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Old Aug 11, 2011, 06:34 PM
My Co-Pilots Rock!!
wolfewinde's Avatar
United States, FL, Clearwater
Joined May 2011
1,665 Posts
Heya Guys.

The reason I asked about this plane is that I am looking or another plane for my 6 yr old grandson. He has flown about a dozen batteries on a buddy box with me, and has soloed his Champ pretty successfully. I need plane that can fly in space of about 4 vacant lots in a subdivision and can be flow by a beginner , but not a rank beginner.

I will be interested to see what you guys who are flying this plane think about it

Thanks
Wolfe
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 02:45 PM
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United States, MA, Newburyport
Joined Aug 2011
22 Posts
I have noticed after a few nosedives into the grass that the nosecone has cracked pretty badly. I ordered a replacement fuselage and should be here in a few days. Good thing is, replacement parts are pretty inexpensive.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 05:12 PM
IWC
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Joined Feb 2003
2,775 Posts
http://www.stevensaero.com/Trainers-p-1-c-37.html

You cannot go wrong with the Squirt 400 trainer if you don't mind building.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 10:12 PM
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Joined Mar 2011
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It came in yesterday in perfect shape. No probs gettin it together (Ain't th new tecnology GR8). Charges th 2 batteries (I got an extra), and gave it a go. WOW, more fun than a 'Barrel of Monkeys'. Flite 1-Short and nose into bushes. Add a little up elev, Then Flite 2-...Be Darned, I can fly a bit. Got to watching it and forgot about ...'The Tree' Finally figured how to get it down without climbing it.

Up-Shot...No damage other than cosmetic. My First really well made Model that workes as advertised. A bit pricey at $94 but the fun was ...well, electric
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Old Aug 13, 2011, 04:00 AM
BGR
Foam Junkie
United States, CA, Oceanside
Joined Dec 2003
1,656 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfewinde View Post
Heya Guys.

The reason I asked about this plane is that I am looking or another plane for my 6 yr old grandson. He has flown about a dozen batteries on a buddy box with me, and has soloed his Champ pretty successfully. I need plane that can fly in space of about 4 vacant lots in a subdivision and can be flow by a beginner , but not a rank beginner.

I will be interested to see what you guys who are flying this plane think about it

Thanks
Wolfe
Many say that the next step from the Champ is the Parkzone Ultra Micro T28 Trojan PKZU1500 at $99.99. It is 4 channel and will probably require more buddy box work but it uses the same equipment that you already have.
http://secure.hobbyzone.com/rcplanes.../PKZU1500.html Oddly enough the RTF version is the same price as the BNF.
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Old Aug 16, 2011, 11:47 AM
My Co-Pilots Rock!!
wolfewinde's Avatar
United States, FL, Clearwater
Joined May 2011
1,665 Posts
Got to fly one of these this morning. It flew very well. Maintains altitude at about half throttle and flys reasonably slowly. Turns were pretty smooth, though it might benefit from increasing the rudder size just a touch. Should be a good beginner plane.

Heya BGR - I think the T-28 is too much of a step up for a 6yr old at this point. He and his Dad are both still learning and they don't live close enough for me to buddy box them anymore - just did that while they were visiting to get them started. Might pick up one of those for myself, though, to fly out in front of the house

I already picked up a GP Flylite for them for my son's birthday. Am thinking this one might make a good Christmas present now that I have seen it fly in the hands of a beginner and been able to fly it myself.

Wolfe
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Old Aug 24, 2011, 01:29 PM
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United States, MA, Newburyport
Joined Aug 2011
22 Posts
Been flying this for two weeks now and have been having a blast. It could fly out to sea and float away to Ireland now and I feel I got my $100 worth and then some. So to the guy that said "don't waste your money," well... you can ignore him. Fun plane and well worth a c-note.

I have build my confidence up enough that I took it out today. We have a sustained breeze of about 8-9 MPH today and gust up to 12. I was able to maintain control nearly the entire time. At 1/2 throttle and a bit of down elevator it seems to cut through oncoming wind with no problem.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 08:37 PM
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Joined Feb 2006
418 Posts
Went to the LHS today, it is difficult to keep from looking at it, hanging below the ceiling.

It reminds me of the EZ Star, one of those has lived here for 6 years without being assembled. The Cox bird would not have that 'assembly' problem.
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Old Aug 31, 2012, 12:15 AM
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Joined Aug 2012
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This is my story with the Cox Sky Cruiser, a remote control airplane and glider made of durable, crash-tolerant foam. I have had the best possible experience with this product and the company that makes it, Cox. I would recommend the Sky Cruiser to any neophyte like me who wants a plane to fly straight off the shelf, also known as ready-to-fly (RTF), without the need to first practice on a simulator, join a local RC Club or build anything. You can buy this aircraft in a local hobby store and be flying it in a local park or field within 5 minutes. It is such a blast! If you want to learn more about the Sky Cruiser, and learn from my mistakes, then read on - it's a great story.

My father was an engineer for a major aerospace company. Later, he sold commercial jets in developing countries (before they were developed). Growing up, aviation was always part of my life. When I was a kid in the 60's and 70's, my sister and I would buy little balsa gliders for a quarter and play with them until they were worn out and incapable of flight. I remember my father buying us other flying toys too. However, many broke too easily or never got off the ground. One of my favorite toys was a small battery operated plane attached to a string, which we pinned to the ceiling. The plane flew in circles at the end of that line and delighted me completely.

Today, I am a father, and it's my turn to pass on the aviation bug to my 6 year-old son. It's not a difficult task. My little dude, since the earliest age, has been drawn to and interested in anything that flies. Since he was 3, I have kept some form of flying toy around the house. It started with little foam flyers from Air Hogs, which he loved to chase around. At 4, I introduced him to little Symco indoor helicopters. These toys were usually great fun while they lasted, but invariably each one ended up in the dustbin because once they broke, fixing them was nearly impossible.

A few months ago, my son began pining for a remote control airplane. He said he wanted one to fly outside, which sounded to me like a good activity. I started to search around the web and learned about all the beginner rc airplanes. I discovered that beginner airplanes are readily available around the $100 price point. I learned that many rc flyers started out on something like a SuperCub or other high-wing trainer. I found that on the Internet, many rc enthusiasts push these types of trainer planes for beginners because they right themselves easily. I looked at the HobbyZone Supercub ($169), but it was too expensive. I looked at the HobbyZone Champ ($89), but like the other MicroLites it seemed too small and inconsequential.

I held off purchasing a plane, kept researching online, and found the Sky Cruiser. The Sky Cruiser sounded ideal for me who had no serious rc flying experience. The price point was under $100; it sounded sturdy and stable; easy to fly according to other reviewers. I loved the idea of being able to soar with the plane as well as to fly with motor power. I showed my precocious one a video online of the Sky Cruiser for his approval - he agreed that we had found our plane. We went to the hobby store where I ordered the plane. It would be delivered at the shop in 4 days!

As we left the hobby store, my son told me presciently, "Papa, don't fly the airplane without me." I told him I would not. However, once I had that box in hand 4 days later, I could not contain my own excitement. I needed to fly this plane. I charged the batteries and headed to the park with a big field size of 2 football fields. It was windy, too windy, but I needed to fly. The promise I had made resonated in my head as I prepared to throw a brand new $100 toy into the wind. I was surprised by the mix and intensity of feelings this created. I felt excited, scared and exhilirated. I was going to fly.

I throw the airplane into the wind at full throttle with the nose pointed up. The wind slips under the glider's wings and lifts it up into the air. The craft gains altitude and races away from me with alarming speed. I manage somehow to control it, but it's ugly and dicey. The flights are short and my adrenalin is racing. Each time I relaunch, I think to myself that it is probably not a good idea. The wind is too strong. "Just one more flight", I tell myself. I launch the plane into the air. It's going too fast, my manipulations of the controls are clumsy. It crashes into a cyclone fence and breaks in half. I think , "Oh my God, what have I done?" I drive home, not quite in shock, but definitely sad. What would I tell my boy?

The next day, I pick up my son for the day. I explain to him that I crashed his plane. He reminds me what he had told me, "don't fly it without me". On a whim, I decide tocall another hobby store nearby. They tell me that they have a Sky Cruiser in stock. I bring my son to the hobby store and buy a second Sky Cruiser. Now, I have two of these. It's extravagant, but I rationalize it. I can use the other one for parts. In truth, I wanted more of the sensations I had gotten from flying that plane before I smashed it into a fence. The experience was that good.

We drive straight to the park from the hobby store. It's windy again, much too windy to fly with my level of non-experience. My son unpacks the Sky Cruiser and builds it with a little help from me. I teach him about the flying surfaces, controls and proper terms. I talk to him about lift - it's over his head. We shoot some video - he wants to make his own (and first) YouTube product review (
Cox Sky Cruiser RC Plane and Glider - Review from an Enthusiastic Beginner (4 min 31 sec)
). He is super excited and happy. He wants to fly it, which we manage to do without major damage. Our flying afternoon is a big success, but I am finding the craft more difficult than I had anticipated to handle. Was it the wind or had I chosen the wrong plane? The question nags me.

The next day, I dissect the broken plane from earlier and explore the craft's inner workings. I cut the fuselage apart, reposition the receiver and control rods, and discover a couple broken parts. A small gear has fallen off the receiver and the delicate graphite spar that holds the wings together is broken. I call Cox customer service, reach a representative and explain what happened. He works with me patiently and solves my problem. It made me feel very good about my choice of planes and plane maker. My experience with Cox support was first class and part of the reason for writing this review here today.

Over the following week, I practiced flying the Sky Cruiser together with my son and also a few times on my own. One night, the air was perfectly calm. There was no wind. The leaves on the trees sat perfectly still and my cigarette smoke hung around me in the unstirring air. The sun was low enough to begin casting pink, red and orange hues across the sky. I figure out how to set the transmitter to beginner mode by pushing the right joystick straight down until I hear a click - this improves my flying and control dramatically. I navigate the Sky Cruiser up above the field, higher than the pine trees surrounding the park. I manage some loops, get back up above the treetops, and cut the engine. The plane suddenly becomes a glider and seems to hang above the field for minutes under perfect control. My confidence shoots up and I know I can fly this plane like I had imagined for my son. I am impressed by the distance the plane can fly under my control (at least 200 yards) and thrilled by the long flight/glide times.

People out for an evening walk stop to watch. Kids stop their parents to see the plane sail up and down and around that field. I feel good, almost like a pro. As the sun begins to peter out, a man who had been flying an rc helicopter on the same field comes by and asks me about the Sky Cruiser. He says it's getting too dark for him to fly - he is going home. I, on the other hand, cannot stop. One more flight. I fly the plane up to sailing altitude and bask in that moment, that precise emoment when the battery on the plane runs out and I stand in a field watching the plane soar away towards distant trees across the road. How quickly things change - now, I am in a park in the dark, without a plane.

I drive to the area where I had last seen the plane. The trees are tall, reaching nearly 100 feet - they are spread amongst lots of shorter trees and big houses. It does not look good for our Sky Cruiser. I jump over fences, search through backyards, shining my flashlight up into the trees. Nothing. I begin to lose hope. On my way back to the truck, I happen to look into a tree next to the road and spot something white. There it is, 30 feet off the ground, the Sky Cruiser. After several trips home, first to get a ladder, then to get a stronger flashlight and then to get 2 long poles, I retrieve the Sky Cruiser, which has suffered no damage apart from a lost propeller. The day is saved and I later toast my good fortune with friends and a glass of champagne.

Over the following days, I discover a perfect flying hill nearby. The hill is part of a new development - it is barren of trees and overlooks Seattle. There are no houses here yet, just sloping grass fields full of crickets. I find that when the wind comes up the hill, I can fly the Sky Cruiser like a glider and save the battery by using the motor only to gain altitude and steer away from obstacles. I find that I could keep the Sky Cruiser in the air for 2 or 3 times longer than the cruising capacity of the battery. I find that I can get lift from the wind and the ground effect in order to glide in a way that is controlled, exciting, and sufficiently challenging to be interesting. It's a form of gliding called slope soaring, and it is awesome.

As I practice slope soaring on this hill one morning, I notice a hawk soaring nearby. I had seen several eagles a couple days earlier, but this hawk is holding its position in the air right in front of me, hunting presumably. With Sky Cruiser in hand, I think to myself, "should I launch? No. it's not a good idea." And with thought in mind, I open the throttle and toss the Sky Cruiser in the air. The plane surges forward and up. It reaches a point about 50 feet to the left of the hawk when I cut the throttle to glide. Two seconds later, the hawk swoops down in a semi dive and attacks the Sky Cruiser. I watch the plane spin down from the sky to the ground below where it laid broken. I run down the hill to deter the hawk from doing any more damage. The fuselage and rudder are broken, but there is no question it was worth it. I know I can fix the plane and now I have a thrilling story to tell my son with claw marks in the horizontal stabilizer as proof.

Since the time of the hawk attack last week, my proficiency has continued to increase with every flight. I can fly the Sky Cruiser in most wind conditions up to about 15 or 20 MPH. I feel comfortable handing control of the plane to my 6 yo once I get it up to altitude and throttle back. The plane is stable and forgiving enough that I feel confident letting him fly. If he gets into trouble or too close to the ground, I can take over and get it back up for him again. I can't imagine a more wonderful way to pass on a family aviation bug to my son.

G.

Conclusion: I recommend the Sky Cruiser to anyone interested in flying airplanes, especiallly beginners. If you have never flown one of these rc aircraft, then here are the lessons I learned with the Sky Cruiser.

1. Make your first flights in perfectly calm wind conditions. It will reduce chance of crashing or losing your plane. It won't be long until you are able to fly and soar it in almost any wind conditions.

2. On your first flights, avoid trees, houses, fences and the dark. These don't mix well with rc planes.

3. Listen to the motor. When you sense that the battery is getting near the end, land the plane or at least keep it close. When the Lipo battery runs out, the plane motor will shut off and all control from the transmitter will be lost.

4. Use the beginner mode on the transmitter. The beginner mode is indicated by a half circle on the transmitter screen and is activated by pushing straight down on the rudder/elevator joystick until you hear a click.

5. Tie a rubberband around the canopy so that it does not fly off in flight or in hard landing. This will reduce chance of losing servo gear in a crash because it is more likely to stay in fuselage where you can collect it and put it back on. Without these two gear, the plane cannot be flown.

6. If you crash and your plane needs to be fixed, don't be afraid to cut the foam and glue it back together, as needed. I have found that this aircraft takes glue and tape very easily.

7. Watch out for the hawks!
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