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Hobby Lobby's 6 Foot Telemaster Electro ARF

Some form of Telemaster has allowed hundreds if not thousands to take wings of flight in this wonderful hobby. It has also served those who have already learned to fly, in the capacity of a great sport flier and a utility plane of all sorts. The Telemaster has been available for years in various sizes and now, this classic hit is available in an ARF.

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:73 1/4"
Wing Area:848 sq. in.
Weight:88 oz.
Wing Loading:15 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:6 HS322's,
Transmitter:Futaba 9CAP
Receiver:HiTec Supreme 6
Battery:3S 4400 PolyQuest
Motor:Axi 2826/12
ESC:Jeti Advance PLUS 40 Amp Brushless Controller
Manufacturer:Hobby Lobby
Available From:Hobby Lobby

Almost anyone who has been enjoying this hobby for any length of time has at least heard of a Telemaster. After all, it has been around for over 30 years. If you have not heard of it, it is a mythical creature, known often to be extremely large and fly like an eagle. It has allowed hundreds if not thousands to take wings of flight in this wonderful hobby. It has also served those who have already learned to fly, in the capacity of a great sport flier.

The Telemaster has been available for years in various sizes and now, this classic hit is available in an ARF.

Kit Contents

The kit contains:

  • Laser-cut pre-assembled ARF airframe.
  • Top quality hardware.
  • Pre-bent landing gear.
  • Steerable tailwheel.
  • Extremely Well Illustrated instruction book.

Equipment I chose to complete:

  • Hitec Supreme 6 Receiver.
  • 6 - Hitec 322 Standard Servos and extensions.
  • AXI 2826/12 with AXI rear mount kit and a Jeti Opto 40 ESC.
  • PolyQuest 3S 4400mah Pack.
  • APC 13x8E Prop.
  • 4.8V receiver battery added after testing with optional flaps (see below for details)

Assembly

As with any build, be it a kit or an ARF is it always advisable to read the manual first. When I did so, I immediately noticed that this had to be one of the best instruction manuals I'd ever seen! There is practically no room for error, as long as you follow what the manual is telling you. Easy to understand wording along with pictures detailing every step of the way make for a map anyone can follow.

The Telemaster is first and foremost a trainer aircraft. The quality of the ARF build coupled with the detail in the instruction manual leaves the beginner hard pressed to go astray.

The Telemaster comes shipped with just about everything already done, including the graphics being applied. She could easily be built in two evenings, even as a beginner.

Wing

The wing is of simple straight forward construction. Plywood dihedral brace epoxied into one wing half, apply epoxy to corresponding wing half, slide together and joila - 73 1/4" of Telemaster wing!

However, as simple as that sounds, there is one step you need to decide if you want to follow or not. Do you wish to have the optional flaps? I had to have them, however, the plane flies great and slows down beautifully without them.

Optional Flaps

Flaps are a fun addition to normal flying, so I opted to add them. The plane flies so lightly on the wing, they aren't needed to be pleased with the slow flying characteristics of the Telemaster; however with flaps, this bird can fly at a snail's pace. If you're a beginner and are intimidated by these steps, you certainly don't need the flaps to get started. Save them for another time, they can easily be added after the build.

The flaps are built onto the wing from the factory, so I had to cut them free, hinge them and set up the controls. This was a very simple process. The "hinge line" was visible through the opaque covering and helped a tremendous amount.

Whether you chose to go witih the flaps or not, you will still need to run the servo wires in your wings. Given the extremely quick build of the bird, perhaps the most time consuming part of the stock build was running both sets of servo wires through the wings. A string came glued into the wing for the aileron servo. I had to run my own for the flap servos. I like to tie a string to a heavy object - in this case, a servo screw -- drop it into the wing, and gently rock the wing around until the item pops out of the servo hole. Once this pops out, I then tie the string to the servo cord and pull the string back through, and am ready to mount the servos.

Important note: The ESC couldn't handle the additional load of the flap servo. Be sure to power the receiver pack separately or use a larger ESC, as covered in detail later.

Wing attachment modification

I like my airplanes to have bolt on wings. It's more of a personal preference than any other driving factor. I simply don't like keeping up with rubber bands. I'm likely to show up to the field with everything needed to fly and not a single rubber band, so I like to convert my aircraft to a nylon bolt system. Of course, the same "show up with no bolts" could be said of this setup; however, I keep a section of one of the drawers in my flight box stocked with the size nylon bolts I typically use. You can also keep rubber bands in your flight box, but you need to periodically change them out, as they will age and become brittle in short order.

With that said, the stock method is to simply rubber band the wing on using the included dowels. This is a great idea for a trainer. If you are new to the hobby - I would implore you to go with the stock rubber band attachment method. This method will allow the wing to "shift" if you get into trouble - i.e. hit the ground - and will help protect your wing -- and fuse -- during those inevitable training accidents.

As an experienced pilot, I chose to modify my Telemaster so my wing bolted on using two 1/4-20 Nylon bolts. I don't use metal bolts, as metal is stronger than wood. I prefer to use nylon, as nylon is weaker than wood and will break if contact is made.

The manner in which the wing sits on the fuse does not allow for the traditional "dowel into the bulk head" modification.

What I came up with is fairly simple. I fabricated a new center rib with a "tongue" that slid into the forward bulkhead. This forward bulkhead was reinforced with triangle stock and a ply-bulkhead.

Now that I had a front hold-down, I needed somewhere for the wing to bolt. I simply installed a balsa block the width of the fuse into the rear of the "cockpit" area, installed a light ply plate on top of that and then "pinned" the balsa block with the dowels provided for the rubber band attachment.

Tail

Tail installation is extremely simple and conventional. The detailed instructions make this an extremely easy process even for the beginner.

I used red sharpie when I marked the parts, so I could see it clearly when cutting back the covering; yet it would blend in, if I could not fully remove it with alcohol).

Radio Installation

The cavernous interior of the Telemaster, really makes installing all the radio components a cinch. Even if this is your first build, with the detail of the instruction manual included in the kit, it will be hard to go astray.

Radio Install Steps:

  • trim the pushrod guide tubes (pushrods were already installed)
  • install clevises onto pushrods
  • install servos and wire to receiver
  • mount receiver and battery to tray with velcro

With the equipment I used, the CG is easily attainable with plenty of room to allow the battery to move forward and aft in the battery tray.

Optional Flaps Required Separate Rx Battery

I learned that running the flaps overheated the ESC, shutting it off. I used a 500mah NiCad receiver airborne pack plugged into channel 6 on my receiver, so that it powered the receiver and all servos. (This pack is commonly used in glow models). I will soon be upgrading to a 2 cell 2100mah lipo setup with a voltage regulator.

Flying

A Play On Words

What is flying the Telemaster like?

Well, I thought of the best word I could and threw that into an online thesaurus.

What I came up with was:

Synonyms: animating, appealing, arousing, arresting, astonishing, bracing, breathtaking, electrifying, exhilarating, eye-popping*, far out, fine, flashy, groovy*, hair-raising*, impelling, impressive, interesting, intoxicating, intriguing, lively, moving, neat, overpowering, overwhelming, provocative, racy, rip-roaring*, rousing, sensational, showy, spine-tingling*, stimulating, stirring, thrilling, titillating, wild, zestful.

It is a total joy to fly. Very well behaved, I would have no problem letting any one with a buddy box take a turn with the Telemaster. I have flown quite a few trainers and this one has to take the cake.

Basic

The Telemasters are world renowned for their ease of flight, their classic simple lines and their incredible slow speed performance. This one is no different...

Takeoff and Landing

This is where I have been having the most fun with the Telemaster. I chose to put some 4.5" bush-like wheels on mine and am flying it from "unimproved" strips, as shown in the video.

Short field approaches are a blast with no flaps; drop 35* of flap into the wind and they are even more exciting. With 35* of flap, the Telemaster will fly around incredibly slowly. However, 35* of flap tended to lead to a noticeable balloon, as with almost any aircraft -- be it a model or full scale. In the full scale birds, we trim that pressure out. In these smaller birds, we tend to work the balloon out with a bit of nose down elevator mixed in with the flap deployment. I considered mixing the balloon out, but part of the fun in this bird for me is to throw the flaps full and push the nose over, making it seem more like "stick and rudder flying", so I decided to leave the mix out.

The Telemaster is ideal for a beginner learning to take off and land, with no bad habits and it just settles onto the runway, basically on its own!

Aerobatics

Being designed from the ground up as a trainer, it is not the most "aerobatic" aircraft. Setup to fly at the stock center of gravity - lazy sport aerobatics - BIG slow loops, rolls, hammer head turns, the Telemaster handles with ease.

Loops are no problem, a decent loop can be performed from level flight.

Inverted flight, is possible; however, it is not what I would call the Telemasters forte'. Once established inverted, it takes a fair amount of elevator to keep it there, and it constantly wants to roll out of it - so you must fight this tendency with constant adjustment of the ailerons.

Once you move the CG back a good bit, it wakes up and is much more nimble, but not as stable for the beginner.

The Telemaster will knife edge rather well.

This big bird is designed to fly as a great Sunday afternoon sport flyer and that is exactly what it is.

Special Flight Performance

This family of birds have been used by many people, for many purposes. It is first and foremost a trainer; however, being the rugged, simple design that it is, it is able to carry sufficient loads with ease. Many people are using this aircraft as an aerial photography platform, which I intend to try.

For now, I am using mine as a simple sport flying, smile-bringing aircraft. Big, lazy, fun to fly - sounds like a smile to me. It excels at nice slow flying.

Flight Video

Downloads

Is this for the beginner?

That is a great question. The best way to answer it would be to let a beginner have a go at the sticks. I was lucky enough to have 3 willing volunteers.

I decided to give my mother, father and wife a shot on the Telemaster. My mother and wife have only flown an AeroAce. My father started to get into R/C in the late 70's but didn't stay in the hobby after his Sig Kavalier went off the runway and into some weeds, gumming up the K&B .40 he had on the nose of it.

After letting them have a go at the sticks, I got an idea of their thoughts:

My wife told me, "The plane was very easy to fly. I was nervous at first, thinking it would be too fast or that I wouldn't be able to control it, but the speed was great. The plane responded easily with very smooth flight. I've never even been able to control an R/C car very well, but I think with a plane like this, I could learn to be a decent R/C pilot."

My mom basically echoed her thoughts. She has been anxious to fly it again, as has my father. I think my mom and wife will fly when they get the opportunity, but I think my father is going to try and get back into the hobby for real! For me, that makes this plane totally worth it.

Conclusion

This plane flies very well on the AXI 2826/12. When coupled with the 3S 4400 PolyQuest and the APC 13x8E prop the motor winds out as follows:

Throttle Setting RPM Amps Watts
1/4 Throttle 3,600 RPM 4.6 Amps 60 Watts
1/2 Throttle 5,900 RPM 18.5 Amps 210 Watts
Full Throttle 6,700 RPM 29.1 Amps 312 Watts

Plusses

  • Highly Detailed Instruction Manual
  • Extreme ease of assembly
  • Very well built ARF
  • Flies better than you could ask for

Minuses

  • Wing Attachment (I prefer bolt on)

I had a hard time finding a minus, however, if I had to list one - it would be the wing attachment. Only due to the fact that I like bolt on wings, rather than rubber band on wings. However, rubber band on wings are a plus for a beginner who may drag a wing tip on landing - this would prevent damage that may occur if the wing was bolted on.

Having flown this bird almost daily when able, it truly is a joy to fly and is currently the aircraft in my hangar getting the most flight time. The power package is perfect. AND, this bird might just have inspired my dad to finally return to the hobby!!

Every now and then one comes along that just makes you smile the entire time you are flying - the Telemaster is one of those. The only question I can ask is, what are you waiting for? You should have bought one yesterday!!

Last edited by AMCross; Nov 22, 2006 at 11:51 AM..

Discussion

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Old Nov 23, 2006, 08:20 AM
Valid8r
Valid8r's Avatar
Boston and Belgium
Joined Jul 2004
943 Posts
3 Comments/Questions:

1. Why would you post this in the beginners forum? You can't possibly be suggesting that a beginner consider this as a first plane could you? The cost, not to mention the flying field requirements are just two good reasons this does not belong in this forum.
2. Why would you post a review (let alone one that is so long) in such a forum, perhaps a link to the review, but the whole darn review?
3. Seems rather self-serving and gratuitious as you are the author of the review - right?

I hope this thread dies in this forum.

Jon
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 08:34 AM
Fun Manager
AMCross's Avatar
Villa Grove, Illinois
Joined May 2000
1,695 Posts
Jon,
I'll gladly reply to this. I'm the Editor/Publisher for RCGroups.com for all reviews, articles, et al.

First, please be aware that reviews now publish directly into the forum which I select as the best fit for a specific model. The reviews are also linked to from the home pages (EZonemag.com, RCPowermag.com or Liftzone.com), but the primary article resides in an appropriate forum. This way, more folks are aware the review exists and have the chance to read it and comment on it.

So, please let me answer your questions.

1. This model IS designed and promoted as a trainer, among many other things. It is capable of so many different jobs, but the telemaster has always been considered primarily a trainer, so yes, I chose to publish it here and believe it belongs here. There are models of all sorts for all levels of modeler, with all sizes of pocketbook. I personally learned to fly on a .60 sized glow model; my daughters on park flyer sized trainers.

Had the review focused upon using it as a camera bed or other, I would've chosen to publish it there. However, particularly with the input from three beginners at the sticks, I chose to put it here.

2. Please see my note above.

3. Please note that the authors do NOT post the articles, I do. They have the option to SUGGEST to what forum the article lands, if they wish to, but the actual posting is done by me. The article is posted with their user information so it is obvious who the author is and how to contact him/her for additional questions.

I hope this helps answer your questions about the publishing of this and the other 20-plus articles made live today as a part of the big Thanksgiving Weekend Holiday Shopping Extravaganza!

Sincerely,
AnnMarie Cross
Fun Manager
Editor/Publisher, RCGroups.com
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 12:01 PM
Ride Blue
jholen's Avatar
United States, WA, Sammamish
Joined Aug 2006
1,495 Posts
Thanks for the review!

Good work!
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 12:06 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Florence, Al
Joined Oct 2000
29,310 Posts
Jon - Thanks for the comments, I believe AMC summed it up pretty well, however, to answer your questions:

1. Yes, compare this to a 40 sized trainer in price, they are very close.
2. This is the beginner forum. This plane is for beginners.
3. I am not affliated with Hobby Lobby in any fashion, I simply reviewed the aircraft.

jholen, thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 12:14 PM
iumop ap!sdn w,I
G.P.'s Avatar
Joined May 2005
6,500 Posts
I thought it was great Tram, don't let the first poster get to you. You showed the short field capabilities very well and it was a lot more nimble than I ever would of imagined. I was really impressed with the performance on a mere 300 watts too.

Thanks,
Greg
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 01:40 PM
Watch out for that TREE!
Houston, Tx
Joined Oct 2006
1,458 Posts
Nice review. Might have to think about this one after my E starter.
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 05:04 PM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
USA, TX, Trophy Club
Joined May 2002
14,519 Posts
Awe the Telemaster - likely one of the best flying airplanes of all time. Nearly hands off - as you show by having your wife fly it - brave man!

Great review Tram.

Mike
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 05:40 PM
Fly 'til last piece stops
Mud Duck's Avatar
Jefferson City, MO
Joined Oct 2002
89 Posts
Tram, very nice review of the 6' Telemaster. Great photos and an enjoyable video showing the capability of this airplane both as a trainer and a sport flyer. I know how much work goes into writing a review like this and, sadly, the first comment you receive is full of criticism and bad wishes. What a shame!

I also appreciate the comments and insight made by the editor, AMCross, who definitely made the correct decision to include it in this forum. As an editor, she shouldn't have to take the time to explain her motives or reasons behind posting this review, had I been the editor, I would have likely deleted the initial post and been done with it, saving other people the aggrevation of reading it, but she chose the high road and by doing so we're blessed to see that intellectual people are working behind the scenes at R/C Groups and making wise decisions.

Also, as she said, there are modelers who definitely have deep enough pockets to easily start off with a setup like this and if they can, they will be glad they did! The convenience and flight characteristics of a large electric model like the Telemaster are amazing, well worth the investment and the modeler who purchases this setup should enjoy a greater measure of success over en equivalent .25 to .40-sized glow powered model.

Thanks again for your hard work and for providing us with this web site so that these articles can be enjoyed and help us make sound decisions when making our purchases. I also look forward to your "After Thanksgiving Sale." Hope everyone enjoys what's left of their Thanksgiving day.

Perhaps in the spirit of the season, and to brighten his day, someone should send Valid8r a nice holiday pie covered with whipped cream...

...in a spring-loaded box!
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 06:27 PM
Make 'n Break!!
roosevelt's Avatar
Walled 'tucky, MI. USA
Joined Apr 2006
1,766 Posts
Looks just like my first RC plane, a .40 size nitro. Although I personally wouldn't recommend it to a beginner. Mine had the steering in the nose which is better for a beginner. Easier to learn take offs and landings without destroying it.

If anyone considers this as a "first plane" they better have a good instructor, buddy box and a large airfield. I hope this isn't being marketed as a parkflyer. Anyway it' looks like a real nice plane. It would be expensive for a newb who may or may not stay in the hobby
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 09:45 PM
E-flyer since 1981
Michael in Toronto's Avatar
Joined Oct 2000
1,495 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valid8r
3 Comments/Questions:

1. Why would you post this in the beginners forum? You can't possibly be suggesting that a beginner consider this as a first plane could you? The cost, not to mention the flying field requirements are just two good reasons this does not belong in this forum.

Jon
As someone who runs an RC flying club, I have begun to recommend larger electric trainers for beginners such as this airplane. There are several benifits to this type of airplane:

1. Larger models are easier to see, therfore easier to fly.

2. Heavier models (than parkflyers) can be flown more safely in the wind.

3. Larger models can takeoff and land more reliably from/on grass fields.

4. This model has ailerons and flaps and can be flown as a sport model also.

5. The componants (radio, motor, batteries, etc.) can be used in other aircraft once the pilot is ready to progress.

As well, (in Canada anyway) MAAC (our version of the AMA) requires pilots to fly at a proper RC club in order to be insured. All new pilots, whether flying a large model or a parkflyer, must fly with an instructor.
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 10:37 PM
Hold my beer and watch this!
Jeremy Z's Avatar
Northern IL
Joined Oct 2005
2,380 Posts
Not bad tram. GREAT photos.

I'm one of those guys who thinks this wouldn't be the best trainer, unless there was an instructor & buddy cord involved.

A point I'd like to make to valid8r is that people who read in the Beginners forum do not always just buy one plane and stop there. Sometimes, they buy a second plane, (gasp) even though they are still beginners. Imagine that. Might this not be a good second or third plane, once the initial crashing is through?
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 12:41 AM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Florence, Al
Joined Oct 2000
29,310 Posts
Thanks for all the replies guys.. The first poster, well there's an old saying - you can please some of the people all the time, but you can't please all of the people, some of the time...

Jeremy - I agree, this would be one of the better trainers with a buddy cord.. To just go out and buy it without someone there to teach the new guy, would be a bad combo..

I have to credit my wife with the photo's.. I need to make some more video.. That was at the stock CG and just a few flights into getting to know the bird.. I've since moved the CG back quite a bit and it has really awakened the bird..
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 02:45 AM
I need more ceiling!!!
sting35's Avatar
Okinawa, Japan
Joined May 2006
2,206 Posts
Tram, good job. I'm our club instructor and I got one of these for the sole purpose of teaching beginners. I like to take a newbie and let him learn to fly on my Tele... then when he's ready, can get his 'second' or 'third' plane as his first plane. Believe me, the best way to learn is with an instructor and a buddy box and there aren't too many planes that are better trainers than this Telemaster.
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 08:31 AM
Valid8r
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Boston and Belgium
Joined Jul 2004
943 Posts
Well, at the very least, since I started the trouble here, I should at least own up to and respond to some of the comments I generated. My comments were not about the review itself (in fact I never bothered to read it as I am already familiar with the Telemaster), but about the use of the forums as a place to post such content. I admit that after I replied I did notice that on this was posted as an "Article" which I never bother to look at before I click on a post to read about what I would normally expect to be a user's post. Mea Culpa. But my comments would still be the same I believe. To me it feels much like the same kind of thing I see when a vendor posts something in a forum to try to get users to purchase their product - to me that's what our paper magazines are for or some of the other types of online sites such as EZone - but maybe I'm wrong, maybe RCGroups is changing? If so, fine, but this is the first time I've seen something like this - a full, long review - in a forum. That was a very, very long review to scroll down through to get to anyone elses comments - why not just a link to the review? Clearly, the answer is that someone made the decision that they wanted the whole thing read through - to get the review in front of the RCGroups membership - it just simply feels like advertising in a disquised form.

I'm not a negative guy, I just cherish what RCGroups is and remain worried when I see something that is 'different' from the core discussions mission of a community. But, change is good, right? All I have to do now is look for the "Article" designator to the left of a post and then I can ignore it if I choose to do so.

Ok, go ahead, launch away. I just wanted to try to explain myself as I did not mean to cause such a big deal.

Does anyone else agree with me out of curiosity? If not, I'll learn that I am misreading this, if so, I'll be glad to know that I'm not alone.

Jon
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