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Hobbyking Atom


Propaganda machine
I couldn't resist the exceptional value of this little plane from Hobbyking - I went in with a few people for postage and it only cost about $40 delivered from the Australian warehouse AND includes a battery.

I was going to get one of these when they originally came to the Aus warehouse a few months ago. I was too slow. This time around, I moved a bit quicker and scored one.

For those unfamiliar, the Atom is a micro sized glider - 750mm wing, a brushed pusher motor just behind the canopy, really nice foam and, as cream on the top includes a 250mAh 2s. Assembly takes about 3 minutes, most of which is waiting for the hot glue gun to heat up to glue the tail feathers in. While you're waiting, plug in and screw the wing in place, plug in the rx and you're done! The included battery balances the plane nicely on the spar, which seems to be as far back as you can get away with. One flaw with mine is the rudder servo, which doesn't centre completely unless you go slightly past neutral - it's not so bad that I can't live with it, but something to keep in mind when handing it over to other people.

Power from the motor is adequate rather than impressive. It also used up the stock battery in about 4 minutes and there's no beep from the ESC to warn you! If you've got enough height, that's OK, but I'd been doing low passes when the soft cutout kicked in. The landing was less than graceful and I admit I cartwheeled it, though there was absolutely no damage.

I was initially going to add ailerons to this plane, but honestly they're not missed. Combining rudder and elevator in the turn moves the nose sharply. You could easily fly this plane indoors and it'll probably handle a bit of breeze. Not as floaty as I was hoping though, and I doubt it'll thermal. All up, stunning value but not convinced on it being a complete beginner's plane (which I think is the intention).


Propaganda machine
Had another flight just before dark. I chucked a battery alarm in this time. Interestingly, the alarm sounds when on full throttle even on a full battery. That's some serious sag! I flew around on mostly 1/2 throttle and kept turns as wide, figure 8 circuits with the odd loop chucked in. Flying it this time, I'm more convinced on its credentials as a trainer. The polyhedral doesn't kick in as strongly as a plane like the Nine Eagles Skysurfer or a Bixler, but takes the edge off hard banks. I'm looking forward to getting some 350 batteries in and flying it for longer. Banshee will be quite comfortable with this plane, I think, and if she doesn't kill it the boys might get a few runs on it too.
The Atom is my fav plane. So much fun & hard to kill. It just keeps going & going no matter how hard you crash it.

The control pushrods need some mods . I noticed that when the tail moved the elevator also moved slightly, & vice versa.
Its because the tubes that holds the push rods are joined under the wing. Cut the piece of plastic that holds the 2 tubes together, glue a piece of foam under under the tubes near the end & glue the tubes to that
If you take off the wing you'll see what I mean.
Also, throttle trim MUST be all the way down, else esc may not initialize.
If you break the prop, a GWS 4x3 is a good replacement, need an adapter though.
The 350mah lipos are dirt cheap as well, get 6 of em for a nice afternoons flight time.

But as much fun as the Atom is, a AXN bare kit is only $2 more :-(


Propaganda machine
Haha, yeah, very crash resistant... Isn't it glydr... My rudder doesn't seem to move with the elevator and vice versa, so I'll leave as is for the mo.

Glydr at least confirmed my suspicions that the included battery is rubbish. Once I get my hands on some other batteries I'll find some other uses for it.


How many letters do we ge
Haha, yeah, very crash resistant... Isn't it glydr...

Yes, rather.


Powered off on landing approach (coming in for the catch) and it suddenly pitched up. No damage.

The little nanotech 2S 370 (I think its 370) worked a treat. Looped from level flight etc.
After a few crashes :rolleyes: the front/batt compatment gets rather squishy, so a wider batt can fit in. oops...
Watch out for the 370Mah nanotechs, far too big(wide) for that capacity,good batts though.
The other HK 360's are tiny & fit perfectly, but do sag quite a bit under power (mine do) , setting off the lipo alarm.

I also found out the hard way to check the trim each time before launching it. One day I couldnt figure out why it kept want to go up & up & up (elevator trim was way out ). Luckily a tree cushioned its fall after it went out of sight.


Propaganda machine
Haven't flown the Atom for... well ages. I've got a couple of tiny 350 2s Zippy batteries. They're lighter than the 250 that came with the plane and flight times are awesome, but it doesn't balance the plane on its on. However a battery alarm just behind the battery does the job, with a little down trim to help.

I flew in a bit of wind - up to about 15-20km/h. I love this little plane! The rudder doesn't centre properly on right turns, but the authority on the rudder is small enough that it doesn't matter much! And going a little bit the other way gets it back to centre. A good combination of elevator and rudder can get decent enough turns. I was flying low and pushing my luck, and clipped the ground twice. The plane somersaulted, but there was no damage at all! My day's flight was ended when I was divebombing my flying buddy and got too close to the trees. I broke the prop, but there's no other damage at all.

I know some people have had a couple of qc issues, but I still reckon for the price, this plane is AMAZING! I can't recommend it enough. It will teach beginners how to use rudder properly, and is surprisingly fun for intermediate and above in spite of its lack of aerobatic ability!
A friend ordered the atom for a beginner. The box got send back by costums because it was destroyed, thats 6 months ago and he still does not has a replacement!