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Old Feb 25, 2010, 07:24 PM
No substitute for aspect ratio
SPasierb's Avatar
Norwalk, CT aka the Nutmeg State -- I just can't seem to find any %$#@! nutmeg here?
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1/3 scale Valenta Fox - first look and flight report

Okay, this is actually a second look because Dennis posted one photo a couple months ago from the AMA Show.

For your viewing pleasure is the 1:3 Valenta Fox. Sourced from Bob and his crew at Soaring USA. This is the second one in the USA and I understand they'll become more available later in the spring for the current waiting list and then priced in the $2500 neighborhood following that. Nothing up yet on the SUSA website save one really nice photo.

It is a very striking model. For comparison sake, the bench below is 84" x 42". Span on this bird is 170". Root chord is 17". Fuse is approx 87". Big mother of a 1" square carbon wing rod and nice aluminum pins at the trailing edge. I'm not sure on weight, but it's not bad at all just hoisting up the assembled airframe. Fixed gear, with the rear half is supported by a single large shock. Dual canopies, basic cockpit interior that can be blown out to the owners level of detail preference and insanity. Dual ailerons on each wing panel, airbrakes, rudder (the rudder is $#@! huge -- knife edge flight anyone?) and elevator. Elevator servo is mounted forward in the fuselage requiring a 48" pushrod run, so that might be a candidate for an optional move to the rear or will require a very stout giant scale carbon pushrod.

It's a two steps model. That is, two steps away it is immaculate. As Bob said, "Valenta is a B/B+ manufacturer at B prices." Upon close inspection (if you want my picture, look in the dictionary under anal retentive) there are a number of small annoying things that make me nuts. The majority can be fixed and worked around. The most obvious is that the break between the red and white paint on the fuselage is not crisp at all. My fix will be 1/16" pinstripe in black or the same blue as on the plane. In the 40 hours or so of additional fine detail work and final QA that a $5000 plane would have this would not occur, but that level of finish is not found here. The only thing that likely will remain a bug is sloppy corners on the aileron cut outs and a smudge in the "0" and other letters on the fuse left. Accepting suggestions now.

Not planning on doing a build thread, just outfitting with all JR digitals, 9100 dual power 2.4G Rx, etc. All straight foward stuff. It's for tow, so a release will be added. Anything exceptional comes up, I'll post it here.

So, I'm happy to shoot more photos, answer questions, etc. if needed. Any drooling issues and you're on your own with cleaning that up. It's a ton of sailplane and is going to look fantastic in the air -- 1/3 scale at 1/5 the dough.

Thanks for looking.

Steve
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 07:31 PM
aka Schleppmeister
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nice! Hope to see it in April

http://iflytailies.jimdo.com/
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 08:08 PM
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Looks beautiful Steve. Making me very jealous !
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 10:29 PM
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Corner Ketch, DE
Joined Sep 2005
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Is that from Hobby City?
Just joking SUSA
My Schleppers cant wait to Tow that beauty, Nife edge on tow?
Try not to turn this one into a V and watch out for those trees at SKSS (Inside Joke)
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 10:32 PM
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so. cal.
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So sorry that the model is disappointing Steve, I feel somewhat responsible since I gave it such a rave review in January, of course I never got to do a real closeup, although the one at the show looked really nice, and all the graphics looked sharp and well defined with no ragged edges as I recall. Valenta might feel pressured to get these out and may be slipping a bit in their haste to meet demand, hopefully as production ramps up they can pay closer attention to the details. I will say at the price it is selling it is still a superb deal, the last Krause model I got was a 1/3 Libelle that was $1600 to my door, for that I got a foam obeechi wing with no leading edge installed, no wing tips, ailerons just routed out needing finishing and facing, a raw glass fuselage with nothing installed, a nice big bag of parts, no retract or even wheel, a molded canopy frame that needed fitting and mounting, a clear canopy that needed to be cut out fitted, and I can go on and on. Of course the LET 1/3 Ventus 2c I got last year is really finished out nice needing only servo installation and minimal work, BUT, at a cost of about $4000. So I hope that as Valenta cranks out more Fox's, they will continue to improve the details and make everyone really happy with what potentially is a fantastic model at a great price.
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 11:12 PM
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Killingworth CT
Joined Nov 2008
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Looks good Steve, Congrats on a nice plane. As we spoke about and like Dennis say's, the price is right. ( although its hard to believe we can say that when we spend 2250 on a model airplane)
Cant wait to see it wiz by. I'll be by tomorrow to check it out.

LEN
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 11:24 PM
No substitute for aspect ratio
SPasierb's Avatar
Norwalk, CT aka the Nutmeg State -- I just can't seem to find any %$#@! nutmeg here?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeve View Post
Try not to turn this one into a V and watch out for those trees at SKSS (Inside Joke)
You do realize that both Len and I know were you live?
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 06:29 AM
slope'n the Colombian Andes
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Colombia, Antioquia, Girardota
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Your frustration is justified: Valenta should step up his game a bit. Such cosmetic details are easy to get right (sharp straight tools, good masking tape, and a bit of TLC) will make a lot of difference without bumping up the manufacturing cost (see also http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=765145).
That said, these flaws are merely cosmetic. What's more important is how the model flies. Have you weighed the components yet?

Dieter Mahlein, ShredAir
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 10:41 AM
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New York
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Yup, I share Dieter and Steve's take on Valenta...great value, fly nicely, but their models are a bit on the heavy side and it always looks like they rushed the last details of fit and finish. A shame as they have have designed some very nice models.

Steve
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 11:33 AM
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Ireland, County Kerry, Kerry
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Yes, I have a few Valenta planes, and would rate them middle of the pack in terms of quality. Generally pretty strong after considerable slope use. Good value, and good designs.

If the Fox is 170" w/s, that's 4.3 m, just a little larger than the common 4 m versions (Airworld, etc.) (One needs to be careful with Valenta specs, their Salto for instance stretches the tape to 4 m, NOT 4.5 m...)>
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 11:43 AM
slope'n the Colombian Andes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR View Post
...their models are a bit on the heavy side...
The weight at least will only help this Fox. My 3x Cappuccino really carries its weight well, even here at 5,600 feet MSL.

Dieter Mahlein, ShredAir
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 12:16 PM
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so. cal.
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At 4.3 meters the scale on the Fox is right about 1/3.3, the Salto they do is WAY standoff scale, basically 1/4 scale with an extended wing, but it is a great flying model and a nice deal.
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 01:04 PM
yyz
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USA, CA, Paso Robles
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Looks great Steve! Can't wait to see it fly. Do you have your 30 minute aerobatic performance planned and rehearsed yet? I want to see you visualizing before the flight like the Olympic downhill skiers....

Mike
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 01:35 PM
No substitute for aspect ratio
SPasierb's Avatar
Norwalk, CT aka the Nutmeg State -- I just can't seem to find any %$#@! nutmeg here?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yyz View Post
Looks great Steve! Can't wait to see it fly. Do you have your 30 minute aerobatic performance planned and rehearsed yet? I want to see you visualizing before the flight like the Olympic downhill skiers....

Mike
I am prone to pre-flight spasms, but they're nothing to do with visualizing. I was thinking an inverted, high speed pass through the inside of the "big circus tent" at the annual SKSS aerotow -- with a roll at mid span of course -- would be a good way to make it on YouTube.

BTW, I owe you an apology for not connecting last weekend. Made it to San Luis Obispo on Sunday, drank your wine ate a really excellent if not spendy dinner at CioPinot on Nipono Street. On these combo spouse/business trips, introducing the soaring aspect leads to point deductions and formal relations with the bride.
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 01:39 PM
No substitute for aspect ratio
SPasierb's Avatar
Norwalk, CT aka the Nutmeg State -- I just can't seem to find any %$#@! nutmeg here?
Joined Nov 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvanscho View Post

If the Fox is 170" w/s, that's 4.3 m, just a little larger than the common 4 m versions (Airworld, etc.) (One needs to be careful with Valenta specs, their Salto for instance stretches the tape to 4 m, NOT 4.5 m...)>
Yep, the tale of the tape is 170" which is 4.3 (4.318), not 4.4 in my book. I'm still going to go with 1:3 pilots as the 1:3.5 guy looks kinda puny in there.
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