|Wingspan:||44 in (1120 mm)|
|Wing Area:||296 in² (19.1 dm²)|
|Weight w/o battery:||25-28 oz (710-790 g)|
|Length:||36.5 in (925 mm)|
|Wing Loading:||12.2-13.6 oz/ft² (37-42 g/dm²)|
|Servos:||ElectriFly™ ES50 Nano servos (included|
|Transmitter:||TACJ0404 Tactic 4-channel radio (included)|
|Receiver:||TACL0424 Tactic 4-channel 2.4GHz receiver (included)|
|Battery:||SUPP1030 SuperTigre 11.1V 1250mAh 15C LiPo (included)|
|Motor:||SuperTigre® 400 brushless motor (included)|
|ESC:||SuperTigre 20A brushless ESC (included)|
|Prop:||9x6 Propeller (included)|
|Available from:||Fine hobby stores|
The NexSTAR has gone mini!
Its "mini" status means that this is a plane you can throw in the backseat and head to the field. The NexSTAR Mini is also an RTF and you can build this plane in 20 minutes - FOR REAL! It comes with a brushless motor, a lipo battery, a charger and a 2.4 TX. This plane has ample power, good looks, comes in at a great price and is totally complete.
The NexTAR Mini arrived in a moderately sized box. Everything was well protected by foam. Its box, that includes a handle, is a great way to store and carry the plane. This RTF goes together so quickly that you should get out the provided battery charger and lipo ahead of time because you will be finished with the plane before the battery is charged.
I really have to brag on the way this planes goes together. I read over the instructions and literally had it ready to fly in 20 minutes. I used two screwdrivers (a small one and a medium size one) and a wrench to tighten the nut on the prop adapter. Everything that was prebuilt looked to be of good quality to me, and I did not feel like I had to modify or strengthen anything. You could literally take this RTF and build it in the field with no problem. I am impressed.
The fuselage comes loaded up and ready to go. The servos are pre-installed, the rx is installed and uses Velcro to stay in place. All the control rods and clevises are already installed, as well as the speed controller and brushless motor. I was blown away at how complete it was.
You will find that the elevator and rudder are made to fit together. One thing to note is that the rudder has a notch in it that is covered by the covering. The rudder and elevator will not fit until you cut this covering away. These two pieces then slide into the fuse. I slid the control rods into the control horns and screwed in the two provided wood screws to secure everything.
After I slid the control rod into the elevator and rudder control horn I made sure to tighten them up! The other side gets tightened in the "Radio Installation" section.
The wing has the servos and control rods already installed. There is a y-harness coming out of the fuselage. I took my label maker and marked the wires to keep things simple in the future.
After connecting the wires, all I had to do is line up the dowel in the front of the wing with the hole and then screw the wing on with the supplied screw, being careful not to overtighten the wing and also making sure the wires weren't hanging out before tightening.
There really is no "installation." After I had the tail group assembled, I made sure the servo arms were 90 degrees and tightened up the screws that secure the control rods to the elevator and rudder.
This is a really amazing RTF. It comes with a great brushless motor and speed controller, and the supplied lipo is good quality. There really is nothing to do other than to put on the prop adapter, spinner and prop (it comes with an extra prop). It really is that easy.
A charger for the lipo is included. I started the battery charging while I was building the NextSTAR Mini EP. Remember, the white plug from the battery goes into the charger.
I usually put the Velcro on the back of of the battery so I can read the info on the battery in the future. The access hatch has a very nice embedded magnet and, once again, it is all ready to go and needs no building at all.
I have been building RC planes for many years, and I'm not used to RC models coming with transmitters. I'm especially surprised that the NextSTAR Mini EP came with a 2.4 TACJ0404 Tactic 4-channel radio! That is really nice for the price.
Once at the field, it is important to know how to arm the ESC and set the safe start function:
As a safety precaution to prevent the motor from rotating when the battery is first connected, the ESC must be "armed" every time the battery is connected. The propeller will NOT rotate until the ESC is armed. To arm the ESC, move the throttle stick to full position, then back to "off". The motor will then rotate anytime the throttle stick is advanced away from the "off" position! Watch out for that prop!
The NexSTAR Mini has more than enough power. I would suggest that a beginner stay under half throttle. The plane will take off at quarter throttle. The great part having more than enough power is that if your a beginner the plane can grow along with your skills. If you are already a sport pilot, you won't have to think about upgrading the power plant.
The plane built so fast and easily that I was reluctant to put her into the air. I'm used to spending many days and nights getting a plane ready to fly, so 20 minutes of build time just didn't seem like enough! My reluctance went away as soon as I took to the air. The plane flies great!
Both days of testing there was almost no wind.
As you can see in the video, the plane takes off easily. The NexSTAR Mini tracked well on the ground. The supplied brushless motor creates enough power to "torque" the plane during takeoff, so be careful to not give it too much power. I hit the throttle, and the plane took off with authority. A light touch on the elevator was enough to get the plane off the ground quickly. I could do scale takeoffs or jam the throttle, add some rudder to keep the nose going the right way and jump off the ground.
I was amazed when I landed, chopped the throttle, and was able to taxi right to my feet.
Landing with the throttle off is possible but the plane really wants to land with some power applied. The landing gear is made to take a hit, and that's great, but it does make it hard to "grease" the landing. My best looking landings were made by flying the plane to the ground with the throttle always on. I managed to do get some pretty landings after just a few tries.
The NexSTAR Mini has enough power to do loops, and it does feel fast in the air because of its size and weight. It does have nice stall characteristics, and I managed to get a slight harrier out of the plane just for fun.
The wing assembly is definitely designed for beginners. The wing will give slightly on a rough landing, and if you hit too hard it should come off without breaking the fuse. The "spin control" air foil extensions are something I put on my trainer. These make a stall mush forward and keep the plane from spinning out of control. There are also some cool looking speed brakes which help slow the plane down for landing. I want to point out that the NextSTAR Mini is also very much like a sport plane and has more power than most beginner planes. I think this is a good thing that allows the plane to grow with your skills.
Here is my video of the NexSTAR Mini EP:
Below is a great video showing more of what the NextSTAR Mini EP has to offer:
I can't say enough about how easy this RTF is to put together. From the build, to the covering to the power supply, the quality is top notch. This is the perfect size plane for the car. I was impressed with the power, too!
Thanks very much to Victor Mattingly for helping with the video!Last edited by Angela H; Jan 27, 2010 at 06:05 PM..
|Jan 26, 2010, 10:53 PM|
Joined Feb 2006
Excellent review here, well done !
I have this one, and still amazed on its beautiful handling, I have loads of snow here so frequent the hand launch which is does quite well, if your use to deadstick landings this one is easy, simply drop the nose if necessary to keep things flying, it comes in on the money...love this bird !
I caution its speed for the novice, even at just over half throttle it zooms slightly compared to my other trainers, but its solid handling, slightly coarse on the ailerons but not bad...mine has only a wire for the nose landings in the snow simply to keep the prop clear and works fantastic...give it all stars, dozens of flights and no issues...nice design here, its indeed a winner...love it !!
Note I don't fly mine below half throttle, just me perhaps but this one wants to fly !!
One other alert on this puppie, its slightly small so don't fly out too far even over 12 seconds one direction with any speed and makes a tiny targer for my older eyes, simply keep it in a good visual range, nearly lost mine on an early maiden turning abit late but caught a view of the wings as it turned and able to bring her back, just be aware..<>..
|Jan 27, 2010, 02:24 AM|
Good job with the review. This does seem like a pretty complete trainer setup along with their larger version. If I were just starting out I would definitely consider this plane. As it is I might pick one up as a loaner for some buddies I'm trying to get into the hobby.
I just thought I'd point out though that it's NexSTAR not NextSTAR.
It kind of reminds me of spectrum vs Spektrum. Good thing I'm a Futaba guy.
|Jan 27, 2010, 07:20 PM|
Joined Jan 2004
Thought I'd point out however:
On Tower's website
The RTF version is $269.97
The RR (receiver ready) version - No Radio, Battery or charger - is $189.99
|Jan 28, 2010, 01:01 AM|
It is cute
I enjoy flying the big Nexstar at our training nights. Maybe this one will be nice for that too. It's good that it comes with a receiver-ready version because mostly we use Spektrum around here and that's what works with our trainer boxes. I'll be interested to give this one a try when ever we can get it around here.
|Jan 28, 2010, 08:36 AM|
Joined Feb 2006
I wouldn't even hesitate on this one, is slightly quick for a beginer but with help from an experienced pilot is an awsome flyer, simply love mine todate, friend of ours has a version similar to the big Nexstar and flys very well indeed, my mini I never tire doing low speedy passes and the aileron rolls are a breeze, lands easily...give it all stars...true winner here !!
Again a very nice review and well done ..BEST ..<>..
Pssst for those that easily tire on just a few flights with the Super Cub or Slo-Stick, and learn quickly, this is the one, no question !!! Will have a thrill ride defintely and love it !!
|Jan 28, 2010, 09:59 AM|
Joined Nov 2009
My car of kind of cramped and I was wondering, given how the wing attaches to the fuselage, is it possible and ok to take the wing on and off between flights to make transport easier; or, would that compromise the strength of the plane.
|Jan 28, 2010, 11:33 AM|
Joined Nov 2009
Well, I am training with ailerons on a foam Decathlon, which has been great, and am close to feeling confident enough to have a wood based plane at this point, and one that is faster.
|Jan 28, 2010, 04:30 PM|
From this review, it sounds like this little Nexstar flies like the wet engine one and I have had a total of 9 Nexstars. Great plane to fly.
I have learned a lot, had more fun with my Nexstars than could be possible with a trainer.
This little one, with floats would be a great float plane and it is priced right.
|Feb 02, 2010, 10:42 PM|
Good Review. How is the flight time with the provided lipo and good throttle management?
I want to get this airplane, but I am looking for something that flies at least 20 minutes
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