Arguably, one of the great improvements in radio control aircraft building is EPP foam. The stuff is durable, flexible and lightweight. When it does break, it cracks cleanly and can be glued with regular CA. While decals do not stick, the newest CAD painting of these models evidenced with the Hotwing 1200 really is good stuff.
I have to jump ahead and say this is one fantastic flyer. If you follow my lead and build your Hacker Hotwing 1200 as I did, you too will experience some really fun flying.
|Wing Area:||486 sq. in. / 31.4 dm. sq.|
|Weight:||330 oz. as flown 343g|
|Wing Loading:||3.58 0z./sq.ft. / 10.9g/sq. dm.|
|Servos:||Hitec HS 45HB|
|Transmitter:||Futaba 9 Cap Super with TM-7 2.4GHz module|
|Battery:||11.1v 1100 mAh 20C|
|ESC:||Castle Creation Thunderbird 18 amp|
|Available From:||RC Baron|
This is an easy build kit. The kit has about ten pieces and takes an evening of construction. Do your setup the next morning and you are off and flying.
From the get go, I was intent on making this Hotwing 1200 meet the prescribed 330 gram weight. This is only a slight challenge, and based more on the battery you like to fly than the servos, ESC and receiver. I weighed each component and went through the totals until I could get as close as possible to the 330 grams. For me, the motor was the critical component. I wanted something that weighed in at near 34 grams. I have lots of motors, and of course most will fit and fly the Hotwing 1200, but the point of any solid review is to not detour from the suggested build parameters.
Wings 4 oz / 112g
Futaba R6106HF 0.2oz / 7g
11.1v 1100 mAh 20C battery 3oz / 85g
Some foam is removed for the servos, battery and ESC, but weight was insignificant. So if you want to really enjoy the flight character of the Hotwing 1200 keep your weight close to 330g. As well, follow the suggestion of an 80 watt motor in the 1400KV range. If you put too much power on the Hotwing, you will possibly notice some control surface flutter at high speeds or reduced movement to such a degree they become ineffective.
This is a two-piece wing that is glued with regular CA. While the instructions read to use thin CA, I had to use medium to complete the bond. It is permanent, and EPP foam glues very well. I do not recommend five-minute epoxy. The joining is easy and really hard to get it wrong. After the wing is joined, carbon reinforcement strips are inserted into the wing. You will make 3mm cuts into the wing eventually, but you need to start with a center straight line for the top and bottom.
The carbon has to be bent around the wing surface and it naturally follows the curve. I used pins to hold it while I cut a 3mm slot.
You will have to remove some foam to slip your servo into the wing. Note this occurs on the top of the wing. Take a minute of two to center your servos with the radio and you may want to install the servos with the servo arms in opposite directions. This is because many times the servo arm will only center on one side of the servo if you do not have digital programmable servos. So, if you have one facing one way and the other opposite that can help center your servos. Measurements are provided to get your servos in the correct location.
The linkages are carbon rods with pre-bent metal Z bends and a heat shrink cover to lock the linkages in place, EZ connectors are used and make the setup up very easy. Having the servos on the top makes the setup easier too.
Hitec HS45HB Specifications
The stabilizers are precut and slip into place on the wing. You need to rotate them as you slip them into place so each one stands up perpendicular to the wing. Once they are squared glue them in place with CA.
I used Futaba’s 2.4 GHz system coupled with my trusty 9 Cap Super. This has flown so many planes as an FM radio and still has setups in it for those planes, having the flexibility to make it 2.4 GHZ just makes sense. My experience with the TM-7 has been nothing but perfect. You will need to place the receiver and ESC in the position described in the manual. Again some foam will be removed.
The eRC 300BL was absolutely the best choice of motors I could find. The holes even matched on the firewall. The motors come with bullet connectors, prop hub with nut or spinner and heat shrink for the wires.
Mounting the motor takes some thought. Just because the mount slips into place does not mean it is square with the plane. I would take the time to measure, look, re-measure, look again and make sure the motor shaft is running straight down the wing centerline. Only a degree or two off and the Hotwing 1200 will not track as straight as you like. Also once you glue it into place with 5-minute epoxy movement is forever ceased. Place the wing on a grid and align it so you know the prop shaft is true with the centerline.
I coupled the motor with Castle Creation’s Thunderbird 18 amp ESC. This is the perfect choice for weight and amp versatility.
Thunderbird 18 amp ESC
The last thing you will do is use the battery to get your CG. I was surprised at how easily the Hotwing 1200 balanced. You really have plenty of foam to dig into so no worries about going all the way through. Pick a battery that best suits your flying needs. There is also one last step in adding 3M fiber tape to the leading edge. I did not do this, and saw nothing that changed the flight. Basically, I did not see that step on the back of the last page.
Probably among the first things you will have to learn is how to hand launch the Hotwing. All I can say from experience is to keep your fingers away from the prop. Here is a sequence of pictures to help you do this right.
I absolutely loved flying the Hotwing 1200. My first toss required some attention to the sticks and trimming, but once I had that done it was nothing but fun. You can climb to the moon or glide and soar all you like. Wind penetration is phenomenal. I flew in 13 MPH gusts with and average wind of 11 MPH and I know I could have handled a heck of a lot more wind. It will hover into the wind. Hit the throttle and up you go.
There is no really no stall with the Hotwing 1200 and we are talking about a ridiculous 3.58 oz/sq.ft wing loading on this aircraft. The Hotwing wants to fly, and showed nothing but controllability throughout the flight envelope. This is a plane that can do it all.
Reference back to my pictures above and you see the hand launch is really pretty easy. The Hotwing tracks right out and up and you only need about 2/3 throttle to get it to leave your hand. Landings are either a reach up and grab the wing as it goes by or let it settle into the ground. I was amazed at the controllability of the Hotwing even as it slowed into the wind to almost zero airspeed. Watch the video and you will see how easily it handles the wind.
The Hotwing is certainly aerobatic. It can loop, wing over and fly inverted very well. In fact, inverted it really does not seem to react any different than being right side up. The control throws are 40 degrees and I would set them to as far as your servo can handle on high rate, and dial back the movement to about 20 degrees on low rate. I used about 30% expo.
Climb out with the eRC 300BL is vertical. In a matter of seconds you can be to extreme altitudes and soar very well, or you can use the maneuverability of the Hotwing and do aerobatics. One thing I really enjoyed was the Hotwing does not have to be flown at even half throttle to enjoy its flight character. Given I had a 1100 mAh battery and a conservative amp draw of 5 amps at low throttle I could fly well past the calculated 13 minute mark (A/h ÷ amps x 60). Drop that throttle and soar and you could be in the air for a while. Full throttle I had flights just short of eight minutes. Full throttle I was pulling 12 amps.
I would say this is for an intermediate flyer with some wing experience. If I had only one issue it was the need to pay attention to right side up. I did think the Hotwing was capable of close quarters flying and in a large enough indoor setting it would be fine. It has a large range of flight speeds and loses little in controllability at any speed.
You have to try the Hotwing 1200. It flies easily, has a low wing loading, shows no nasty flight tendencies and when coupled with the eRC 300BL is a true performer. I love EPP foam not just for the durability, but because it allows for lightweight flight with extreme lift and wonderful flight character. The 1200 is also not that big and will sit in the front seat to take it to the park for some flying. It will also manage the confines of the indoors just fine. What the heck you get both flying opportunities with one Hotwing 1200.
What’s not so good
Great review Dave. Here's a speed question for you. In the review you caution not to overpower or overspeed the HotWing. Did you actually experience some high-speed flutter? The 1200 looked solid to me at every speed in the video.
Would you recommend this as a possible full-contact combat plane?
I was informed up front to beware of too much power. It makes sense as the aileron are huge and EPP is soft. I did not try to induce a flutter by doing any high speed dives. I am anxious to read about the other Hotwings as they are slightly smaller. Nonetheless this 1200 is very nibble. For cabman the motor and prop are protected and the EPP is think enough to take a beating. Also it has the ability to slow down and stalk your victim. I really likes this plane.
I would also add the weight of bigger motor would not really be a problem if you made the decision to exceed the 330 grams. Lots of room up front to move the battery forward.
I fly this wing with total weight around 740 grams and it is ok. I use it as carrier for GoPro HERO HD cam. My setup is 3S 1300 mAh battery, HobbyKing 40A BlueSeries Brushless Speed Controller, TR 35-36C 1100kv Brushless Outrunner, FrSky V8R7 2.4Ghz 7CH Receiver (HV) and 2xservo Emax ES9207.
First attempts were little bit problematic, mostly because the elevons were twisted, but after fix with carbon, this is ok. Manual is not mentioning any shift "up" of both elevons, this helped a lot to stabilize the heavy wing. I am also thinking about transfer of the battery below the wing to move the CG which is now "above" the surface and it can be felt on some maneuvers. I hope that the battery will not get hurt too much. But the wing is still very easy to fly.
Motor is little bit heavy but cam in the front need some weight in the back. Battery then sits almost in the CG spot. I have 7x4 prop and I am going to try the same size folding prop to reduce the drag while gliding. Some issues were with full-throttle when wing started to climb and stall, but mixing on my Tx eliminate this. This can be also fixed using washers to move the thrust axis bit down. I have also 2 gyros for testing, I want "as smooth as possible" flight for my HD cam.
I am very satisfied with this wing, it can withstand a lot, the only thing is that I hate the design. Luckily the "blank" version is also available so I made my own design :-)
Checkout the photos and first short video:
Checkout the photos and first short video:
Nice, I hope you post a video after you get the gyros worked out. I want a wing but I won't want to spend Maxi Swift money to get it.
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