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Windrider Bee2 / Hobbyking Wicked Wing

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#1
I'm a very excitable person. I'm quite easily led into what appear to be (to me at least) unique and novel directions with my hobbies, for example fly fishing for European carp, or fpv, or south Asian cooking. When I first started flying with glydr, very little of his taste in RC transferred to me. If it was a good day to thermal, I'd thermal with my Bixler (which I still maintain does a pretty good job of it). If it was windy, I'd slope with my Bixler while glydr and others that joined us flew their Beevos and moths and Alulas etc. I never took that strongly to slope soaring. Until I had a session with glydr's Beevo.

Hobbyking had just started selling the Scout Bee and Bee2 under the name 'Wicked Wing'. After a very fun session, I looked at the listings for these two wings and, following some advice from glydr on why bigger isn't necessarily better, I bought the Bee2 (smaller).

The build was pretty straightforward - I used hot glue to join the two pieces, as my ca wouldn't set on the epp. Instead of breaking the long, thin spars, I set them in an arc in roughly the same spot on both sides. The actual build took very little time, but I spent a good 4-5 hours carefully taping it up with the good quality supplied fibreglass, dark purple and bright yellow tape.

The electronics include a 2300mAh 4 cell NiMH receiver pack, two Hitec HS-311 standard servos, an OrangeRX R615 and a 3 plug switch. With these electronics, the cg comes out at about 20.5cm from the tip of the nose - bang in the middle of the recommended cg range (20-21cm). The angle of the control rods is such that, at full throw the horn would twist, so I set throws at 60%. Rolls are axial and there's enough pitch command except when you get in a bad position with the wind on a gusty slope. Unlike the Beevo that glydr owns, the Bee2 came supplied with velcro for the winglets. It seems to do the job just fine.

Flight wise, this is where the plane gets exciting. If there's even the slightest bit of lift, this thing grabs it. With all three flights I've had, there's yet to be a good, steady wind from the ideal direction for the slope I'm on. However, I've run into little trouble that wasn't caused by my inexperience with this type of flying and/or the aircraft. There's very little side-to-side rocking, even at close to stall speed. Going into the lift, or at flying speed, it tracks straight and flies very predictably. Today I was getting some really good lift channels, from which I could dive in at great speed and carry it through to the same height again. There was pretty much no flutter and that wonderful whistle of a glider carving up the air (my 4 year old saying 'listen to that jet noise!').

The slopes that we fly on are littered with many sharp rocks, and if the plane gets behind you without enough speed to punch through often gets slammed into the ground. The combination of compressed EPP and the high quality fibreglass tape makes these wings pretty much unbreakable, and you have to look pretty closely to find any marks on my plane (it's had at least half a dozen less than ideal landings among the rocks).

I'll get some photos in the daylight and hopefully some on the slope to post on here. I say for those wondering why you'd pay $60 for a slab of foam that this is a bargain and a long-term member of any hanger it enters. I'm only really just starting to tap into the world of slope soaring and this is a great vehicle to do it!
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#2
Bigger is better according to Mr Drela, but it doesn't fit in the car so well.

60 is very cheap for a quality slope craft. And the Windrider planes are very durable. The specialty shops like NCFM and Off the Edge put out better planes and I highly recommend them (and own several). I also own a couple of windrider wings.

Even lobstermash would agree these things are so much better than Bixlers and the like for serious slope work.
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#3
I'm a very excitable person. I'm quite easily led into what appear to be (to me at least) unique and novel directions with my hobbies,
Today the wind didn't seem all that strong for sloping. In fact it was the sort of wind where it is _just_ uncomfortable to fly at the field and I'd rather pass and wait for a better day.

But while cooking the BBQ with some friends over (public holiday today) I get a message on my phone:

"Heading to Theodore <that is, the slope> in about 10 minutes. Meet you there if you're keen"

Lobster... you wouldn't be hooked into sloping, would you?

How was it up there today?
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#4
I may be a little bit hooked... The wind was just starting to come up. By the time I got to the top of the hill, it was blowing about 15-20km/h from the WSW (the slope works best on a NW or SW, but is pretty tough going on a straight W because of a big hill a couple of km in front of it to the W). My first flight was brilliant. Lots of lift and fast passes and aerobatics. Then I got a phone call which I landed and replied to - another potential sloper, to whom I told the lift was great! After that the wind chopped and changed around from SW to W to NW and eventually, when that person arrived, it was a very cold SW of about 25km/h.

I had good runs and bad runs, eagles and trees, thermals and dead air. Tim and I left because we were too cold and the sun was rapidly retreating. A lot more successful than last Sunday's trout fishing expedition, where I got cold, wet, tired and had little success...