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Old Jul 06, 2009, 09:48 PM
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My PZ Decathlon Goes into Storage - How I got to the Firebird Phantom pt 1

Over a year ago I got hooked on Air Hogs planes. So hooked, I picked up the following
  • Aero Ace Biplane (green, died in a puddle)
  • Aero Ace Jet (orange and black, gave this to a friend)
  • Aero Ace Sport (green, still lives, is awesome)
  • Aero Ace Biplane (black and red, missing a tail)
  • Jetscream (never quite right after being repaired)

Any of those planes is a great start to R/C planes, though of course the Sport model is by far the best. That plane can fly for 20 minutes at a time if you don't get radio interference. And it's impossible to kill them, short of landing it in a lake.

So this Spring I talked the wife into getting me a 3 channel plane for my birthday. Had my heart set on a Parkzone Super Decathlon (RC Groups review here). PZ lists it for 'intermediate' pilots, and given all the time I've spent with Air Hogs, I should be there by now, right? I mean, it seems to me the biggest hurdle a newbie has to overcome is the whole orientation thing, which you can tackle on the cheap and quite effectively with an Air Hog.

Except, I was wrong. I didnt even get thirty seconds of flight outta my Decathlon. She went up, turned right, then headed right for the ground at 40 miles an hour. The motor cowling, battery, wheels etc. went everywhere. Didn't dig much of a hole even.

Reflecting back on the event, I'm totally annoyed. Air Hogs are solid foam and take an absolute beating. Part of the forumla is they don't fly fast. The other part is they don't have to accommodate real servos, so there's really only foam, battery, and motor. There's no hollow core fuselage to destroy on impact.

The Decathlon is more hollow than foam. There's literally no protection from crashes. If you're looking for a second plane, totally do NOT get one.

I'm annoyed because it should have been obvious that the Decathlon would not withstand an accident just pulling the plane out of the box. And mostly I knew better. But dang that plane looks so nice, just sitting there in front of you. The bright yellow paint with white stars, the pretty wheels in their skirts, the mean looking motor poking out of the cowl. It practically screams FLY ME AND CRASH ME RIGHT NOW!

So I put the Decathlon wreckage back into the box it came from and now its lying in a corner of my basement. I hope to fix her up someday, but not anytime soon.
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Last edited by rabid_fish; Jul 14, 2009 at 02:36 PM.
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