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Jan 07, 2003, 08:04 PM
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lakedude's Avatar

Cox XB-29 Airlifter mini review.

JC Penneys had a great clearance on planes right after Christmas. They had AirTech Stealths for around $30+sh+tax and the Cox XB-29 for around $60+sh+tax. I already knew I liked the Stealth so I got 2 Stealths. Decided to take a chance and get an Airlifter as well.

The Airlifter is an all foam scale looking model that looks like a 757. It had twin ducted fans, one under each wing. The airframe comes out of the box in 4 main pieces. The fuse (including vert stab), the horizontal stab and the wing halves are press fit together to make the finished plane. The Ducted fans are each held to the wing halves with a rubber band and the wires need to be routed under the wings to the reciever wires located in the center of the fuse. Assembley only takes a few minutes. The plane is well made of light foam, sorry I don't know what kind. After charging the battery is press fit into a long slot in the bottom of the fuse and needs to be slid until the plane balances on the bumps molded into the wings. On mine the batt needed to be all the way to the stern of the plane. The battery is a 5 cell aaa 250mah pack. The included charger uses an auto cigerette lighter and a built in timer to charge the pack.
Last edited by lakedude; Jan 07, 2003 at 08:16 PM.
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Jan 07, 2003, 08:13 PM
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First impressions:

The good

The plane is nice looking and goes together pretty easily. The ducted fans are verycool and I was very excited to try it out. For the money it looks like a lot of plane.

The not so

The foam is pretty soft and is completely unprotected. The timed charger is ok but a peak charger like the Aerobird comes with would be a lot nicer. The 250mha seems pretty small for a plane this big. There is no landing gear so it must belly land (no big deal by itself...)but the engines hang lower then the fuse so they are gonna hit first.
Jan 07, 2003, 08:38 PM
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Following the directions I cycled the battery a few times. The little ducted fans kick out some serious air, making me wonder again about 250mah's battery life. The plane is pretty big for an electric at 50 inches and barely fit in the trunk. All the other stuff had to come out to make room and because the foam is not too tuff. I already nicked the vert stab taking it out of the house (nothing major).

Got lucky today. For the first time ever I got to fly a plane on first day that the plane was ready to go, no waiting for better weather, no forgeting part of the plane, no technical problems. Since the club field is only 5 minutes from work I was able to exersize the XB-29 in the a proper sized field with no worries. At 5:00PM the field was empty, no one to make me nervous but also no one to take pictures. After a preflight I gave the Airlifter a medium strenght toss slightly upward into the gentle breeze and off she went! The XB climbed well and turning was no problem at all after being used to several other 2channel planes. The airlifter is just fantastic in the air. It looks and flys very "scale". The time of day was just perfect as the plane was backlit by the sky. It would make you look twice to be sure it is not a real plane. I had time for 2 climbouts and glides back down. When attempting the third climb I noticed that she just didn't have the juice to go up again so I aimed her back around my way and into the wind. Landing was very smooth except that the engines hit first and the port one came off on landing.

This picture was takin right after maiden landing (I put the engine back on for pic):
Jan 07, 2003, 08:42 PM
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I'm guessing the flight time was around 4 minutes. Notice in this picture that the ducted fans sit lower then the fuse.
Jan 07, 2003, 08:56 PM
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The size of the plane make it very easy to see in the air and very easy to fly IMO. The plane is very cool looking in the air, backlit against an evening sky. It is totally worth the $60 I paid...........However I would be very disappointed had I paid full price. For $60 I don't find any major fault with the model. For $120 plus dollars you can do a lot better.

link to penneys:
Last edited by lakedude; Jan 07, 2003 at 11:47 PM.
Jan 08, 2003, 10:47 AM
Registered User
Oooohhhh, you've got me in trouble now! There's been one of these hanging in a LHS since they were first introduced, but I just couldn't see spending $140 (LHS price) on it. But for $60 - that's another story! Thanks for the link.

Tony Turley
Jan 08, 2003, 03:40 PM
Registered User
stamper's Avatar
Great review Lakedude.
This plane makes a great project plane as well. I have about 4 now. First one was an experiment. 1 speed 400 with a 3.1 gb and 9x6 prop on the nose, rudder and elevator. Plane was so stable and looped with half power. Second plane I added 2 dd sp 400's to the wings. One on each side. Again it flew right out of my hand. I was getting a bit of confident so it tried 2 geared sp 400's on the wings with 2 9x6 props. Even better than the first two planes. Now I had to try one more thing. 4 geared sp 280's on the wings with 9x6 props. This thing is amazing. Comes in a little hard due to the weight, but you cant beat the fun with experimenting with this plane.
I use this plane to take pics now. It handles the weight well and turnes on a dime. You have to give it a try. There is a spare parts order sheet in the box. For about $35 its not too bad. Flies better than the $5 foamies at walmart, but is less than the ones at the hobby shops. Have fun
Jan 08, 2003, 04:03 PM
as i told u before(in ur stealth thread), i had one, i was impressed by its look also. flies really well, but the engines are really fragile. watch it ! dont go anywhere else other than grassy fields. MY plane's engines got cracked and unfortunately its unflyable now.
but the plane is tough thats for sure. for its size and super light weight i think its an excellent plane for 60 dollors

have fun!
Jan 08, 2003, 04:36 PM
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MY plane's engines got cracked and unfortunately its unflyable now.
We gotta figure out something to do about this. The plane looks great and anything I can think of to protect the engines would "ugly" up the plane. It needs something like a big foam wheel cut into the front of the fuse that would make the fuse hang down lower then the engines. Any kind of skid or wheel on the fuse would help. Being 2 channel you cannot bring it in nose high making the problem worse.

There are a number of design nit picks about this plane that are no big deal at $60.00 but Tower has em for $159.99. If I paid that much I would be very unhappy with many little things. The timed charger is not as good as a peak. All the electronics are taped to the bottom where they get hit on landing. The radio should be farther inside the plane. The press in battery slot is deep and is hard to get the battey back out of. The battery is also on the bottom leaving the battery and wires to hit the ground on landing. Having the fragile engines hit first is the worst problem. The engines pop off and then the plane comes to rest on its belly. Mine is still in good shape after one flight but you can tell that something is going to get broken eventually. The stock battery does not provide much flight time.

I'm going to try to figure out how to save those engines and try a bigger mah battery. If the Airlifter was a little more durable and flew longer it would be worth the regular price they are asking.
Jan 08, 2003, 05:57 PM
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Flight pics (sort of). Bad launch into a gust. Too much up and left:
Last edited by lakedude; Jan 08, 2003 at 05:59 PM.
Jan 08, 2003, 05:58 PM
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The result about 2 sec later:
Jan 08, 2003, 06:53 PM
I'll have the roast duck
maximus's Avatar
Just ordered one online, Thanks for the link! Probably turn it into 3 channel.
Maybe elevons.
P/S A little ProBond and it will be good as new!
Jan 08, 2003, 07:46 PM
Registered User
My friend Tim Atkins, who also just ordered one of the XB-29s, sent me the following suggestion:

"A simple fix for the landing problems would be two MW "whiskers" hanging down-and-back ( sort of like a "weedless" fishing lure ) from the front for it to slide on, and they wouldn't be too noticeable in flight."

Sounds like a plan to me. I'm going to get rid of the rubber bands and modify mine so that the nacelles are held on with miniature magnets.

Tony Turley
Jan 08, 2003, 08:06 PM
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lakedude's Avatar
P/S A little ProBond and it will be good as new!
Going to WalMart after work tonight to get some.
"A simple fix for the landing problems would be two MW "whiskers"
Music wire? Gonna hafta try something like that.
Jan 08, 2003, 09:47 PM
"Bible Thumper"
AMTJIM's Avatar
I have a few questions, how would you rate the foam stength compared to the Life Like sky rider foamie walmart sells. I have noticed the sky rider is much more fragile than the 737 they also make. Also, how difficult is it to remove the electronics it comes with. I think I'd rather have a 3 channel in one.
Also, are fans available from the parts sheet and could someone scan the parts sheets and necessary ordering information like phone numbers and email them to me.

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