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View Full Version : My thoughts on the new GP Parkflyer Hellcat


buzzbomber
05-25-2006, 07:36 PM
I haven't seen much discussion on the new GP parkflyer warbirds here, but I figured it was time to start one for the Hellcat. For a long time it appeared to be vaporware, as did the Corsair, but it's finally here, and I think it's a winner! It's nice to see a lesser modelled plane on the market--now GP just needs to put out a Hurricane too :rolleyes: . Anyway, on to my experience with this plane so far...
I picked up my Hellcat from the LHS the same day it came it, just luck I suppose(and a lot of reading the forums here and seeing that they were coming into stock ;) ). Initial impressions were very favorable - the surface finish is nice, the airframe light and sturdy, and the included motor a pretty nice BB unit.
When I started building the kit, my happiness quotient took a downturn, however. It is somewhat cramped in the fuselage to horse around a servo and linkage and find room for a battery (and WOULD IT KILL THEM TO GLUE IN THE STUPID ELEVATOR PUSHROD AT THE FACTORY??? :mad: ) and I wound up accumulating a few dents in the finish trying to make things play nice. Add in the too short aileron pushrods and I started getting a bit frustrated. I bought some .015 music wire for new pushrods and used dubro micro ez connectors on the servo horns, and life started getting better......for the moment. On Tuesday, I decided to finish it up so that I could actually fly it. So, getting ready to apply the decals, I noted a byline in the manual to the effect that the decals are stickyback, NOT waterslide decals, BUT placing them in water would help remove them from the backing. I decided not to bother with the water--big mistake. I know, my fault. However, if these are not waterslide decals, then I don't know what is. Thankfully, I only ruined one star and bar, and was able to salvage most of it anyway(that one went on the wing bottom). To GP's credit, the decals look very nice once applied, but I think they should reword the text concerning the decals or issue an addendum explaining the importance of the water transfer method. Anyhow, final checks showed the control throws to be just about right and the balance to be in the recommended location without ballast.
Onto the maiden flight--last night. I shoehorned in the 3S 830mah lipo, did a range check, and away she went--all over the place! After fighting to trim it out for about 30 seconds, my brain kicked in and told me what needed fixing, so I put it into the weeds as gently as possible--no damage. I shifted the CG about 3/16" forward of the recommended location, retrimmed the elevator down quite a bit and gave her a toss again. Things were MUCH better now. On 3S and the stock motor and prop, the Hellcat climbed out at a sustained 45 angle and had plenty of power on tap--full throttle was not needed much. Loops from level flight were easy, inverted required a good bit of down elevator(probably due to my nose-biased CG) but was comfortable, the roll rate was very good on high rates, and the plane has a very solid feel. I was comfortable attempting low level maneuvers on the maiden flight with this plane that made me cringe on the 25th flight of my GWS Spitty. I think this plane is going to be on my "favorites" list from here on out...
All in all, the plane has a few sore spots in the assembly process and QC, but all sins are EASILY forgiven once in the air. I've never owned an Alfa(yet) so I can't draw a comparison, but I can safely say this model is in a different league than the GWS warbirds, at least in terms of stock performance and appearance.
So, feel free to share your thoughts on the new GP parkflyer Hellcat here!

rcers
05-25-2006, 09:20 PM
So you think the CG at 2" is a tad to far back???

MIke

buzzbomber
05-26-2006, 12:40 AM
Perhaps......I need to test it again, now that the elevator trim issue is sorted out. On the flight with the cg at 2", it kept wanting to fall off to one side(ie tipstall) when slowed down. When I moved the cg forward a bit, that went away. I kinda suspect it will be better now though...

Twmaster
05-26-2006, 01:40 AM
There is this thread:

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6693

The reviews from a couple users here is not favorable.

buzzbomber
05-26-2006, 04:09 AM
Strange. I did have some problems with mine as I noted, but not really any more than I've had with most ARFs, and the flying performance was like a totally different airframe than what's described in that thread. Actually, I was surprised at how quickly my hellcat can roll and loop given the relatively small size of the surfaces. Frankly, I'm puzzled how mine can roll so good with the single aileron servo and loop easily while Kosh's won't roll with TWO aileron servos and can barely loop. Maybe I need to weigh mine for a benchmark.

All I can say is that I hope the serious problems others are experiencing are just early production run teething issues and get sorted out quickly. Based on some of the comments, it almost seems like we're talking about two different planes! My kit wasn't perfect, but I'm not about ready to bin it, either!

buzzbomber
05-28-2006, 02:52 AM
Well, I got a flight in with the Hellcat before dinner last night, and I tried the CG @ 2", the recommended position, again. It was just fine, no nasty stall tendency or anything. It appears the issue on the the first flight was just trim related. I did note however, that a good bit of down trim is needed for the plane to fly level under power. Now that I've got it sorted out the plane can really boogie, yet still floats in for a nice, reasonably slow landing.