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NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

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Old 08-21-2005, 10:04 AM
  #1  
L0stS0ul
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Default NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

[link=http://www.hobbyzone.com/rc_planes_hobbyzone_firebird_freedom.htm]Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom[/link]
First 3-Channel Beginner RTF Plane with Anti-Crash Technology

This one looks quite amazing. A 3 channel, mid wing, trainer with ACT. It even looks kinda cool.

Not much to say. Check the link and read about it. Looks amazing for a trainer.
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Old 01-07-2006, 10:48 PM
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deb1033
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I just bought this plane today and it works great. i upgraded from the Firebird commander 2 so i could have the third channel. If you are looking for a great begginer plane i would highly recomend it.
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Old 01-07-2006, 11:05 PM
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Leo L
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

Bought a Firebird Freedom for my son for Christmas. Had to wait for a day with decent weather, but finally were able to fly last Sunday. My regular field was too muddy, so we flew the plane from a small parking lot nearby. The lot is about 180ft.x200ft. and is surrounded by trees ranging from 20ft. to 35ft. The first flight was terrific: took off, banked and climbed over the trees, flew for about 8 minutes. He was a little nervous to make his landing approach between two rows of trees, so I landed the plane for him. I only flew it for about a minute, but it seems to fly very nicely: not much different than my Aerobird Challenger. Put in a fresh battery, took off again. Not so good this time: didn't clear the trees! Tore the tail right off. Hard way to learn to stay away from trees.

A little CA and a little epoxy, and the plane is ready to go again. Unfortunately the weather has not been cooperative, so we sit and wait for the third flight. Hopefully the field won't be too muddy and the trees will not be such an immediate danger.

As far as the Firebird Freedom - an excellent beginner's plane. Didn't get to test the ACT too much, but on the first flight the plane seemed to fly better without it.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:56 PM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I am very close to buying a FF as my first plane. The only question I have is about the charger. It looks like it only comes with a DC charger that plugs into a car outlet. I live very near to where I would fly it, so it would be a pain to have to charge the battery for 40 minutes in my car each time. Am I missing something? Does anyone have a recommendation about a good (cheap) wall charger that would work here? It has a 7-cell 8.4V battery. Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:09 PM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I just bought the FF two days ago. Never flown an RC before. Took a nosedive coming in for landing after only flying for about 5 minutes. Now I going to the store to buy some CA glue to repair the tail wing.

The car charger took 70 minutes to charge the battery. I've looked into getting the wall charger, but saw on the Hobbyzone website that the wall charger doesn't fully charge, only the car charger gives you a full charge! Didn't make sense to me, but for now I'm going to buy two extra batteries and make a copy of my car key so I can charge while at work.
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Old 01-23-2006, 01:27 AM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

Stay Away From Trees!!!!!!!
Leo L,
I went out and Bought me the Hobbyzone firebird commander 2 with its A.C.T (Anti-Crash Technology). Same lesson stay away from trees[sm=confused.gif]. You where lucky, my plane got stuck in the tree damn tree I had to wait until morining the next day to climb up and get it down got. Wing was broken , put purchased another from the hobbyshop.
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Old 02-11-2006, 07:16 PM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

Im USAF Jet engine Mechanic 15 years--lots of mechanical experience and A&P certified. I have flown RC many times--(not electric)

Im not convincedabout this plane..but I did buy two.

The wifes first toss= beautiful lift out for about 50 feet then.... hard right cartwheeling dive and bent wing. (Shes now my launch slave) [&o]

Mine: flew awesome for first 4 minutes..then motor unexpectedly cut off and unlike advertised, I had NO controls. Fortunately I was flying level and it landed unharmed--only to have the motor insultingly turn on at impact.

Trouble shooting--changed battery (after all wife was finished with hers anyway) changed Tranmitter batteries, checked tail rig, did two person ops check at specified distance--everything good. Launched second time--flew great for about 1 minute in perfect control...motor sputtered ..It came on, it went off, on, off nose dived and cartwheeled knocking propellar off, collapsing nose, bent wing, broken tail, battery broke the canopy off and dislodged its self from housing. Other than that....perfect!
Oh-yeah...the motor kicked on on impact--again. SWEET!

Called Hobbyzone but not open for business on saturday??? ***?
Now have $300 worth of useless plastic in garage.

Another question--has hobbyzone ever thought of zip-tieing the wires in the fuselage in a way that prevents them from entangling in the servo mechanism?? I mean, they used zip ties quite nicely in the package to keep it secured for shipment-- why not where it really counts?. I found battery red wire touching servo cam and plane two had black antenna wire passing straight through the linkage and cought.

6 minutes of collective fly time is not wrth $300--look elsewhere


Few other gripes: Wing stickers have many bubbles in them, AA batteries included are useless (too small to stay in transmitter) I R2'd those immediately, charger took over an hour in car. I left it charging right up untill fly time (all-night) Tail and wings are NOT durable. Rear wheel is flimsy at best and main gear tires are pathetic--soft foamy wheels.

The center mount wing scheme is nifty; knocked loose with each crash but never failed--carbon spar is interesting and strong but does absolutely nothing to prevent bent wings.
Over all-- I think this bird could be fun and exciting if Hobbyzone will work out the bugs, improve the quality.

Im sure this could be a great zone 1 plane...Im not convinced as of todays "double wammy"! Will post more after speaking with Hobbyzone Monday.




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Old 02-11-2006, 08:28 PM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I've never had a problem with mine... I'd return it, and they should refund you, because the way it just cut out. My TX batteries stayed in just fine, but the ones that I replaced the with (Duracell) have already outlasted them. I soloed my first nitro plane today. It was a trainer, and it wasn't much more difficult than my FF. I do have 50 flights or so on the FF. Also, teh nitro trainer is even more sensitive than the FF with the controls maxed out. i did atleast 20 touch and goes today, and other various things on one battery. I get atleast 15 minutes on half power, sometimes full, and maybe 10 full power the whole time for aerobatics. I'm curious to see how the mini super sporster will compare. I have one ordered, and have a brushless for it...
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:58 AM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

never use the ACT. I was at the flying field flying over water with it and it starting going crazy on me so i switched ACT off and it flew great. the motor only sputters because of the ACT!!!
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Old 03-10-2006, 09:55 AM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

Just a reminder, the manual states never to fly over water with the ACT on....the reflection can "confuse" the sensors...

chief
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:38 AM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I've got one in pieces in the box packed. away. It sucked, would bend wings way too easily and the radio gear and charger are crap IMHO.
Get an Easystar, you won't be dissapointed. (sorry, had to say it)
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:03 AM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I encountered one huge problem with my freedom. It seems to bank hard left with or without motor on. I adjusted control surfaces and everything, idk. Anyone had this same problem with theirs. Seems to be weight distribution or something. Thanks
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Old 03-20-2006, 10:18 AM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom


ORIGINAL: jetboy11914

I encountered one huge problem with my freedom. It seems to bank hard left with or without motor on. I adjusted control surfaces and everything, idk. Anyone had this same problem with theirs. Seems to be weight distribution or something. Thanks
Make sure you've don't have a decal sticking up on your left wing. It creates huge drag and has caught me and my buddy out a few times.
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Old 03-20-2006, 07:36 PM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

hey nothinglasts,
So you haven't encountered any weight problems just a decal problem? Thanks for your help, i just got a new wing today so i'll give it a try when this stupid weather clears over.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:09 AM
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Leo L
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

It seems that if the plane does not have enough air speed, it banks to the left as you describe. My son's Freedom took off from the ground with no problem, but when we tried to hand launch, it would bank sharply to the left and crash. We found that by taking a couple of running steps and then releasing, thereby increasing the speed, the plane would hand launch with no problems. Also on landing, if you slow it down too much, it will stall the left wing, bank left and crash. Good luck!

For now, we put away the Freedom and bought him a Slow-V. A much better plane for a beginner.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:12 AM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

Yeah, the motor torque will try to roll the plane to the left. If thats the case you need to launch with less throttle or feed it in a bit smoother.
Jetboy, it would be hard to make the plane off balance and I don't think it would be that sensitive to it anyway. Just check your old wing to see if any of the decals have lifted up on the left wing, or if the card like covering has separated at the leading edge. That can happen quite easily when the wing gets a bit of a knock and will also create a drag imbalance. Thats the only reason for steering problems I have had on the three planes I own and even full rudder isn't enough to overcome it.
Also I did find that on low speed turns a wing would stall quite quickly causing a sudden drop and crash. I suppose thats because of the small wing area for the weight of the plane.
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:03 AM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I emailed the folks at hobbyzone, and they said that I probably have a "defective fuselage". Now what the heck that means , idk. I mean does that mean the receiver is messed up, the weight is off, or the motor is not functioning properly? I'm just flying my SFM Soarstar now. It's a great plane without all the problems I encountered with the Freedom. I guess that's my own fault for buying the plane off Ebay though.
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:43 AM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

Jetboy, "defective fuselage" could mean just about anything, since that is their replacement part that includes all the electronics, the motor, the pod and boom and would also include motor thrust angle. So, yeah, that woud fix virtually any problem except a damaged wing or tail. Or a problem with the transmitter.

I suspect you have a problem with the boom being loose, out of alignment or twisted. Or there is some damage to the tail that may not be obvious (crease at the mount, for example).
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Old 04-02-2006, 11:03 AM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I've had my freedom for 3 weeks. You have to reallly put some oomph behind the toss to keep it from banking left. . . Haven't tried a ROG yet. I found once I turned off ACT - it is much nicer as long as I fly it w/ a bit of speed(always over 2/3's) throttle. This is my first plane so I guess my input should be based on that.
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Old 04-02-2006, 11:19 AM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I have been following the posts on the Freedom. Not always good, but I am catching a trend here. What I am hearing is, when hand launching the plane, it needs a very strong throw or it can't get up to speed fast enough. This is contrast to the Challenger or the Xtreme which practically jump out of your hand.

This may be the cause of all the complaints I have read about tip stalling. Perhaps this plane does not have the low speed glide of the other HobbyZone planes. The rest of the line seems to have excellent low speed glide. We thermal and slope soar these planes as motor gliders all the time. Perhaps the Freedom is a departure from that design. It is quite different from the other planes.

Anyone know what the wing loading is for this plane? A higher wing loading will make it better in the wind, but usually at the sacrifice of low speed handling. I have seen advertisements that suggest it is better in the wind. It may be due to higher wing loading.

Has anyone done a hand glide with this plane? No motor, just glide from a hand throw. I can do that with the Challenger and the Xtreme from a standing throw or perhaps one step forward. As a sailplane pilot, this is a normal thing for me to do to check trim.

If it is the low speed glide character of the plane that is causing the crashes, then we can make pilots awere of this and they can avoid the problem. All designs have certain "needs" and characteristics. Once you discover them, you can usually enjoy the plane more.

Let me know what you think guys.
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Old 04-02-2006, 01:29 PM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

Again I preface this statement w/ I am a noob. I did read that somewhere that the wingload is heavier than the others - like 15oz/sq foot? It was on a board here - probably in the park flyer board.

From what I read when I was shopping for a glow trainer - it would seem to me that this being a mid-wing it wouldn't glide as well as the others which are high wing and might need more throttle. Mine definitely won't hold altitude at 1/2 throttle as suggested. And I do remember noting that when watching videos on horizons page I always thought the landings w/ the freedom looked a bit fast and rough compared to the others. I personally have found myself holding power on her alot longer than the 10' rule that the manual says. Or coming in faster and having a higher speed glide to the ground. It won't drift down too well w/o a breeze.

My left wing has taken a beating and I'm out 2 spars thus far (both being fully wind related), but the plane is dang tough.
I'm stuck inside today and I'm kinda shopping around for plane #2. I was thinking of taking the freedom all the way through looping and what not, but I'm not sure I see it happening. I'm debating j-3 cub v/s stryker if I can keep myself in this a few months to save up for it.
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Old 04-02-2006, 01:37 PM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

The striker will be far more aerobatic, but is very very tough. If you manage to master the freedom, the cub will look pretty but very docile. I would say go for the stryker.
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Old 04-02-2006, 01:42 PM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I probably will. At least the stryker has elevons and it seems like a plane that I can stick with awhile. I originally was into the electrics just to get back to flying my glow trainer, but it sure is easy just to go to a field and fly rather than hook up w/ an instructor once a week. . .

Sorry to half ambush the thread. I'll keep following it. My advice for freedom owner so far is to turn off ACT, fly 2/3's throttle or more and have some spare wing spars on hand. With daylight savings time on - I hope to snag some flights after work, family and weather permitting.
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Old 04-08-2006, 07:39 PM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I THINK this is the spot I said I'd add updates to my experiences with the Freedom, can't very well remember. I took her out twice today in 4-5 mph winds + gusts. I'm getting better so I dunno if this is accurate or not but my impression of the plane is increasing. Again I'll assert that this plane does best at 2/3's to WOT. Today, breezes were definitely battering her pretty good. Several times it would just hang in one spot unable to make any progress v/s the wind until I dipped the nose and dove to move on. Or it would be pushed down low (sometimes 10 feet or so) and I'd have to give lots of up eleveator to keep from crashing, but it responded if the throttle was open enough. The downwind runs at WOT were awesome. at the end of the field I'd bank and yank so hard, I could see the wings flex (gonna have to add some tape) and she didn't lose much altitude at all. I had a blast.

I think the plane should be adusted to be a level 1.5. It is too apt to stall for the slow, non-banked turns ACT requires, but if you are comfy at flying w/ act off and banking your turns by adding some elevator - it's a good plane. I'd like to have a challenger fall in my yard to fly side by side with this, but the stryker calls
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:10 PM
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Default RE: NEW Hobbyzone Firebird Freedom

I'm teaching my brother-in-laws to fly and I suggested that they buy the Freedom and they did. Don't know if that was a good idea or not.
We flew them both for the first time this evening. I have been flying for many years so I had the honors for the first flights. Man were the Freedoms a hand-full out of the box. First thing I noticed was they wanted to bank hard left even with full right trim they still banked left. Next the elevators trim needed about 3/4 up to keep it flying level. Also the ACT, what were they thinking its terrible fly’s much better with it off. After a couple of batteries I felt it was safe to turn them over to the newbies. They did OK. Both guys had nice landings and had a great time.
One good thing I can say for the Freedom, it can take a beating. Even with the wings and tail broken and repaired we were flying again in just a matter of minutes.
With that said I'm not sure this is a good plane for someone to teach themselves to fly on.
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