Hobby Lobby Waco V3 EPO with 2.4 GHz Radio Review - RC Groups

Hobby Lobby Waco V3 EPO with 2.4 GHz Radio Review

Hobby-Lobby’s Version 3 of the Waco offered in EPO foam and as a 2.4 GHz RTF is something I really wanted to fly, and with only a very brief build and set up, I got my wish.



Wing Area:503 sq. in.
Weight:24 oz.
Wing Loading:6.87 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:9 gram upgradable to 9g metal gear
Transmitter:Escale - 2.4 GHz – Digital Proportional
Receiver:2.4 GHz 6-channel
Battery:1500 mAh 11.1V LiPo
Motor:Brushless 2830 Outrunner (900KV)
ESC:20 amp - Programmable
Available From:Hobby-Lobby
Updated Color Manual:Manual
ESC Programming Directions:ESC Programming

The 39” Waco from Hobby-Lobby is an updated version of a previously offered molded foam Waco. This version comes in durable EPO foam, simulated wing ribs, corrugated ailerons, 2 pilot figures, improved cockpit detail and other scale detail additions, plus it is now offered as a 2.4 GHz radio system. Complete with an outrunner brushless motor, three servos, a really great looking scale propeller with viable pitch hub, plus a 1500 mAh 11.1V LiPo and 12V charger and you have a really great Waco rendition.

Kit Contents

My kit arrived with just a little shipping damage. I would attribute this to a few parts moving around, but overall the plane was in good shape. Replacement parts were offered, but the damage was minimal.


As you would expect from an RTF the build should be ridiculously short and this is the case for the Waco. There are really only a few things to complete: the wing and the tail, landing gear and prop.


The tail is attached with screws. Most of the screws are similar in size with one small set especially for the wing struts, so be sure to get the updated manual listed above to clarify. It may seem like they are not marked well, but you will have no trouble sorting them out. Take a minute to exercise the elevator and rudder hinges.

I found everything was square and secure after installation. The build method had no problems.


I want to walk you around the fuselage before we button up the lower and upper wing. There is really nothing to do inside the fuselage since this is indeed an RTF.


The wings are joined by “N” struts that are first installed on the lower wing. Fuselage cabane struts are also installed on the fuselage. Make sure you place these in the right direction. Only the “N” struts are clearly marked.

The top wing should align perfectly with the struts. Keep in mind once the top wing goes on you cannot access the interior of the fuselage until you remove the top wing.

Propeller Installation

You will love the scale 9.5 x 10 propeller, complete with the variable pitch chrome hub. The center of the prop is actually aluminum and has the set screw. Just align the prop on the shaft and tighten with a 1.5mm hex.

Landing gear

The gear is flexible, but also very durable. It might seem otherwise, but I never had any problems with the gear holding its shape or providing a stable stance.


The 2.4 GHz radio packaged with the Waco is a four channel digital proportional with slider trims on all four channels. The receiver is a 6-channel. All channels have reversing switches. A short flexible and rotatable antenna is used. Eight AA batteries are required to power the radio.


Final assembly steps really are nothing more than installing the battery and adjusting the control throws of the wing. I add that the aileron control throws need adjustment only because I had one side not operating equally with the other side. You really do not need much movement and even though the instructions call for ½” of movement don’t assume you need more.

You will want to make sure the ailerons are correctly centered. They should be from the factory, but if you should find that to not be the case, take a minute, before you install the lower wing and get the lower ailerons centered. Mine were slightly off and the servo was not perfectly centered so I made few adjustments to the clevis on the linkages to dial in the correct movement. If the servo is not centered, one arm will move more than the other. You really have two adjusts: one on the linkage clevis to the servo and one on the link arm to the aileron. Just work with it if it is not right. The upper wing aileron will follow the movements of the lower aileron.

Be sure to download the newest manual from Hobby-Lobby’s website per the link listed above to get the correct CG. It should be at 3” from the leading edge of the upper wing. I had 85mm to 90mm. The battery must be installed in the correct position to achieve this setting.

Aileron Control Movement

  • 1/2” up and down

Rudder Control Movement

  • 1 and 1/8” right and left

Elevator Control Movement

  • 5/8” up and down


If I noticed anything as a negative it was the fact I thought the Waco was just a little pitch sensitive. I would have loved to have been able to dial in some expo or even dual rates. You learn to fly the Waco by being less aggressive on the sticks and as I mentioned earlier, the need for extreme control surface movement is not necessary. One might even consider moving the linkages in on the servo arm especially on the elevator. The 2.4 GHz radio performed well and I had no issues with range.


Stalls were gentle and slow flight was easy at half throttle. The Waco likes to get on her side and will turn very well, some attention to keeping from rolling on over might be wise.

Taking Off and Landing

The Waco was very stable on the ground and the prop torque was not anything that was very noticeable as you powered up on takeoff. I had very little in the way of rudder needed to hold the tail dragger on the centerline. I have flown for a long time and while I should be better at this I tend to give up on keeping it centered when I know I will be able to get off the runway. I thought there was a great power to weight ratio and the take offs were pretty easy.

Landing was easy, but not until you convinced the Waco to quit flying. I am not sure how many times I missed my approach as I was unable to get the Waco to descend. Glide slope is exceptional, and low speed stalls were not present, indicative of the low wing loading of 6.87 oz./sq. ft. I confirmed that while I thought the main gear wire was a little light, I never had a problem and the durability of the gear was not an issue. Wheel pants as well held up and did not rub on the ground.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

This is a fully aerobatic airplane capable of just about anything your fingers can input into the transmitter, but within the scale type performance of a Waco. It is not a 3D plane. The rolls were big and slow as were the loops. Inverted was not a problem and plenty of rudder exists for knife edge flight. The brushless motor gives you a good climb rate, but not something that is going to go vertical. I am pleased the matching components provided scale-like flight.

Is This For a Beginner?

No, this is for intermediate flyers to advanced flyers with some tail-wheel experience and good flight coordination. My only concern is it does want to get into a knife edge and will roll over, and the pitch sensitivity would be exaggerated with too heavy of stick movement.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery



I have little but positive comments about the Waco. This version has stated improvements, and one Waco that has great potential. I liked the ground handling, scale looks and overall performance. The molding detail is excellent and little if anything has been left off. Even the fuselage stringers are molded in. The brushless motor is quiet and performed with plenty of power across all maneuvers. Considering all you need to complete this Waco RTF is a 1.5mm hex wrench, a Phillips screw driver and about an hour of time, in the end you have a great aircraft so why not give it a try.

In front:

  • Fully painted and decaled
  • Exceptional EPO molding and detail
  • Scale-like flight
  • Excellent ground handling
  • Use of updated manual online

In Back:

  • Quick on the sticks
  • A slightly advanced transmitter would really be nice
  • Not offered as a RTF without the radio
Last edited by Angela H; Jun 30, 2011 at 03:57 PM..
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Jul 01, 2011, 03:15 AM
Registered User
I've liked that plane since I first saw it. Good review!
Jul 01, 2011, 06:12 AM
What's 3D?
trumps's Avatar
i have been thrashing one of the V1 Wacos around since they were released, it is my finger warmerupper, i am pretty sure they are uncrashable. i put a set of floats on mine a couple of years back, and chucked an AR6100 reciever in it, apart from that it is still running stock electrics, the motor is getting a bit rattly but i dare say that is more due to some water getting in the bearings over time, still goes great, and looks a treat floating past.

r/c waco floatplane touch and go's (7 min 49 sec)

Jul 02, 2011, 08:09 AM
Registered User

Hobby Lobby Waco

Like every thing about it except the Hobby Lobby decal,it spoils the look allot.
Jul 08, 2011, 08:13 AM
Registered User

Anyone Know How ?

Anyone know how to remove the "Hobby Lobby" sticker from the top of the wing.Would soaking it in warm soapy water over night work?

Jul 08, 2011, 08:46 AM
What's 3D?
trumps's Avatar
Maybe some denatured alcohol? Can you try on an outof the way test area?

Last edited by trumps; Jul 09, 2011 at 02:41 PM.
Jul 14, 2011, 10:47 AM
Registered User
jimjim06's Avatar
Nice review!
And I think I found it at a decent price in Sweden!
Not Hobby Lobby,but This "REELY"-one looks very similar, same size, same color (minus the ugly Hobby Lobby stickers), and the Tx looks same but with other stickers...

I´m REELY tempted,normally RTF´s are close to double the price in Sweden compared to USA, 1495 Swedish Krona is just 230 US$...

Jul 16, 2011, 03:17 AM
Physics hate's my ideas
GreenAce92's Avatar
Can airsoft guns be mounted to rc planes? fPV with a waco would be interesting
Jul 21, 2011, 04:59 AM
Registered User
jimjim06's Avatar
Originally Posted by GreenAce92
Can airsoft guns be mounted to rc planes? fPV with a waco would be interesting
Of course they can, just check "Youtube", heres one,
Airsoft RC Airplane SHOOTING FULL AUTO Maiden Flight FINALLY Success! (5 min 19 sec)

That mount looks a bit clumsy, but it works, I would strip the plastic "Scope" off the gun for starters...

Some say its stupid, up to you I guess.

There is a long thread about this subject some where on RCgroups, try a search.

Jul 25, 2011, 09:52 AM
Registered User
skylane42's Avatar
Club member has the Waco and is experiencing some balloning or the more throttle the more it wants to climb. He has to fly with more down on the stick the faster he goes. He checked the balance and did add some weight. He also added some down thrust on the motor and that seemed to help. I suggested he check the wing incidence. Anyone else experiencing this or have any other suggestions?
Jul 25, 2011, 04:23 PM
What's 3D?
trumps's Avatar
Mine definately climbs on full throttle, but flys level at half, this is pretty common with a pot of bipes, there is a lot of wing area, and a lot of lift generated.
Jul 30, 2011, 09:26 PM
Registered User
C'mon are you SERIOUS?
A cheap poorly made foam 'plane' with marginal electronics for 'only' $190!!? PLUS shipping?
Aug 01, 2011, 12:17 PM
Registered User
cmd's Avatar
A fellow in our club has one of these and I was nominated to maiden it.

It didn't seem very stable
-- It tends to roll off to either side with ailerons. Constant attention to roll is required.
-- It is pitch sensitive
-- Computer radio with expo used to mitigate the above to some extent, but this airplane still doesn't track very well

The landing gear was a mess. It sutters and shakes during takeoff and landing - this on a smooth asphalt surface. We've check tracking and checked that the wheels turn easily. We've tried straight ahead and with a bit of toe-in on each wheel. Nothing has fixed this issue.

I'm not a big fan of this airplane.
Aug 03, 2011, 05:20 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by trumps
i have been thrashing one of the V1 Wacos around since they were released, it is my finger warmerupper, i am pretty sure they are uncrashable. i put a set of floats on mine a couple of years back, and chucked an AR6100 reciever in it, apart from that it is still running stock electrics, the motor is getting a bit rattly but i dare say that is more due to some water getting in the bearings over time, still goes great, and looks a treat floating past.


Hello Craig

Very nice float plane you created there. What kine of pontoons did you use, please? Thinking about doing this with mine as well...

Aug 03, 2011, 07:32 AM
What's 3D?
trumps's Avatar
heya Uwe,
the floats were made by a company called Reach models, they are hollow fiberglass, and pretty light weight though still very robust, i also fly it off of damp grass with the floats and they are still perfect after several years. GWS floats may also be an option.


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