champ flies, right? Well, let's get to it!

Basics

The Champ is very stable in the air. Setting up low and high rates will allow you to fly in a scale-like fashion. The high wing and slight dihedral gives the Champ a self-righting tendency. With the recommended settings on the ailerons for differential, coordinated turns are a bit easier. You still need to use a little rudder to keep the turns nice and coordinated. The rudder is very effective and it is easy to use too much rudder. If you have a heavy left thumb, you'll have your Champ wagging its tail all over the sky.

The recommended E-flite Power 15 motor supplies plenty of power. Remember that the full-scale Champs only had a 65HP Continental engine. Nothing happens in a hurry with that kind of power under the cowling. Takeoffs, climbs, cruise all happened at a leisurely pace. Not so with this Champ. You've got power to spare and then some.

How about flying speeds? Well, I wouldn't really call this Champ a floater, but it will slow down nicely. It does carry its speed well, but isn't too fast to handle. It is comfortable at about half-throttle for lazily cruising around the field. You'll rarely need full throttle.

The recommended propeller for the Power 15 motor is the APC 11x7e prop. It did a fine job of pulling the Champ around the sky. I did experiment with a Zinger 11x6 wooden prop just for looks. Performance with the wood prop was a little less than with the APC prop, and it definitely sounded different.

Takeoff and Landing

Takeoffs with the Champ are relatively easy. Very little rudder correction is needed. Handling on pavement is a little more tricky than grass, but not unmanageable. If the grass is short enough, the Champ will do very scale takeoffs at just over half-throttle. Full-throttle takeoffs, while not very scale-looking, happen very quickly. The Power 15 motor provides enough power to literally yank the Champ off the ground in no more than a few aircraft lengths.

When it is time to land the Champ, be sure you fly a nice, controlled approach with a touch of power. The actual touchdown needs to be gentle and straight so there is no sideways motion when the wheels make contact with the ground. Just keep things nice and straight and you should be fine. Mind your crosswind correction with the ailerons or you'll find yourself dragging a wingtip on landing. Yes, I'll admit I'm guilty of that once or twice. No, you won't see it in the video.

One thing that makes landings look extra special is throwing in a nice slip to landing. This Champ does slips extremely well and looks great doing them. Slipping the Champ in brings back memories of Dad racking his Champ up into a good slip. Seeing this Champ come down the approach while cranking in a healthy slip makes you wonder how a model can look so realistic. Give it a try and you'll see what I mean. Just remember to straighten it out before touchdown to keep the landing gear happy.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The full-scale Champs were by no means aerobatic monsters. Loops and spins are probably the extent of its aerobatic maneuvers. The E-flite Champ is able to pull off some non-scale aerobatics, however. The performance with the E-flite Power 15 motor is enough to make big round loops and long vertical uplines. Aileron rolls are lazy as you'd imagine they'd be with the full-scale Champ. They are not axial, but this is no pattern ship, so that's OK. Snap rolls on high-rates with lots of power can get pretty crazy and well, snappy. Spins are more of a spiral than a true spin. Inverted flight, while comical with a Champ, is rather easy to perform.

Photo/Video Gallery

Repairs

Yes, I said repairs. It is a fact of life that if you fly model airplanes, sooner or later, you'll have to make needed repairs. Sometimes the repairs are strictly cosmetic, and sometimes they require a little structural "engineering" to make the plane airworthy again.

Such is the case with my E-flite Champ. Thanks to some gusty crosswinds at the most inopportune time, I made a hard landing. I wouldn't call it a crash, just a more abrupt reunion with terra firma than I had planned. You guys know what I'm talking about.

So what happened?

The damage resulted from the sideways force exerted on the right main landing gear. Since the airplane was tipped up and drifting sideways as it touched down, the force was too great for the fuselage to handle and some wood cracked. The plastic end of the wing strut also gave way on impact.

Looking back on it, I really can't blame the airplane for this damage. I had numerous flights before this hard landing, and the landing gear had been doing its job. I had flown countless touch-n-go's with the Champ. I even let David Payne (the Champ's designer at E-flite) fly it at SEFF, and he showed me several of his signature one-wheel touch-n-go's.

Now that I've explained what happened and why, let's take a look at how I repaired my Champ.

Let's start with the broken wing strut. The plastic end on the wing struts attach to the rear bracket of the landing gear mounts. The plastic gave way during that hard landing and snapped right at the end of the strut. I simply CA'd the plastic piece back on and wrapped a length of kevlar thread around the end with thin CA. The struts have held up fine since then.

Now I had to figure out the best way to repair and reinforce the landing gear mounts. The metal brackets are screwed to the fuselage side in an area that has no reinforcement outside the hardwood block. There is some light plywood along the inside wall of the fuse, but at the end of that plywood is where the balsa split. The sideways force crushed in the side of the fuse at the rear attach point. The front held up fine because there is a fuselage former there to carry the load.

Upon further inspection, I found that I would have to add more structure at the rear attach point. My idea to reinforce this area was to build a partial former out of 1/16th light ply that would line up with the ply former in the battery hatch. The combination of my formers with the former in the hatch could carry the load across that space.

I know from reading flight reports here on RCGroups that others have had a similar experience with their E-flite Champ. I can only honestly report on my experiences alone, and I feel that the repairs I had to make to my Champ are no fault of the airplane. A hard landing would have done similar damage to most any airplane, so it is hard for me to blame the Champ.

I'm happy to report that my repairs have held up just fine. I've had numerous flights with lots of landings on both grass and pavement with no further damage to the landing gear area. So, if you find yourself needing to repair your Champ like I did, now you know how to fix it.

I'd also like to emphasize that all of the flying footage in the video was done after I made the necessary repairs. As you can see, the landing gear is doing just fine these days.

Is this for a beginner?

To answer that question honestly, we'll have to agree upon the definition of "beginner." If you have never flown an RC airplane before and have nobody to help you learn, then the Champ would not be the airplane for you to start out with. On the other hand, if you've logged some good simulator time, have a decent understanding of how airplanes fly, and have access to a club instructor, then you would probably do well with the Champ.

I'd also maintain that you don't lose your "beginner" status at a predetermined point in time. Beginners can own multiple planes and still be considered beginners. In that case, the Champ would make an excellent second or third plane.

The Champ is a very forgiving airplane in the air, so less-experienced pilots will have no problem in the air. However, to successfully fly the Champ, you will also need to be able to consistently land the airplane in a calm and controlled manner. Landings must be made as straight and true as possible.

Just as with other airplanes, if you make a beginner mistake on landing with the Champ, you might find yourself looking at some repairs like I did. Granted, I am no beginner pilot, but thanks to that unexpected crosswind gust, I made a bad landing. It happens to the best of us sooner or later.

The recommended experience level on the Champ product page is intermediate. An intermediate pilot, in my opinion, is one that is able to fly an airplane in a predictable and consistent manner throughout the entire flight envelope, including the landings.

So based on all of that, my answer to the question "Is the Champ for a beginner" would simply be: it depends.

Conclusion

A WORD OF THANKS

I owe a big thanks to my brother, Gary, for running the video camera for me. Another shout-out goes to my good friend, Napo, for the awesome flying shots of the Champ at Birmingham. I'd also like to thank another good friend, Mike, for helping me out with the pictures at SEFF. We were swapping camera and transmitter back and forth, so some of those shots might have been taken by Mike. Either way, a big thank you to Mike as well. I couldn't do this without the help from these guys.

I'd also like to thank Horizon Hobby for providing the ARF kit and components for this review.

Thank you all so much!

The E-flite Aeronca Champ 15e ARF continues E-flite's tradition of producing quality models and delivering the scale details that deserve the Platinum Series badge. If you are a fan of scale models, you'll really appreciate the attention to detail on this Champ. From the oil cooler and exhaust stacks on the cowling all the way back to the scale tailwheel, this Champ has it going on. While you're relishing the striking good looks of the Champ, you can rest assured that this Champ delivers where it really counts...in the air! The Champ is a very relaxing model that is sure to bring a smile to your face. I really enjoy planes that will let you relax during a flight so you can appreciate the plane's good looks on those low fly-bys.

Pluses:

  • Superior scale details
  • Gentle flight characteristics
  • High-quality covering and finish

Minuses:

  • Main landing gear mounting area needed repair
  • Weak plastic strut attach points
  • Control horn mounting plates stripped easily

Last edited by Angela H; Nov 01, 2011 at 02:59 PM..

Discussion

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Old Nov 11, 2011, 03:33 PM
When's the next fly-in?
dee-grose's Avatar
Tanner, Alabama
Joined Oct 2003
6,388 Posts
Here's a template if you'd like to make some formers to strengthen the landing gear area. I just laid the formers on my scanner. This printed out the correct size on my printer. Be sure you print it without any page scaling and you should be good.
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Last edited by dee-grose; Jul 04, 2012 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Added file
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 03:51 PM
just go FLY !!
brn-grose's Avatar
Jasper, TN
Joined May 2004
1,174 Posts
another great review !!
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 06:50 PM
Electric Coolhunter
Thomas B's Avatar
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jun 2000
14,461 Posts
A nice job on the review. I have a number of flights on my Champ 15E that I completed last August. Eflite did a very nice job on the extra scale details.

However, I do think that that landing gear issue is a notable weak point on the model and most models would not break if subjected to the same landing loads that cause unmodified Champ 15e models to break in that area.

There is simply not enough ply structural area in the landing gear mount to absorb the occasional bad landing that happens to almost any model from time to time.

I avoided this issue by adding a 3/64 ply doubler that fills up the rest of the fuse bay where the stock ply landing gear doubler is located.

The model would rate A++ in my book, if they had got the landing gear structure right to begin with.....I have to downgrade them to a B+ for that... Certainly more pluses than minues on this fine looking model.
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Old Nov 12, 2011, 11:22 AM
RC Flying UK's Avatar
United Kingdom, York
Joined Apr 2011
866 Posts
Looks fantastic, I will be getting one of these I think. I agree with what you say about the full size Champ too, I think they have a lot of character.
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Old Nov 12, 2011, 02:20 PM
VOLTS > AMPS
stgdz's Avatar
United States, MN, Buffalo
Joined Jul 2011
3,864 Posts
I wish a manuf would bring out a decathlon. The hk one is pure crap.
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Old Nov 12, 2011, 07:13 PM
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Pullin's Avatar
Belo Horizonte - MG / Brazil
Joined Oct 2008
50 Posts
Great review!!!

I love Champ! I hope one day E-Flite produce the American Champion Citabria or Decathlon!
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Old Nov 12, 2011, 09:51 PM
When's the next fly-in?
dee-grose's Avatar
Tanner, Alabama
Joined Oct 2003
6,388 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pullin View Post
I hope one day E-Flite produce the American Champion Citabria or Decathlon!
You're right! A Decathlon this size would be a hoot!
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Old Nov 12, 2011, 10:27 PM
VOLTS > AMPS
stgdz's Avatar
United States, MN, Buffalo
Joined Jul 2011
3,864 Posts
it would be a smart decision, they could market it as a step up from the super cub.
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 08:56 AM
Serenity Now!
jbrundt's Avatar
O'Fallon, MO, USA
Joined Jan 2001
1,318 Posts
Amazing that the tail wheel assy on the Champ looks identical to the Eflite Super Cub yet on the Cub it's anemic and ineffective and on the Champ it works great.

Wonder how that is?
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 09:01 AM
When's the next fly-in?
dee-grose's Avatar
Tanner, Alabama
Joined Oct 2003
6,388 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrundt View Post
Amazing that the tail wheel assy on the Champ looks identical to the Eflite Super Cub yet on the Cub it's anemic and ineffective and on the Champ it works great.

Wonder how that is?
As you can see in my video when I am taxiing out to take off, the tailwheel does an adequate job of steering. You will notice a lag, and from what my Dad says, that's realistic...just like the full-scale Champ. You have to give rudder input and wait for it to take effect. As long as you aren't in a hurry, you'll be fine. But then again, you should never be in a hurry in a Champ, right?

The Champ tailwheel did a fine job on pavement and the really short grass at Hodges field at SEFF. The thick bermuda on the sod farm in the video, well, there wasn't much taxiing done there.

We need to see some pictures and videos of you guys flying your Champs!

Andy
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 08:18 PM
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Wow great video and review!
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Old Nov 16, 2011, 05:19 PM
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United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jun 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrundt View Post
Amazing that the tail wheel assy on the Champ looks identical to the Eflite Super Cub yet on the Cub it's anemic and ineffective and on the Champ it works great.

Wonder how that is?
The Super Cub is noticeably larger and heavier.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 12:31 AM
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USA, WA, Benton City
Joined Oct 2007
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The problems with the LG support in the fuselage stopped two of us from purchasing this bird. Nice review but I see a major design flaw. It might be an easy repair but....

Dan
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 07:15 AM
Where'd it go? Uh Oh!
Russia, Kamchatka Krai, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Joined Nov 2004
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Dan;

I guess it all depends on how you define a "major design flaw". Is it a flaw that should be fixed during initial assembly of the model? My answer is "yes", but since it is so easily fixed, I don't consider it a "major" design flaw. In my opinion, a "major" design flaw would be something that required major surgery to fix, and not doing so would cause loss of the airplane. Just splittin' hairs I guess.

On the other hand, this is supposed to be an ARF, which should mean that one could successfully assemble and fly the thing "bone stock" out of the box. It is a flaw that should be corrected at the factory. There are other relatively minor problems with this ARF (such as plastic fittings of questionable quality), but if you don't mind a little tinkering, I think you'd find this to be one of the favorite planes in your hangar.

Just sayin'.

Cheers,
Grog
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