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Author Topic: $25 Flybear FX808 Biplane  (Read 259 times)
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vtdiy
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« on: January 15, 2019, 07:45:38 PM »

Well, here's my other RTF guilty pleasure this year, finally arrived from China after a few weeks wait for free shipping. A Flybear FX808 biplane! Complete with transmitter, charging cable and spare props, All for a princely $25.

Very reminiscent of the early 2000's Airhogs AA bipe, which furnished many of us with thousands of hours of pleasure and frustration, launched hundreds of new micro model designs, via canibalized gear, and spawned thousand post forum threads devoted to airframe and electronic modifications. Here it finally was....a blast from the past!

When the package arrived this time I excitedly ripped off the plastic bag mailing cover, noted a few dents in the box inside with slight trepidation, slit the tape, and slid out the contents -- a piece of packing foam four times the volume of the little foam plane nestled inside, a transmitter and a little plastic bag of parts. There it was in all it's misplaced crimson and maltesse cross glory! Woohoo, no damage! Not that damage would have been easy to impose, the plane was deeply buried in foam, and itself made up of the rubberiest type of foam itself, EPO, I believe.

I plugged the USB style charging cable into a 5v wall wart, pushing my patience to the limit. I knew there'd be some residual charge in the plane to test fly, but charging first is best for battery life, and as with Airhogs planes, the battery is permanently stashed inside the plane -- not easily replaceable. I meanwhile hunted down 6 spare Nimh rechargeable AA batteries, and loaded the transmitter.

About 15 minutes later, when the "it's charged" light came on, I grabbed the model and headed out the door and part way down the front porch steps, it was nearly dark. Now the scene that greets budding biplane pilot here, these days, doesn't look much different than the surface of the moon. Dirty pockmarked Ice is everywhere on this sidehill yard -- a combination of unseasonably warm slushy snows and rain, followed by arctic nights freezing every footprint whether human, dog, deer, turkey, or mouse, into a miniature icy crater. Snow shoveled lines and piles are frozen into granite-hard pressure ridges. Sticks fallen out of trees during ice storms are everywhere, poking up like mantrap spikes. This is extreme micro R/C.

I bound the transmitter to the receiver -- you turn both on, move the throttle stick to full, then back. Oddly, I find this new model is studded with 4 LEDs whose various flashing colors signals something I can't decipher. LEDs -- a new twist for modern Red Barons. One of them, a blue one by the on-off switch is truly blinding to look at. Maybe it's a WW-1 laser.

Luckily I do not have to read the switch's tiny ON-Off lettering, I realize. The blinding lights indicate it is on. Throttling up, the whine of the twin motors was like the old Airhogs music to my ears. I gave the plane a gentle toss...and............

Wham, It doubled back to my left and slammed into the house about six feet over and two feet above my head.

No problem. This is normal test flight behavior for this type of plane. The secrets of flying Airhogs type planes are not easily revealed to the tyro. Perhaps full throttle was uneccessary.
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vtdiy
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2019, 08:00:17 PM »

I retrieved the plane, undamaged. They are designed to bounce off of houses. My big fear was slipping on the ice, and ending up sitting on it. Okay, safely back on the porch steps. Give it half throttle....and......launch....

Wham! Back in the same spot.

Perhaps a quarter throttle......

Porpoise, porpoise......Wham! Same spot again.

Okay, what's the lowest throttle I can give it? I pushed the throttle down until both motors stop -- that's about with the stick half way down -- uhhhhhhh, not real good positional feedback on this rig..... then up one notch to hear the motors start, launch and.....

Porpoise, porpoise..... Quick, quick, adjust the turn trim knob so it doesn't boomerang back to the house again......porpoise, porpoise, thump.......skidding crash on ice twenty feet out.

Finally, success! ........I didn't hit the house.

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vtdiy
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2019, 08:20:25 PM »

A few more flights and the porpoising at even bottom throttle is just out of control. 20 foot flights max before rejoining terra firma.

Time to retreat indoors since it's twenty out. F that is. What does it glide like, you may ask. Well I did, and headed to the flight testing bedroom with a chunk of modeling clay, just in case she needed some uhhhh trimming.

Sighting along the plane from the nose, I could see that all surfaces looked straight, unwarped. But there was a HUGE decalage between upper and lower wing, and a pretty stiff dose of it compared to the H-stab as well. Give her a toss onto the bed, and it landed vertical on its tail about 3 feet away. Okay, I didn't want to start surgery yet, lets check CG location. Uhhhh yeaahh, there it was, somewhere back near the tail.

Hokay, lets start gubbing some clay on the nose. About half a pea size. A little improvement in the "glide" but not much. Okay more clay. A little better -- 4 feet of crash. Okay more clay. Etc. Etc.

Eventually I'd mashed about 3 grams of clay onto the nose, and it started acting like an aeroplane.
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vtdiy
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2019, 08:40:05 PM »

With the engineering revision firmly plastered in place I headed back to the porch steps, gave my little red bipe the lowest throttle level I could, launched it....... and lo and behold, the miracle of flight! It steered around the garden, such as it is, under ice. It steered around the plum tree. It steered around the upper yard. It came back and flew parallel along the house a couple feet off. It flew around the garden shed. It skirted the big pine trunks. It climbed when I gave it throttle, descended in turns, and if you held the stick over would turn on a dime.

What fun!!!!!!!

And some other nice features came to light. It's 2.4 gHz unlike the old 27 Mhz Airhogs -- no TX antenna to extend. AND I didn't run out of range in 40 feet... hat was a nice feature! AND if you cut the throttle, and needed to make a turn, you could, Wow!

You see, with differential throttle instead of rudder controlled yaw, the motors must be running to turn. Or at least one does. Well, even with throttle off on this little bipe, right or left stick powered up the motors differentially to make the turn, and stopped them as soon as you let off the stick. What we used to call the "zero throttle turn capability" in the old Airhogs days -- a feature back then requiring user modification of the transmitter. Now it's included. The manufacturer must have studied our old mods!

Well, what can I say. Twenty five bucks. Here is everything we wished for back then and it's even ugly-cuter than it was before. My only criticism is, I could lose the lights. But maybe I can live with them. Anyway, this one isn't going under the knife to build a better plane with the gear. I am going to have a LOT of fun the way it is!
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vtdiy
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2019, 08:42:41 PM »

Oh yeah....one more thing. A penny is just a little under 3 grams, and taped under the nose, works fine to bring the CG where it should be, which is on my plane right at the leading edge of the lower wing.

However it does increase the cost by a cent.
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