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Old Feb 04, 2015, 01:01 PM
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Iflyrc_vic's Avatar
USA
Joined Dec 2004
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I included most of that in my list in a previous post to this thread. I have since, built and flown the cute little rascal. It is not a trainer. You have to be careful on take off as the rudder will cause ground loop. The extremely stiff landing gear makes it challenging to "grease" the landings. However, with my power system, this bird can be somewhat aerobatic (loops, roles, stall turns, etc). It will fly in a scale fashion with throttle management. I like it!
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Old Feb 04, 2015, 06:49 PM
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United States, CA, Mt Shasta
Joined Jun 2010
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ya...I'm not real thrilled about scale flight on this model. The rudder surface is so large I had to really dial down the rates there. I wish it flew a little slower and floated a bit better. Really like the way it looks though. My problem is with ground looping is on landing. Challenging, but I have perfected the landing about 40% of the time. The LemonRX with stabilizer totally eliminates the problems with take off and really smooths the flight. It just can't totally straighten out the tail dragger problems.
MIke
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Old Feb 06, 2015, 12:39 PM
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United States, NM, Santa Fe
Joined Nov 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseyj38 View Post
This kit does indeed have some problems. This is what I have found so far:

Poor quality
Clevis Pins had enlarged tips that would not go into servo arm or the other side of the clevis
Push rods not music wire; they bend during installation and bind in the tubes
Hook and loop tape not useable; sticky tape separates from hooks/loops
Wheel pant bracket is soft alloy; too easy to strip the threads
Flat on landing gear for wheel pant bracket is not correct; places pant trailing edge on ground

Shoddy construction
Battery tray was not glued sufficiently; it came loose during assembly

Poor attention to detail
Strut attachment hole on fuselage is too near landing gear strap hole; had to trim the strap or strut end
Flap/aileron combined length is short of trailing edge opening; excessive gaps between fuselage/flap/aileron/wing tip
Instructions say to mark wheel pant for holes; holes are already drilled in my kit
Wing rib next to fuselage is perpendicular to wing spar, not angled to allow for dihedral; leaves gap between fuselage and that rib except at contact point on top.
Caution noted for ESC leads to allow connection to receiver; should also note connection to battery
Box states “sub-micro servos” are required; should include requirement for servo length =23mm (PKZ1081 at 24 mm will not fit)
Control rods and strut threaded rods are long; clevis’ have to be twisted on to the limit
Predrilled holes for landing gear brackets and strut attachments were about 2 mm; screws supplied were too small

Am I too picky for an ARF?
Much the same for me. Probably logged 15 hrs for construction. Am currently building the Taylorcraft 450. It has a raft of similar problems (will detail them later over in that thread). This is only my 5th ARF. The two E-Flite products have been the worst of the lot; Poor fit, hardware that is cheap, poorly sized, or in some cases totally unusable (I still had to pay for it though). Just a general lack of attention to fit and detail, even though the finished products looks great.

Can't help but compare them to what is undoubtedly the best of my lot, the Multiplex Fun Cub. The FC can be had for less than the E-Flite models, and has virtually no real issues other than some weak plastic structural parts (most builders alter them). The fun Cub is an outstanding flyer and can take a massive amount of punishment. I fear even a minor crash with the E-Flite birds (haven't flown the Piper yet due to having several eye surgeries last year).

I will have to fly these birds to come up with a final judgement. In truth, I likely have just as good a time flying my foamy scratchbuilds, and even inexpensive products like Flite Test's $50 Simple Storch , without the stress of worrying about destroying a delicate wood build that cost a good bit more, and took many hours of struggle to assemble.
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Old Feb 06, 2015, 12:53 PM
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Wmetcalf - although this model has a lot of construction and quality issues, you will be hard pressed to find one that looks as good in a balsa built ARF for the price. You are also correct about it's flight characteristics. The fun cub will fly a lot better with it's stabilization system. It is not the best flying plane in my hangar of 16+ flying models. I am just not a great fan of foamies. In this hobby, it is all about personal preferences.
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Old Feb 06, 2015, 04:20 PM
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United States, CA, Mt Shasta
Joined Jun 2010
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Well I have something to say about this also. This was my first balsa. I've heard that nothing flys like balsa and I'm becoming a fan. Mostly because of the sound. The covered balsa makes a sound box, like a guitar. I really like the way she sounds on take off and powering up on go arounds. I really like the shiny covering, it looks great in the air. Styrofoam is just kind of dull and gets that "hagar rash". Still really like foamies for their ease of repair and the variety of great design.
I got a chuckle about wmetcalf's 15 hr build. I had that much time just putting the landing lights in! My build wound up being 64 hrs. I installed eight lights all switchable on and off. Below is a photo of the wiring before I neatened it up. The 64 hrs also included sculpting my own pilots, Tintin and Snowy.
Difficult and some poor design, right down to the shipping box; good thing she's a beauty!
MIke
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Old Feb 06, 2015, 05:25 PM
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United States, CO, Grand Junction
Joined May 2010
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Doah!
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Old Feb 06, 2015, 05:38 PM
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United States, NM, Santa Fe
Joined Nov 2009
272 Posts
You guys hit the nail on the head about the looks. Having spent my life as a scale modeler in many disciplines...there's just nothing that has quite the same appeal as a great realistic looking airplane. That's the primary appeal for me about these models. And they remind me of my years of scale rubber free flight modeling.

I don't have that much of a problem with the minor glitches in these models, that require mods or re-designs. I'm well aware of how much time I would have to invest to build the airframe. You must remember that the person who is sitting on the assembly line hacking this stuff together hour after hour doesn't have the same interest in it that we do. There's only so much the producers can expect on that front. What irritates me most is hardware and fittings that don't spec out, or sometimes don't even work at all! Assuming the proper fittings have been provided, all the assembly people have to do is get the count right when bagging the stuff up. Amazingly...most of the time they do! But the correct parts count doesn't do me much good if the parts are crappy.

Having spent a few years as a toy designer, I know that a design that costs a penny too much can kill the project and keep it from ever getting to market. As a hobbyist in a relatively demanding hobby that requires loads of investment of time and money, a few extra bucks tacked on to a kit for good quality, proper fitting hardware is something I would gladly accept.
After all...how many "one-timers" are going to support this end of the market?

I'm now old, with full vision remaining in only one eye. I have great difficulty in seeing well enough to just assemble one of these things (much less fly them!). So it should be recognized that besides the looks, I am buying these things for ease of assembly. Many of them fall far short. But I don't think they have to.
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Old Feb 07, 2015, 11:33 AM
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Bensalem, PA.
Joined Sep 2001
488 Posts
I am a builder and flyer with 30+ years experience. I have typically built from scratch or from balsa kits. Mostly sport models with film coverings. I also use carbon fiber and other composite materials along with some foam (on rare occasions)
That being said, the new world of "Arfdom" took me a while to get used too. In recent years I fly all electric now and have a fleet of balsa arf models that I regularly fly. I do enjoy flying three old foam Zaggi"s that I have had for about 15 years. All my aircraft use brushless motors and lipos and I fly on 2.4 gHZ radios. I recently built the eFlite PA 20 and a Great Planes Curtiss P6E. The overall construction and covering job on both were excellent. The GP model extremely nice. Both used some cheap hardware which I replaced from my inventory of spare parts.
I agree with what has been said here in these threads. However, although I always enjoyed building and covering airframes, the quality of these arfs does save a lot of time. Using my prior knowledge to modify arfs has given me some excellent models with a minimum investment of time. Cost wise these planes are a good deal too all things considered.
My only caveat for newer modelers would be to coordinate with some more experienced builders/flyers in order to assure a positive outcome. My two cents!
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Old Feb 07, 2015, 12:48 PM
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United States, CA, Mt Shasta
Joined Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gil Weiss View Post
I am a builder and flyer with 30+ years experience. I have typically built from scratch or from balsa kits. Mostly sport models with film coverings. I also use carbon fiber and other composite materials along with some foam (on rare occasions)
That being said, the new world of "Arfdom" took me a while to get used too. In recent years I fly all electric now and have a fleet of balsa arf models that I regularly fly. I do enjoy flying three old foam Zaggi"s that I have had for about 15 years. All my aircraft use brushless motors and lipos and I fly on 2.4 gHZ radios. I recently built the eFlite PA 20 and a Great Planes Curtiss P6E. The overall construction and covering job on both were excellent. The GP model extremely nice. Both used some cheap hardware which I replaced from my inventory of spare parts.
I agree with what has been said here in these threads. However, although I always enjoyed building and covering airframes, the quality of these arfs does save a lot of time. Using my prior knowledge to modify arfs has given me some excellent models with a minimum investment of time. Cost wise these planes are a good deal too all things considered.
My only caveat for newer modelers would be to coordinate with some more experienced builders/flyers in order to assure a positive outcome. My two cents!
Well said and exactly why I check the ARF's thread daily. Good thing I can only buy online, it gives me about 10 days to do my "homework" and read up on the posts. This was my first ARF and first balsa. I have the up-most admiration for the "balsa builders of old" and glad they can share their experience with me on line here at RCGroups.com. Thank you to all who went before me.
Mike
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