Great Planes Avistar 30cc - RCGroups Review

The Avistar 30cc is an upsized classic trainer, that performs like a sport plane. Follow along as we dig into all this plane has to offer

Splash

Introduction

Wingspan: 90.5 inches
Flying Weight:16.5-17.5 pounds
Length:77.25 inches
Transmitter:Minimum of 4 channels
Receiver:Minimum of 4 channels
Battery:10s 5000mah
Motor :63-62-250kv
ESC:60 amp
Typical Flight Duration:8-10 minutes depending on throttle management
Available From:Tower Hobbies and fine hobby shops everywhere
Price:$449.99

The Great Planes Avistar; a plane that countless modelers are familiar with as a basic trainer as well as a Sunday sport flyer. I can recall seeing many of them at the field in my early days, and the pilots always enjoyed them. Fast forward to today, and Great Planes has decided that the classic .40 size trainer would make a great giant scale aircraft, and they are right! Good looks combined with great flight characteristics allow anyone to have a good time with this plane.

Kit Contents

  • Fiberglass wheel pants and Cowl
  • Nice decal sheet
  • Pushrods, control horns, and all needed hardware
  • Aluminum spinner

Additional parts supplied to complete the build:

Additional parts I supplied:

Assembly

For a big plane, the assembly is very fast. The manual is what I have come to expect from Great Planes: a very well illustrated, logically laid out guide.

Anyone who has experience with building, be it ARF or stick built, will have no problem putting this plane together in a week of evenings. The only thing that might be new to first time giant scale builders is the soldering of the pushrods, but the manual handles that, and there are plenty of YouTube videos to get you started.

A couple of decisions will need to be made during the build, namely if you want flaps, and what type of gear setup you want, tricycle or taildragger. If you choose flaps, you will need a razor saw to separate them from the ailerons, and you will need to install 2 additional servos in the wings to support them. Personally, I recommend you go for the flaps. They add another element of fun to the plane.

I did deviate from the recommended flap setup slightly, since I intend to do some fancy mixing to allow me to have full span ailerons, crow, and flaps once I finish the review.

Flying

If i had to sum up the flight performance in one word, "Wow" would be it. My memories of the classic .40 sized Avistar are of a solid basic trainer that would allow you to learn to fly, and then move into more advanced maneuvers. The Avistar 30cc has the same feeling, but with more of everything.

Takeoff is easy, just line it up and roll into the throttle. You can easily do a "scale" takeoff, if you slowly advance the throttle, and you are rewarded with a plane that tracks straight, and needs minimal rudder input. If you prefer, you can throw the coals to it, and get off the ground in a hurry, for that "high performance" feel.

Landings are just as easy. Line it up, drop the throttle, and she settles nicely. Adding elevator to maintain the glide slope makes for a nice three point landing. If you use the flaps, the Avistar is capable of some very short landings.

While takeoff and landing is important, almost everyone is more concerned with what happens in between, and this plane will not disappoint you! With the recommended 10s setup, the Avistar has quite a wide flight envelope. You can easily tool around the sky at 1/4 to 1/3 throttle, enjoying how well the Avistar looks as it cruises by. I did find that it likes coordinated turns, but if you aren't used to using the rudder, it will turn just fine with aileron. For a plane of this size, it easily could fill a place in your hangar as a relaxing weekend giant that has no bad characteristics that I could find.

Stalls broke straight ahead, and were gentle. The nose dropped, and relaxing the elevator and adding a little power is all that is needed to recover. You have to try to make it stall, so you won't get caught off guard with this one.

Rolls benefit from the use of rudder as well, and on high rates were quite pleasing for a high wing trainer. I would prefer a bit more roll rate, but that is easily solved with more aileron throw.

The rudder has plenty of authority, enough to pull off a nice knife edge. I almost got a knife edge loop out of it as well, but it needs just a bit more throw. Again, that's easy to take care of.

Stall turns are easy, but you do need to pay attention to your timing. With the size of the rudder, if you apply it to late, then you end up with more of a tailslide.

High speed flight is impressive, the Avistar really moves out, and sounds good doing it! I was very happy with how fast the airplane is, and how it handles at full throttle. Control response is very positive, without being "twitchy," and it will bring a smile to your face, since it handles more like a sport plane.

Is this plane suitable for a beginner?

Yes. This plane could easily be used as your first trainer. On low rates it is a docile plane that handles well, and will not surprise you. With a good instructor, I have no doubt a person could easily learn to fly, and once you master the basics, you have a plane that will carry you easily into more advanced flying. As a first giant scale for someone with experience, this plane would be perfect. The wide flight envelope, and the inclusion of flaps will provide a solid foundation of skills needed to move on to aerobatic or scale aircraft.

Review Video:

Great Planes Avistar 30cc - RCGroups Review (4 min 4 sec)

Pluses and Minuses

Pluses

  • Electric or wet fuel options
  • Impressive looks
  • I didn't need any weight to hit the CG
  • Flight characteristics
  • Easy flight battery access

Minuses

  • No backing plates for the aileron and flap control horns
  • Access to the receiver and receiver pack can be difficult once all the pushrods are installed.

Conclusion

I really like this plane. It's big enough to make an impression at the field, but still fits easily in the back of my SUV. It's good looks remind me of a modern general aviation plane, found at countless municipal airports across the country, and it's flight performance brings a smile to my face. This is the kind of plane that can easily find a home in just about anybody's hangar, and will serve well in a multitude of rolls, from your first giant scale, glider tug, or sport flyer. It's the kind of plane you don't mind letting your friends fly, but at the same time, you don't want to share it, because it is so much fun!

I would like to thank Hobbico for supplying the Avistar for review, my wife for the still photos, Tim "NavionFlyer" Walker for running the video camera, and Matt Gunn for his assistance with editing this article.

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Sep 20, 2016 at 03:15 PM..
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Old Sep 20, 2016, 08:01 PM
Nikolei Zinsli is offline
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If it's R/C, I LIKE IT!
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Nice job Tim!
RCG Plus Member
Latest blog entry: 93" AJ Laser 230z
Old Sep 21, 2016, 02:40 AM
mickydee is online now
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Good review,

The Avistar looks like a very cool aircraft. I will probably pass though because I already have a Sig Senior Sport and a Rascal 80. The Aviator is just too much like what I have already. I also don't have any 5S packs so this would be very expensive for me.

I will be watching this thread though!
Last edited by mickydee; Sep 22, 2016 at 04:58 PM.
Old Sep 21, 2016, 02:54 AM
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double post.
Last edited by mickydee; Sep 22, 2016 at 04:57 PM.
Old Sep 26, 2016, 06:09 PM
IFLYOS is offline
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14s 180mah should be enough...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolei Zinsli View Post
Nice job Tim!
Thanks!
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Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Old Sep 27, 2016, 01:46 PM
Borneoben is offline
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Hey Tim nice review

How do you think this compares to a Sig T Clips 70?

They could share the same power system.
Old Sep 27, 2016, 08:04 PM
IFLYOS is offline
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14s 180mah should be enough...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borneoben View Post
Hey Tim nice review

How do you think this compares to a Sig T Clips 70?

They could share the same power system.
Ben,

If they shared the same power system, the T-Clips would be "Tim Powered" for sure! The Rimfire 1.60 that is recommended (and I used) for the Avistar is a 2500 watt constant motor. The T-Clips 70 recommended motor is 800 watts max.

The Avistar is quite a bit bigger than the T-Clips also.

As far as how they compare, I have flown the T-Clips 70, and it is a very solid .60 size sport plane, capable of almost anything you can think of. Having said that, it is, by nature, a little more "unstable." That isn't to say it's a bad flying plane, just more geared toward someone with experience. The Avistar is very capable as well, but more forgiving, and more suited toward a beginner, or someone looking to make the step to giant scale. While it can be flown quite hard, it can also serve as a basic trainer, and that's something I wouldn't suggest doing with the T-Clips.

Having said that, and knowing a bit about you I would think you would enjoy the Avistar..I know I do!
RCG Plus Member
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!


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