Espritmodel.com Telemetry Radio
Reply
Thread Tools
Old May 13, 2012, 12:01 AM
Stantheman
LaGrange, Ky.
Joined May 2004
430 Posts
Well, I had the opportunity to fully evaluate the Firebird Stratos today with nine flights of approximately 10 minutes each. I am happy to report that, even though I am a very experienced RC pilot, it exceeded even my expectations!
This is a very relaxing and fun to fly aircraft for any experience level. Although, frankly, I do not recommend that anyone attempt to learn to fly without an "instructor", I feel that I could teach anyone to fly the Stratos very comfortably in about three flights.
First of all, I never attached the landing gear or anything beneath the fuselage or wing except a Dubro nylon wing skid directly in front of the hatch retainer and my initial plan was to deactivate the virtual instructor after only a few flights. But, the Stratos was so easy and relaxing to fly with it on that I am going to leave it on! And, after the first few flights, I even felt comfortable with the "little red" transmitter.
For all flights, I hand launched straight and level at full power then, once at altitude, flew comfortably at about three quarter throttle for most of the ten minutes with an occasional move to full throttle for a loop or to gain more altitude. Several times I passed the transmitter around to several of my "experienced" friends who all praised and greatly enjoyed the Stratos.
The price is very reasonable for what is in the box and several indicated that they were going to purchase a Stratos at one of the local hobby shops on Monday morning. Heck, I may even buy another one myself, "just in case'. It's that much fun!
Stantheman is offline Find More Posts by Stantheman
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old May 13, 2012, 07:03 AM
LiPo-Sucker & Airframe EMT
pugsam's Avatar
Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Joined Aug 2010
3,519 Posts
I'm on the fence about adding this bird to my Air Wing.

One important consideration is transportability and storage.

How are you guys handling this? Do you generally keep the wing on when you carry it in the car with other planes, and at home on the shelf?

Or is the attachment and removal process easy and smooth enough that you mostly keep the wing off except at the field?

And, is it so fragile that it's easily vulnerable to hanger rash from routine handling, bumping other airframes, etc. (The kind of stuff that happens sometimes, even though you're trying to be careful.)

Dave

PS - happy, happy to all you Mothers out there.

pugsam is online now Find More Posts by pugsam
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2012, 08:33 AM
Registered User
Joined Nov 2009
101 Posts
Wing

I'm keeping my wing on permanently (I hope - and propping up the tips slightly when on the table at home. I figure all the work to remove and replace the wing invites problems. Plus I enjoy walking past the table and seeing the Stratos. It is my only plane I leave the wings on. I love this plane!
Qualo Kabrigne is offline Find More Posts by Qualo Kabrigne
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2012, 11:02 AM
Stantheman
LaGrange, Ky.
Joined May 2004
430 Posts
[QUOTE=pugsam;21599403]I'm on the fence about adding this bird to my Air Wing.

One important consideration is transportability and storage.

How are you guys handling this? Do you generally keep the wing on when you carry it in the car with other planes, and at home on the shelf?

Or is the attachment and removal process easy and smooth enough that you mostly keep the wing off except at the field?

And, is it so fragile that it's easily vulnerable to hanger rash from routine handling, bumping other airframes, etc. (The kind of stuff that happens sometimes, even though you're trying to be careful.)

Dave

After 29 years of flying, I switched to electrics almost exclusively about 5 years ago. My current fleet consists of: Multiplex Twinstar ll, Multiplex EasyStar, Parkzone T-28D Trojan, Flyzone Cessna Corvalis, several ultra-micros and now a Firebird Stratos. I plan to add an EasyStar ll and a Parkzone Albatros as soon as they become available. Once I assemble an electric aircraft I NEVER take it apart or take the wings off. Although I drive a small Ford Escort, the rear seats fold down and I can easily (and carefully) load ONE aircraft for my trip to the field. I am retired and fly almost every day, weather permitting. I keep a flight log on all of my aircraft and don't mind concentrating on just ONE per day. Since I am also an instructor I am often called upon to fly several other aircraft during most days..... At home, I have several of the foam Robart stands which help to "hangar" my fleet in my computer and "hangar" room. Also, I keep approximately 10 or 12 small hand towels in my auto to wrap around wheels to keep them from rolling or to drape over wingtips for protection or stability. I must say that my fleet still looks brand new. Even my favorite, the completely stock T-28D with 302 documented flights, looks like it just came out of the box!
Stantheman is offline Find More Posts by Stantheman
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2012, 11:54 AM
Sir-Crash-a-Lot
Mr.Firemouth's Avatar
United States, IL, Edwardsville
Joined Jun 2011
331 Posts
Pugsman, if you liked the Champ you will love the Stratos!!!!
This plane is amazing! It flies 10X's better and it is a relaxing joy to control. The wing is easily removable with a quick pop to the left or right to dislodge it from the breakaway clamp. I swear this is the best money your will spend on this hobby!!!
Mr.Firemouth is offline Find More Posts by Mr.Firemouth
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2012, 07:11 PM
Registered User
United States, CA, Oceanside
Joined Apr 2011
4,776 Posts
I transport my FB Stratos with my seats folded down in my 2011 Mustang. I agree with Firemouth, only I did iit in reverse. I bought and flew the FB Stratos and then bought the Champ. The Champ is amazing. If it is a windless day the Champ is a joy to fly. I flew mine on 3 batteries today at a local ball field without one crash and this is only my second time flying it. First two time I just landed in the grass with no power by gliding in and the plane hit the ground and nosed over on the prop. No problem because the grass is kinda tall and the prop just sort of got cushioned by it when it hit. The third time I flew her, I decided to land her on the infield dirt. I made a perfect 3 point landing. I was so elated that I pumped the air with my fist. I have no damage to the plane yet at all. I am pretty new at airplanes although I have been flying helis for about 6 years now. The Champ was so relaxing and enjoyable to fly that I know I had a stupid grin on my face the whole time. Both these Hobby Zone planes, the FB Stratos and the Champ have been a great welcome to the RC airplane hobby to me.
chucksolo69 is online now Find More Posts by chucksolo69
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2012, 07:21 PM
Registered User
Joined May 2012
4 Posts
I convinced myself that I could teach myself to fly, so I bought a Dynam Piper Cub. Tried to fly this weekend and it didn't go nearly as well as planned. Two crashes and some significant repairs has me afraid to fly this plane again without more experience. After some research, which is more than I did last time, I have decided that the Hobbyzone Champ or Firebird Statos would be good choices. But which one........

Of the two which would be the better to learn with? I have read the comments in this thread and realize the the Stratos is a great plane that appears to be very easy to fly, but is it better than the Champ. Anyone willing to compare the two for me.

Thanks for the help!!
Sentio is offline Find More Posts by Sentio
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2012, 08:23 PM
Registered User
United States, FL, Gainesville
Joined Apr 2012
131 Posts
I am new to this hobby, and have a new Stratos. I flew it last Sunday and again today and thought I would pass along what little I have learned in case it helps someone else.
* Our winds were about 10-12 mph here today and I think that that is too much for this plane. Flying into the wind it pretty much just stopped several times. Other times it acted just like a kite and took off on me. Turning from upwind to down wind was pretty hairy (for me, at least) and I had to be careful to not lose control. Someone above suggested 7 mph as a max and that might be about right.
* Don't let your battery get down too low. With what appears to me to be a fairly small rudder, the plane apparently relies to some extent on the motor differential mix to turn. With a low battery the rudder sometimes just wasn't enough to complete a turn. I put one of those low battery alarms in the battery compartment and it seemed to work well and I could hear it from in the air.
* I lost one of the wing outriggers and so had to take off the other one.
* I damaged one prop spinner and didn't have any CA available so I flew with just one spinner. It seemed to be ok. Later I lost the other spinner so now I have none and it still seems ok.
* I fly on grass so I changed the small wheels out so that I could take off without hand launching. I didn't want to hand launch because I didn't think I had the coordination to do that. So, I put one of the stock back wheels on the front and put Du-Bro 1.86" wheels on in the back. I never could get the plane to lift off. I wouldn't think the weight difference would cause that. Maybe the changed angle of attack of the wing took away all its lift. I guess I'm going to be hand launching, at least for a while until I figure something else out. It turns out that hand launching is not all that hard as long as you don't stand there gawking at the plane and delay getting your hand on the elevator stick. This might sound (and look) goofy, but maybe I'll leave the stock wheels on in the back and put the larger wheel on in the front. Maybe the front wheel is the one digging in on the grass and it really is the one that needs to be bigger.
* I had a hard landing in one of my last landings with wheels and pulled the plastic front gear mount out of the body. I guess I'm going to have to glue it back in if I plan to use my landing gear. I noticed that someone else above also had this same problem so maybe this is a weakness.
* Thanks to whoever above mentioned about replacing the wing without removing that pin. I have been screwing/unscrewing the pin each time and it was just a matter of time before the plastic would not have held the screws any more.
So far I am pretty happy with my purchase. As a first plane I suppose I am going to have to adjust to it getting banged up but that is what learning is all about, right?
Hopefully this post has been of some value to someone. Good luck with your Stratos!
Julia
jlumens is offline Find More Posts by jlumens
Last edited by jlumens; May 13, 2012 at 08:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2012, 08:55 PM
Registered User
Ginohio's Avatar
United States, OH
Joined Mar 2012
1,024 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlumens View Post
I am new to this hobby, and have a new Stratos. I flew it last Sunday and again today and thought I would pass along what little I have learned in case it helps someone else.
* Our winds were about 10-12 mph here today and I think that that is too much for this plane. Flying into the wind it pretty much just stopped several times. Other times it acted just like a kite and took off on me. Turning from upwind to down wind was pretty hairy (for me, at least) and I had to be careful to not lose control. Someone above suggested 7 mph as a max and that might be about right.
* Don't let your battery get down too low. With what appears to me to be a fairly small rudder, the plane apparently relies to some extent on the motor differential mix to turn. With a low battery the rudder sometimes just wasn't enough to complete a turn. I put one of those low battery alarms in the battery compartment and it seemed to work well and I could hear it from in the air.
* I lost one of the wing outriggers and so had to take off the other one.
* I damaged one prop spinner and didn't have any CA available so I flew with just one spinner. It seemed to be ok. Later I lost the other spinner so now I have none and it still seems ok.
* I fly on grass so I changed the small wheels out so that I could take off without hand launching. I didn't want to hand launch because I didn't think I had the coordination to do that. So, I put one of the stock back wheels on the front and put Du-Bro 1.86" wheels on in the back. I never could get the plane to lift off. I wouldn't think the weight difference would cause that. Maybe the changed angle of attack of the wing took away all its lift. I guess I'm going to be hand launching, at least for a while until I figure something else out. It turns out that hand launching is not all that hard as long as you don't stand there gawking at the plane and delay getting your hand on the elevator stick. This might sound (and look) goofy, but maybe I'll leave the stock wheels on in the back and put the larger wheel on in the front. Maybe the front wheel is the one digging in on the grass and it really is the one that needs to be bigger.
* I had a hard landing in one of my last landings with wheels and pulled the plastic front gear mount out of the body. I guess I'm going to have to glue it back in if I plan to use my landing gear. I noticed that someone else above also had this same problem so maybe this is a weakness.
* Thanks to whoever above mentioned about replacing the wing without removing that pin. I have been screwing/unscrewing the pin each time and it was just a matter of time before the plastic would not have held the screws any more.
So far I am pretty happy with my purchase. As a first plane I suppose I am going to have to adjust to it getting banged up but that is what learning is all about, right?
Hopefully this post has been of some value to someone. Good luck with your Stratos!
Julia



regarding your post.I think the prop savers....the little wire thing you lost needs to be reinforeced with a dab of hot glue.I lost one also not on a crash just in transport..and yeah this is my first plane...scuffs but haven't broken off anything yet
Ginohio is offline Find More Posts by Ginohio
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2012, 09:11 PM
Stantheman
LaGrange, Ky.
Joined May 2004
430 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlumens View Post
* Our winds were about 10-12 mph here today and I think that that is too much for this plane. Julia
The above post is a classic example of why I do NOT recommend that anyone attempt to learn to fly an RC aircraft alone unless you are from an alien planet and simply do not know anyone that has previous experience. 10-12 mph winds are too strong for ANY rc trainer in the hands of a beginner. Both the Champ and the Stratos would be excellent trainers and anyone with at least a couple of months experience could fly either plane with the transmitter held behind their back! But, if you attempt to teach yourself,either plane will look like junk in short order. I would recommend that you return to your home planet, buy the plane that looks best to you and then place an ad in the Martian Herald for an instructor to help you learn to fly.
Stantheman is offline Find More Posts by Stantheman
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2012, 09:13 PM
Registered User
Ginohio's Avatar
United States, OH
Joined Mar 2012
1,024 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginohio View Post
regarding your post.I think the prop savers....the little wire thing you lost needs to be reinforeced with a dab of hot glue.I lost one also not on a crash just in transport..and yeah this is my first plane...scuffs but haven't broken off anything yet
I have yet to have a battery problem..trying to fly by the skin of my teeth now...battery only getting 30 to 50 secs of use..but I will get there..
Ginohio is offline Find More Posts by Ginohio
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2012, 09:35 PM
Registered User
United States, FL, Gainesville
Joined Apr 2012
131 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stantheman View Post
The above post is a classic example of why I do NOT recommend that anyone attempt to learn to fly an RC aircraft alone unless you are from an alien planet and simply do not know anyone that has previous experience. 10-12 mph winds are too strong for ANY rc trainer in the hands of a beginner. Both the Champ and the Stratos would be excellent trainers and anyone with at least a couple of months experience could fly either plane with the transmitter held behind their back! But, if you attempt to teach yourself,either plane will look like junk in short order. I would recommend that you return to your home planet, buy the plane that looks best to you and then place an ad in the Martian Herald for an instructor to help you learn to fly.
This kind of response does not encourage me to share what I have learned. I believe that I'm going to return to my home planet and not bother you again.
jlumens is offline Find More Posts by jlumens
Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2012, 09:55 PM
Stantheman
LaGrange, Ky.
Joined May 2004
430 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlumens View Post
This kind of response does not encourage me to share what I have learned. I believe that I'm going to return to my home planet and not bother you again.
Quite frankly, from reading your posts, I would say that you haven't learned a d***ed thing! Have a safe trip!
Stantheman is offline Find More Posts by Stantheman
Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2012, 02:14 AM
Registered User
Joined May 2012
4 Posts
Hey Guys,

First post here, my wife bought me this as a anniversary gift along with some other great gifts. She went out on a limb and gambled that I would want a plane over a rock crawling rc since that's what we do in real life. I have a background in aviation, I was a aeronautical technician on my way to pursuing a career in aeronautical engineering which I left to start my own business elsewhere. Anyways.......

After 4 flights down, I'm extremely happy with this plane, I'm self teaching myself how to fly. Yeah yeah I know I should have a expert teach me but I honestly don't know anyone that flies rc planes nor do I feel like hanging with the guys down at my local rc shop, I prefer to do this myself and learn from my mistakes, I'm sure I'll burn thru this fuselage soon and need a replacement but the journey has been awesome. I look forward to learning from what all the other members have to offer on flight tips and such. Thanks to this plane for bringing me into the hobby! I just can't wait to strap a camera on this sucker
The_Josh is offline Find More Posts by The_Josh
Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2012, 08:59 AM
Sir-Crash-a-Lot
Mr.Firemouth's Avatar
United States, IL, Edwardsville
Joined Jun 2011
331 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentio View Post
I convinced myself that I could teach myself to fly, so I bought a Dynam Piper Cub. Tried to fly this weekend and it didn't go nearly as well as planned. Two crashes and some significant repairs has me afraid to fly this plane again without more experience. After some research, which is more than I did last time, I have decided that the Hobbyzone Champ or Firebird Statos would be good choices. But which one........

Of the two which would be the better to learn with? I have read the comments in this thread and realize the the Stratos is a great plane that appears to be very easy to fly, but is it better than the Champ. Anyone willing to compare the two for me.

Thanks for the help!!
The number one reason to get the Stratos instead of the Champ is size. Understand that both planes are topwing "gliders" that float on air and have tons of lift so flying them is kinda easy. They are both 3-channel with elevator and rudder controls on the right stick so the controls are extremely similar. Flight characteristics are also similar. Both are made of strong foam and have reasonable powerplants for their size. With all that said, size is the biggest factor for choosing the Stratos and here is why....

1. Bigger is better in wind. The Stratos can handle a stronger breeze than the Champ and you will have more opportunities to fly in winds up to 8 mph which may be too strong for a novice with a Champ.

2. Orientation. With a bigger plane it is far easier to visually see which side is up and which way you are turning than it is with a smaller plane that is capable of reaching the same altitudes and distances of the Stratos.

3. Performance. Overall I feel the Stratos handles better and the larger size offers a little more durability in both electronics and airframe, and I feel that I am more confident in my abilities with the larger plane.

I have owned and repaired a total of 4 Champs. I have 3 elevator servo failures from flying in wind and having to use tons of down elevator to compensate, and I have wasted 3 motors. I had one brick fry. In defense of the Champ, I modded all of them with 3.7v 500mah batteries, and used the P51 props. I am a true believer after modding models that it is not in the best interest of the model. Yes, you can do it and have success, but when you enhance a product and increase its weight or change its flight characteristics from what it was intended for by the designers something else will fail soon enough.

IMO, i would actually purchase a Stratos for a friend cuz it is that good! Fear not and make this your choice and you will be satisfied.
Mr.Firemouth is offline Find More Posts by Mr.Firemouth
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 jakob98 Electric Sailplanes 0 Sep 09, 2011 05:48 PM
Sold Hobbyzone Firebird Phantom parts - $30 take all PACubFlyer103 Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 2 Sep 07, 2011 05:34 AM
Sold Hobbyzone Firebird Outlaw RTF - Great for kids and/or beginners baddb1 Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 0 May 08, 2011 07:36 PM
Discussion Why was HobbyZone Firebird Freedom RTF dicontinued? cschrein Beginner Training Area (Aircraft-Electric) 2 Apr 19, 2011 07:15 AM
Sold Hobbyzone Firebird Commander 2 Plus Extras banjo_nc Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 2 Apr 01, 2011 07:49 PM