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Jun 12, 2016, 08:03 PM
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Mini-Review

HottRigger 1400 by Graupner


The folks at Graupner USA were kind enough to give me one of the new Hottrigger planes to review, so after building and flying it, here is what I found.

First off, this plane is big for a foamy and the stiffness is closer to a balsa plan than most foamy 3D planes I have seen. I have been flying the QQ Extra for a while now so I was curious to see how the Hottrigger compared to it.

Here are the general specs from Graupner:

Wingspan 1400mm
Length 1350mm
Weight 1700g
Height 370mm
Powerful motor rated for 4S operation
4 x Control Servos (digital)
Speed controller with BEC
Main landing gear and wheels
Wheel pants
Propeller and spinner
Decorative decals SD and IRON design
Requires 4S 2200 mah battery

The Build

The plane comes packaged in a well-designed box and the instructions are printed on the side of the box. Basic instructions, but that’s about all that is needed because there are only a handful of screws to install and the prop, and it is ready to go. What takes a bit longer are the graphic decals, more on that later.

The plane is one of the nicest foam designs I have seen. The control surface hinge design is more like something you would see on a high end balsa plane, so everything moves to extreme throws with no binding at all. The landing gear is quite beefy and strong aluminum that would be difficult to bend or break.

One of the best features of this plane is the wing attachment. No tools or screws needed, simply slip the wings on the spar tube and slide into the wing root, then snap the tab closed on the bottom of the wing – very nice! The aileron wires slip into an opening at the wing root and into the area where the receiver is mounted. There is a place for a pilot in the cockpit but the kit doesn’t come with one so I just put the canopy on without it. The double stick tape to mount the clear canopy is already installed on the fuselage.

The Hottrigger has a molded pocket that fits a Graupner GR 12L receiver perfectly, but there is room to mount the receiver of your choice. The battery mounting places the battery pretty far forward and I found the CG to be too far forward, so I moved the Velcro back to get the proper CG. I tried battery sizes from 2200 mah to 2700 mah. All the wires in the plane are labeled for easy identification so adding the receiver takes only a few minutes.

The entire process to get the plane ready to fly took about 30 minutes, very straightforward. Adding the decals took a bit longer. The plane comes with 2 sets of decals, one for the red stripe scheme and one for the tear-out scheme. I decided to use the latter for something different and placing all those decals took over an hour.

Once ready I headed out to the flying field to give it a try in the air. I used a Graupner 6 channel receiver with the gyro stabilization built into it. I first flew the plan with the gyro off, then began adding the gyro to each axis individually to determine the best settings.

Flying

The Hottrigger is very well behaved on the ground and taxi/takeoff is uneventful thanks to the effective tail wheel steering and long tail moment. Once in the air it is apparent that this is not a boat around your yard foamy. This is a high performance foam plane and it is pretty fast on 4S with plenty of power.

It took very little trim to get the plane flying straight in all axes. On low rates it flies straight and precise and has excellent control authority as I expected from a 3D capable plane. Once I switched to high rates, the plane really came alive and I was glad I added about 60% expo to the ailerons and elevator.

As far as maneuvers, the plane can do just about any of them but here are things I noticed:

1. It hovers at about ½ throttle and is not the easiest plane to lock into a hover, but not extremely difficult either.
2. With the tapered wing I expected some wing rock in upright harriers, but I was pleasantly surprised they were rock solid from shallow to deep harrier and also in turns.
3. The plane has a lot of elevator authority and do waterfalls well, and this makes nice tight KE spins too; however, it requires backing off the elevator for flat spins or it will flip the plane out of the spins. Once I figured out how much elevator to use, I found it flat spins nicely.
4. The KE coupling is very minimal, not enough that I bothered mixing it out. The plane holds KE well and KE figure eights are smooth due to the stability and good power.
5. Rolling circles and harriers are quite easy to coordinate as the plane wants to roll axially
6. Landing the plane is quite easy, nothing tricky, just fly it in and give gentle flair to touch down.

The plane did benefit from using the gyro, especially in the wind, but the gyro settings I used were fairly low as oscillations would occur if more than about ½ the gain was used. I found that the rudder needed the least amount of gain (only about 10% of the others) or it would wag when the control was quickly released.

All in all, I found the Hottrigger to be a fun plane to fly and very capable at both precision and 3D, and for $249 receiver ready it is one of the highest quality foam planes for the money. Of course it is not an IMAC plane and sport flying / 3D are where is excels the best. I’m working on getting some video of the Hotrigger flying and will post that soon.
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Jun 23, 2016, 03:42 AM
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PaulB's Avatar
Got 2 of these models in our club and to be honest neither owner was very happy. They both complained that the model was very imprecise, not flying crisply and needed constant re-trimming which everyone put down to poor servos. One owner (our resident lady pilot) got so peed off that she declared that the model was going into the bin but one of my FB’s offered her a token sum and he took the model home. He also had the same problems with trimming and wasn’t very happy either so his plan was to buy new servos. I got hold of the model at the club and operated the servos continuously for several minutes and they centred perfectly, strange…..

Started digging around (I had not had either model in my hand before) and pretty quickly found that the tail feathers had a large amount of ‘flex’ once you put some pressure on them. The tail is screwed to the model and was basically loose. Tightened the screw and looky here, nice precise flight with no trimming required! Next flight started well but by the end the trim was changing again, tail was loose again. Also observed that the servo arms are a) loose on the servo output and b) pretty flexible. My FB is going to Goop the tail on, replace the servo arms (also going to get the linkage nearer to the servo to reduce slop) and see how she goes. I am convinced that this will fix the problem giving him a well behaved model, time will tell and I will post back here.

Paul
Latest blog entry: Just To Say Hello.......
Jun 23, 2016, 04:50 PM
smoke is my wattmeter
I like unpainted aspect of it. Even though I'm not very artistic , it would be nice to start with a blank slate. I'd prefer it without electronics, if possible. Control surfaces look nice and big with good hinges too.
Aug 13, 2016, 06:35 AM
Registered User
I just ordered one of these. I use a Spektrum Dx7 G2 any recommendations as to which RX to use? I definitely want stabilization so something with AS3x
Jack
Aug 13, 2016, 01:14 PM
Recalcitrant
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack herr View Post
I just ordered one of these. I use a Spektrum Dx7 G2 any recommendations as to which RX to use? I definitely want stabilization so something with AS3x
Jack
http://www.lemon-rx.com/index.php?ro...product_id=131
Aug 13, 2016, 08:58 PM
Registered User
I always forget about lemon rx's. That may be a good idea, certainly much cheaper.
How do you program those? PC or phone app?
Aug 14, 2016, 05:32 AM
Recalcitrant
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack herr View Post
I always forget about lemon rx's. That may be a good idea, certainly much cheaper.
How do you program those? PC or phone app?
You "program" the Lemon-Rx gyros with a screwdriver, there are three trim pots. Wouldn't trade that feature for any Spektrum or Aura gyro stabilizer made. "We don't neeed no steeenking programmer!"

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2249026
Aug 14, 2016, 06:02 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by 55TBird View Post
You "program" the Lemon-Rx gyros with a screwdriver, there are three trim pots. Wouldn't trade that feature for any Spektrum or Aura gyro stabilizer made. "We don't neeed no steeenking programmer!"

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2249026
LMAO What programmer? I don't no programmer, We don't need no stinking programmer"
Really? Its that easy? I will probably be getting one of those. For the life of me I cant think of why not
Aug 14, 2016, 06:49 AM
Recalcitrant
Yes, it's that easy. One or two adjustments after test flight(s), and that's it. And you can turn the gyro function on or off just by "programming" a switch on your DX7, take a look at the link for instructions.

Buy several, they're quite addictive.
Aug 14, 2016, 07:15 AM
Registered User
Rx has been ordered. I will probably be asking questions once both plane and Rx arrive. I have read the first few pages on the forum here. Programming has never been my thing( I like when I can program the Tx and go fly) I think this wont be all that difficult though.
I am an excited old man now
Jack
Does this plane fly as well as the videos and reviews say and show? I have a QQ extra 300 and an NVA so was looking for something a little bigger but just as agile and easy/fun to fly.
Aug 21, 2016, 10:14 AM
Recalcitrant
While we're waiting for Jack to get his Lemon RX receiver & HoTTrigger together in the same place & time, is there anyone else who can give us a report on the HoTTriger 1400?

I've seen some great youtube videos from some very capable pilots, but we've not seen or heard from the common man yet. Anyone? How about someone who also has the QQ Extra 300, and can make a direct comparison. Please????

Aug 22, 2016, 04:49 AM
Registered User
PaulB's Avatar
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...03&postcount=2

Just to update.............................

Gluing the tail produced really good results. Moving the control rods in on the servo extensions (towards the servo) and increasing throw on the transmitter pretty much solved all problems and turned his model into a nice 'intermediate' sports/ aerobatic/ 3D machine.

However, my FB tends to fly his throttle like a 2 position switch (WOT or off) and to be honest she doesn't like it (flying on 4 cells). I keep trying to convince him to throttle back but falling on deaf ears so I have kind of given up.

Glue the tail, get sensible throws/ linkages, fly the throttle and you will have a nice model.

Paul
Latest blog entry: Just To Say Hello.......
Aug 23, 2016, 04:11 PM
Recalcitrant
Thanks Paul, that is good news, and very encouraging. Anyone else have HoTTrigger 1400 experience they can share?
Sep 23, 2016, 08:54 PM
Registered User
I have finally flown mine. I have to say it is a very nice flier. Still getting the learning curve for this plane down, I have about 10 flights tops.
It isn't very floaty for a foam 3D plane so landings are faster than with my QQ extra 300 and Nightvision Aire both 48" wingspan. For me the landings are faster than with the other 2 planes. On 1 landing I had a bounce and the wheel skirt tore lose at the point where the landing gear meets the wheel skirts. An easy enough fix, I glued it back in place only to discover that brass axle bolt was bent and rubbed on the side of the wheel skirt. I opened up the skirt and removed the bolt. As soon as I applied a little pressure to straighten it out it snapped in two. I sent an email to Graupner asking if I can get just the axle bolt, I have not had a reply. I wont buy the whole new landing gear just for an axle. I think I will be removing both wheel skirts and use a stainless steel bolt and some washers.
Aside from that I am really liking this plane. I am using an Aura 8 flight controller with 2 Spektrum sats. and a DX7 G2.
One of the reasons I bought this was because of the wing fastening system so I could put it in my car. After installing the flight controller I can not get the servo wires in and out any longer so the wings will be staying on permanently which is OK. I will also add that the y are more firmly attached than my planes with wing bolts. I am at this point very impressed with the clamp system for the wings but, time will tell if they stay tight for a long term. The battery mounts in a slot and can only be positioned in one place no movement fore or aft but the cg is spot on where they have the slot.
Jack
Sep 23, 2016, 08:58 PM
Registered User
I forgot to add. I found the tail to be very lose after assembly and used some whit glue where the vertical stab. nests in the fuse. that firmed it right up yet, will be removable if needed. Also, the Aura 8 requires all servo travel to be at 125%, the roll rate is very good and the throws on the control surfaces is enormous.
Jack


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