HobbyKing Hall Cherokee - RCGroups Review

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

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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 04:53 PM..
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Old Aug 21, 2016, 12:24 AM
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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)
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Old Aug 21, 2016, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott page View Post
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/
Old Aug 21, 2016, 07:37 PM
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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?
Old Aug 22, 2016, 09:22 AM
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14s 180mah should be enough...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott page View Post
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?
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Old Aug 22, 2016, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by IFLYOS View Post
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.
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Old Aug 22, 2016, 12:11 PM
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14s 180mah should be enough...
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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..
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Old Aug 22, 2016, 03:27 PM
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Can you buy just the EDF pod?
Old Aug 22, 2016, 04:09 PM
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14s 180mah should be enough...
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The pod and fan unit are listed under the "spare" tab on the product page.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...700mm_PNF.html
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