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Old Aug 16, 2003, 02:57 PM
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Ben Lanterman's Avatar
St. Charles, MO USA
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Why don't you see reviews of really bad products.

The problem with a magazine publishing a bad review (I think and just my opinion) is that they are open to libel most all of the time.

To publish a bad review the reviewer must have at a minimum -

25 years as an aero. engineer (or appropriate technology).

25 years of evaluation and writing engineering reports accepted by peer group.

25 years of experience in building and flying model airplanes.

25 years of high regard concerning honesty from peer group.

25 years of ----- you can think of many things to fill in here.

Absolutely no axe to grind - proveable in a court.

Maybe if you are being really sporty you could lower the times to 20 years in some cases.

So why wonder if there arn't any bad reviews in a magazine. Very few folks can qualify under those guidelines. The guidelines can be greatly lowered if the review is a favorable one - from 25 years to about 2 months on some of the above.

You have to learn to see what is reviewed and what is not based on some reasonable assumptions of magazine space, time, whether or not the manufacturer has requested a review, etc.

At least when something is reviewed in a magazine you have some information to go by - you get a look at something that might not be in the local hobby shop, if there are flight shots at least it flew somewhere for long enough to take a few photos of it.

Then certainly have the wisdom to do a search here to find out the things that might make or break your desicion to purchase the airplane.

Regardless of how your decisions turn out good luck on them, this is a great hobby - it is still hard not to giggle when I see an electric power ducted fan A-10 take off and fly under my control.

That was a shameless plug to get some free GWS equipment.

Ben
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 03:56 PM
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N. Staffs, UK
Joined Jan 1997
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Re: Why don't you see reviews of really bad products.

Quote:
Originally posted by Ben Lanterman
That was a shameless plug to get some free GWS equipment.
Now there's your real answer. Everybody knows reviewers only write reviews so they can get free stuff. Obviously they're only going to want really good stuff for free. Nobody wants free rubbish so there's no point writing reviews of bad stuff.

- just in case anyone thinks I'm serious.

Steve
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 04:19 PM
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AirVenture's Avatar
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My theory is that the reviewers usually get the planes "donated" to them for the review. To keep on getting these free planes...thus allowing them to do further reviews, they give every plane a good review.

My two cents,
-Brett
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 04:23 PM
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Neil Morse's Avatar
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Joined Jul 1999
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Re: Why don't you see reviews of really bad products.

Quote:
Originally posted by Ben Lanterman
The problem with a magazine publishing a bad review (I think and just my opinion) is that they are open to libel most all of the time.
I assume this is a joke. The reason that bad reviews aren't published has nothing to do with libel. Bad reviews aren't published because the magazines are dependent on advertising revenue to survive, and they aren't going to "bite the hand that feeds them." Bad reviews never see the light of day, and many mediocre planes get good reviews, often published right next to a full page ad for the plane. I find the only way to get accurate information about planes is the E Zone forums where you can find commentary by actual consumers.

Neil
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 04:49 PM
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Bingo. Magazines rely on advertising, if you give a bad review to a product, the manufacturer will pull their advertising. Pretty simple. Some manufacturers are tolerant of SOME criticism, some are absolutely zero-tolerance. Depends.
Before somebody chimes in about a certain pulp paper magazine that claims to be totally fair and honest...PLEASE. It ain't so.
As far as getting reveiws off of a website, well...take THAT with a grain of salt, too. Sometimes you will get someone amaturish and they will do a poor job of reviewing something. And THEY(you guys know which site I am talking about) are EXACTLY the same as any magazine with their relationship to sponsors. THIS site is pretty good about letting reviewers say their piece.
Just take all sources, from glossy mags, to website, to the old crows who sit on the fence at your club, with a big grain of salt, and make up your own mind.
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 04:54 PM
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Pearland, Texas
Joined Jul 2002
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In a nutshell, most RC magazines are a joke. Wil Byers does a good job with Quiet Flyer, the best, compared to the other dish rags. I never take a review by a magazine and base my decision on that. I only use the magazine reviews to see what is new, what they did to build it , etc... Then if I am interested, I just go to the lovely eZOne discussion groups and find REAL info about the product.

Thanks eZone!
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 05:09 PM
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Patrick Plawner's Avatar
United States, CA, Burlingame
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Come to read some of my reviews, and you'll read some bad reviews.

Just pick the Robbe Spitfire, for a try...


http://plawner.net/
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 05:10 PM
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R/C report USED to do honest reviews. Most really weren't bad, just mentioned a few areas that really needed improvements. BUT their advertising $$ sufferd ( I am assuming) and they too have changed their style. Now the only time a problem is encountered it is usually a trivial issue at best.

I even wrote to one of their more experienceed reviewers when he did a glowing review on a plane I just compleated. I thought the kit was junk, ( die crunched parts didn't even come close to fitting the plans, the wood was so hard it could drive nails, etc) but he thought it was great. When I emailed him to see if he maybe got a different run of the kit or something, he had the same issues I did, but he replied that it was mass produced and things like this were to be expected. :roll:

My favorite glowing review was from a certain Air Age rag. They reviewed the Great Pains Fear Jet ( AKA Lear Jet) the one statement that got me was "even though we had to resort to handlaunching the model it was a surperb modle" Well maybe those weren't the exact words, but close. Now this is a heavy .40 ( 5-6#) size modle. Hand launch???? And the ones I have seen were not even mediocer fliers...

I like most here, look to the internet ( mostly here) for typical user comments/etc. I also take into account the person posting and if they have a history of hating a particular type of model, etc....
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 05:11 PM
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That's not true. There are some GREAT mags out there. A small, partial list:
RC Jet International
RC Scale International
Flying Models
RCM&E
Stunt News
...man, there is a bunch of em.
I think the prime complaints are about Model Airplane News, yes?
Like you, I would never take a magazine review and base my decision on that. Nor would I take a WEBSITE reveiw and base totally on THAT, either.
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by aeropal
RC Report Magazine "calls them as they see them".
Ugh. Like I said, SOMEONE would say that. Just because it is on pulpy cheapo paper does not make it any more or less biased than any other mag. Far as I am concerened, THAT mag has become the sole organ of a certain bunch of modellers, it's even more propoganda than MAN, with LESS useful information. I don't buy it.
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rcav8r2
R/C report USED to do honest reviews. Most really weren't bad, just mentioned a few areas that really needed improvements. BUT their advertising $$ sufferd ( I am assuming) and they too have changed their style. Now the only time a problem is encountered it is usually a trivial issue at best.

I even wrote to one of their more experienceed reviewers when he did a glowing review on a plane I just compleated. I thought the kit was junk, ( die crunched parts didn't even come close to fitting the plans, the wood was so hard it could drive nails, etc) but he thought it was great. When I emailed him to see if he maybe got a different run of the kit or something, he had the same issues I did, but he replied that it was mass produced and things like this were to be expected. :roll:

My favorite glowing review was from a certain Air Age rag. They reviewed the Great Pains Fear Jet ( AKA Lear Jet) the one statement that got me was "even though we had to resort to handlaunching the model it was a surperb modle" Well maybe those weren't the exact words, but close. Now this is a heavy .40 ( 5-6#) size modle. Hand launch???? And the ones I have seen were not even mediocer fliers...

I like most here, look to the internet ( mostly here) for typical user comments/etc. I also take into account the person posting and if they have a history of hating a particular type of model, etc....
THANK YOU on the RC report thing. Last time this was mentioned, I got shouted down, but I know what the deal is with RCreport, I'm not fooled.

On the second part, well...MAN pushes it WAY too far. Glowing reviews no matter what. They are losing their audience and credibility very rapidly, they are heading down the tubes.
But you know...they have been coming and going since 1929...I think MAN will change and survive, they have gone through this cycle of badness before.
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Patrick Plawner
Come to read some of my reviews, and you'll read some bad reviews.

Just pick the Robbe Spitfire, for a try...


http://plawner.net/
Okay. I read that review and learning nothing at all.
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 05:33 PM
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United States, CA, Burlingame
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What do you mean ????

I wrote the below, which for anyone, should prevent BIG TIME, from ever buying this fragile flying rock.


-----------------------------------------------
Take-off: Very hard. Mine crashed so many times on take-off, using the folding propeller. The one time I used the non folding propeller, it took off ok, but then, on landing, the propeller touched the ground and broke. Chances are that the shaft could be hurt then.

Flight behavior: Not enough data yet. So far, so bad with the standard setup

Landing: Difficult as strong tip stall behavior. Needs speed to fly, there is no landing gear and the foam is fragile. Bad equation... Foam, even dense, will break easily on landings

Flight Time: Don't know yet, crashed before measuring...
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 05:42 PM
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I mean, THAT review tells me nothing. Did you hand launch it properly? What did it weigh? What did the manufacturer say the weight should be? Did you add a pound of paint? Was the folding propeller included in the kit? The motor? Is that the recommended combination? Are you telling me that the Robbe Spitfire does not fly? Because I remember reading a reveiw in one of the British Magazines, one that is pretty straight, from what I have seen, that said it flies fine.
Are you saying that Robbe spent a small fortune on foam injection molding tooling on an unflyable plane?
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Old Aug 16, 2003, 05:52 PM
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There is almost nothing unflyable....

And I don't know how much Robbe invested to build this plane, but this is indeed, actually the WORSE plane I ever flew.

When I say "flew", this is exagerated.

Stock, it flyes like a rock, and you are assured that very soon, one of the landings will endup either in a tip stall, either with some broken foam, and even better, with a broken prop, as the prop touched the ground (unless you use folding...)

Yes, this is, this was as it is not sold anymore, a VERY BAD plane.


Not stock, using stronger motors... ??? Then I don't know.
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