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Radian Pro or Bixler or Flyzone Calypso or other?


Junior Member
Hi guys!
I'm looking to get a new plane, I've had/got 2 FT old speedsters and 2 FT Mustangs which have been awesome apart from my lack of skill with the mustang, have been awesome. I've also had some stick time on my friends Bixler 2, not much though. I'm kind of looking to get into the powered glider style flying to up my 4 channel skills to move on to bigger and better things.

I've been looking into a Radian Pro quite a bit as I like the look of a powered sailplane/glider, the gliding capabilities etc. But I've seen a few reviews where people don't like it at all, the one forum post where someone suggested a Flyzone Calypso.

I need a plane that can soar around with my friends Bixler, and do some slope soaring and possible thermal flying. I want 4channel and also flaps (just because).

What is going to be a good plane? Should I go with the Radian pro? or go to a heavier Bixler?

Oh and I may mount my GoPro at some point, but not too important.

Any imput is welcomed because I am quite stuck :confused:

Cheers, Sam.


Dedicated foam bender
I love my Calypso, but a Radian is about the same in flight, other than the controls (Radian has no ailerons). I've heard many people find the Radian pro unsatisfactory after flying a normal Radian. Bixler seems to get good marks from every pilot.
i have the radian and love it. should have been the first plane i bought but sadly wasn't had to crash a couple other ones haha. It has never let me down, does have a few small qwerks but is incredibly simple from the start literally took it out of the box and throw it into the air.


Free Flight Indoorist
A few glider recommendations from someone who has flown a reasonable number of them:

If you want a serious glider, foam isn't the answer. By this I mean a glider with a wide speed envelope so that you can follow a thermal far downwind to get it its full benefit, then push the nose over and have it accelerate back to you without a lot of altitude loss. Foam wings cannot be made thin enough to do that and still have sufficient strength. That moves you into the realm of balsa and bagged wings. The former is a lot less expensive.

This is not to say that you can't have fun with a foamie. I learned gliding on a friend's Phoenix 2000, and it has a decent speed envelope, but you have to be careful with it--those wings can fold if you get aggressive. If you fly gliders for any length of time, the need to push the nose over and get out of a thermal from specked-out altitude is going to happen. It's not real fun to do that and then hear the control surfaces buzzing from an overspeed condition. For calm weather, the Radian flies great, and can be modified to have flaps for good landing control. There are a few websites out there with tutorials on those basic modifications. The Calypso is a full-house glider with flaps and ailerons, can be programmed for crow, flaperons, etc, and has space for more battery than you'd ever need. It has a nice, low sink rate. My only complaint is that it's lacking in wind penetration. I don't know the top end performance for the Calypso or Radian, but my friend's Phoenix gets 38-40 minutes in dead air and I watched him put up a 70+ minute thermalling flight this fall with battery to spare.

Most of my flying is done with a modified Pelikan "Filip V", now sporting a Turnigy Aerodrive 2830-1130 swinging an 11x8 folder--enough to drag that lightweight model straight up using only a 2S. That model has flown in winds of 30 mph without trouble because it has a very wide speed envelope. If you can find a Filip, expect to pay about $150. They are still available from Pelikan Models, but I think you have to order direct, so you'll have to deal with shipping from the Czech Republic. They're worth it, though. Mine has been abused terribly, and that fiberglass fuselage has proven practically bullet proof. The previous motor (EDF outrunner swinging a 6x3 folder) I had in it was giving me 10-11 minutes of glide off a 90 second motor run. I was getting 3 good climbs off a 1000 mah 2s. Not bad for a bunch of cheap equipment thrown in there. And hopefully the new, lighter setup with bigger prop will increase the efficiency. It's going to draw less power, I know that much. I honestly can't recommend Pelikan's products enough. They are well built and well designed. The Filip is a really easy airplane to fly. With an aft CG, it flies completely hands off (another reason I'm happy to have a lightweight motor in it now)

Hobbyking sells a few nice balsa-fiberglass models, but one that's really worth your attention is the Passer-X from R2 Hobbies. It's another fairly lightly loaded model, glass fuse, balsa construction, and very inexpensive. I've heard nothing but good about them. They don't have flaps, but the ailerons can be programmed for flaperon/spoileron mode, which gives you the full effect. They also sell a 2M glider, the Raptor, which has flaps and ailerons. I'm not as big of a fan of the fuselage design on that one, but it is a very good airplane nevertheless and again has a nice speed envelope, and being bigger, would glide even better. It's currently listing at $189 for a receiver-ready version, *much* cheaper if you supply your own electronics and motor.

Another really sweet glider that doesn't cost an arm and a leg is the Kunai. It's fairly lightly loaded despite being a warmliner, so it'll thermal nicely, and it has that wide speed envelope. The extra bit of course is that it's got a long tail and a hot power system, so it gives you aerobatic capability that's uncommon with lower budget gliders, and it climbs at a ridiculous rate. Obviously not a beginner's plane in any way, of course.
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