Alpha 40, Nexstar or Avistar - RC Groups
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Mar 28, 2010, 09:13 PM
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Alpha 40, Nexstar or Avistar

I am looking at getting a glow trainer. I am looking into the ARF versions of the 3 planes above and could use some advice on what to get.

What would handle wind the best?
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Mar 28, 2010, 09:26 PM
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Murocflyer's Avatar
I like the Alpha's.

Mar 29, 2010, 01:32 AM
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Wind? Avistar by a long shot.
Mar 29, 2010, 09:47 AM
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The avistar is great! I started out with mine to get the basics down and the only thing that was a bit challenging compared to other trainers is the rate of sink. When you come in on final it is still moving pretty darn quick. Once you get over the fast landings, its great, with the semi symmetrical wing you can move on your training without immediately getting another plane. Flies inverted great.
I did crash mine, I got too slow with a headwind on final and tip stalled, but after some CA and new engine mount it will be back up soon.
Mar 29, 2010, 02:01 PM
I need more planes...
outsmartyou119's Avatar
Overall Stability: The Alpha takes my vote.

But, under moderate winds the Alpha can get difficult. I have to admit it is one good airframe. Over the years I have crashed mine a handful of times and even my friends Alpha 60 once. All the times, all that was need was a little epoxy, a patch of cover and we were good to go in 20 minutes.

The Avistar is one cool little plane. Some of the ones I've seen recently have been decked out with larger engines and those things can move! Seems like it can handle higher speeds than an Alpha.

I have never flown a Nexstar. So I can't really chime in on that airframe.

Mar 29, 2010, 07:35 PM
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I need to price everything out, but it does look like price is going to the the pivot point for me. Which means the nexstar is kicked out.
Mar 30, 2010, 08:58 AM
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there is an Alpha that comes with a evo engine, 2.4 GHZ radio system, all servos for 299.99 plus tax...except for the Evo it's great...(radio is a Spectrum DX5 I think)

That's a great deal
Mar 30, 2010, 12:46 PM
I need more planes...
outsmartyou119's Avatar

I know some folks have had terrible experiences with Evos but, I bought my Alpha 40 back when it first came out. '03 I think it was. And I have loved that thing ever since. I now have two Evos and a GMS .47 and they're all great little engines. The new Alpha package looks great for 300 bucks it's not too bad at all. 2.4gHz and an RTF plane!

Mar 30, 2010, 04:26 PM
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rodneygt's Avatar
It's hard to beat this plane for price, features and quality: They also have a green one. I've been beating the mess out of mine for over two years - put it in some 20mph winds this past weekend - which makes for some exhilarating landings. The bolt-on wing is nice. The semi-symetrical airfoil and lessened dihedral gives good aerobatic performance. But, it's still a gentle trainer.

Of the three you mentioned, I would choose the avistar, alpha and nexstar, in that order.
Mar 31, 2010, 01:41 PM
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Imagine the toll on the hobby with the victims that bought Nexstars without good forum advice to steer them clear if it? They lay out a cool $400+ for it, crash it before their Visa statement even comes in the mail, ebaying the engine and radio to recoup something, and never venture further into the hobby thinking all planes suck as badly.

The simulator is a nice touch, but simulators don't teach preflight checks, engine tuning, ground safety, or improving and upgrading the plane to sustain it's first day of rough landings. Landing gears held in by plastic clips, 1 wing bolt with the anchor stapled in place, sparsely used glue throughout, dumb marketing junk like airbrakes and airfoils for the wing, self leveling receiver with questionable engineering under most flying conditions, and an obsolete 72Mhz radio.

Nexstar is one crappy plane. It should have been made by Lanier so it wouldn't be around anymore.

OK, I'm done, someone have any toilet paper handy so I can wipe myself?
Mar 31, 2010, 03:39 PM
I need more planes...
outsmartyou119's Avatar

Hahaha I have seen them fly and they don't seem that bad but, I have to admit I'm still laughing. It sounds like you had a terrible experience. There again. Avistar, and Alpha are (from what I know) good planes.

Mar 31, 2010, 05:43 PM
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I went with the Alpha 40 RTF. I priced everything out going the Avistar route, and could not come up with a better price.
Mar 31, 2010, 06:46 PM
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You did good! You can reuse that engine and radio in many planes to follow and it's a great trainer. Once you are "trained" you want to progress quickly into a low wing trainer. When that comes, ask everyone again, and get advice that saves you crashing and money.

I never learned on a Nexstar, I learned before it was made. I watched many frustrated locally go that route though.
When I learned to fly, there weren't any ARFs. You built a kit. I still do. They last so much longer. I have kit built airplanes that are probably more than 15 years old and look great. Among them are Telemaster 40 with a Saito 56, an LT-40 Kadet, truly one of the best trainers made, now it has floats and I'm practicing water speeds with take off and landing before I try them on a faster plane.
The mistake I made was I stayed with a trainer too long. When I felt ready, more correctly a word is confident, I had a hard time transitioning to the next level plane. I developed bad habits trainers tend to give you like floating in too slowly all the time, running until you deadstick because you can, making that first left turn too early not having enough lift when you bank. The second plane crashes were numerous, and I learned!
I rarely crash anymore. The next thing I learned was pre-flight checks. Skip that step, and a $1 part can cost you $500 fast. I knew these things, just thought I'd play the odds.
Alpha is a great trainer. You might want to beef up the firewall with some extra epoxy, epoxy the tail in case it's just wingnuts and bolts, and if it has a three blade prop on it, toss it immediately and get a 2 blade APC 10X6 on there. You'll be happy you did.
Mar 31, 2010, 08:23 PM
Registered User

Other then beefing up the firewall and epoxy for the tail, are there any other week points on this plane I should know about? 2 bladed prop is the first thing on my list.
Mar 31, 2010, 08:49 PM
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It's not your Alpha per se, it's ARF quality in general, built for production cost purposes rather than longevity. All ARFs get this treatment in my hangar.
The cheeks around the engine usually starts to have covering failure first, so before you wipe around come castor residue cleaning up the plane, get it while it's fresh and clean, touch up the seams with CA glue to anchor the edges down and that will be one less headache for you as well. Enjoy.

(Maybe down the road, you might get saucy and replace the rubber band/dowel arrangement for the wing saddle and install hardwood blocks, drill/tap it 1/4 -20, and use nylon wing bolts too. I'm pretty sure the wing is held on by rubber bands on this RTF?)

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