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This thread is privately moderated by phil alvirez, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Aug 27, 2016, 06:27 AM
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the evolution of the Radian

all began with the Radian, a 2 meters (80") electric powered sailplane from horizon hobby. i learned about it when i watched it flying. it impressed me so much that same day i went to the nearest hobby shop that stocked it and purchased 1 and was flying it next day. no gyros nothing.
but then they released the 29" UMX, that has gyros (electronic stabilizer), that makes it fly in some wind as if were a way larger plane.
and i got 1 too for flying at the backyard or nearest park.
then came the Pro, that has ailerons and lower dihedral, for aerobatics. that i dont have 1 because my goal is thermaling.
and now we have the largest 2.6 meters (102") XL that comes with a receiver with gyros, for windier weather. and i have 1 too.
this is just the start. i will keep bringing comments on my personal experience with them, so keep posted and get into the end of this. see ya.
i will start with the impressions i got on each 1, then details and then what i have done to improve it or make my life easier.

#1: the 1st (2 meters):
this is my favorite size, and it thermals easy and is fast to have it ready to fly. handles some wind, climbs to 200 meters in 30 seconds, easiest to put together, and price is great.

#2: the micro:
flies like a big 1, as with the gyros it handles wind very well.
1.-loosing signal: if sometimes a few seconds after launching, motor stops and you cant control the plane and crashes, may be due to the esc disconnecting. this happens to me when i plug a freshly charged cell (battery) on the 1st flight. the solution, when i just plug a fresh cell, is not to run the throttle at full, but just enough to start a mild climb for some 15 seconds. by then the cell is below the cutoff and all goes well. subsequent flights are safe. i climb for about 30 seconds, then glide and land. launch again several times.
2.-wearing out: as i have flown it extensively, i began to experience malfunction: some times it did not respond, or it was erratic. and just got worse. i disassembled the brick and learned that the tracks where the brushes rub, where worn out. what happens is that the stabilizer (as3x) keeps moving, there is so much friction that wears out way faster. so you have to be aware that when this happens to you, is the end of the lil'un. unless you replace the brick. that is what i did, with 1 from my many umx that are from the generation before the as3x. but that means some surgery that is not easy. anyway, now i have a umx rad that handles wind, and another that is for calm.

#3: the big 1:
the reason why i got it is to be able to fly when there is too much wind for the 2 meters version. but to be honest, i was expecting the super performance of the 2 meters and the micro-and this is not like those. this it the latest, and still am learning about it, but is another dimension. after flying the 2mt extensively, just getting it on my hand, makes feel as if is too heavy. the climb is steady and relaxed. 3 times heavier than the 2 mt., the spoilers are of big help because gliding so flat you easily overshoot, but takes some time to learn to use them.
on mine i found a problem, as the electronic stabilizer (AS3X) did not function, and when trimming it returns to the previous setting. horizon says that they are working on it, but i decided to try another receiver with gyros. (i used the 1 by lemon, but may be other brands that do this too). as the original position is under the wing, and as this receiver has potentiometers to adjust it, you need easy access, so i placed it at the front area under the canopy. this way i dont have to unscrew the wing (5 screws) for each adjustment.
the 1st time i flew it on a very windy and turbulent day, and even if the AS3X was not working, it behaved well, so some may fly it with another receiver that has no gyros and will do well. i installed this:
an update: i have been able to fly it with and without the stabilizer on, and to me, it is worth using the stabilizer. at least at times when you need it most, like flying on a turbulent day (especially when landing). the convenience of being able to turn it on-off is that, as it takes more juice from the battery when on, you use it only when needed.
as i said before, i use it only when wind is too strong for my 2 meters, including the radian. it is 2,800 grams ready to fly, compared to the 2 meters around 800 grams: 2 kilos heavier! you feel that when launching: takes way more effort, and as is much larger is hard to hold, and is easy to slip off your hands. in other words, the 2 meters is way more comfortable to handle, and there is no comparison on putting them together: the 2 meters is a zilch, and the xl is not. but depends of your likes, after all. there is people for everything.
i was expecting improved performance over a 2 meters plane but i dont see that, so it does not justify it based on that. underpowered in comparison, it just is more stable in windy weater due to its weight, more than its size. but needs a larger turn for thermaling.

1.- the openings on the bottom may act as scoops for debris, so i got a splatter guard like this at dollarama for a fraction of the price and cut rectangular pieces of the screen to fit and glued with goop. i made it larger and bent the edges inwards.
2.-screws: you may decide to keep it disassembled and in its original box, for which you have to remove 4 screws from the tail and 11 from the wing. or keep it assembled as much as possible, for which you let the tail assembled and the outer wing panels too. this way there are only 5 screws to deal with, at the center of the wing to the fuselage. this is the way i do. the stock screws are cross, but it makes installing them difficult, as are buried deep. besides, removing them is even more difficult. i replaced them with hexagonal (allen) screws, that are way easier to install and remove. i also use a magnet to pull them out. besides, i do that over a table or a canvas so if the screws fall, they dont disappear on the grass.
Last edited by phil alvirez; Nov 02, 2016 at 06:54 AM.
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