The SwitchBack 3D vs Laser 3D - RC Groups
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Sep 07, 2002, 11:21 PM
A Clinger
rclark's Avatar

The SwitchBack 3D vs Laser 3D

Well this morning my Switchback 3D squared off against the Laser 3D (one of the guys ("fwstingray" is his handle here on e-zone) from a neighboring town came down to fly and others to watch ) -- and I got my tail whipped . Of course he had 10 cells powering the hacker 20 in his Laser 3D and I had 8 cells powering my AC1215/16 so really no contest (TJ also had a few more years of flying experience ). Both planes flew well; but TJ's Laser 3D hovered, went unlimited vertical, snapped very quick, falling leaf, etc. My SB was faster though -- if that is any consolation . Going to a 10x4.7 next to drop the speed; but get more thrust (prop should be here end of week). See how that goes. Anyway very fun morning and the Laser 3D flys very well. I was impressed. The landing gear isn't that great but boy does it fly and looks very nice! Looks like a nice plane to build. Oh yeah, the hacker is very QUIET even with the gearbox. Very very nice motor/gearbox combo. Anyway, even though the weather was overcast, trace of rain, we had a good time. No accidents to report. Oh, I did it again.... I knew I was getting low on battery and I went vertical (dumb) and as the plane stalled at top, the motor quit -- ah oh. Only 20 feet off ground. The plane fell off stall, I hit the retracts down, pulled up and I was just able to land safely on the field wheeeee -- just.....

Got my Phoenix-25 today FINALLY, and replaced the Jeti18-3P (what I have been using) this afternoon. Much smoother running and smaller/thinner ESC. Also, the Phoenix-25 is deliving more power at least in an objective static test (hold in hand, prop pointing to ceiling ) !!!! The plane wants to fly vertical now out of my hand (with the Jeti, it would just about hold a static hover; but no vertical) !!! Not a lot of vertical thrust of course; but the plane wanted to go up. Can't wait to test in the field on Monday!!! Oh boy oh boy LOL... Anyway I was surprised, as I thought (all things equal) ESCs should deliver about the same power to the motor .
Last edited by rclark; Sep 08, 2002 at 12:06 AM.
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Sep 07, 2002, 11:52 PM
Registered User
BEC's Avatar
Verrrry innnnnteresting.

The only MiniLaser 3D I've seen fly has an Astro 020 in it and isn't all that impressive, though I've never challenged him to a fly-off.

I'm not surprised that the Phoenix does better.....better MOSFETs mean lower switching losses. Sounds like time to put my Phoenix in my SB. Patrick always uses the very best MOSFETs he can get, which is one of the reasons his controllers sometimes cost a bit more.
Sep 08, 2002, 01:00 AM
Heli Bouncer
Looooeeee!'s Avatar
After reading about how much people like their Phoenix's, I'm rather glad I made the purchase of my Ph 10

One question though? Will the Ph10 do as well as the Ph 25 with the motors you (Bernard) and rclark are using? I mean, in the 7 to 9 amp range, is the Phoenix being pushed some and will it deliver less performance?

Sep 08, 2002, 01:16 AM
Leave me alone!
Martin Hunter's Avatar
I think you should stick a hacker in your switchback for a fair comparison! I know from looking at the numbers the switchback (given the same power as the ML3D) will weigh less (about 2 oz)and thus have better vertical and stall characteristics. That's all theory, though, as I've never flown a ML3D. When I was looking for a park aerobat, my decision was between those two and the AUW did it for me.

Last edited by Martin Hunter; Sep 08, 2002 at 01:19 AM.
Sep 08, 2002, 03:00 AM
Registered User
markwild's Avatar
I agree with Dreamer. Your post sounds more like a Hacker vs AC1215/16 comparison.
I just ordered a pack of 600ae from Doug, so I'm guessing that I'll soon be wearing out my motor! So, for my brushless, I think I'm settling on the Mega 16/15/7 dd, the GWS 400 mount, and your post makes me want to consider the Phoenix 25 for the ESC. I had no preference for an ESC before reading your post, but I really like the Pixie I bought with my Switchback. Is the Phoenix a good match for the Mega? And why the wait? Were they backordered?
Sep 08, 2002, 09:30 AM
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Steven D's Avatar
Originally posted by Looooeeee!
After reading about how much people like their Phoenix's, I'm rather glad I made the purchase of my Ph 10

One question though? Will the Ph10 do as well as the Ph 25 with the motors you (Bernard) and rclark are using? I mean, in the 7 to 9 amp range, is the Phoenix being pushed some and will it deliver less performance?

Patrick rates his controlers pretty conservatively. I'm running a Pheonix 10 in my SB at 8.8 amps on the 700 cells and right at 10 on the rare occasions that I weight it down with 600AE's. I also have a Pheonix 25 running at around 30 amps in a "warmliner" with no problems (I did discuss the installation with Patrick before going over the rated current) with no problems.

I aggree that it wasn't a fair compairison, I'd really like to try his hacker powered Laser against my Hacker powered SB...

Sep 08, 2002, 02:43 PM
A Clinger
rclark's Avatar
Oh I agree -- not faaaair . But fun anyway . First time I've seen a 'park flyer' hover and accelerate out of the hover. This wasn't really mean't as a 'review' of which one's best. Each of us wanted to see the others plane as see how it performed and how they were built and covered. He flew mine and I flew his as well for one flight. Actually I am quite (very) satified with the performance of the AC1215/16. Can't think of anything short of true 3D flying that the SB 3D couldn't do with the motor. I like to tinker with gearboxs/props though -- just to see !

The Phoenix-25 was backordered for about a month... That was why I had the Jeti in it instead as I couldn't wait .
Sep 09, 2002, 12:11 PM
Registered User
fwstingray's Avatar
Well, as mentioned, the planes can’t really be compared with such different power systems. From my vantage point of the two aircraft, (I was the one with the ML3D) I believe that they are very similar as far as airframes go and flight characteristics. They both have generous amounts of elevator and rudder. The ML3D has a little more aileron but after watching them fly the roll rates seem very similar. Stall is a gentle drop of the nose with no tipping characteristics on either model and inverted flight was very similar between both planes (I think that the SB actually required less down elevator than the ML3D though this could be attributed to my poor motor alignment). The only other major difference between our planes was that I have higher amounts of control throw on my plane (this explains the wicked snap and spin maneuvers but I believe that the SB would perform equally well, I just didn't want to try with a borrowed plane ).

Anyhow, Mr. Rclark was defiantly exaggerating when he stated that he got his tail whipped. Every maneuver he performed was VERY smooth and exact as apposed to the jerky movements of my over sensitive Laser. Anyhow, IMHO, these are both wonderful flying models and I would recommend either as an entry to advanced level aerobatic plane.

Now we just have to plan the next MEAF (Montana electric aircraft festival) Maybe we will have a record turnout of 3 participants!!

Last edited by fwstingray; Sep 09, 2002 at 12:40 PM.
Sep 09, 2002, 02:38 PM
A Clinger
rclark's Avatar
I may have to bring MEAF up with the club in January for next year . See where it goes . More than 3!! You have two more guys at least in your area and here in Butte, we have two IC guys that fly an electric!!! May be 6 guys plus spectators LOL. Of course, if Dreamer showed up, why that would triple the number of planes that'd be flying just in switchbacks LOL. Like to see him ROG his floats off the dirt field just kidding Martin .....

Good time had by all .

Got in 6 more flights this morning. Clear and sunny of course (Saturday was cloudy and rainy).
Last edited by rclark; Sep 09, 2002 at 02:45 PM.
Sep 09, 2002, 04:00 PM
Moderated. Severely.
TheAddler's Avatar
I'm just covering my second Mini Laser, and ordered the Mega 16/15/7 last week. I also have a SB. I think the planes themselves are almost identicle. The big difference I see is that the Laser is sturdier. Which means heavier. Not that its better or worse. I'm useing it with the mega simply because of what I think is a little stronger wing. With the stock power setups, I lean a little more toward the SB as the funner flying plane. As Martin said, it is also a few oz. lighter. I would recomend either to anyone!

On a completely unrelated note, I treed my Acro-Cub yesturday. That was an exciting retrevel.... Last time I treed a plane it was a foamy. Just shook the branch till it fell. Can't do that with a balsa plane 40feet up :| Surprisingly, almost no damage. It was still flyable. The sad part is, the feild I was flying at was about 10 acers with trees on the far side. I had to work really hard to make it to the tree

Sep 10, 2002, 04:06 PM
Registered User
fwstingray's Avatar
YEA!! We’ll give that NEAT thingy a run for its money!! The future is MEAF!! (Sorry, just my frustration taking over due to my inability to attend NEAT


Sorry to hear you’ve got carnivorous trees there as well. We have one at my flying field that seems to have some sort of advanced mind manipulation power. People with barely enough skill to fly a straight line (me in particlular) are forced into a beautiful landing pattern right into its outstretched branches.
Sep 10, 2002, 04:22 PM
A Clinger
rclark's Avatar

Got a chance to try the APC 10x4.7SF this morning for two flights. Thumbs down . Didn't get the thrust I expected and speed was way slower -- and not 'just' slower, SLOWER. Didn't bother to try the 9x4.7SF ..... So back to the 10x7SF for me . Course I didn't bring with to the field; so I slapped the 9x6SF back on which I had. Flys really good with the prop, and lot more duration -- just not the vertical of the 10x7.
Last edited by rclark; Sep 10, 2002 at 04:24 PM.
Sep 10, 2002, 04:59 PM
Live to ride... and fly!
Tres Wright's Avatar
==Got a chance to try the APC 10x4.7SF ...So back to the 10x7SF for me ==

If I understand you correctly, you went from a 10x7 to a 10x4.7 expecting to get more thrust? You have to increase the prop diameter if you're dropping pitch. You should get less speed and more thrust. Try an 11x4.7 if your landing gear is tall enough. Fly for a few minutes and land and check motor temp.
Sep 10, 2002, 05:39 PM
A Clinger
rclark's Avatar

I went from 10x7 to 10x4.7 for test this morning -- so same diameter prop.

I understand what you said (but why?). But I just went over to p-calc and quickly put in (as an example) a 3:1 9x6 and 3:1 9x4.7 using the default 400 6V. The 9x6 had 9.8oz inflight thrust while the 9x4.7 had 10.8oz . Slower pitch speed though (plane will be slower). Still not sure what I am missing here..... Dropping pitch should have gave me more thrust and lower speed..... Instead I got lower speed, lower thrust (observed) . At least it really seemed that way.
Last edited by rclark; Sep 10, 2002 at 05:47 PM.
Sep 10, 2002, 06:14 PM
Registered User
fwstingray's Avatar
I have to agree with rclark. Decreased pitch should force higher rpm on the same length prop and in turn increase thrust but decrease speed. Maybe you have maxed out the rpm that your motor/gearbox will produce. Could you re-gear a little higher? I'm kind of new to the electric aspect of RC so I could be wrong.

I bet 10 cells would help


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