Precision Aerobatics Addiction

0

 

 

Having previously learnt 3D the hard way and subsequently experienced and bore witness to the abnormally quick progress of others flying the PA Electric Shock, the news of the PA Addiction?s potential was certainly met with a mixed feeling of enthusiasm and curiosity. There is finally, a hardcore, no-holds-barred, ultra light and robust 3D machine that is neither a foamie nor a profile, fully capable of precision flight all bundled in a neat mid-sized, sexy transparent colored package and most importantly, capable of using my existing high capacity Lipo packs. The holy grail of 3D has finally arrived and it?s only a matter of deciding which color to go first?..?Shrek? Green it shall be?this time and I shall name it my Hover Ogre!

 

 

Precision Aerobatics Addiction 3D ARF
Available in 3 colors: Red, Purple and Green

Wingspan: 1000 mm
Length: 1063 mm
Wing area: 485 sq. in
Wing loading: 7.9 oz/sq. ft (approx)
Weight: 750g / 26.5 oz
Recommended power plant: PA Thrust 20 motor with PA Quantum 30A programmable brushless ESC
Recommended battery: 3S1P, 1800mah-2200mAh, 20C Lipo
Recommended receiver: 4 Chanel or more micro receiver
Recommended servo: 1.5 kg/cm torque, micro-servos.
Recommended prop: APC 11X5.5E, APC 11X4.7SF
Type of Construction: PA FiberFusion?- Laser Cut Balsa and ply with carbon fiber
Type of Aircraft: 3D Electric Park Flyer
Skill Level: Beginner to Expert 3D

 

 

 

 

 

First Impressions

The parcel arrived intact and was quickly ripped opened to reveal the contents inside. What immediately caught my eyes was the beautifully sculptured airframe structure seen through the yummy transparent covering as well as the blinking carbon fiber parts inside the fuselage.

Lifting the individual major components out of the box, I was totally blown away by how unbelievably light the airframe felt in proportion to its size and for a moment my brains could not comprehend the apparent disparity between the lightweight feel in my hands and what my eyes were telling me. Exceptionally light as it maybe, I was quick to note how stiff the airframe and wings were and upon closely peering through transparent covering revealed the extent carbon fiber is employed to achieve superior structural integrity and I thought to myself this is going to be one robust and survivable airplane with precision to boot; quite a rarity among lightweight 3D airplanes which tends to be either light and fragile or strong and heavy.

The fuselage features PA FiberFusion? construction spotting CF stingers running the entire length of the fuselage as well as CF strips and rods strengthening the cross members, reducing the likelihood of the fuselage breaking in the event of the many hard landings that I ?plan? to make while perfecting my rolling harrier landings. Beneath the fuselage lies the recessed landing gear mount that is also robustly reinforced with CF to address another common problem of the LG ripping out. Many other light weight 3D airplanes either glow or electric powered are frequently prone to weakness in this area. It becomes very apparent to me that the Addiction is indeed a very tough airplane and when it comes to learning hardcore 3D, especially at low level, robustness is paramount to allow the safest (cost effective to some) way to learn challenging and risky maneuvers.

 

 

Putting the fuselage aside, the two piece removable wings were inspected next. The ailerons were already pre-hinged at the factory and appeared to be slightly twisted which is normal for lightweight ailerons of this nature and the manual specifically addresses how to untwist them. The ailerons are pre-hinged with clear transparent heat-shrink covering similar to the ones on the Electric Shock providing massive amounts of throws. I peered through the wing tips and saw the ends of three CF rods, i.e. one at the leading edge and two at where the spar would usually be making the wings in-spite of its exceptionally light weight, very stiff and equally robust as well.

The touch of quality even extended to the hardware package itself. All control surface horns were CNC CF making them light, stiff and slop free meaning crisp controls without sacrificing weight. The predominant use of CF is still relatively rare in most balsa airplanes at the current time. Even some top dollar composite giant scales still use, at best metal or Phenolic control horns.

The one piece fiberglass cowl was unpacked and inspected. It had all the major openings pre-cut saving more build time. This is certainly welcome especially considering the potential health risk associated with fiberglass dust and the only thing that is left to be done is to drill the four cowl mounting screw holes.

 

 

Putting the fuselage aside, the two piece removable wings were inspected next. The ailerons were already pre-hinged at the factory and appeared to be slightly twisted which is normal for lightweight ailerons of this nature and the manual specifically addresses how to untwist them. The ailerons are pre-hinged with clear transparent heat-shrink covering similar to the ones on the Electric Shock providing massive amounts of throws. I peered through the wing tips and saw the ends of three CF rods, i.e. one at the leading edge and two at where the spar would usually be making the wings in-spite of its exceptionally light weight, very stiff and equally robust as well.

The touch of quality even extended to the hardware package itself. All control surface horns were CNC CF making them light, stiff and slop free meaning crisp controls without sacrificing weight. The predominant use of CF is still relatively rare in most balsa airplanes at the current time. Even some top dollar composite giant scales still use, at best metal or Phenolic control horns.

The one piece fiberglass cowl was unpacked and inspected. It had all the major openings pre-cut saving more build time. This is certainly welcome especially considering the potential health risk associated with fiberglass dust and the only thing that is left to be done is to drill the four cowl mounting screw holes.

 

 

The CF LG along with the lightweight wheels were then bolted on to the fuselage to double up as a stable work stand and to stage the next phase of the build; the alignment of the horizontal stab referencing the wings for better precision.

The CF wing tube was inserted along with both wing halves and the ailerons were taped to remain in the neutral position and then untwisted as described in the manual. A slot was then cut at the rear of the fuselage and the horizontal stab was then inserted and eyeballed against the top of the wings. A little sanding was required to horizontal stab slots to achieve precise alignment and the horizontal stab was removed to have the CA hinges installed. A quick eyeball on the stab alignment, a quick measurement to both wing tips to reconfirm the laser cut alignment holes and a little CA is applied to permanently bond the stab to the fuselage. Next the slot at the rear of the fuselage is filled with the supplied balsa block, trimmed down and then recovered with supplied transparent covering hiding the evidence of the minor surgery.

The vertical stab and rudder is then assembled with CA hinges and the tail wheel installed. The motor mount is then glued in to the fuselage with glue, pinned with the supplied CF pins and clamped in place to allow the glue to cure over night. It is best to test fit the CF pins first prior to gluing. Additional wood glue is also brushed over all the joints of the motor mount to ensure maximum strength. The molded air-scoops are then installed with CA.

 

 

Next came preparing the HS65HB servos for installation. Both elevator and rudder servo cables were extended by soldering light weight servo cables and terminated with JR compatible connectors. The optional CF long servo arms were then installed on the servos to get the maximum throws on those huge control surfaces.

The CF control horns were then attached to all the surfaces and with the servo arms and control surfaces positioned in neutral, the CF push rods were assembled to ensure precise mechanical geometry and to avoid introducing unwanted differential.

The PA Thrust 20 was then bolted on without a fuss and followed by the PA Quantum 30 and the cables connected. The JR 610M receiver was next installed and the antenna cable carefully routed to

The servos were then centered with the sub-trim and then deflection was checked and adjusted to ensure a bind free travel on all rates. I was happy to note the massive amounts of controls afforded by the linkage geometry promising excellent control authority especially in the post stall region of flight. Since the PA Quantum 30 is already pre-programmed to suit the Thrust 20, connection was merely a plug and play affair.

As I anticipate that the Addiction will be flown very hard, I opted to install non-slip material on the battery Velcro strap and tray to avoid repeating the hairy experience of landing with the pack dangling on the side of the fuselage. A small strip of non-slip is CA onto the strap and CF battery tray in-lieu of attaching a Velcro strip on the battery.

Once the avionics was complete, the cowl and prop were installed last and ready for its maiden flight. The hard part was to wait for the weekend to arrive.

 

 

 

 

 

The Initial Radio Setup

Control Surface Rate 1 (Low) Rate 2 (High) Rate 3
Aileron Expo 30%

Throw 25Deg (adjusted via DR)

Expo 30%

Throw 45Deg (adjusted via DR)

Dual Rate 100%

Expo 0%

Throw 100% full travel

Elevator Expo 30%

Throw 25Deg (adjusted via DR)

Expo 30%

Throw 45Deg (adjusted via DR)

Dual Rate 100%

Expo 0%

Throw 100% full travel

Rudder Expo 30%

Throw 25Deg (adjusted via DR)

Expo 30%

Throw 45% (adjusted via DR)

Dual Rate 100%

Expo 0%

Throw 100% full travel

Transmitter Mixing None at the time of review.

The Check Ride

Saturday arrived and I rushed to the field like a bat out of hell. It was gusty and threatening to rain but I was desperate to check this baby out so whatever the weather maybe, falling short of getting struck by lightning, the Addiction must absolutely fly. I popped the lipo pack in, quickly re-checked the controls and did a quick and short rolling take off straight into a hover. The first impression I got was that the Addiction was extremely easy to hover and in-spite of the gusty conditions, it happily torque rolled and drifted downwind and required relatively little control corrections. The throttle was then advanced to climb out and check the trims; two clicks up elevator and two clicks left aileron and she was roughly trimmed out and I quickly put it into a quick inverted elevator and popping back into a hover. The massive aileron throws gave it ample authority to counteract the torque and adding more aileron allowed it to roll in reverse with ease. Despite the large control surface, the Addiction did not feel twitchy and immediately switched to rate 3 to get the maximum throws and 0% expo to maximize its agility and response. It handled so well even under these extreme throws that the expo was later removed out of rate 1 and 2 and all subsequent flights thereon were only rate 3.

The Addiction was later put into quick set of rolling harriers and by the time it completed the second circuit, it started to rain requiring a very quick emergency landing to scurry off for cover. After about an hour, the rain stopped and the sun came out and flights resumed. It was still very gusty but the Addiction flew nevertheless and I had loads of fun until it was too dark to fly. I honestly say that I had so much fun until I forgot to jot any notes for the review.

I made it a point to fly on Sunday morning to get more stick time on the Addiction and to put it through its paces for the review and took notes this time. It was sunny and windless; perfect condition for 3D flying. The hovers this time were spot on and the torque rolls were almost handsfree and very relaxing indeed. The Addiction felt very friendly and easy to fly. The vertical stability was exceptional making this one of the easiest 3D airplane to hover, torque roll and hand catch. Despite it size, its predictability allowed it to be safely hand launched and caught on demand allowing this airplane to be flown without the need for a suitable runway or even a runway for that matter.

Moving on from the hoverbatics, the Addiction was taken through a series of maneuvers starting with the blender into an inverted flatspin. Entry was easy and it stopped dead when the aileron and rudder was released into a nice smooth inverted elevator continuing on to a slow and stable harrier. With the lighter pack climbing flatspins are easily accomplished and it?s really awesome to watch it flatspining stationary and with a bit more throttle starts to climb upwards and altitude is controlled by merely managing the throttle.

Next, the Addiction was flown on full throttle and into an upright snap into an immediate hover and then smoothly transitioning into a slow knife edge. It does it effortlessly. The Addiction performs amazingly slow KE with very little roll coupling and can completely come to a dead stop in light winds by varying the AOA and carefully balancing the aileron inputs. Inverted snaps were then performed at high throttle followed by a series of walls. It performed all those without a hitch.

Taking the Addiction vertical and then executing a waterfall at the apex, it goes into a nice smooth inverted elevator. Consecutive sets of waterfalls are performed by merely ramping up the throttle when the nose is pointing up and throttling down when it is pointing down and ample thrust from the motor allows consecutive waterfalls to be safely performed as low as 3 meters off the deck. Both upright and inverted elevators were stable and can be performed slowly with smooth transitions to harriers or even a spot landing if desired. The Addiction performs well in both upright and inverted harriers and speed is controlled by adjusting the AOA and throttle. Steering is easily accomplished with little rudder input to fly slow and lazy tight circles without the risk of dropping the wing as low as you want and even land. This adds another avenue to the number of fancy ways to land this bird.

When the lighter PA1800mah 18-30C 3S packs were installed, the Addiction performed beautiful high AOA and smooth rolling harriers on the stock CG location. Smooth rolling harriers can also be replicated with the slightly heavier PA2200mah pack located 1/3 its length aft with the APC11X4.7SF. The Addiction felt well balanced and the rolling harriers could be slowed down allowing ample time for any modeler to ?think? the rolling harrier maneuver though as they attempt it for the first time.

The Knife edge spins are really out of this world; slow spins and descending at the speed slightly faster than a regular elevator or parachute. All it is requires is just to kick the rudder at the apex to drop the Addiction sideways and immediately hold up elevator and a little aileron correction and apply ¾ throttle, it goes into a slow Knife edge spin almost pivoting on the wing tips.

With most of my pre-planed maneuvers bagged, I spent the later part of the afternoon just having a little fun with the Addiction over a patch of tall grass. The excellent control authority allowed very close in flying to basically muck around by flying as low as possible to touch the grass without snagging. It was really fun and the maneuvers got lower and lower to the ground pretty quick.

 

 

 

 

Maneuvers

(without TX Mixing)

Rating Grading Notes
Rolls A Rolls are axial. Roll rates are moderate and immediately stops when the aileron sticks are released. Huge ailerons allow rolls to be performed at any speed.
Loops A Performs loops reasonable well for a 3D airplane. Loops can be as tight as chasing its tail. Tight square loops are easy to perform. On inverted full down elevator puts it into waterfalls.
Snap rolls A Both positive and negative snaps are aggressive and predictable. Snaps into a hovers are excellent and predictability allows this to be performed very low to the ground for some spectacular 3D.
Flat spin (Upright) A++ Excellent upright flat spins. On ¾ throttle, descends stops and begins to climb without any or little aileron input depending on wind. With careful throttle management, it is easy to perform stationary flatspins.
Flat spin (Inverted) A++ Excellent inverted flat spins. On ¾ throttle, descends stops and begins to climb without any aileron input. With careful throttle management, it is also easy to perform stationary flatspins.
Hovers A++ Excels in this department. Hovers are extremely stable and large control surfaces allow quick and responsive corrections. One of the easiest 3D airplanes to hover and allows ample hands free time to perform a safe hand catch if hovers are initially kept vertical.
Hammerhead A Massive rudder allows pivoting on the apex. Very little rudder required to pivot. Massive rudder allows hammer heads into a descending slow KE.
Knife Edge A Excels in very slow KE. It is possible to smoothly transition from a hover to a very slow KE. Slight roll oscillation in winds requiring a little bit of aileron input. Very little elevator coupling. On higher speed, the KE is stable with a slight belly tuck.
Knife Edge Snap A+ Performs KE beautiful snaps back into KE. Does not loose much altitude in the snaps.
Knife Edge Spins A++ One of the easiest entry into KE spins. Nice slow spins along with relatively slow vertical descends.
Harrier (Upright) A+ Stable slow harriers with no wing rock in still conditions and very slight but stable wing rock in winds. Circuits are easily performed with only rudder and throttle input. Speed is slow enough to execute a spot landing or just harrier in a tight circle very low to the ground.
Harrier (Inverted) A+ Stable slow harriers with no wing rock in still conditions and very slight but stable wing rock in winds. Figure 8 circuits are easily performed with only rudder and throttle input. Excellent for coming in low, slow and inverted and then popping into a hover or toque roll or waterfall or spot landing.
Hand Launch A++ Vertical stability allows safe and easy hand launch without the dire need to rush and grab the stick. Hand launches in to a hover or torque rolls are easy with throttle management.
Hand Catch A++ Hand catches on demand and still easily performed in light winds. Vertical stability provides ample hands off time to safely hand catch without worry of the airplane going astray once the hand is taken off the controls. Grab the leading edge of the wing or just behind the cowl.
Landings A++ Able to land in any number of creative ways. Conventional landings are slow while spot landings are easily executed from harriers, parachutes, hovers or spins.
Walls (Upright) A Nice aggressive wall into a hover. Does not drop a wing.

With more airspeed, it is possible to wall and immediately transition into a tight waterfall if elevator is pushed or a tight loop if pulled.

Walls (Inverted) A Nice aggressive wall into a hover. Does not drop a wing.

With more airspeed, it is possible to wall and immediately transition into a tight waterfall.

Rolling Harrier A++ Rolling harriers are slow and High AOA. Rolling harrier descends and landings are possible. Rolling harriers can be slowed down to allow ample time for beginners to learn the rolling harriers.
Blenders A Blenders are aggressive and smooth transition into flatspins or KE spins with smooth transitions into elevators or harriers. Proper throttle management will slow and stop the descend.
Elevators / Parachute A++ Very predictable and stable parachutes in light to no wind. Slight wing rock in gusty conditions but stable. Keeping a high AOA arrests the wing rock. Smooth transition into harriers. Its possible to execute parachute into a spot landing with ease. The hardest part is to choose where to land!
Terminator A+ Jaw dropping aggressive terminators on full throttle without dropping a wing Airframe is robust enough to sustain a full throttle dive and immediate pull up into a parachute.
Torque Rolls A++ Also excels in this department. Excellent stability makes torque rolling easy even in gusty conditions. Recommended motor setup provides adequate punch to execute consecutive tail touch torque rolls with ease.
Waterfalls A+ Consecutive waterfalls are possible with merely throttle and elevator input.
Criteria Rating Grading Notes
Fun Factor A++ Broad flight envelope beyond pure 3D provides a lot of fun and scope. The Addiction can be flown either aggressively or gracefully and coupled with reasonable precision, it offers a wide variety of styles this airplane could be flown.
Ease of Beginners learning to 3D A++ Predictable, slow and stable flight characteristics makes the Addiction an excellent 3D trainer especially in learning hovers, torque rolls, belly-ins, harrier rolls. Slow flight allows the pilot plenty of time to think and react. An excellent step up from foamies. Reasonable precision capabilities also provide an excellent path for beginners to ease into 3D or freestyle by adjusting the dual rates to tune the level of aggressiveness as they progress along. Has plenty of usable life for the modeler to develop further without getting restricted.
Robustness B+ Reasonably more robust than conventional all balsa airplanes but less than the PA Electric Shock. Light weight tail plane requires some care in transportation and storage.

Airframe construction is robust enough to withstand the most aggressive 3D maneuver. Will survive most minor prangs when flown close to the ground and at worst spares are available to replace most airframe components.

Potential for Advance / Experts to horn 3D skills A++ Stable slow speed handling offers excellent opportunities for advanced and experts to learn the more difficult maneuvers in a more relaxed manner. Agility coupled with predictability and reasonable precision allows more aggressive maneuvers to be performed with confidence and a healthy mix of styles limited by the pilot?s imagination.
Ease of Assembly A+ Very little assembly is required and novices guided by the concise pictorial assembly manual would not find any difficulty to assemble the aircraft.
Manufacture?s combo recommendations A++ The iPAs setup is well matched to the airframe. Excellent overall performance and flight time. The best option for any modeler to obtain optimum performance out of the box.

 

 

 

Conclusion The Addiction is one of the easiest hardcore 3D airplanes that I have ever flown. It has a rare mix of excellent attributes ranging from stable, predictable, reasonably precise to agile and aggressive, which is an excellent departure from the run of the mill 3D airplanes and provides versatility to which is an excellent departure from the run of the mill 3D airplanes and provides versatility to varying levels of skill sets. It offers considerably more scope for advanced aerobatic pilots to mix a multitude of aerobatic maneuvers into their existing repertoire while at the same time its stability and predictability provides beginners with an exceptionally gradual learning curve to get into the advanced stuff. This is one of the few airplanes where a modeler is able to quickly progress at any stage of his skills development. As for me I have found the Addiction to be pure addictive fun and in just two weekends had already found it to be a valuable advanced learning tool by allowing me to bag a three new tricks. I would certainly recommend the Addiction to any modeler, may it be plain vanilla aerobatics, freestyle, serious hardcore 3D or just out to have pure unadulterated fun with the sticks. Whatever it is I don?t see myself getting bored with the Addiction and the more I fly the more addictive it gets.

 

 

 

Manufacturer:

Precision Aerobatics

731 New Canterbury Rd.

Hurlstone Park 2193 Sydney

NSW Australia

612-95580443

 

Distributed exclusively in USA by:

Atlanta Hobby

6150 Parkway North Dr

Cumming, GA 30040

678-513-4450

 

To find the dealer in your country visit the manufacturer website: PrecisionAerobatics.com

 

Share.

About Author

RCU

Leave A Reply