Air Hogs Hydro Foam now Advertised in BackyardFlyer and now for Preorder
Just saw the ad today in the September '06 issue. It says 1000 units will be available in August!
Web site and video here: http://www.stormlauncher.com/
Available for preorder here: http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...sin=B000ETRELK
Or here: http://www.etoys.com/Results.html?_t...9F2E5&_ts=A001
Or here: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5075214
Or here: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...arch%20target=
Battery preorder here:http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...sin=B000FE7EP0
Or here: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...entPage=search
Flight simulator here: http://www.spinmaster.com/products/a...New/index.html
Ernest Butler suggests the following mods can be tried, but are not really necessary.
1. Even though thats a really good battery, and it comes with it's own protective case and is self plugging, you can run larger capacity battery's or save some weight by using your own battery with a few easy mod's.
I have run a three cell battery on those motors that come with it once on one that had hobby gear in it,(the gear it comes with probably won't support three cells) but like I said , once. It melted the motor supports.
2. It comes with prop guards, unless you plan to stick your fingers in the props , I would remove them, before even trying to fly it. It even shows how in the instructions, very easy to do, and gives the most dramatic improvement in flight performance. They also cause some drag , so you do lose some flight time.
The rest will void the warranty , and is meant for hobby guys, from Ernest personally.
3. Do the common spring mod, like the aero ace, on the transmitter, then it will fly hands off.
4. Cut off the horizontal, yes , thats right, cut it off. Its much more maneuverable without it. Its just there for looks and helps strengthen the verticals. It also provides a little of the self recovery, but mostly it just kills the effectiveness of the elevator. I have tried running the upper as an elevator too, but it's just unnecessary weight really.
As for removing the horizontal. I wouldn't say it flys better so much as it is more maneuverable. The horizontal serves as the trim for level flight. This allows the elevator to trim level with the main deck, and act in some way, as more wing area.
Removing the Horizontal requires that you trim the elevator up about 3 degrees (which would be hard to put in the instruction). And it loses a little of the self recover in a dive. But the airflow with full up elevator is not blocked by the upper horizontal, making the elevator more responsive.
Experimenting with different size verticals and horizontal, And changing angles is always fun. Its a give and take in performance , function and can greatly change flight characteristics, good and bad
5. Strip the battery down to just the cells and install you own plug, like deans connectors. It will weigh less and then you can use your own battery's and charger if you already own some in that size range.
Lipo Battery Warning!
I feel I must say that i can't recommend that just anybody go prying apart the stock battery unless you feel like you know what your doing and are willing to take the risk in destroying the battery or worse . The few samples I had were relatively easy to take apart but that could change if they use more glue on the battery case seams.
Any 7.4 volt lipo will do as long as it around the same weight and can handle at least 10 amps continuous. The case and the connecting pins that the stock lipo comes and boat uses weighs about 14 grams alone, So if you do away with it you can save quit a bit of weight or run a larger capacity battery. I have run up to 1050's on mine.
I shouldn't say any lipo, cause some brands that I have just won't put out the power that other brands will. Especially compared to the cells that are made for the Hydro.
6. If you don't care about looks, and want pure flight time and performance, remove the intake and exhaust, then the decals. It won't look as cool but it will be lighter. I think it does just fine with them all on though, but if your looking for that last gram....
The empty weight (no battery) should be around 7.3 Oz's in stock configuration.
7. The equivalent hobby gear in weight and performance would be a receiver the weight of a GWS receiver and two striped down 5 amp GWS speed controls or similar. Also a 8 gram servo or less. Its easy to get into the radio compartment to change over. Of course you would need a computer radio with mixing to make it work.
8. Good way to save 4 or 5 grams by carefully removing the shrink wrap and using corrsion X.
9. Transmitter mod. I just Hot glued the top of some hobby sticks from a hobby transmitter, on top of the joy sticks. Use threaded rod for a more permanent solution.
I did this mod all the time with my game pads for computer flying games. Just felt better to me cause I fly RC so much I guess. Plus you almost have to, if you fly using two fingers on one stick. I don't but some do.
Just unscrew the tops off a old Hobby transmitter and mount them on.
10. The motors are real similar to these here http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id...00&pid=V738321 but are a few grams heavier. The magnets in the BP 130 are stronger and lighter ( cost more) but the armature has a cold wind. If you take the armature out of the Hydro and insert into the BP 130, makes for a lighter motor with good power.
As far as replacements, I don't think that spinmasters will list the motors as a replaceable part. As they don't expect a kid to go after it with a soldering iron. What we as hobbyist can hope for is that there is enough sold that a company buys a bunch just to part them out like some do with the Aero Ace.
As far as brushless , You could always go with Feigao's or the Medusa's
Of course, the cheap route would be to make your own little hot wound 20 mm CDrom's. Weigh about the same and your options are limitless.
The motors on the SL each put out about 110- 120 grams (4.2 oz's) thrust each or about 8.5 onces of thrust total with the stock props.
Ernest's flying tips.
1. It is easy to land on water, and at different speeds. Full speed touch and goes are easy in water also.
Only problem that I have seen in landing is that , especially in pro mode, it becomes more sensitive on the steering as you throttle back, so it becomes pretty easy to roll it over in the air, and go in nose first. Doesn't hurt it, but if it doesn't pop back out of the water up right, your swimming .
Driving on the water varies with the water and wind really. It handles best on choppy water and is easy to drive around at what ever speed with little fear of it flipping.
In smooth water you have to hold back on the elevator to keep the back of the sponson in the water. This keeps it from spinning out at mid speed, and brings it up on plane quicker. With practice, you can spin it on a dime right were you want it.
Ernest's elevator equalizer fix
Here is something you can try if your savvy with geometry and have some construction skills.
My stock SL will loop upright just fine even in beginner mode. But to fly inverted, it has to be in expert mode, I go into a loop, and at the top of the loop I push forward on the stick and I can get it to fly inverted for a extended period of time. I usually end up turning the wrong way after awhile and then roll out of it. But while I'm upside down I have never had enough elevator authority to fully push it into a outside loop because as stated before, it has much more up programed in it then down.
This can be remedied.
To fix this without having skill in reprogramming the stock transmitter, it can be done with geometry. Here are the steps one can try-
First, replace and reattach the elevator with a new one by using tape hinges. You can use the old elevator but I like using the upper horizontal as a elevator replacement. This will take out the slop that the stock elevator hinge has.
Next, re bend or replace the push rod from the elevator, so the the hinge point that it connects to the elevator (you will also need to replace the push rod horn on the elevator) is far behind the hinge point of the elevator itself ( just guessing about 1/4 inch). This will mechanically change the elevator geometry so that it will take less travel to deflect the elevator down more. You will have less up elevator than it originally has, but it already has more than enough.
Also , if you lower the point on the control horn where the push rod attach's , you will get more travel, this can make up for some loss in up elevator from the new geometry.
Ernest's first out of box flight report.
I will give you a full report, good and bad.
First off, out of the box, some of the fiber tape used to secure the motor support was not stuck down. The Tape did not seem sticky anymore (I guess from the heat in shipping) and wouldn't stay stuck. I just removed it (it was stuck real well in some areas), and replaced it with clear tape (looks better anyway).
Also my windshield sticker had the same problem. A little heat and some clear tape fixed it.
Mike's boat did not have that problem.
Seem to have very good power. Would barely pull vertical with a fresh charge AH lipo. Really strong battery for sure.
First off, this one was about 10 grams lighter than my last one, so thats good. ( 260 grams RTF, stock battery, no prop guards)
Straight out of the box, with the prop guards on, it flew, but not well. It was hard to tell because it was very windy. And the wind made me drive it straight into the asphalt, full throttle, from about 15 feet in the air.
It didn't do any damage, but the receiver board shifted forward and caused the elevator push rod to rub against it and stick. Easy fix. The bottom foam cover is just taped on , so I removed it , slide the receiver board back and secured it with a dab of hot glue.
I then waited for a calmer day.
It was finally calm so I went ahead and took the Prop Guards off (I hate those things), and went flying.
Very good power but one motor seemed stronger than the other. so I went ahead and landed , then run the motor in on the ground at a low throttle setting like it says in the instructions.
This seemed to fix it and I then had very good power on both motors.
Back to flying , I noticed that it did not seem to want to trim out in pitch, wanted to go up or down. I landed and looked at the horizontal. It looked like it had a small amount of negative incidents in it. That is a bad thing. It's suppose to have a slight amount of positive. I don't know what could have happened. If it was glued in incorrectly or if somebody changed something at the last minute by accident.
I readjusted it by re bending the crease and that helped quite a bit. But i guess I'm so use to flying with out the horizontal, I just didn't like the way it flew with it on , so I cut it off.
It flew really well then with excellent power. It would pull vertical with a fresh AH battery on take off. After the vertical would peter out, I could just let the nose drop and continue flying as normal.
Takes a little to get the elevator trimmed just right with the slide controls. I guess cause I'm use to push button trims or trims with clicks. This doesn't have that, and when your in the air, it's easy to move the trim to much. Best to trim it on smooth ground with short hops into the air and see how it flys.
I tend to just throw planes in the air and deal with the consequences afterward.
After that flight, i went ahead and removed the verticals and replaced them with some that were slightly taller made out of depron. The stock ones look to short to me, especially after you cut the horizontal off. For some reason , they are shorter than the earlier proto types. This helps it from weather veining into the wind as bad but I like looks that the taller verticals give me.
I also didn't have any problem performing nice tight rolls and loops.
Remember, to do a roll, you must be going full speed at altitude, pull the throttle back to half, then go full over. it will do a nice roll.
In short, It had very good power, But I would recommend to go ahead and remove the horizontal right away. This does just seem to make it fly much better. Especially if is not mounted properly.
Transmitter spring removal pictures are here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=102
Changing the SL battery connectors is here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=1256
Removing stock motors is here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=895
Ernest's conversion to brushless motors is here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=3506
Last edited by barnyardflyer; Nov 29, 2006 at 07:24 PM. Reason: updated
I got my issue today in the mail. Here's a photo of the ad. The words are a little blurry, but this is what it says:
Attention: Hydrofoam Enthusiasts!
Be the first to get your
Storm Launcher Hydrofoam!
A limited number (less than
a thousand) Storm Launchers will
be available early August for sale
online and at select retail outlets.
Check out WWW.AIRHOGS.COM
for details and try the new
Air Hogs Storm Launcher
flight sim, FREE!
(enter code SLO609BF)
Weight: 270 grams (RTF)
Battery: Air Hogs Lipo Power Pack - 7.4v 740mah Lipo - sold seperately
Radio - 3ch fully proportional with trims - no Bang Bang control
Material - Durable EPP composite foams
Range 300 feet
Settings: Beginner and Pro
Engines: Dual engines for power and turning
Stunt Capability: Perform loops, rools, wild jumps and MORE!
Last edited by Rocketman1092; Jun 28, 2006 at 05:21 PM.
Wow read this. They need to go to jail.
Last edited by LOGICAL_PSYCHO; Jun 29, 2006 at 12:22 AM.
LOL ! I like how they call Mike Connally "Conner" in the video that was shot in China !! The end is a typical "Mike" catch from the air . Good to finally see this advertised !
you need to come to the night fly in Burleson Saturday night with us, I think Mike is coming too.
Last edited by UAVPilot; Jul 09, 2006 at 12:07 PM.
Last edited by barnyardflyer; Jul 09, 2006 at 12:42 PM.
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