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herk_1
02-15-2007, 01:43 AM
Looks like a 3-channel version of the Firebird Scout, plus ACT. (still no X-port though) Only 10 bucks more for the third channel isn't bad. I haven't heard a lot of good words about the Scout; maybe this one will be better.

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=HBZ4700

Airhead
02-15-2007, 02:14 AM
Hey Herk,
I have read many mixed reviews about the scout from some of our members here at Wattflyer. This 3 channel plane may be an improvement. See what other members have to say..

spitace
02-15-2007, 11:37 AM
THat looks preety awsome:)

btw why do you say other player airhead?

Airhead
02-16-2007, 03:39 AM
THat looks preety awsome:)

btw why do you say other player airhead?
Hi Ace,

I mean some other folks who have owned the scout.. their opinions of the plane, how it flew for them etc...:)

ps did you get your bronze wings yet??

spitace
02-16-2007, 06:45 AM
i understand that, but why the word players, its not like a computer game.

PS: no i havent, and i wont be able to fly for another week because of a sailing reggata, and i have to do that, cause it will be the first time i get to race every1 in the state in one race.

Airhead
02-17-2007, 12:04 AM
Hello Ace,
I didn't mean anything by using the word player...I'm sorry..:(

Well, maybe in a week you'll get to do some flying at your club again..
Have a great weekend..:)

kaindub
02-17-2007, 01:31 AM
This plane is completely different to the scout.
The Phantom has more wing are, more tail area, fuse;age is different (taller, probably to accomadate the larger battery) the battery is larger capacity and the motor probaly is different (for 6 cells), and a different tranmitter (the Phantom seems toi have trims which would be useful).
I have a scout and MY experience is not good.
The addition of more power and elevator will probably make it a better flyer in more than light winds, though at the weight it is, I would not go out in too high a wind.
I'm doing a conversion of a Scout to three channel (R/E/T).
I'll document it and post it here.
Robert

dmmalish
02-17-2007, 01:45 AM
its initials are still H Z :(

Airhead
02-17-2007, 03:52 AM
This plane is completely different to the scout.
The Phantom has more wing are, more tail area, fuse;age is different (taller, probably to accomadate the larger battery) the battery is larger capacity and the motor probaly is different (for 6 cells), and a different tranmitter (the Phantom seems toi have trims which would be useful).
I have a scout and MY experience is not good.
The addition of more power and elevator will probably make it a better flyer in more than light winds, though at the weight it is, I would not go out in too high a wind.
I'm doing a conversion of a Scout to three channel (R/E/T).
I'll document it and post it here.
Robert
Hello Kaindub,
Welcome To WF, With the larger control surfaces it would most likely handle a little more wind than the Scout. I'd like to hear from you as you work on your current project...:)

cbatters
02-20-2007, 04:15 PM
Looks like an interesting plane.. smaller size/lighter weight will make it more sensitive to wind than the Commander II but may also be comfortable in smaller fields.

Interesting to find out if they have included a "beginner mode" like the Challenger that automatically adds up elevator in turns.

Update - RTM: With ACT on, only one tail surface moves so it automatically adds up elevator when turning. With ACT off, both tail surfaces move when turning left/right. (Page 9)

Looks like they got it right and the small transmitter even sports digital trims!

http://www.hobbyzone.com/documents/HBZ4700-manual.pdf

IMHO, the ideal plane would be a Commander III that could be flown initially as a 2 channel with fixed pitch (or significantly reduced pitch sensitivity.) Once the pilot masters 2 channel they could enable full pitch control.

At least in my experience, all most new pilots do with pitch control is pull back on the stick, stall and crash. ("I added full UP but the plane went DOWN!? - Something wrong with the radio/plane"

2 channel forces new pilots to learn that altitude/speed is controlled with power, not up elevator. Also teaches new pilots that you plan a landing approach by reducing power, reducing altitude / speed and gliding in for a landing, not applying DOWN elevator and diving for the ground.


Clint

bowtie hi
02-20-2007, 05:32 PM
I have an old Firebird Commander that I have almost made a real flying model out of. = 72 Mhz, GWS receiver with V-Tail mixer,2 servos with Dubro micro pushrods, new tail (meat tray)400 motor on 8.4 battery, Soon to be brushless, 11.1V lipo and a 4 ft. foam wing. Can you say
I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT AN EASY STAR.
Ken

herk_1
03-18-2007, 06:43 AM
Well, these are available now. I was at the LHS today and they had one on the shelf.

Flyingace451
03-25-2007, 10:28 PM
I work at my LHS and we have about 10 of these in and I was fiddling around with the demo version. The response is so much better than the scout, it doesn't have any mono fishing line for controls, it actually has graphite or carbon fiber pushrods.

I can grab one for 40 bucks so I'm thinking about doing a many review. I fly 3D but I guess it would be relaxing.:D

davemac2
03-26-2007, 05:43 AM
For a beginner, this thing is crap. I saw a newbie flying this on Saturday. On his 2nd try he actually managed to fly it for a few seconds before it crashed and the tail boom broke right where the push rods exit. It seems the tail is VERY weak in that spot. There is a cheesy little plastic reinforcement piece of about 3/4" long there but it appears useless and poorly designed. So much for the rubber nose if the tail is this weak. For anyone that is going to buy and fly one of these, I would recommend getting some slightly larger carbon rod 1.5" long and gluing it in this area of the boom. Also, from HZ's site, it does not appear as though you can buy the fuse without the electronics and motor. $35!! :( :( :(

dave mc

cbatters
03-26-2007, 02:33 PM
I work at my LHS and we have about 10 of these in and I was fiddling around with the demo version. The response is so much better than the scout, it doesn't have any mono fishing line for controls, it actually has graphite or carbon fiber pushrods.

I can grab one for 40 bucks so I'm thinking about doing a many review. I fly 3D but I guess it would be relaxing.:D

I am also interested in getting my hands on one to do a review. Let me know if you can scoop one for me for $40 or I can buy yours after your review. (assuming it does not get trashed during your test flights :eek: )



Clint

cbatters
03-26-2007, 02:35 PM
For a beginner, this thing is crap. I saw a newbie flying this on Saturday. On his 2nd try he actually managed to fly it for a few seconds before it crashed and the tail boom broke right where the push rods exit. It seems the tail is VERY weak in that spot. There is a cheesy little plastic reinforcement piece of about 3/4" long there but it appears useless and poorly designed. So much for the rubber nose if the tail is this weak. For anyone that is going to buy and fly one of these, I would recommend getting some slightly larger carbon rod 1.5" long and gluing it in this area of the boom. Also, from HZ's site, it does not appear as though you can buy the fuse without the electronics and motor. $35!! :( :( :(

dave mc

I don't think anyone has built a plane yet that can't be destroyed / damaged in a crash. That said, it would be interesting to learn more about the flying conditions (size of field / wind / time of day / any snow on the ground) and whether the plane was being flown in beginner or expert mode.

davemac2
03-26-2007, 10:05 PM
I don't think anyone has built a plane yet that can't be destroyed / damaged in a crash. That said, it would be interesting to learn more about the flying conditions (size of field / wind / time of day / any snow on the ground) and whether the plane was being flown in beginner or expert mode.

I'm not saying it's suppose to be indestructible, but I am saying it should not break this easily. You expect to do wing damage on these foam wings when crashes occur but the tail boom should be strong enough. We are talking crashes from a height of 20 ft here. The wind was maybe 3-4 MPH; a little too windy for this plane in my opinion, but it is not relevant to this failure. He barely had it flying anyways. Time of day was past noon in Sac., CA, 72 deg, sunny. Can't tell you what mode it was in. The size of the field was about 2-3 soccer fields sq. Maybe if someone can take a photo of an intact tale boom on these things, everyone can see for themselves how stupid the design is. Considering the plane is marketed to beginners considering its size and price, you would hope they would make it a little more rugged by adding 5 cents worth of decent carbon reinforcement. If I compare this to my Yellow Bee which has a similar tail boom (looks like fibreglass) but maybe slightly larger in dia., I have crashed that thing at least 10 or 15X much worse than this incident and the boom has never broken or fractured. This weakness combined with the lack of an available cheap replacement part means that for the avg. person, it's almost a throwaway if this happens. Of course, for more experienced hobbiests who can repair and strengthen this, then maybe it's acceptable.

dave mc


dave mc

Esparrago
03-27-2007, 01:06 AM
For a beginner, this thing is crap. I saw a newbie flying this on Saturday. On his 2nd try he actually managed to fly it for a few seconds before it crashed and the tail boom broke right where the push rods exit. It seems the tail is VERY weak in that spot. There is a cheesy little plastic reinforcement piece of about 3/4" long there but it appears useless and poorly designed. So much for the rubber nose if the tail is this weak. For anyone that is going to buy and fly one of these, I would recommend getting some slightly larger carbon rod 1.5" long and gluing it in this area of the boom. Also, from HZ's site, it does not appear as though you can buy the fuse without the electronics and motor. $35!! :( :( :(

dave mc


I Am a complete newbie. My only experience before the Firebird Phantom was a Aeroace biplane and a few hours in the simulator.
In my first flight with the phantom I kept the plane in the air for about 9 minutes. I had an awful crash landing in which the tail rod broke in the opening of the pushrods just as Dave said. I managed to fix it by cutting a 1" piece from an aluminum arrow shaft and a bit of CA-40 from 3M. The next flight I fought against high wind conditions and chrashed after 5 mins in the air when I nose dived at low altitude anth the ACT system activated, I had no time to lift it again and broke the main wing.
Now I have the new spare (10.99 USD) and I'll try to fly this weekend.

The transmitter is very ergonomic feels just as a PS2 controller.

I think is a grate choice for a beginner, the time I launched the plane it went just straight and began to lift by itself, no need to trim. Yet a stronger tail boom would be apreciated.

herk_1
03-27-2007, 02:11 AM
Hmmm...three flight reports so far (including one on another thread), and all three resulting in broken booms in the same place, disabling the plane. Looks like a pattern...

cbatters
03-27-2007, 02:28 AM
Pics of the damage would be appreciated.

If the boom breaks at the same spot in each crash (with no other significant damage to the plane) it points to a weakness in the design that could be reinforced by the user and hopefully by the manufacturer.

If I was the HZ product manager I would intentionally crash 20 planes - catalog the damage and reinforce the most common failure points.

I have seen broken booms on other HZ planes including the Freedom, Commander II and Challlenger but I have also seen them survive crashes that I would have expected to destroy the entire plane.



Clint

JoeBruce
03-27-2007, 02:32 AM
I have seen broken booms on other HZ planes including the Freedom, Commander II and Challlenger but I have also seen them survive crashes that I would have expected to destroy the entire plane.

I can vouch for the Challenger! ;) I pegged it into dry, hard dirt at near full throttle from about 50' up. The canopy broke off, but the (reinforced) tail boom was fine. Some hot glue and packing tape to make a new canopy hinge, and a dowel through the fuse below the canopy (instead of the orange plastic rivets) hot glued in place, and she's ready to fly again! Unfortunately I haven't had the time to test my repairs, but the Challenger certainly can take a beating...

Flyingace451
03-27-2007, 02:51 AM
For $55 bucks you guys seem to be expecting a little too much. I fly full on 3D and I normally get about 15 minutes of 3D foamy in the yard practice every evening so if this thing crashes with me then there is definately something wrong.

It seems pretty straight forward...just CA a larger carbon tube reinforcement in that area before or after a crash. It should hold up extremely well after that.

bowtie hi
03-27-2007, 03:05 AM
Hmmm...three flight reports so far (including one on another thread), and all three resulting in broken booms in the same place, disabling the plane. Looks like a pattern...

Solution !
Don't buy HZ planes :rolleyes:

Tom Moody
03-27-2007, 03:33 AM
I just about cry whenever I see a newbee at the field with any of these planes. They almost always end up in the trash and you never see them at the field again.

Tom Moody

bowtie hi
03-27-2007, 03:59 AM
I just about cry whenever I see a newbee at the field with any of these planes. They almost always end up in the trash and you never see them at the field again.

Tom Moody

I'm with you Tom. I bought a Firebird Commander and allmost quit but found there are planes that will loop & roll
with out going into the HZ death spirail. But it was a challenge to make a proper flying plane from it. Just get a Slow Stick or a Easy Star and learn to fly. There is people that like to fly them but not me. At least the way they come out of the box. :rolleyes:

Ken

Esparrago
03-27-2007, 07:07 AM
Pics of the damage would be appreciated.




Clint


Clint,

Here are some pics from the tail boom damage of my Phantom

It flys ok, next time I'll try to get CF instead of aluminum

cbatters
03-27-2007, 04:37 PM
Clint,

Here are some pics from the tail boom damage of my Phantom

It flys ok, next time I'll try to get CF instead of aluminum

HZ sells a boom repair sleeve that might work as a reinforcement before it breaks. (not sure if the boom is the same diameter as other HZ booms.)

I have seen the same damage on a Commander II boom but have also seen Commanders / Challengers survive horrific crashes.

Interesting to find out if the other boom damage was at the same location or at the tail mount (another common location for boom damage)

cbatters
03-27-2007, 04:39 PM
I'm with you Tom. I bought a Firebird Commander and allmost quit but found there are planes that will loop & roll
with out going into the HZ death spirail. But it was a challenge to make a proper flying plane from it. Just get a Slow Stick or a Easy Star and learn to fly. There is people that like to fly them but not me. At least the way they come out of the box. :rolleyes:

Ken

Commander II is a great plane to get started in the hobby but I don't understand how you would expect it to roll or loop without elevator control or ailerons.



Clint

bowtie hi
03-27-2007, 05:15 PM
You should try mine with full working V-Tail. The first time I flew it after the mods I had to much control surface and it would snap in a heartbeat. I launched it climbed a bit and did a right turn and did 2 rolls. No ailerons needed with the V-Tail. The first tail was stock with 1" added behind full width. Can you say over control ? It can be fun with a lot of mods . I guess thats what I like about this ? addiction ? Theres so much you can do with someone elses ideas. I love to bash. The only stock plane I have is my Nextstar 46. I would like to find a dealer that had some junk Commander's to bash That didn't want an arm & a leg for them. Just the body with boom And canopy. There is a spot on ebay but they want to sell you a pallet of junk for a high price with HI shipping cost. Lets go build something.

Ken

cbatters
03-27-2007, 05:19 PM
You should try mine with full working V-Tail. The first time I flew it after the mods I had to much control surface and it would snap in a heartbeat. I launched it climbed a bit and did a right turn and did 2 rolls. No ailerons needed with the V-Tail. The first tail was stock with 1" added behind full width. Can you say over control ? It can be fun with a lot of mods . I guess thats what I like about this ? addiction ? Theres so much you can do with someone elses ideas. I love to bash. The only stock plane I have is my Nextstar 46. I would like to find a dealer that had some junk Commander's to bash That didn't want an arm & a leg for them. Just the body with boom And canopy. There is a spot on ebay but they want to sell you a pallet of junk for a high price with HI shipping cost. Lets go build something.

Ken

Challenger = Commander II with functioning elevator/rudder control :D

davemac2
03-27-2007, 06:48 PM
I just about cry whenever I see a newbee at the field with any of these planes. They almost always end up in the trash and you never see them at the field again.

Tom Moody

I could not agree with you more Tom. This is what really irritates me about these poorly designed planes. It doesn't do the sport any good and it can't be good for HZ's reputation or for their market growth.

dave mc

bowtie hi
03-27-2007, 08:23 PM
I guess I need to finish my Clark-Y wing and give it a try. A FFF wing could be made easy. Bend the curve for the top and add a piece to the bottom with a stiffner as a spar. I'll make one tonight and check the weight compaired to the Clark-Y solid foam. And yes I'll weigh the stock wing. I do have one left. Hehe

Ken the Basher

Esparrago
03-27-2007, 10:19 PM
I guess I need to finish my Clark-Y wing and give it a try. A FFF wing could be made easy. Bend the curve for the top and add a piece to the bottom with a stiffner as a spar. I'll make one tonight and check the weight compaired to the Clark-Y solid foam. And yes I'll weigh the stock wing. I do have one left. Hehe

Ken the Basher


Ken,

Do you Have Pics of this mods?

Mr.Clean
03-27-2007, 10:44 PM
Wow, I hate to interupt a good hate fest but I just came back from a park by my house after having a great afternoon.
Normally I fly deltas but I also run a club at the school where I teach. I had the afternoon off and a Firebird scout in the back of my truck. It was a donation and I have never flown the Scout before. I didn't expect much out of it but I threw it up and let me tell you, what a great time. I just put it 75 ft up and let it glide around in lazy circles. Every once and a while I would give it some power to regain some altitude. It was a complete blast.
I guess I can see the attraction to a Slow stick this little bird was a lot of fun.
As far as I am concerned, if the Phantom is a "suped up" version of the scout, I will probably get one just for the pinch times.

bowtie hi
03-27-2007, 11:31 PM
Ken,

Do you Have Pics of this mods?

I don't have a camera YET but one of these days I might break down and buy one. I went down and bent a 4 ft. X
5 1/4" FFF wing. Now I need to figure what to use as a spar as I get crazy up above. Maybe sandwich a couple pieces of FFF on edge. FOUR FOOT ! Yep I can always cut it off.

Ken

AEAJR
03-29-2007, 01:21 AM
I could not agree with you more Tom. This is what really irritates me about these poorly designed planes. It doesn't do the sport any good and it can't be good for HZ's reputation or for their market growth.

dave mc HobbyZones sales are going great guns and their planes are more popular than ever.

I have had tremendous success with most of their planes as trainers for new pilots. So I guess I would have to disagree with you strongly.

In fact I know people who have several of their planes. And I have flyers at my field who fly fairly expensive planes on computer radios who also fly Aerobirds, Super Cubs and parkzone Strykers. They enjoy them a lot.

These are really fun planes, hold up well to abuse and are cheap to fix.

Love those RTF pod and boom parkflyers. ;D

bowtie hi
03-29-2007, 01:41 AM
SO Ed Anderson do you own a HZ or just work there. and risking pi$$ing someone off ( Theres a fool born every min. ) Most people that buy at HZ have never bought and flew a model plane before. They do have several planes that are OK but the sales people don't seem to want to sell them. I was pointed to the Firebird Commander and if I had it to do over knowing what I have learned about electric's I would buy an Easy Star or
a Slow Stick. Have several SS's. There really fun to bash.
But I'm into scratch built Depron or FFF planes now.

Happy Landings

Ken (the Basher)

AEAJR
03-29-2007, 04:01 AM
Bowtie hi

I sell computers for a living. Planes are just my fun time passion.

I think the Easy Star is about the best first plane on the market, especially the RTF package. Slow Stick is great if you are ready for the process of buying all the parts and putting it together.

I started on the original Aerobird. Then went to an RTF Spirit Select Sailplane then an electrajet kit.

Along the way to my current 18 planes I added the Aerobird Challenger. Between the two Aerobirds I have hundreds of flights. The ABC does not get taken out as often as it used to but it still lives in my car and comes with me everywhere, just in case I want to fly.

I did an eval for the local hobby store on the Aerobird Swift. Liked it a lot! You can find my comments on it on Wattflyer.

We have several hobby shop owners in our club and they sell TONS of HZ, ParkZone and FlyZone planes. They are now stocking the Multipolex Easy Star and the Easy Gilder too. More excellent planes.

I probably get 3-4 students a year on HZ planes, and a couple more on one of the others. They learn very quickly with these planes.

The HZ super Cub is now my second most recommended plane after the Easy Star. The Aerobird Challenger and the T-Hawk gets high marks too.

Sorry if that annoys you but that is how I have seen it over the last 4 years.

cbatters
03-29-2007, 04:12 AM
SO Ed Anderson do you own a HZ or just work there. and risking pi$$ing someone off ( Theres a fool born every min. ) Most people that buy at HZ have never bought and flew a model plane before. They do have several planes that are OK but the sales people don't seem to want to sell them. I was pointed to the Firebird Commander and if I had it to do over knowing what I have learned about electric's I would buy an Easy Star or
a Slow Stick. Have several SS's. There really fun to bash.
But I'm into scratch built Depron or FFF planes now.

Happy Landings

Ken (the Basher)

Hey Ken

The only thing I am left wondering is whether you are as crass and disrespectful in person as you are in this thread. If so, I hope I never have the misfortune of meeting you in person.

And if this is because you are young/immature, I hope you grow up and learn to treat other people with respect.

Note: If anyone else agrees that this was uncalled for and disrespectful to Ed, please please join me in reporting this post and providing Ken with negative feedback.



Clint

bowtie hi
03-29-2007, 04:30 AM
I'm sorry if I ofended you but I'm only stating what I have learned and MANY at the local flying club. And I can say been there done that as I am 65 years old. I guess I just wish my first electric had been a better plane cause the FBC almost put me back to nitro which isn't easy to find a place to fly. BUT as I stated I have taken a POOR design plane and made it fly. Using the stock body & boom=Easystar, Hehe~ I just feel like I got burned by the LHS cause it flew nothing like my Nexstar 46 or Duraplane 40. BUT ! I'm a happy electric flyer now as I have found planes that flew like a plane. Happy Daze

Ken

cbatters
03-29-2007, 04:57 AM
I'm sorry if I ofended you but I'm only stating what I have learned and MANY at the local flying club. And I can say been there done that as I am 65 years old. I guess I just wish my first electric had been a better plane cause the FBC almost put me back to nitro which isn't easy to find a place to fly. BUT as I stated I have taken a POOR design plane and made it fly. Using the stock body & boom=Easystar, Hehe~ I just feel like I got burned by the LHS cause it flew nothing like my Nexstar 46 or Duraplane 40. BUT ! I'm a happy electric flyer now as I have found planes that flew like a plane. Happy Daze

Ken

No offense taken when you criticize a plane like the HZ Commander II (even if my 8 Y.O sold amazes the crounds with how he can stick a landing anywhere on the field with it.) You had a very different experience / and perhaps unrealistic expectations for a plane with no ailerons or pitch control.

However, I am profoundly offended when you make desparaging comments about Ed - someone who has helped so many epople on the baords.

Somewhere along the path to getting to 65 you forgot about civility.


Clint

Mike Parsons
03-29-2007, 03:40 PM
I have removed a few posts due to ad hominem attacks. Please keep the discussion off of each other as personal attacks are not tolerated here. Thank you for your cooperation.

davemac2
03-29-2007, 07:49 PM
HobbyZones sales are going great guns and their planes are more popular than ever.

I have had tremendous success with most of their planes as trainers for new pilots. So I guess I would have to disagree with you strongly.

In fact I know people who have several of their planes. And I have flyers at my field who fly fairly expensive planes on computer radios who also fly Aerobirds, Super Cubs and parkzone Strykers. They enjoy them a lot.

These are really fun planes, hold up well to abuse and are cheap to fix.

Love those RTF pod and boom parkflyers. ;D

Hey Ed,

I don't really disagree at all with your statement since I own a Super Cub myself and love it, and I think the ABC and ABX have been extremely successful and been great for beginners. :) All I'm saying is you would think that given HZ's success and reputation, they would pay a little more attention to quality on this firebird given that they are targetting a different market segment here of under $60.

cheers,

dave mc

Esparrago
03-29-2007, 08:14 PM
I got intrested in this hobby a few months ago, I didn“t had any idea, just a Aeroace (X-twin) and $100 of budget for my new plane. I decided to buy one Guan Li Zero Fighter at ebay (terrible choice for a begginer and very poor quality).

At my disapointment I began to look at my local Hobby Stores and saw some models from HZ. These planes are almost as twice the price in Mexico than In the US. I finally bought the phantom in Houston TX.


For the price you get a good cost/benefit product. I am not saying that the quality is OK, maybe just a better quality boom and that's it. I really enjoy my phantom as a begginer, I could keep it flying for minutes at my first fight. It is also very affordable for begginers, it can pull a lot of people to this hobby. There is always the paradigm that this is a very expensive hobby, these planes open the gate for low budget RC pilots.

Armando

cbatters
03-29-2007, 11:13 PM
Hey Ed,

I don't really disagree at all with your statement since I own a Super Cub myself and love it, and I think the ABC and ABX have been extremely successful and been great for beginners. :) All I'm saying is you would think that given HZ's success and reputation, they would pay a little more attention to quality on this firebird given that they are targetting a different market segment here of under $60.

cheers,

dave mc

Wondering if this is a quality/manufacturing issue or a design problem where the boom is fragile and prone to breakage.

I have only seen pics of one broken boom in this thread so I am not sure if it is really prone to breaking at that same spot. If it always breaks at the same spot, it would be highly desirable for HZ to provide some reinforcement.

HZ already offers a boom repair kit for $1.00 that works great on the the .250 booms of the Commander II. Not sure it it could also be used on the Phantom boom.


Clint

Mr.Clean
03-30-2007, 04:21 AM
I think that the important thing to remember about a HZ plane is that they are great for begainers and intermediate flyers. The amount of knowlege and money that is necessary to go from a RTF (Stryker, Fock Wulf, Firebird Commander) to an ARF (A-10, P-38, Fun Jet) is huge. Yes there are other manufactures, yes there are limitations to what a HZ plane can do, yes planes break. BUT all in all HZ offers a reasonable product to begainer and intermediate flyers who want to do just that.......FLY.
And when you are ready to worry about deans connectors, ESCs, or what the amp draw is on a spacific prop with a brushless motor, you can move onto that.
I started with a Firebird Commander and have moved through a Stryker, Fock Wulf, and into my first scale plane just last month. I love this hobby. I am glad HZ got me stated with the FB Commander for $79.00, and I agree with Dave: "Cheers"

AEAJR
03-31-2007, 03:19 AM
I'm sorry if I ofended you but I'm only stating what I have learned and MANY at the local flying club. And I can say been there done that as I am 65 years old. I guess I just wish my first electric had been a better plane cause the FBC almost put me back to nitro which isn't easy to find a place to fly. BUT as I stated I have taken a POOR design plane and made it fly. Using the stock body & boom=Easystar, Hehe~ I just feel like I got burned by the LHS cause it flew nothing like my Nexstar 46 or Duraplane 40. BUT ! I'm a happy electric flyer now as I have found planes that flew like a plane. Happy Daze

Ken

Ken,

I am curious, and I mean that sincerely, why would a guy who has experience flying 4 channel glow planes like the Nextstar and the Duraplane buy a two channel electric?

Certainly it would fly nothing like those other planes, it lacks aileron and elevator control. If it was that you just didn't realize it was a two channel plane, I can certainly understand that.

Believe me I am not attacking you are looking for an arguement. I was just wondering.

CaptMorgano
04-05-2007, 06:49 PM
I was very skeptical about everyone complaining about the weak tail boom until today.

I just had my tail boom break today after a 4 foot fall from a tree. It broke at the front of the opening for the control rods. The plastic "reinforcer" did not help at all. It is very flimsy.

I was only on my third battery:( Good flights up until then. Never any big crashes.

The boom material is much thinner than it appears from the outside.

Does anyone know if the HZ boom repair kit will work with this boom?

JWilliams
04-05-2007, 07:18 PM
For a beginner, this thing is crap. I saw a newbie flying this on Saturday. On his 2nd try he actually managed to fly it for a few seconds before it crashed and the tail boom broke right where the push rods exit. It seems the tail is VERY weak in that spot. There is a cheesy little plastic reinforcement piece of about 3/4" long there but it appears useless and poorly designed. So much for the rubber nose if the tail is this weak. For anyone that is going to buy and fly one of these, I would recommend getting some slightly larger carbon rod 1.5" long and gluing it in this area of the boom. Also, from HZ's site, it does not appear as though you can buy the fuse without the electronics and motor. $35!! :( :( :(

dave mcI apologize if I'm confused, but didn't you have a really bad opinion of the Sky Fly, too? I may have alzheimer's, though :)

davemac2
04-05-2007, 08:01 PM
I apologize if I'm confused, but didn't you have a really bad opinion of the Sky Fly, too? I may have alzheimer's, though :)

Yes I did. And your point?!

I have nothing but praise for the HZ supercub which I also own. It is becoming apparent as more people report in that this FB phantom boom is indeed a real issue.

dave mc

epoxyntape
04-05-2007, 10:02 PM
I posted this in another thread but maybe it belongs here as well.Yes my plane took it's bumps from me learning to fly but it took a lot more abuse than it should have and still flys great.Maybe I just understand that for 85.00 Hz isn't going to provide me with the performance of a funtana or yak.

Anyone who says the commander 2 can't fly needs to see this.Not only does it fly well but can also carry a small camera.I did this with no mods other than a camera and velcro.There's a pretty cool touch and go with a shadow of the plane.

http://media.putfile.com/two-of-us-71

cbatters
04-05-2007, 10:15 PM
I posted this in another thread but maybe it belongs here as well.Yes my plane took it's bumps from me learning to fly but it took a lot more abuse than it should have and still flys great.Maybe I just understand that for 85.00 Hz isn't going to provide me with the performance of a funtana or yak.

Anyone who says the commander 2 can't fly needs to see this.Not only does it fly well but can also carry a small camera.I did this with no mods other than a camera and velcro.There's a pretty cool touch and go with a shadow of the plane.

http://media.putfile.com/two-of-us-71

Most of the focus here is on the Phantom and some apparent weakness in the boom.

HZ boom repair sleeve has an ID of ~.230. If the OD of the boom is considerably smaller it won't work.

epoxyntape
04-05-2007, 10:24 PM
That is true but some people here seem to want to bash any pod and boom made by HZ

F2A2FAN
04-06-2007, 01:57 AM
SO Ed Anderson do you own a HZ or just work there. and risking pi$$ing someone off ( Theres a fool born every min. ) Most people that buy at HZ have never bought and flew a model plane before. They do have several planes that are OK but the sales people don't seem to want to sell them. I was pointed to the Firebird Commander and if I had it to do over knowing what I have learned about electric's I would buy an Easy Star or
a Slow Stick. Have several SS's. There really fun to bash.
But I'm into scratch built Depron or FFF planes now.

Happy Landings

Ken (the Basher)

LOL!!!! I have wondered that myself.

AEAJR
04-06-2007, 03:12 AM
Inquiring minds want to know! :o

mec360
04-08-2007, 02:29 AM
New member and new flyer here. I bought a Phantom today and on its second flight, I crashed it and broke the tail boom at the point mentioned earlier in the thread. I found this site / thread by searching Google on the name of the plane. Seeing as how this was my first time ever to fly RC (I've built cars / boats before), I thought the plane was pretty easy to fly, but the crash didn't seem that bad to me, so I think the tail should be stronger. I ordered what I hope is a new tail assembly (no pic on the Horizon site) and I'm going to reinforce the boom at that point when the new one gets here.

cbatters
04-08-2007, 02:40 AM
Do you have a good close-up pic of the break?

What is the OD of the boom near the break?


Clint

AEAJR
04-08-2007, 02:47 AM
Here is an approach to repair, or to reinforce the tail boom:


REPAIRING A BROKEN TAIL BOOM NEAR THE CONTROL LINE EXIT

If you are repairing a break, this assumes that the boom is
basically intact but broken. It is advisable to remove the
control lines from the tail so there is no tension on the
tail.

Put some Vaseline or grease of some kind on the control rods
so they don't get glued in place, but don't get any on the
boom itself. Or you can wrap them with wax paper and slide
the paper into the hole. Just make sure it does not
interfere with the repair.

Align the parts. Be very careful to get it straight. You can
tape a straight rod or something fore an aft of the break to
be sure the parts are aligned and that the joint is tight.
Wrap the rod in wax paper to protect it from being glued in
place.

Put a drop of thin CA on the crack. It should wick in so use as little as possible.

Let it sit for 2 minutes. Be sure the room is at least 65
degrees, just to be sure it sets well. Keep your face away
from the glue area as the fumes from CA can be harmful to
your eyes and sinus area. Open a window or run an exhust fan near the area.

If there is any visible liquid on the surface after a
minute, just wipe it off. Give it another minute to be sure.
I don't know what the boom is made of and what will stick to
it. Some plastics are very had to glue. If it is fiber
reinforced, the CA should wick into the fibers.

Remove the alignment aid and see if the joint held. This is
just to stabilize it. We are not done.


REPAIRING OR REINFORCING THE BOOM

You want to get a little sheet of fiberglass cloth from the
hobby store. 3/4 oz should be OK, but I would prefer 2 oz
cloth. We are only going to use a little bit. We will use
it to create a reinforcement tube around the boom.

Cut the cloth so that it extends 1/2" to either side of the
exit hole and that it will wrap around the boom all the way.
Have it overlap a little along the top. Cut out the exit
area so you don't seal up the hole. Leave some extra space
around the hole because when we put the epoxy in it will
stretch and you will get an overlap. I prefer epoxy for this
next step. 10-30 minute epoxy is fine as you will need some
working time. You can try using thin CA rather than the epoxy, if you like.

Take some fine sandpaper, say 320-400 and rough up the boom
just a little bit so the epoxy/CA can bond more easily. Now
wipe it down with alcohol to be sure it is VERY clean. Make
sure those control lines are protected from the glue. Wrap
wax paper round them and into the hole if you can.

BTW, alcohol is a solvent for uncured epoxy so you can use
it to clean up your hands and tools. I use 91% isopropyl
alcohol that I buy at the drug store; rubbing alcohol.

Epoxy Method

Put the cloth on a piece of wax paper. Mix up a LITTLE epoxy
and spread it onto the cloth. As the cloth gets wet it will
go transparent. Cover it with a second piece of wax paper
and use a credit card or similar to smear the epoxy all over
the cloth. Squeeze as much epoxy out of the cloth as you
can. The whole cloth should look uniformly transparent.

Remove the top wax paper and again use the credit card to
take one or two more passes over the cloth to wipe away
epoxy. We only want the epoxy that is actually in the cloth
fibers to be transferred to the plane.

Now pick up the cloth and wrap it around the boom. It will
stretch more so you will get some overlap. Tweezers or a
small pliers can be helpful here.

Have a very sharp hobby/Xacto knife handy to clean the cloth
away from the exit hole but don't go crazy. You just want to
be sure you don't epoxy the control rods together.

Get it smooth and tight, then let it sit for 4 hours or so
in a warm place. When it is set, you can use the knife to
clean up the exit hole and any "hairs" that might be
sticking out. Give it over night to fully cure. Then remove
the wax paper from the control lines.

The place where the break occurred should be stronger then
when it was new, assuming the epoxy was able to stick to the
boom.

If this bonds well, this would be a good reinforcement for
new planes for this weak spot.

Note that this will add a little weight to the tail. You might need
to slip a dime into the nose to balance it.
__________________

revjwb32
04-10-2007, 10:33 PM
well I just ordered this plane, knowing what i know about where it is breaking i plan to , i'm hoping that is, to solve the problem before it happens, the cloth and epoxy is a good idea but i am going to try a different route, I have some carbon fiber tube and plan on cutting it in half, 1 inch longer than the opening and split the differance epoxy it to bottom. Tell me what you think of this idea as the plane shipped out today and i need all the help i can get

CaptMorgano
04-10-2007, 11:45 PM
well I just ordered this plane, knowing what i know about where it is breaking i plan to , i'm hoping that is, to solve the problem before it happens, the cloth and epoxy is a good idea but i am going to try a different route, I have some carbon fiber tube and plan on cutting it in half, 1 inch longer than the opening and split the differance epoxy it to bottom. Tell me what you think of this idea as the plane shipped out today and i need all the help i can get


Great idea. I thought about reinforcing mine but it broke before I did. I guess I thought "it'll never happen to me". :rolleyes:

AEAJR
04-11-2007, 12:23 AM
well I just ordered this plane, knowing what i know about where it is breaking i plan to , i'm hoping that is, to solve the problem before it happens, the cloth and epoxy is a good idea but i am going to try a different route, I have some carbon fiber tube and plan on cutting it in half, 1 inch longer than the opening and split the differance epoxy it to bottom. Tell me what you think of this idea as the plane shipped out today and i need all the help i can get

I have not seen a broken boom, so I can't say I know how it breaks.

Does it break "up" or down?

I would presume it is braking down and through the hole. If that is the case, this is a tension break not a compressive break. That means you need reinforcement on the side and top, not the bottom.

If it breaking on the bottom, your plan should work.

If you don't want to do the fiberglass repair, then take your carbon boom and hollow out an area that corresponds ot the hole. Now split the tube and glue it to the top of the boom, around the hole. This would resist a tension break better.

An alternative would be to take two small pieces of wire, say the type used for the control rods, or perhps some carbon rod, and glue it on the top on either side of the hole. Again, this would resist the tension break caused by the weakness around the hole.

If it is a compresion break on the bottom, then that is where you need more support.

CaptMorgano
04-11-2007, 05:56 AM
Mine was definitely is a tension break from the top to bottom of the forward area of the hole.

I reworked the fiberglass/epoxy repair today and tried to straighten the boom a little but it is still not perfect. But I will try to fly it next chance I get and we'll see what happens.

AEAJR I have a technical question for you. When I squeeze out the epoxy from the fiberglass cloth, I have trouble getting it to stick to the boom. It seems to like to unfold and leave air spaces underneath the cloth. It seems to help if I have a little extra epoxy on the cloth in order for it to stick.

AEAJR
04-11-2007, 01:11 PM
OK, so you have gotten too much out. Good work.

So leave a little more in, that's all. Epoxy will not hurt the repair I am just trying to save weight. Forgive me but I am also a glider pilot and we count ever gram.

Also, use wax paper over the cloth once you have it in place, for your final smoothing so it does not stick to your fingers. That is probably what is giving you the biggest problem.

revjwb32
04-12-2007, 02:01 PM
Has anyone seen a Video of this plane in flight?

Appointmentwithground
04-13-2007, 02:07 AM
hello, im not sure if you want to go for this plane, but it seems to me that ACT causes more crashes than it saves, this airplane looks much like the firebird freedom. I have a freedom and i wouldnt recommend it to anyone else. also, if you do buy this airplane KEEP IT AWAY FROM TREE it is as if there is a magnetic force between freedoms and trees, cant see why this would be any different

revjwb32
04-13-2007, 02:05 PM
Looks like they might have reinforced the boom them selves
or did the original come this way, please let me know so i can add more reinforcement if needed, i taled to hobbyzone and the tech said they were going to but he was unsure if they had started it or not.

but here are the pics of the boom

CaptMorgano
04-13-2007, 03:56 PM
Looks like they might have reinforced the boom them selves
or did the original come this way, please let me know so i can add more reinforcement if needed, i taled to hobbyzone and the tech said they were going to but he was unsure if they had started it or not.

but here are the pics of the boom


No the manufacturers "reinforcement" doesn't help much if at all. My boom just broke underneath the plastic brace. It may have been helpful if they reinforced the top of the boom where the hole exists. Plus, their plastic brace is very soft plastic.

Please, please reinforce yours before you fly or alternatively, DONT CRASH! :D

revjwb32
04-13-2007, 04:54 PM
thanks for the reply I will reinforce it then, gona try to get it done before i fly it

AEAJR
04-13-2007, 11:01 PM
If you want to try something a bit easier than the epoxy patch you can try fiberglass tape. If this is a stress break, this might work.

Take some fiberglass reinforced packing tape. This kind of stuff that has the filliments all going in one direction. This should line up nose to tail.
http://www.officedepot.com/ddSKU.do?level=SK&id=160283&D=2%20shipping%20tape&No=10&Dx=mode%20matchallpartial&Nty=1&Ntx=mode%20matchallpartial&Ntt=shipping%20tape&N=100000&uniqueSearchFlag=true&Nr=100000&Ntk=all&An=text

Or this kind that has the criss cross design - Extreme Packing tape
http://www.officedepot.com/ddSKU.do?level=SK&id=717151&D=2%20shipping%20tape&No=20&Dx=mode%20matchallpartial&Nty=1&Ntx=mode%20matchallpartial&Ntt=shipping%20tape&N=100000&uniqueSearchFlag=true&Nr=100000&Ntk=all&An=text

Cut a piece that will just make it around the tube. make it 1.5-2" long. Cut a hole in the center were the control rods will come through.

Now slit from the hole to one end. Slide the tape onto the boom from rear to front, on the top, sliding the control lines down the crack till they sit in the hole.

Now press the tape down very carefully, stretching it tight, especially on the top, so that it is absolutely smooth from tail to nose and from top to bottom. Any wrinkles will dramatically reduce its strength. Bring the two sides of the slit together so the line up nicely. Smooth it all the way around. if it overlaps slightly on the bottom that is OK.

This should help resist the stress breaking tendancy. I think the fiberglass/epoxy approach will be lighter and stronger but this will be a lot easier and may do the trick.

The fibers will resist stretching which will resist the pulling open of the hole. What this will not do is help with compression or side to side twisting. The fiberglass epoxy approach helps to strengthen it all the way around.

Good luck guys.

Neeper
04-26-2007, 10:13 PM
I decided on the Phantom as my first plane because it seemed a good bang for my buck. My first flight went really well, flew great, until I stalled it and it came down on its nose. Sure enough, I broke the boom in the exact spot everyone is reporting, right where the control lines exit. Everything else was fine. I will attach some pictures to this post.
Luckily I found this great forum, and I am going to try and repair it. Today I bought a hollow tube of ultralight aluminum, which should somehow slip over the existing boom. I was thinking of cutting the tub length ways, slipping it over, use some epoxy and then maybe some fiberglass tape.

Any suggestions? I have not explored this too far as of yet.

davemac2
04-27-2007, 02:56 AM
It may be difficult Neeper to split the Al tube. It may be easier and result in a stronger repair if you file the Al down on top to create a slot opening large enough for the control rods to go thru. Then cut off the existing plastic reinforcement piece of your boom and chuck it, separate the boom at the break and thread the CR's and each boom piece into the ends of the Al tube. Leave a 1/4" or more of Al tube on each side of your slot for strength. Make the slot just big enough to get good CR clearance but no more. The original exit hole in that boom I think was too big in the first place.

dave mc

Neeper
04-27-2007, 04:00 PM
Thanks Dave, I am going to try that method. Its times like this I wish I had a dremel. I will post some pictures along the way, since this might be a decent repair method for this common occurrence.
Would you recommend using regular epoxy to hold it in place?
The aluminum is so light, I doubt I will need any weight compensation
in the front.

davemac2
04-27-2007, 05:44 PM
yes i would use epoxy or even hot glue or CA. Your choice. Even though the Al tube is light, it is about 10" away from the COG, so an equivilant balancing weight at the nose might be 2-3X the weight.

Dave mc

revjwb32
04-27-2007, 05:52 PM
what is the ID and OD of the Al tube you purchased?

Neeper
04-27-2007, 05:53 PM
yes i would use epoxy or even hot glue or CA. Your choice. Even though the Al tube is light, it is about 10" away from the COG, so an equivilant balancing weight at the nose might be 2-3X the weight.

Dave mc

ok, so possibly slip a dime or something into the nose? Also, I am not sure what CA is? Thanks!

Neeper
04-27-2007, 05:56 PM
what is the ID and OD of the Al tube you purchased?

I will post it when I get home. I am at work right now. What is ID and OD? Might be a silly question :) I am getting used to the acronyms :)

JoeBruce
04-27-2007, 06:02 PM
CA = cyanoacrylate, a.k.a., Super Glue
ID = inside diameter
OD = outside diameter

Neeper
04-27-2007, 06:09 PM
CA = cyanoacrylate, a.k.a., Super Glue
ID = inside diameter
OD = outside diameter

Thanks Joe!

I will post this when I get home. It looks damn close to the boom on the Phantom though. I eye'd it out when I bought it at the LHS.

CaptMorgano
04-27-2007, 06:48 PM
Hey guys. I'm back to the forums now that I'm redoing my tailboom repair. My last repair seems to be weakened do to delamination of the fiberglass/epoxy. I think I shoulda used more epoxy.

It held up pretty well for a while. I had about 1 hours worth of flying yesterday with some very high G manuevers. At the end of the day, the repair seemed to flex a bit and I could see the fiberglass separating from the boom.

I'm going to try the fiberglass once more and (hopefully) do a better job but I'm interested in how the Al tube repair works for you.

Good luck!

Just FYI, heres the other thread with my repair and some other repair tips. http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17495

davemac2
04-27-2007, 07:06 PM
CaptMorgano,

make sure you sand the fiberglass of the boom mating surface down so you get good adhesion with your epoxy.

davemc

Neeper
04-28-2007, 06:13 PM
Hey guys. The AL tube I have is 1/4 inch. It slips over the phantoms boom with roughly 2mm gap. I will have to find a ruler to measure the ID and OD.
I am going to perform the repair today, I am just stalling to make sure I do this correctly. I got my hands on a tube cutter, and full dremel kit, so I should have everything I need. I will post some pics after.
I hope this works!
Oh, it was recommended at the LHS to get this new glue called
LiquiSilk..Apparently its a pretty good adhesive. We'll see!

Sir Raleigh
04-28-2007, 08:12 PM
Hi guys,

I'm a noobe here to both the forum and RC flying (well, almost) with the exception of an Air Hogs Jet and the AA Bipe which I cannibalized and made a pod and boom plane called the AA Glider using the plans found here: http://75.88.172.207:9997/prop_plans.html.
I fly them in a grass oval in the center of a parking lot, but that's too small for the Phantom. I have found a park about a mile away that looks perfect, though.

I bought the Phantom about a week ago and have been gathering all the possible modifications to do to the plane before I fly it the first time. It's been too windy to fly anyway so this is working out just fine.

Here's what I've done so far:

Reinforced the opening in the tail boom where the control rods come out.
I found a half circle of aluminum with an ID that is slightly smaller than the OD of the boom and is slightly less than 2" in length. I tapered (spread) 1" from center to end so it fits over the boom closest to the pod and left the end closest to the tail stay as it was. I placed this over the boom so the opening for the control rods is at the mid point and the control rods come out through the part that sits on top of the boom. Then I wrapped black electrical tape (all I have at the time) all around it so the aluminum gives the boom support both before and after the opening. The completed modification looks like an air scoop with the opening facing the rear of the plane.
As mentioned by another member, this could upset the COG, but instead of adding weight to the front of the plane there is an adjustment in the manual telling how to use the two screws that mount the tail to the boom which might possibly compensate for this. I'll find out as soon as the wind dies down enough to fly and I can get up the courage to do so.

Placed a strip of clear packing tape just under 5" long in the center of the trailing edge of the wing to protect it from prop damage.

Wrapped the center of the wing, top and bottom, leading edge to trailing edge with that same packing tape to reenforce the center of the wing.

Another weakness that has been mentioned but I haven't done anything about yet is the front peg(s) where the rubber bands attach can break. Some have just replaced it with a screw and nut, which sounds like an acceptable fix. I think I would wrap some tape around the center of the screw inside the pod, or slip a piece of tubing over it to protect the rubber band that holds the canopy closed, too.

I'm going to keep the Styrofoam the plane came in and build a box out of plywood around it to use for transportation.

For the last few days I've been flying FMS (Flight Model Simulator) and a plane called a "FighterBird", which emulates the Phantom as close as any plane I can find. I bought a Saitek P3000 Wireless Game Controller Pad from Circuit City for $27 and it is an almost perfect match to the Phantom's game controller style remote control transmitter. When calibrating the throttle I can even calibrate it for the half throw you get with the transmitter which makes it a perfect substitute.

Please let me know what you think of my mods before I take my Phantom out and crash it for the first time. ;)

Neeper
04-29-2007, 03:25 AM
OK, I have finished my repair of my Phantom.

First I cut a decent size piece of the aluminum tube to be safe, then used a dremel grinder bit to grind a hole in the middle for the control rods. Then used a fine sandpaper bit to smooth the hole for any imperfections.

Next I roughed up the inside of the AL tube and the outside of the boom to give the glue something to stick to.

After putting the antenna through, and sticking the control rods through the hole, I applied some LiquiSilk glue to each end of the boom and reattached the pieces. After lining it up the best I could, I let it sit so the glue could dry.

After a couple hours I noticed it still had not set because there was still a bit of flex. So I got an idea to compress the aluminum tube with needle nose pliers. I squeezed it in various places and now its so tight it wont budge. To my eye, it looks like its perfectly straight. So now I have this feeling like its stronger than ever :) I hope anyhow.

I just need to try it out.

Question:
If the tail isn't 100% straight, like a "tiny" bit off, what impact will this have on the flight? Can any compensation be adjusted through adjusting the trim?

I am posting some pictures I snapped along the way.

Let me know what you think!

cbatters
04-29-2007, 02:11 PM
1. Small misalignment can be trimmed out

2. How does this LiquiSilk compare tpo epoxy in terms of hardness. (how hard is iot to cut with hobby knife or grind with dremell.)

herk_1
04-29-2007, 05:30 PM
As mentioned by another member, this could upset the COG, but instead of adding weight to the front of the plane there is an adjustment in the manual telling how to use the two screws that mount the tail to the boom which might possibly compensate for this.



Adjusting the tailplane incidence is not a good way to deal with an out-of-c.g. condition, especially an aft c.g. If the c.g. is too far aft, then when the plane stalls, the tail might drop instead of the nose, so it may be impossible to recover from a stall, regardless of what the tailplane incidence is. And a plane with a c.g. aft of where it should be is likely to be less stable and harder to fly.

Neeper
04-29-2007, 05:49 PM
ok, I will have to trim if needed. It looks dead-on.
The liquiSilk is hard, although I dont have any experience with
epoxy so its hard to compare. This is hard, although they claim
it dries flexible so I am sure it has a degree of softness to it.
It looks too windy here to try today, I hope things settle down!

Neeper
04-29-2007, 05:57 PM
Adjusting the tailplane incidence is not a good way to deal with an out-of-c.g. condition, especially an aft c.g. If the c.g. is too far aft, then when the plane stalls, the tail might drop instead of the nose, so it may be impossible to recover from a stall, regardless of what the tailplane incidence is. And a plane with a c.g. aft of where it should be is likely to be less stable and harder to fly.

The piece of aluminum I used was so light I could hardly feel it in my hand.
So should I put a screw or something in the nose to compensate for the
tube and glue?

cbatters
04-29-2007, 07:17 PM
My guess is that epoxy would be MUCH better for this type of repair.

If you can cut it with a knife after it dries is is not the right adhesive.



Clint

Neeper
04-29-2007, 10:01 PM
My guess is that epoxy would be MUCH better for this type of repair.

If you can cut it with a knife after it dries is is not the right adhesive.

Clint

Yea, for sure. Although I am going to put my faith in the fact I clamped
the tube with the needle nose pliers in various locations. Since I did that
it feels nice and solid. Since the repair, I have more faith in its strength than
when it was new. Too bad about this weak design, I guess Hobbyzone should
have actually tested this plane on some newbie flyer's.
I am still waiting on the wind to die down before I test it.

Sir Raleigh
04-30-2007, 06:01 AM
Speaking of the Center of Gravity, does anyone know exactly where the CG is supposed to be on the Phantom? The instruction manual doesn't tell.

Neeper
04-30-2007, 06:41 PM
ok, so I took my Phantom out after the repair job. It went up just fine, and after around 10 seconds it did another nose dive and this time it broke at the other end of the boom near the fusalage. :(
What have I learned so far about flying RC airlanes?
1. Don't fly in slightly strong winds (no matter how excited you are)
2. Use a flight simulator before you fly for the first time
3. Setup the flight simulator contoller to mimic the plane you own.

There was 2 factors why I crashed my plane for the second time. I knew the winds were too strong to fly, although I was excited and had to try. Also, I had been using FMS and didnt setup the contoller the same as my actual RC controller; so when I got up into the air I got confused and crashed.

Ah! Live and Learn!

cbatters
04-30-2007, 08:10 PM
Yea, for sure. Although I am going to put my faith in the fact I clamped
the tube with the needle nose pliers in various locations. Since I did that
it feels nice and solid. Since the repair, I have more faith in its strength than
when it was new. Too bad about this weak design, I guess Hobbyzone should
have actually tested this plane on some newbie flyer's.
I am still waiting on the wind to die down before I test it.

Not sure why HZ changed from control lines to CF rods. CF rods required MUCH larger hole in boom and are more likely to result in servo damage.



Clint

Neeper
04-30-2007, 09:16 PM
Not sure why HZ changed from control lines to CF rods. CF rods required MUCH larger hole in boom and are more likely to result in servo damage.

Clint

Yea, because this boom is weak. It sucks that this was my first experience with RC airplanes, although I am hanging in. I am going to
try to repair the second break and fly again. If it doesnt work I will give
in and buy a new fusalage, which is around $40 I believe.

Sir Raleigh
04-30-2007, 09:21 PM
...I had been using FMS and didnt setup the contoller the same as my actual RC controller; so when I got up into the air I got confused and crashed...


Hi Neeper,

What game controller are you using?

I'm using the Saitek P3000 Wireless Pad and I was able to get the two joysticks programmed exactly like the remote control including the half-movement for the throttle. I also programmed the 6 buttons to do various things like Hand Launch, Pause, Auto Zoom, and a few others so I wouldn't have to reach for the keyboard. Everything works great.

Here is a picture of the game pad and a link for more information: http://www.saitek.com/row/prod/p3000.htm

revjwb32
04-30-2007, 09:43 PM
i am using a xbox controller and it works just like the phantoms, and the fighter bird fms is as close as anyone could get i believe.
and horizon hobby is as slow as christmas on getting planes back to ya.
they recieved it wed of last week according to fedx and still havent even put it in the computer but they did an eyeball for it and said oh its here call back wed.

Neeper
04-30-2007, 09:46 PM
Hi Neeper,

What game controller are you using?

I'm using the Saitek P3000 Wireless Pad and I was able to get the two joysticks programmed exactly like the remote control including the half-movement for the throttle. I also programmed the 6 buttons to do various things like Hand Launch, Pause, Auto Zoom, and a few others so I wouldn't have to reach for the keyboard. Everything works great.

Here is a picture of the game pad and a link for more information: http://www.saitek.com/row/prod/p3000.htm

Hey thats a nice one. I am using a Logitech Gamepad Pro. The one with the 2 mushroom analog sticks. Seems to work ok. I am going to look into this saitek one though. I like it!

Neeper
04-30-2007, 09:50 PM
i am using a xbox controller and it works just like the phantoms, and the fighter bird fms is as close as anyone could get i believe.
and horizon hobby is as slow as christmas on getting planes back to ya.
they recieved it wed of last week according to fedx and still havent even put it in the computer but they did an eyeball for it and said oh its here call back wed.

I will have to look for the FighterBird FMS. Do you know where to find it?
Did you send a broken plane back to Horizon hobby? Will they replace it?
I bought mine at a local shop, although I doubt they would do anything.

Sir Raleigh
04-30-2007, 09:52 PM
Cost was $27 at Circuit City. All the reviews give it high prase. I'm very pleased with it and it feels almost exactly like the Phantom's remote control with their game pad shape.

I haven't been able to fly my Phantom yet, too windy, so I can't comment on how the RC controller reacts as compaired to the game controller, but it has taught me that the throttle only uses the upper half of the stick unlike most other RC transmitters.

Sir Raleigh
04-30-2007, 10:06 PM
I will have to look for the FighterBird FMS. Do you know where to find it?I found it at the http://www.rc-sim.de/index_en.htm site. You have to register to gain access to the downloads, but it's free.
If you don't want to register, and this site's owners allow it, I can upload it to you.

Neeper
04-30-2007, 10:09 PM
I found it at the http://www.rc-sim.de/index_en.htm site. You have to register to gain access to the downloads, but it's free.
If you don't want to register, and this site's owners allow it, I can upload it to you.

Thanks Sir Raleigh, I will register when I get home from work. Looks like there might be a few planes I will grab.
I found a plane that acts just like the Phantom, I will post the name when I get home in an hour or so.

Sir Raleigh
04-30-2007, 11:12 PM
Thanks, Neeper, I'm not sure how close the FighterBird emulates the Phantom since I've not flown the Phantom yet... Too much wind ever since I bought the plane about 2 weeks ago.

revjwb32
05-01-2007, 02:52 PM
I will have to look for the FighterBird FMS. Do you know where to find it?
Did you send a broken plane back to Horizon hobby? Will they replace it?
I bought mine at a local shop, although I doubt they would do anything.

I see you found where i downloaded it, and yes i sent it back to horizon hobby, the tech said they would replace it because of faulty material since the peg broke while i was flying. they recieved it wed of last week but they are slow about getting items recieved and they said call back wed of this week and it should be ready for a new one to be shipped. I am just being as patient as i can be which is not very lol, it has gotten so bad i stopped this morning on the way to work and flew my harbor freight Yellow bee

cbatters
05-01-2007, 03:04 PM
HobbyZone FighterBird is a 2 channel plane so if the FighterBird FMS simulation is accurate it would not be appropriate for the Phantom which is a 3 channel plane with pitch control.


Clint

revjwb32
05-01-2007, 03:57 PM
flies as close to phantom as i have found and here is the one i am using

cbatters
05-01-2007, 04:36 PM
Firebird XL is about the same flight characteristics but closer in color...

revjwb32
05-01-2007, 05:24 PM
Firebird XL is about the same flight characteristics but closer in color...

thanks ill just be glad to get mine back in my hand and in the air

Neeper
05-01-2007, 07:31 PM
So far, the closest FMS model I have flown was this plane:
http://kimagure-hikoki.hp.infoseek.co.jp/Hanger5/SimplePrairieCA.zip

It doesnt look at all like the phantom, and uses a rudder, but I seriously
feel like it flys the same. I will try this FirebirdXL when I get home from
work to compare, but I have been training on this plane.

Oh, make sure your throttle is the left stick, and elevation/rudder is the right.

Try it out and let me know what you guys think.

Neeper
05-02-2007, 01:55 AM
Firebird XL is about the same flight characteristics but closer in color...

This plane is a tad slower, and climbs far too much on throttle alone.

Is there a way to adjust this? Using that modeling program perhaps?

cbatters
05-02-2007, 03:52 AM
This plane is a tad slower, and climbs far too much on throttle alone.

Is there a way to adjust this? Using that modeling program perhaps?

you can adjust the thrust in the .PAR file

revjwb32
05-04-2007, 02:17 PM
well an update on my phantom from horizon hobby, I got the tracking # today and my replacement plane is on the way should have it by monday, already have my tubing ready to cut up so i can strengthen the boom. I may go ahead and rip out the wing pegs and replace them before i fly it.

Neeper
05-04-2007, 03:23 PM
well an update on my phantom from horizon hobby, I got the tracking # today and my replacement plane is on the way should have it by monday, already have my tubing ready to cut up so i can strengthen the boom. I may go ahead and rip out the wing pegs and replace them before i fly it.

Hey Cool. I wish I strengthened mine before I flew it. Actually, I wish it wasnt so weak. Now I have to repair mine for the second time, and hope it flys. I want a super cub.

CaptMorgano
05-04-2007, 08:08 PM
Do I need to worry about the wing pegs breaking now too?

How are you reinforcing them?

cbatters
05-04-2007, 09:22 PM
MY take from listening to the recurring problems with the boom is that the Phantom is a bust when it comes to durability. I have had some horriffic crashes with the Challenger but have never replaced wing, tail, boom or fuse. (Although I have done some significant repairs to the wings/tail.)

Unless the Phantom can be flown in a much smaller area it sounds like a Challenger would be a better/more durable plane.



Clint

Neeper
05-05-2007, 01:15 AM
Do I need to worry about the wing pegs breaking now too?

How are you reinforcing them?

Yea, I had a peg come off. It didnt break, just came off. So I am just going to glue it back on.

Neeper
05-05-2007, 01:16 AM
MY take from listening to the recurring problems with the boom is that the Phantom is a bust when it comes to durability. I have had some horriffic crashes with the Challenger but have never replaced wing, tail, boom or fuse. (Although I have done some significant repairs to the wings/tail.)

Unless the Phantom can be flown in a much smaller area it sounds like a Challenger would be a better/more durable plane.



Clint

Very true, it is a bust when it comes to durability. I thought this was a good starter plane..I was wrong. Thankfully I don't give up easily so I am going to fix and try again. Then I am going to get a SuperCub.

Neeper
05-05-2007, 03:35 AM
I found an FMS model that behaves similar to the Phantom. The great thing about flying this plane in FMS is that if you crash it, you can actually fly it again. I will post the file.
If any other Phantom owners try this plane with FMS, please let me know how accurate it flys.

revjwb32
05-06-2007, 01:39 AM
well my phantom came in today, and i tapped the LE and TE of the wing, made a boom reinforcement from an old hunting arrow cut down and gorilla glued on. Offset the extra weight added to the back by replacing the front peg with a 1/8x 2" bolt using an acorn nut with added thread lock to stop it from coming off. now the cg is where it should be or really close just need some good weather to fly.
And the fighter bird is very close

Sir Raleigh
05-06-2007, 02:49 AM
revjwb32 (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/member.php?u=14539), what measurement did you use to determine the CG of the Phantom?

revjwb32
05-06-2007, 09:00 PM
revjwb32 (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/member.php?u=14539), what measurement did you use to determine the CG of the Phantom?




I just found what the cg was before i added the weight then after i added the boom weight then added the front screw and it was back the same as trhe beginning

Sir Raleigh
05-06-2007, 09:21 PM
The CG can be determined by a measurement from the leading edge of the wing to a specific point further back along the wing. I would like to put a mark at that point on my plane's wing.

What is this measurment?

revjwb32
05-06-2007, 09:42 PM
The CG can be determined by a measurement from the leading edge of the wing to a specific point further back along the wing. I would like to put a mark at that point on my plane's wing.

What is this measurment?




1.75" from the leading edge

and i just maidened it and it flew like a dream untill the wind picked up to 10 mph or so and i brought it down before i screw something up lol

Sir Raleigh
05-06-2007, 09:56 PM
Thanks. That's exactly what I was looking for.

For some reason this is the only plane the CG isn't shown in the manual.

cbatters
05-06-2007, 11:23 PM
Thanks. That's exactly what I was looking for.


For some reason this is the only plane the CG isn't shown in the manual.


Unfortuntaely, CG is not published for mist of the HobbyZone RTF planes.



Clint

Sir Raleigh
05-07-2007, 12:01 AM
So it would appear. :roll:

Something that could be done would be to measure the CG on a plane right out of the box and post it. Then see how it flys. If it needs adjustment then record that new measurement and post that, too.

My plane, right out of the box measured 38mm (about 1 1/2"). After I made the boom mod with a strip of alumimum the CG is about 40mm (1 37/64" or a shift of slightly over 1/16"). I haven't flown it yet to see if that is good or not...blasted wind.

cbatters
05-07-2007, 01:55 PM
So it would appear. :roll:


Something that could be done would be to measure the CG on a plane right out of the box and post it. Then see how it flys. If it needs adjustment then record that new measurement and post that, too.

My plane, right out of the box measured 38mm (about 1 1/2"). After I made the boom mod with a strip of alumimum the CG is about 40mm (1 37/64" or a shift of slightly over 1/16"). I haven't flown it yet to see if that is good or not...blasted wind.


Agreed- I started a thread to collect HobbyZone CG information in one place.

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?p=192688#post192688



Clint

Sir Raleigh
05-07-2007, 07:54 PM
Thank you.

markj
05-08-2007, 02:49 PM
Bought a Firebird Phantom as it seemed the cheapest way to get 3 channel beginners plane. 1st Flight was great bit un responsive but ideal for learning.

2nd flight i started to have problems with the plane not wanting to turn right, trimmed this out and landed ok.

3rd/4th/ 5th flights, all very short and finished with an ever tightening left turn and a crash wing first... the last of these caused the boom to break.

I was very confused as to how i could have got it so wrong after no problems with the 1st +2nd flights, while trying to repair the boom i noticed that with ACT turned on the servo chatters all the time, and have figured out that this was causing the plane to gradually turn left more and more. Have now repaired the boom and need to try with ACT off to prove my point. This seems like a fault with ACT so How can i permantantly disable it? and also been based in the UK any thoughts on how i'd stand on getting a replacement under warranty due to faulty ACT system?

Sir Raleigh
05-08-2007, 05:15 PM
The servo on my first Phantom would jiggle and whine like the gear was stripped. Luckily I thought this didn't sound right so I took it back to the hobby shop before I flew it. They agreed there was something wrong and replaced it. I checked out the replacement there at the shop and had one of the guys listen to it. This one checked out okay. I haven't had a chance to fly it yet because of a bad storm off the east coast, but I still turn it on once or twice a day and fiddle with the transmitter and listen to the sound of the servo. All seems fine, so far.

I don't think you can take it out of Trainer mode permanently since it is a trainer. You'll just have to remember to press down on the right stick each time you turn the transmitter on.

However, if anyone can figure out how to do it, it would be nice. Maybe even figure out how to put a switch on it like some of the other makers do.

revjwb32
05-08-2007, 08:43 PM
well i had a similar experence with mine but i was testing the elevators before flight and the left one wasnt working, i was about to freak out when i noticed something, i had put the battery in with the wires toward the back of the plane and there was a wire on one of the servos, i repositioned the wireing and everything went to working correctly.
you might want to check to see if this is your problem even if it is touching a little it can hinder the movement

markj
05-08-2007, 09:17 PM
My problems are definatly to do with the ACT mode, as soon as i press the right stick down to go to ACT OFF the servor stops chattering and everything seems fine.

Have had to fix the boom and waiting for a day with no wind to test as it now seems that the 'V' is not exactly square, not sure how bad this will make things.

pretty poor that the Anti Crash caused my crashes, as apart from that seems a good value purchase.

Neeper
05-08-2007, 09:26 PM
My problems are definatly to do with the ACT mode, as soon as i press the right stick down to go to ACT OFF the servor stops chattering and everything seems fine.

Have had to fix the boom and waiting for a day with no wind to test as it now seems that the 'V' is not exactly square, not sure how bad this will make things.

pretty poor that the Anti Crash caused my crashes, as apart from that seems a good value purchase.

Both times I flew my Phantom it did a unrecoverable nose dive and broke. I am blaming ACT because there is no other explanation. I am going to repair it tonight and test it "without" ACT this time.

Sir Raleigh
05-10-2007, 08:50 PM
I wonder if covering the sensors while in ACT mode might prevent these unexpected crashes?

If it's the programming while in ACT mode and not the reconfiguration of the control surfaces, then covering the sensors so they can't see might help.

Has anyone tried this?

cbatters
05-11-2007, 05:11 AM
1. ACT does not cause planes to stall/dive and crash - thumbs do (blaming plane / control is a waste of time. Replay what you did wrong so you don't do it again.)

2. If you want to disable ACT, cover the lower sensor but leave the upper sensor exposed.

3. Zero wind + big field + gentle turns = success



Clint

AEAJR
05-11-2007, 10:58 AM
My problems are definatly to do with the ACT mode, as soon as i press the right stick down to go to ACT OFF the servor stops chattering and everything seems fine.

Have had to fix the boom and waiting for a day with no wind to test as it now seems that the 'V' is not exactly square, not sure how bad this will make things.

pretty poor that the Anti Crash caused my crashes, as apart from that seems a good value purchase.

Servos should not chatter all the time. If yours did, you should have brought the plane back. Perhaps too late for that now.

Neeper
05-11-2007, 02:16 PM
Servos should not chatter all the time. If yours did, you should have brought the plane back. Perhaps too late for that now.
Yikes. Mine chattered, but I was so new I didnt think much about it. I wonder if thats why I crashed my plane? Because it just did a nose dive all of a sudden. Obviously too late now. Live and learn. :<

markj
05-11-2007, 02:18 PM
Servos should not chatter all the time. If yours did, you should have brought the plane back. Perhaps too late for that now.

Thanks for yoru response, the servo's didn't chatter to start with it was after i started to have problems that i realised that in ACT mode it would chatter constantly, with ACT off no chatter at all.

Cbatters comments are not correct, in my case and in respect to thumbs causing crashes not ACT, i know excatly what i was inputting at the time of the crashes, zero wind plane going away from me (into the wind and it starts to turn more and more left while full right rudder is being input until it gradually spirals into the ground. (and yes when on the ground the correct control surface is moving for right and left and had not been changed from my first successful flights.) I just think people should be warned that the ACT system can cause problems, i wish i had always left it off and relied on my rather rusty skills.

Still waiting for a calm day to try my repaired plane with ACT off. I have a feeling that ACT could be disabled by removing the sensors and disconnecting the cables to both sensors, then refitting, this would stop a signal being sent to the servo?

Neeper
05-11-2007, 02:20 PM
I have a feeling that ACT could be disabled by removing the sensors and disconnecting the cables to both sensors, then refitting, this would stop a signal being sent to the servo?
Isnt there a way to disable it when turning the radio on? Holding down the right control stick or something?

cbatters
05-11-2007, 02:43 PM
Thanks for yoru response, the servo's didn't chatter to start with it was after i started to have problems that i realised that in ACT mode it would chatter constantly, with ACT off no chatter at all.

Cbatters comments are not correct, in my case and in respect to thumbs causing crashes not ACT, i know excatly what i was inputting at the time of the crashes, zero wind plane going away from me (into the wind and it starts to turn more and more left while full right rudder is being input until it gradually spirals into the ground. (and yes when on the ground the correct control surface is moving for right and left and had not been changed from my first successful flights.) I just think people should be warned that the ACT system can cause problems, i wish i had always left it off and relied on my rather rusty skills.

Still waiting for a calm day to try my repaired plane with ACT off. I have a feeling that ACT could be disabled by removing the sensors and disconnecting the cables to both sensors, then refitting, this would stop a signal being sent to the servo?

Not trying to desparage your flying skills, just pointing out that crashes are more commonly caused by thumbs not malfucntions of electronics.

Might be worth having a more experienced pilot try flying your plane with/without Act and see if they experience the same problem.


clint

PS: confused by your description. you start off by saying there was no wind but then describe flying into the wind.

markj
05-11-2007, 07:07 PM
Isnt there a way to disable it when turning the radio on? Holding down the right control stick or something?

Pressing the right stick down turns ACT off, but also takes the plane out of trainer mode. When out of trainer mode both control surfaces move and more than in trainer mode (trainer mode only 1 surface moves) so you get a far more responsive plane. Which is great if your giving the right inputs and can handle the extra sensitivity of the controls.

Still waiting for the wind to die to test my theory of the bust ACT system, but given the responses on this forum i can't see me getting a new fuslage out of Hobbyzone, so once i've proved the problem will see if i can disable the sensors and retain training mode. Quite happy with my basic skills but would be nice to have this mode for when friends want to have a go...

uslimey
05-11-2007, 11:34 PM
I bought the phantom as a first time flyer... The whole set up was $60, which is realy affordable... The plane is pretty neat, with 3 channel controls that allow it to be flown fairly aggressively... It come with Anti-Crash Technology... With ACT on, the plane is a difficult to control effectively because ACT limits the motion of the flaps... In regard tp preventing crashes, it sort of works, but only if you are 150+ ft above the ground... It also has a detremental issue in that it takes control (kills the motor and pulls back on the stick) if it thinks there's a problem... This happened to me a few times for no apparent reason, causing the plane to stall and nose dive to the ground. I actually had better luck with ACT off... I also found that the plane does not fly that well with no power... If you stall, you need at least 50 ft to recover...

In regard to the ruggedness of the plane, so far I have destroyed 3 front wings, two tail wings, and have broken the boom... It's a bit disspointing, but understandable... Afterall the plane only cost $60 and I have never flown before... The plus to that, however, is the fact that the parts are very affordable...

In regards to the boom issue, there is definately a weak spot where the control rods exit the boom... thats where mine broke... Instead of trying to repair it, I bought a new CF tube, for the hobby store and sleeved it with aluminum at the exit point... It is now pretty much indetructible... I also heard today that, due to the large number of boom failures, the manufacturer is replacing fuselages at no cost...

I also found one other problem with the plane... The battery wires can sometimes obstruct the control linkages /servos, causing the plane to roll into the ground at launch.

As for my overall opinion... The plane is rated skill level 1 - In my opinion it is a lot harder to master than the majority of other skill level 1 planes... In fact, with ACT off, it super responsive and can perform mutiple loops, barrel rolls etc., and is probably a better choice for a more experienced pilot. It definatly has a few design issues, but once you are aware of the weaknesses it does become a little easier to fly

uslimey
05-11-2007, 11:58 PM
Watch out for the battery leads... I think they have tendency to obstruct the upper servo, limiting your ability to keep the plane flying level... Also, trun ACT off... You need to be a little lighter on the sticks with it of, but it does fly better... Finally I heard the manu is replacing fuselages with broken booms at no cost!



Bought a Firebird Phantom as it seemed the cheapest way to get 3 channel beginners plane. 1st Flight was great bit un responsive but ideal for learning.

2nd flight i started to have problems with the plane not wanting to turn right, trimmed this out and landed ok.

3rd/4th/ 5th flights, all very short and finished with an ever tightening left turn and a crash wing first... the last of these caused the boom to break.

I was very confused as to how i could have got it so wrong after no problems with the 1st +2nd flights, while trying to repair the boom i noticed that with ACT turned on the servo chatters all the time, and have figured out that this was causing the plane to gradually turn left more and more. Have now repaired the boom and need to try with ACT off to prove my point. This seems like a fault with ACT so How can i permantantly disable it? and also been based in the UK any thoughts on how i'd stand on getting a replacement under warranty due to faulty ACT system?

lumberjack1982
05-12-2007, 02:58 AM
I am new to this and I was told by the guy at the hobby store to start with the Phantom. First time up I nose-dived into the ground from about 50 feet and the tail boom broke in the same spot. I fixed it with carbon fiber tubing and it works great now.

Sir Raleigh
05-12-2007, 05:41 AM
Flew my Firebird Phantom for the first time today. Also, this is my first RC flight. No instructor, but did use FMS (Flight Model Simulator) and the FighterBird plane.

Flying area is a HUGE grassy field, freshly cut, though not too closely.
Winds were calm.

Hand launched (no main gear installed) and the plane immediately dove toward the ground. Due to my flawless instinct, the reaction time of an athlete, and nerves of steel I was able to grab the stick and give it full up avoiding an unscheduled landing. (Humm… That sounds suspiciously like a panic maneuver now that I think about it.)
I don't know if it's the plane, if I just didn't toss it hard enough (maybe I should throw it?), or if I tossed it slightly down. But, I played around with the trim to see if I needed to adjust the mechanical linkage, but when I gave it up trim the plane began to porpoise, so I put the trim back to neutral and it straightened right out. On subsequent launches I put the trim full up and then once airborne I put the trim back to normal and it all seemed to work. I'll work on this problem later.

Total flying time was about one and a half batteries and six flights. I had to eventually stop because my nerves were killing me. Remember my nerves of steel? I wonder where they went...? Oh, well, I still have my flawless instinct and the reaction time of an athlete around here somewhere, I just can’t seem to lay my hands on them right now.

Anyway, The first landing was unscheduled and hit on its nose pretty hard. Did a nice little bounce dance with that rubber nose. Didn't break anything, but the battery popped out. Not sure if I had it plugged in all the way so the plug and jack were latched properly, but I made sure it was from then on. No more problems with the battery.

The second landing was a little rough, and nothing I'd want to write home about, but again, nothing broke.

The third landing was unscheduled and the plane came down from about 25’ altitude and about 200’ down range from me. Actually I was trying to bring it back to me for a landing anyway. No breakage.

The fourth landing was unscheduled after a 5 second flight. I discovered the battery was depleted. That might have caused the third unscheduled landing if the battery had died in flight. Since the plane was about 200' down range I couldn't hear the motor to know for sure.

Changed battery.

Landing five was scheduled, and was fairly successful considering the tall grass and the nose flip, but again, nothing I'd want to write home about.

The sixth and last was, in my view, picture perfect. The plane was coming at me and would pass to my left. I had it about 1/4th throttle and it was descending properly. When it was about a foot off the ground I gave it slightly up elevator and it made little rattling sounds as it just clipped the tops of the grass as it passed by me. It did rise slightly, maybe three or four inches and then settled back to the ground. Again it ended up on its nose due to the tall grass, but I was satisfied I had done everything right.

As for flying, the plane did a few weird things I'm going to contribute to the ACT because more times than not it was in straight and level flight and the motor would just quit. After centering the controls everything worked again. Another time I wanted to turn it to the right, but it continued going straight. I gave it left rudder and it started the left turn. I guess moving the stick to the other side may have reset the ACT when it passed through the center/neutral position. That’s just a guess on my part. Yeah, I know... I'm a first-time flyer and probably don't know what I'm talking about, but every once in a while that plane just wouldn’t do what I told it to.

I didn't turn ACT off this time because I wanted to see exactly how the plane reacted based on the various comments about ACT I’ve read here. Next time I'll fly it with ACT off.

Since by now my nerves were shot I decided to come home. Once there I got a glass of wine, plopped down in my easy chair, took a big gulp, and proudly told my wife everything that happened (she didn’t go with me this time). After about an hour I was ready to do it all over again, but I wanted to watch TV and it was too dark by now, and anyway I needed to charge the batteries.

As for the lack of damage to the plane, I had made the following modifications before my first flight:

Reinforced the tail boom where the control rods come out. I placed a half-circle of tough but very light aluminum tubing two inches long centered over the top of the opening. One inch extended past the opening toward the fuselage and one inch passed the opening toward the tail. The half toward the fuselage I spread apart so it sits flush down on the boom. The other inch toward the tail sits on top of the boom to allow the control rods a path to exit. Then I wrapped the entire thing with electrical tape. Looking at a side view of the boom, it looks like an air scoop pointing backwards toward the tail with the control rods coming out of it. The CG only shifted back about 2mm, so I didn’t adjust anything.
Mounting this half-circle of aluminum tubing centered under the opening and flush on the boom might accomplish the same thing, but you’d have to leave a gap when wrapping the tape where the control rods come out.

Placed a six-inch long piece of clear packing tape centered on the trailing edge of the wing, half on top and the other half wrapped around to the bottom in case the wing twisted during a crash and the prop hit the trailing edge of the wing. The wing never twisted, at least that I saw, so I can't say if that will help, or not.

Wrapped clear packing tape, trailing edge to leading edge to trailing edge, around the center of the wing where it attaches to the fuselage, hopefully to help prevent wing breakage at that point.

Glued the little cap-like ends to the posts that you wrap the rubber bands around that hold the wing on. I had the wing on the plane the other day waiting for the wind to die down (which it never did). The plane was in the back seat of the car and my wife and I in the front talking when I heard a loud snap. We were parked under a tree and at first I thought something had fallen out of the tree and hit the car, but upon further reflection I decided it sounded more like plastic hitting plastic than it did wood hitting metal. I looked back at the plane and noticed one of the rubber bands was gone. I found this little cap-like thing in the floor and the rubber band on the seat under the plane. If I had been flying I would have lost the little cap thing and one rubber band, but I don't think the wing would have come off. But I wouldn't have known what had happened until the plane came to earth, one way or the other.

Taped a strip of paper under the center of the wing and under the fuselage with my name, address, and phone number in case of a fly-away. I thought about offering a reward, but for a $60 plane just how much should I offer. Anyway, if I can keep it long enough and learn to fly decently I could always use that reward money to buy a Super Cub. That’s going to be my next plane when/if I learn to fly this one. At least I notice the Super Cub’s transmitter has a switch on top so you can permanently turn ACT off and not have to remember to press down on the left control stick each time you turn the transmitter on.

Oh, one other thing. I feel pretty sure I can contribute at least part of my success to FMC. I purchased a wireless game controller for $27 at Circuit City that looks very much like the Phantom's transmitter and spent at least 10 or more hours just practicing gentle control touch, orientation when the plane is flying toward me, and landings while I waited for the first tropical storm off the east coast to pass by and the winds to die down enough to fly. At least I didn't notice the plane trembling as much as my hand seemed to be while operating the controls.

So, all-in-all I think I had a pretty good first flight. I'm happy with the results and I hope I get better as time goes on.

‘Till next time… I hope.

EDIT: Oh, and one other thing I meant to mention after reading one of the previous posts.
When I insert the battery I push the leads all the way to the left, as you face the plane's nose, so they will clear the servo's gears. This seems to work pretty good.

Sir Raleigh
05-12-2007, 06:09 AM
...I also heard today that, due to the large number of boom failures, the manufacturer is replacing fuselages at no cost...
Do you know if the replacements are using the same material for the boom, or are they using something better?

jetboat
05-12-2007, 07:11 AM
My son and I bought phantoms at a rc show as our first planes to learn. We rushed home got them ready and broke the booms on the first flights. It was a real downer for my 9 yr old. We used carbon fibre to repair that section. After many crashes and frustrating flights we decided these thing suck. I think Watt Flyer saved them from the trash. As soon as we turned A.C.T. off the crashing stopped and the planes rip it up. We can fly in heavy winds, turn very fast, loops, stalls etc... We can also crash really hard w/o any dmg. I am suprised the abuse these things take. I removed the controls and antenna from the boom then wrapped the boom w/ carbon fibre mat. I got the carbon fibre from a co-worker who builds/races hydroplanes. I poked a hole in the body just above the boom and ran the wires through that hole and inside a tube, using tape to secure that. We went through alot of tails til the lhs ran out. So we bought some aerobird tails. These tails are stiffer, thicker and the control surfaces are bigger. With these tails our planes are much more stable and fly straight. The orange tail also helps Dad see the plane. Now we are having a better time instead of the frustration. Turn the A.C.T. off and then learn to fly it.

Tape, bumpersticker, whatever else that might stick to the wings along the leading edges, completely around the center part of the wing so the rubber bands dont tear through, and where the prop hits the wing at impact time. We tape the tails across the center so they wont tear apart and hold the V in shape. Duct tape seems to do that part well. Packing tape works good on the wings. It seems a wide V in the tail makes the plane more stable and a tight V makes them tip over easier. With these mods we can stick these things into a chainlink fence (baseball field) like an arrow. We can hit the ground so hard the boom sounds like a tuning rod upon impact then pick em up set the wing back in its home and back into the air.

cbatters
05-12-2007, 02:45 PM
Note: You can disable ACT while retraining training mode (single control surface movement) by convering the lower sensor with black electrical tape. (ACT works by sensing the difference between the light striking the upper/lower sensors. If the lower sensor gets the same or more light, ACT enghages and attempts to dsaveyour plane. By covering the lower sensor, ACT is tricked into believing that the upper sensor is pointing upward.)


Clint

Sir Raleigh
05-12-2007, 06:21 PM
That sounds good.
I've already covered the lower sensor and will see what happens during my next flight. Raining today, so it might be a couple of days before the test.

F2A2FAN
05-13-2007, 11:01 AM
Got to love that ACT. (Assured Crash Technology)

Sir Raleigh
05-13-2007, 05:52 PM
Always Crash Thoroughly

Sir Raleigh
05-14-2007, 04:39 PM
My second attempt to fly...

Got up about 6:30 this morning and decided to go to the field where I fly because it's going to be a beautiful day today and it was dead calm. Also if I flew in the morning the day would become brighter as time passed rather than darker as it does in the evening.

I loaded the plane into the car and put a battery on the charger to top it off during the short 5 minute drive to the field.

When I got there it was the most beautiful sight I'd ever seen, and the most disgusting...

Due to all the rain we've had over the last couple of days, and the calm conditions during the night, there was a 20 foot ground fog hovering over the entire field. During the drive there was no ground fog in sight anywhere, but that field, and only that field, was completely covered with it. I thought about waiting it out but the sun was just starting to show itself above the trees and the grass was sparkling with dew. I figured it would be too wet when landing so decided to come back home.

Darn... I just can't seem to win. Either in the evening it's too windy and doesn't calm down until its too dark to fly, or the morning is too wet with dew and foggy. Maybe just a little breeze during the night to keep the dew and fog away would be nice, but then I'll bet the "breeze" would end up being a small hurricane...

I'll see what it's like this evening.

Neeper
05-14-2007, 05:18 PM
I also heard today that, due to the large number of boom failures, the manufacturer is replacing fuselages at no cost...

Where did you hear this uslimey? How would I go about having mine replaced? Any ideas?

revjwb32
05-14-2007, 08:26 PM
well my servos chatter also with act on, wonder if everyone of them does that, just a thought could it be because it is so close to the ground or whatever you have it on. I always cut it off because i like it more responsive, i am going to try the tape on the bottom sensor and try that for my brother-in-law to practice with.

revjwb32
05-14-2007, 08:30 PM
My son and I bought phantoms at a rc show as our first planes to learn. We rushed home got them ready and broke the booms on the first flights. It was a real downer for my 9 yr old. We used carbon fibre to repair that section. After many crashes and frustrating flights we decided these thing suck. I think Watt Flyer saved them from the trash. As soon as we turned A.C.T. off the crashing stopped and the planes rip it up. We can fly in heavy winds, turn very fast, loops, stalls etc... We can also crash really hard w/o any dmg. I am suprised the abuse these things take. I removed the controls and antenna from the boom then wrapped the boom w/ carbon fibre mat. I got the carbon fibre from a co-worker who builds/races hydroplanes. I poked a hole in the body just above the boom and ran the wires through that hole and inside a tube, using tape to secure that. We went through alot of tails til the lhs ran out. So we bought some aerobird tails. These tails are stiffer, thicker and the control surfaces are bigger. With these tails our planes are much more stable and fly straight. The orange tail also helps Dad see the plane. Now we are having a better time instead of the frustration. Turn the A.C.T. off and then learn to fly it.

Tape, bumpersticker, whatever else that might stick to the wings along the leading edges, completely around the center part of the wing so the rubber bands dont tear through, and where the prop hits the wing at impact time. We tape the tails across the center so they wont tear apart and hold the V in shape. Duct tape seems to do that part well. Packing tape works good on the wings. It seems a wide V in the tail makes the plane more stable and a tight V makes them tip over easier. With these mods we can stick these things into a chainlink fence (baseball field) like an arrow. We can hit the ground so hard the boom sounds like a tuning rod upon impact then pick em up set the wing back in its home and back into the air.


which aerobird tails did you purchase
aerobird 3?
and will it still loop and the like

and pics would be nice of what all you did

Neeper
05-14-2007, 09:44 PM
Good News! I went to my LHS today and told them about the phantom, and the problems they have with the boom. He called the supplier and they are fully aware of the problems, and the designers are working on a fix for future generations. I was told I can return the plane for a replacement, or full credit. So now I have to make a decision.
He told me I could go for a Hobbico Red Hawk, although from what I have read I am not overly impressed. I liked the phantom because of the price, although the boom issues are tough to deal with.
Any suggestions?

Sir Raleigh
05-14-2007, 10:45 PM
If your boom actually broke and you fixed it, and you really like the plane, you should take it back for an exchange. And, if the plane is flyable, I'd call your LHS and ask if you could keep the one you have until the replacements come in and then exchange it.

If you reinforced the boom before it broke like I did, you still might want to call the LHS and see if you can keep it until the replacements come in and exchange it then.

Play on their good nature and explain that since the fault is not yours, you shouldn't be penilized by not having a plane to fly while you wait for the manufacturer to correct a problem that's not your fault. There's no telling how long it will take them to get the replacements out. It could be months before your LHS gets one to replace yours.

I really like this plane for 2 reasons; one, because it's a 3 channel, and two because it's small enough for me to store in the limited space I have in my condo.

I'm going to continue to fly mine until the boom breaks, if it ever does, and then try to get an exchange.

Neeper
05-15-2007, 05:13 AM
The plane isn't flyable now, I broke the other side of the boom on the flight after the repair :(
The great thing is my LHS will credit me right away, and send the plane back themselves. I can either put the money into something else or get another phantom and reinforce it. I think I should look into something else, just not sure what quite yet.

Sir Raleigh
05-15-2007, 05:43 AM
My boom reinforcement seems to be holding up quite well. I crashed the plane this afternoon pretty hard and broke one of the tail fins, but the boom survived unscathed. A little Sumo Glue fixed the fin right up.

psion854
05-16-2007, 02:55 AM
Hi everyone. I have been watching this forum with interest. I am pretty new to rc. I have got a X Twin cheapie that I have been flying with which is quite good for the $30.00 I paid for it.

I went and bought a Phantom the other day after reading some of the reviews on this forum.

Mine came with a sleeve attached to the rear of the boom where the control lines come out. I don't know if this is the new version or not.

Anyway I couldn't wait to go and fly it. Today was the only good day as rest of the week is going to rain.

The wind was way to strong but I took a chance- what a fantastic feeling.
it flew and flew and flew.

The only problem I had was it tended to stall when more power was added and it was hard to return it to where I started (I think this was because the wind was so strong)

I had about 4 flights of about 2min each and managed to land with only a few cartwheels. The plane faired very well.

Just a few things I noticed. I get a bit of servo chatter until Im tape a dark coloured tape over lower sensor. I tried to put a piece of white paper over it and the chatter was worse (makes sense as they say not to use act over snow/water)

Also noticed with act on when u push left or right stick to turn, when u hold it there the act kicks in and turns on the opposite flap and resets flap u tried to turn. i imagine this is causing most act crashes.

Turning of act via controller-does this make plane more responsive as I noticed it appeared a bit slow in the turning stakes (not a bad thing when starting out)

last but not least- do u think my stalling was due to hihg wind or need to adjust centre of gravity and if so where is it.

Sorry for such a long message but I had to tell someone as I have the rc bug

Regards

Boz

revjwb32
05-16-2007, 02:10 PM
psion854 (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/member.php?u=14453) congrates on the rc bug and the phantom, I had the same problem yesterday with mine in high wind it wants to stall instead of loop, without the wind mine loops fine. so i just did stall falls yesterday that is still a blast.
and the little sleeve on the boom is it plastic? if it is that is the original way it came. take that off and reinforce it yourself.
or just take a pic and post it so i can see what it looks like.
I flew 2 batteries down yesterday in 10 mph wind

markj
05-17-2007, 10:42 PM
Just been able to fly my Phantom again, the first time since i broke the boom following problems with ACT making it turn left all the time.

It was AMAZING, turned ACT off and it flies great, was pretty careful but did manage a loop on both flights and 2 very controlled landings, so my boom repair is holding up. I've left the landing gear off which means it doesn't flip when landing on grass.

repaired the boom with super glue and a small ali rod glued inside the boom and the reinforcment plastic thing glued properly back on (mine looked like it wasn't glued well to start with) think my repair is not as robust as some mentioned here so one dodgy landing and i'll be fixing or getting new fuselage

I'm definatly hooked though and very impressed with this budget plane, just wish i'd never bothered with the ACT system...

psion854
05-18-2007, 08:00 AM
Oh well I think I spoke to soon. it would appear I have an original boom as it is a flimsy plastic half sleeve.

i was all excited from last flight so I got up real early- not much wind and I was having trouble hand launching plane.

I adjusted flaps so they were slightly up, plane soared into air, circled and didn't appear to be as responsive as it was last time.

Anyway I crashed, not that hard really, it flipped over and sure enough the boom broke.

I may contact hobbyzone and find out if they are accepting returns ref boom break in Australia like they appear to be doing over there.

if not it looks like I will be doing some homemade repairs


Boz:sad:

Neeper
05-18-2007, 02:13 PM
Oh well I think I spoke to soon. it would appear I have an original boom as it is a flimsy plastic half sleeve.

i was all excited from last flight so I got up real early- not much wind and I was having trouble hand launching plane.

I adjusted flaps so they were slightly up, plane soared into air, circled and didn't appear to be as responsive as it was last time.

Anyway I crashed, not that hard really, it flipped over and sure enough the boom broke.

I may contact hobbyzone and find out if they are accepting returns ref boom break in Australia like they appear to be doing over there.

if not it looks like I will be doing some homemade repairs


Boz:sad:
Its really too bad about the weakness of the Phantoms boom. Hopefully they do take it back in Australia. I took mine back for a full credit. I have decided to use that credit and put it towards a Super Cub. I was told the designers of the Phantom are working on a new design. That little flimsy plastic piece isnt it.

dneuweiler
05-24-2007, 04:40 PM
I'm completely new to RC (having done free flight years and years ago), and I've not flown the Firebird Phantom yet due to windy conditions.

Based on the excellent commentaries here, I decided to try to "pre-pair" the boom before flying.

I took a different approach, though. The repairs described here were like putting a cast on a broken limb. I'm trying a splint instead of a cast.

I used two bamboo kabob sticks and three nylon tie-wraps. Will it work? I hope so. I think it'll prevent breakage at the control wire port, but whether that puts stress where the boom meets the fuselage, I don't know. That's why I ran the splint all the way to the body.

Best Regards,

Dave

Neeper
05-24-2007, 07:48 PM
I wonder if this added too much tail weight? I know bamboo is light, although its hard to say. It should support the boom just fine. Keep ACT on, and we'll find out if you're support works ;) Kidding, of course.

Sir Raleigh
05-24-2007, 09:19 PM
...I used two bamboo kabob sticks and three nylon tie-wraps. Will it work? I hope so. I think it'll prevent breakage at the control wire port, but whether that puts stress where the boom meets the fuselage, I don't know. That's why I ran the splint all the way to the body.

Best Regards,

DaveJust be sure to check your CG before you fly. It should be approximately 1.5" (38mm) plus or minus .125" (3mm) back from the leading edge of the wing.

If it's too tail heavy, try moving the battery forward by removing the foam the battery sits in (don't cut this, but save it so if you ever need to restore the plane to its original condition you can put it back) and cut a new one from some scrap foam before you start adding weight to the nose.

dneuweiler
05-25-2007, 11:54 AM
Just be sure to check your CG before you fly. It should be approximately 1.5" (38mm) plus or minus .125" (3mm) back from the leading edge of the wing.

If it's too tail heavy, try moving the battery forward by removing the foam the battery sits in (don't cut this, but save it so if you ever need to restore the plane to its original condition you can put it back) and cut a new one from some scrap foam before you start adding weight to the nose.

Good points, and thanks for the info on the CG. I'll be sure to check that and then test with some un-powered hand launches as soon as I get some calm conditions. I'm kind of curious how the plane glides; my guess is probably not terribly well. We'll see... Thanks again!

Dave

Sir Raleigh
05-25-2007, 04:42 PM
...I'm kind of curious how the plane glides; my guess is probably not terribly well. We'll see... Thanks again!

DaveActually the plane seems to glide very well. It doesn't have a tendency to drop the nose when the motor is cut, at least not that I can tell, although I've only had about a dozen flights so far.

uslimey
05-26-2007, 02:18 PM
In regard to the stalls, I have found that if I glide or turn too hard without sufficient power the plane will stall, and unless you are 100+ feet above the ground, you are probably history... I also found that with ACT on, the plane has a hard time making right turns immediately after launch... Last week I nearly plowed straight into a row of trees because the plane would not turn... It occurred to me that it may be the torquu of the motor as you are getting up to speed causing the plane to rotate in opposition to the stick input... I ususally fly with ACT off, which alleviates the problem... I wish there was a way to permenantly dissable ACT... I forget to do it sometimes!

BTW, I did a search for FMS models, and found the Aerobird (which is similar to the Phantom) and the the Slo-V... I think the Aerobird is a reasonable simulation of the real thing...



Hi everyone. I have been watching this forum with interest. I am pretty new to rc. I have got a X Twin cheapie that I have been flying with which is quite good for the $30.00 I paid for it.

I went and bought a Phantom the other day after reading some of the reviews on this forum.

Mine came with a sleeve attached to the rear of the boom where the control lines come out. I don't know if this is the new version or not.

Anyway I couldn't wait to go and fly it. Today was the only good day as rest of the week is going to rain.

The wind was way to strong but I took a chance- what a fantastic feeling.
it flew and flew and flew.

The only problem I had was it tended to stall when more power was added and it was hard to return it to where I started (I think this was because the wind was so strong)

I had about 4 flights of about 2min each and managed to land with only a few cartwheels. The plane faired very well.

Just a few things I noticed. I get a bit of servo chatter until Im tape a dark coloured tape over lower sensor. I tried to put a piece of white paper over it and the chatter was worse (makes sense as they say not to use act over snow/water)

Also noticed with act on when u push left or right stick to turn, when u hold it there the act kicks in and turns on the opposite flap and resets flap u tried to turn. i imagine this is causing most act crashes.

Turning of act via controller-does this make plane more responsive as I noticed it appeared a bit slow in the turning stakes (not a bad thing when starting out)

last but not least- do u think my stalling was due to hihg wind or need to adjust centre of gravity and if so where is it.

Sorry for such a long message but I had to tell someone as I have the rc bug

Regards

Boz

uslimey
05-26-2007, 02:25 PM
The additional weight will hav an effect on the center of gravity... That will change the way the plane flies....

As an alternative, you may want to try sleeving the boom... I built a new boom with a new carbon fiber rod and sleeved it with a 1 ¼" length of thin guage aluminum tube, secured with epoxy... I used a dremel with a spiral saw bit to cut the slotted hole for the control lines... I have hammered my new boom on many occasions and its solid as a rock!


I'm completely new to RC (having done free flight years and years ago), and I've not flown the Firebird Phantom yet due to windy conditions.

Based on the excellent commentaries here, I decided to try to "pre-pair" the boom before flying.

I took a different approach, though. The repairs described here were like putting a cast on a broken limb. I'm trying a splint instead of a cast.

I used two bamboo kabob sticks and three nylon tie-wraps. Will it work? I hope so. I think it'll prevent breakage at the control wire port, but whether that puts stress where the boom meets the fuselage, I don't know. That's why I ran the splint all the way to the body.

Best Regards,

Dave

uslimey
05-26-2007, 02:35 PM
In references to broken boom returns... Have the LHS call the manufacturer for you...

Sir Raleigh
05-26-2007, 05:36 PM
...BTW, I did a search for FMS models, and found the Aerobird (which is similar to the Phantom) and the the Slo-V... I think the Aerobird is a reasonable simulation of the real thing...The FighterBird does a great job of emulating the Phantom, too. You can get it here: http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=189710&postcount=104

AEAJR
05-26-2007, 06:48 PM
Fighter bird is a two channel plane. Phantom is a 3 channel plane. Not a good match.

Sir Raleigh
05-26-2007, 08:50 PM
Well, I'll be... Here I've been flying the FighterBird on FMS for the past month and the plane goes up and down when I push the stick up and down.

I must have mapped the elevators to... um... what?

Oh, and here's where I got it... http://www.rc-sim.de/dl_engine/comment.php?dlid=1266

AEAJR
05-26-2007, 08:58 PM
Well, I'll be... Here I've been flying the FighterBird on FMS for the past month and the plane goes up and down when I push the stick up and down.

I must have mapped the elevators to... um... what?

Oh, and here's where I got it... http://www.rc-sim.de/dl_engine/comment.php?dlid=1266

I don't know but the fighter bird does not have an elevator. So it seems the simulator is wrong or you are not flying a HobbyZone FighterBird.

Can you easily loop it?

Can you easily roll it?

Sir Raleigh
05-26-2007, 09:19 PM
The file does not say "HobbyZone" it only says "FighterBird".

I can easily loop it, but can't roll it easily (no aileron channel). I can roll it if I apply rudder and elevator in the right sequence, though.

I'm not familiar with the HZ FighterBird so I just took it for granted that it was a 3 channel plane.

Someone must have added elevator.

Anyway, that's the plane I practiced with before I took my HZ Phantom on its maiden flight and it saved me from a number on almost crashes.

One thing I love to do with the sim but I haven't gotten up the nerve to do with the real plane is after it's airborne I'll let it climb to about 150-200 feet, push a hard right rudder, pull full up on the elevator and kill the engine. This will make the plane tip it's nose up, rotate and stall. If I release the controls just right the plane will be slightly nose down and heading right back at me. This is how I practiced my landings without having to fly a landing pattern. In real life, I do fly the pattern, though.

AEAJR
05-26-2007, 09:37 PM
Perhaps it is some plane other than the one I was thinking of. The Fighter bird looks like the Aerobird, Commander, Firebird planes. It was a two channel, R/E plane. That sim must be for some other plane.

Sir Raleigh
05-26-2007, 09:56 PM
Here's the best picture I can get of it:

AEAJR
05-26-2007, 10:29 PM
That looks like a HZ Fighterbird, but a FB has no elevator.

Doesn't matter, because the plane you will be flying does have an elevator.

Neeper
05-28-2007, 02:26 PM
As a past owner of the Phantom, I found the Figherbird to do the best emulation job. It flys much the same.

Neeper
05-28-2007, 02:32 PM
In regard to the stalls, I have found that if I glide or turn too hard without sufficient power the plane will stall, and unless you are 100+ feet above the ground, you are probably history.
This is all too true. This is how I broke my boom (the first time). If you turn too sharp, the plane will come head first into the ground.

uslimey
05-30-2007, 04:33 AM
Having broken three 2 wings, two tails and one boom, I think I have finally mastered the Phantom...

What I have learned....

1. Disable ACT... The torque of the motor counteracts right stick when you are getting up to speed... That cuased a number of disasters!

2. Maintain a reasonable speed... going to slow can lead to un recoverable stalls, especially if you are close to the ground.

3. Tape wings as a preemptive measure... Wings with tape are way more resilient to damage.

4. Aerobird for FMS is a pretty good simulation of the Phantom... The response seems very similar.

yossarian
05-31-2007, 07:34 AM
Imagine getting paid to crash planes. Dream job.


Pics of the damage would be appreciated.

If the boom breaks at the same spot in each crash (with no other significant damage to the plane) it points to a weakness in the design that could be reinforced by the user and hopefully by the manufacturer.

If I was the HZ product manager I would intentionally crash 20 planes - catalog the damage and reinforce the most common failure points.

I have seen broken booms on other HZ planes including the Freedom, Commander II and Challlenger but I have also seen them survive crashes that I would have expected to destroy the entire plane.



Clint

AEAJR
06-08-2007, 12:41 AM
Well I maidened my Phantom today. I will be doing a review for RCUniverse magazine.

First, this plane flies GREAT! It is like a little Aerobird.

At first the control looked kinda weird, but I got comfortable with it very quicly. In short order it felt fine.

I like that you can switch from sport mode/ACT to expert mode while the plane is in the air. It always annoyed me when I would forget to put my ABC into expert mode. I would have to land and repower it.

I tried the ACT feature. Worked pretty good IFF you let it do its job. I would get the plane up on a very high bank and hear the motor cut out. So I let go of the sticks and it leveled itself out very nicely. Then I took control again.

I put it into a loop. At the top of the loop, the motor cut so I let go. It took it through the loop and leveled out. I took control again.

Now, I am an experienced pilot so I understood what was happening. Also, I tend to fly at least 50 feet up, so the ACT had time to work. Below that it would not have saved the plane.

As to the tail boom. I see that there is a reinforcement around the exit location for the control rods. I don't believe that was there on the early units. Seems HobbyZone has been paying attention and added a reinforcement.

I also noticed that the boom seems to have a wind going around it, embedded in the boom material. Feels like an arrow shaft.

In any case, the plane flew great. I had no problems at all in a 5 mph wind. I was doing loops from level, which impressed me no end. It has a great glide and comes in very nicely for a landing.

I will say that I liked it better with the landing gear off. The landing grear gets caught in our grass and just flips the plane over. But with it off it belly lands very nicely.

I also think it flies better with the gear off. Less drag. Really moved around the sky nicely. I was actually quite suprised at how much power it has. Good climb and pretty quick at full throttle. At half trottle it holds altitued very nicely.

Overall I like the plane a lot!
__________________

psion854
06-13-2007, 05:33 AM
Well, I take back every bad thought I had about the phantom.
I bought it about 3weeks ago, flew it and it seemed to fly very eratic (might just have been me getting used to it)

Anyway the good old boom broke. I thought about it for a while and even went and bought a Supercub (havn't flown it yet).

Then I thought, bugger this I paid good money for this it will fly. I got a carbon fibre hollow stick and replaced the old one. I had to buy a new V tail which I did (I modified a Electrafun XP tail-you guys call it a t-hawk).

I then went out this morning. It was dead calm, heart in my mouth I threw it and it climbed and then began turning. After a few dips and stalls I began flying it like a pro.

What I worked out, once you get used to the feel of the controller it flys fantastic

Anyway im a very happy camper

Boz

AEAJR
06-13-2007, 09:53 AM
Psion,

I agree, once you get used ot the controller if really flies well. I prefer a slide or stick throttle that will stay in place, but this works fine.

I have kept an Aerobird in my car for the last four years. This meant I had a plane in the car all the time. I was already ready to fly.

The only problem was that the box took up a lot of space.

Well, this Phantom flies like a small ABC. I decided to pull the ABC out and replace it wtih the Phantom. I just picked up two more battery packs so I have pleanty of fly time.

I have yet to thermal it or try it on the slope but I am sure it will do just fine.

psion854
06-13-2007, 01:38 PM
Oh well, I spoke too soon. Not the planes fault-good old human error.

I was so excited about flying this morning I went and picked up my son from school and on the way home I went and took the phantom for a flight to show him.

the wind did not seem to strong on the ground so off it went. Once it climbed quite high I was trying to get it down but being a bit inexperienced I think I was over compensating (panic is probably the right word).

The plane began getting further and further away. The last i saw it it was decending over some houses. I hope it didn't damage anything or hit anyone.

I did a search but nothing.

What to do now, if i buy another one I will have to do boom upgrade at some stage (bit of a hassle) or I might buy something else.

it did fly really well though a bit underpowered in strong wind.

I still have my supercub but i want something to keep in the car that I can fly in the early morning on the way to work.

The one thing I noticed about the phantom is apart from the boom it was a tough little bugger.


Boz:sad:

AEAJR
06-14-2007, 11:31 PM
Sorry you lost your plane.

A tip for everyone, put your name, address and phone number in your plane. People have been known to return them when found.

cbatters
06-16-2007, 09:07 PM
Appreciate all of the info regarding this new bird. Has anyone tried flying it with one of the other HZ transmitters?


Clint

aero_k
06-20-2007, 06:46 PM
Based on the excellent commentaries here, I decided to try to "pre-pair" the boom before flying.

I took a different approach, though. The repairs described here were like putting a cast on a broken limb. I'm trying a splint instead of a cast.

I used two bamboo kabob sticks and three nylon tie-wraps. Will it work? I hope so. I think it'll prevent breakage at the control wire port, but whether that puts stress where the boom meets the fuselage, I don't know. That's why I ran the splint all the way to the body.


Just wondering how this repair went. I have a Phantom on the way, so I'm just trying to see what the best and easiest way to reinforce the boom is. Where do you guys get carbon fiber and aluminum tubes? LHS? I don't have access to too many fancy tools, so I'd like to keep it simple.

Sir Raleigh
06-20-2007, 08:17 PM
Well, my tail boom finally broke, even with the "pre-pair" I had done to it.

I was out flying the other day and a bird came over to investigate this object that was invading his/her air space. It wasn't a hawk, it could have been one of those birds you see chasing a hawk every once in a while, though. (I don't know my birds, so I really can't say what it was.)
It didn't attack the plane, but just flew around it giving it the once-over. I was so intent on watching the bird and doing some quick maneuvers that I over-corrected one time and the plane did a tip-stall.
Oh, well, it was fun while it lasted.

Anyway, on to the repair.

For a permanent repair (I hope) I opted for the "cast" approach.

Using only items I had at hand I found a piece of brass tubing that was the same diameter as the area of the break. (I selected brass over aluminum because the brass is more rigid and will spring back together as you will see later in this repair scenario.)

I cut a 2" length and then used a very thin hobby saw to split it down the middle on one side which will allow the tubing to be spread apart and also allow a channel for the control rods to slip through and a place for them to exit.

Using increasingly larger drill bits hammered down through the tubing, I spread it wider until it would just barely slide onto the tail side of the broken boom (due to the slight taper of the boom, the tail side has the smaller diameter than the plane side).

Then I used a very small file and filed a larger opening in the middle of the saw cut so the control rods could exit without binding.

I slid the split tube over the tail side of the boom until it was half way on and the filed slot was right where the control rods exit.

Then I pushed this assembly over the plane side of the boom until the two boom halves met in the middle, making sure the antenna exited the tail of the boom and the control rods exited the widened slot. I also made sure the control rods and antenna were not twisted around each other and the control rods were in the proper position to be attached to the control horn of the correct control surface.

Due to the stiffness of the brass tubing I used no glue, only letting the springiness of the tube hold it on. (This is why I selected brass over aluminum. Also, the brass tubing is rigid enough to hold it's shape and not spring apart or loosen during another crash.) This also makes for easier removal in the future if it ever becomes necessary due to possible additional repairs.

Once the repair was complete I pulled gently on the plane and tail feathers to make sure the brass tubing had sufficient friction fit to hold it all together.

Once I was satisfied the repair would hold on its own I painted the brass tubing gloss black to match the boom. With just a quick glance you can't even tell there has been a repair because the brass tubing is so thin.

Then I checked and adjusted the CG, which required 1/4 ounce of additional weight in the nose.

BTW, for those who are interested, I set my CG at 38mm, or 1 1/2" back from the leading edge of the wing next to the fuselage.

End of repair.

Sorry I can't post any pictures of my repair. It seems the card reader on my computer has decided to quit, although it still shows everything is okay in Device Manager and shows the drive letters in Explorer. I'll try to get it fixed later.
============================

The re-maiden of the repaired Phantom went flawlessly.

I ran through 2 batteries flying at around 100 - 200 feet just doing lazy eights, circles, and straight flights to check its trim. Although the control surfaces were in perfect alignment with the fins, I did have to make a slight up elevator trim adjustment with the transmitter while flying.

So I wouldn't have to change my control linkage, when I got home I opted to use the two mounting screws for the tail feathers to correct this minor trim problem. I tightened the front screw by two turns and loosened the back screw by two turns.

I haven't had a chance to fly again to see if this was enough or too much, yet. Maybe tomorrow.

============================

EDIT: I finally got my card reader working, so here are a couple of images of the boom repair:

uslimey
06-21-2007, 02:47 AM
Oh well, I spoke too soon. Not the planes fault-good old human error.

I was so excited about flying this morning I went and picked up my son from school and on the way home I went and took the phantom for a flight to show him.

the wind did not seem to strong on the ground so off it went. Once it climbed quite high I was trying to get it down but being a bit inexperienced I think I was over compensating (panic is probably the right word).

The plane began getting further and further away. The last i saw it it was decending over some houses. I hope it didn't damage anything or hit anyone.

I did a search but nothing.

What to do now, if i buy another one I will have to do boom upgrade at some stage (bit of a hassle) or I might buy something else.

it did fly really well though a bit underpowered in strong wind.

I still have my supercub but i want something to keep in the car that I can fly in the early morning on the way to work.

The one thing I noticed about the phantom is apart from the boom it was a tough little bugger.


Boz:sad:


Boz,

Once you get the hang of the Phantom, I think you'll be surprised as to how much wind it can really handle... I was working in Las vegas last week... I bought a Phantom at the LHS to fly at Red Rock Canyon... The first night I flew in 7 - 10 mph winds, gusting to 15, the second in 10 to 15 mph winds gusting to 25... with 15 mph winds, coming into the wind at full throttle is slow... travelling with the wind it flys like a rocket... I managed to successfully fly two full battery packs both nights... I even sent it up with my mod'ed key chan cam to take pictures... This plane is really a blast... If it wasn't for the weak boom I would rate it as an outstanding buy...

psion854
06-23-2007, 03:53 PM
Uslimy, yes i agree if it wasnt for the boom this plane would bs fantastic to recomend to someone. Im still tempted to get another one to keep in ths car.

aero_k
06-23-2007, 10:29 PM
Hi all,

I just got a Firebird Phantom yesterday, so the first thing I did was figure out how I'm going to reinforce the boom. I went to a few different places (Home Depot, LHS), and I couldn't find any carbon fiber or fiberglass. I ended up picking up some 3M "Filament Tape". Looks like Fiberglass embedded packing tape, but only about 2cm wide.

First, I removed the plastic "reinforcement" that it came with so I could tape directly onto the boom. I then ran a strip from the forward edge of the tail about 6 or 7 inches forward with one edge of the tape right at the edge of the notch, making sure to pull tight, almost bending the boom upward slightly. The tape was almost perfectly wide enough to go around the boom once without overlap. I had to trim it at the notch. I then put another strip putting the edge of the tape at the other side of the notch, pulling tightly, and wrapping around in the other direction.
I then wrapped strips perpendicular to the boom just fore and aft edges of the notch. The tape seems to bond pretty well (I roughed up the surface as well before taping).

I hope this does the trick. About 1 ft. of tape on the boom...do you think that will affect the balance much? Anyway, its got to be better than doing nothing and hoping for the best.....:roll:

Hoss
06-24-2007, 01:48 AM
Hello, first time poster. I bought a firebird phoenix and on the first flight broke the tail boom, no surprise after reading the posts here. I called hobbyzone and they told me to send it back and they would send a new one.......when i asked about if they had addressed the design flaw they replied we dont know of any flaws! so instead of going through trying to patch or repair the broken boom I relaced it with a .210od x .132id carbon fiber tube, using 30 min. epoxy and letting it set up overnite flew it the next day and it flew great! several hard crashes and it held up great. also I disengaged the ACT system by pushing down on the rudder control and i have no more motor cut out and
it allows for dual fin control. I scratch build and this was the first RTF kit i bought.

Sir Raleigh
06-24-2007, 05:20 AM
...
I hope this does the trick. About 1 ft. of tape on the boom...do you think that will affect the balance much? Anyway, its got to be better than doing nothing and hoping for the best.....:roll:The CG on the Firebird Phantom is 38mm (1 1/2") back from the leading edge next to the fuselage.

My boom finally broke and I put a "cast" on it by splitting a 2" length of brass tubing the same diameter as the boom with a hobby saw, filing a slightly larger gap in the center wide enough for the control rods to come out, and slipping this over the break. The brass tubing has enough spring to grip the boom tight enough so I didn't have to glue or tape it in place.
I ended up having to put about 1/4 ounce of weight in the nose to bring the CG back to where it's supposed to be. The plane flies great.

aero_k
06-24-2007, 08:04 PM
CG looks fine, as expected. I'm just waiting for the wind to die down to go see how the boom holds up. Since it'll be basically my first real attempt at flying RC, it's guaranteed to be tested. Unfortunately I don't have tools for cutting metal, otherwise I would try the tube method.

Sir Raleigh
06-24-2007, 08:26 PM
I've collected so much junque over the years, and with the gas prices as high as they are, I try to use whatever materials I have on hand before I go out and buy more. It may not be the best for the job, and probably isn't, but I'll always try that first. Most of the time I've been successful.

Keep us posted on your re-maiden.

psion854
06-25-2007, 02:26 PM
Good luck aero on the boom makeover. Looks good from the photos

Bos

cbatters
06-25-2007, 02:50 PM
very nice workmanship but IMHO you have made it more likely to break by removing the reinforcement plastic piece.

Better repair might be to leave the plastic piece and epoxy two .050-.060" x 1.5" rods on top of the boom on either side of the control rod hole. I would also epoxy the reinforcement plastic piece to the boom


Clint


Hi all,

I just got a Firebird Phantom yesterday, so the first thing I did was figure out how I'm going to reinforce the boom. I went to a few different places (Home Depot, LHS), and I couldn't find any carbon fiber or fiberglass. I ended up picking up some 3M "Filament Tape". Looks like Fiberglass embedded packing tape, but only about 2cm wide.

First, I removed the plastic "reinforcement" that it came with so I could tape directly onto the boom. I then ran a strip from the forward edge of the tail about 6 or 7 inches forward with one edge of the tape right at the edge of the notch, making sure to pull tight, almost bending the boom upward slightly. The tape was almost perfectly wide enough to go around the boom once without overlap. I had to trim it at the notch. I then put another strip putting the edge of the tape at the other side of the notch, pulling tightly, and wrapping around in the other direction.
I then wrapped strips perpendicular to the boom just fore and aft edges of the notch. The tape seems to bond pretty well (I roughed up the surface as well before taping).

I hope this does the trick. About 1 ft. of tape on the boom...do you think that will affect the balance much? Anyway, its got to be better than doing nothing and hoping for the best.....:roll:

Sir Raleigh
06-25-2007, 05:01 PM
That plastic piece on the boom is nothing more than a joke.
I was able to flip mine off with my fingernail, and once off there was just a little dab of something like rubber cement (the stuff kids use in school that just rubs off by dragging your finger across it) about the size of the head of a straight pin. It didn't even cover the plastic piece, but was just in the center of it.

How anyone could think this could reinforce the boom is totally beyond me. The best thing to do with it is to get rid of it first thing before doing any repairs or prepairs.

cbatters
06-25-2007, 05:07 PM
That plastic piece on the boom is nothing more than a joke.
I was able to flip mine off with my fingernail, and once off there was just a little dab of something like rubber cement (the stuff kids use in school that just rubs off by dragging your finger across it) about the size of the head of a straight pin. It didn't even cover the plastic piece, but was just in the center of it.

How anyone could think this could reinforce the boom is totally beyond me. The best thing to do with it is to get rid of it first thing before doing any repairs or prepairs.

Alt opinion: Epoxy the plastic piece and two pieces of carbon fiber to the bom and it will not break at the hole.

Sir Raleigh
06-25-2007, 05:18 PM
I would think just the CF without the plastic piece would do just as well.
Without the plastic piece the CF would then lay completely flush against the boom.

cbatters
06-25-2007, 05:23 PM
I would think just the CF without the plastic piece would do just as well.
Without the plastic piece the CF would then lay completely flush against the boom.

100% agree that plastic piece tacked on with rubber cement would not provide much support.

CF rods on either side of the hole epoxied flush to the boom adds significant strength.

Plastic piece epoxied to the boom also adds significant strength.



Clint

Hoss
06-25-2007, 07:23 PM
instead of 2 cf rods, why not replace the whole boom with a cf tube?
I replaced mine and it flies fantastic.(w/o act)

Hoss

cbatters
06-25-2007, 08:38 PM
instead of 2 cf rods, why not replace the whole boom with a cf tube?
I replaced mine and it flies fantastic.(w/o act)

Hoss

More work to replace entire boom than to simply reinforce before it breaks.

AEAJR
06-26-2007, 01:41 AM
Perhaps if that plastic piece were put back on with Epoxy and taped on, it might actually work.

psion854
06-26-2007, 12:01 PM
I agree get rid of the whole boom. I replaced mine when it broke with a thicker cf hollow rod and it flew a lot more stable.

I think the boom is so flimbsy that even if you fix it when it breaks it will eventually break somewhere else.

Where the boom goes into the body of the plane, it is quite strong (body that is).


Bos

AEAJR
06-26-2007, 01:33 PM
Psion854,

Do you have any idea of the weight difference between the old and new boom?

How did you remove the old one? How did you unglue it?

How did you glue the new one?

aero_k
06-27-2007, 12:48 AM
Looks like I needed a a little more support. The tape did a good job keeping it together, as it was hard to notice it was broken by looking at it, but it was bending right the hole...so it was definitely broken. The plastic probably would have helped, but I broke it trying to get it off.

This was the first time I flew the plane...and only my third time ever flying an RC plane. Suffered a broken boom, bit of wing damage, broke foam in the fuselage where the battery sits, and bent the prop a bunch of times. It kept going off the to left and I could barely get it level putting the stick all the way right. I tried trimming, even adjusting the control rods..didnt do much. The boom may have been broken by the time i did the adjustments and I didnt notice, so the boom was just bending instead of trimming maybe? Would this be due to the motor torque?

Anyway, I'll try to figure out a repair with the materials I have available. Thanks for the suggestions.

k

psion854
06-27-2007, 07:43 AM
Psion854,

Do you have any idea of the weight difference between the old and new boom?

How did you remove the old one? How did you unglue it?

How did you glue the new one?

Hi AEAJR, I must confess I did not weigh the new boom. It was a lot thicker so would have added a little weight. I did put a coin at the front of the plane.
I cut the boom off where it enters the body and carefully used a drill bit to shave away the remaining boom. I then slipped the new one in. I used a bit of clear tape to hold it as it was a nice tight fit.

Bos

electroflight
07-13-2007, 06:36 PM
Hi im new here and I was just reading all this information on the phantom. I new to te hobby-the only plane i've had before is the firebird scout. I was looking for a 3 channel plane but i'm a bit sceptical about the phantom due to the weak tail boom everyone's talking about. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on whic plane I should get next (preferably hobbyzone). Thank you!:tc:

Sir Raleigh
07-13-2007, 07:58 PM
Maybe you could give us a little information as to where your interest lies?

Such as:

High wing vs. low wing?
Scale vs. pod & boom?
Fast vs. slow?
RTF vs. ARF?
Aileron vs. no aileron?
Cost range?

Plus anything else you can think of.

AEAJR
07-13-2007, 08:07 PM
OK guys I finally broke the boom on mine, or I should say one of my students did. I was teaching someone and he did a full power dive from 50 feet straight into the ground. Rest of plane is fine (amazing!) but he boom broke.

I purchased some aluminum tubing to make the fix. Will document and photo the repair.

I really can't complain about the break this was a VERY HARD HIT!

Sir Raleigh
07-13-2007, 08:21 PM
I finally broke mine, too, even after doing the "pre-pare".

A bird had come over to investigate that strange intruder in his/her airspace and I just couldn't resist playing with him some. I was having so much fun I failed to notice my altitude and made too sharp a turn and tip stalled. The plane didn't hit the ground very hard, but it must have been at just the right angle to crack the boom inside the "pre-pared" area.

I used a 2" length of thin-wall brass tubing (had it on hand) the same diameter as the boom. I split it down the middle so it would spring apart and make a snug fit around the boom. About half way (1") I filled the slot a little larger to allow free movement of the control rods where they exit. I put a small amount of Sumo glue on the boom and pushed each end into the tube.
I checked the CG which seems to be within limits.

So far, so good and it flies great!

electroflight
07-13-2007, 08:22 PM
I'm not too bothered about whether it's high or low wing. Also, i would like a scale flier but if i have to get a pod ad boom I would. Since im only a beginner I would like a plane that goes around 15mph.
I doubt that i'm up for aileron control yet so probably rudder, thrttle and elvator would suit me just fine.
As for cost, I live in the Uk (everything is more expensive here) so I would be prepared to spend up to £100 which is almost $200 but remember in the US you can get more for your money!
As I said i'm familiar with hobbyzone bu if you can recommend anything else i'd be grateful.
Thank You.

Sir Raleigh
07-13-2007, 08:36 PM
I'm going to recommend the Hobbyzone Super Cub, then.

I don't have one, but I've seen one fly. It's nice and gentle. Lends itself admirably to modifications such as radio upgrade, brushless outrunner motor and ESC, and ailerons when you feel up to it. Parts are readily available and inexpensive. Cost is $160 US.

electroflight
07-13-2007, 08:41 PM
Thanks for the recommendation.
Although I have heard that outside the US you only get a car charger with it not, a mains as well. I was wondering if you knew if it included a mains charger in the Uk?? If not, do hobbyzne sell ac converters??
Thanks agan.

Flyingace451
07-13-2007, 09:35 PM
AEAJR, old buddy, you are going to have to shut up before you convince me to buy yet another plane!:)

Well I wouldn't be scratchbuilding and flying 3D right now if it wasn't for your talk about the trusty Challenger 3 years ago. Btw I still have a challenger that is 2 years old now, has survived 2 people learning to fly, and still flies regularly so I thank you for that.:silly:

How much room would you say an experienced pilot could control this plane in? I know I can't fly it like a foamy in my front yard, but I'm curious. Maybe I'll do a mini review of it, heck I've got a really big check coming this coming week and I get an employee discount at the LHS so maybe I'll give it a try.

Sir Raleigh
07-13-2007, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the recommendation.
Although I have heard that outside the US you only get a car charger with it not, a mains as well. I was wondering if you knew if it included a mains charger in the Uk?? If not, do hobbyzne sell ac converters??
Thanks agan.I'm going to assume your voltage is 220 VAC.

I didn't find a mains charger for European voltages on their web site, but all you would need is an AC to 12V DC adapter rated at least 1200 ma or more. You could then put the cigar lighter adapter (female) on the end of it and use the charger that comes with the plane. My Firebird Phantom came with the AC to DC adapter to power the car charger, but it's 110 volts AC and is only 500 ma.

I don't know if you have stores like Radio Shack, Kmart, Walmart, Target, Best Buys, or Circuit City, but you should be able to find something that will work in stores like that.

Even an old computer power supply will work. Just use the 12VDC output off of it.

Buck Rogers
07-13-2007, 11:07 PM
Thanks for the recommendation.
Although I have heard that outside the US you only get a car charger with it not, a mains as well. I was wondering if you knew if it included a mains charger in the Uk?? If not, do hobbyzne sell ac converters??
Thanks agan.


Here's what you need, its on sale so be quick to get the best price.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?TabID=1&criteria=usb&ModuleNo=42702&doy=search&C=SO&U=Strat15

Sir Raleigh
07-14-2007, 05:10 AM
Excellent find, Buck. That'll work just fine.

cbatters
07-14-2007, 05:40 AM
I'm not too bothered about whether it's high or low wing. Also, i would like a scale flier but if i have to get a pod ad boom I would. Since im only a beginner I would like a plane that goes around 15mph.
I doubt that i'm up for aileron control yet so probably rudder, thrttle and elvator would suit me just fine.
As for cost, I live in the Uk (everything is more expensive here) so I would be prepared to spend up to £100 which is almost $200 but remember in the US you can get more for your money!
As I said i'm familiar with hobbyzone bu if you can recommend anything else i'd be grateful.
Thank You.

SuperCub or cHallenger. (I learned to fly 3 CH on Challenger and have nothing but positive comments. I also have a Cub but would still recommend Challenger due to durable pod/boom construction.

Sir Raleigh
07-14-2007, 05:44 AM
Whatever you choose, be sure it's 3 channel, at least.
The elevator has gotten me out of trouble more than once. I don't think I could fly a plane without elevator control.

electroflight
07-14-2007, 10:20 AM
thanks for the help everyone, I think its going to be the super cub :)
buck rogers, seen as your from bristol do you know the best places in the Uk to get the SC?
Im from Leeds area...thanks

Buck Rogers
07-14-2007, 11:06 AM
thanks for the help everyone, I think its going to be the super cub :)
buck rogers, seen as your from bristol do you know the best places in the Uk to get the SC?
Im from Leeds area...thanks

The best thing to do would be to try and find a shop that sells the Super Cub locally. You shouldn't have too much trouble, the SC is a popular model and is stocked in most shops round here. The advantage of going to a shop is that they may have some good advice on the best flying locations in your area - they will also be good for advice on other stuff about flying etc.

If you want to order over the internet I get a lot of stuff from here www.alshobbies.com

There are loads of other places on line you could use too, just google Super Cub.

AEAJR
07-14-2007, 02:51 PM
AEAJR, old buddy, you are going to have to shut up before you convince me to buy yet another plane!:)

Well I wouldn't be scratchbuilding and flying 3D right now if it wasn't for your talk about the trusty Challenger 3 years ago. Btw I still have a challenger that is 2 years old now, has survived 2 people learning to fly, and still flies regularly so I thank you for that.:silly:

How much room would you say an experienced pilot could control this plane in? I know I can't fly it like a foamy in my front yard, but I'm curious. Maybe I'll do a mini review of it, heck I've got a really big check coming this coming week and I get an employee discount at the LHS so maybe I'll give it a try.

Yes, I think I ruined many people's lives with my Aerobird posts. Too bad!

I just finished a review on the Phantom for RCUniverse. As soon as the video guy is finsihed editing the video, it will be posted. My AB3 review is out there now.

The Phantom flies like a little Aerobird 3 only the Phantom has a better power to weight ratio, in my opinion.

An experienced pilot could fly within a little league field with a bit of attention, as it flies very nicely on 1/2 throttle. I am always 50-150 feet up so ground bounderies are not much of an issue for me.

It glides OK but I think it is a bit nose heavy in stock set-up. No surprising for a beginner plane as this will make it more stable. I fly without the landing gear which moves the CG back a touch. With the fix I did, which I will test today, it will move the CG back more. The aluminum tube and glue will add about 1.5 grams to the tail boom which will move the CG back some more. I am hopefull it will glide even better.

Did the repair last night. I tried several approaches before I settled on the one that worked. Essentiall I did the same thing Sir Raleigh did but I used aluminum tube. I took lots of photos and will post them here.

I want to take it out and test fly it first. Then I will share the success and the mistakes I made to all can benefit from the good, the bad and the ugly.

My planes usually look pretty beaten up over time as I am not much for keeping them pretty. I am much more interested in how they fly than how they look.

Will let you know how the Phantom does today. ;-)

electroflight
07-14-2007, 04:36 PM
as well as the super cub, i've just seen this plane -

http://www.modelshopleeds.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=37_74&products_id=623&osCsid=781db7d7c97ba369c0d2a53749041158

looks kinda like the phantom, does anyone know anything about it??

AEAJR
07-14-2007, 06:17 PM
Th Electrafun is more like the Aerobird Challenger. I have heard generally good things about this plane.

AEAJR
07-14-2007, 06:18 PM
Just test flew the Phantom. Repair was a complete success. I did have to put a dime in front of the battery to get the balance back, but other than that, it flies great! Will post details later.

electroflight
07-14-2007, 06:49 PM
would anybody actually recommend the phantom or is it rubbish?
what is the transmitter like?

Sir Raleigh
07-14-2007, 07:01 PM
Just test flew the Phantom. Repair was a complete success. I did have to put a dime in front of the battery to get the balance back, but other than that, it flies great! Will post details later.
AEAJR, I've been playing around with the CG on my Phantom since I did the boom repair. I've added weight to the nose to bring the CG back in line as it was new, but I found I had to either add up trim with the transmitter or tighten the front screw and loosen the back screw of the tail feathers to get it to fly level at 50% throttle. I also noticed the nose dropping quite a bit when I killed the throttle.

Yesterday evening I removed all the nose weight and put the tail feathers back level with the boom and the plane flew great. I didn't have to use any trim on the transmitter and the nose didn't drop quite as far and the glide slope flattened considerably.

I know my brass tube fix is slightly heavier than your aluminum one, but I'm totally satisfied with the way the plane flies with no nose weight added.

Sir Raleigh
07-15-2007, 02:03 AM
would anybody actually recommend the phantom or is it rubbish?
what is the transmitter like?Hi, electroflight,

The plane files great and is quite crash resistant except for the fragile boom.

Here are some of my observations regarding the Firebird Phantom:

The plane is very small, weighing in at 8.5 ounces. The wing span is only 30" and the cord is 4" which makes for a rather narrow wing. The smallness of the plane makes it very difficult to see at far distances, at least for my old eyes, and makes loosing orientation very easy. However, if kept in the confines of an area the size of a baseball field this shouldn't present a problem.

The transmitter is shaped along the lines of a game controller having two handles sloping down and outward. This really doesn't present a problem holding the transmitter, but it does look strange.
It is a two stick transmitter, utilizing the left stick for the throttle instead of a slider. However, the stick travel is spring loaded back to center and throttle control is limited to the upper half of the throw. Moving the stick down once will arm the motor.

There are two suggestions I will make before anyone ever flies this plane for the first time:

1. Reinforce the boom at the point where the control rods exit. This cannot be stressed strongly enough because if you don't, the boom WILL break. Repairing the boom is easy enough, but is an unneeded aggravation. There are a multitude of suggested methods located on WattFlyer.com and on RCGroups.com dealing with the "pre-pair" and repair of the boom.

2. Fly with ACT off.
Or, at least cover the lower eye with black electrical tape to prevent ACT from killing the motor when the plane is at too low of an altitude. Covering the eye will also create a pseudo dual-rate mode. With ACT on only one of the control surfaces operates for rudder control, and with ACT off both control surfaces operate.
In the case of elevator operation both control surfaces operate regardless whether ACT is on or off, so there is no pseudo dual-rate mode for the elevator.

There are other pre-flight mods floating around these forum groups, too, so to make your flying experience more enjoyable I would recommend searching out these suggestions and implementing as many of them as you think necessary.

Happy flying.

AEAJR
07-15-2007, 02:12 AM
would anybody actually recommend the phantom or is it rubbish?
what is the transmitter like?

I recommend it. I actually keep it in the trunk of may car for unplanned flying opportunities. I also use it to train new pilots.

It is no pattern plane, but for $60 you get a three channel plane that flies well. Just do some reinforcement of the boom where the control wires exit.

phillipmorris
07-16-2007, 02:34 PM
I'm a past sailplane flyer, but poor on powered planes, upped on the Super Cub and flys great, almost indestructable, treed 6 days and running, 90 flights, but many mistakes flying this one suggest it to any beginner, the Phantom looks fun w/low price, have heard of some improvement using the Super Cub's Xmtr on same frequency, strongly tempted on the Phantom, looks like a bargain flyer...

BEST

Sir Raleigh
07-16-2007, 06:50 PM
...
the Phantom looks fun w/low price, have heard of some improvement using the Super Cub's Xmtr on same frequency, strongly tempted on the Phantom, looks like a bargain flyer...

BESTPlease tell me more about using the Super Cub's Xmtr with the Firebird Phantom. The thing I don't like about the stock Xmtr is the half-throw on the throttle.
Since it's required to move the stick down into the lower half of the throw to initialize the motor, how would this be done using the SC's Xmtr?

uslimey
07-16-2007, 11:17 PM
In regard to mod's... Here are a couple of things I did to the Phantom:

1: Replaced the boom with new CF rod, reinforced with aluminum tube
2: Taped all edges of the main wing with clear packig tape - it is now almot indistructible.
3: Built a new tail wing from corrugated sign board material (it weighs about double that of foam, but will never break
4: Made larger control surfaces on the new tail with control horn on their most sensitive (lowest) setting
5: Replaced the battery with a 7.2V 600mAH battery from the Slo-V (this counterbalanced the tail mod's

Flying with the plane like this is really fun... It is super responsive, fly's longer and can turn on a dime... I was fling the otyher night in an empty parking lot, zig-zagging between the light poles and trees, which is really quite challenging... I did hit one at one point... The plane fell out of the air from about 15 feet up with no visible damage, and believe it or not, flew again with no repairs!



Hi, electroflight,

The plane files great and is quite crash resistant except for the fragile boom.

Here are some of my observations regarding the Firebird Phantom:

The plane is very small, weighing in at 8.5 ounces. The wing span is only 30" and the cord is 4" which makes for a rather narrow wing. The smallness of the plane makes it very difficult to see at far distances, at least for my old eyes, and makes loosing orientation very easy. However, if kept in the confines of an area the size of a baseball field this shouldn't present a problem.

The transmitter is shaped along the lines of a game controller having two handles sloping down and outward. This really doesn't present a problem holding the transmitter, but it does look strange.
It is a two stick transmitter, utilizing the left stick for the throttle instead of a slider. However, the stick travel is spring loaded back to center and throttle control is limited to the upper half of the throw. Moving the stick down once will arm the motor.

There are two suggestions I will make before anyone ever flies this plane for the first time:

1. Reinforce the boom at the point where the control rods exit. This cannot be stressed strongly enough because if you don't, the boom WILL break. Repairing the boom is easy enough, but is an unneeded aggravation. There are a multitude of suggested methods located on WattFlyer.com and on RCGroups.com dealing with the "pre-pair" and repair of the boom.

2. Fly with ACT off.
Or, at least cover the lower eye with black electrical tape to prevent ACT from killing the motor when the plane is at too low of an altitude. Covering the eye will also create a pseudo dual-rate mode. With ACT on only one of the control surfaces operates for rudder control, and with ACT off both control surfaces operate.
In the case of elevator operation both control surfaces operate regardless whether ACT is on or off, so there is no pseudo dual-rate mode for the elevator.

There are other pre-flight mods floating around these forum groups, too, so to make your flying experience more enjoyable I would recommend searching out these suggestions and implementing as many of them as you think necessary.

Happy flying.

rgfitz
07-20-2007, 11:24 PM
I just recieved a new Firebird Phantom from HobbyZone to replace a Firebird Scout that I returned under warranty because it wouldn't operate in the beginner mode. I had no trouble flying it but my grandson kept crashing it.

Anyway, It looks to me like the tail boom is reinforced at the slot where where the control rods exit so I don't plan to do any reinforcing prior to flying. There is a black tube, about 1.25 in long, over the boom at that point. The picture on the box does not show this reinforcement.

Any comments?

Sir Raleigh
07-21-2007, 01:22 AM
That must be something new.

My plane had a half circle of plastic that was shaped like an "H" if it was flat and about an inch long. I was able to pop it off with my fingernail and there was just a little dab of glue in the center holding it on. It was worthless.

My split tube fix is working just fine.

rgfitz
07-21-2007, 01:51 AM
This reinforcement is a black tube that completely encircles the boom except for the control rod slot. There is heat shrinkable tubing on each end of this reinforcement that would make it impossible to remove easily.

AEAJR
07-21-2007, 02:08 AM
That is some kind of upgraded support. Mine was not like that.

Let's hope it prevents the boom from breaking.

Sir Raleigh
07-21-2007, 04:42 AM
Hi, AEAJR (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/member.php?u=388),

How's your fix holding up?

AEAJR
07-21-2007, 04:59 AM
Fix works perfectly. I am having problems getting the photos out of the camera. Will post them when that is solved.

Had it out twice. Flies fine. No ill effects other than needing ot add a dime in front of the battery to balance the plane. A minor issue.

Sir Raleigh
07-21-2007, 05:17 AM
After the repair I set the tail feathers parallel to the boom and started out with 4 washers (about 1/3 oz) in the nose. Then I decided to remove them to see what happed. The plane flew better, so I'm leaving them out. I made no adjustments to the tail feathers.

I'd post some pictures, but there seems to be a problem with my card reader. The computer recognizes the reader as extra drives, but when I put the card in the computer locks up. The reader has worked in the past and this problem has only started recently. I need to pick up another reader to see if that's the problem. The card works just fine in the camera, so I guess the card is okay.

rgfitz
07-21-2007, 05:37 AM
I just recieved a new Firebird Phantom from HobbyZone to replace a Firebird Scout that I returned under warranty because it wouldn't operate in the beginner mode. I had no trouble flying it but my grandson kept crashing it.

Anyway, It looks to me like the tail boom is reinforced at the slot where where the control rods exit so I don't plan to do any reinforcing prior to flying. There is a black tube, about 1.25 in long, over the boom at that point. The picture on the box does not show this reinforcement.

Any comments?

I just posted a photo of this tail boom in the Gallery but it isn't obvious how to get it here in this post other than:

http://www.wattflyer.com/photoplog/index.php?n=1721

rgfitz
07-21-2007, 05:05 PM
I wish HobbyZone had just replaced my Scout instead of sending me the Phantom.

My Firebird II (lost), Firebire Outlaw (still flying fine) and Firebird Scout (returned under Warranty) were easy for me to fly once I got the hang of it.

This morning with the Phantom was a disaster. It took a hefty throw to get it moving and then it didn't climb very quickly. I got it back around 75 ft off the ground and I suspect the control rod screws loosened because it headed for the ground and the ACT kicked in (yes I had it on for the first flight). The plane zoomed up briefly, took me by surprise, and then it was into the ground with a broken wing and tail boom.

Well, I have a spare Firebird II wing that looks almost identical to that of the Phantom so that is no problem but it is off to the hardware store for some brass tubing for the boom repair.

Sir Raleigh
07-21-2007, 05:40 PM
Boy! I guess if you didn't have bad luck you wouldn't have any luck at all...

Where did the boom break?

That fix looks a lot better than what came on mine.

Make sure the tubing you get is "thin" wall. It will be not much thicker than a sheet of paper. Don't get the "thick" wall stuff. It'll be too hard to work with and much too heavy. (Maybe that's why I didn't have to add any weight to the nose of mine... I used the thin wall stuff.)

To eliminate the ACT problem, put a piece of solid tape (I used black electrical tape) over the bottom eye. That will prevent ACT from cutting the motor off but will still give you the reduced function of the rudder. You will then have a pseudo-dual mode system.

Good luck with future flights.

Sir Raleigh
07-21-2007, 05:46 PM
I just posted a photo of this tail boom in the Gallery but it isn't obvious how to get it here in this post other than:

http://www.wattflyer.com/photoplog/index.php?n=1721


To included images within a post, go down past the last post where it says "Quick Reply" and click on the button under the edit box that says "Go Advanced". Once there type your message and then scroll down the page and click the button that says "Manage Attachments". Use this window to brows to the images you want to attach and then click the "Upload" button. The rest is pretty obvious.

rgfitz
07-21-2007, 06:42 PM
The gallery photo shows the reinforced boom as received from HobbyZone.

This is my fix using 7/32 in aluminum thinwall tubing. After slitting it with a jewelers saw and sliding it over the boom it was so snug the slot opened wide enough for the control rods to move with no problem. I didn't bother with glue, just the heat shrinkable tubing:

Sir Raleigh
07-21-2007, 07:02 PM
Great job...

However, do keep an eye on the tail alignment. I didn't glue mine either but then discovered the tail had twisted slightly throwing the trim off during flight. I finally threw in the towel and used a thin film of Sumo glue on both ends to lock it down.
I decided to try Sumo glue instead of epoxy because I've read posts where epoxy doesn't want to stick very well to the boom material. So far the Sumo glue is holding just fine.

Happy flying.

rgfitz
07-24-2007, 05:21 PM
The gallery photo shows the reinforced boom as received from HobbyZone.

This is my fix using 7/32 in aluminum thinwall tubing. After slitting it with a jewelers saw and sliding it over the boom it was so snug the slot opened wide enough for the control rods to move with no problem. I didn't bother with glue, just the heat shrinkable tubing:

I had an interesting first flight after the repair. I covered up the bottom sensor with black tape, added two shims of a piece of business card under the rear of the tail because the plane didn't seem to climb properly on my first disastrous flight, and launched it into a 4-5 mph breeze. The plane got off fine this time but I had two obvious problems...I didn't need the shims and I had the control rods reversed. After a decent landing I got everything fixed and the second flight went very well. As a beginner it seems very twitchy to me but I am sure a pro would think it controls fine. After about five minutes I had another decent landing and launched it again to get some idea of the flight time.

Within a minute or so I had made a perfect, accidental landing. The power was low and I had it upwind over the soccer field and it just quit about 5 ft off the ground. When I picked it up I noticed it was at up elevator. That must be a built-in feature.

I don't need the digital trims and am not sure if they even work. What would a digital throttle trim do?

Also, does anyone know what the slide switch above the on/off switch does? The manual says to leave it alone.

After this confidence building flight, I am sure I will catch on to the three channels but I still prefer the old Firebird Outlaw for just flying around the soccer field.