OMP Hobby BIGHORN 49" Pro Flap Version Receiver Ready Balsa Airplane

This airframe has a SunnySky motor, ESC, and servos factory installed. It also includes the EOLO propeller and all necessary hardware to get you in the air fast.

Splash

OMP Hobby BIGHORN 49" Pro Flap Version Receiver Ready Balsa Airplane
Length:48.6 in
Wingspan:49in
Weight:2lbs. 11oz. without flight battery
Servos:17G metal gear
Transmitter:Jeti Duplex DS-16
Receiver:Jeti Duplex EX R7 REX
Battery:Recommended battery is 3S 2200mah
Motor:Sunny Sky X2820 1100 KV
Prop:EOLO 12X6.5 propeller
ESC:ZTW 40 amp ESC
Manufacturer:OMP Hobby
Price:$279.95

OMP Hobby Big Horn 49" PNP Balsa Airplane. This airframe has a SunnySky motor, ESC, and servos factory installed. It also includes the EOLO propeller and all necessary hardware to get you in the air fast. A 3 cell 2200mah LiPo battery is recommended.

From OMP HOBBY Ö ďThis Amazing plane comes in with a wingspan of 49 inches. Two options are available, with flaps and without flaps, but donít let that fool you, the wing load is very light, and flies just like you would expect it to, can be flown like a trainer. This plane also will hang on its prop with the flip of a switch. Set the high rates and throws to the max and then really see what this plane will do. With the recommended Sunny Sky motor and Eolo Prop, Hang on for a Fun ride. This plane is equipped with aluminum landing gear and soft large tires. Grass take offs are no match for this plane, take it anywhere and fly".

I have been spending most of my modeling time with turbine jets lately. Sometimes, committing model aviation with expensive models can be a little stressful and some jets are a little less forgiving when higher wing loading is involved. Itís always nice to have an airframe in your hangar that is a low stress easy flier and requires little or no setup at the field. If OMPHOBBY is indeed accurate in their description above, this just might be the low stress airframe in my hangar that can fly as easy as a trainer and also provide a ďfun rideĒ. Let's find out!

Kit Contents

The kit arrived in a nondescript shipping box and normally I wouldn't spend much time discussing shipping boxes, but this is the thickest cardboard box I have ever received a kit in. Not only that, the kit box was lined with thin plywood on every inside surface. It would take a massive amount of force to damage this box and poke through to the kit contents inside.

I was impressed during my initial inspection of the Bighorn kit. The first thing that struck me was how well the covering was applied. I didn't see any wrinkles on the airframe. The only thing I did note was a slight lifting of the covering on the side of the fuselage at the tip of a trim section. The covering itself is very bright. Never mind that I am an Ohio State fan and they sent me a blue and yellow airframe ... not good. The other thing that obviously jumps out immediately is that all of the servos are factory mounted, as well as the control horns, motor, and ESC. We as modelers might be used to foam airframes coming in a Plug-N-Play format but I can't think of any wood airframes off the top of my head that come this complete!

The painted cowl matches the covering well and there were no imperfections in the paint. The included spinner looks great but did require some slight modification, more on that later. The aluminum gear come with the wheels factory installed! The other thing I noticed while handling all of the main airframe components was how light everything was. I did have some initial concern about this airframe flying on only a 3 cell power system before I received my review kit, but after holding the components I had much less concern.

  • Items needed to complete this airframe for flight: A 3-cell 2100mah LiPo battery and a receiver / radio system.

Assembly

My kit was an early production model that did not include any assembly instructions so I just assembled it in a sequence that made sense to me. There is now an assembly manual available on the OMPHOBBY website. Bighorn Manual

Before beginning assembly I test fit the spinner and prop since it appeared just by looking at it that the prop blades might be a little wide. In fact, the prop blades did hit the side of the spinner openings when installed. I used a Dremel cutoff wheel to cut the spinner openings a little wider. At this point I just left the spinner and prop on for the assembly process but it might be a little easier to manipulate the airframe during building if the prop was off.

The elevator is factory installed on the horizontal stab so all that is left to do for this sub assembly is to glue the horizontal stab into the rear slot on the fuselage. There is a notch on the horizontal stab that matches the fuselage. I used 30-minute epoxy to secure the stab to the fuselage. For this step, I temporarily mounted the wing so I could check the stab against the wing to make sure it was parallel.

The rudder is supplied with three hinges and the control horn is factory installed. All that is left to do is to slide the rudder hinges into the pre-cut slots in the fin and at the back of the fuselage. I then glued the rudder to the fuse with thin CA glue on the hinge contact points. Note; make sure there is just enough clearance so the top of the fin does not contact the rudder when installed.

Now that I had the stab/elevator and rudder attached, I needed to add the pushrods from the servos to the control surfaces. One thing to note with the ball link pushrod system is that the pushrods only snap onto the ball one way. Check the orientation before trying to snap them on.

  • Before I added the pushrods I wanted to center the servos on my servo tester to make sure that any adjustment to the pushrods could be made before I snapped them into place. Here is where I ran into a little snag. The elevator servo had an issue. It was having a problem finding center and would vibrate back and forth rapidly. I pulled the servo out and sent a note to OMP Hobby. They responded quickly and had a new servo out to me about a week later. The new servo worked perfectly.

The main tailwheel assembly is factory installed on the rear end of the fuselage. Now that the rudder was installed, all I had to do at this point was line up the aluminum control rod with the rudder and insert a screw into the bottom of the rudder to secure it. Note, I did not tighten the screw all the way down. I left it up slightly so it moved freely when the rudder is deflected. I used some CA on the screw to help hold it in place since it was not tightened all the way down.

The main landing gear is attached with three bolts in the bottom of the fuselage. The bolts are factory installed in the bottom of the fuselage and must be removed and reinstalled with the aluminum gear. I used blue Loctite on the bolts to help keep them from backing out. Note, the wheels are factory installed on the aluminum gear.

The wing panels are attached to the fuselage with plastic wing bolts and a carbon tube. The carbon tube slides through a hole in the top of the fuselage and then the wing panels slide onto each end of it. A bolt is then inserted from the inside of the fuselage into each wing panel to secure it in place.

Note: before I attached the wing panels, I added the flap and aileron pushrods. I had previously reached out to OMP Hobby to see where they recommended attaching the pushrods. The ball link comes factory installed all the way on the end of the servo horns which does not give the greatest advantage for the servos. They recommended leaving them in the stock locations so I did for the review.

Preparing for Flight

Given the completeness of this model, I would imagine that one could assemble this airframe in less than an hour including glue drying time. I had quite a bit more time in mine because I had to stop and take pictures of my progress ... about 150 pictures.

At this point all I needed to do was install my receiver, hook up the battery, program my transmitter, and check the C.G.

As mentioned, at the time that I received my review model an instruction manual had not been released so I sent a note to OMP Hobby to ask for the recommended C.G. They recommended that I balance the model at the front edge of the wing tube. At this point, the manual has been released and the official recommended C.G. is 58-66mm from the leading edge of the wing. In order to achieve the proper C.G. I had to push my battery all the way up against the back of the firewall.

OMP Hobby also sent a list of control throws for the Bighorn but the list they sent was a percentage of throw in the transmitter instead of actual control surface measurements. I have seen another hobby company do this but that is usually because their branded transmitter is used with those airframes. I used the recommended percentages with my Jeti DS-16 transmitter and then slightly lowered all of the throws for the first flights.

  • Now that I had everything programmed and was ready to fly, I wanted to see how many watts and amps this power system would be drawing. I was surprised to see 588 watts and 51 amps on my 3 cell 2250 battery. OMP Hobby told me that they have also flown the Bighorn on 4 cells but after seeing that it pulled 51 amps and comes with a 40 amp ESC, I will stick to a 3 cell pack.

Completion

At the Flying field

Flying

Taking Off

For the first flight I was not nervous at all. Having seen about 580 watts on my wattmeter and knowing that my Bighorn only weighed 3 pounds 2 ounces ready to fly, I knew I would have a very good power to weight ratio. And of course, this is a high wing trainer-ish type airplaneÖwhatís there to worry about?

For the maiden flight, I slowly advanced the throttle and added a little bit of right rudder as it moved forward and slightly pulled left. The rudder is very responsive, so the correction was almost immediate. I added a little more throttle and with only a slight pull on the elevator lifted off rather quickly. I donít use flaps for my maiden flight takeoffs (This airframe really doesnít need flaps and I use flight modes to adjust the settings during the first flight in the air for landing and subsequent flights) and was a little surprised at how quickly and slowly it lifted off. Even though it was flying rather slowly I still had total control over all flight axis. These control surfaces are big. After a small climb out, I advanced the throttle to pick up some speed. Throttle response is rather quick. I only needed a few clicks of up and a few clicks of right trim to fly level.

Subsequent takeoffs have proven to be very uneventful. Unlike many airframes that donít respond positively to full throttle takeoffs, with the Bighorn you can punch the throttle from a standstill, take off in less than 10 feet, and climb straight up until itís a speck in the sky. My favorite though is probably a slow takeoff with flaps. The Bighorn will take off incredibly slow with flaps and climbs somewhat flat which looks really cool. With the Bighorn, you have many options when it comes to getting it in the air, and it handles them all rather easily. The Bighorn also takes off from grass like it's nothing. With the large wheels and great power even runways with longer grass are no problem.

Landing

Even though I had set my elevator trim with flaps (using flight modes) during flight, I decided not to use flaps for my first landing. There is also a no flap version of the Bighorn, and given the light wing loading, I knew it wouldnít be an issue. For landing, I decided to take a long approach and come in rather flat. I slowly bled off speed by reducing the throttle and slowly fed in a little elevator. Even though I had reduced the recommended control surface throw percentages slightly, I found it to be a little sensitive. Remember, these control surfaces are rather large. After getting used to the elevator a little more, I reduced the throttle a bit more and used the elevator to control decent. Once just off the ground I did a final flare. The airframe did bounce slightly on the first landing. Three things can account for this Ö I was still getting used to the slightly sensitive elevator, the included wheels (although foam) are not very soft, and it was fairly windy out. One thing to note: on many airframes, including many of my jets, I tend to use the throttle to control decent with a given elevator amount until flare. With this airframe I found it easier to use the elevator mostly with slight variations in throttle. After the initial landing, I decided to reduce the low rate elevator slightly and add a few more percentage points of expo.

As you would imagine, landing with flaps helps slow the Bighorn down. There isnít a lot here to mention that makes it that much different from landing without flaps, but you must carry more power until touchdown, or the Bighorn will get too slow. Honestly, I like landing without flaps more than with flaps, but taking off with flaps is much more fun. Many people will tell you not to ďdiveĒ at the runway on your landing approach, and I would be one of them, but with the Bighorn you can easily get away with it. Landing on grass runways is also uneventful given the large wheels and slow approach speed.

Basic Flight

After I had the trimmed the Bighorn during the first flight, I flew a couple of circuits to get used to the airframe. Since I have been flying mostly jets lately it took I little bit of time to get used to the reaction time of the Bighorn and the flight speeds. The Bighorn tracks well and responds positively to control input. It is a very capable aerobatic airframe; just donít expect high precision during those maneuvers. One thing the Bighorn did give me was confidence in its flight envelope. It can fly rather fast and aggressive, and also slow and docile, all the while maintaining positive control. This is definitely a low stress airframe!

As mentioned, basic flight with the Bighorn is stress free and easily executed. The power system provided plenty of power (unlimited vertical) for any aerobatic maneuver I could execute. Although OMP Hobby has flown this airframe on 4 cells, I really donít see a reason to go above 3 given how much power it has, and also given that it already pulls 51 amps on 3 cells. First, I tried a couple of aileron rolls, which the Bighorn performs easily with only a little loss of altitude while inverted. The rolls are not axial given the high wing configuration, but they are also not overly exaggerated during the second half of the roll as many trainers are. Stall turns are very fun with the Bighorn because the rudder is very effective. In fact, itís very easy to over rotate if you hold the rudder too long. A simple push of the ruder at the top of the turn kicks the airframe around almost immediately. Inverted flight with the bighorn is very easy and only a small amount of down elevator is needed to fly level. Without flaps the Bighorn stalls forward very gently. It never did fall off to the side after the stall. Recovery from stall is very easy Ö simply add some power and elevator to pull out. With flaps, the stall happens at a slower speed but seems to fall forward more abruptly once the stall is induced. Recovery from a stall with flaps is just as easy as without flaps.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The Bighorn executes sport aerobatics well and even does some advanced aerobatics well. As mentioned, the power system is more than adequate so that helps to pull the Bighorn through maneuvers easily. The rudder is very effective so snaps and spins can be very aggressive especially on high rates. Make sure the flight pack is secured well! The thing to note here is the Bighorn is not a precision aerobat so you will notice things like some over rotation and some tendency to feel slightly less than locked in when tossing this airframe around hard. Having said that, that is not what the Bighorn aims to be so just enjoy it for what it is Ö a great aerobatic sport airplane.

Loops with the Bighorn can be literally as big as you like given the power system. But the fun thing here is how easily it performs very tight consecutive loops at full speed. Point rolls are easy but depending on how long you stay on the knife edge point you will need some corrective rudder and elevator to stay straight. Extended knife edge is somewhat simple with the Bighorn but it does takes a bit of work with the ailerons and elevator to keep it tracking straight, and if too much rudder is given it would immediately roll off of the edge if the elevator wasnít used to correct it quickly. But if you are keen on keeping it straight it can actually gain altitude easily during knife edge flight while giving it large amounts of rudder. The Bighorn flies inverted easily with a little down elevator. Itís fun and easy to enter snaps and spins inverted. The Bighorn will also hover easily. I find it easier to correct it and keep it in the hover on high rates. If it does start to fall off a quick burst of power helps to keep it nose up. The Bighorn will perform other basic aerobatic maneuvers such as split-s turns, Cuban eights, reverse Cuban eights and Immelmann turns.

I have seen the Bighorn perform some more advanced aerobatics as well, but I will leave that to others to comment on since that is not my flying style and I donít practice many of those maneuvers.

Is this for a beginner?

The Bighorn is not a true beginners airframe but I would imagine it could make a good second airframe after a new modeler has mastered a true trainer.

Flight Video Gallery

OMP Hobby BIGHORN 49" Pro Flap Version (6 min 1 sec)

OMP HOBBY BIGHORN takeoff and landing (3 min 35 sec)

Conclusion

The bighorn fills a niche that we havenít really seen in the sport plane market. A plug and play WOOD airframe that is capable of basic and advanced flight. As OMP Hobby says, itís a plug and play wood airframe at plug and play foam prices Ö and it is! I would imagine there is a spot in just about any modelerís hangar for a low stress easy to fly sport plane that can just as easily fly from grass as it does from asphalt Ö not water yet, but hopefully OMP Hobby sees this request right here for a float kit in the future.

Pluses:

  • Completeness of the kit. Wood plug and play! Everything included for flight except battery and receiver / radio system. Servos, control horns, ESC, factory installed.
  • Good fit and finish. Light airframe for its size. No wrinkles in the covering. Easy to see in the air.
  • Great flight characteristics. Is a low stress everyday flier. Easy to take off and land on asphalt or grass.
  • Nice painted matching cowl.
  • Two-piece plug-in wing panels.
  • Easy access to the flight battery. Canopy / Hatch system with strong magnets.
  • Great power on the included setup.

Neutral:

  • Advanced fliers might feel the need for servos with a little more precision.
  • Although mentioned above as a positive I will also mention the magnetic hatches here. They are so strong that it is sometimes difficult to remove them.
  • My spinner needed to be modified to accept the included propeller.
  • It would be nice if the wheels were a little softer to help prevent some of the bouncing when landing on asphalt.

Minuses:

  • Although nice and light the cowl is also a little fragile. I cracked mine twice on the edge while removing the canopy to install a flight battery.
  • One of my servos was defective as provided. But a big plus is that OMP Hobby replaced it immediately.

Thanks to OMP Hobby for providing the Bighorn for review!

Thanks to Michael Redenshek for his video services. Also thanks to Doug Kneisley II from underwaterimagescd.com for the great inflight photos.

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Last edited by Jason Cole; Nov 13, 2020 at 10:46 AM..
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Nov 13, 2020, 11:14 AM
Rabid Rabbit
PookaHat's Avatar
Great review. I've had a similar experience with mine. I'm glad that they have now included a manual. I'll add that the flap servos are installed in such a way as to need to have them plugged into separate channels.
Nov 13, 2020, 11:56 AM
Just here to have fun with RC
Rhea's Avatar
Thanks for the review, especially the videos. I am disappointed that so far they don't have a good video on their website.

This review has made me actually go ahead and order one now.
Nov 13, 2020, 03:16 PM
Professional farm-buyer
Very happy to see this plane! OMP seems to have a winner on their hands!
Nov 13, 2020, 05:19 PM
Registered User
kevin's Avatar
Thread OP
Im sure they will like to see that 😁

You will like it, well worth what they are asking for it!

Skeezix, Definitely a winner...lots of fun and a great diversion from the jets i have been flying lately.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhea
Thanks for the review, especially the videos. I am disappointed that so far they don't have a good video on their website.

This review has made me actually go ahead and order one now.
Nov 13, 2020, 05:49 PM
Registered User
A set of wheel pants would look pretty cool on this one!
Nov 14, 2020, 11:15 AM
Registered User
kevin's Avatar
Thread OP
That would look cool. So would floats!
Nov 14, 2020, 10:37 PM
"Some do, some don't"
old_coastie's Avatar
I have got to stop coming over to the "Magazine" page...

Jimminy Crickets.. Another "Man I want that plane" plane


Seriously though a Most Excellent Review...


Mark R.

old_coastie
Nov 14, 2020, 10:44 PM
No class, no smarts, and ugly
There are videos on BuddyRC's product page and in the Bighorn thread started here by TJ of OMP.

IF YOU DO WATCH TAKE NOTE. The video in the very first post by TJ in the thread linked above contains flying footage starting at 2:06 that is amazing and sold me on the plane. Later in the thread there is mention of a 6s setup and TJ states that the factory did indeed make a video of the plane flying with a 6s setup and posted it but he did not.

The video posted by the factory with the 6s footage can be seen here:
OMPHOBBY New balsa wood plane BIGHORN 49'' (2 min 11 sec)


Reading the Bighorn thread here https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...y-Foamy-Prices will give more insight.

I asked about the discrepancy in the Bighorn thread and the response from TJ was "Yeah but I didn't post that. The factory has their own OMPHobby channel they'll occasionally post things on" and that folks should "Watch all of the videos out there. This plane is fully capable even on 3s."

Simply put the video he posted uses flight footage from the factory video using a 6s setup. He hasn't commented on why the video he did post contains footage from the video he didn't post.

Maybe the slogan should change to "Balsa Quality - Foam Prices - Misleading Video"
Nov 16, 2020, 10:46 AM
Crashing with style since 1994
FLYINGBOXER's Avatar
Another OMP winner..!! great to have a company innovating with quality and good plane and helis designs..!! Kudos to OMPHobby..!!!
Great Review guys..!! in depth and critic points. Excellent review RCGroups team. Congrats guys..!
Last edited by FLYINGBOXER; Nov 16, 2020 at 06:28 PM.
Nov 16, 2020, 03:09 PM
OMPHobby & Buddy RC
TJ_Williams's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mt_100
There are videos on BuddyRC's product page and in the Bighorn thread started here by TJ of OMP.

IF YOU DO WATCH TAKE NOTE. The video in the very first post by TJ in the thread linked above contains flying footage starting at 2:06 that is amazing and sold me on the plane. Later in the thread there is mention of a 6s setup and TJ states that the factory did indeed make a video of the plane flying with a 6s setup and posted it but he did not.

The video posted by the factory with the 6s footage can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0W7...ature=youtu.be

Reading the Bighorn thread here https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...y-Foamy-Prices will give more insight.

I asked about the discrepancy in the Bighorn thread and the response from TJ was "Yeah but I didn't post that. The factory has their own OMPHobby channel they'll occasionally post things on" and that folks should "Watch all of the videos out there. This plane is fully capable even on 3s."

Simply put the video he posted uses flight footage from the factory video using a 6s setup. He hasn't commented on why the video he did post contains footage from the video he didn't post.

Maybe the slogan should change to "Balsa Quality - Foam Prices - Misleading Video"
Guess I missed some of that. The factory sent me a batch of videos 'here's flight footage', without making it clear there was 2 different setups included in the videos. Videos have since made note of this fact and provided links to the flight review. So far no complaints from all of the bighorns out there other than a limited issue with the servo that Kevin mentioned. And the fact the factory used clear freakin packing tape when securing the foam protection on a small run shortly after release.

I do have one or two people that have reached out after purchasing ARF's saying they're going 6s so I'm looking forward to those.
Nov 16, 2020, 03:38 PM
Just here to have fun with RC
Rhea's Avatar
Now that I am an expectant owner I have found several videos done by a number of individuals all showing the satisfaction of both 3S and 4S setups. I haven't seen any mention of using different props with different batteries so I will put the Watt meter on it when I try different batteries.

Waiting impatiently for mine to arrive. .
Nov 16, 2020, 04:14 PM
OMPHobby & Buddy RC
TJ_Williams's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhea
Now that I am an expectant owner I have found several videos done by a number of individuals all showing the satisfaction of both 3S and 4S setups. I haven't seen any mention of using different props with different batteries so I will put the Watt meter on it when I try different batteries.

Waiting impatiently for mine to arrive. .
Speaking of which, what specifically are you looking for in a video that we missed? Definitely want to take notes for the next planes/videos!
Nov 16, 2020, 04:47 PM
Just here to have fun with RC
Rhea's Avatar
I usually like to see a video of the planes in flight especially with takeoff and landing. If the plane is capable of aerobatics I like to see what that looks like even though I am not skilled at 3D.

There are a couple of crash videos out there that demonstrate my skill level quite well. Two crashes I have seen show that the Bighorn is pretty durable so that was good to see.
Nov 16, 2020, 04:52 PM
No class, no smarts, and ugly
TH, did you experiment with a 4s in a video with your flying buds? Thought I heard mention of a 4s 1i00 or 2200 experiment but I may have it confused with another plane. If you did 4s, same prop or change?


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