HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Nov 23, 2008, 07:29 PM
Registered User
Northfield Ohio
Joined Aug 2006
483 Posts
Discussion
StevensAero Shaft 400 vs. Mountain Models Lucky ACE

I am trying to decide between the StevensAero Shaft 400 and the Mountain Models Lucky ACE for my next airplane. I have read the reviews and the build threads on both of the airplanes and they are both very similar to each other and both seem to be very nice airplanes. Every time I think that I have my mind made up I read somthing else that changes it. I am planning on using a Hacker 20-20L clone for my motor with a 3S-1350 battery. I have built a Mountain Models SwitchBack Sport and it was a very easy kit to build. I have not built anything from StevensAero before. Both companies have very good reputations for producing excelent airplanes that are easy to build and fly great. Now before someone says "buy both" I am not going to do that so I need to pick one. Any help would be great.

Thanks
Roger L
rogerl is offline Find More Posts by rogerl
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Nov 23, 2008, 07:36 PM
3DHS 'native'
going4speed's Avatar
USA, TX, Spring
Joined Jan 2008
5,925 Posts
I am a stevens aero believer. If better service exists I have yet to find it.

I am about to finish my second shaft, the micro, and then on to the 25e. The quality of these kits is fantastic.

I vote shaft


Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerl
I am trying to decide between the StevensAero Shaft 400 and the Mountain Models Lucky ACE for my next airplane. I have read the reviews and the build threads on both of the airplanes and they are both very similar to each other and both seem to be very nice airplanes. Every time I think that I have my mind made up I read somthing else that changes it. I am planning on using a Hacker 20-20L clone for my motor with a 3S-1350 battery. I have built a Mountain Models SwitchBack Sport and it was a very easy kit to build. I have not built anything from StevensAero before. Both companies have very good reputations for producing excelent airplanes that are easy to build and fly great. Now before someone says "buy both" I am not going to do that so I need to pick one. Any help would be great.

Thanks
Roger L
going4speed is offline Find More Posts by going4speed
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 2008, 08:29 PM
myp
Registered User
Joined Oct 2007
1,103 Posts
My impression of SA (I have built the Stik, Shaft, Groove) and MM (I have built the Dandy Sport) have been that SA kits are much nicer in terms of wood selection and ease of contruction. From looking at the Lucky Ace's manual, the Shaft and Lucky Ace could be twins. The Shaft has diaginonal braces in the wing and the LA does not. This will make it easier to build the Shaft wing straight. On the other hand, the LA has tricycle gear which could mean better ground handling. Anyway, I am kind of partial to SA kits as I have not been disappointed in both the build and flying qualities of them. So another vote for the Shaft.
myp is offline Find More Posts by myp
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 2008, 10:46 PM
Registered User
smithder's Avatar
USA, TX, Pearland
Joined Mar 2005
348 Posts
I built the SHAFT 400 and it quickly became my favorite plane! It is easy to build and flys so light. I also fly it on the Hobby City Hacker clone and have unlimited vertical. I also added GWS floats and it works great. The plane will land unbelivably slow. I can slow it down and ace the landings on the water then punch it and its off the water it two feet and straight up for as long as you want. Love it!! It has been good for increasing my flying skills and I have started using the rudder much more since building this plane.
smithder is offline Find More Posts by smithder
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 2008, 11:47 PM
It's a BIG park
PrkFlyrRic's Avatar
Killeen/Ft. Hood
Joined Apr 2007
1,088 Posts
Hi guys,
I've built several kits from both MM and SA.
I have the SA SHAFT 400, SHAFT 25e and two MM Lucky ACE's.
The Shaft's wing has a closer to flat bottom airfoil, where the Lucky ACE has a much more symmetrical airfoil, and inverted flight is almost like up-right flight.
I have problems covering small aircraft tail sections and not warping them, I did not have a problem with either of these kits, or any problem with either Lucky ACE wing. I think the Lucky ACE's aileron set-up was easier, it comes with a balsa jig and they are centered, where the SHAFT's ailerons aren't do to the airfoil.
While in overall appearance they are close, I like the Lucky ACE better and think it flies better.
IMHO both are about the same in high speed handling, but the LA wins out in low speed. I have both the tail-dragger and Trike versions and with both I can fly with one hand and take pictures with the other while flying circles around myself, inside the circumference of a cul-de-sac.
The LA's symmetrical wing seams to handle wind better also.
One big plus for me was the Trike gear version, some places I fly have rocks or grass that's to tall for a tail-dragger to handle well on the ground.
Now days the Shaft hangs on the wall and the LA goes in the Jeep if I even think I'll get off work in time to fly.
Just my two cents.
Ric
PrkFlyrRic is offline Find More Posts by PrkFlyrRic
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2008, 12:06 AM
BYOP - Build Your Own Planes
Mountain Models's Avatar
United States, WI, Appleton
Joined Mar 2001
1,721 Posts
Hi Roger,

Both being based on the ever so old "stik" design, they obviously look similar.

For differences between these two, the basic differences are:

Airfoils: Flat bottom (shaft) vs. symmetrical (ACE)
Tail shapes (about the only real change you can make to the classic "stik")
Landing gear (ACE can be built stock as a tail dragger, or as a trike with the seperate DuBro nose gear)

The SHAFT flies nice enough, and I have flown 2 of them now, but I do honestly like the ACE more because of the thinner symmetrical airfoil and the performance increase in aerobatics that it offers. Obviously I'm biased a bit since I designed it though.

As for the building, it's TONS easier and self-jigging than the SwitchBack.

MYP, if all you have to compare is the Dandy, I really need to get you to try anything we've put out in the last 3 years. Our designs have come a LONG way from the "Dandy" 6 years ago days. Actually, the ACE started out as a re-do of the Dandy GT and ended up where it is now.

Brian
Mountain Models is offline Find More Posts by Mountain Models
Last edited by Mountain Models; Nov 24, 2008 at 12:18 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2008, 03:20 AM
myp
Registered User
Joined Oct 2007
1,103 Posts
Hi Brian, from looking at the Lucky Ace manual, it certainly looks like that the Shaft and the Lucky Ace would have a similar build experience. Progress is great!
mike
myp is offline Find More Posts by myp
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2008, 01:59 PM
Motor Maniac
Orange County, CA
Joined Feb 2002
2,875 Posts
I don't think you can go wrong with either choice, so you might want to get it over with and just flip a coin. Since you have built a MM plane already, you might want to try the SA plane just to see what it is like. My own preference is MM, but that's just my preference.
10Thumbs is offline Find More Posts by 10Thumbs
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2008, 02:16 PM
BEC
Registered User
BEC's Avatar
Auburn, Washington USA
Joined Jan 2001
12,937 Posts
Roger,

My review of the SHAFT is here on Ezone so you can see what I think of it. I haven't built the ACE but have several recent MM kits and I just took a look through the ACE manual. From an easy and reliable to build standpoint you can't go wrong either way.

To me I think it has to come down more to what you are looking for in the airplane. To amplify on Brian's comparison just a bit:

Landing gear: from an flexibility of choices point of view the ACE wins, hands down. From a rough field capability standpoint, the nod would go to the SHAFT because of the resilience of the landing gear arrangement.

Aerobatic performance: The ACE is clearly designed to be a very aerobatic sport plane and is optimized for that with the symmetrical wing and the big, aerodynamically balanced elevators. The SHAFT is intended to be an aerobatics trainer ("Super High-performance Aerobatic Flight Trainer") and so is intended as a teaching tool. It's a subtle distinction but may well be important depending on what you really want or need in your next airplane.

A couple of other second-order differences: The SHAFT wing is held on by the curve in the fuselage and light rubber bands. This means it'll come off easily in a light crash - more trainer theme. The ACE wing is also held by the curve in front but two bolts in the back. More secure but if it hits hard enough to break it'll take more work to get back in the air. Pros and cons either way.

The battery hatch on the SHAFT is on the bottom under the wing. There's quite a bit of room to shift the battery fore and aft for balance. The ACE's hatch is on top (so don't have to turn the airplane over) but in front of the wing (so less flexibility in battery weights to keep the airplane in balance). Both are magnetically retained. Again, pros and cons both ways.

The horizontal stabilizer on the SHAFT is bolt-on, which makes removing it to pack the airplane flat for travel easy. The ACE's stabilizer also mounts on the bottom of the fuselage, so modifying it to make it removable would be simple to do (I've done this mod on all my Switchbacks, including the Senior).

I guess, bottom line, you won't go wrong no matter which one you pick. You will have to look at the fine details in order to see which one is more suited to what YOU want and/or need in a new plane. Both are very lightweight for their size and so will have sparkling performance on power that would just be "OK" on the ARF they both compete with, the Mini Ultra Stick. And I am quite certain they both outfly a MUS in every way.
BEC is offline Find More Posts by BEC
Last edited by BEC; Nov 24, 2008 at 02:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2008, 02:33 PM
Registered User
u2builder's Avatar
USA, NH, Alstead
Joined Oct 2007
4,956 Posts
I have not built any MM models, but have built and flown the Shaft. I can say that even though I can fly the Shaft quite well, the rubber banded wing has prevented major damage on at least 4 occassions: one when it went into a tree, once when I lost orientation in the sun and had a fairly bad crash, and a couple times when I was flying too darn low and caught a wingtip. I recently built a SA Groove, and after my first incident, I converted it to a rubber band held on wing which has also prevented further damage. Since we often try to expand our envelopes, we are to some extent always in a trainer mode, and in some ways the crashes actually get more violent as we dare to do more.

The other thing I will say about these planes is the structure is very nice to look at and it is tempting to use translucent coverings, but these can make it pretty easy to loose orientation.
u2builder is offline Find More Posts by u2builder
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2008, 06:17 PM
Registered User
Northfield Ohio
Joined Aug 2006
483 Posts
Thanks for all of the great information. After lots of going back and forth I decided to order the Mountain Models Lucky ACE! I liked the fully symmetrical wing and the bolt on wing. I know that the rubber banded wing will come of easier in a crash it will also come off easier in actual flight. I also orderd a 3D wing for my SwitchBack at the same time. Well it looks like I know what Santa is going to be bringing me for Christmas this year.
It truly amazed at the amount of information that can be gathered on RC groups. I was able to ask a simple question and get many very good responses to my question. I was able to tap into the vast amount of knowledge that is out there and make an educated decision.

Thanks Again

Roger L
rogerl is offline Find More Posts by rogerl
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2008, 07:15 PM
WAA-08 Survivor
Griffin's Avatar
Joined May 2004
2,642 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerl
Thanks for all of the great information. After lots of going back and forth I decided to order the Mountain Models Lucky ACE! I liked the fully symmetrical wing and the bolt on wing. I know that the rubber banded wing will come of easier in a crash it will also come off easier in actual flight. I also orderd a 3D wing for my SwitchBack at the same time. Well it looks like I know what Santa is going to be bringing me for Christmas this year.
It truly amazed at the amount of information that can be gathered on RC groups. I was able to ask a simple question and get many very good responses to my question. I was able to tap into the vast amount of knowledge that is out there and make an educated decision.

Thanks Again

Roger L
This place can sure be helpful indeed Roger.

Sounds like you have made the right choice for you. All things being equal, I always seek to build from kit makers whom I haven't built from before--you learn something from each experience. I've built kits from 14 different kit makers, though Stevensaero and Mountain models have the most business from me. So maybe next time you will be looking at the Groove or Edge from Stevensaero.....

Good luck and post a few build pictures.

-Steve
Griffin is offline Find More Posts by Griffin
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 2008, 08:01 PM
It's a BIG park
PrkFlyrRic's Avatar
Killeen/Ft. Hood
Joined Apr 2007
1,088 Posts
Roger,
Glad you could make a choice.
Remember, if you have any questions durning your build don't hesitate to ask on the Lucky ACE thread .
I'm looking forward to seeing your completed ACE.
Ric
PrkFlyrRic is offline Find More Posts by PrkFlyrRic
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Mountain Models "Lucky ACE"--RELEASED buzzltyr Parkflyers 690 May 13, 2014 06:51 AM
Discussion Questions on the StevensAero Shaft 400 NoFlyZone Parkflyers 5 Oct 05, 2008 01:55 AM
Sold NIB AeroLock , StevensAero, and Mountain Models Pitts, CAP, Groove and Etana kits ClipperBill Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 9 Apr 07, 2006 06:17 PM
Discussion Mountain Models Eva Bipe or TigerMoth 400? n2vsw Parkflyers 4 Mar 20, 2006 09:27 PM
For Sale NIB StevensAero, Mountain Models, AeroLock & Estar kits ClipperBill Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 16 Dec 09, 2005 08:41 PM