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Old Apr 17, 2014, 11:16 AM
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Canada
Joined Dec 2003
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Airco DH2 ARF by Maxford USA

Hello all,

I just built and flew my first electric plane (I used to fly glow exclusively). I always get so much help from online threads that I thought this would be the best way to give some back.

The DH2 is a 1/6th scale with 50 inch WS ARF that is meant to be electric powered. The tag price is $219, but its very often on sale for $153 which is very reasonable in my humble opinion (plus shipping) . You can see the pricing and promotions at their website www.maxfordusa.com

Unfortunately Maxford sells the pilot, the Lewis gun/Windshield, and instrument panel separately but I don't blame them for the price of $153. Either you buy or make your own trimmings, the plane is truly a looker when its finished. In my case, I enjoyed making the trimmings myself with common items found in the office!! ha-ha

Quality:

When I received it, I was pleasantly surprised. All the components looked straight, nothing was missing, the building work was great. The only thing I could criticize a bit is the covering material. Although it is good, it could be of better quality to match the rest of the kit. Also the hardware was good, no doubt in using it all.
The only note here was: my hatch arrived with some sort of chemical corrosion damage. I called Maxford and they quickly enough sent me a new one. I would rate Quality at 9.5 for the woodworks and 8.5 for the hardware.


Building:

Before putting anything together, I would DEFINETELY recommend to read the manual in advance, and pre-fit the parts for the builder to understand how it all goes together. The DH2 is not 2 wings, 1 fuse, horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The DH2's wings come in 7 pieces and there are 2 tailbooms and 1 pusher motor in the way of the stabilizers, servos and rigging. There are many ways to put this plane together, so do yourself a favor and read the manual. I usually don't read the manuals in detail but this time I had to brake my own rule.

The manual is "good" , but it does not have enough pictures to verify some work. I had to make various Google searches and look at pictures online to corroborate certain things and ways to install, but no big deal. I made sure to download an addendum to the manual(at Maxford's website) and printed 1 magazine review on the internet which helped clarify tiny things along the way.


The manual also lacked information on thrust angles, or incidences, but since its an ARF I decided to just "go with it" . I called Maxford, and their support guy didn't know either, he said everything is pre-fitted to get the right measurements. I could tell he has a lot of experience , knowledge and was picky. Noticing it was not a concern for him, I let it slide -for a while-


Fitting was good, couple of details here and there, but again, no big deal at all. The biggest issue was the horizontal stab. When pre-fitted it in place, there was a "big gap" between it and the cradle where its supposed to sit and be glued to. My worries dissipated once I put epoxy on the stab and noticed the gap was completely filled by the glue.

SUPER IMPORTANT TIP: the cabane struts, which must be glued and screwed in place. Do NOT glue them until you know for sure they are not coming off anymore. Also do it with slow curing epoxy so you have time to wiggle them if needed. Upper and Lower wings can be joined by the struts and with the cabanes screwed in place. Only then, remove the cabanes, add glue to them and put the cabanes back in place.
I would rate fitting with a solid 8.5


Finishing touches:

Once the plane is put together, the manual calls for rigging. The rigging takes time, and you will likely need an assistant or wife for couple of hours! . However; before rigging, I took out my incidence meter and made sure there was nothing crazily out of whack. To my fortune, everything looked alright. It was not straight as an arrow, but within 1.5 degrees between left and right wings. No big deal for a slow flying plane. Next step was to rig the plane. If the manual is not clear enough for you, look for pictures online. I verified my work by doing that.


PS: Once the DH2 is put together, its put together! no putting it apart!


Flying:

The take off was at full power and the plane left the ground in a very predictable manner. It resembled a training taking off out of trim for the first time.

During my maiden flight, I noticed the plane was VERY nose heavy using the manual's indications. However; its a safe place to start. I removed nose weight in consecutive flights until -while in the air- I was able to cut power and the plane would lower its nose a bit for a nice glide slope. I also noticed the torque of the motor made the plane roll and I used quite a bit of trim to correct this. If you cut the throttle you will notice all of the sudden the plane flies straight. Just like the real bird used to do.


In addition, the DH2 requires a LOT of aileron to make the plane roll, however; such much aileron input made the turns shaky, as one wing wanted to stall. The use of mixer Aileron-Rudder is a MUST, just like in the real plane. I believe Differential will solve such issue, but there was no Differential back in 1916, so I will fly it like that, with mixer and nice wide turns.

Also, note this plane is very draggy because of the 2 wings and all the rigging, so you must keep some speed, especially when turning.

When coming for a landing, it behaves just like a trainer, EXCEPT that at the time of flare if you do not have some throttle, it the drag will slow it down very quickly to a stall. It will stall at a very low speed nonetheless, but it cannot come in without power like a trainer would, unless you dive it because of all that drag. -you can see this in my video below-

All and all, it is a very realistic and great purchase. It is a very different plane and if you appreciate warbirds and their quirks, you will like this one. It looks awesome on the ground, but it looks much better in the air!

Here is a video I took of my 4th flight. Notice how I stall it a foot off the ground

Airco DH2 by Maxford USA (2 min 25 sec)


I used an Eflite 60 Amp ESC and an Eflite Brushless 25 motor with an APC E-pusher prop.

Thanks for reading and I hope it is of use to somebody.
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Last edited by Rowarrior; Apr 17, 2014 at 11:25 AM.
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 11:36 AM
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eli5539's Avatar
Western New York
Joined Dec 2007
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Glad you wrote this up, I had looked at this one but did not know how well it would do in grass, now I know does not seem to be an issue
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 01:24 PM
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Canada
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yes, not a problem. Glad it helped
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 05:30 PM
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USA, VA, Bealeton
Joined Jan 2008
108 Posts
Wheels?

I appreciate the writeup. This is one bird I have always wanted in my collection; and this may be the way to go.

One question: What is the diameter of the wheels used in the kit? I fly off grass, and wheel size is a concern. Thanks; Ernie P.
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Old Apr 19, 2014, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernie P. View Post
I appreciate the writeup. This is one bird I have always wanted in my collection; and this may be the way to go.

One question: What is the diameter of the wheels used in the kit? I fly off grass, and wheel size is a concern. Thanks; Ernie P.
Hi Ernie,\

the wheels are small, like 3"

however, look at the video i posted in the thread, i flew it off grass and no issues
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Old Apr 19, 2014, 06:03 PM
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USA, VA, Bealeton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowarrior View Post
Hi Ernie,\

the wheels are small, like 3"

however, look at the video i posted in the thread, i flew it off grass and no issues
Thanks for the response. Three inches will be fine for my field. Anything less tends to be problematic. Having always wanted a DH 2, I'll check it out. Thanks; Ernie P.
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Old Oct 07, 2014, 12:50 PM
Ahhgh! Not ANOTHER new plane!
Robert Stinson's Avatar
San Diego, CA
Joined Dec 2001
2,731 Posts
FYI, it's on sale again until October 9th.

I was set to buy their Nieuport 17, but the discount on this was too tempting.

Rowarrior, some questions:
You mentioned you adjusted weight to get a good CG. Where did it end up?
I see you used an EFlite .25 on a 4S 3000 pack. It looks like it flies fine, are you happy with the power?What size prop?



Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by Robert Stinson; Oct 07, 2014 at 01:03 PM.
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