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Hobby Lobby's Cobweb 2 Indoor Slowflyer ARF Review

Mike Cross simply HAD to have this adorable indoor airplane. Read on to find out why he enjoys it so much, and how great its done at getting youngsters interested in our hobby.

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:31.5"
Wing Area:341 sq. in.
Weight:5 oz.
Length:31"
Wing Loading:2.11 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:HS55
Prop:APC 7x4 slowflyer
Battery:2 Cell 7.4V 340 mAh Li-Poly Pack
Motor:MPJet 22/7-60D Outrunner Brushless Motor
ESC:Jeti Advance PLUS 8 Amp Brushless Controller with Program Card
Available From:Hobby Lobby

Have you ever looked at an ad for a plane and said “I want that”, but you have no idea what the appeal is? Well when I saw the Hobby-Lobby Cobweb II I had to have it. Maybe it was the idea of flying around at walking speed with a string holding the dihedral in the wing, or the mickey mouse ears for tail surfaces, or maybe just the pure simplicity of it. I just had to have it.

Kit Contents

Opening the box, I looked at the round tipped wing and round tails. "Too cool," I thought to myself.

Then I opened the bag that contained the hardware and manual. To say the manual leaves something to be desired is an understatement. I think most experienced modelers will be able to navigate the instructions not because they are ok but because the simple design of the airplane needs very little information to figure out.

Assembly

I am going to give just a few pointers to make the instructions clearer.

Mounting the motor:

  1. The front of the boom has three holes that are close together.
  2. The instructions say "some right thrust and some down thrust". I put two degrees of right thrust and two degrees of down thrust to start. After test flying I would prefer to have more down thrust, probably 3-4 degrees.
  3. When I build another of these...yea I think it is that cool of an airplane...I will mount the motor above the boom so I have more ground clearance for the prop. I would recommend doing this from the start for anyone else building the Cobweb II.

Inserting the carbon gear legs and carbon wing supports:

  1. The holes in the boom were very tight for the gear legs and wing supports. Take a few minutes to make sure all 4 holes in the boom and the 2 holes in the wing let the carbon pipes slide in easily.
  2. The instructions say to glue the carbon rod first and then glue the plastic carbon holder. I tried it that way on the forward wing mount and found it difficult to slide the carbon holder in place because of the glue on the carbon rod. The rest of them I fit the carbon rod and the plastic holder before gluing and this worked much better for me.

Main wing: When you attach the hook to the wing strings make sure the wing does not have any twists.

Radio gear installation:

  1. I used one of the two balsa sheets for the battery and speed control tied into the boom and the forward wing support. This allowed the plane to balance ½” forward of the middle of the wing. The instructions want the plane to balance at 50% of the wing.
  2. The other balsa sheet I mounted at the 50% of the wing and mounted the rx and servos on this sheet.

Building conclusion: The instructions were confusing, with a lot of blank spots and holes, but anyone that has built a plane or two will likely be able to figure it out.

Flying

What a joy to fly! This little bird is surprisingly maneuverable, and yet easy, with no surprises. Whenever the wind is calm I find myself picking this plane up just to float around the sky. It's great indoors, or in a calm wind -- up to about 5 mph it did great; over that took the fun out of the CobWeb for me. I would expect that the infield of a baseball diamond would provide plenty of room for a newer pilot. A good pilot could easily fly the CobWeb in half that area.

Is this for a beginner?

Absolutely! In the right set up, this is an ideal first airplane...easy to assemble, soft controls but not so sleepy as to cause trouble, crash resistant, and with great recovery.

Self Correction: With the CG stock and 3 degrees of down thrust...I put the plane in a steep dive, power off, and let go of the sticks -- a common beginner situation. The model recovered to upright, but actually over-recovered, going nose high and requiring me to push her nose down and/or add power to keep flying. At this CG/thrust, the little plane also has a pitch up with an increase in speed (diving). Moving the CG forward slightly and adjusting the thrust to 4 degrees diminished these issues significantly.

Roll recovery: Another common beginner issue -- model is banked hard, and pilot lets go of the sticks, unsure what to do. No problem! The shape and dihedral of the wing make the roll recovery almost instant. The light weight eliminates stalls.

Slow flight: The ideal way for a beginner to learn, with things moving along slowly and easily, not rushed. This plane excels at slow flight. Very stable yet still very maneuverable. Ideal for the beginner, or for just having fun on a lazy afternoon. It is slow enough, I would expect that a beginner could fly it in a ball field.

Changes:

CG: At the stock CG, the model has a bad pitch up with power, and is a bit overly responsive. Definitely not the ideal setup for a beginner.

I moved the CG forward 1” from the recommended 50% CG and that was too far forward. The plane required too much positive elevator trim to maintain level flight. This made the plane feel sluggish.

The CG set ½” forward of the 50% CG seemed perfect. This made the plane climb a bit under full power but doing the dive test the plane would pull out slowly. This allows the CobWeb to fly in trim over a broader speed range.

Thrust Angle: I did not try adjusting my model's thrust angle because I attached the motor mount to the boom so well that I could not easily break it loose. I would like to see 3-4 degrees of down thrust. I think with the CG ½” in front of the 50% and 3-4 degrees down thrust, the plane would be even more beginner friendly.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

School Demonstrations -- where Cobweb really shines...by Editor AnnMarie Cross

We had a SUPERB time using the cobweb for a flight demonstration at a local elementary school as a part of the SAE-WIM Program where 4th and 5th grade school students are given a fictitious assignment of designing a toy for a toy company. What better way to give them a real-world experience than bring in an honest-to-goodness former toy designer and toy test pilot to show them about flying model airplanes???

The cobweb was ideal for this job -- lazy, easy, sleepy, very safe and comfortable feeling inside the small gym, yet more than interesting enough for these youngsters. Former Great Planes model designer Mike Cross recalled to the students that the first time HE saw a model airplane fly was in elementary school, and he thought he'd never be able to afford one. "Maybe today I've sparked the interest for this great, life long hobby in one of these kids," Mike comments afterward to a teacher.

Fellow modelers, want to do something really great? Contact your local elementary school. Ask them if they're involved in World of Motion, a Society of Aeronautical Engineers national program. And find out if YOU could be a volunteer to help. If they aren't, they still would likely LOVE to have you come to the school and do an assembly and demonstration to the students about model aircraft. DARE programs LOVE to have modelers be involved and help show these kids some more productive ways to spend their time.

Heat Problems

Conclusion

This is a fun plane to fly. It looks cool, is easy and just a good time. It's ideal for a beginner and long term modeler alike...even an aerobatic junky like me! The instructions are lacking, but hopefully the info above is helpful for you when you, like me, decide you simply HAVE to have this cute little aircraft!

Regarding storage in your car all day at work, Hobby Lobby says that a lightweight little model like this shouldn't be stored in a closed up vehicle for any length of time.

Discussion

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Old Apr 25, 2006, 03:45 PM
Too Little Too Late
MICHIGAN... 48189
Joined Jan 2002
323 Posts
Appears to be a job well done! Who knows how many young minds have caught the RC fever? It would sure be a shot in the arm for RC and the AMA if demonstrations such as this caught on nationwide. The plane chosen was certainly up to the task; just about perfect for a safe and exciting experience for the children.

Jerry
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Old Apr 30, 2006, 01:47 PM
SAM Elec GrdChmp04,07,10,12,14
Jay Burkart's Avatar
Smithfield, Ky.
Joined Sep 2001
1,076 Posts
Cobweb instructions

Hobby Lobby informed me that new Cobweb kits will ship with much improved instructions and photos for building it.
Regards
Jay Burkart
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Old Apr 30, 2006, 07:36 PM
Registered User
Joined Apr 2006
1 Posts
Cobweb instructions

I bought Cobweb II from Germany. In addition to 285 Euros I payed about 60 Euros German tax.

I am not able to assemble this plane.

Boreholes of the motor does not fit to the boreholes of the plane.

Instructions for connecting LiPoly Charger, Motor Controller, Battery Pack etc. are not available.

Addition instructions of Mike Cross were helpfull. But in his pictures there were elements that were not delivered to me.

Help available? Or give it away?

Johann
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Last edited by Johann; Apr 30, 2006 at 07:55 PM.
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Old May 06, 2006, 04:26 AM
Registered User
Joined Dec 2005
1,316 Posts
I got mine today and the instructions are trash! Any way i can look at my Slow Jazz and kinda get the idea of how it goes together. Anyway I opened the box,grabbed the fuselage and noticed that at the factory they drilled the hole in the wrong place then drilled another, than another,thus splitting the carbon fiber! I notified where i bought it for a replacement. I cant even build it till I get that piece.
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Old May 06, 2006, 08:49 AM
SAM Elec GrdChmp04,07,10,12,14
Jay Burkart's Avatar
Smithfield, Ky.
Joined Sep 2001
1,076 Posts
Heliofann,

From where did you buy your Cobweb?
Inquiring minds want to know.

Jay
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Old May 06, 2006, 11:20 PM
Hold my beer and watch this!
Jeremy Z's Avatar
Northern IL
Joined Oct 2005
2,380 Posts
That part in the video flying over the horses... too funny. They're not spooked, not interested, just completely disinterested.
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Old May 07, 2006, 09:35 AM
Fun Manager
AMCross's Avatar
Villa Grove, Illinois
Joined May 2000
1,695 Posts
Jeremy,
Yep. That's why we included it. REALLY shows how quiet, how unoffensive this sweet little bird is in the air. What a joy to fly. Of course, our horses are used to at least some model flying, although usualyl around the other side of the house. But this thing made essentially no noise, drew no attention. And 2 of the horses out there have NOT seen a model fly around here before, I dont think, and they still barely cared. Far as I can tell, they thought it was some odd sort of bird....
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Old May 18, 2006, 10:43 PM
JustFly
United States, LA, Mandeville
Joined Aug 2004
44 Posts
Mine came with a tail wheel. Yet there seems to be no way to attach it- and no instructions. Also, how is the rudder fastened? Is the tail wheel somehow supposed to attach to the rudder?? If anyone can clue me in I'd appreciate it.

The kit seems OK - but couldn't they find anyone who knows how to write a manual in Korea??? My 7-year-old could have done a better job!
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Old Aug 08, 2006, 11:25 PM
Registered User
Joined Jul 2006
16 Posts
please help

The cobweb is a wonderful little plane. Unfortunately I had the opportunity of learning what happens when you point the transmitter at the plane which is pointing at me. The elevator suddenly pitched up and dove straight into the ground. This broke the main carbon fiber tube right in front of the place where the front wing support and two landing struts enter the main tube. You can get an idea of what I'm talking about in the Assembly section above. The picture of the ESC shows the connectors and actually the place that the main stick broke. The front part of the cf tube is shattered and would take a lot of ca and thread to stick back together. I'm now looking for a source of the little connectors that connect the support rods to the wing rib and main stick. Or alternative construction techniques for joining solid carbon fiber rods into carbon fiber tubes. The connectors slid onto the ends of the cf rods and then had two ears that went around the cf tube. The cf rod could go up through the connector and into the tube. These joints are all 90 degrees, or the rod comes out of the tube at a right angle. All of the connectors in the plane are broken, or so solidly glued that I'm not going to be able to debond them, so I need some replacements.
Thanks in advance
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Last edited by mnflyerfff; Aug 08, 2006 at 11:28 PM. Reason: referenced a picture above
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Old Aug 09, 2006, 10:14 AM
Fun Manager
AMCross's Avatar
Villa Grove, Illinois
Joined May 2000
1,695 Posts
MN,
Sadly, that is true of all models, that your least effective communication is when the antenna is pointed straight at the model, and the model pointed straight at the antenna, so that you've got signal radiating out the side of hte radio and received at the sides of the model.

Have you contacted Hobby Lobby to see if they might have a suggestion? Otherwise, this is a very inexpensive cute little plane, I'd suggest it might be easier to start fresh than to try to repair that much damage?
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 04:35 AM
Registered User
Joined Jun 2006
54 Posts
I bought this thing. My box came missing the parts bag. No problem Hobby Lobby shipped the parts out asap (geat cust service)

Began assembly ......the wing strut holes are so misaligned on the main spar that I have come to a halt...the wing would be so tweaked as to make the thing unflyable

shame on me for not "trial fitting" them first and checking for alignment...have the mis-aligned one solidly glued in place

when I installed the landing gear the forward landing gear strut did not leave enough room for the forward wing mount support on the spar...

two choices drill a new hole closer to the motor plate or carve up the plastic support clip so it'll fit in front of the forward landing gear

this is not a precision kit...bring an exacto with fresh blades, a drill to correct or make new holes in the main spar and trial fit everything before gluing anything
Regards
Gerard
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 08:05 AM
Foam rules
Thatovalguy's Avatar
HdG Md.
Joined Jan 2003
4,914 Posts
Actually it not the shrinkage that breaks the carbon but the carbon itself that breaks do to the over bend of the material and the change in temp. If you take the covering off and change the temp quikly it will break just the same.
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Old Dec 02, 2007, 12:08 AM
Registered User
Joined Sep 2007
38 Posts
Fellow Flyers,

I just bought my Cobweb from Hobby Lobby the friday after Thanksgiving but haven't had the time to start building it, In planning ahead I need to know the most sucessful/economical electronics to use from motor to servos. Anybody got experienced info??
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Old Dec 02, 2007, 12:13 AM
Registered User
Joined Sep 2007
38 Posts
Help:

The last posting I see is Sept. 2006, are there any more postings on this neat plane and if yey where are they? Thanks
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