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E-flite Albatros D.Va 25e is a Lame Duck

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Old 12-21-2012, 03:49 AM
  #1
abcarr711
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Default E-flite Albatros D.Va 25e is a Lame Duck

First of all, let me say I love scale biplanes. I have bought dozens of airplanes from the Horizon Hobby family of companies. Most of which I was happy with. The Albatros, however is not one of them. At first glance, the kit ARF is beautiful and really looks good. I bought one brand new on Tuesday, December 18th. I pulled everything out of the box and looked it over. Looked good. Set it aside to finish another project and then started to assemble the Albatros Thursday morning. That is when the frustration began. The first step was easy. The tail skid looked nice and fit well.

The next step was easy also. Putting screws into the plywood for the landing gear straps and removing them to CA the threads. Done.

Then, per the instructions I installed one side of the landing gear, and as the photos showed, I installed the right side. The gear has metal rods that enter the side of the fuselage. The tips of the rods have a 90 degree bend in them to help anchor them into a plywood brace inside the fuse. With the 90 Degree bend, you have to hold the gear down and under the fuse to get the wire into the fuse and then rotate it up as you slide it in the fuse. The gear is not perfectly sized, you have to squeeze the sides to get both rods started in the holes, but the right side went in and I was able to strap it down as instructed in the manual.

The left side was a different story. Prior to installing the left side, you are instructed to assmble part of the axle/spreader bar and place in one side and then: "Slide the remaining landing gear leg over the spreader bar, and then insert it into the fuselage."

This is where I got frustrated. Based upon the 90 degree bend in the rod and the angle it has to go into the fuse side, and the fact that you now have a solid axle and spreader bar in between the fixed landing gear and the left side you are trying to install, it is physically impossible to install the left side landing gear without enlarding the holes in the side of the fuselage.

That in and of itself is not a deal breaker, but the gear will not cover the enlarged hole, so additional repairs/reinforcement would have to be done. The deal breaker is that the metal rod on the forward part of the left landing gear is too short to fit in the predrilled plywood mounting location. I tried at least twenty different ways to get it to fit. With the spreader bar/axle, you can't even get it in the hole without enlarging the holes. But with the rod being too short, it just doesn't fit.

I even tried to install it without the axle/spreader bar. It just doesn't fit. In fact, while gently pushing on the gear from the outside of the fuse, I dent and broke a very small section of the balsa sheeting surrounding the hole. Bottom line, the mounting rod is too short to fit correctly.

I called product support. They offered to send me a new set of landing gear, but couldn't guarantee new gear would be bent correctly, but they assumed it would be. I asked about the fuselage and the need to alter it to get the gear in and the fact that it was impossible to install the gear as the instructions indicate. I basically asked them for a new fuselage also that I could modify the holes without damaging the structure to install the landing gear. They declined that. Support then asked if I could reinforce the area and I said I could, would need some covering for the repair/reinforced area. They also declined to provide any covering/trim sheet.

With the cost of this kit at $329.99 and the fact that they market it as a "PLATINUM" kit, I am very disappointed. I advised the Support person that if replacement gear that may or may not fit correctly was the best they would do, then I would simply return it to the hobby shop for a refund and let the hobby shop deal with Horizon. There was a moment of silence and I was again told they would still offer to send me a set of replacement landing gear and that they would mark my file that they made that offer.

OK.

So, I took the kit back to the hobby shop, asked the owner and a trusted employee to look at the gear and fuse and see if they could assemble it. Both looked at it and said I was right.

Unless you want to modify the expensive kit and have to do repairs to cover the modification, don't mess with this kit. I understand that buidling, repairing and modifying is part of the hobby. I do a lot of that. I don't expect to pay a premium dollar for a "Platinum" ARF and have to modify it right out of the box, just to assemble the landing gear.

Where was the quality control?

This E-flite Albatros is a Lame Duck!
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:18 AM
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Default RE: E-flite Albatros D.Va 25e is a Lame Duck

Sorry to hear that. I have had good luck with Horizon. But I haven't bought anything from Horizon or had to send anything back for a couple of years. Really to bad its a good looking bipe !


And May All Your Landing Be Smoooooth
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:50 PM
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Default RE: E-flite Albatros D.Va 25e is a Lame Duck

Just started the build for this plane. So far no major issues. Building stock with 32 power. My landing gear struts fit ok. Next is pick out servos to do the rudder/elavator servo installation.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:31 PM
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Default RE: E-flite Albatros D.Va 25e is a Lame Duck


Quote:
ORIGINAL: abcarr711

First of all, let me say I love scale biplanes. I have bought dozens of airplanes from the Horizon Hobby family of companies. Most of which I was happy with. The Albatros, however is not one of them. At first glance, the kit ARF is beautiful and really looks good. I bought one brand new on Tuesday, December 18th. I pulled everything out of the box and looked it over. Looked good. Set it aside to finish another project and then started to assemble the Albatros Thursday morning. That is when the frustration began. The first step was easy. The tail skid looked nice and fit well.

The next step was easy also. Putting screws into the plywood for the landing gear straps and removing them to CA the threads. Done.

Then, per the instructions I installed one side of the landing gear, and as the photos showed, I installed the right side. The gear has metal rods that enter the side of the fuselage. The tips of the rods have a 90 degree bend in them to help anchor them into a plywood brace inside the fuse. With the 90 Degree bend, you have to hold the gear down and under the fuse to get the wire into the fuse and then rotate it up as you slide it in the fuse. The gear is not perfectly sized, you have to squeeze the sides to get both rods started in the holes, but the right side went in and I was able to strap it down as instructed in the manual.

The left side was a different story. Prior to installing the left side, you are instructed to assmble part of the axle/spreader bar and place in one side and then: ''Slide the remaining landing gear leg over the spreader bar, and then insert it into the fuselage.''

This is where I got frustrated. Based upon the 90 degree bend in the rod and the angle it has to go into the fuse side, and the fact that you now have a solid axle and spreader bar in between the fixed landing gear and the left side you are trying to install, it is physically impossible to install the left side landing gear without enlarding the holes in the side of the fuselage.

That in and of itself is not a deal breaker, but the gear will not cover the enlarged hole, so additional repairs/reinforcement would have to be done. The deal breaker is that the metal rod on the forward part of the left landing gear is too short to fit in the predrilled plywood mounting location. I tried at least twenty different ways to get it to fit. With the spreader bar/axle, you can't even get it in the hole without enlarging the holes. But with the rod being too short, it just doesn't fit.

I even tried to install it without the axle/spreader bar. It just doesn't fit. In fact, while gently pushing on the gear from the outside of the fuse, I dent and broke a very small section of the balsa sheeting surrounding the hole. Bottom line, the mounting rod is too short to fit correctly.

I called product support. They offered to send me a new set of landing gear, but couldn't guarantee new gear would be bent correctly, but they assumed it would be. I asked about the fuselage and the need to alter it to get the gear in and the fact that it was impossible to install the gear as the instructions indicate. I basically asked them for a new fuselage also that I could modify the holes without damaging the structure to install the landing gear. They declined that. Support then asked if I could reinforce the area and I said I could, would need some covering for the repair/reinforced area. They also declined to provide any covering/trim sheet.

With the cost of this kit at $329.99 and the fact that they market it as a ''PLATINUM'' kit, I am very disappointed. I advised the Support person that if replacement gear that may or may not fit correctly was the best they would do, then I would simply return it to the hobby shop for a refund and let the hobby shop deal with Horizon. There was a moment of silence and I was again told they would still offer to send me a set of replacement landing gear and that they would mark my file that they made that offer.

OK.

So, I took the kit back to the hobby shop, asked the owner and a trusted employee to look at the gear and fuse and see if they could assemble it. Both looked at it and said I was right.

Unless you want to modify the expensive kit and have to do repairs to cover the modification, don't mess with this kit. I understand that buidling, repairing and modifying is part of the hobby. I do a lot of that. I don't expect to pay a premium dollar for a ''Platinum'' ARF and have to modify it right out of the box, just to assemble the landing gear.

Where was the quality control?

This E-flite Albatros is a Lame Duck!
Try something simple first, maybe work up to Eflite after a few years.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:35 PM
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Default RE: E-flite Albatros D.Va 25e is a Lame Duck

I just picked up one of these. Hope that your gear issue is isolated.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:06 AM
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Default RE: E-flite Albatros D.Va 25e is a Lame Duck

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wxw89CSCqg[/youtube]
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:24 PM
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Hi. I just finished this very same step. I also found the geometry impossible to install the gear with the spreader bar in place. I inserted the second gear, then verrrrry gently, spread the gear wide enough to install the spreader bar. Then tightened down the screws. I also replaced the rearmost screws with hex socket ones as that makes the install easier, it's deep in the cockpit and at an odd angle for a screwdriver - a ball driver made it much easier. I may have bent the gear a little wide, as now it is held in tension by the wheel collars, but it is all together. I have a second problem with the gear - the square sections are just a little too wide to ride up and down in the wire slots. They bind, and provide very little shock absorption. I might modify the wire loops, or just leave it to a few hard landings to loosen up. Otherwise, the kit looks really nice, and worth the price tag, given the amount of work done, the nice spinner, wheels, etc. I've been in RC since 1972, I don't think I could build, cover and buy accessories (wheels, spinner, etc) for a kit like this for less.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:14 AM
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Has anyone tried to remove the plastic 'flange' that is on all the vacuformed parts?
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