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Capt_Beavis' Quick Noob Plane Reviews.

Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#1
Hobby Zone Champ RTF: This plane is obsolete with the introduction of the much better Sport Cub S. A lot of people have learned to fly on this plane but I wasn't one of them. My Champ would nose dive into the ground and not recover on almost every flight. I think I only had one or two short flights that didn't cause damage. My plane was finally destroyed by too much gorilla glue in one of the repairs. I got all the parts to fix it but never did I really didn't want to try it again. The Tx in the RTF kit is junk and probably cost me at least one UMX Radian. Others have had great luck with the plane but I say skip it and go for a Sport Cub S.

Update I finally put together all of the pieces and flew my little Champ this week. It is a fun plane. While it is only 3 channel the rudder makes the plane tilt in turns. Without AS3X the plane bobbles in the wind and without SAFE a poorly trimmed plane would be a frustrating for a beginner. The Tx it comes with is also a detriment.

I still say that the sport cub is the way to go, but if you have a smaller park to fly in this could actually make a good second plane. Flying without AS3X (and I am a fan of it) in a small plane with reasonable power is a simple joy.

All that said it is a blast to cut around in. The plane can be zippy. It can climb and glide like crazy when properly trimmed.

Hobby Zone Duet: This is the plane I learned to fly on. My first flight was great. I only had a real crash when, after a week of flying, I tried to do an inverted loop too close to the ground. With some glue and tape I got it flying again. Within a few days I could fly the thing in all wind its motor could handle. You may outgrow it but you will always love it. The plane got me hooked on differential thrust.

Eflite UMX Radian: I consider this to be my second plane since I really don't count the Champ. Out of the box my little Radian flew great. The plane can cruise on 1/4 throttle and climbs on half. You can hand launch on half throttle. The plane is mildly acrobatic, it will do tight loops and tight turns. When you let go of the sticks, the plane would generally recover quickly. The biggest problem with this plane is letting it get too far away and losing sight or orientation. This is a fun plane and great for getting 10-15min out of a 1S battery (with a lot of gliding).

Hobby Zone Delta Ray: This plane is a great size, it handles some wind and is extremely stable when trimmed out properly. I haven't gotten too acro with mine (I wrecked my first one trying it too low) but I have spent a little time inverted. The larger size comes with added weight. The weight makes landing and tricks a little...trickier. The extra size also adds satisfaction to the flight. This plane will make you feel like you are really flying something. SAFE gives added security to push your comfort zone and try new things (just make sure you have the altitude and have your finger near the button - mine got caught once) and is a great feature. I probably wouldn't purchase a plane above UMX without SAFE. I would recommend getting the Delta Ray in the RTF kit if you don't already have a DX4e. The button and switch layout on the DX4e is the most natural for noobs that will have to switch modes and use the panic button. The DX4e will also make a good backup Tx for many planes and can be buddy boxed. Landings are easy in beginner mode, just line it, cut the throttle and make small corrections left and right - SAFE will keep it above a stall.

Update: I have been spending a lot of time flying inverted and have learned to do a hammerhead stall that looks very dramatic. I have learned the weakness of the differential thrust is that it can cause a nasty snap stall in the wrong situation but it is fun to do with the right height.

Horizon Hobby Sport Cub S: You can already tell I like this plane, right? I bought the SCS too learn inverted flying for my self and to teach my girls. This plane is less intimidating than the Delta Ray. I had some early problems with mine. The RTF Tx was junk. It would lose signal and send the plane into a spiral. After a few frustrating attempts to fly the plane I had it spiral 700ft or so away. I had to run across a field to get it engaged and bring it in. I finally took it to the hobby shop and they diagnosed the problem. The DX4e worked great with the SCS with no programing or switching needed. Again, I recommend this as the Tx to use for noobs like me.

Once I got the Tx straightened out it took me some time to trim the plane. The rudder needed mechanical adjustment but once that was done, WOW, what a fun plane. My daughter flew the SCS and landed it on her own on the first try. She even flew in expert mode a bit. The cub design make this plane very balanced and it will self right quickly even with SAFE off. I forgot I was in expert mode several times flying this little guy. The plane handles inverted decently. It will loop but you need a lot of speed. I have done some knife edges but it loses altitude rapidly. Better pilots will have prettier results for sure. I have heard some say they like the SCS more than the UMX Radian. I am not sure I agree with that, but the SCS can be more entertaining. Being a four channel this plane gives a new pilot room to grown, while SAFE's "beginner" mode makes for a docile, three channel like response. This would be the plane I would buy most new pilots.
 
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Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#2
I forgot one

Blade Nano QX: The Nano was my first quad copter. I am thankful for SAFE, otherwise it would be a pile of rubble or just sitting on my shelf. This is a fun copter that can be flown in tight spaces once a pilot has gained some experience. Again, I would forgo the RTF and I would choose a Tx that supports Expos. My DX4e worked fine but Expo makes it easier to do precision work. I am slowly working up to turning stability mode off, but it is slow going. I broke a leg on the Nano pretty early after buying it, trying to fly inside when I wasn't ready. A little electrical tape worked fine and nothing has broken since - although I did replace one motor.
 

Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#3
I have some new observations on SAFE. Anyone that has seen the FT review of the Delta Ray knows how insanely quickly SAFE rights the plane with the panic button is pushed. The Delta Ray's response is stunning. The Sport Cub doesn't respond the same way. I was maybe 12 feet off the deck flying inverted and hit the button. The plane didn't roll like the Delta Ray but instead went into an inverted loop....... right into the ground. The grassy field and the planes light weight meant that there was no damage but the response was not what I expected.
 

Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#5
AS3Xtra: This is a bizarre little plane. It has huge control surfaces and large throws. The throws are so large that HH recommends 40% for low rates and 70% for high. Most of the control horns are set for max throws.

The plane has a foam lattice frame that is fragile. Make sure you have glue, tape and maybe some carbon fiber for repairs. Generally tape and glue will work fine but some areas seem to need more reinforcement. The plane likes to fly high alpha at all times. This may be because of the wing design, which is fairly flat. The high alpha attitude works well in slow flight but the plane needs some down elevator to fly straight with speed.

The plane is great for small parks or indoors. It is very maneuverable and doesn't require speed to stay in the in air. I have not played with the assist modes yet. It takes two people to switch modes and I have been having a hard time just flying this thing regularly.

Speaking as a noob, I don't recommend this plane for noobs.
 
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Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#7
Great point. I am not trying to say these planes are for noobs. I am trying to give a noobs perspective on these planes.
 

Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#8
Eflite UMX Pitts: Like the AS3Xtra this plane is not for noobs. This is a pretty solid intermediate plane. A flier will need solid four channel skills. The UMX Pitts is part of Eflites UMX 2s series of planes that doesn't seem to get a lot of attention. It is too bad because the 180 and 200 mAh 2s (300s are available from Turnigy) planes have a lot of power and are great for smallish parks.

Out of the box, the plane is the most beautiful plane I have held. I was impressed with the finish of the Sport Cub S, but the Pitts puts it to shame. The high visibility white and red top wing stripes looks great when the plane banks and climbs. The scale details make this a plane to be put on display. It is so pretty I was afraid to fly it. The plane is surprising compact even for a UMX. The wing span is 3in less than a Champ. The plane is also surprising dense even without the battery.

The plane launches easily at 75% and climbs to altitude quickly. Under power this plane will quickly be testing the fliers eyesight. But the high visibility wing makes orientation simple. The UMX Pitts cruises nicely but needs coordination on the turns not to lose altitude. Rudder, elevator and a little throttle are needed if you don't want to end up with an unintentional landing. The UMX Pitts has great vertical, rolls quickly, and does nice, big loops. I haven't tried knife edges, high-alpha or done too much inverted flight yet. The stall is very neutral.

The plane is tough, taking several very rough landing with only loosing the landing gear a bit (don't take the gear off - the wing servos hang below the body). I did break a wing after hitting a gust of wind on take off that lead into a stall and a hammerhead into the ground. The wing glued back on nicely. Expect to flip on landings. The puny gear doesn't like any kind of surface rougher than a basketball court.

Coming off of planes like the Delta Ray, UMX Radian and SCS the UMX Pitts has the glide slope of a DJI Phantom. My first landing was after my motor froze two minutes into flight. It hit wheels down but it was not the kind of landing you want to repeat. Don't cut the throttle and make a gliding turn for the runway like you can on a Sport Cub or other trainer. That kind of maneuver will lead to an abrupt meeting with the earth. Use the battery timer and set it for 4 minutes until you prove you can go longer safely. When the low voltage cut off hits the plane is coming down, now. Again, it will be level and wheels down but it will be coming down wherever it is, and you won't have much ability to maneuver. I have seen reviews on MotionRC raving about the glide slope of this plane, saying is a great indoor plane and that it is a great slow flyer. I guess this is a matter of perspective but coming from 1S planes I don't agree with those reviewers.

A little heads up. The 2s batteries that the Pitts comes with (also used in some Blade helis) doesn't fit the standard 2S plug and will require and adapter (EFLA700UM) or its own dedicated charger. The charger is a spendy uni-tasker, get the adapter. As this is a BNF basic kit none of these were included and I was grounded for a week waiting for my adapter to arrive.

If you already have a UMX Carbon Cub, UMX Icon, Sbach, Beast 3D or a heli or other plane with this battery the Pitts is a no brainer. If you are stepping up from 1s planes and have good 4 channel skills this is an interesting plane to look at. This plane will challenge a newer pilot learn coordinated turns and make one a better pilot. If you are a coming from park fliers would like a UMX plane for smaller parks this is also a good plane to look at. Just budget for batteries and a charger or the adapter. Horizon Hobby regularly has the 200mAh batteries for $12-16 so make sure you don't spend full freight at the hobby shop like I did on my first two. Also check out the HK batteries . I haven't used them yet but they have good reviews.
 
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Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#9
Feel free to add your own thoughts.

Super Cub LP/DSM: I haven't figured out what the difference is between the LP and DSM, they look like the same plane to me. The Super Cub is a discontinued 48" wing span cub trainer from Hobby Zone. The plane has three channels and using the ancient ACT (Anti Crash Technology) system. I couldn't tell the difference between flying with ACT on or off. The manual says it works best when flying over 200ft?!?!

This plane is big with a 480 sized motor. It seems to like throttle and cruises on 60% or so. It climbs nicely and tracks well. Like the Champ the Super Cub banks when the rudder is applied. The Cub also loses altitude and needs elevator to compensate. While the plane is fairly docile it is not a good "teach yourself" plane. A new pilot will need a coach to learn on this plane. The plane is tough and well build and if you can find a lightly used one and would like to move up to a larger park flying this would be a good stepping stone towards unassisted (non-SAFE) four channel flight.
 

ruud

Senior Member
#10
I believe the Super Cub LP was a RTF model whereas the DSM one was BNF (or maybe vice versa). So the planes were actually identical.
 
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Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#11
Thanks Ruud that is it. The DSM is the RTF and the LP is the BNF. The RTF includes the old, 2-pos switch DX4e.
 
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Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#12
Parkzon UM P-51D: The P-51D is a sharp looking plane. My wife likes it on display with the Pitts. It has a unique (I haven't seen any like this) internal mechanism for the aileron servos that gives the plane a sleek and realistic look. The plane is quite small, with a wingspan shorter than the Pitts.

The P-51D and comes with A3SX and can handle a little wind better than the UM T-28. Still, the plane is twitchy and snappy. Because of the small size the plane is hard to fly very high. Along with the twitchy response this means that this plane is NOT for beginners. Nor should this plane be your first four channel. The UM P-51D would probably fun indoors and is definitely fun on calm days. The plane is quick and does nice rolls and great inverted flight. I have had great fun with it but I have also had a lot of frustration when the breeze picks up. If you are an ulta micro warbird fan this is a great plane. If you are looking for a warbird park flyer I would look for something bigger.
 

Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#13
As I more into intermediate flight the planes I find myself taking with me every time are the UMX Pitts and the Storch. I would take the UMX Radian out more but it has a broken pushrod and I hate fixing those things.