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Archive for April, 2016
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 11, 2016 @ 06:18 PM | 9,529 Views
Two very different machines are being represented today.

Last night, I had a hankerin' to fly a quad. Naturally, it had to have lights.

One of my previous reviews has the distinction of being one of the better lit models I've reviewed, namely the JJRC X6, also known as the Tarantula X6. Kinda easy to see why in the photo.

I actually reviewed this model twice if you were to count the separate review of the JJRC hi-def FPV system. Both reviews are right here:



The X6 was a model I was totally unprepared to like when I first got it. The controls are kind of twitchy on medium rates and really twitchy on high rates. Still, this incredibly popular model with its readily available replacement parts has a truly huge discussion thread here on RCGroups and I've linked to it in the first review.

With bright blue LEDs in the front arms and the "eyes" of the shell coupled with red LEDs out back, this logical layout makes flying the X6 a true pleasure at night. One simply has to be careful to land before the LVA kicks in and the lights start to flash.

While touchy for front yard sorties, the X6 comes alive in a wide open space. That upgraded FPV makes a huge difference over the stock camera, but naturally, I wasn't about to use the camera in the dark! Camera or not, the X6 is still a heck of a lot of fun.

Of course, nothing quite compares to a high-end...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 10, 2016 @ 12:01 PM | 8,684 Views
Last week, I was in a text conversation with one of my oldest and dearest friends. While he isn't a hobbyist, he enjoys discussing model aviation.

The discussion had turned to quadcopters and something made me think of this:


I reviewed the Bojiang S1 six months ago almost to the day and when I mentioned that to my friend, he thought it would be a great idea to dust it off as another revisited review subject. He enjoyed the previous blogs I did on old subjects, so I figured what the heck.

Beyond the hilariously mangled English and a not-so-great camera is a genuinely fun, entry level quad. As was the case with my other "re-reviews," the S1 had been mostly idle for a long time.

After charging up the battery and taking it for a spin a few minutes ago, I found myself asking why.

It's a very lightweight and responsive little machine, capable of some surprisingly high speeds. Not only that, it's a blast to toss around on high rates. Sure, it can be flown with a bit of decorum, but the S1 is more fun doing high speed passes and turns along with some beautifully executed automatic flips. However, it didn't take long for me to be reacquainted with the model's weird throttle curve; zero throttle occurs well above the throw limit of the stick.

On top of that, run times are seemingly endless. The S1 makes very good use of its battery.

Ah, but those instructions.

There aren't many instruction sheets which instruct one to attach the camera to the "bit bone anterior cingulate" and the "deduction bit of bone," at least outside of a medical textbook!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 03, 2016 @ 04:53 PM | 8,684 Views
If anything, it's gotten windier since this morning, but that didn't stop me from putting up the HobbyKing 450TT Pro helicopter I reviewed a few years ago.

It's been ages since I've flown it and what's kind of fun is that the once-standard flybar head is now a thing of the past! There's a very definite difference between this and the flybarless Skyartec Wasp I wrote about a couple of posts back. That little 250 is actually more stable!

The gyro is a clone which I'd reviewed separately and the tail servo is also a clone which I bought via mail order when the original went blooey. A few parts are genuine Align including the machined main drive gear. Worth the extra few bucks and it really smoothed things out.

What's amazing is that it's still available, only now it's flybarless:


I have some other models in mind which I'll fly once more and blog about right here.

Simply put, it's fun to revisit these earlier reviews and I hope you'll enjoy the entries when I do.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 03, 2016 @ 03:48 PM | 8,709 Views
Well, I did it!

Sort of.

I brought the Durafly Auto-G2 autogyro to the field this morning as a sort of "warm up act" to the big HobbyKing Super-G autogyro.

Still a bit too breezy for my tastes for me to feel comfortable sending up an exotic, strange-flying model like the Super-G for a maiden flight, so I settled for flying the G2.

Perhaps "settled" isn't the right word since it's so much fun and since I've built a lot of confidence since I first started flying it. Besides, the breeze is one's friend for helping spool the main rotor up to speed, with or without the automatic start.

Lots of visitors at the field today and some were really marveling at the unusual little model prior to takeoff.

On went the auto start, up went the autogyro with its usual grace, off went the auto start and onward toward my single greatest flight to date. I was determined to point it in the directions where I wanted it to go instead of letting it seemingly wander off on its own.

By golly, I did it. I flew a few times around the pattern at medium height in order to keep it oriented. It really demands to be flown with a firm hand; no point-and-scoot without a lot of pilot input.

While the flight was terrific - and the sounds even more so - what I really wanted to do was land it and keep it upright.

Bingo. Perfect, gentle touchdown which elicited a lot of heartfelt applause from everyone watching and a whoop and a fist pump from yours truly.

The Super-G is going up on Wednesday morning, scheduling and weather permitting. Stay tuned to the electric flight page for the full review!