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Great Planes Electrifly Mini Slinger Flying Wing ARF Review

Great Planes shrinks the Slinger to pocket size! Wendell Hubbard explores this new release and finds it to build in under an hour, look and fly GREAT!

Splash

Introduction

Low circles are fun with the Mini Slinger
Low circles are fun with the Mini Slinger
Wingspan:31.5"
Wing Area:230 sq. in.
Weight:7.5 oz.
Length:15"
Wing Loading:4.7 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:2 6.5g micro servos
Transmitter:Spektrum DX6
Receiver:Spektrum AR6000
Battery:8 cell 350 Mah Nimh
Motor:180 size brushed motor
ESC:Great Planes ElectriFly C-12
Manufacturer:Great Planes
Available From:Tower Hobbies

Great Planes has shrunk the successful Slinger flying wing down to almost pocket size with the new Mini Slinger!

Do you have an hour? You could be flying this little wing. The small size and light weight allow the Mini Slinger to be flown almost anywhere indoors or outdoors.

Kit Contents

The following items are required to complete the kit:

  • 2 micro servos
  • 1 micro receiver
  • 1 ESC
  • 5 minute epoxy
  • hobby knife
  • rubbing alcohol
  • tape
  • 1/16" drill bit

Assembly

The instructions are slightly optimistic by predicting half hour assembly time. Only the most organized builders will achieve that threshold. However just over an hour should not be hard for most people that have assembled a couple of planes before.

Assembly is quick and easy, and the manual is excellent, so I won't lay out every step here. I've pointed out a few highlights and the one problem encountered.

Wing

OOPS! The pre-bent pushrod wires are designed with a "V" in the middle to allow for adjustments of the control surfaces. However, when I tried to bend the wire it snapped in the center of the V. I was able to easily replace the brittle wire with some music wire I had on hand.

Finally the wing tips were attached with two screws. The spots for the screws were already marked with small dimples in the foam wing tips and in the plywood wing panel tips.

Radio Installation

I found that I needed to open up the wall at the back of the radio hatch so that I could place the ESC and battery further aft to achieve the recommended center of gravity.

Total assemby time was just over one hour.

Flying

Basics

The plane launches with a gentle toss and takes off from your hand. As it flew out I found that I had to add some up trim for level flight.

Once trimmed the Mini Slinger showed it is able to fly over a wide range of speeds. At full throttle it will zip along quite nicely. While not a rocket ship it will cover ground quickly and the small size makes it seem faster than it is. When throttled back the 7.5 oz AUW and low wing loading allow the Mini Slinger to slow to a crawl. It will easily fly in confined areas.

While a wing is limited in aerobatic maneuvers without a rudder, the Mini Slinger will perform all of the usual wing tricks....loops, Rolls, Spins, and inverted flight are all easily performed on the stock configuration.

Taking Off and Landing

Take offs only require a gentle toss and the Mini Slinger is off and away. Landings are slow and usually just plop on the ground. The slow speed and light weight also make this an easy plane to catch for landings. The recommended 8 cell ElectriFly 350 Mah Nimh battery offers 5-8 minutes of flying depending on throttle usage.

Is This For a Beginner?

Although a person probably could learn to fly on a Mini Slinger, it should really be saved for at least a second or preferably a third plane. The small side area makes a flying wing more difficult for beginners, and it has no self-righting characteristics. The light foam used in the Mini Slinger is not quite as tough as some other planes, so it may not be as forgiving about beginner mistakes. But this is not all bad...it allows the slinger to be very light and it allows The Mini Slinger to fly very slowly when desired.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

The Mini Slinger is a fun little wing. It is nicely matched to the stock motor and performs well in small areas. I found that I enjoy having it in the car and grabbing a quick flight on my way into work. The small size allows me to fly in a small park that would not be as tempting with most of my other parkflyers.

Hits

  • Small size
  • Quick build
  • Wide speed envelope
  • Inexpensive kit

Misses

  • Very brittle control rods
  • Body Hatch does not fit as well as the rest of the plane

Discussion

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Old Apr 27, 2006, 09:22 PM
Hold my beer and watch this!
Jeremy Z's Avatar
Northern IL
Joined Oct 2005
2,380 Posts
Wendell, What kind of foam(s) is this plane made out of? I'm curious about its ability to take a hit compared to a comparable EPP wing?

If it can't really take the hits, at least it can rest on its ARF laurels a bit more, eh?
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 01:43 PM
gwh
Registered User
Fort Worth, Texas
Joined Dec 1996
1,607 Posts
It is made of regular white foam with a thin plastic skin. The wing has held up well to sudden stops but it might give way to a hit from a EPP brushless wing. It is probably a better parkflyer than combat platform.
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Old Apr 29, 2006, 09:22 AM
Same Day Delivery
mike3976's Avatar
Economy, Pa.
Joined Mar 2002
3,468 Posts
Allmost picked one up an LHS, must have been 2 months ago! That spare CustomCdr 20mm single that I have, mated to a TP-450/720 3S Lipo would really hot rod this little wing up! Maby a wing is in my future after all!!
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Old May 03, 2006, 12:39 AM
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Holtenbacker's Avatar
Modesto, California USA
Joined Jan 2004
732 Posts
Wendell,

Did your instruction booklet offer part replacement and part numbers for Great Planes and Tower Hobbies?

Mine did but after splitting the canopy / motor mount plastic, I found out that you have to buy a whole kit to get the part wanted. No spare parts are being offered. Never were going to be offered.

Eddie
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Old May 06, 2006, 11:03 PM
gwh
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Fort Worth, Texas
Joined Dec 1996
1,607 Posts
Looks like Tower has parts in stock.
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Old May 07, 2006, 12:37 AM
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Holtenbacker's Avatar
Modesto, California USA
Joined Jan 2004
732 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwh
Looks like Tower has parts in stock.
I do believe Great Planes had a change of heart about offering parts.
Do you think my posting of what they did had anything to do about it?
Maybe.
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Old May 18, 2006, 11:45 AM
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Joined Dec 2004
2 Posts
I love this thing! Mine flies for 15-20 mins on a 3 cell 700mAh kokham. The little 180 motor screams like crazy. So much so that I can't believe I haven't burnt it out yet! But she just keeps comming back for more and more abuse!


I would never go back to the stock battery setup. I wasn't getting any longer then 3-4 mins out of it and it flies much sportier with the lithium anyway. With the decreased weight and very increased power it's unbelievable. I've hand lauched her into a 10 kmh headwind at full throttle and she litterally goes straight up! ( with the aircraft "sitting" pitched up at about 45 degrees into the wind it looks like it's on a string being pulled straight up! ) Then after a dramatically fast climb out, cut the engine and gliiiiide gliiide glide! All afternoon!


Fantastic little plane.



-Peej
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Old May 30, 2006, 06:07 AM
Registered User
Romania
Joined Mar 2006
14 Posts
Like Peej, I have used a LiPo, but a 2cell 640mAh. 11V might be a little bit too much for the poor speed 180 and I guess that the speed gain will not be significant due to the prop type.
Anyway, one should keep it as light as possible (mine is just below 200g with Hitec Micro05S and HS55).
Average flying time is about 15mins.

A lot of fun for the money!
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Old Jul 12, 2006, 10:34 PM
I need more ceiling!!!
sting35's Avatar
Okinawa, Japan
Joined May 2006
2,206 Posts
If anyone else has a problem with the pushrods snapping as in the review, this tip may help. I'm here in Okinawa and after waiting only 55 days for the Mini-Slinger to arrive from Tower Hobbies (I just love being overseas), I began assembly and sure enough, the pushrods snapped just like in the review. Since I didn't have any 'music wire' on hand like Wendell did, and since the LHS's here are very sparce, I ended up replacing them with your garden variety paper clip.

They worked like a champ. They weren't long enough to put a vee bend in for adjustment so I got them as close as I could and used the sub-trim function on my Hitec Optic 6 to zero out the control surfaces. They are strong enough to move the control surfaces, yet pliable enough to bend several times to get them right. And if you break them, replacements are cheap and plentiful. Now, as soon as the winds from the lastest typhoon die down, (Did I mention that I love being overseas?) I'll be able to maiden this baby.
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Old Jul 19, 2006, 01:25 AM
I need more ceiling!!!
sting35's Avatar
Okinawa, Japan
Joined May 2006
2,206 Posts
Three more tips for you... do NOT forget your Mini-Slinger in your car from morning until lunchtime in summer, in Okinawa! Ask me how I know! Left wing was exposed to direct sunlight and must have warped a bit cuz the winglet popped off. Oh well, have to wait another day to maiden. Got home, fast epoxy job, hand-bent the trailing edge of the left wing back into shape (carefully) and ready for the next try.

When lunchtime came around, I took it too the ballfield here on Camp Courtney. Unplugged the lead to the motor and hand-launched the Mini a few times to get it trimmed as much as possible w/o power. Ended up putting in quite a bit of right trim but seemed okay. Was surprised with how well it glided power off. I ended up doing ALL of my launches with power off and just hit the gas after I got my hand back on the transmitter. That's tip number two. When I was researching the Mini-Slinger, I saw a photo here of a guy with some 'prop rash' on his throwing hand and that scared me a little bit. Don't risk your fingers!!! Launch poweroff with a good firm, level toss, and smoothly add throttle. Don't worry, you have plenty of time because she glides like a champ.

Anyhow, it was quite windy (guessing 8-10mph and gusting to 15+) but since I had much more throws in the control surfaces than called for in the manual (even on low rates) and generous expo, I found that I didn't have much problem handling the wind. Much better than I had a right to expect out of a 7.05 OUNCE ship! Ran through both lipos and had a blast.

Last tip: DO remember to check your lateral balance. That antenna wire hanging out of the left tip of the wing WILL cause that wing to drop (AMHIK). I was able to get the balance spot on without adding any weight by sliding the lipo all the way to the right side of the battery compartment. Turns out that the wing wasn't nearly as bent as much as I thought it was, it was just the lateral unbalance that was causing all the necessary right trim. That explained a lot as too my calibrated eyeball, it seem pretty darned straight.

Verdict: What a hoot! Just about the most fun you can have for $40 (outside of Thailand ). BTW, I'm using the electronics from my recently deceased Coco Lama (4-in-1, lipos, servos) and they worked just dandy. Only an hour and a half til work is finished then it's back to the ballfield for some more stick time as we have another typhoon inbound this weekend.
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Old Jul 19, 2006, 05:21 PM
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Holtenbacker's Avatar
Modesto, California USA
Joined Jan 2004
732 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by sting35
That's tip number two. When I was researching the Mini-Slinger, I saw a photo here of a guy with some 'prop rash' on his throwing hand and that scared me a little bit. Don't risk your fingers!!!

Last tip: That antenna wire hanging out of the left tip of the wing WILL cause that wing to drop (AMHIK). I was able to get the balance spot on without adding any weight by sliding the lipo all the way to the right side of the battery compartment.
- I am on my second motor- I had another speed 180. Over 200 flights and always have launch with the power on. I use about 10 degree up elevon deflection at launch and then flip the switch to regular trim for flying after about 3-5 second initial run.

- I taped the antennae to the bottom of the wing so that none will hang out creating drag. I have had the Mini Slinger spec'd out and still had controll.

-There are a couple of these at the field now and can tell mine is slowing down again. We play combat, follow the leader, who can cut grass without landing and who can fly the longest inverted.(try the whole flight, it can be done easily.) My 2 cell LiPo is going out and the airframe is about had it.

You ARE correct about a lot of fun for $40. By my evidence of number of flights, I've got more than my $4o worth many times over.
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 02:15 AM
I need more ceiling!!!
sting35's Avatar
Okinawa, Japan
Joined May 2006
2,206 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holtenbacker
-
You ARE correct about a lot of fun for $40. By my evidence of number of flights, I've got more than my $4o worth many times over.
I'm working on getting the full $40 out of mine. It's been TDW (Too D n Windy) here lately but, when I can fly, it's a blast. Hopefully, the airframe will stay together until I can burn up all three motors (two from the crashed Coco Lama) and upgrade to more power.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 10:13 AM
Tireshred
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Texas
Joined Oct 2006
104 Posts
I just ordered one and can't wait, these things look fun.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 12:42 PM
Tireshred
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Texas
Joined Oct 2006
104 Posts
It also looks like they fixed the motor mounting problem with a piece of ply glued to the back.
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