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Art-Tech Fokker DR.1
Art-Tech Fokker DR.1
An EPO tuff guy
Published by Joe 1320
06-10-2013
Default Art-Tech Fokker DR.1

The Fokker DR.1 has always captivated my thoughts the minute WWI airplanes become the topic of discussion. I always seemed to love the looks, the Snoopy and Red Baron sure didn't add any fuel to the fire. I can recall in my youth, watching this one guy on Saturday mornings with a huge Fokker DR.1 kite flying in early morning Florida breeze. It was such a sight the way it hung in the air. As I got older, the fondness for the Dr.1 never went away and found myself collecting various examples of RC DR.1s over the years. Seeing the Art-Tech, I was intrigued by a few things. This DR.1 is constructed of EPO foam, and the model is fairly scale in it's outline. Overall, the plane makes a fairly decent static display model. The small size appealed to me as a daily flyer and the ease of repairs when it comes to EPO foam. Good thing too, as you'll find out later. The photos looked good, so I pulled the trigger to add one to my hanger.


http://www.art-tech.com/english/Arti...?ArticleID=385

The model arrived from Motion RC well boxed and protected, everything individually wrapped in plastic bags and nestled in it's styrofoam cradles inside the box. A quick scan though the manual allowed me to see some instant disappointment. The manual was printed in black and white, the photos of what was being depicted were not well done. Online manuals with color pictures were much more helpful. The model goes together with no glue, using metal and plastic screws for the entire assembly. Before doing so, I would strongly suggest removing all mounts from the foam and securing them to the foam with a flexible glue such as UHU POR. Once all mounting pads and tabs are secured in the foam, the rest of the assembly is quite easy with the exception of the replica guns. Removing them before assembling the model makes it easier to get to some attachment screws.

the first thing of note was initial inspection showed an insane amount of down and right thrust to the motor mount. I've never seen that much before. I figured it must work to prevent ground loops so onward I pressed. The next part was that the cowl was a heavy, chrome plated steel. That will surely help with the CG as DR.1s require a ton of nose weight.

The landing gear come already attached to the fuse, the assembly portion is mostly confined to the wings.

The aileron servos attach to a Y cable that was supplied, and hooked to a receiver. the cables run down the cabans and into the top of the fuse. the cabans get screwed to the wing attachment points and secured to the fuse, the only other touch were the spring loaded wire braces that attach to the wing and fuse.

All that was left was to program the transmitter, hook up the flight battery and take a flight. the batter hatch is located just behind the cowl on the right side of the plane. grasp a small tab and pull, the hatch comes off.

Everything complete, it's time for a flight and here is the report. A quick punch of the throttle and the DR.1 moved right out, the tail came up and a little elevator and she climbed right out. It flys like most DR.1s that I've flown except this one is a bit heavy for it's size. It tracks decent, will roll and loop and take pretty much what you can throw at it. The plane is typical DR.1, the tail hunts around and requires constant guidance with the rudder to track straight. The short fuse and undersized rudder in DR.1s combined with a high center of gravity and drag makes this plane a challenge. A thrill if you are up to the challenge, a curse if you wanted the look of a DR.1 and hoped it was a docile flyer. The DR.1 is not a beginner's airplane. In fact, I almost hesitate to call it an intermediate flyer. It should be classified as more of an advanced intermediate. This plane requires constant attention, an unobstructed line of sight, experience with a rudder, but it will go where you point it if you are good on the controls.

Midway though the maiden flight, something went south. The plane twitched up and down in pitch and suddenly went into a full outside loop. The only problem is that I didn't command it to do that and fact that there wasn't enough room for an outside loop. I cut throttle and it went in HARD. Amazingly, it had little damage. The elevator servo went to full lock down and jammed, sending the plane down nose first. The fuse hardly suffered at all, except for a couple wrinkles. The wings and struts needed a little repair along with a new servo and prop. I will admit, this is the toughest DR.1 I've ever flown. An evening of disassembly, touch ups and assembly with some glue and it was ready for flight again. That kind of hit with say, an ElectriFly DR.1, would have fragmented the fuse and wings. This was a really hard hit, but this tough guy survived well. I snapped a photo or two before the next flight, we went out to hopefully get a decent video.

Here is the video from the second flight after everything was put back together. there was a slight cross wind and this video will demonstrate how touchy the DR.1 can be in a cross wind. the lauch was partially my fault, I didn't puch it hard enough to get appropriate airflow around the tail, the plane got pushed to the right and I had to recover quickly. The same goes for the landing, you'll see it push right.

So now that you've seen it fly, here is the rundown:

Pluses:

*EPO construction means easy repairs. (Good thing) .
*Replacement parts available (You'll need them).
*Easy assembly.
*Nice static display model and looks great in the air.
*Flys like a Dr.1 in most ways.

Minuses:

*Model is heavy for it's size.
*Lands at too high of a speed due to high wing loading.
*Paint flakes off easily, flashing around molded foam parts could
have been cleaned off better before paint.
*black and white photos in the manual are not much help, online manuals with
color photos are much better.


In closing, this is a fun model for an experienced DR.1 flyer who wants to have a small model to throw around and not be worried about trashing an expensive plane. It's the typical top heavy, twitchy, yet aerobatic plane that is happiest being muscled though it's paces. It's maneuverability is quite good if you know how to fly it, but ground handling is terrible at best. Most landings will result in a nose over unless you are spot on with your landings. This is one DR.1 where a headwind is very helpful on landing, enabling a slower ground speed at touchdown. If one wants to get the feel for a DR.1 without destroying a much more high dollar model, this fits the bill. It will be a constant challenge to land and will hone your skills to the point that flying larger DR.1s will be a piece of cake. I can't say it's the best choice for all occations, but for certain uses this DR.1 does what it's supposed to. Fly like a DR.1 but take all kinds of abuse and punishment so that you can master the notorious triplane. If you don't master it, don't feel bad..... back when the full scale plane was in service, only the most experienced pilots flew it and others died attempting to fly it. The model is a challenge to fly, if you're up for the challenge then go for it. If you are expecting a relaxing or effortless flight experience, it's one of the worst choices you could make. I also believe that some improvements could be made in the finish of the foam prior to painting. The wings could benefit from small plastic caps to the wingtips to limit damage from tipping over and some packing tape on the leading edge of the top wing will be of benefit to limit scrapes on nose overs. The model is heavier than it needs to be, the manufacturer could have made the aft fuse a little lighter and less weight means better flight performance.

The best part is that it is quite robust and durable, plus replacement parts are available. That will keep this model flying for a much longer time. My problem with the defective elevator servo was relayed to MotionRC and got several returned phone calls. I say several because at times I am hard to reach. In talking with them, it certainly is a vender that cares about their customer's experience. Replacement parts arrived quickly and this is the kind of vender that listens to customers and relays those ideas to the manufacturer. A very nice thing to see in today's world of fast buck dealers who offer little in the way of support. Suffice to say that they will see more orders from me.

As far as this little Fokker goes, it is a fun and challenging park flyer that will train you to handle much larger DR.1s with ease.
Specifications
Wingspan: 640mm, Overall Length: 534mm, Wing Area: Flying Weight: 480g
Equipment Used:
Motor: Brushless outrunner DST-1200 Speed Control: 20A Servos: (2) 9g, (2) 3.6g , Battery: 500-600 mAh 25C
Retail Price:
$ 90 at Motion RC
Manufacturer
Art-Tech

Author review
Kit Instructions:
60%60%60%
6
Materials & Packaging:
80%80%80%
8
Ease of Build & Finish:
80%80%80%
8
Design & Appearance:
80%80%80%
8
General Flight Characteristics:
70%70%70%
7
Performance Capabilities:
80%80%80%
8
Maintenance & Repair:
80%80%80%
8
Average 76%

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Experience Level Advised
Experience Level Advised
Intermediate

References
www.motionrc.com
www.art-tech.com

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Old 07-10-2013, 07:54 PM
Joe 1320's Avatar
Joe 1320 Joe 1320 is offline
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I managed to get quite a few flights on this model, pounded the ground pretty hard on few occasions. I recommend swapping props to an APC brand, they break less frequently than the stock prop.

Also, the model flys best at faster than scale speeds. Keep the speed up and control is sharp.
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The Flying part is easy.... it's the landings that will do you in. :p
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  #3  
Old 07-13-2013, 06:05 PM
Joe 1320's Avatar
Joe 1320 Joe 1320 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sebring, Florida
Posts: 1,140
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As a follow up post, I did a modification or two in order to "tame" the DR.1. A carbon spar was added to the top wing that was bent with a few degrees of dihedral. Some additional rigging was also added to the bottom wing so that the combination of the upper spar and lower rigging prevents the wings from sagging and creating anhedral. The couple of degrees of dihedral has made the upright stability a little better and has reduced the tip stall tendency at slow speeds. Overall, a very worthy mod that is much easier to do with EPO than a built up wood construction.
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The Flying part is easy.... it's the landings that will do you in. :p
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