Review of the GWS DHC-2 Beaver ARF [Almost ready to fly]
Well since winter was here and tracks were closing and snow was coming, I thought "what would be a better time to buy a park flyer airplane then now?"
After owning several of the inexpensive airplanes on the market I really wanted to find one that would last past my 1st flight...and 2nd if possible!
So I set out on a quest to find the perfect slow, trainer park flyer I could find and a friend of mine recommended the GWS DHC-2 beaver. I was very skeptical and had never owned a GWS kit but decided to give it a try any way. This airplane is a slow flying park flyer type. It resembles a Piper J3 cub. I did more research on it and found it too be the perfect plane for me. Letís take a closer look.
Upon receiving the beaver I wad boggled, the box was so small and yet it has a 39" wing span. I opened the box and laid every thing out. The fuselage comes in 2 halfís, as does the wing. The construction is EPP foam for the wing and tail sections and a normal reinforced Styrofoam for the fuselage.
Building the kit.
Upon flipping through the instructions I noticed they used bamboo dowels for wing supports, I recommend getting some carbon fiber rod to replace them, and it is MUCH stronger and will keep the wings at a more study angle as opposed to the bamboo. I will note a stock number at the end of this review. Building is easy and very straight forward. Glue it all together! They include a tube of GWS glue which can be used by I opted to use 6-minute epoxy instead. It's much stronger and will dry allot quicker. When I was finished gluing the fuse and tail sections of the kit the instructions then had me put the cowling on, I found that it is actually best to leaving the cowl mounts out and use a staple gun...yes....a staple gun. Just use it all the way around and do it BEFORE you put the cowling on so the decals you put on latter will cover the staples. The staples will be easy to remove should you need to ever take the cowl off.
General comments and flying.
After the building is all done let the epoxy cure for a good 12-24 hours. There are 3 different versions of this kit, one is the slope glider version, which includes the basic air frame but no motor or landing gear, the next includes an "eps-100" power system and landing gear, and the last is the one I used "Eps-350c" power system with landing gear. I HIGHLY recommend getting the EPS-350 due to the superior size of the motor which really helps. It does not mean its fast but you can fly stable at slow speeds with it.
When all building is done it's time to install the electronics, if you fallowed the directions installing your servos should have been the very first step of the kit. but if you have not yet done that [ I did not have them at the time of building] it's fine, just take a marker and trace around your servo for the cut out, then affix the servo to the side of the fuse with some double sided tape. I recommend getting some Dubro easy links for the servos instead of z-bends; they make for adjusting every thing much faster and easier. Then install your receiver and ESC. When you are hooking the servos up to the receiver I recommend putting the rudder and elevator on the right stick, that will be channel 2 for rudder and channel 3 for elevator. You will want your two most useful functions on one stick. After trimming the model and check the COG [center of gravity, crucial in airplanes. Other wise the airplane will learn left right backwards or forwards] which can be found 45-55mm from the leading edge of the wing. After charging the battery it was time to fly. I took it out to a rather large field than had been de-commissioned. I decided for the first flight I would hand launch it rather then do a "rolling off ground" take off. As I launched it into the wind it took off, but was not so fast that I was afraid I was going to crash. It will fly well at 1/3rd to 2/3rd's throttle depending on the wind. I was able to keep it in the air for the entire battery pack. It just floats along and was BY FAR the easiest to fly airplane I have ever flown. I was able to land perfectly. I changed out the battery pack and went again but this with I decided to try a ROG take off. It full throttle and max up elevator and took off in about 6 feet. The beaver is capable of basic aerobatics. Loops, dives, stall turns, But any thing inverted is not really possible due too the dihedral in the wing.
Here are some videos of the madien flight.
The GWS Beaver ARF and by far the best airplane out their for some one wanting to learn how to fly. I have yet to have a crash that totals it beyond belief, and some thing that I find nice about the beaver is if you crash and total it, it will only cost you $26.00 to replace it with the slope glider version, simple transfer all the electronics over to the new one. If you are in the market for a trainer/park flyer airplane Get a GWS beaver, you will not be disappointed.
if you should crack/rip the wing off repairing is easy, simple take a little bit of 6 minute epoxy and hold the breakage together until it cures [not long with 6 minute epoxy...about 6 minutes] and then apply some clear packing tape too the wing. Also, in edition to using CF rod for the wing struts, itís a good idea to put a long piece on the elevator, and the stabilizer [non moving part] this will help the elevator not flex. Also it has you glue the wing strut mounts on like this - instead turn them 90 degrees. This will make it MUCH easier to mount the struts. Also you can use 4-40 steel clevises instead of the supplied plastic ones for the strut rod ends.
Dubro e-z connectors
Carbon Fiber rod
Four to six channel radio with 2 micro servos.
AA size 6 cell 650mah NiCad battery
Charger for selected battery
Equipemnt we used
Spektrum DX6 6 channel radio with 2 micro servos.
GWS 7-cell 8.4 volt nimh
Duratrax Piranha digital peak charger
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