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Old Jul 21, 2012, 12:01 PM
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Esprit "Albatross" 3.2

Greetings. Being new to big sailplanes, there's almost no limit to what I don't know. I have had great dealings with the products offered by
Esprit Models, but I don't know the first thing about their sailplane offerings. I'm interested in their Albatross 3 Sport Classic (e-powered). Does anybody have any feedback / recommendations / alternatives for a Radian-Pro-upgrade-dude?
Thanks in advance.
J
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 11:53 AM
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I also am a Radian Pro guy looking to go bigger. looking at the Albatros 2.4S/E
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 03:09 PM
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I don't have direct experience with the Albatross but I have yet to see a negative review on any of the Esprit line of sailplanes. Probably the worst that I've seen is that the instructions for the gliders made by TopModel cz, like the Albatross, leave a bit to be desired.
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Old Jul 24, 2012, 08:13 AM
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I concur. Looked at the manual and it's more like a blueprint. I am going to let the Esprit Models builders make mine. I'm starting to amass the bits and pieces and was surprised see that Esprit's parts prices are VERY competitive with just about any RC supply house. Good on 'em! Just waiting on the 3M to be stocked. Fortunately, I live close enough to go get it, instead of shipping. Stay tuned.
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Old Jul 24, 2012, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by peterlngh View Post
........ Probably the worst that I've seen is that the instructions for the gliders made by TopModel cz, like the Albatross, leave a bit to be desired.
Only your first Top Model non instruction manual will leave you staring blankly into the distance, the second you will do standing on your head. Even if you've built a few models the light weight methods of doing things in a Top Model plane will take some adjusting. You would think it's not going to work especailly if you have been flying heavier power stuff but, work it does and quite well. All the Top Model planes I've built,flown and seen are well executed with good fit and finishes. Don't be afraid to buy one if you are thinking about it, they are good stuff and Esprit is a absolute top shelf outfit to deal with.

At least there some paperwork with the Top Model series, the Pulsars come in a heavy box wrapped in foam liners and bubble pack....that's it. Don't even let you know who makes them let alone a manual. You soon sort it out after sleepless nights and much mumbling to yourself and when finished you wonder what all the worry was about.
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Old Jul 24, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Well, I'm feeling better about Esprit building for me. I just hope their Albatros 3.2 shows up in stock soon. Thanks for the inputs guys.
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Old Jul 24, 2012, 04:09 PM
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I'm not too concerned, Leadchucker, but I felt it important to mention the "semi-formal" instructions from TopModel. After 40 years of this stuff I can generally figure things out. I used to frequently buy kits at garage and estate sales and they might have had parts, instructions, and even plans missing. My biggest blunder was a U-control Fokker DVII that came without plans or instructions. I used the slots in the leading edge to position the ribs for the bottom wing and then, when I went to start the top wing, discovered that all I had left were half-ribs. Oops! I should have realized there was a good reason that the trailing edge had half as many slots as the leading edge.

On the other hand, a simple set of instructions avoids what I like to call "Step 37-B". That's when you get to the end of a build where one has been guided through the most mundane aspects of gluing bits of wood together to be faced with the final step that goes something like: Shape and sand all surfaces, cover model, hinge control surfaces, install control surfaces, install engine and radio. Balance and go flying.

It would not be uncommon for me to frame up the whole thing in a week or two and then spend months struggling with all the little quirks they didn't see fit to mention in the manual. I also built a couple of Lanier "ARFs" that generally took more effort and money to finish than a comparable box of sticks!

I don't see the same type of things in the TopModel instructions because the level of prefabrication is much greater than in the ancient past. Although, I will be creating a bit of work when I pick up a TopModel ARC (I'm leaning towards the Avia V-tail but will change my mind a few-hundred times) for my fall/winter project. I like covering, I like using my own color scheme, and I have 40 years of accumulated bits of covering that I would like to use up.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 10:27 AM
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I just finished writing a mini review of the Esprit Model Pulsar 4E that a friend bought. It should be posted here in LiftZone soon. He went with the Esprit Model recommendations of geared NueMotor, spinner and folding prop. They matched up great with the Pulsar 4E. The main assembly is mounting and wiring the servos. My friend Kirk made his own harnesses from bulk wire and Dean Mini Connectors. I have in the past made my own harnesses and used pre-made servo extensions as well. The lack of instructions can be daunting on the first construction but if you go with the recommended motor set-up you can have confidence that it will be properly powered and will be able to balance on the recommend C/G.
I am hoping to do a review of an Albatross Electric and if I do I will do an extensive build and cover programing basics for a full house glider. I have my fingers crossed about the possible review. Michael Heer
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 12:16 PM
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Albatros 3E

Let's make it harder. Coming Soon New Modern Albatros 3S/E

Zb/Esprit Model
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 03:24 PM
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Very pretty! Mike H
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Old Aug 01, 2012, 06:45 AM
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I agree with Leadchucker. I've built a TopModel Avia 2.5m e-glider. The first glance at the instructions will have you saying "what the...?" but once you actually get into the build they are really quite good. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

The Avia turned out to be a phenomenal glider, I love every second it's in the air, such a graceful plane to fly; after graduating from about 100 hours spent on a Radian Pro and a Multiplex Cularis.

Any TopModel kit (sold by Esprit) is going to be worth it. Take a big breath and go for it - you won't be dissapointed!
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Old Aug 01, 2012, 03:52 PM
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Also, there's usually a build thread on most of the Top Model planes. If not, look for a similar model like the Grafas - many of the techniques are similar. The Top Model plans are easier to follow if you can find a good build thread with pictures.
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Old Aug 01, 2012, 10:18 PM
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Are you still there, timography? If so; may I ask what motor you are using in your Avia? The Avia is very high on my short list of future sailplanes.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 02, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by peterlngh View Post
Are you still there, timography? If so; may I ask what motor you are using in your Avia? The Avia is very high on my short list of future sailplanes.

Thanks!
Hey - I'm here

I used the recommended MVVS 2.5/1120 outrunner - a beautifully made motor by the way - along with the recommended 10x6 carbon folder prop. That, teamed with an OS OCA-150 (50amp) speedy seems to work really well. I chose the OS speedy as it has a big fat beefy 3A BEC and I'm not running a separate receiver pack for all those 6 servo's. Oh, I'm using a 3S 2200mAH 30C pack.

So, a 30 second motor run gets me about 70 degree climb, not quite vertical, but still pretty brisk up to an altitude of between 650-700ft, which makes it absolutely perfect for its intended F5J task. I've got Spektrum telemetry on board with an altimeter so I know my altitude at all times; which is handy...
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Old Aug 02, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Thanks, Tim. They are beautiful motors but I'm not sure if the budget will stretch that far. Still, it's good to know that they are recommending adequate power for a good climb and, if I do end up deciding on the Avia, I don't want to use a motor that disappoints.
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