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Archive for June, 2016
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jun 28, 2016 @ 02:35 PM | 7,851 Views
Well, perhaps that's a bit grandiose, but I am in fact moving into new territory here at RCGroups.com.

For more than ten years, I've been on the authors' forum as part of the product review team. The site is changing its policy, so I'm kind of out of a really fun gig once my final reviews are published on the electric flight page.

Or, perhaps not.

Over the years, I've cultivated fantastic relationships with some of the world's foremost hobby manufacturers and distributors. One of those is Banggood.com. They put out a call not long ago for reviewers here on the blogs and since I'll remain a user in good standing, I can do some informal reviews right here.

Lots of folks are entering model aviation via inexpensive multirotors and this little fellow was offered to me:


Hexacopters are definitely cool; I once reviewed the world's smallest hex from JJRC, but another review of the LiDi L6 entry level hex was cancelled due to faulty electronics and no spare parts.

So, as soon as I get the bird, as it were, I'll post the review here and I will continue to present every product here on the blogs as objectively as I have in the past on the site's official pages.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jun 21, 2016 @ 06:12 PM | 7,300 Views
...but affordable is kinda fun.

To explain:

I was at our club field this past Sunday morning to get video of a model I'm reviewing for the electric flight page. Kinda breezy for a smallish model like the one I flew but a bit much for a UMX, even one with stabilization.

One of our members took up a nearly new E-flite UMX F-16 EDF and whoa, what a cool little plane:


Not entirely sure how, but my guess is that a failed outside loop too close to the ground resulted in the little F-16 smacking the runway with the requisite sickening thud. I heard him say that the wind may have had something to do with stalling it.

As I was preparing to leave a little later on, I walked by a trash can and lo and behold, there was the F-16, electronics and all! The owner didn't want to mess with trying to repair it, figuring it would be easier to simply buy a new one. So, I asked him if I could take it and he not only said yes, he gave me the rest of the parts he hadn't discarded plus the box.

It'll need a fuselage and a tail section and brothers and sisters, parts for that little booger are pricey! One wing is damaged but salvageable, so I can save some bread that way. The worst damage is to the nose and it'll need the entire tail section anyway since one of the elevons sheared clean off.

I figure I can get this model with a $160 retail price in the air for about fifty bucks or so.

Pictures to follow very soon. In fact, I may blog about the experience of repairing it. E-flite micros are mostly taped together anyway, so this'll be an interesting experience. I have two other E-flite micros, but I've never crashed them.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jun 17, 2016 @ 10:07 AM | 7,158 Views
It's getting very hot here in the desert, so before it does, I decided just yesterday to fly a couple of fun models which I hadn't flown in some time.

One was the Multiplex ParkMaster PRO and the other was the fast and fun Ares Advantage Decathlon 350.

The PRO genuinely loves up to its name. It's a great sport plane when the throttle is opened, but as anyone who may have seen the indoor demonstration at this year's AMA Expo can attest, an accomplished 3D pilot can do amazing things indoors. Just fantastic.

The compact Decathlon is a little screamer; it's probably faster than a plane this size has a right to be. Aileron control in the unassisted mode is touchy, but will allow the Decathlon to do loops and rolls which the onboard flight aids prevent when engaged.

I upgraded both the ESC and the original battery with Deans micro connectors since the Electrifly battery I'd bought as a second battery had that greatly improved plug. Much better than the JST and noticeably more power.

Only glitch is an intermittent ESC which reared its head with brief losses of power. Oh, and I managed to catch the undercarriage in an unseen hole in the grass which tore it out as I was landing. All fixed now and I may install an 18A ESC which I have on hand for the time being.

The original review of the PRO may be found here and the Decathlon review here.