ARF or RTF Discuss ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) radio control airplanes here.

RANT: The "Discontinued" ARF!!!

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Old 07-25-2012, 05:19 PM
  #1
Azzir325
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Default RANT: The "Discontinued" ARF!!!

What is up with these big companies (specifically Great Planes and Hangar 9) who sell us these lovely planes then decide to "discontinue" them and leave us owners in the lurch for parts? You know, if you are going to discontinue a plane that's OK, but you can't just leave the thousands of people who BOUGHT THESE PLANES FROM YOU hanging out to dry! You OWE us some customer support, and well beyond the time it takes to sell off the spare parts you have on hand. We bought your products in good faith, and now you're hanging us out to dry.

That's basically my rant. It has happened to me before, and recently I needed a wheel for my Great Planes Fokker Triplane 60 ARF. I want original equipment, but GP says I'm out of luck. My position is they sold the plane, they need to stock parts until there is ZERO call for them.

Let's hear from anybody who has been in the same boat.
Rick

Oh yeah, and for the record, there are THREE particular ARF's that have been discontinued and should be UNDISCONTINUED and kept available. They are the 60 size Fokker D VII and Sopwith Camel by Hangar 9 and the aforementioned Great Planes DR 1 60. For ending the availability of these wonderful airplanes, I give these companies a GIGANTIC RASPBERRY and my undying contempt.
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:32 PM
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Jacobs Jasta 7
 
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Don't tell me these discontinued planes don't sell, the day they discontinued the Hanger 9 Camel and Fokker DVII a month later they were completely sold out everywhere! It's BS! People have been pestering Greatplanes to bring back the 60 Fokker Dr1 for about 10 years, and what did they come out with? A Stuka that hardly anyone wanted because ESM had a much better version! Then they discontinued the Seawind, and Gee Bee for electric foamie versions.

What is disrespectful is the fact Hanger 9 replaced the DVII and Camel for a bunch of park flyer foamies as well! When they just discontinued the Camel and DVII, I got on the horn real fast to Horizon, all they said was, "Thank you for your interest and we will keep it in our records, however we are coming out with replacement aircraft that you might enjoy in its place."

I DON'T LIKE FOAM SCALE PARKFLYERS YOU IDIOT CHEAP BAST@RDS- AND NO, I DON'T LIKE THEM!!!

There, I said it here and not to them, that's how I feel. Now I feel a little better, not by much though.

Remember people China isn't our friend here in the States, they will screw most of us before we even know we are getting screwed. That's why I'm getting very, very interested in kit building again. I'm getting sooo tired of giving my money to China, and not getting support for parts etc. when China pulls the plug. Time to go green, buy electric- well screw you!




Pete
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:10 PM
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Charlie P.
 
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Default RE: RANT: The

You can strike back by building from plans. Then you can just unroll and rebuild the part you need.

That will show 'em. ;-)

Amazingly, you can even rebuild ARF components.

But to compare to similar prices items - go to J.C. Penny and tell them you want a replacement sleeve from the $300 suit you bought there in 2007.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:24 PM
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I bet they would have the material to make the sleeve.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:21 PM
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Default RE: RANT: The

Not sure I want to 'RANT', but I do see his point;

Why did GP bother to buy Carl Goldberg, only to discontinue classic planes like the Falcon series?

Maybe there is a bit of Disney-think at work w/this...you know, release a classic on DVD/Blu Ray for a limited time, then stop making/selling it for 10 years or so...then bring it back. But if H9 & GP are indeed thinking like that, why wouldn't they follow the whole business model & TELL people that the classics will only be available for a limited time/limited quantity in order to drive demand?
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Deandome

Why did GP bother to buy Carl Goldberg, only to discontinue classic planes like the Falcon series?
I would guess because the Falcon competed with the Kaos and Super Sportster. I liked the Goldberg Hot Stik and wish I could find one. Possibly they bought them to shut them down and eliminate competition.

I worked for a 135 year old photographic film and paper manufacturer and Kodak bought us for a few patents we held and the customer base and then laid everyone off and demolished the facility.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:14 AM
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It would be interesting to know how many units are actually sold. I have to assume it all comes down to the mighty dollar. Do you think they really sold thousands? Is there a customer or business base to stock parts? Do you think they (the manufacture) actually have a "spares" BOM when they produce a new product? If the spares program is to just break apart new kits, that's a problem. I understand it would go a long way for customer loyalty, but is it really cost effective.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:35 AM
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Default RE: RANT: The

I assume it is all about the almighty dollar (or yen??) because if they were worried about customers, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I have to think since this is after all a WORLDWIDE market, there were thousands, if not tens of thousands, sold.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:10 AM
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You're right! It's always about the almighty dollar (or yen, Pound, douc mark, etc.). Most of these companies have young inexperienced employees that rush to judgment. It appears to this "old geezer" that the younger generation does not believe in the "Cash cow" or even customer loyalty!! My generation use to say, "...either automate or immigrate". This younger generations' saying should be "...pass the buck cause I don't give a ... rats *&^) !!!
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:11 AM
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Think of the space it would take to have large numbers of slow selling items in stock forever? I know my space is limited, it's about business choices, if there is little or no profit why do it?
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Azzir325

I assume it is all about the almighty dollar (or yen??) because if they were worried about customers, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I have to think since this is after all a WORLDWIDE market, there were thousands, if not tens of thousands, sold.
Yea....we know it is about the almighty dollar. Of course and in fact, if it were not about the dollar, the very factories and distributors we are angry at wouldn't exist.

Customer expectation is a bottomless pit these days. It is unrealistic to expect a company to do anything that isn't profitable for them.

Look, if great planes stocked all kinds of old ARF parts they would make the cost up on current ARF's thereby driving up price. To which we would all say...."Can you believe how much Great Planes is charging for ARF's these days!!"

Can't win. I'm not arguing with anyone....but this just is what it is! This is just one of the drawbacks of the whole ARF thing.

Tom
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:06 AM
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Default RE: RANT: The

I can't count the number of times I've purchased a plane from Tower or Horizon, only to have it discontinued within the month.

At least I can fabricate most parts for most non-foamy ARFs.

The bigger problem is when this occurs with engines...

Anyone remember GMS and Tower engines?

Fortunately with those I saw the writing on the walls and purchase two box fulls of spare parts from K&B when they had their "get out of the GMS business" sale.

However Tower has never been able to honor their parts warrantees and parts availability assurances on their engines.

Of course this all goes back to the OEM. The Chinese factory that made these engines retooled when sales went soft, and never got back into the engine business.

Most of my ARFs for which I'd like parts also saw the OEM go out of business.

The vendors could only keep a minimal stock of parts on hand, which went pretty fast.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:59 AM
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I feel your pain.

I bought a Hanger 9 P-47 150. While I was building it they discontinued it. They did redesign and bring back a P-47 150.

I bought a Hanger 9 P-51 150. Within a month it was discontinued. They brought back a short run of them recently, no improvements.

I bought a Great Planes Aeromaster and it was shortly discontinued. Will never see the light of day again.

I bought a Great Planes performance series Sukhoi SU-31 a few months later they discontinued. I need a damn cowl GP!
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:52 AM
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Well this isnt a rant and I am not sure of the law. But i remember that there use to be a law that if you produced a product and sold it to the public you had to by law servive it and provide spare parts for 10 years after production stopped. Doesn't seem to happen now even outside of the hobby. [][]
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:01 PM
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You have no one to blame but yourselves. Unless you want to spend three times the cost of an arf so they can stock all the parts for it then you would not have bought it in the first place and Arfs would not have taken the place of kits.
The way I see it you made the Arf bed and now you must lay in it. Just an opinion but I believe it to be true.
And come on, if you need a wheel only, do I need to finish that sentence.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: THERCAV8R

Well this isnt a rant and I am not sure of the law. But i remember that there use to be a law that if you produced a product and sold it to the public you had to by law servive it and provide spare parts for 10 years after production stopped. Doesn't seem to happen now even outside of the hobby. [][]
Eh, unfortunately there is no such animal and from what I understand there never was....

From the FTC

"Generally, there is no specified duration for implied warranties under state laws. However, the state statutes of limitations for breach of either an express or an implied warranty are generally four years from date of purchase. This means that buyers have four years in which to discover and seek a remedy for problems that were present in the product at the time it was sold. It does not mean that the product must last for four years. It means only that the product must be of normal durability, considering its nature and price."

PRESENT IN THE PRODUCT, or as the legalese basically says "defect in materials and manufacturing... etc.." means that the product was put together incorrectly.... not that parts will be available, nor that you will be guaranteed anything should something wear out or break.

Sad but true, and all too often not understood by the consumer.

Companies like Tower and Horizon go out of their way to get a parts supply, but these are often limited by their ( cheap ) suppliers.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:53 PM
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Default RE: RANT: The

Quote:
They need to stock parts until there is ZERO call for them.
Not possible in any industry. I own a 1956 Chevrolet pickup. Are you saying I should still be able to get EVERY part for it, new, from my Chevy dealer?
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:54 PM
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Default RE: RANT: The

The answer is to build it yourself. Even if you fly an ARF, if you need a part, build it! If something was damaged in a crash, you should have the broken parts. Clean it up, trace the parts outlines and build a new one. A little wood, a little glue, some covering, there's nothing in an ARF that you can't build for yourself. China hasn't cornered the market yet on the ability to build, in spite of the fact that some people think that model airplanes are only available in an imported box.

And it's amazing what can be repaired. I've crashed planes so badly that I came home and threw them in the dumpster (this from a guy who has built every plane he's flown in the last 45 years and repaired inumerable crashes). After a cold adult beverage and a little thinking, I went back to the dumpster and dug them out. In just a few days they were flying again. Come on guys, learn how to be at least the slightest bit of a modeler instead of just a consumer of pre-built planes and parts! You might even find that you enjoy it.

Dave
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:00 PM
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Dave, the original poster needs a wheel for a WWI airplane. I know there are people who can build this type of wheel, and come up with the right o-ring to work as a tire, but many of us cannot.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:08 PM
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There are other sources for scale parts on the market. This only underscores the fact that most ARF fliers need to learn more about repairing. Parts don't have to be exactly the same as came with the original kit. Who cares if it's "original equipment"? The part needs to be usable and heck, you might even find something more scale than what was delivered with the ARF. Do you want scale or do you want original? Plus, the OP complained about lack of support for other ARFs too. I doubt they were all for missing wheels.

If you've been in this hobby more than a year you know better than to expect ARFs to be supported forever.

Dave
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: carrellh

Dave, the original poster needs a wheel for a WWI airplane. I know there are people who can build this type of wheel, and come up with the right o-ring to work as a tire, but many of us cannot.
How sad. Can't build? Then buy. There are other sources for WW I wheels. The OP is trolling and getting a lot of bites. I could mention Williams Bros, but I won't, as I don't think the OP is looking for answers so much as "action".

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Old 07-26-2012, 01:43 PM
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Watch e-bay for parts, or sometimes you can get a well used model with the parts you need cheap.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Gizmo-RCU

Think of the space it would take to have large numbers of slow selling items in stock forever? I know my space is limited, it's about business choices, if there is little or no profit why do it?
Thats called good business sence in my book. We have to do the same thing in our business. Some things just have to be fabricated after they get too out dated in any form.

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Old 07-26-2012, 02:14 PM
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You can't expect them to keep the same planes, same parts forever.  A lot of the times they have improved the design, maybe even had definite faults like the Funtana and opted to drop it completely and make a new version that is more reliable.  They need to introduce new models, new designs to draw in new purchases.  Would you buy the Corvair today?  Want a Yugo?  How about a push lawn mower?   Would you use an AM Tx and Rx if one came on the market? 

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Old 07-26-2012, 02:57 PM
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Even when SIG was havng all its trouble with the imported ARFs they still made kits (when they could get balsa) , now they are setting up with a different ARF builder and will be bringing back the most popular ones .
Ihave a lot of SIG kits I want to build too(Kobra, 4star 20, Herr Mustang etc) but I dont have the build space so I am stuck with ARFs.
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