|May 17, 2012, 05:59 PM|
Gemini RC's Edge 540 (GRC004)
Just picked one of these up for a good price.
Haven't had it in the air yet but thought I would give a few first impressions.
Sorry if I compare to parkzone products but they are the baseline I have to compare to.
The box art is a bit confusing as it shows all 5 of their offerings from a P51 to the Edge. You have to look for a blue dot which will tell you which is in the box. Not really a big deal just a departure from PZ's stellar graphics. But then again PZ has more money
Speaking of the box. Its nearly exactly the same size as the one for my pole cat but has a 'latching' tab on the cover. The plane rests in foam 'cradles' but there is no top parts to hold it in place. I can see it rattling around in there. I suppose I will tape it down in a similar manner as it was shipped. Gemini needs to address that as I can see it leading to a lot of hanger rash just from carrying it around. The landing gear comes detached which is fine with me as I usually don't put them on anyhow. The wheels just snatch the grass flopping the model over and breaking the rudder. It appears that the model will go in the box with the gear attached if you so wish.
The plane itself appears to be well constructed and a tad more 'sturdy' that Parkzone offerings. It is a little bigger than the pole cat especially in the fuselage. It feels just a little bit heavier too. I will put them on a scale later. The flying surfaces are a bit thicker and beefier than PZ offerings which is probably a good thing. Some of the PZ models rudders / horiz stabs are ridiculously thin.
Graphics are well done with decent contrast for which side is up orientation.
It uses the familiar 1S 150 lipo 'chicklet' battery and comes with one from some outfit called "Fullymax" hope its is a little better that Eflites which I have not had much luck with but is probably just the same with a different label. The batteries are interchangeable between PZ and Gemini. The plug / receptacles are identical configuration.
The charger / stand is unique in that it is sort of a display stand with a little cradle that you can snap on and show off your toy. Charger requires 4 AA batteries but unfortunately does not offer an exterior connection for a wall wart type charger. It has been my experience that these blinky chargers eat AAs like they were candy. It surely could be modded to add a jack one but it would nice to have right out of the box.
Unlike the parkzone 'bricks' this plane comes with an actual teeny tiny bind plug. That will be hard to keep track of but it is probably a better system. I have had troubles at times getting a PZ brick to bind. This one bound first try.
Like most models of this type there is no information about the actual electronics and motor. I don't think I will open her up until the need arises. I will post more info at that time.
The instructions are a single large sheet of glossy stock folded up to 8.5 x 11. Its pretty sketchy but does indicate where the CG should be (park zones do not). But hey what else is there besides the binding instructions. Charge the batt, bind, fly.
Hope to take it out and toss it tommorow. I will post flight performance then.
Just wanted to add that the motor sounds for all the world like a brushless I really dont know as it doesent say but it seems quite strong, maybe vertical performance but that has yet to be seen.
|May 21, 2012, 10:08 AM|
Sorry for the delay.
Well the weather has not cooperated with the inital flights, go figure.
I did get a few short flights on Saturday but it was really to windy to give a solid assesment of its flight performance. But here is what was noted.
It was pretty close to trim out of the box a few ticks of right on ailerons and rudder pretty much cured it. Needed more expo on the elevator and less on the ailerons.
The plane flys very much like your typical micro with a few quirks. It likes to 'balloon' or 'zoom' when it gets the speed up. Dont know if this is a trim or balance issue. Again too windy to tell.
Its roll rate was supprisingly low and I had to crank up the ailerons a bit. Speaking of the ailerons they do not seem to be as crisp as other micros I have flown with sort of a dead zone near the center. They just seemed a little sloppy. It does respond crisply to the elevator and rudder though.
It has plenty of power with most of the flight being at well below 1/2 throttle. Its slow speed handeling is better than some of the PZ planes specifically the pole cat. The Gemini Edge will slow down and even flare a bit. The pole cat practically has to be flown into the ground for a landing.
As to vertical performance, nope, it climbs nicely though and has plenty of power for your standard aerobatics but 3D is out. Again this was on a windy day so maybe in calm conditions. I did not attempt knife edge but I kind of doubt it will hold for long. Still it has plenty of rudder response.
Again this is all based on a relatively windy (10 to 12 knots) day. If the weather ever cooperates I will get a little more through flight review.
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