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Pumpkin drop event

EFlite UMX WhipIt: My entry into fixed wing flying...

#1
With a bit of experience with contra-rotating helis and an AR Parrot drone, I decided that I wanted to start flying fixed wing. Being in a remote town, with nothing in the way of local flying contacts, I figured that 2 channel flying is the way to start, so I bought a WhipIt.

For those who aren't aware, the WhipIt is an entry-level foam DLG.

I have a Spektrum DX6i, so I bought the DSM2 BNF version, which includes everything that you need, except for:
  • Batteries
  • A Battery charger
  • A hot glue gun

I watched a couple of videos on YouTube, and filled with confidence, I put mine together, charged the batteries, and drove to the local park.

Step 1: Trim your glider
I did a couple of test throws, and after a bit of mucking about decided that what I had was close enough.
Step 2: launch that sucker.
She went up, went into a string of stalls, and then hit the ground rather hard.
Well crap.
Step 3: Go home and fire up the hot glue gun.

After gluing the nose back together, I went back to the park and actually got it trimmed straight, and I've since had a couple of great afternoons flying my new toy. I've only buried the nose once since, and it broke in a completely different spot to the place I'd glued, so I guess my glue-fu is OK. I'm not sure of the reason for that nosedive, but it was directly from launch, so I've taken from that that I need to check my surfaces before every launch, and not be lazy. Of course, it could have been that I'd bumped the control during launch. Who knows...

What I have found is that the rudder/stabiliser fin was a bit loose due to the extremely frugal use of tape at the factory, but the box contained some very light tape (on yellow paper), so I used that to fix the tail in place.

Overall, it seems to me that the WhipIt isn't a bad way to start.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#3
The Whipit is the plane I most regretted not buying sooner.


As much as I've hated on the tiny-screws on the wing, and as much as I hate that it can't be broken down for transport (yes, it is small, but I hate transporting wings attached), the plane itself is well behaved out of the box, launches well, can hold lift reasonably and for a mosquito class DLG it's performance is surprisingly competitive.

I will say the fuse is fragile -- about 3 direct up and over hits into the ground cracked mine just forward of the wing -- but at $20 for a new one, it's got everything in the mosquito class beat for reparability.

I also hated the stickers on the wings. If you're going to put them on at the factory, they should be glass smooth for a wing like this -- wrinkles and bubbles are devastating to performance. Would have been better if HH had left them on the sheet and packed it in the box. I pealed them off, but it still left a texture on the wing that shoulda been glass smooth.

Is she perfect for a beginning DLG pilot? Depends on how conservatively the new pilot takes her -- javelin launches until you're comfortable with the controls, then gently increasing side-arm launches (think more fastball pitch than discus), adding power little by little. The pilot who takes her out for the first time and hurls her around at full strength will soon have a foam ball -- it doesn't take much to learn, but there is a bit of subtlety in launching a DLG.

To HH's credit, there's not much to setup in modes -- her decalage (difference in incidence between tail and wing) trims her to naturally pitch up with airspeed. In this respect you won't learn the mode coordination needed to run through the launch sequence on nicer DLGs . . . but you also don't have to run the whole sequence perfectly to get an acceptable launch.

I'll also say that stock, her rudder was anemic, but she had another hole on the rudder horn. move in a hole and she became MUCH more responsive. Also a good move on HH's part, IMO. Start out gentle, then as you get the feel, move the control rod and enjoy the added performance.

All told $70 for a well trimmed mosquito class DLG, she makes for a great starter airframe for learning "unpowered" flight.



BTW, if she's flying, all the better, but HG is HEAVY. The Whipit is made from HH's Z-foam, so CA wont' eat it -- you're better off weight wise repairing with just a bare minimum of thin CA or regular superglue (not the gel stuff).
 
#4
I left out the setting up of dual rates, which is a bit of an omission. I set up max throws to 95%, 70%/100% dual rates and 30% expo to keep things nice and calm to start with. It wasn't many launches before I went to high rates, though.

The biggest challenge I faced with discus launching was holding the wing without crushing/bending the foam or letting go early.

Edit: I don't mind the extra weight of the hot glue. It's helping me penetrate the wind a bit more.
 
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FAI-F1D

Free Flight Indoorist
#5
As someone who has a little experience with truly good gliders (meaning those not made with foam), I can honestly say the Whipit is an excellent airplane.

My only complaint is that HH needs to drop the UMX Radian and come out with an electric Whipit with ailerons. Now THAT would be really amazing.

Anyway, it thermals great and has no bad habits. No tip stalling, no weird dynamics. Wind penetration is superb for a model in this class.
 
#6
I have slope soared my Whipit, and it's a great little plane! Didn't manage to catch any thermals yet, but maybe in the spring.

I do not like the stickers either... I spent a lot of time with my covering iron and an exacto blade, to get rid of the bubbles. Most of them are gone, but it shouldn't need to be done.

Mine had a very crooked empennage out of the box. So twisted that it wasn't able to be straightened, but HH promptly sent me an entire new plane when I explained the situation.

All in all, I like the Whipit!
 

Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#7
I will elaborate. I stood in a field, tossed the Whipit, watched it loop into the ground. Tossed the whipit, got a 30 sec flight, tossed the Whipit, watched it loop into the ground. Repeat for about 4 hours. the plane it self may be fine. I am not a DLG guy. Watching David twirl through a field at dusk and have a nice long flight looks great on film. Spending hours sweating in the sun watching my plane crash over and over or only have short flights was not satisfying. Is it my horrible skills? Probably. Is it worth it to me to put the time in to gain the skill? No. DLG will always be a niche part of the hobby.
 
#8
I went and bought one as well. I also had some problems right out of the box. Horizontal stab was off and floating around he box. Also I couldn't seem to get the rudder to work equally well in both directions, so the plane was good for left turns only.

I mentioned this and my good experiences with it to HZ in an email. They replied a few days later saying they'd send out a new plane with a proof of purchase. I am pretty surprised and will be looking forward to my new plane now that I have learned how to fly this one.

It does fly well, in any wind under 5mph. I have had a blast flying it around my yard. Perhaps one day I can get to slope it out at the beach. But for now its been a great neighborhood flyer. It's been in the trees a few times and on the roof. But it still manages to fly. I have nursed this little bugger along so much that I bet the new one will be like a dream to fly. (hopefully)