Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Darien, Illinois
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BD-5B Comparison of Aeroworks Vs. Hobby King kits
I purchased both the Aeroworks brand and the Hobby King brand BD-5B. Here is what I’ve noticed about the two virtually identical ARF’s I received:
With Shipping included, the AeroWorks.com (AW) cost $112 and the HobbyKing.com (HK) version cost $79. Both kits came well boxed and protected inside with padding and plastic bags to group the parts. The box size was different, however, and the packaging was done differently. Labeling was different, too.
The Aeroworks (AW) kit included a black and white Assembly Manual that had only fair graphics resolution. The Hobby King kit did not include instructions at all. But, you are supposed to download and print a color version of, surprisingly, the Aeroworks manual, and it seemed to have better resolution. Always check out the “Files” tab at HK when you look at a model.
The undated Assembly Manuals for both ARF’s are good, although both need many updates due to kit changes and minor differences in what is actually specified as delivered in your kit. More info at the end.
Both assembly manuals instruct you in work you need to do that is now already done by the manufacturer.
The Aeroworks (AW) comes with a spinner and prop mount, the Hobby King (HK) does not.
The AW comes with the vertical stabilizer, rudder, 2 rudder hinges, and pushrod hardware already installed, while HK does not. The AW rudder hardware is all mounted internally. For the HK version you must install rudder hardware externally, and the geometry for proper deflection is difficult to attain.
The two white, plastic, wing fairings and the motor cover are factory-trimmed and already installed on the AW, while on the HK you must carefully and laboriously trim the 1” of flash from them, sand them, and drill various holes. This is a difficult and tedious task to get right because the plastic is very tough.
The white, plastic, belly pan was factory-trimmed, painted, and installed on the AW, while on the HK you must carefully and laboriously trim 1” of flash from it, sand it, and various drill holes. Again, this is a tedious task to get right.
The AW main landing gear is white painted aluminum, the HK is plain aluminum. Otherwise, they are IDENTICAL.
The airframe covering job on the AW was poor with many loose edges/corners and a LOT of wrinkles. The HK had no wrinkles at all and was a better covering job overall.
The AW canopy framing was painted black and had a latch to hold the canopy in place. The HK had white paint for the canopy frame and used magnets to hold the canopy in place. Both were fine.
AW fuselage had the a Velcro strap for holding the battery already installed and included 2 mating pieces of Velcro to attach to the batteries; HK did not.
AW fuselage has full-height plywood doublers installed in the fuselage in the canopy area, while HK used bass wood strips for reinforcement.
AW included a pre-bent, heavy-duty push rod with metal clevis for the nose wheel. HK did not.
AW’s motor mount was ready to accept the 28mm diameter Power 6 motor I used, but the HK needed to have the stringers carefully trimmed to accept it. This took about 4 minutes.
The horizontal stabilizer on the AW would not fit and required serious trimming and testing. This took one hour. The HK fit properly as delivered.
Both kits needed some trimming to get the suggested aileron servo to fit in its mount. This took about 4 minutes.
Both kits needed the exit points for the aileron torque tubes to be relieved a bit where they exited the balsa planking; took about 3 minutes each.
The AW had solid wing ribs while the HK has slotted ribs. (This is ONLY a factor if you desire to modify either kit to include, say, wing tip lights or to mount the aileron servos in the wing for a flap/aileron installation.)
The AW has nice reinforcing pads under the wings for the wing bolts, the HK does not.
AW wings each came with their 4 CA hinges slotted and 4 hinges placed in the slots. My HK came with 4 hinge slots per wing but only 3 hinges placed in the 4 slots. However, extras CA hinges were included to complete the aileron installation using 4 hinges.
Except as specifically mentioned above, the quality of the hardware, wood and the aircraft itself seemed identical. The AW kit forgot to include the decal sheet.
The BD-5B is not a beginner’s aircraft to build or to fly. The Aeroworks instructions match the airframe that was delivered fairly well. However, IMHO the instructions should be printed in color and with better graphics resolution and it definitely needs an update. As previously noted the Hobby King brand aircraft uses the Aerowork’s instructions, so the buyer needs to carefully note what the HK kit includes by studying the HK sales pages. This complicates the assembly a bit.
In conclusion, the Aeroworks ARF is a bit easier to assemble. The Hobby King kit is $33 less minus the cost of the spinner assembly you will need to buy. Otherwise, both kits look to be the same, and could well have been made in the same factory.