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Question about cheap park flyers

#1
Howdy all, just joined. Looking for a small park flyer to replace my old HobbyZone Champ (RIP). Budget is tight, but I'd like something that looks scale.

What are your thoughts on the Wltoys F949 Cessna 182? Has anyone tried it? Why is it so much cheaper?

Is it a decent low-budget plane, or should I just bite the bullet and get another Champ, or maybe a Sport Cub S? I still have the Champ transmitter - maybe I could get a BNF version and save some $$$.

Thanks.
 
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ElectriSean

Eternal Student
Mentor
#2
What are your thoughts on the Wltoys F949 Cessna 182? Has anyone tried it? Why is it so much cheaper?
While I have no experience with that model, I can guess that the answer is in the name - it is toy grade and won't come with the same level of support (if any) as a Horizon product. At least there are spare parts available which puts it a step above the normal toy grade stuff.
 
#3
I just bought a X-Vert as my first real trainer. A bit pricy, but comes with Spektrum DXe transmitter. It is supposed to be programmable using PC or App (not tried it yet as I need to buy the interface cable). Something like the X-Vert with a reusable transmitter would be my suggestion. (I have 3 unusable transmitters laying around).

Cheers
 
#4
The X-Vert is really cool, but it's a bit outside my price range. I also prefer the scale looks of the Champ and the Cessna. Thought about getting the E-flite Cessna BNF, but that's a bit pricey too. I'd like to save money by using my existing Champ transmitter if I could.
 
#5
Here is a compatibility chart that you can use to cross reference your Tx to different models it will fly. It doesn't look like the Sport Cub S is on the list.

I know that flying something that looks like a real plane is part of the fun, but if the budget is really tight why not build a foamboard model using the electronics from your downed bird? You could build a simple plane in an hour or less, and be flying, and save up for a nicer plane. You could build an indoor model, or a 3D profile plane, or something that is unique.
 
#6
Thanks for finding that chart! It's immensely useful. Seems like my transmitter isn't compatible with much besides helicopters, warbirds and the Ultra-Micro J-3 Cub, which does look quite nice. It's out of production, but I found one on amainhobbies.com. Still a bit pricey, but might be worth saving up for.

I've thought about building something with the Champ electronics, but I tested them and they're behaving strangely. The rudder and elevator channel work fine, but when I use the throttle, the power cuts in and out randomly. I don't know if it's the motor's fault or the receiver - I need to find another small motor to test it with.

If I can get the Champ motor to work, I might very well try to build something with it. I thought about trying to retrofit it onto one of those cheap balsa wood gliders (the kind with rubber band drive). I like your foam board idea better, though.

I even considered trying to resurrect the Champ itself with foam board. The wings and tail are trashed, but the fuselage is about 90 percent intact, although the nose cowl is a bit smashed up. It might be worth trying to build new wings and a new tail for it. Still, that's only really an option if I can get the motor to work properly.
 
#7
Power cutting out randomly sounds like an intermittent connection. Those little wires that come out of the brushed motors are pretty fragile, and I wouldn't doubt that they could be the culprit. Luckily, those motors are pretty cheap. If you can get the outside dimensions in millimeters you could find one easy enough, and maybe even with the pinion gear on it already.
 
#8
The wires were my first thought as well, but every time the power cuts out, the receiver seems to die as well - even the servos reset to their center positions. Then it turns on again and the motor resumes. It almost seems like the motor is drawing so much current that the voltage drops and the receiver shuts down.

I might stop by the hobby shop either today or tomorrow. They carry a lot of Horizon Hobby products - chances are they'll have a motor that will work.
 
#9
If the whole thing is restarting it could be an intermittent battery connection. My guess is that it's the connecor on the battery, but it could be in the battery itself if it has multiple cells wired together. Have you had the same problem with different batteries?
 
#10
Battery connection is a interesting idea - I hadn't thought of that. It doesn't seem to happen when the motor isn't running - the servos seem to work fine by themselves - but I'll play around with it right now and see what I can figure it out.
 
#11
Update: it doesn't seem to be the battery connection. I think it's definitely the motor. I read somewhere that these motors wear out after 30 to 50 flights, and mine definitely has a lot more miles on it than that.

Another update: after some tinkering, I've discovered that the problem gets massively worse when the battery is low. On a battery with more charge, it barely happens at all, and mostly at low speed, but with a dead battery it happens constantly. This confirms my earlier suspicion that that the motor is drawing too much current and triggering the low-voltage cutoff.

The motor itself also seems to heat up slightly after a few minutes, suggesting that it's working too hard, so I may try just lubricating the gears a bit and see if that helps.
 
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#12
Interesting compatibility chart. Just what I needed! Well, except that it doesn't include the TX I'm trying to find out about: the Blade MLP4DSM. It came with my Nano QX, but I have a DX6 which flies that very well.

I had hoped that the DSM in the name indicated at least DSM2 compatibility, but Horizon suggest not. If anyone can clarify, I would be grateful.

Incidentally, I note that both the Spitfore and the Vapor can be flown with any TX. A bit of a contrast!
 
#13
Only 30-50 flights in a Champ motor? That's a bummer. Since they're relatively cheap, I was considering setting aside some money and buying a pair for my daughters this summer, but it sounds like they might not even last to the following year. Replacement motor/gearbox combos are less than twenty bucks, but I'm not sure how simple the replacement process would be. For the cost of a couple Champs and replacement motors, I could pick up a couple radios and some electronics and just build planes with the girls.
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#15
I've got an old Parkzone UMX Piper Cub that I had been thinking about parting with. It is used and has some hanger rash but still flies great. The guy that had it before me outfitted it with a UMX Sukhoi motor/prop...it gives it good performance but the prop is larger than stock so you have to hand launch it. Also, I've ran it pretty hard, so the motor is slowly wearing out and will need to be replaced eventually.
 
#16
Only 30-50 flights in a Champ motor? That's a bummer. Since they're relatively cheap, I was considering setting aside some money and buying a pair for my daughters this summer, but it sounds like they might not even last to the following year. Replacement motor/gearbox combos are less than twenty bucks, but I'm not sure how simple the replacement process would be. For the cost of a couple Champs and replacement motors, I could pick up a couple radios and some electronics and just build planes with the girls.
The thing I read said 30-50 flights - I don't know how accurate it was, but I will say that the Champ isn't the sturdiest thing in the world. The tail especially is quite fragile, and it's very sensitive to wind. I spent a lot of time gluing and taping mine back together (granted, I was a fairly new pilot at the time, and I flew a lot in a small yard with lots of things to crash into).

Replacing a Champ motor and gearbox isn't complicated, but it's tricky to do without damaging the foam. The original is glued in, and you'd pretty much have to rip it out and then glue in the new one.

I've looked at a few similar planes like the Dromida Voyager, but I hear the prop shafts on those are very prone to snapping off.

There's also the HobbyZone Duet. It's not really a scale model of anything, but I've heard it flies just like the Champ, if not better, and it's slightly cheaper and definitely sturdier. It uses differential thrust instead of a rudder for steering.

I haven't done this myself so I can't offer any solid advice, but you might also check out the FliteTest foam board plane kits. They look pretty neat, and I've thought about getting one.

That said, the Champ's not a terrible plane, but it does have its flaws and limitations.
 
#18
The wltoys Cessna is a great park flyer . Not much power but a great flyer.
Thanks! Glad to see someone's tried it. I may yet look into getting one.

Update on my Champ electronics experiment: the motor is definitely the problem. I hooked it up to a small R/C car motor and it works just fine, which means maybe I can use the receiver after all.

I think I can salvage the Champ's fuselage - then all I have to do is make new wings and a new tail out of foam board. Which reminds me - does anyone know if I could get away with having flat wings (no dihedral)? Or will it be too unstable with no ailerons that way?