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Old Apr 24, 2013, 01:29 AM
Luck is my skill
queadlunnrau's Avatar
United States, WA, Redmond
Joined Jun 2009
1,062 Posts
New Product
HobbyKing Mini Saturn F3A 3D EPO Airplane 580mm

HobbyKing's new Mini Saturn



Description from HobbyKing

If you're looking for a mini F3A 3D airplane with great looks and performance, the Mini Saturn is just the plane for you! Constructed from light density EPO foam, this model is ultra-durable yet still lightweight.

The Mini Saturn features massive control surfaces and a large side profile making it ideal for both F3A and 3D flight. The pre-installed 2S brushless power system provides all of the power you need for pulling off extreme aerobatics, while still providing good flight times.

This model is built light. The factory has used a process to produce very light density EPO foam reducing the overall weight by about 30% when compared to standard EPO. They then reinforce the frame with carbon fiber. Because of this, the model flies light with low wing loading, yet still maintains the durability you expect from EPO foam.

This version of the Mini Saturn arrives in "Plug and Fly" form meaning that the servos, motor and ESC are all pre-installed. You will simply need to add your own 4CH radio system and 2S lipoly battery.

Features:
• Light density EPO foam construction (30% lighter than standard EPO)
• Powerful brushless 2S power system
• Large control surfaces ideal for aerobatic and 3D flight
• "Plug and Fly" version with motor, ESC and servos
• Easy to build

Specs:
Wingspan: 580mm
Length: 690mm
Flying Weight: 120~140g
Motor: 1306-10 3100KV (included)
ESC: 6A (included)
Servo: 2.5g micro x 3 (included)
Propeller: GWS 6030 (included)

Included:
Mini Saturn Airplane (PNF)
All necessary hardware
User manual

Required:
4CH transmitter and receiver
2S 7.4V 200~300mAh lipoly battery

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Last edited by queadlunnrau; Apr 24, 2013 at 09:16 AM.
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 01:48 AM
Luck is my skill
queadlunnrau's Avatar
United States, WA, Redmond
Joined Jun 2009
1,062 Posts
Ever since I traded my TechOne Venus for a UMX Sbach, I've been missing my light foamy shock flyer. The Venus was the only plank I could fly in my small backyard confidently, I really loved that plane.

Along comes this Mini Saturn in the New Products page at Hobbyking.com and it looks just like a Venus but 1/2 the size!!! I thought this would be a perfect replacement for a backyard 3d flyer, and after receiving it yesterday, building it and running x4 lipo's at a local soccer field, I'm happy to report ... IT'S BETTER THEN I EXPECTED!!!

The box came in yesterday all smooshed and I had bad feelings, I took many pictures expecting to find a crushed plane inside to return, but to my amazement, Hobbyking did me right and packed the tiny plane's box inside a larger one with LOTS of cushin, so my Mini Saturn was protected and perfect.

Opening the Box I found one of the best hobbyking manuals I've received yet, full color pictures detailing the build with schematics as well on any tricky parts, I don't really care much about how detailed and colorful the manuals are, but thought I would note this for anyone reading who like having an easy and detailed manual, this one is pretty great.

The build of the plane was super easy, glue on wings, elevator, rudder, linkages and servo's (They come installed, but not glued in). Two things to note, on my kit I did have to ream out the GWS prop to fit the prop adapter, also this plane has a pull pull system for the rudder, but the manual does a great job of detailing how to install it.

Now on to the maiden, it was 7:30pm and the sun was going down quickly, but was too excited not to maiden. Winds were very light maybe 3mph. Drove to a close by soccer field set my timer to 4:30 and put in the first lipo. She needed a few clicks of down elevator and a decent and my ailerons I could not get trimmed? I put her down and noticed one of the z bend wires was loose from the shrink wrap and fixed it with a quick dob of CA. Put her back up in the air and trimmed her out for the rest of that lipo.

Second lipo, this plank needs only about 3ft to take off, and off she went! She's no speed demon, but this isn't meant to be one. Vertical on my setup is decent I can probably only get 300' or so, but I will test that at lunch today. What I wanted to test on the second lipo was my limited 3d capabilities. I can hover a plane all day long, but lately what I've been learning in Phoenix sim is flat spins and inverted flat spins, none of my other real models can I get a perfectly flat, flat spin, but this mini saturn ... makes me look like a pro, I tried a few regular flat spins and they weren't that flat, but it's my skill level, but once I tried an inverted flat spin it was perfectly flat and super slow, she just floated down spinning the whole way.

I was only able to put up one more lipo it was getting cold and dark, last lipo I was just so happy doing flat spins I just keep doing them over and over again lol. The next test would be to fly it on a windy day and see how much this can take, I'm betting not much at all, but I said that about the Venus and Katana and those both have surprised me as they can handle 10+mph winds easy!

So far I can safely say I really am enjoying this plane, I can foresee this one might go up to the top of my list as a fav if it keeps performing the way it did yesterday, I'm really excited to fly in my backyard again.

My Setup:
Stock ARF Mini Saturn
Nano-Tech 300mAh 35c 2s
R610 RX with case removed

Mods:
Cut some foam to have my fat lipo's fit.
Cut the JST and added a micro Deans
Added a tail wheel from a UMX landing gear
Added Carbon Supports under the wings (Not needed, but looks cool)
Changed out the pull pull system for just a carbon rod linkage setup (Only cause I cant crimp worth a $#%& and messed up one of my crimp jobs on the pull pull system)
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Last edited by queadlunnrau; Apr 24, 2013 at 09:52 AM.
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 09:56 AM
Luck is my skill
queadlunnrau's Avatar
United States, WA, Redmond
Joined Jun 2009
1,062 Posts
Some pictures of my new plank.

Hopefully I can get some video this week as well.
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:41 AM
Adam RED Weston
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Brier, WA
Joined May 2006
524 Posts
Mini Saturn building and flying experience

I'd like to throw in my two cents here... I got my Mini last week and after 3 hours in the shop had her ready to fly. This is a super easy kit to build, the instructions were very detailed (surprisingly so) and most everything is done for you! The only real challenge was making the pushrods and hooking up the pull-pull. If you have done any model building, you'll find this a great kit... A really simple build, even for a beginner (Note, it doesn't FLY like a beginner plane, there are much better options for beginner fliers).

Flying
I took the Mini out to a soccer field near work at lunch, my first impression was I had way too much aileron throw... I hadn't followed that part of the instructions, and guessed way too much. Landed and tuned them down. Next impression, even with some wind this little guy flies a lot like a pattern plane! The CG where I ended up (just about where the plans say) just makes this little guy groove. I did find the inverted flight to be awkward... the plane seemed to need up(!) elevator to maintain level flight while inverted, this is very disconcerting relative to most planes I've flown. I found the plane didn't snap roll terribly well, and it doesn't spin all that well either. I could not get the plane to flat spin at all (I'm not sure what I've done different from queadlunnrau, perhaps CG or less rudder throw)

I was flying off of "normal" grass and on the third landing with a dying battery I managed to break one of the landing gear struts. Unfortunately, the .06" carbon rod didn't hold up very well as it wasn't that hard of a landing. The repair didn't look like it was likely to succeed so I just too the gear off for my next flight... and honestly, I'm happy I did! The plane likes being lighter AND I found out the landing gear were what was causing the plane to have such a weird inverted flight. It now flies inverted with just a little down elevator just how you would want it... and NOW the plane flies like a pattern plane with the wheels retracted! IMHO, unless you are flying off a gym floor, or maybe an astroturf runway, I'd leave the LG off, it doesn't really need them. The EPO handles landing on its belly on the grass quite well, although the decals might peel a bit (boo-hoo).

After a few more flying sessions, I think the Mini really does track well. It handles wind better than any plane this small that I've flown. I felt I could use this plane to practice pattern maneuvers when I didn't want to go out to the big field. It flies like the wings are a little short, or maybe it flies like the tail is a little too long;-)

I have had a few "concerns" with the 4 gram servos (weighed with the horns and wires). My rudder servo seems flaky, I had to land once as it was stuck in the hard over position. I brought it in for an awkward landing and was able to get it loose by wiggling the stick. I would guess the pot is a bit erratic, and I've seen that on this servo before. I tuned down the rudder throw and its been ok since. I think if I may end up with a Dymond D47 for the rudder, and maybe all around if I find myself flying this more... they are just a much higher quality servo than what's in the kit.

I'm looking forward to playing with the CG and servo throws to see what the plane does. Right now, I wouldn't consider this an indoor plane in its current configuration, at lease not at the 35 foot ceiling where I fly. It might work indoors with a lot more throw and a lot further back CG... but it just doesn't want to turn tight the way I have it... she's too elegant for that!

I flew it with a 4 channel FRSky Futaba 2.4GHz rx (the one with the two antennae), and a 2S-180 mAh. I'll have to get my pictures uploaded, and some weights tomorrow.

Big picture this plane was SOOOO worth the $65 and 3 hours I spent on it, get one before they run out!

RED
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Last edited by RED_HLG; May 10, 2013 at 03:47 AM.
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Old May 11, 2013, 11:44 PM
Luck is my skill
queadlunnrau's Avatar
United States, WA, Redmond
Joined Jun 2009
1,062 Posts
Glad someone else finally has one!

Just like you I also ditched the landing gear after it broke on a grass landing, your absolutely right she flies sooo much better without them.

Even though this bird likes to be light, I've done a few mods since;
  • Added x2 carbon rod braces in the front fuse/foam (the front is weak in a crash)
  • Added clear tape to hold the canopy on, which also strengthens the front fuse.
  • Added "wing skids" on the front/rear fuse for landing on anything other than grass.
  • Using a Prop Saver now (had to dremel the motor shaft)

I've tried a few props as well, a 7x35 is too much and a 5x43 does give some extra speed, but less vertical(thrust?). The stock 6x3 seems the best

This is now my favorite plank, it's the one I keep in my car. I put on average 6-7 flights every day, when the weather permits.

I use 115% throws on everything with 45% expo (25% rudder) I got used to birds with a little squirrel in em.

Video of one of my first flights. Will make a new one soon now that I have a better feel for this bird now.
HobbyKing Mini Saturn F3A 3D EPO Airplane 580mm (2 min 8 sec)
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Old May 17, 2013, 01:12 PM
Low'n Slow is safest, right?
KaiWE's Avatar
Norge, Østfold, Fredrikstad
Joined Jun 2011
553 Posts
Hi guys!

Maidened mine today (in 10mph wind ) - what a fun little plane!

Even in the relatively high winds, it was a really good performer
Looking forward to see what she can do in less wind.
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Old May 17, 2013, 04:08 PM
Luck is my skill
queadlunnrau's Avatar
United States, WA, Redmond
Joined Jun 2009
1,062 Posts
Wow you guys are brave, I haven't taken mine out in anything more than 5mph gusts, but now I will need to try her out when it gets windy.
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Old May 20, 2013, 12:49 PM
Crash & Burn
rmgmag's Avatar
Glastonbury, CT
Joined Nov 2004
2,500 Posts
How's the power to weight? Does it have enough power to hover?
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Old May 20, 2013, 04:43 PM
Luck is my skill
queadlunnrau's Avatar
United States, WA, Redmond
Joined Jun 2009
1,062 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmgmag View Post
How's the power to weight? Does it have enough power to hover?
Plenty of power to prop hang and torque roll.

However, unlimited vertical ... not so much.
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Old May 23, 2013, 05:16 AM
Low'n Slow is safest, right?
KaiWE's Avatar
Norge, Østfold, Fredrikstad
Joined Jun 2011
553 Posts
Here is a video of one of my my first flights:
HK Mini Saturn (2 min 18 sec)


It was a bit on the (nose)heavy side, I was flying with a NanoTech 2S 460mAh...
Liked it better with a 2S 300mAh battery or even a 200mAh.
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Last edited by KaiWE; May 23, 2013 at 05:22 AM.
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Old May 23, 2013, 10:07 PM
Adam RED Weston
RED_HLG's Avatar
Brier, WA
Joined May 2006
524 Posts
We did a watts-up test on my Mini Saturn today... With a 2S 180 rated at 25C discharge we were really taxing the battery and drew it down so much that the amperage dropped down to about 4 amps. With a 300mAh 2S, we drew a steady 5.5 amps and kept the discharge to a minimum. So, I would guess about a 250 battery is about as small as you may want to go for full speed climb to the moon performance. Now, I'd you know how to pull that throttle back a little, than the 180 May be just fine, and keeps you nice and light...

Red
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 11:08 PM
Registered User
southeastern US
Joined Nov 2006
88 Posts
Thanks for the info on the HK Saturn, ive ordered one. Wondering if this would make a good aerobatic/3D trainer? Have lot of planes and stick time, but no real 3d experience. Also have the eflite inverza, but seems a bit fast for me to learn on, plus i dont want to destroy it right off.
Just put together a HK Dual Storm from kit and so far, really like it and starting to learn some moves, but its a bit big and i dont have much time to get to a flying field, so hoping this mini saturn will work well in my yard...Almost got the T1 Venus, but saw this one and seems a lot smaller, altho still like looks of the venus...
Can it fly pretty slow? I can fly many of my micros in my yard with no problem.
Have ordered a few 260 2s packs for it, any other info on battery recommendation or placement for CG, or any other advice for this bird would be greatly appreciated...looking forward to it!
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 11:35 PM
Adam RED Weston
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Brier, WA
Joined May 2006
524 Posts
Fstop,
My experience has been that this ship flies more like a pattern plane then a 3d plane. It flies pretty fast, and can be slowed down for landings, but had a tenancy to tip stall if flown too slowly. I don't think it's going to do quite what you are looking for. I have had good luck with something like a flat foamie epp for learning 3d. The epp yak comes to mind, or the Edge, both by lead feather, somewhere here on RCG is a thread or two. Maybe you can use the gear from the Saturn in something skewer and sturdier until you have 3d figured out.

Of course, mileage may vary :-)

RED
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Old Jun 29, 2013, 09:47 PM
Registered User
southeastern US
Joined Nov 2006
88 Posts
Thanks, Red.
Guess ill find out soon enough.
I suppose the smaller size just needs more speed too.
Hopefully i can still fly it in the yard some. Would you say it needs to fly faster than other typical scale micros though?
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