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Old Feb 18, 2013, 09:50 AM
Vertical Unlimited
Straight Up's Avatar
Mandurah, Western Australia
Joined Mar 2007
533 Posts
Mini-Review
Aviator Pro .60 ARF from Value Hobby

While flipping through a hobby mag I saw an advert for the Sig Rascal 72EG, and fell in love with it. However, at $310 plus scary shipping to Australia it was a no go. Luckily I found a similar plane in the Aviator Pro .60 ARF from Value Hobby, and fell for it too. Sadly Value Hobby won't ship outside the Lower 48 (despite a colossal population outside that boundary!). I arranged for a US shipping agent and managed to acquire the Aviator Pro 60. Cost me $160 to ship it to Australia, so you can imagine how much I wanted this plane (still cheaper than a Rascal 72EG).

Very impressed with the build quality. I was absolutely amazed to find the wing bolts all pre-fitted and lined up perfectly! I didn't need to measure, drill or fit the blind nuts - nice! The wing fitted so well I simply bolted it into place. I never glued my wings together. I switched out the front nylon wing pegs for carbon fiber, not because of any concerns about strength, but because my pegs were a bit short. Other than that, the build was stock-standard, although I mounted my tail servos right down the back end - see below.

Achieving correct CG with a big battery up front
Many complained about having CG trouble when mounting the battery in the nose causing an overly forward CG, but I didn't have this issue. I fitted servos in the tail - one per surface. That is, one servo for each elevator and also a rudder servo. I used digital micro servos, and the three are still considerably lighter than two standard servos, but I was able to get the right balance point despite using a 6S 5000mAh pack sitting up front, right under the battery hatch. I acknowledge the exposed servos are not as pretty as the original control rods, but they are mainly hidden from view under the horizontal stabilizer anyway. Now that I've maidened this bird I'll cover the tail servo mounts in white Monokote, for slightly improved aesthetics.

My Power Set-upResultant Peak Power: 950W at 43A. The ESC is obviously well oversized, but it weighed similar to the 50A ESC and didn't cost much more.
Ready to fly weight 3200g (6lb 13oz), giving a healthy power:weight ratio of 306W/kg (140W/lb).

Performance is impressive with all that power on tap, but I use throttle control to keep the speed near-constant. It has almost unlimited vertical at a nice controlled speed, but I prefer to ease her around most of the time at very low throttle settings.

Radio
I used Turnigy XGD-11MB micro digitals for each elevator, and an HK 929MG digital for rudder. I would have preferred to use HK929MGs for all three tail servos but they only had one left in stock when I placed the order. The wing servos were standard sized Hitec HS 485BB analogs - I had these in my spares bin. The receiver is an Orange FASST compatible - I've got a lot of these now.

Flying
The maiden was conducted on a breezy but cooler summer day (after that severe shipping cost I need to have one immediate advantage over you US flyers, and it turns out it's the weather!). Take-off was a non-event, with the craft becoming airborne quickly, and climbing out to a speck before I trimmed her out (no major inputs needed). She stalls very sedately, but this might get a bit more aggressive if I pursue a more rearward CG at a later date. I can't see a need for a more rearward CG at this point. She doesn't balloon when power is applied and she glides quite sedately, although I was gliding down in about 15 knots of breeze, which gives slower groundspeed on approach. I was amazed how well she handled the wind - she didn't get buffeted around at all! The airborne stability is one significant advantage of the 60 size over her smaller brethren.

I personally think the control throws in the manual are far too severe for ailerons and elevator, with 20° recommended for both. I went with 10° for the elevators and 15°up / 10° down for the ailerons and I wouldn't want any more throw. She slowed down easily for landing, with judicious propeller braking (not ESC braking!) - a trick I learned from flying pattern - set a low idle to keep the prop turning, and eased onto the runway without drama.

As for wringing it out, she rolls easily, as one of the other flight testers noted. She also loops readily, but I kept the G-loading low - she's not an aerobat/3D craft, and my craft's wings are not glued together.

Conclusion
I'm really happy with this plane. I can fly for 20+ minutes, just puttering around the sky. I fly pattern aerobatics and pylon racers, so I'm very happy to get a relaxing wind-down plane to cruise around with. It flies easily but precisely, with no noticeable vices or bad habits. The price for US buyers is an absolute bargain!
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Last edited by Straight Up; Mar 09, 2013 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Added RTF weight and resultant power:weight ratio
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:24 PM
WAA-08 THANK FRANK!
JimNM's Avatar
Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States
Joined Jun 2002
7,120 Posts
Great write up! I am very happy that you found a way to get one of these planes. I really love the red color scheme

I did encounter a landing gear breakage - I was a little hot and heavy on a few touch-n-goes and the lg mounting plate broke free. The plane lands so well that in normal use I don't see that as a problem, I take 100% credit for the issue.

Fly well, be well
JimNM
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 08:54 PM
Vertical Unlimited
Straight Up's Avatar
Mandurah, Western Australia
Joined Mar 2007
533 Posts
Thanks Jim! I appreciate the comment and well wishes. What a lovely plane!

Was that your video I saw in the Aviator Pro thread? I saw a plane land and the undercarriage let go and thought "oh no!". You might notice in my pic of the bottom hatch that my landing gear is held on with nylon bolts. I do this on ALL my planes, including my ducted fan jets complete with retracts. The bolts hold just fine unless I have a really bad "arrival", when they break (intentionally). No damage to the rest of the plane, and it's a simple matter to wind-out the broken studs and replace with new bolts. Presto... airborne again!

Cheers,
Straight Up
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 11:01 PM
WAA-08 THANK FRANK!
JimNM's Avatar
Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States
Joined Jun 2002
7,120 Posts
Yep, that was my little blue aviator pro that lost it's legs. I had a few hard and fast hits that helped them go. I like the idea of nylon bolts, thanks for the tip.

I love the Aviator and am thrilled that you found a way to get one.

Cheers, amigo. Fly well.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 09:01 PM
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Joined Dec 2011
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Awesome effort, now about that trailer to carry all your birds??
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Old Mar 04, 2013, 01:02 PM
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TBolt's Avatar
United States, AZ, Queen Creek
Joined May 2004
5,079 Posts
Nice review Straight Up.

Just curious on the HobbyKing site it states that the Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 4250-500kv is rated for 4-5S, How is your motor holding up to 6S, any overheating problems?

Thanks,
Victor
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Old Mar 05, 2013, 08:04 AM
Vertical Unlimited
Straight Up's Avatar
Mandurah, Western Australia
Joined Mar 2007
533 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBolt View Post
Nice review Straight Up.

Just curious on the HobbyKing site it states that the Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 4250-500kv is rated for 4-5S, How is your motor holding up to 6S, any overheating problems?

Thanks,
Victor
Victor,

Good question! I used to worry similarly until an electrical engineer educated me. There is no need to ever worry about voltage limits with motors. They do not contain MOSFETs or sensitive electronics. Motors are limited by POWER, not VOLTAGE. That motor has a peak power rating of 1350W according to Hobby King. On 5S this equates to a current of around 75A, whereas on 6S the current requirement reduces to around 62A. Obviously I needed to select the prop that gives me my target power without exceeding 1350W on 6S. In this case my set-up pulls ~950W max, so the motor is not stressed at all. It is barely warm when I land, and that's after 12 minutes of spirited flight.

I don't know why Hobby King quote voltage "limits". My electrical engineer buddy suggested they are not limits, but are actually Hobby King's suggestion for "best guess" operation. Many people assemble electrical systems without checking the resultant power draw, so they need suggestions for the battery pack, ESC and propeller. At 500Kv this motor would struggle on 3S, and spin a bit quickly on 12S, so 4-5S is a reasonable starting point. My buddy and I use as much voltage as possible, and adjust our propellers to keep the power within the target limits of each motor.

Note that this disregarding of voltage limit is NOT true of ESCs. If an ESC is rated to 6S max, then that's its limit, as the sensitive MOSFETs will short-circuit at higher voltage. Motors are just crude bails of wire in a magnetic housing, so they are not nearly so sensitive.

I hope this helps. Thanks for your well wishes, and safe flying!

Cheers,
Straight Up
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Last edited by Straight Up; Mar 08, 2013 at 08:59 PM. Reason: corrected spelling errors
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Old Mar 05, 2013, 10:05 AM
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United States, AZ, Queen Creek
Joined May 2004
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Nice answer. Thanks.
What a beautiful flying field you have.
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 01:28 PM
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TBolt's Avatar
United States, AZ, Queen Creek
Joined May 2004
5,079 Posts
just received my Aviator Pro 60 today. I hope to have some time this weekend for a little assembly time.

I will be using electronics I have lying around.
E-Flite Power 46
I have a 70 Amp (opto) ESC's lying around.
I will use a LiFe reciever pack.
I am sure I have a few new in box servos in my hangar somewhere.
And I am trying to figure out how and where to install a "drop box" for water balloon bombing.
I figure I should have plenty of space since I will be relocating the tail feather servos in the same manner as Straight Up did.

Happy Flying,
Victor
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 09:02 PM
Vertical Unlimited
Straight Up's Avatar
Mandurah, Western Australia
Joined Mar 2007
533 Posts
Thanks TBolt! I sure am lucky to have access to that beautiful field. It's a private farm, so the only flyers are "by invitation". Uncrowded skies and plenty of space... paradise!

There is HEAPS of room for a drop-box under the central "radio" tray. The battery and ESC are located in the front "fuel" compartment, just behind the firewall. The radio tray only supports the receiver, and this could easily be located elsewhere. Therefore you have the whole bay under the wing, from wing saddle right to the floor of the plane to locate your drop-box. I think it's an awesome idea, and I might just do the same someday. Candy bomber!
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