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Durafly HyperBipe Review

Sport Flying, Pattern, or 3D, The Hyperbipe looks good doing it all.

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Introduction

Wingspan: 900mm
Length: 900mm
Flying Weight: 610~640g including battery
Motor: 2212 1400kv brushless outrunner
ESC: 30A w/BEC
Servos: 4 x 9g micro servos
Prop Size: 9 x 5
Available From: HobbyKing
Price: $107.41 PNF

The Durafly brand has been gaining popularity in the foam warbird space, and now they are ready to tackle aerobatics and pattern flying with the Hyperbipe. It's a powerful and lightweight model that looks great and is designed to be easy to build. This review model is the PNF version and I used the Orange T-Six radio system for control. It's built form EPO foam so it holds it shape well and is durable enough to resist some minor scrapes and dings.

Kit Contents

Kit parts

  • Top and bottom wing
  • Fuselage
  • 1400Kv Brushless Motor and 30A ESC
  • 9x5 Prop
  • Instruction manual

Required Parts

  • 4+ Channel receiver
  • Transmitter
  • 3-cell 1300-1600mAh battery pack
  • Regular medium CA glue for assembly

Assembly

The manual is surprisingly nice. It's a color print and uses an accurate 3D image of the plane to guide you through the assembly process. It does go over all the steps you would need to take to build the model from the ARF version, so with the PNF version, there are steps that are already completed for you that you can skip. The manual also included a separate sheet for the ESC that goes through the programming and operation. This was very nice as most models do not includ any details on the ESC's included in their kits.

Wings

You start with gluing the bottom wing to the fuselage. I used medium CA for this and the wings do key onto the fuselage to help keep them straight. There is some play because the foam can move, so do make sure that the wings are straight when you glue them on. Once you glue the bottom wing on you will glue the side struts to the bottom wing and then glue the top wing on. I found it easier to glue the top wing to the fuse first and then glue the struts to the top wing. Once the wings are on, you can install the strut connecting rods. These are easily adjustable and once you have the ailerons centered, you can apply some glue to the clevis/rod joint to make sure they do not slip. The ailerons are live-hinged and there is nothing to do. The hinges were not stiff like I've seen on other models, but you can flex them a bit to make sure they don't cause too high a load on the servos.

Tail

Next you need to glue the horizontal stabilizer onto the fuselage. It is also keyed and glues in easily. The fit and finish of these parts were excellent. With the horizontal stab installed, you can glue in the foam spacer behind it and use CA to install the rudder hinges and rudder. Now you can insert the control pushrod wires into the control horns and when centered with the servos, use the included allen wrench to secure the pushrods.

Landing Gear

Next you can install the landing gear. It simply presses down into the channel and then is secured with a plastic keeper. Very simple, but it works great and keeps the gear solid. The wheel spats and pants were pre-installed and look really nice. The tail wheel is attached using two screws and has a wire that keys into the rudder.

Radio Installation

On the bottom wing there is a hatch with a very nice hatch latch that gives you access to the aileron servos. There is an area to mount your receiver and it allows room to connect all the servo wires to it. I used Velcro to secure the receiver.

Completion

Now all that's left is to mount the propeller and spinner and install the battery. The recommended C/G is listed at 95mm from the leading edge of the top wing. Using a Nano Tech 3S 1300mAh Lipo in the battery bay put the CG right on the money.

Flying

Basics

The Hyperbipe flys predictably and true. I recommend using dual rates with the low rate at about 50% of full travel for smooth pattern style flying. Use high rates for more aggressive aerobatics and 3D. Basic turns can be done with just using aileron and elevator, but for a more coordinated turn, you'll want to apply some rudder. If your radio allows, you could setup an aileron to rudder mix if you need some help. You can even turn using just rudder input for a flat turn, they are pretty fun to do. Rolls are very axial and loops tracked pretty straight all the way through. Knife edge flight has a bit of coupling to the gear, but is easily controlled without a mix. You'll want to be in high rate rudder for sustained knife edge passes. The CG was spot on so I didn't need to add weight or even reposition the battery.

Taking Off and Landing

The wheels are skinny and the pants will make it all but impossible to take off from rough grass. Nicely groomed grass however is ok as you'll see in the flight video shown later. It's really at home on paved runways and tracks fairly straight. You'll want to apply some right rudder to counter the torque as you power up. Half throttle is more than enough to get off the ground. You can also hand launch if you want.

Landing is straightforward. Reduce throttle and keep it level. It slows down a lot being such a lightweight model. Just put the wheels on the ground first and you'll be fine.

Aerobatics

This is where the Hyperbipe really shines. The roll rate is crazy on high rates. It snaps great and does precision pattern well on a calm day. If it's windy like it was on the day we shot the video below, then it can get blown around a bit. It does point rolls, inverted, spins, knife edge, even 3D moves like hovers and harriers. I was able to pull out of a hover and it just kept going, plenty of power!

Is This For a Beginner?

No! You might be able to get away with it as a second airplane with really low rates, but even then I wouldn't recommend it. You should have previous aileron experience and be comfortable flying before buying the Hyperbipe.

Flight Video

Hyperbipe Flight Video (1 min 57 sec)

Conclusion

I really enjoyed the Hyperbipe and it was exactly what I expected from it. Assembly was super easy and only took about an hour, and the flight performance will keep me having fun with it for a long time. That is unless I stuff it in the ground. See, the predictable nature of how it flies makes me want to push the limits and fly it hard close to the ground. It tempts you to see how low of an inverted pass you can make.

It's small enough to fit in a trunk or back seat and large enough to be easy to see in the air. You don't need a ton a space to have fun either. You can fly in a small park or field and the soccer field I fly in is a huge space for the Hyperbipe. I flew for about 10 minutes on the first flight and still had 39% left in the pack so that's pretty good in my book.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comes almost fully assembled - Less than an hour to build
  • Vibrant color scheme
  • Can be flown in a small space
  • Handles nicely and has a wide flight envelope
  • Foam is easy to repair

Cons

  • Lightweight design gets blown around in windy conditions

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Old Jan 16, 2014, 09:37 AM
DismayingObservation is offline
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I've read nothing but really good press on this model. I may just have to tumble for one before too long.

Great review, Jason.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 10:23 AM
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Slick little plane and a great review.
This one is on my short list.

Cubfan
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 11:47 AM
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How much prop clearance is there/what's the size of the wheels if I wanted to use a different motor?
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 12:42 PM
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Jason, there's already a review thread started by you for this plane. Why a second?

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...rafli+hyperbip
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etpompea View Post
How much prop clearance is there/what's the size of the wheels if I wanted to use a different motor?
There a 3-3/4" clearance on the prop. The wheels are about 40mm.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigIron357 View Post
Jason, there's already a review thread started by you for this plane. Why a second?

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...rafli+hyperbip
That was a news article, not an actual review.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 07:35 PM
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Do the servos seem slow to you? Mine flies great though, but the servo speed seemed a bit slow to what I am used to. Even with slower speed on the servos it preforms very quickly.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 07:49 PM
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Several complaints about wing failures in flight...issues with inadequate stiffeners; carbon fiber replacements seem to work.

Also with the landing gear spreading and digging into the foam.

There are a few threads on this plane.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 08:41 PM
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Nice flying there Jason!
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltc View Post
Several complaints about wing failures in flight...issues with inadequate stiffeners; carbon fiber replacements seem to work.

Also with the landing gear spreading and digging into the foam.

There are a few threads on this plane.
Yah. I'd planned on buying one next payday but will now take a wait and see approach. Maybe HK will make some improvements a bit later on. Will keep tabs on these threads in the meantime.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 09:47 PM
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Looks like a smaller version of the Sebart Miss Wind 50e
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 10:02 PM
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Good review Jason.
You made me want to dust off my old planes! I should buy one of these to practice with since I have been tearing up the dirt for a few years and am a little rusty Im sure.
Cant beat the price.
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 11:21 PM
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One of the best pattern pilots at our club had a brand new one of these at the field this weekend. First flight went well, second flight, top wing came off. He noted that the components were not very good. They always look soo nice in pictures and price, but quality seems to be a very consistent issue.
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Old Jan 17, 2014, 12:56 AM
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The top wing coming off in flight sounds more like an issue with the builder and/or choice of adhesives?
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