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Old Nov 22, 2012, 05:31 AM
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Trondheim, Norway
Joined Jun 2003
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Mini-Review
HK Canary HLG glider mini review

HK Canary introduction
The HK Canary is a dirt cheap pod-and-boom style hand launch glider ARF available from Hobby King. With a wingspan just north of 120cm / close to 48", simple rudder and elevator controls, and a ready to fly AUW of a mere 310g / 10.9 oz this is a real handy size airplane. Observant readers will already have noticed the similarity to the long available GP Fling.

Equpiment used
- HK Canary glider (INT / US / UK / NL / DE / AU)
- 2x HXT 900 9g servos
- Corona RC R4FA 4ch FASST compatible rx
- 4.8V 350mah square rx battery pack (ebay)

Packaging
The kit arrived in a plain brown cardboard box. No flashy white box, nor product pictures on the box. Very dull and increadibly boring, but enables cheap. My box arrived undamaged.

Contents
For a mere 40 USD plus shipping you get a complete, ready built airframe consisting of
- 2x wings
- fin and rudder
- moulded fibreglass fuselage pod
- vacuum formed plastic canopy
- precut CF tailboom
- sticker sheet
- assorted hardware

Building
Closer inspection of the parts after unpacking revealed a surprisingly nicely built model. Wings are built from correct grade balsa for the job - not too hard and heavy nor too soft and light. Being picky my only remark would be that one wing was slightly heavier than the other. Wings are joined using a thick precut carbon wing joiner at the spar, and a smaller peg at the rear. Once connected, a band of clear tape or clear covering is added to the center section joint.

Tail feathers
The tail-feathers are also built from the correct grade of balsa, and control surfaces come prehinged. It's a simple covering hinge-job, but works well.
The carbon fibre tailboom has pre-milled slots for the fin, stab and pushrod exits.

After opening the covering at the fin and stab joint, the two were epoxied together while ensuring squareness. Once dry, tailfeathers were epoxied into the premilled slots in the boom. Do note the order of construction used - it's much easier to get a properly aligned tail if you glue the tailfeathers to the tailboom first, and then glue the tailboom to the fuselage pod. Reverse order will surely result in a misaligned tail.

Fuselage pod
The tailboom and tailboom former was fitted to the fuselage pod, then epoxied to the pod while making sure alignment was still ok. My pod was missing both the servo tray and the fuselage former by the finger hole/towhook position. I see others report the same issue with their kits. I drew up a servo tray based on the pictures in the manual and some basic measrements of the pod. No towhook was included in my kit. Suitable sized and positioned holes were drilled in the pod, and the supplied carbon fiber wingdowels CA'ed in place with thick CA.

Radio installation
I installed a pair of HXT 900s for the rudder and elevator. The supplied hardware doesn't ooze quality, and the supplied pushrods are way too flimsy for my liking. As a result I chose a pull-pull setup with Fireline (fly-fishing line), installing a pair of homemade 1/16" ply controlhorns. I used a small 4.8V 350mah NiMH rx pack off ebay, and a Corona R4FA, a small 4ch FASST compatible rx.

Final assembly
In case you're a perfectionist, the supplied vac formed canopy doesn't fit all too well so take some extra care checking while you cut it. For canopy hold-down I used a thin piece of music wire taped to the inside, front of the canopy. Slide it on in the rear first, then forward to lock. Simple and very effective. The wings are then installed with 2 couple of rubberbands to complete the build. I had to add some leadshot to the nose to achieve the correct CG, which resulted in a all up, ready to fly weight of 310g / 10.9oz.

Flight testing
Weather and work hasn't yet permitted anything but lazy circuits off the local slope. But the Canary handles nicely. It very light, which doesn't combine well with strong winds. No bad habits that I could find. Mounting a towhook and launching with the hi-start will be next steps for my Canary. This will enable me to fly her in other conditions as well.

Pros
- price
- quality of build considering the price
- precut CF tailbom
- quick build
- great flier
- great looks

Cons
- no instructions in the box, downloadable PDF
- no servo tray
- no fuselage former for handlaunch finger hole/towhok
- no towhook
- flimsy pushrods
- brittle rubber bands

Summary
The Canary has good quality wooden parts, acceptable fibreglass work - but a fair fitting canopy, and low quality hardware. To top it off it has good flight characteristics and good looks.
For a mere 40 USD plus shipping the Canary turned out to be a good buy IMHO.

*Disclaimer: Not employed by HK, just a blogging customer of their products
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Last edited by thomanie; Nov 22, 2012 at 08:02 AM.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 11:06 AM
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United States, MO, Fenton
Joined Jan 2012
2,288 Posts
Nice. I recently purchased one of these and plane to assemble over the winter. Thanks for the motivation!
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