|Blade/Horizon Hobby Theory Type W|
|Servos: 9g MG|
|Radio: 6+ Channel Programmable Transmitter|
|Battery: 1300 mAh4S LiPo|
|Motor: 2205-2350kv brushless motor|
|Prop: 5x4 FPV Race Prop|
|Transmitter: Spektrum DX6e|
|Manufacturer: Blade/Horizon Hobby|
|Street Price: $299.99|
I was talking to an old friend about the hobby this weekend. He asked if I had any involvement in the new trend of flying planes through goggles. I told him that while I still fly LOS (line-of-sight) flying planes via first-person-video is what I really enjoy now. I grew up on full scale flight simulators, and around full scale planes as a kid. Actually flying an RC plane via a headset seemed crazy to me at first. How will I see the plane? After the first 5 seconds your brain realizes that you are "in" the plane and all is well...and FUN!
When Horizon and Blade announced the Theory Type W wing, I was interested. I have had FPV wings in the past but they were small and I felt like they "skidded" around corners. I was always on the rudder stick, but that didn't help because they didn't have a rudder. The aspect of the Theory W that interested me was the AS3X. The AS3X has been standard issue on my Horizon planes for years now. My question was if it could take a small wing and make it feel solid in turns and allow me to fly in some wind. Generally a smaller wing does not do well in even the slightest wind. I'm excited to report back to you my findings.
|Horizon/Blade Theory Type W - RCGroups.com Review (10 min 14 sec)|
SAFE Equipped Flight Modes
The Theory W has Horizon's flight control software (SAFE), allowing you to control your flight modes with a flick of a switch. The Theory W has flights modes for a beginner or expert. This is a great thing to have on an FPV plane. With the flick of a switch the wing can self level. Throttle down and it can land itself as well. We did some extensive testing with this feature and it was great to have for the launch, during the flight (if you get turned around), and even for landing. You can always flick the switch into experienced mode for full control.
On a wing this light I feel you do need a gyro to tame it in the wind. The AS3X really does this well and I think it makes the Theory W a wing you can fly even in moderate winds. I was hoping the AS3X would have this effect and it did.
Provides self-leveling and a 10 degree rate of climb at full throttle. This takes away the difficulty of launching a wing even if you are already in the FPV goggles. Just toss like a paper airplane and add full throttle. SAFE technology takes care of the rest. Even if you end up meeting the ground the plane will be level. We show this in our video.
Gives the pilot an unrestricted feeling during all bank angles until 90 degrees. At 90 degrees, the Theory W will prevent itself from rolling upside down. In this mode, you can learn to race at aggressive speeds without ever getting in a precarious situation. Think of this as second gear. I usually go to this mode immediately after launch. This would also be a great tool for newbie pilots. It will keep them from getting into any trouble.
This mode gives the pilot full control of the aircraft for high speed racing and only stabilized with AS3X. I know the USA race team raced in this mode and did well. If they can compete with world class FPV pilots then it's good enough for me. To speak to the wing as a general plane (not a race wing), the experienced mode allows you to tear up the sky and still take advantage of the onboard gyro.
My second RC plane was a wing, so I understand the positives of this platform - easy to fly, only two servos, light, easy to transport, and low stress. When you are in the goggles in a light weight plane you can really feel the wind and its effects on you in the sky. My recent wings really felt any kind of wind. My hopes for the Theory Type W was that the design coupled with the AS3X would tame the wing in the wind.
Our first few launches pulled severely to the right, but the launch mode saved the plane each time. This allowed the wing to land safe and sound. When I launched in the goggles the safe mode leveled my wings and I knew all I had to do was apply throttle. It works! This makes flying less stressful because you don't have to worry about crashing.
Once in the air I flipped to mode 2 just long enough to stabilize and then I was into mode 3. It's a lot like 1st, 2nd and 3rd in your car. The wing flew great and the AS3X did what Horizon claimed and what I hoped it would do. It made the wing fly like it was much larger than it is. I had it up in pretty stiff wind and it was fine. That is not normal for a small wing. All the features made the Theory Type W a blast to fly and instilled confidence. If you are looking for a first time FPV winged platform I think this is it.
After we flew at our local airfield, a few of the pilots commented that they were ordering one based on what they saw us doing. It's just a whole lot of fun!
Usually anything made to go fast (race) does not slow down well. This wing likes to fly! In fact my first flight I thought the throttle was stuck. In reality the wing was flying great, even at 0 throttle. It will slow down and not drop a wing. I was doing some low and slow maneuvering and instead of dropping a wing I would just end up accidentally landing on the grass. All that to say, this wing will slow down fine. The flip side is that this wing will haul the mail!! I mean fast. They say it's a 90 MPH wing but it feels a little faster to me.
I get a lot of things to review but this is one product that will travel around with me if I think there is a chance to fly. While this would rock in an FPV wing race, it would also be a great all around plane. You could fly it line-of-sight or it could be your all around fun time FPV plane.
While I'm sure some of you will upgrade the power system, for me it's perfect. I'm not going to change a thing. I also had zero prop breakage landing in the grass. I was getting at the minimum 7 minutes on a 4 cell 1300. I was cruising at around 1/4 throttle. If full speed is your thing then your times are going to be shorter.
I think Horizon hit a homerun with this wing. I'm excited to have it in the fleet and have some more fun with it when the weather gets better. Maybe this summer we will get the gates out and let Jason rip it up!
Last edited by Matt Gunn; Mar 15, 2017 at 10:03 AM..
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