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Hobby Lobby's Scorpio Brand Raven (Uberall-Powered) ARF Review

Kirby Pople has a great time building and flying this fabulous looking scale aerobatic park flier. "I was surprised how much power the Uberall motor produced on the 10x3.8 prop."..."One of the best snapping planes I have flown."

Splash

Introduction

The decal material was very flexible, contoured nicely, and did not wrinkle permanently when I had to peel it back.
The decal material was very flexible, contoured nicely, and did not wrinkle permanently when I had to peel it back.
Wingspan:40" (1015mm)
Wing Area:310 sq. in. (20dm2)
Weight:22 oz. (550g)
Length:35" (890mm)
Wing Loading:xxxx oz/sq. ft.
Servos:2 Hitec HS 56 and 2 Hitec HS 56
Prop:APC 10x3.8
Receiver:xxxx
Battery:3s 2100 Thunder power Lipo
Motor:Uberall 1812/100 or AXI 2808 24
Max current:18.6A
ESC:Jeti Advance 18
Manufacturer:Scorpio
Available From:Hobby-Lobby

The Raven is a very complete kit and largely assembled out of the box. In short I had to do was glue in a few formers, install the motor, install the electronics, balance and maiden. The distributor states that one may complete the assembly in 6-8 hours. I agree this is possible, but with the added note that the modeler would need to work smart and use Foam-safe CA with accelerator rather than epoxy.

The kit included all the hardware needed to complete the plane, and what was supplied was straightforward, tried and true parts such as plywood control horns and sleeved piano wire for push rods. The foam was coated and a pleasure to work with. It cut easily and did not tear even with a dull hobby blade. It seemed more resistant to heat generated by accelerator and Foam-Safe CA and showed more resistance to dings when smacked into a hard surface.

The over all design is very nice with some attractive lines and some features such as air foiled tail surfaces -- features not normally found on a park flyer plane of this size. There are some nice builder's features to this kit, including molded notches in the fuselage that the formers pop into, leaving little doubt that they are aligned properly. The kit also has some forward thinking in design, including such things as a quick release access hatch for battery access, and pre-installation of the hinges so all that was needed to get the flying surfaces going was a few cuts and flexing them a couple times. I believe the best feature of all is that it is pre-painted, and looks good with or without the very nice decal set that is included.

Assembly

To begin the assembly, I read through the manual. The manual is organized with the text for each numbered step in one location, and the corresponding diagram in another. At first I did not think this would be a problem, but after a while the constant flipping back and fourth became annoying. To help, I suggest you photo copy the diagrams to make it easier to keep track of where you are, or use the Scorpio photo webpage to view the photos as you work. Combined with the photos in this article, assembling this model should be very straightforward for even a newer modeler.

The manufacturer suggested the use of UHU, foam-safe CA, and Epoxy for construction. I only used Epoxy for the firewall, for everything else Accelerated foam-safe CA was sufficient.

NOTE: on this plane, throw no scraps away until after the maiden. Parts such as doughnuts from the battery tray are used elsewhere, but of course you can substitute raw materials in their place if one has thrown something away. (Donít ask how I know).

Motor Mounting: Step 7 and 8 are the same step and which you do depends on your motor. This plane was designed around the Uberall motor and as a result everything fits perfectly with that motor and it has more than enough power. An AXI motor can be used with the reverse mount, but check the distance to the cowling. If using a front mounted motor, the modeler would follow step 7 and make a note of the motor designation on this step as they will see it again. If using a reverse mount, the modeler would follow step 8 and make a note of the motor number listed, as they will see it again also. Obviously the modeler then has to follow the steps pertaining to the motor number noted.

Trimming the Nose Cone Early & Longeron Mounting: In step 9 I made an executive decision and decided my life would be significantly easier if I went ahead and removed the nose foam that is to be removed in a later step. This made inserting the longerons much easier as I could slide them in from the front. I carefully cut along the line provided and left a little foam so there would be an area for the cowl to bond to.

It is possible to put the longerons in through the hatch, but it is a risk because they may be damaged. Once in place, I used my trusty coffee stir stick to reach down into the fuse and get foam-safe CA back there. I then forced it along the side and applied more glue as I worked my way to the front. The instructions suggest Epoxy here but the foam-safe CA was easier as I was able to zip it as I went along.

Important note regarding Longeron installation: The longerons have to be positioned so that the notches in the formers will mate up with the longerons which will already be glued in place, so try to position them as close to the correct location vertically as possible. I still ended up widening the notch a little.

By this point, a modeler will either love the manual or hate it. I found the diagrams instrumental in this assembly. It's not at all difficult, but I had to figure out what the translation meant along the way.

The rest of the assembly is straight forward, but here are a few more notes on construction. Note that the push rods cross mid-fuselage. I found I could use my coffee stirrer and glue them to the brace and pretty far down the wall. There is little noticeable slop in the surfaces. I assembled the landing gear blocks and clamped them in a vice using Epoxy instead of the foam-safe CA for this step.

Spinner Woes: The only thing I did not have good luck with was assembling the spinner. A good way to do this is to glue the blocks as shown, then mark their location on the edge of the back plate. Install the back plate on the prop adapter with the motor mounted in the plane. I could then align the spinner and drill the holes keeping the spinner balanced.

Decals: I was not looking forward to applying the decals, but they turned out to be a simple process. The material used to make them is very flexible, contours nicely, and does not wrinkle permanently for when I had to peel it up. I just cut them out with scissors and an xacto knife, peeled and stuck. The only tricky part was getting the stripes even.

FLYING:

I set the plane up as recommended in the manual with full throws on all surfaces for high rates. I also set 40% expo on low rates and 60% on high rates, then set the CG based on the manual at the mid point of the ĹĒ range.

Since my field is rough at the moment, I decided to hand launch the plane. I was surprised how much power the Uberall motor produced on the 10x3.8 prop. Three-quarter throttle and it was ready to go, no toss required. The plane seemed very pitch sensitive to the point of tip stalling, so I landed it and added more expo to the elevator and increased the low rate on the ailerons to about 10% over the recommended throw.

Roll rate on low was very good, on high rates roll is about two to three full rolls per second. A pull to vertical showed near unlimited vertical with this power combo, and power was sufficient for a hover at ĺ throttle. Flip to the down line reveals a decent acceleration but I needed to add power before pulling up to avoid a stall. Pull to vertical -- adding vertical rolls showed that the plane rolls very axially on the upline. As you can guess this is a tumbling machine. Snaps were fast, crisp, and stop on their own without the need for opposite rudder ended on the entry heading. Rolling to knife revealed a little lacking rudder authority with power below ĺ throttle. There is however, a slight roll couple, but nothing else, even in a descending edge. Reverse the direction and did the knife pass the other way shows the same. On the next knife pass, I executed a knife to knife snap, and it was very crisp, again ending on entry heading.

I decided it was time for some 3d fun and switched everything to high rates. I began a vertical climb, pitched over for a knife-edge spin which took a little finess to get started. The result was a very tight spin, with the fuse almost horizontal. I decided to exit high since the plane seemed to need a little more inertia to avoid the tip stall. Vertical snaps on the upline were also very crisp, but needed a little more aileron added to get a good wind up. I pitched over and started a blender. The plane snaped into a perfectly flat inverted spin, with very little throttle needed to flatten. I added power, and discovered that adding power on this plane adds rotation speed -- it spins very fast. I had to go up again and see if I just got lucky, but no, another perfect blender. Again, I exited high for safety, but adding power on the down line, eliminates the tip stalling indicators. Waterfalls were almost over the spar will just elevator input. Slow flight was a bit touchy. The plane will harrier, but some mixes would be a good idea to help stabilize it.

Video Gallery

Hobby Lobby provides some fun and exciting video of the Raven at its finest. {Editor's note: We hope to add video by our author in the near future, but didn't want to hold this review any longer until the author, the weather, and the camera man can all work together!}

3D Report Card
ManeuverGrade Notes
Hover B+ The raven is very responsive. It will hover with some practice, but you need to be ready to respond. Part of the snappy repsonse of this plane.
Torque Roll B+ The Raven does some pretty good torque rolls, but as usual you really have to be ahead of the plane
High Alpha Level Flight B- A little wing rock in high alpha
High Alpha Inverted B Similar to non inverted
Flips/Waterfalls A+ With the shape of this wing, it flips on a dime. With power, this thing drops little altitude with multiple flips
High Alpha Rolling A- Good and fairly axial
High Alpha Knife Edge B+ There is a little coupling but bad tendencies do not increase as alpha increases
Stall Turns A It just flips right over the tail
Knife-edge-to-knife-edge Snaps A The plane snaps so well, and just drops right back onto knife
Wall B Too much elevator and it snaps out
Flying Flat-Spin/Blender A+ The Ravens niche: this is the manuver it does the best. Very flat, and tight rotation with little altitude loss, but recover higher than you think.
Knife Edge spin A+ As expected a plane that snaps well, knifes well, and doesn't mind tip stalling, should perform this manuver well, and does it ever.

Summary:

One of the best snapping planes I have flown. Good rolling ability, good tumbling, and a beautiful looking airplane that is unique. Itís a simple build, particularly if you have built with foam before. It is certainly not a good choice for a first plane, or a second, but if you want a great looking plane that happens to fly snappy, crisp, and lacks inherent stability, this is it. Once you get it tweaked, itís quite a nice flyer that just happens to look really cool in the air.

Pros:

  • Durable foam finish
  • Hatch design
  • Simple motor installation with the Uberall
  • Good flight characteristics
  • Price
  • Long flight time with 2100ís
  • Pre-painted beautifully
  • Decals are easy to apply
  • Looks great!
  • Air-foils on all surfaces

Cons:

  • Paint scratches easily on spinner & cowl
  • Wheel pants are fragile
  • Spinner build
  • Instructions could be better
  • Needs some extra airspeed to avoid tip stalling on exits

Discussion

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Old Sep 14, 2005, 01:50 PM
55' Edge is too sweet!
dprc's Avatar
Allen, TX
Joined Aug 2005
325 Posts
Kirby,

Great job on the review. I was realy appreciate you indepth review. Can't wait for the video!

DP
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