|Oct 04, 2007, 11:23 AM|
Air Earl: "Easy Control Happy Flying!"
I picked up a couple of these "Air Earl" EDF jets from Banana Hobby at $39.95 each. For the price of an evening at a local bar, this is cheap fun. Banana Hobby has an unusual lineup of stuff from Asian manufacturers that I haven't seen on local hobby store shelves. They got me the planes in three days. A buddy bought one off me to try out, and we met at the soccer field for some EDF fun.
A couple of things about the plane. It's EPS foam, so it's a bit on the fragile side if you auger it in. I put tape around the front of the nose to avoid gouging it up too much. Wingspan is about 31 inches or so. The radio is a typical RTF cheapie, but it works just fine. The throttle has three settings: full blast, cruise and low, for descents. It works exactly as advertised when the plane is trimmed correctly. I marked the stick positions on the transmitter for quick visual reference. The rudder control gives you full right or full left. Fortunately, the output arm has two holes in it, so I moved it in to the one closest to the "servo" shaft to get a softer response. Check that rudder deflection is equal; turn the clevis in or out to dial it in correctly before flight.
The Air Earl has enough power to ROG; I did it here in New Mexico at 6500 ASL, and it did just fine. It used up pretty much all the pavement at the soccer field parking lot (about 15 yard takeoff roll), but it lifted up with authority, and climbed out at about 35 degrees. A note here is that the stock wheels are on plastic stub axles which cause too much drag. I replaced them with some Du-Bro parkflyer wheels so I could have plastic hubs riding on the metal axles, and now it rolls nicely and picks up speed just fine. The landing gear is a bit on the soft side, so make sure it's dialed in for a straight roll before hitting the throttle and committing to takeoff. The plane is easy to hand launch: a firm toss forward and it floats away.
Once in the air, it's surprisingly docile. It floats around, looking very scale. It's pretty stable; turn inputs make it wobble side to side, but the rudder has a lot of authority and it straightens out very quickly. Holding the stick over will progressively sharpen the turn to the point of sideslipping, but its progressive and easy to moderate. The three position throttle allows for climbing under full power, level flight at the middle position, and descent at the low position. Throttle off results in a fairly steep descent.
Landing this thing is a bit hairy. It needs to be flown to the ground with some power. I've managed a couple of wheel landings that looked pretty decent, and I've tumbled it and dumped it on the grass a few times as well.
As far as trim, I needed some up elevator trim to get it to fly correctly. As trimmed out of the box it acted nose heavy. A tiny bit of up trim has it doing nicely.
Check out this neat little plane...
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|Oct 07, 2007, 06:32 AM|
Hi Capt Crash,
I saw the Air Earl at our local markets they were $70. Decided I might get one
the next week after looking on the forums for a review like yours. I like you review BTW.
After that I did an ebay search and eneded up getting one for $40 (US$36)
(auction price $5 sold + $30 postage)
First time I've ever bought a foamy and like this little plane, seems to have fair amount
of thrust when holding it. I have not flown it yet, and was to read that you say it
it has enough power to actualy fly.
I was thinking of putting my 7.4v 1000 mA li-pol batteries from one of my heli's in
it for my flight time and power/thrust. Do you think that might blow the electronics?
The battery compartment will have to be modified to about 1/3 larger and something done about the the C of G.
I think I'll have I bit of flying fun first though, just in case the li-pol blow it up.
|Oct 29, 2007, 01:43 PM|
I've got one and was wondering has anyone ever modified it with simple trust vector steering? I know that the Venom Micro fighters use this system and guys are using 7.4 LiPo 750Mah batteries. Thought it might be interesting.
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