Is the Sport Cub S the new Champ? (Part 1)

The promised Sport Cub S review is finally here.

Is the Hobbyzone Sport Cub S really the new Champ (click here to see my review on the Champ)? This question was really bugging me, so I preordered it in early September. On the 28th of September, it finally arrived, as I said in the Sport Cub S first look.

In this review I’ll be following the same format that I’ve tweaked a bit since my first review. Oh, and I’m going to include pictures.

Here’s the first pic:

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The poor SC S in a previous sad state. I’ll explain in part two…

Alright. Backstory time.

Backstory:

I have long wanted a 4 channel Champ. Floats and FPV are an added bonus for me. I have been wanting to get into floatplane flying since I have a large body of water behind my house, so the floats intrigued me. FPV did, too…

First Impressions:

In the box, the SC S looked just like a Champ that was painted blue (and had ailerons!). As I untaped the tape holding the Styrofoam plane holders in place, I noticed the battery in one of the battery slots in the Styrofoam and a USB charger in another battery slot. The plane was as nicely packaged as the Champ was.

The plane was a bit heavier than the Champ; it felt more solid than the Champ. As I mentioned in the Sport Cub S thread over at RCGroups (I’m John234), it was raining when the box came.

Assembly/ First Flight Preparation:

The SC S required NO assembly. I just had to plug the included 150 mAH E-Flite battery into the USB charger, plug the charger into a USB port (I used my iPad’s charging USB wall adapter), and wait about 15-20 minutes. Subsequent charges took about 20-30 minutes.

Takeoff:

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The SC S took off really well. It tracked perfectly straight. Hand launches with the Panic Button enabled (see my write-up about SAFE) kept the plane going straight as it left my hand. Hand launches were still uneventful with the Panic Button disabled.

Flying:

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In Beginner Mode, the flight was limited to small pitch/roll angles and had self leveling. This mode really worked well; self leveling is crisp and the pitch and roll angle limits were perfect, in my opinion, for a beginner. I flew my first flight in this.

After landing in Beginner Mode, I switched to Intermediate Mode, and I promptly took off again. Flying in Intermediate Mode was a perfect step up from Beginner Mode, yet it was a perfect intermediate step to Advanced Mode. There was no self-leveling in this mode, but there were still, though less restricted than in Beginner Mode, pitch and bank angle limits. I was able to fly around very well, but I could not get the plane in a bad attitude.

Advanced Mode removed all flight protection and self leveling from flight. I felt completely unrestricted. I am going to increase control throws to really see what the SC S can do in Advanced Mode soon.

Flight in all modes felt locked in and superb. AS3X, active in all modes, dampened the effect of the wind. In my opinion, though, the UMX Radian is still the most resistant to wind.

Landing:

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Landings were excellent. If you turn the Panic Button on at five feet or so in the air, you can easily make a great landing, HANDS OFF!!! Of course, you still need to manage the throttle, though. Nothing more to say on the landings.

Recommended timer settings if using a Spektrum computerized transmitter:

Dx6i transmitter:
Timer: 5 minutes

Any Other Spektrum Computerized Transmitter:
Timer: 5 minutes; start/stop at 10% throttle

The Specs:

Skill Level: Beginner

Wingspan: 24.3 inches

Length: 16.3 inches

Flying Weight: 2 oz

Full Specs Here

Equipment I Used:

1. Thunder Power TP103CQ-ACDC Charger (link)

2. Spektrum DX6i DSMX Transmitter Only (link)

Verdict:

This is a great all around plane. But, it doesn’t handle wind as well as I thought (my UMX Radian handles wind better) in my opinion.

Total Rating:

9/10

Thanks for reading! Part two will be here by next Sunday. Promise!

Please share and subscribe (you can subscribe to umFlight over in the sidebar, or you can subscribe to the RSS feed). I hope that you enjoyed the Sport Cub S review!

Edit (12-17-2014):
Visit Part 2! Link:link

I’m sorry I didn’t put e link in sooner (as soon as I posted part 2)!

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UMX Radian Review

I am now going to review the UMX Radian! I have heard that it is a GREAT ultra micro glider, but does it live up to the hype? Read on to find out!

Back Story:

In January of this year, I saw that a new product, the UMX Radian, was coming out. It even had AS3X! So, I decided that I would buy the UMX Radian at some point this year.

Well, I decided to get it in early August and I ordered it from Amazon.com..

First Impressions:

Upon opening the box, I saw that it was as nicely packaged as the Champ was (see my review on the Champ here). The only flaw in my opinion was the way that you have to assemble it.

Assembly/ First Flight Preparation:

Assembly had a lot to be desired. The wing did not come attached to the body. So, I proceeded to try to screw the screws that attach the body to the wing into the holes in the airframe. I promptly lost one in the carpet. Then I lost another one. I ended up just taping the wing to the body.

Tip: do NOT attempt to put the screws into the plane over carpet. Also, cover the hole were the battery wire comes out while installing screws.

Other than that just plug the included USB charger into a USB port (I used my iPad/iPhone USB wall adapter), slide the included E-flite 150 mAH battery into he charger, and wait about 15 minutes for the first charge. 30 minutes for additional charges.

Takeoff:

Hand launching was very easy. Just set the motor power to 25%-50% and give it a gentle toss. It will eagerly fly up to about 200 feet.

Flying:

It turned tight, crisp turns and flew very nicely at an altitude of 10 feet and at 25%-50% throttle.

The gliding performance was superb (full disclosure: I have NEVER flown a glider other than his plane). I took it over my house, cut the throttle, and I was able to slope soar on the lift generated by the edge of the house!

The AS3X really helps in wind! I was easily and comfortably flying in 10+ MPH winds! 15 MPH was my limit. It felt like the wind was about to snap off at 15 MPH!

Landing:

Belly landings on the grass were uneventful.

Recommended timer settings if using a Spektrum computerized transmitter:

Dx6i transmitter:
Timer: 10 minutes

Any Other Spektrum Computerized Transmitter:
Timer: 10 minutes; start/stop at 10% throttle (one time)

The Specs:

Skill Level: Intermediate

Wingspan: 28.7 inches

Length: 16.5 inches

Flying Weight: 1.5 oz

Full Specs Here

Equipment I Used:

1. Thunder Power TP103CQ-ACDC Charger (link)

2. Spektrum DX6 DSMX Transmitter Only (link)

Verdict:

This is a great all around plane and glider, while with some assembly issues in the opinion of some flyers (including me), for a great price.

Total Rating:

8/10

Thanks for reading! Check back next Sunday for a new post!

Is the Champ Really a Champion?

I’m back! This time I am reviewing the Hobbyzone Champ, even though it came out years ago, for the newer members of the hobby browsing this blog.

I figured that, because I have had 3 Champs, I would be qualified to write a review on them!

Back Story:

After nearly 2 years of flying RC helicopters, I still couldn’t hover an advanced model. So, not knowing if I would prefer planes, I bought the Hobbyzone Duet this past April. Well, after that I was almost done with helicopters- I just really preferred the planes. Then, after an unfortunate mishap on the Duet involving CA glue eating the foam, I took the plunge and bought a Hobbyzone Champ…

First Impressions:

I opened the Champ’s box after it was dropped off by UPS and I saw that it was neatly packaged, like all of Horizon Hobby’s micros. I untaped the Styrofoam holders and pulled the plane out of the box. The cowling was even wrapped in plastic to protect it!

Also included was a basic LOW POWER (do not attempt to use this tx on any RC aircraft larger than an ultra micro) 4 channel tx from Hobbyzone. The battery and charger were nestled in there respective slots in the Styrofoam; there were even extra slots in the foam for additional batteries. 8 AA batteries were included (4 for tx, 4 for charger)!

Assembly and First Flight Preparation:

There is NO assembly required with the Champ, unless you count installing 4 AA batteries to the included transmitter and 4 additional AA’s to the included charger.

After the 4 AA batteries were installed into the included charger, I plugged the included 150 mah battery into it and it took about 15 minutes on the first charge, 30 minutes on subsequent charges.

Tip: get the optional AC adapter if you use the included charger- this allows you to plug it into the wall instead of using AA batteries (you can go through AA batteries very quickly without the AC adapter)

Because I have a DX6, I bound it to the champ, but, if you need/want to use the included tx, it comes bound to the Champ out of the box.

Takeoff:

Takeoff was a breeze. Just quickly, yet smoothly, apply motor power until it is at 100% power, add a touch of up elevator, and it’ll takeoff easily!

Flying:

Once up to about 1 mistake high (roughly 100 feet), I throttled back to half throttle and it flew very well; nice and easy turns, gentle characteristics, but it is still a blast now, even though I mastered it 3 months ago! VERY versatile!

Landing:

Landings were fairly easy. On the base leg of my landing circuit, you can just cut the throttle, but you can have a much better landing by keeping the throttle on a little bit until flare, when I close the throttle completely.

Recommended timer settings if using a Spektrum computerized transmitter:

Dx6i transmitter:
Timer: 10 minutes

Any Other Spektrum Computerized Transmitter:
Timer: 10 minutes; start/stop at 10% throttle

The Specs:

Skill Level: Beginner

Wingspan: 20.3 inches

Length: 14.3 inches

Flying Weight: 1.3 oz

Full Specs Here

Equipment I Used:

1. Thunder Power TP103CQ-ACDC Charger (link)

2. Spektrum DX6 DSMX Transmitter Only (link)

Verdict:

This is a great all around plane, but mainly for a beginner to RC planes, for a very cheap price!

Rating:

10/10

Thanks for reading! Look for another post next Sunday!