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HobbyKing Hall Cherokee - RCGroups Review

An cool take on a classic American homebuilt glider from Hobbyking.com.

Hobbyking Durafly Hall Cherokee

Introduction

Wingspan: 1700mm (67 inches)
Flying Weight:700 grams (25 ounces)
Length:920mm(36 inches)
Transmitter:Minimum of 5 channels
Receiver:Minimum of 5 channels
Battery:3s 1500 25-40c
Power system :64mm EDF and motor, included
ESC:30amp, Included
Typical Flight Duration:Depends on available lift
Available From:HobbyKing
Price:$99.00 at the time of this review

The Hobbyking Hall Cherokee is an American designed high-wing single seat glider, first introduced in 1956 as plans for the homebuilt community. HobbyKing has done an excellent job bringing this piece of soaring history to market for RC Enthusiasts. The HobbyKing Hall Cherokee can be flown as a true glider, like the original, but where it differs is with the inclusion of a 64mm ducted fan pod, which allows you to enjoy thermals when there is no tow plane or bungee launch available.

Hall Cherokee Review Video

Durafly Hall Cherokee - RCGroups Review (4 min 47 sec)

Hall Cherokee Kit Contents

  • (4) 9 gram Servos (installed)
  • 64mm EDF pod, with brushless motor and fan unit
  • Tow release (installed)
  • Hardware to assemble the glider

Additional parts I supplied to complete the build:

Hall Cherokee Assembly

A Phillips head screwdriver is all you need. Install 3 screws, and the plane is done; two for the horizontal and one to join the wings together. I would recommend running the screws in slowly before you actually install the tail and the wing. I found them a bit tight, and used a bit of bar soap as a lubricant to help things along. The wings also have a short fiberglass dihedral joiner that you slide in place before you secure them together.

The EDF and the ESC have mating three-pin connectors that make it easy to be sure things are hooked up properly when you remove and install the EDF.

Flying the Hall Cherokee

I wasn't able to get a tow pilot for my Tundra, so I used the EDF pod to carry the Hall Cherokee aloft for the initial flights. I am very pleased with how effective this method is. Launches were effortless, and the climb out, while not ballistic, was quite respectable. For the first launch, I added in a bit of up trim, to be sure I'd have a solid climb, but it really wasn't needed. I found no surprises on launch, just throttle up and give her a gentle toss.

The trim needed was minimal; just a couple of clicks of aileron and I took out all the up trim I added at launch. I did feel the recommended CG might be a bit rearward, based on how "pitchy" it felt, but I should tell you that the winds were pretty stout for my review flights. I will be getting back out to the field soon, to see how she does on a much calmer day.

Recommended control throws felt good, the glider was responsive without being overly sensitive, save for the elevator. Again, I feel like that may be CG related. Even when I turned cross wind, and the wind tossed a wing up, I had plenty of aileron authority to counter that, and never felt like I was in danger of loosing the plane

I did get into a couple of thermals, and the Hobbyking Hall Cherokee did quite well. The lift wasn't really strong, but it was enough that I was able to see how the Hall Cherokee responded. The tail came up and the wings rocked as I passed through the first one, and I quickly turned into it and started to circle. Within a couple minutes, I had gained quite a bit of altitude, so I bailed and came back to the field before I got to far downwind. The second one formed under me as I was circling power off, waiting for the runway to clear so I could make a pass. I was able to ride that one for a few minutes as well, until once again I got out for fear of being to far downwind .

Landings are pretty easy. The glide slope is gentle, and held no surprises, just keep the wings level, and fly her to the ground. Having the wheel is neat, since you get a nice rollout once you touch down.

I also did a loop and a roll with the Hobbyking Hall Cherokee, though I was careful not to stress the wings to much. While I have no reason to think they wouldn't handle these maneuvers, I didn't want to chance it, and besides, this is a semi-scale sailplane, and in my mind, it looks best cruising around in lift!

Pluses and Minuses

Pluses

  • Very fast build
  • Optional EDF power pod-No relying on a tow-plane pilot!
  • Pre-applied graphics
  • I didn't need any weight to hit the CG

Minuses

  • Radio/battery compartment is really tight
  • It's a bit hard to remove the wings and unplug everything for transport

Conclusion

I like this plane. Good looks, the ability to get it aloft with three different methods (tow, bungee, and the EDF pod) and tame flying characteristics make the Hobbyking Hall Cherokee a lot of fun to fly. The build is fast, from box to ready to fly can be done in an hour's time. The power system uses inexpensive batteries, so that's always a plus. The Hall Cherokee is a solid performer, and I am looking forward to many enjoyable flights with it.

I would like to thank Stuart at HobbyKing for providing the glider for review, my wife for photos and video, and Jim T. and Angela for their assistance as well.

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Aug 19, 2016 at 03:53 PM..
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Aug 20, 2016, 11:24 PM
Registered User
scott page's Avatar

Towed by Tundra


Here is a video of our first attempt using DuraFly Tundra to tow the Cherokee. We have never done this before and it's obvious - however we survived and so did our aircraft.
Really curious what the length of the tow line should be.

DuraFly Tundra Tug - HobbyKing Hall Cherokee Glider - Glider Tow (2 min 2 sec)
Latest blog entry: Old OpenTX and Taranis Videos
Aug 21, 2016, 06:20 PM
Registered User
TomTerrific's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott page
Here is a video of our first attempt using DuraFly Tundra to tow the Cherokee.

Really curious what the length of the tow line should be.

https://youtu.be/dZ0Sxt8Z5J0
Hi Scott- their is a ton of towing info over over at the ScaleSoaring web site. The "Beginners Forum" says 60-75' . Kinds of rope and more info detailed...
http://forum.scalesoaring.com/
Aug 21, 2016, 06:37 PM
Registered User
TomTerrific's Avatar
We are very fortunate to have Hobby King and others bringing great looking and affordable Scale Sailplanes to the market. Nice to have the Aerotowing release built-in too!

For those who like the Cherokee, Tower Hobbies also sells the ST Models Salto. It doesn't have an aerotow release. But, the EDF motor retracts nicely into the fuselage when you lower the throttle.
On the Salto, the edf motor extended out of the fusalage- cuts the glide ratio about 50% ( it acts as an air brake too). I wonder if anyone can comment on the glide ratio difference for the Cherokee and with/without the EDF installed?
Aug 22, 2016, 08:22 AM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott page
Here is a video of our first attempt using DuraFly Tundra to tow the Cherokee. We have never done this before and it's obvious - however we survived and so did our aircraft.
Really curious what the length of the tow line should be.

https://youtu.be/dZ0Sxt8Z5J0
Scott, I plan to start with 30 feet of line and go from there...as soon as I can find another Taranis owner to fly my Tundra!

How much line did you use?
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Aug 22, 2016, 10:28 AM
Registered User
scott page's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IFLYOS
Scott, I plan to start with 30 feet of line and go from there...as soon as I can find another Taranis owner to fly my Tundra!

How much line did you use?
We did 20' for the first tow (not on video) but the cherokee rolled side to side like crazy so in the video it's about 40 feet. Still had the rolling side to side issue, but not as much until the end when it get's all wonky and is released.
Latest blog entry: Old OpenTX and Taranis Videos
Aug 22, 2016, 11:11 AM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
Hmm...The takeoff in the video looked great. You gotta remember to keep the sailplane above the tow plane, and in my experience, I stay off the elevator, and go easy on roll and yaw inputs.

Maybe 40-50 feet of line will work better..
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Aug 22, 2016, 02:27 PM
rcnova
Can you buy just the EDF pod?
Aug 22, 2016, 03:09 PM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
The pod and fan unit are listed under the "spare" tab on the product page.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...700mm_PNF.html
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Feb 04, 2017, 09:15 PM
BMAT prior life.. USAF Retired
PHerder's Avatar
I know this is an old thread but I just tried mine when the weather here in Dodge City, KS was extremely good for a February (73 degrees F and light winds).

The problem I am now having is the EDF is pushing the plane into a sever dive which makes launching it not a fun thing (i.e. BANG! right into the ground!)

One time I launched without any power just to see how it would glide and it was great! While still in the air, I fed in power a little at a time and with FULL up elevator, I was able to get it up in the air a little bit (i.e. ~ 10 feet... maybe). Since I was heading towards things that would not be kind to the plane (buildings, trees, etc.) I got it turned around and took off power and let it glide back to me... and passed me! It flies great without the power! I am using the rod that secures the EDF pod to the fuselage but the magnet at the rear of the Pod/fuselage has come unattached.

I then looked at the EDF unit and can see that the rear of the assembly is ~ 1/8" + off the wing/fuselage and can be held down but before I tried securing the EDF down in the back, I was wondering if that would just make the plane dive even quicker?

To be honest, I haven't had much luck with "pusher" style of planes with power plants above the center of the wing (i.e. Volantex FPV Raptor which I could not get to climb no matter what I did with it. Finally busted the power pod off of it and destroyed the wings. There were a couple others that will not be remembered... )

So which angle of the EDF pod will keep it from pulling the plane into the ground? I can either add material to push up the rear of the pod or secure the pod rear down closer to the fuselage (remember, I have a gap there!)

Feb 08, 2017, 03:17 PM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
Secure the rear of the pod down, get rid of the gap. That should get the thrust line back where it's supposed to be and correct your issue!
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Feb 08, 2017, 03:39 PM
BMAT prior life.. USAF Retired
PHerder's Avatar
I will give that a try once the weather (wind and cold) is better. Friday it is supposed to be in the 80s!!!! But with warm temps comes high winds.
Feb 14, 2017, 09:32 AM
Registered User
Hi PHerder. I am no hotshot, & have had trouble with hand launching of AXN floater jets in the past. I have fitted landing gear, with 60mm wheels to them, & find taking off from my home grass strip a much better system than hand launches for me.

I fitted light wing tip skids to my Cherokee, & took it for a taxi test, to see if it could take off on it's single wheel from my home grass strip. I was very pleasantly surprised at how well it handled on the grass, only catching a wing tip once in 4 runs, & that only before it had picked up a bit of speed. With just a bit of speed it was easy to keep them level, & it steers remarkable well for something with no steering tailwheel.

Getting brave, I did 3 flights, & loved the way it flies. I found it actually harder to get down than take off. It tended to just keep on gliding at a very low speed. Give taking off a try if you are having hand launching a problem, it works for me.

Give taking off a go, if
Feb 14, 2017, 10:04 AM
BMAT prior life.. USAF Retired
PHerder's Avatar
Greetings Phil W!

I have given up on the EDF and have purchased a high start launcher. Don't know why my EDF power keeps pushing my Cherokee into the ground when power is applied so I have removed it and will fly it as a glider only since it does that oh so very well!
Feb 15, 2017, 07:41 AM
Registered User
Hope that works well for you, the thing should glide very well with out it's hump on it's back.

Please let us know how it goes.


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