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Mar 19, 2016, 01:51 PM
dbc
dbc
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I've gotten six additional flights on this plane in the last two mornings with near dead calm conditions.

It does fly better under these conditions, especially compared to the windy maiden. However, the improvement is not as much as I had anticipated.There's nothing glaringly wrong with its flight performance, but it just doesn't have the "locked in" feel of the better sport planes. The dragger configuration and tight coupling with the short fuselage makes it fly more like a warbird - which it actually resembles.

You'll need to advance the throttle smoothly and be instantly ready with right rudder to counteract the torque effect on pavement take off. The plane is quite sensitive on pitch and yaw axis so you might want to use significant expo. The roll response, on the other hand, is rather soft. It'll require additional throw to achieve a quick roll rate.

The very stiff maingear legs will result in a bounce on pavement with less than perfect landings. And, of course, the usual dragger tendency on the pavement to ground loop in the last few feet of the landing rollout. I haven't gotten the radar on it yet, but the same power system I've used in other sport planes doesn't seem to push this one as fast.

Not a bad plane, overall. But not quite as satisfying as I had initially hoped it would be.
Last edited by dbc; Mar 19, 2016 at 03:04 PM.
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Mar 19, 2016, 04:45 PM
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Hi Dave,

Thanks for the flight report. Is the Spacewalker going to be a keeper for you, or will you be selling her off?

I was interested in the Spacewalker as a good looking sport scale aircraft for some relaxing, lazy circuits around the patch with some decent sport aerobatic performance on tap to keep things interesting. Do you think the Spacewalker will tick off those requirements?

At about $145.00 shipped using the Tower Hobby discounts, how would you rate the Spacewalker value wise?

Thanks!

Mickydee
Mar 19, 2016, 07:33 PM
dbc
dbc
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I really enjoyed this assembly of this one, Mickydee. Nice quality components with good workmanship. And it went together quickly and easily with no hitches. The finished plane is really quite a good looker - I'd have to consider it a good value for the money.

Maybe you should add this one to your inventory of planes to build after your retirement.
Mar 19, 2016, 10:04 PM
Registered User
Hi Dave,

Sounds like a plan! I made the mistake of holding off on buying the Phoenix Seabee EP/GP and they discontinued it! Not gonna make the same mistake with the Dolphin, Extra 300, and Spacewalker.
Mar 20, 2016, 07:31 AM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
I'm still working on the Review model and so far I concur that the quality is very good. So far only a couple of minor issues and some assembly sequence changes that I will list in the review. My only other impression is that it feels pretty heavy for such a small plane. I guess you could also call it feeling very sturdy, but I'm not sure how it will effect flight performance. I guess I'll have to wait and see. The wing loading my contribute to the warbird feeling dbc mentioned. I was hoping for more of a J3 Cub feeling. Oh well, it should make a very nice windy weather plane.

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Mar 20, 2016, 10:33 AM
dbc
dbc
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The narrow 20' paved strip I fly off of requires absolute control in the landing rollout, or you will hit a curb, a mailbox post or a planter. These heavy draggers just don't work well in this environment. I've had several of them and can usually control the rollout. But not always. Sometimes with unpleasant results.

My plan was to only fly the Spacewalker at a grass field a few miles from my house. And the initial flights were done there with good success. I'm not accustomed to loading planes and driving to the flying field so I've tried the Spacewalker at home here on pavement. Several nice rollouts but a couple of near misses convinced me to make a change. If the Spacewalker was going to remain in my fleet, it would have to have much better ground handling.

I have now completed the conversion to tricycle gear and have flown it several times. The ground handling is now excellent. And, best of all, I can re-convert it to dragger configuration in only a few minutes.

As a "TriWalker" it doesn't look near as sexy. And it's a little taller on the trike gear than I would prefer. I did this so a larger prop could be used to allow the option of 4s power as well as 5s.
Mar 20, 2016, 10:46 AM
dbc
dbc
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The trike picture above has a too small spinner installed. I'll get something more appropriate. But I really don't like the long pointy one Phoenix supplied. It's on the picture with the dragger configuration.
Mar 20, 2016, 03:24 PM
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Birds's Avatar
That's a beautiful conversion. Nice and clean.

Have you ever considered building kits.?? You would be good at it.
Mar 20, 2016, 03:41 PM
dbc
dbc
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Thanks, Birds.

I did build some kits many years ago in my youth. That's about all that was available back then. I guess I got lazy in my old age - as I now almost exclusively assemble ARF's. But there is something very satisfying about fabrication, even on a project as relatively simple as this one.

Dave
Mar 20, 2016, 04:43 PM
dbc
dbc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickydee
Hi Dave,

Sounds like a plan! I made the mistake of holding off on buying the Phoenix Seabee EP/GP and they discontinued it! Not gonna make the same mistake with the Dolphin, Extra 300, and Spacewalker.
I missed out on the Seabee, too. That plane got an excellent review and had lots of favorable user comments. I was really surprised to see it discontinued.

I haven't done the Extra 300. But I really like (really, really like) the Dolphin. Over a pound lighter than the Spacewalker and with about 5% more wing area. If you want a gentle sport flyer for a lazy afternoon, the Dolphin is hard to beat.
Last edited by dbc; Mar 21, 2016 at 07:04 AM.
Mar 24, 2016, 07:12 PM
dbc
dbc
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I'm flying this plane frequently and continuing to work with the set up. Getting the CG and control throws optimized really improves how it flys. I'm pretty pleased with how it's all come together. 17 flights so far and it's quite a nice flyer now.

I cut out one of the dummy cylinder head/exhaust pieces but don't really like how it looks on the cowl so decided to leave them off. I'm working on some additional trim instead. Picture to follow.
Mar 24, 2016, 10:19 PM
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kingsflyer's Avatar
What did you finally settle on for your CG? I'm going to maiden mine in the morning and even with the battery pack as far back as possible, it still seems a little nose heavy.

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Mar 25, 2016, 08:28 AM
dbc
dbc
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I settled on about 76mm back for CG. Tried as far as 80 where it was getting slightly tail heavy.

You might want to use a lot more aileron throw - the suggested 8mm is barely enough to maintain control. I'm using more than 25mm to get a good roll rate.
Mar 25, 2016, 04:53 PM
dbc
dbc
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Trim added to fuse sides instead of using the dummy engine/exhaust.

What do you think?
Mar 25, 2016, 05:22 PM
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kingsflyer's Avatar
I like it! Much better than the plastic dummy motor.

Maiden went well his morning. CG at 72 mm may have contributed to the tendency to nose over on power up and after touchdown.

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28


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