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Hobbico Superstar EP

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Old 08-13-2005, 06:37 AM
  #1  
Greg Covey
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Default Hobbico Superstar EP

My review of the Hobbico Superstar EP ARF will focus mainly on the newest RTF version but will also cover the differences between the three available versions; [link=http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXAPD1&P=ML]original rudder-only ARF[/link], Superstar EP [link=http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXGVZ3&P=ML]ARF w/ailerons[/link], and the [link=http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXJKU3**&P=ML]Superstar EP Select[/link] RTF w/ailerons. Additionally, I will be test flying the model in stock form first and then suggesting several simple hop-up modifications to get optimum performance out of this most "modeler-friendly" trainer in the industry. The Superstar EP has the same reliability of the glow-powered SuperStar 40s but with quiet and clean electric power.

The Select RTF version also includes a version of the [link=http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXEFJ4**&P=ML]Futaba 4YF[/link] radio system with S3003 servos which makes it an incredible RTF package value at about $250.

FEATURES:
[ul][*] SuperStar EP uses only high-quality wood components, and comes precovered in a durable plastic film.[*] The SuperStar EP ARF is ready to fly in just 3-5 hours (2-3 hours for Select version)[*] Roomy radio compartment is plywood reinforced and allows for easy installation of standard-sized onboard electronics.[*] One piece wing half with ailerons and metal joiner rod[*] A flat-bottom airfoil supplies excellent lift at slow speeds and also helps keep the model level.[*] Landing Gear: Two piece pre-bent wire 0.098" (2.5mm) in diameter[*] Wheels: Two 1-3/4" (45mm) diameter foam construction[*] Highly efficient 9x5.5 composite prop.[*] Hobbico includes a high-performance Electrifly T-601 electric motor, propeller, Electronic Speed Control (ESC) with metal heat sink, Battery Eliminator Circuitry (BEC) and Kyosho type connector, and 7-cell, 8.4v, 2100mAh NiCd battery (w/standard Tamiya connector).[*] Ninety day limited warranty
[/ul]

SPECS:
[ul][*] Wingspan: 48.75" (1240mm)[*] Length: 36.1" (917mm)[*] Wing Area: 402 sq in. (26.dm)[*] Weight: 3.1lb (1.4kg) Ready To Fly (RTF) or 2.7lb (1.2kg) for non-aileron version[*] Wing Loading: 18oz/sq ft (54.9g/dm) or 15.8oz/sq ft (48g/dm) for non-aileron version
[/ul]
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Old 08-13-2005, 06:56 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

The Superstar ARF comes with just the motor pre-installed and you must install the included ESC along with your own radio system components. The Superstar Select RTF version comes with everything pre-installed. Note the Kyosho-type battery connector and the servo lead extension to connect to the aileron servo.
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Old 08-13-2005, 07:00 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

The Select RTF version also includes a version of the [link=http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXEFJ4**&P=ML]Futaba 4YF[/link] radio system with S3003 servos which makes it an incredible RTF package value at about $250. Note that the radio system includes a rechargable transmitter battery and wall charger.
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Old 08-13-2005, 07:10 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

In addition to a complete 16-page manual, the Superstar EP ARF comes with a video to help you assemble and make your first flying experience a successful one.

An ESC set-up guide for first power-up throttle stick position learning and battery position improvement sheet are also included. The Superstar ARF fuselage is already modified for the improved battery position.
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:53 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

The battery bay has pre-installed runners to position the battery perfectly. The battery pack is then held secure by a single Velcro strap.

Air flow comes through a large opening in the firewall to pass over the battery and keep it cooler during flight. The air exits via the many holes in the bottom hatch.
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Old 08-13-2005, 01:23 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

To help assist in cooling, I decided to remove the foam surrounding the receiver and stick it to the fuselage side using servo tape. On electric powered planes, the vibration is greatly reduced so the foam is not really needed. If you are a first-time flyer, you may want to leave the receiver foam on to protect it in the event of a crash. You can remove it later once your flying skills improve.

I also moved the position of the ESC up front just behind the firewall opening. This allows the cooling air to flow directly past the ESC on its way to the battery. I CA'ed a few pieces of balsa to keep the wires in place so that the ESC stays put. A cooler ESC will work best as I have a hop-up for the flight duration later on in my review.
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Old 08-13-2005, 01:26 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

The prop mounts directly to the Speed 600 motor shaft using the supplied collet-style adapter. Note that you should run through the ESC throttle stick calibration before mounting the prop.
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Old 08-13-2005, 04:41 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

The tail assembled very easy without any glueing. The Superstar RTF Select comes with the control horns premounted. The horizontal stabilizer slides into the rear of the fuselage first and then the vertical stabilizer locks both pieces to the fuselage. The threaded rods are secured with washers and nuts.

To attach the control rod, first remove one screw from the control horn and twist it to accept the "Z" bend in the rod. Secure the control horn and you are ready to tighten the screw on the servo arm quick link. I decided that my control rods were a bit too long so I cut off an inch.
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Old 08-13-2005, 08:22 PM
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RD55
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

i love my SS EP. i made a few changes.. phasor 30/3- slips right into stock motor mount. a jeti 70 with ESC and a 3 cell thunder power 2100 lipoly. 20+ minutes of any thing you want to put it through. still have to hand launch, due to small wheels. just power-up and release. my club members are amazed at it's performance.. lands like a dream, just cut power and go get it.....
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Old 08-14-2005, 10:17 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

RD55,

Thanks for the alternative setup. What was your RTF weight?
Did you use the stock prop and adapter?
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Old 08-14-2005, 10:32 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

The Select RTF wing on the left comes with the aileron servo and linkages pre-installed. The wing halves slide together with a metal support bar and thinner trailing edge alignment bar. Although the fit was sufficiently tight so that it won't fall apart in flight, I added the recommended white tape strips for further security.

It was easy to align the ailerons by twisting the clevis on either servo arm.
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Old 08-14-2005, 10:46 AM
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RD55
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

11x5 apc e-prop. 5mm. collet adaptor. 4.25 lbs..
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Old 08-14-2005, 05:59 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

Thanks.

One more question...did you mean to say ThunderPower 4200mAh pack? The 2100 pack can only provide 20amps current delivery. The 4200mAh 3s2p pack could supply the 40amps needed for the Phasor 30-3 and have a respectable flight time.
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Old 08-14-2005, 06:04 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

The wingholder rods had plastic tips that screwed in place. These were nicely done my Hobbico and made a secure holder for the rubberbands.

The CG range was 2-1/2" to 2-7/8" back from the leading edge of the wing. My plane balance perfectly near the 2-1/2" mark. To help keep the pack from shifting sideways, I wedged small foam pads on each side.
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Old 08-14-2005, 06:44 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

no, 3-cell 2100 pack. i get a ton of time out of it.. plus i seems to stay fairly cool! i think hand launching as opposed to rog must save some batt.......... anyway, i do like it .
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Old 08-15-2005, 07:22 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

RD55,

There are some things on your setup that just don't add up.

First, my stock Superstar EP weighs only 48oz (3lbs) RTF with the heavy Speed 600 motor and 13oz NiCd pack. Perhaps you measured your 4.25lbs incorrectly.

Second, your Jeti Phasor 30-3 motor with a 3-cell Lithium pack and 11x5 prop should be drawing between 30-35amps (at full throttle) which is way beyond the recommended 20amp max for a ThunderPower 2100mAh cell. If you perform any aerobatics, the pack should be getting at least warm.

Lastly, I can't explain how you could get a 20 minute flight on this capacity pack.
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Old 08-15-2005, 07:27 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

My Hobbico Superstar EP Select was RTF at 48oz (3lbs).

The 7-cell, 2100mAh NiCd pack weighed 13oz and the RTF plane without battery weighed 35oz. I used 6 rubberbands to attach the wing.
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:47 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

I was able to maiden the Superstar EP a few times over the weekend when it was rather calm and we flew it twice again today for the video. All four times, the stock setup worked very well with my only complaint being rather short 5 minute flights. The plane glides well and lands easily without power. The plane steers well on pavement take-offs as long as the power is kept high.

During the video, the winds were about 10mph. We took off pavement and landed in grass due to the rather short parking lot runway. The Superstar EP had no problem looping or rolling. The plane is designed to be a stabile trainer so it doesn't really care for inverted flight as it tries to upright itself.

[link=http://www.gregcovey.com/rcu3/SuperstarEP1.wmv]Superstar EP Video1[/link] (13meg)

Next up...why some hop-ups, of course!
[ul][*] Bigger wheels[*] 2-cell BalancePro 3.2AH Lithium pack[*] Jeti Phasor 30-3 motor replacement
[/ul]
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:39 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

what can i say, i don't need to make this up. all the e-power naysayers at my field can't belive their eyes.. the amazing thing is watching it drill into the wind!! i am sold on e-power and have finished a TT lazy tiger 51 slow flyer. phasor 45/3 and 3-cell 4200 lipo.. with a 13/4 apc it acts just like the review said with a .30 nitro. i am going to try a 11/5 and see if it will add a bit of speed. power is fine. also got long flights. if my results seem wrong , i like it!!!!!
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:10 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

Greg,
Great video...although I'm perplexed as to why my ARF SuperStar EP doesn't behave nearly as well with the stock power system. It gets very twitchy in the winds, and the plane will stall before completing a loop without a pretty good dive beforehand. Similarly, I'd love to know how you were doing those lazy barrel rolls w/o ailerons.

Chris
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Old 08-17-2005, 06:42 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

Hi Chris,

Perhaps you are using the older CG setting on your Superstar. It would appear that Hobbico has changed it at some point. They included an extra errata sheet on it and already had 3 balsa runners glued in place to force the 7-cell pack into the new position.

The lazy rolls (in fact all rolls) were done with aileron, rudder, and elevator control. The EP RTF Select version comes with ailerons.

The flat bottom airfoil and dihedral don't like flying inverted. The plane wants to upright itself after only a short period. By design, this is best for a trainer.

Regards.
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Old 08-18-2005, 11:10 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

I plan to try several hop-up on my Superstar EP. First, I increased the wheel size from the stock 1-3/4" to 2". Note that a 2-1/4" or 2-1/2" wheel would also work nicely but I didn't have any that size at the time. The goal here is to improve landings and perhaps take-offs on grass.

I received my [link=http://www.hobby-lobby.com/jetibrushless.htm]Jeti Phasor 30-3[/link] brushless inrunner motor from Hobby Lobby as a powerful maintenance-free replacement of the stock Speed 600 motor. An inrunner is like an outrunner in that it is a direct drive solution but there is no spinning can so it can be mounted right in place of the Speed 600 motor using the same mount. The Jeti Phasor weighed 0.3oz lighter than the stock Speed 600 motor at 7.8oz.

I will also first test the stock setup using a 2-cell Kokam 3.2AH Lithium pack and then try both a 2-cell and 3-cell pack on the Jeti Phasor motor.
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Old 08-18-2005, 11:40 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

I got my SSEP at the beginning of July, and it has two balsa strips in the battery compartment that maintain the battery position, and there was a third inside the fuse near the nose, which I've replaced with some styrofoam after a couple of rough landings. My plane balances at a little over 2 1/2" from the leading edge of the wing, within the spec outlined in my manual. I went out with the stock setup last night in calm winds, and it still needs at least a shallow dive to get up enough speed to execute a nice, tight loop...big loops are out of the question, as are outside loops.

Chris
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Old 08-18-2005, 01:29 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

Chris,

Another possibility is the motor lifespan. These brushed motors can wear out anywhere from 10 to 75 flights depending upon how hard they are pushed. Additionally, a single crash can affect motor performance if it hits the nose or stops the prop abruptly.

You may want to consider buying new [link=http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXCZK0&P=Z]Superstar Speed 600 motor[/link] for only $10 at Tower Hobbies.
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Old 08-18-2005, 05:06 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico Superstar EP

i also want to ROG, but can't find a stronger landing gear that will fit and not block batt. hatch. any ideas? i wpould love to taxi to the pits...
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