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Old Dec 13, 2011, 03:17 PM
Planes in flames,,,
jetpackninja's Avatar
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If you are going to compare the FIK-100 R/C glider to one of these planes at least compare it fairly. Compare it to the Pelican.

You're gonna compare a Champ to one of these planes? Apples and Oranges...
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Old Dec 13, 2011, 03:19 PM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by Cheesehead View Post
It's too expensive. An EZ* clone is $40, and they throw in a $10 brushless motor with your purchase. And if we wanted to get someone into the hobby cheap, we'd just go buy them a Champ - same price, including shipping, as your models, but with motor, charger, receiver, servos, ESC, transmitter, and batteries included.

On a highly specific example, there's also the FIK-100 R/C glider, which is very similar. And $40. There's a pusher version out there, too.
It's cheaper than any of the EZ* clones, a Slow Stick, even a Champ! Why? Because you won't have to be rebuilding it all the time. As long as you have a good supply of propellers, you can keep the Albatross flying almost no matter what: no tape, no hot glue, no epoxy, no replacement fuselage, wing or tail feathers. Have you looked at the abuse Lee's flying wings take and just shake off? Check out the high speed collisions with tables, bars, wires, other planes, and watch the pilot pick up the plane, shake his head and toss it back into the air!

There is no comparison between the foam used in the Albatross and the drink cooler foam in all those "cheaper" planes. Yes, the cost of admission is less, but the cost to keep flying is many times the Albatross or Pelican.

By the way, I have no connection with Lee or his company. He doesn't even know who I am. I just know quality when I see it and value when I see it. This is a plane you enjoy, not repair all the time.

By the way, nothing says you can't put one of those $10 motors in an Albatross! I have a $13 motor in my Slow Stick that would love to live in an Albatross. Heck you can buy an OrangeRX receiver ($5.99!), a couple of HK15178 servos ($3.78 for both!), a 30A Plush ESC ($11.91), along with the Turnigy 2217-20 motor I mentioned ($13.72, I'd be tempted to go a little more powerful!) and have the thing flying for, what? $35.40 for everything except the plane? That's not an unreasonable cost and any other plane you mention would cost the same to equip, no matter HOW cheap the plane is. Unless you can tell us without laughing that you can fly a Bixler with the included equipment. You're dead meat--you're cracking a smile already.
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Old Dec 13, 2011, 03:33 PM
Ego varius quis.
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Wisconsin
Joined Nov 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
There is no comparison between the foam used in the Albatross and the drink cooler foam in all those "cheaper" planes. Yes, the cost of admission is less, but the cost to keep flying is many times the Albatross or Pelican.
The foam used in the above models - at least, most of them - is expanded poly-olefin, a mixture of polystyrene, polypropylene, and other plastics. Multiplex calls their proprietary blend "Elapor."

EPP is just polypropylene. So, yes. Very similar. Beer cooler foam is usually pure polystyrene.

I don't own a Bixler, but everyone who does seems quite keen on them. I have seen enough EPO models to confirm their durability, including my aborted attempt at converting a Multiplex Fox.

Also, polypropylene is by no means immune to damage - it can get a bit crumbly as the beads separate, especially with hot-wire cut wings. Steam-formed EPO is a bit more resistant.

As for the Champ....well, I've done horrible, horrible things to my micro P-51, and it held up pretty well. Any model as small as the Champ can shake off crashes pretty well, and if you do manage to snap the wing through gross abuse, it's a $8 replacement.
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Old Dec 14, 2011, 08:51 AM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
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All I can say is fly a bit of full contact combat with any of the planes you mention and the Albatross and see which one flies afterwards. Again, there is no comparison in the durability of any other kind of foam and EPP.

Watch some of Lee's flying wing combat videos. Not an Elapor, or any other kind of multi-plastic blend foam out there. Know why? They would be packing peanuts while the EPP planes would still be flying.

Or is it possible that nobody has tried any of the other foams in full contact combat flying wings?

Here! Judge for yourself. And post a video of doing this stuff with a Bixler. It would be VERY entertaining.
Crashtesting the CTH Albatross 11-11 (4 min 17 sec)


Here ya go! (edit: no ya don't! Lee already posted that one. NEXT!) Tons of high speed cartwheeling crashes and collisions. One plane comes down in multiple pieces from a collision of gargantuan proportions. That clip is repeated several times in the video. Why? Because it is so unusual! All EPP planes. "Just polypropylene" indeed. That's like saying "just platinum" or "just carbon fiber."
RC Combat Event: SWARM April 2011 (10 min 21 sec)
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Old Dec 14, 2011, 12:09 PM
Lee
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USA, UT, Orem
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I have seen so many flyers come to the field and get 10 seconds of flying week after week that I came up with a couple of planes to help them get started. I figure it took me 7 planes to really learn to fly I wanted a plane so beginners can learn to fly on their first plane.

I have flown a lot of different planes. I am a willing trainer at the local flying field and help everyone, no matter what plane they bring. I have owned an EZ and a couple of SSs and dozens of powered gliders and they fly totally different than these designs. It is far more than just how tough they are.

These planes can fly themselves when you let go of the stick. I can turn these planes upside down and let go of the stick and they not only turn themselves right side up but level the wings and put the nose on the horizon.I am in the hobby for fun.

I design planes for me and some of them make it on our website. Our passion is combat but that takes a little more skill than most beginners have. We have been asked for years to come up with a combat worthy trainer and although these planes don't have all of the laminate and shock cords they are amazingly tough.

Get the wind up and these planes still are easy to control. The other day the wind was strong enough we were landing going backwards. These were the only light designs that could handle that much wind and they are tough enough that even if they tip stall the plane bounces and is wanting more.

This is why I am saying that the plane is hard to compare to other planes. It is designed to do different things.

We have flown the Albatross at 2+ lbs and it still was easy to fly.
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 01:41 PM
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Finger Lakes Region, NY
Joined May 2008
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Lee, I know what you mean about ten seconds of flying. My very first airplane got crashed by my instructor before I even got my hands on the sticks. It was repairable, but I didn't get to fly it until a week later. Boy was I disappointed.
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Old Dec 16, 2011, 01:02 PM
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I finished the albatross kit and flew it too. Thanks for your help guys.
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Old Dec 16, 2011, 08:01 PM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
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Originally Posted by pcie View Post
I finished the albatross kit and flew it too. Thanks for your help guys.
Well, that's anticlimactic! Out with it! We want the whole story. How'd it go? What are your impressions of building the plane? Was the kit pretty complete? What did you have to buy? How'd it go together? How did it fly? Would you do it again? Out with it! <somebody bind him in a chair and turn on the bright lights>
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Old Dec 18, 2011, 10:53 AM
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USA, CO, Brighton
Joined Nov 2010
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Love this plane!! Have been looking into a trainer for myself and my young boys (8 and 10). We've been playing with a knock-off flight simulator for a few months now, and we're ready to get our wings in the air.

Everyone I talk to says a high wing trainer is the way to go for a 1st plane, as much as I was looking forward to getting a Roswell or Assasin, this is where I will be starting. Now just to decide if we get just one or two.

I have a old DX6...It should be more than acceptable for getting started, right?? I've looked at some of the newer radios (dx6i, dx8 the futabas and the flysky th9x) and can't see where I'm lacking features or programming options with the old dx6.

Thanks for any input, looking forward to what this winter and spring bring for us as new flyers

Stan.
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Old Dec 18, 2011, 03:13 PM
Planes in flames,,,
jetpackninja's Avatar
Gravity Sucks
Joined Aug 2010
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The old dx6 will work fine for this plane.
Just remember to keep it within the range capabilities of the rceceiver and transmitter and you will be fine.
Any radio will work fine for this plane. The only programming option that may be needed is the option to reverse the servos.

I actually bought a generic 2.4 radio for this plane. It works fine, I think I spent 30 dollars on the radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaDShorT View Post
Love this plane!! Have been looking into a trainer for myself and my young boys (8 and 10). We've been playing with a knock-off flight simulator for a few months now, and we're ready to get our wings in the air.

Everyone I talk to says a high wing trainer is the way to go for a 1st plane, as much as I was looking forward to getting a Roswell or Assasin, this is where I will be starting. Now just to decide if we get just one or two.

I have a old DX6...It should be more than acceptable for getting started, right?? I've looked at some of the newer radios (dx6i, dx8 the futabas and the flysky th9x) and can't see where I'm lacking features or programming options with the old dx6.

Thanks for any input, looking forward to what this winter and spring bring for us as new flyers

Stan.
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Old Dec 22, 2011, 09:58 PM
BUZZ KILL
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Utah
Joined Aug 2010
1,063 Posts
I just converted my gopro carrying Albatross back to a regular Albatross. I cant wait to see how it flies. I want to get my kids interested in flying. They see me do it all the time and expresses some interest at times so I think having this plane to start them with will be the ticket.

Back when I was flying with a gopro I was also flying with 2 - 2200mah 11.1v packs. Now I'm going with 1 - 2200 and no gopro so that should lighten it up just a bit. I'm keeping the 1700kv 3530 for now (moved it to the nose) but might switch to 2812 if this doesn't work out.
Ryan
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Old Dec 22, 2011, 11:41 PM
Lee
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This is a plane you launch half throttle. It doesn't need much power on take off.
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 07:35 PM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
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Merry Christmas Lee and company! And here's wishing you and yours a prosperous 2012. Treat 'em right and they'll come back with friends.
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Old Dec 28, 2011, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
Well, that's anticlimactic! Out with it! We want the whole story. How'd it go? What are your impressions of building the plane? Was the kit pretty complete? What did you have to buy? How'd it go together? How did it fly? Would you do it again? Out with it! <somebody bind him in a chair and turn on the bright lights>
Now that I'm in a chair and not flying I'll tell you.

Talking to my wife about which plane to get I said, "I can get a plane that looks like an airplane or I can get a sort of ugly plane that might be better because the guys who made it have over 30 years of experience." She helped me decide to get both the bixler and the albatross. I ordered the parts for the albatross from the hobby king along with the bixler.

The teacher would probably give me a C or maybe B- on my albatross build. I had a little too much fun with the soldering iron on the wing, I didn't sand the spars because the part of video I watched didn't mention that, I just eyed where the tongue depressors go on the wing, my low temp glue gun ran out of glue too quickly and some glue dried before I wanted it to dry, the goo or melting epp made me feel sick, I worried that it wouldn't fly anyway and maybe I should buy a new kit. The rudder hinge went together fine without pins, but then I bought pins and the elevator went even better. I had trouble getting the horns in straight, they still aren't completely level. I thought I'd have to adjust the wing tips a lot, but they were both 5 inches high after I glued them.

The fuselage took a long time because I had to wait for the motor. I stripped one of the little black screws on my only emax cf2812 using a non-metric hex wrench. The motor that arrived from hobbyking only worked once. If only I had realized in time that the screw holes needed to be smaller than the screw I would have had fewer holes in my firewall. I also ought to have glued the firewall plates together first instead of one at a time mounting them to the fuselage.

In the meantime I built the bixler in one night and took it to fly on Saturday. Lee trimmed it in for me and also precisely predicted that I'd only get two crashes out of it.

With the new cf2812 from valuehobby mounted to my albatross I went to vineyard, a local flying field, and as I anticipated trying to fly it I told myself, "don't worry just destroy it and get whatever it is out of your system." I tossed the thing in the air at a steep upward angle and it crashed nose first at about the same angle. That broke the firewall off--which wasn't much destruction. I went back home and glued it back on with CA glue. Later in the evening about 4 hours later I took it to Art Die, another local flying field, to try again.

No other pilots were at the park. I did a few practice tossing motions, reminded myself to pull back on the stick as soon as possible, throttled up enough so that it tugged a little in my hand, and then I tossed or sort of let it go carefully. To my surprise it headed down toward the ground a little, then a little to the right and then up into the sky. The controls worked and I trimmed away the tendency to climb and turn, but neither were very severe. I landed twice with no problems. Practicing with real flight helped and I found it strange how really flying felt so similar to flying with the simulator.

Since then I have flown it a dozen times. When I started throwing it level to the ground I stopped breaking the nose, which is a little sensitive because I put the dang battery too close to the firewall. Yesterday I went through three 1300mah batteries for about 30-45 minutes of flying.

Yesterday I decided that I like the 7x6E prop http://www.valuehobby.com/accessorie...itar-prop.html better than the 7x6 scimitar.

I also had to buy a radio and receiver. I opted for the aurora 9 because I had gift certificates. Knowing what to buy was the most difficult part for me, but the list on crash test hobby helped http://www.crashtesthobby.com/index...._Shopping-List. I bought the turnigy battery charger there as well as the 1300mah turnigy batteries. I also bought that power supply. I looked at these expenses as educational expenses too. That helped.

It flies beautifully. I got compliments for good flying yesterday, which really belonged to the plane. Even more polite compliments than thanks for not hitting my car.

Yes I'd do it again, but not the same. I'm planning to add lights. It would also be nice to have a plane with three control surfaces--made of EPP not styrofoam cups--so I can do knife edge and hammer head stalls etc. A jumbo albatross would be interesting; It would have maybe a 6 foot wing span and larger fuselage for more payload. I wondered about a 10 inch prop and corresponding motor powering the stock albatross.

Oh yeah, and about ugliness. I didn't paint it. I probably ought to for improved visibility. It's not super ugly and I don't really care about looks more than handling. I got into this wanting to do auto pilot or maybe FPV, so I want a machine that does the job not some scale replica of X. However, it would look really pretty glowing at night.

Anyway, it's in my car just waiting.

Go Albatross! Fly More Fix Less!
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Old Dec 28, 2011, 02:13 PM
Planes in flames,,,
jetpackninja's Avatar
Gravity Sucks
Joined Aug 2010
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Hey PCIE
Nice write up.
I think a dx700 or dx750 Blue Wonder would probably do really well on the Albatross.
I have one that I keep meaning to try, need to find the right prop for it.
It flies so well with the recommended motor that I just haven't got around to messing with it and I like how the 7x6 is away from the ground when you land.
I need to paint mine too especially if there is more than one all white Albatross that's going to be flying around
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