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Horizon Hobby's Hangar 9 Brand Twist . 40 & Evolution 46 ARF Review

The manufacturer claims that...From hovers to harriers...the most fun you can have...without getting arrested. David Huff, and Jason Moore review the Twist, and find that $99 can buy you an awful lot of fun.

Splash

Introduction


Model:Twist 3D .40 ARF
Wingspan:47.75"
Wing Area:747.37 sq. in.
Weight:5 Lbs. 4 Oz.
Length:48.38"
Wing Loading:16 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:Futaba S3001 (5)
Transmitter:Futaba 9CAF
Receiver:Futaba FP-R127DF
Battery:1000mAh AA flat pack
Engine:Evolution 46NT
Fuel tank:11 oz.
Manufacturer:Hangar 9
Available From:Horizon Hobby and your local hobby shop

Hangar 9's Twist has a very bold claim to live up to.

  • "From hovers to harriers, Knife-edge to flat spins, the Twist .40 ARF from Hangar 9 is the most fun you can have at the flying field without getting arrested."
  • "The Twist .40 provides plenty of aerobatic thrills without draining either your patience or your pocketbook."

Now we're going to see if it lives up to that claim!!!

Packaging

I don't usually get all worked up over boxes but, in this case, I thought I needed to mention a few things. The way the Twist was packaged not only looked good, it saved my particular plane's life. When the Twist showed up, the outer box was in a state of, well, to put it bluntly, it was "hammered"! The box had dents and a few tears in it but the worst was that it had obviously been wet and was very caved in on what turned out to be the bottom! I was thinking "Uh oh... Not good, not good at all." Well, I opened it up and the inner box, the good looking one, was surprisingly intact with only one small puncture and a split seam at one corner. But there was that caved in part... And the wetness... So in I went, ready for the worst. The main box had styrofoam protection on the underside of the box lid to protect the wing. The wing was fine. There was a heavy cardboard divider between the wing and the rest of the plane. There were two cardboard separators to hold the small parts that acted like support columns from the bottom of the box to the divider. All of the loose parts not in the "columns" were taped to the box floor. There was absolutely no physical damage to this plane at all! All of the parts, including the manual, were in plastic bags so the wetness wasn't an issue either.

The people that designed the layout of the packaging deserve a pat on the back for this one!

Well done Hangar 9!

Kit Contents

This is a typical Hangar 9 kit, with lots of great materials included in the box. It even included electric conversion instructions!

Requires:

  • Engine Size: .40-.48 2-stroke; .50-.82 4-stroke (Saito .82 highly recommended!)
  • Radio: 4-channel w/ 5 servos
  • CA & Epoxy for assembly
  • Servo extensions

Overview

The Hangar 9 Twist is an all built up, laser cut, balsa and ply airplane. It's obvious that the folks at H-9 took great measures to make this plane as light as possible while also building a strong airframe as well. It's covered in Hangar 9's own UltraCote in mostly yellow on top and purple on the bottom. Hangar 9 is well known for quality instruction manuals, so I wont belabor every point of assembly.

Assembly

Wing

The Twist has a one piece wing with the belly pan already attached. All I had to do to complete the wing was to install the wing locating dowel that anchors it to the fuselage, CA the ailerons to it and install the servos and control linkage. That's about as easy as it can get!! The only thing that could've been better was if H-9 had put some pull strings in the wing to pull the servo leads through but, that's not really a big problem to have considering that I didn't have to break out the epoxy to glue the wing together...

Fuselage and tail

The fuselage is about as simple to do as the wing. Aside from the bolt on stuff, the only things I needed to do were to to epoxy the tail feathers on and CA the control surfaces. The fit of the tail feathers was right on the money! No sanding needed! The elevator halves were joined by a wire connector that needed to be put in place before gluing the horizontal stabilizer in place and after waiting for the thirty minute epoxy to dry on the stabilizers, I was getting the CA back out for the control surfaces!

All of the bolt on stuff is very easy to do and except for having to clean the flashing out of the bolt holes of the engine mount, these steps were uneventful. I did deviate from the instructions and chose to use servo screws to hold my canopy on rather than glue. This was just so I could easily change my pilot to a different one if the need ever arose...

Engine Installation

Dave Huff chose the Evolution 46NT for my Twist and the installation went off with only two small hitches. The first problem was that the supplied throttle rod was just a bit too short and could not be used. I used one out of my stock. The second problem was the blue adjustment limiter ring that was installed on the high speed needle valve on the 46NT interfered with the cowl cheek. As I saw it, my options were to cut a big hole for the limiter ring to fit inside of or to remove the limiter ring completely. I chose the latter and it has been working fine. All in all, other than these problems, it was a very simple install.

Jason Moore: I too had to replace the provided throttle control rod with one of my own. An inch or two of extra length on all the provided control rods would have been a welcome addition, but this was no more than a very minor inconvenience.

Radio Installation

I ran into a couple of minor issues during the radio installation. The pre-cut servo holes were just a shade too small in length for my Futaba servos. A quick shave, and I mean shave, with a hobby knife and they were ready to go. Not much material was needed to be removed for them to fit. The pre-cut switch was sized perfectly but, the fuselage doubler below it needed a little bit of trimming for a good fit. These were very minor issues and took maybe five minutes to deal with, if that.

After installing the servos, I routed the receiver antenna through it's tube and out the back of the plane. I "mocked up" the receiver and battery placement and installed the wing. The center of gravity checked out at 5 inches, which is rear at the recommended CG placement of between 4 and 5 inches. I had the battery just behind the fuel tank and the receiver right behind the battery. With the protective foam on these parts there was no need to anchor them in. The fit is so tight in the space provided that there is no where they could move! (My flying CG ended up at 5-1/8". Other than touchy landings in wind, it hasnt really gotten all that much "unstable" at all in the air.)

Completion

At this point, all that was left was to double check the CG and set the throws. I set the low middle and high rates on my transmitter to those recommended by Hangar 9.

Surface Low rate High Rate 3D Rate
Aileron 1" 1 5/8" 2 1/2"
Elevator 1" 2" 2 3/4"
Rudder 1 3/4" 2" 2 1/2"

Nothing left to do now but fly!!!

Flying

Other Pilots' Input!

Dave Huff's flight notes:

"Mine would hover at about 5/8ths throttle with the Evolution 46NT and an APC 11.5-4 on it. I swapped the engine out to a Saito 72 with a Master Airscrew 13-6 and troops.... this is the ticket!!! The extra pitch speed seems to increase the air on the tail feathers and it's a whole lot easier to maneuver below stall. It also seems to smooth out the "jumpiness" in the throttle movements when nose up."

RCGroups member MarshallCowboy, Jarrod Carr shares:

"The setup I had in it was the Evo46 glow with an APC 11x4 prop, jr 537 standard servos on all control surfaces. The CG came out to about 4 3/4 inches behind the LE. I did put 1.5 oz of weight in the nose to make to the CG point. Tracking on the ground was great. On its maiden flight I only had to add a few clicks of right aileron and 3 clicks of up elevator for hands free level flight. It would hover right at half throttle, pull out was a little slow, so I never got brave enough to try and hover down low, inverted flat spins where great to watch, the plane seemed to float right there in its spot, knife edges with mine tracked right down the runway with no tendencies to tuck or pull."

RCGroups user Lordsirob Shares Performance on a 4-stroke...

Twist number 2 has a Magnum XL-70 4s upfront and APC 13-6 prop. For the maiden, the receiver was forward of the throttle servo, and the 5-cell NiMh battery pack was aft of the throttel servo, for a balance point ~ 4.75 inches or so. This is my first 4s engine, and it was run in on a stand with 10% Omega fuel. Once the break-in was complete, the motor was mounted in T2. Yesterday, T2 was maidened. The HS needle was peaked to ~10,000 rpm and then backed off to ~8500 for flying. The transistion was good so off she went.

The KE mix on my old twist worked just as well for T2. T2 does a very nice KE spin, but upright and inverted spins can't be flattened out with the CG as far forward as it is. I am going to move the battery pack aft of the wing to hopefully solve that problem (T1 would do in-place inverted flatspins). However, the forward CG does tend to make landings a breeze.

The most pleasant surprise was the fast unlimited vertical performance the 4s gave to T2 (and I used to think that the OS 46AX 12.25 X 3.75 combo gave good vertical performance - now I know the error of my ways).

The extra weight of the 4s makes no difference in the flight characteristics. I can't wait for the engine to get more time so I can safely lean out the HS needle some more. I have a 14 X 4W prop that I want to try, but need taller landing gear.

Twist as a Second/Third Aircraft

Editor's Note: Want other's inputs on the twist as a second/third aircraft? Consider visiting this RCGroups.com thread and reading the indepth discussion of this bird as a second/third plane, including MarshallCowboy's first hand experience with the Twist as a third plane:

"The twist was my third plane after an Ultra stick...was the most stable plane I ever flew. It never had a tendency to snap out at low speeds and landing was slow and easier than my trainer. The Twist will be my son's second plane, but we do plan on setting the low rates down...and go from there. I personally would recommend it IF you have a computer radio to program in nice tame throws. It can be done on a 4 channel radio, just will take abit more to set the throws tame and be easy on the sticks."

Taking Off and Landing

The Twist is an excellent performer during takeoffs and landings. Takeoff rollout can be short (10-15 feet) or long and scale, depending on how you want to fly. The slightest hint of right rudder is needed to keep the rollout straight and true, but otherwise this thing almost takes off hands-off.

Landings are extremely slow and predictable. With a wide prop, and the thick airfoils, the Twist bleeds off airspeed with ease, and settles into final approach with confidence. Nose into the wind, the Twist will come down at almost 0 groundspeed. With a 4-4.5" CG, this twist lands easier than my trainers!

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

In the air the Twist has a bit of Dr. Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde syndrome...in a good way! In my flights with the Twist, on suggested low rates, and a CG towards the forward end of the suggested range (4.25" from the LE), it's a fine flyer with gentle stalls, and no bad habits. Shift the CG back, and dial in high rates (I used high rates between published "High" and "3-D" rates) and this mild mannered "weekender" plane becomes a gravity defying fun fly capable of maneuvers well beyond the capabilities of my relatively inexperienced thumbs. Rolls are very quick, and response is snappy. Vertical performance is acceptable with a good .46 2-stroke, and in high rates the twist is quite capable of a wide array of popular 3-D maneuvers. I found Knife-edge performance acceptable, but with a considerable amount of roll coupling that required me to really "stay on top" of the aileron to keep the wings perpendicular to the ground. I have chosen not to try to 'mix this out', but rather am learning to fly the plane's needs.

For the flights, I used an OS .46 AX 2-stroke, APC 12.25"X3.75" with 15% nitro fuel. This combination proved sufficient to hover the twist (at about 3/4 throttle), but for more extreme high-alpha stunts, I would suggest a 70-82 4-stroke, as the .46 I'm using has lethargic pullout for this airframe. Dave says his was amazing with the .82 Saito!!

Overall, if you’re looking for an extreme 3-D machine, or a competition level pattern flyer, the Twist may not be the best choice. But, if you're looking for a plane that is capable of 3-D, able to perform hammerheads, flat spins, knife-edge loops, and almost anything else you can throw at it, all the while able to behave well enough to land easier than some trainers, then the very attractively priced H9 Twist may be right up your alley!

First Hand Experience of the Twist as an Aerobatic Trainer

Jason says, "If you can comfortably takeoff and land a trainer, and are ready to try your hand at fun-fly, the H9 twist would make an excellent 2nd or 3rd plane. It was fantastic as MY second aircraft, after learning all I could from a quality trainer. Just keep it on low rates for the first few flights, and have fun!!"

"About 100 flights on the twist now, and I couldn't be happier. The twist ...is neutrally stable. ... The twist will not save you from yourself, and won't pull itself level like a high-wing trainer. Otherwise, you can dial the rates down low enough to make the twist fly like a trainer. In most respects, it's even easier to land than my trainer. It's certainly easier to takeoff. The twist slows down way more than most trainers, and settles into a landing extremely easy, if its got a forward CG. If you do get a twist as your second or third plane, do yourself a few favors and:

Important Steps for Twist as a Successful Aerobatic Trainer

  • Set the CG at 4" or 4.25" Max. Hold of the 4.5-5" until you've got a couple dozen flights with it forward.
  • Set your rates to the published "low" rates, or even decrease them another 10-15%. Do not set up higher rates on a switch. Too tempting, and you'll get yourself in trouble.

Play with the twist using this setup to learn its feel. You'll love it. As you get takeoffs and landings down, add one high rate switch and play with it way up (3 mistakes high). It's fast on the controls, if you're not careful, on high rates."

Is This For a Beginner?

The H9 Twists landings and takeoffs seem to be easier than trainers! On low rates, its an agile sport flyer, while not being so intimidating as to discourage newer flyers. It's aerobatic performance and lack of self-righting mean this is NOT a first aircraft. It will not help a modeler out of a bad situation, and has no self correction. Definitely start with a quality trainer and a good instructor.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

A Weak Point

One final note about the ARF construction. The ARF is overall, very well made, and complete with included wheels, pre-cut control rods, and a plumbed fuel tank (Including fuel lines!). However, there seems to be a weak area in the fuselage just aft of the cockpit. I have had the fuselage break at this point after a moderately rough landing, and the break was clean at the glue joints, leading me to believe that a bit more attention could be paid to this area at the factory. Others have expressed the same concern in the varied thread here on RCGroups discussion forums.

A fellow E-Zone member notes, "...already repaired -- I think it's an easy fix. The fuse snaps BEHIND the wing -- that's where the doubler ends and it has nothing to do with the wing mounting....good intention to keep the weight down."

3D Flight Report Card

These grades are averaged from several Twist pilot's inputs...

Manuever Grade Notes
Hangar B
Harrier B
Inverted Harrier B
Rolling Harrier A
Torque Roll B
High Speed rolls A
Slow airspeed rolls B Required elevator/rudder to keep axial
Slow roll at flying speed A
100+ ft loops B
Small Loops A/C Stalls in small loops with very aft CG
Loopets C "May have been too forward a CG"
Knife Edge C Severe coupling; great handling otherwise
High Alpha KE B
KE Spins F "Could not get it to spin"
KE to KE tumbles B-
Snaps A+ One of the best snappers I've ever flown!
tumbles B
Spin Entry A-
Spin Exit A
Flat Spin n/a (3 judges drastically differed on their grade here. No notes.)
Flying Flat/Blender B
Take-off A+
Landing A B at Aft CG; A+ at forward CG
Slip Landings A- Great rudder performance!
Harrier landing A Be careful doing so in grass -- lost my gear!
Vertical uplines A The Twist with a YS 63 should have a warning label:
"CAUTION - EXTREME VERTICAL AND SPEED"

Conclusion

Dave says, "This is one of the best dollar value general fun planes on the market!"

Jason expands... This model will do anything I throw at it! It is a great all-in-one aircraft, for good 3D, good precision, incredibly forgiving, and all in all a blast.

Pros:

  • Generous control surfaces, and thick, fully-symmetrical airfoil offer exciting performance and great slow-speed control.
  • Extremely complete, and well thought out accessories included in the box.
  • Capable of a wide array of high-alpha maneuvers
  • Extremely well mannered in takeoffs, and landings

Cons:

  • Lightweight airframe wont hold up to much abuse, particularly at the rear of the wing saddle.
  • Although quite capable on the recommended .46 2-stroke, a larger engine is really required to take full advantage of the Twist's potential.

The H9 twist is a great addition to my "Hangar" and I anticipate having many, many more flights on this well mannered thrill machine. I fully agree with Dave, for a sub $100 ARF, the H9 Twist is, in a word, AWESOME.

Id like to thank Chris S. for all his help with the videography, and photography.

The H9 Twist is, in a word, AWESOME!

Discussion

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Old Dec 10, 2005, 03:40 PM
Firebreather
Mendnwngs's Avatar
Napa, California, United States
Joined Jul 2004
330 Posts
In reply to an email I recieved:

The Equipment in the flight twist (mine) was slightly different than the equipment in the build portion. The flight portion was done with th following hardware:
Engine: OS .46 AX 2-stroke
Prop: APC 12.25X3.75
Servos: Futaba s3004 BB "standard" (5)
RX: Futaba R127DF 7-channel
RX Battery: 5 Cell (6V) 1800mAh NiMh (placed on top of the fueltank)
Spinner: Dubro plastic spinner (2.5", If I remember correctly)
TX: Futaba 7CAP

Hope this helps!

-Jason Moore
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Old Mar 06, 2006, 08:55 AM
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rccardude04's Avatar
Wichita, Ks
Joined Jun 2005
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Since you guys are the experts, I figure I'd start here.
I've been flying electric for a while now, and I like to think I'm pretty decent at it. I have a great planes Red Bull FlatOut plane that I have been able to hover and what not. I haven't had a ton of stick time on it, but I can certainly fly it. Would this plane be a good place to start my venture into nitro, or would you suggest something else? I find that my flatout is the most fun to fly due to the huge amounts of control surface and the fact that I can almost flip it underneath itself just by giving elevator. This plane looks alot like that and I think I'd enjoy flying it. But I'm still a little unsure.
Great article by the way. I just wanted a little more input regarding those of us with "electric only" experience.
Any input would be appreciated!!
Thanks,
-Eric
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Old Mar 06, 2006, 04:10 PM
Firebreather
Mendnwngs's Avatar
Napa, California, United States
Joined Jul 2004
330 Posts
I think, if you have 3-D foamie experience, you'll really dig the twist. Mines still flying with around 170 flights on it. The ultra-thick airfoils and oversized control surfaces on the twist react pretty similar to my Flatana Flat-outs. Slows down quick with power off, flops around any which way you point it.. I find the twist a *lot* easier to land than my flatana tho. Not being much of an electric guy myself, I like to glide in on a landing, and flair. The flatana just drops out of the air if you power off on landing approach. A little elevator to flaperon coupling on the twist will help it do tighter loops, full elevator alone (high rate) with moderate or higher speed stalls out the tail (the plane looks like it almost "stair-steps" in mid air) A small mix of opposite flaperon direction to the elevator (Im set at like 4%) helps pull the plane around quicker before stalling out.

Rolls on the twist are dizzying, never got the flatana to roll quite as quick as the twist.

Give it a try, for $99 for the ARF, I promise you'll love it.

-Jason
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Old Mar 07, 2006, 01:38 AM
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rccardude04's Avatar
Wichita, Ks
Joined Jun 2005
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I'm feeling lazy so I think I'll go with the PnP. Comes with an Evolution 46 and 5 servos preinstalled. I have an Optic 6 I use for my electric stuff and I'll probably buy the QPCM receiver just for that added secure feeling.
Any real advantages to the ARF vs. the pnp other than engine/servo selection?
Thanks for the great reply
-Eric
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Old Mar 07, 2006, 02:47 PM
Firebreather
Mendnwngs's Avatar
Napa, California, United States
Joined Jul 2004
330 Posts
not that Im aware of. I believe the PnP is the same aircraft (with a different covering scheme)

I have yet to see one of the PnPs at our field, so I cant comment on weather or not the assembly is different. The Evo 46 is a good engine.. Theres one at our field with over 400 flights on it, never rebuilt. Overall the PnP looks like a fine package.

Just remember.. Dont get tempted.. Give it a few flights on low rates only, with the CG at the forward end of the range (4-4.25" from wing LE) Then start increasing rates, and moving CG back as you get comfortable.

You'll love it

-Jason
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Old Mar 08, 2006, 09:01 AM
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rccardude04's Avatar
Wichita, Ks
Joined Jun 2005
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Awesome. I'm going to be selling my boss some computer stuff so we can have a Realflight G3 computer in the store. I got him to put one of those in the deal for me.
I will definately put it on low rates and set the cg forward on the first few flights. I learned that the hard way on a couple of my first aileron equipped electrics lol.
Thanks a bunch!
-Eric
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Old Mar 08, 2006, 10:35 PM
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Central,Illinois
Joined Nov 2004
330 Posts
I ordered the pnp Twist from my LHS and should be in tomorrow afternoon . This will be my 2nd flying season and other than my AeroAce I havn't flown in awhile . After getting used to flying again with my Duraplane trainer and a used Duraplane I picked up at a swap meet which has very little dihedral and a semi symetrical wing I hope I am ready for the Twist . It will be my first glow plane I got new every thing else has been used and cheap . I have a Futaba 6exa and plan to set the rates low plus I also plan to wait awhile till I get flying again . I hope it is like riding a bike and I will pick up right where I left off . All I have flown so far are trainers with alot of dihedral . I can't wait to try flying a plane that dosn't really climb every time I give it throttle .I will fly my Duraplane trainer 1st ,then the Duraplane I havn't flown with little dihedral and semi symetrical wing and after a month or so I will fly the Twist . I can't wait to fly a plane that looks good and not like a flying gutter . I don't care I have had lots of fun with my flying gutter and had some crashes that would have sent most balsa planes to the burn pile . I don't like building but I love flying so the PNP Twist seems just right for me . I hope that evolution engine is good and enough power . I have been flying with OS.46 AX engines which I love . I have 2 of the AX engines so if I am not happy with the Evolutio .46 I can always swap for one of my >46 AX engines .
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Old Apr 29, 2006, 11:17 AM
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rccardude04's Avatar
Wichita, Ks
Joined Jun 2005
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I GOT ONE!!!!
Thanks in part to advice you guys gave me, I went ahead and went with the twist. I'm still playing with propellers because we were out of the reccomended apc 11x6 when I got the plane, but I love it anyway. With the Evolution 46, it starts every time (even easier than my buddy's OS 46AX) and has plenty of power to climb almost forever. The roll rate is UNREAL on high rates. I had my dual rates set up for my first flight even though I was advised against it. I couldn't stand the low rates. I like having it be as snappy as possible. I did however set about -30 exponential on everything though to tone it down a little bit.
The coolest part is the fact that i can flip it upside-down and still have hands-off level flight. This plane literally requires absolutely no elevator correction once upside down (other than the nose drop that happens during the roll to inverted flight anyway)
I also love how it lands. Like everybody told me, it comes in slow and predictable. You can practically harrier it in under almost no power whatsoever. It really does land pretty much like a trainer.
Thanks again for the advice! This plane kicks butt!
-Eric
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Old May 04, 2006, 11:32 AM
Firebreather
Mendnwngs's Avatar
Napa, California, United States
Joined Jul 2004
330 Posts
Excellent!

Glad you're enjoying it.

My Twist is in its second season of operation, and still gonig strong. Still one of my favorites.

-Jason
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Old May 08, 2006, 09:08 AM
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rccardude04's Avatar
Wichita, Ks
Joined Jun 2005
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One of my wing ribs is broken! It's like ... snapped at the glue joint. I haven't even landed hard enough or bad enough to scratch any monokote yet! I think it was just a bad joint from the factory but I REALLY don't want to cut the ultracote. It seems to be holding though... who knows how long it's been broken lol. I just noticeid it last night while cleaning it off from the day of flying.
Oh well, if it gets annoying I can always put a pinhole in the covering and use a really fine tipped applicator I think. Then I can just put a little patch on the hole.
-Eric
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Old May 08, 2006, 12:50 PM
Firebreather
Mendnwngs's Avatar
Napa, California, United States
Joined Jul 2004
330 Posts
in one of my more hair-raising landings, I banged up the wings LE pretty good, forcing a re-build, and re-sheeting of the LE.. I found that the ribs were rather lightly glued in. I wicked CA into the ribs I could get to, and left the ones I couldn't get to, alone. So far, it hasnt been an issue. The wing is built light, but seems to be really strong. Its handled all the high-speed snaprolls and such Ive thrown at it, with ease.

-Jason
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Old May 10, 2006, 09:36 AM
Lower, Lower
bc-slowflyer's Avatar
Penticton,BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2004
1,419 Posts
Checking CG of the Twist?

Here's a quick question about checking the CG on the Twist.......do you take the CG with the tank full or empty? The assembly manual does not specify at all.

Thanks;
Rod
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Old May 11, 2006, 07:39 AM
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Hobie's Avatar
Central,Illinois
Joined Nov 2004
330 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by bc-slowflyer
Here's a quick question about checking the CG on the Twist.......do you take the CG with the tank full or empty? The assembly manual does not specify at all.

Thanks;
Rod
Empty . As far as I know that is the standard for all fuel planes .
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