ORIGINAL: Steve Campbell
As for quality, none of them can match the best of the Chinese ARFs.
I disagree. Having assembled more than my share of ARFs, running the gamut from VMar (junk, IMO) to Sig (absolute top shelf, again IMO), I have found that it all depends on MANY factors.
But I am working on a Seagull Yak 54 right now, made in Nam, that is fully the equal- fit, finish, overall quality wise- of the best I have ever seen.
So, a blanket statement such as yours in incorrect. IOW, you have to evaluate each offering separately.
Well, Horizon Hobby has taken Seagull under their wing (so to speak) and Seagull's quality (and price) have increased a lot since I made that statement 20 months ago. They are still having design and weight issues though. Your Seagull Yak will not fly like an Aeroworks or Extreme Flight Yak.
And of course ARFs are all hand made, so no two will be exactly alike, not even two of the same model, from the same factory.
The point is: You are more likely
to get a well designed and well built ARF from Aeroworks than from NitroPlanes. But... the big names (Great Planes, Hanger 9, Sig, etc.) get their expensive ARFs and their cheap ARFs from different factories. With those guys, price is the best indicator of quality.