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HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

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Old 10-06-2005, 08:53 AM
  #1  
Greg Covey
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Default HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

Hi,

I'm reviewing the Firebird Commander 2 from [link=http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/ByCategory/Product/Default.aspx?ProdID=HBZ2600]HobbyZone[/link] with the amazing new Anti-Crash Technology (ACT). ACT is the most innovative development to ready-to-fly airplanes since HobbyZone began. Optical sensors detect the ground and sky, and then give input that pulls the plane out of a spiral dive that could lead to a crash.

Everything you need to get your Firebird Commander 2 in the air is included in the box, even the transmitter batteries!

Features:
[ul][*] Revolutionary Anti-Crash Technology™ (ACT) is unique to HobbyZone and ground breaking because there is no other technology on the market that accomplishes what ACT does. It makes learning to fly easier and safer than ever before.[*] A one-box purchase, which means that everything that’s needed to get flying comes in the box, including batteries for the proportional 2-channel transmitter[*] A ready-to-fly design that allows users to get in the air quickly. They simply need to attach the wing and landing gear, and install the rechargeable battery pack, to get flying[*] A powerful 380 motor that permits users to have great climb rate and power while flying their Firebird Commander 2[*] Two transmitter-selectable flight modes, with Anti-Crash Technology “on” or “off”, for pilots to select the level of control they feel is best given their flying skills[*] A detailed instruction manual and video CD that instructs consumers on the proper techniques and steps that need to be taken to get their Firebird Commander 2 in the air and flying safely[*] X-Port technology that allows pilots to use exciting plug-in accessories, such as the Sonic Combat Module™ to dog fight with other X-Port equipped planes, the Aerial Drop Module™ to drop bombs or a parachutist, or the Night Flight Module™[*] A soft, resilient rubber nose that cushions the force of impact and decreases damage if the pilot has a hard landing[*] A fully proportional 2-channel FM radio system, including batteries for the transmitter, that is offered in six frequencies[*] A rechargeable 6-cell 7.2V 900mAh Ni-MH battery pack[*] An AC wall charger, with LED and timer, that charges your battery pack in three hours when it is completely discharged
[/ul]

Specifications:
[ul][*] Wing Span: 41.0 in/1025mm[*] Overall Length: 31.0 in/790mm[*] Flying Weight: 17 oz/480 g[*] Motor Size: 380 Power[*] Radio: FM 2-channel proportional[*] Trim Scheme Colors: white/blue/black[*] Recommended Battery: 900mAh 7.2V Ni-MH (included)[*] Transmitter Range: 2500 ft.[*] Available Frequencies: 6 frequencies on 27 MHz[*] X-Port: yes[*] Charger: AC wall charger w/timer and LED[*] Landing Gear: yes[*] Steering: Proportional
[/ul]
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Old 10-06-2005, 08:57 AM
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Greg Covey
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Default RE: HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

Nothing as exciting as Anti-Crash Technology (ACT) has happened to entry-level radio-controlled planes since HobbyZone was introduced. Here’s how it works:

Two sensors on the fuselage, one on the top and one on the bottom, monitor the position of the plane in relation to the ground. When the plane is flying level, the top sensor sees the sky while the bottom sensor sees the ground, and they tell the onboard computer (receiver) that the plane is flying correctly. If the plane enters a severe dive, the sensors detect the change in orientation and react to the danger that the plane is then in. The software in the receiver will then temporarily cut the motor, and correct the severe angle and pitch of the plane. This causes the nose to come up and pulls the plane out of the dive to help prevent the plane from crashing. The pilot is then able to regain control. If pilots are flying correctly and do not put the plane into a severe dive situation while ACT is engaged, they will have complete control of the plane’s flight pattern. Once users gain experience flying, they can turn ACT off.

Now, you can take advantage of this technological development by purchasing a Firebird Commander 2. This plane comes with everything that you need to teach yourself how to fly, including a battery pack for the plane, batteries for the transmitter, and an instructional video and manual. All of this, including the revolutionary Anti-Crash Technology, for a very low price makes the Commander 2 an exceptional value!
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Old 10-06-2005, 09:00 AM
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Greg Covey
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Default RE: HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

With the ability to shut ACT off, it’s like you get two planes in one.

You can learn to fly with ACT engaged, and then shut it off to fly more aggressively and to use X-Port modules, such as the Aerial Drop Module (HBZ6023), Sonic Combat Module (HBZ4020) or the Night Flight Module (HBZ3510). Because flying at night is very difficult, you should be quite experienced before you attempt to use this module and the ACT software should be shut off.

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Old 10-07-2005, 10:23 AM
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Default RE: HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

There is almost nothing to do to get the Commander 2 ready for flight.

The gear mains plug into the bottom slot and the wing is attached with the supplied rubberbands. All the linkages are pre-installed so you simply need to test the alignment after charging the battery.

The default mode is ACT On and Pro Mode Off. These features are both toggled to the opposite state by pulling down the left throttle stick for 3 seconds after turning the transmitter on with the receiver already on. This allows you to toggle the mode while in the air assuming you have sufficient altitude to turn off the transmitter momentarily.
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Old 10-25-2005, 09:43 AM
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Greg Covey
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Default RE: HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

I flew the Commander 2 right out of the box after charging the battery. It was a windy day, and although the Commander 2 had plenty of power and steering capability, the stock tail setting provided excessive lift in the wind. The Commander 2 would "porpose" in the wind when too much power was applied. We landed it and adjusted the tail but it was still not enough down thrust to properly handle the wind.

We knew we were on the right track and the plane would have flown without going up and down on a calmer day. I do more testing in calmer conditions after I modify the tail with some wedges. I will also test the ACT response in calmer conditions.

[link=http://www.gregcovey.com/rcu3/Commander2.wmv]Commander 2 - Maiden Flight[/link] (12meg)
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Old 10-25-2005, 09:57 AM
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Default RE: HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

After I returned home from the Commander 2 maiden flight, I added a balsa wedge under the fuselage and a couple lite plywood wedges under the tail mount. This should push the tail down to reduce the lift and provide better flying characteristics with a little wind or at a slightly higher speed.
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:21 AM
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Default RE: HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

Greg....many thanks for the info. I'm considering getting this plane as a Christmas gift for my 13 year old son, and the info you provide really helps.

Quick request....the link to the video file you posted doesn't work. Can you look into that?

Thanks.
Bob
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Old 11-04-2005, 08:48 AM
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Default RE: HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

Hi Bob,

You're right, I had a typo in the link. It should work now.

I'm still testing my Commander 2 as the balsa wedge proved to be too much compensation. I have gone back to just the thin plywood (cardboard will also work) pieces under the stab. The thickness is about the same as a credit card.

The Commander 2 has plenty of power put does not like to fly in wind because it produces great uplift. I need to test it on a calm day when only partial throttle is needed for maintaining level flight and wind gusts do not keep it porpoising like it did in the video.
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:39 PM
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Default RE: HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

I have recently bought this plane and in the process of sending it to hobby zone to see what has gone wrong with it. The first flight went ok since it was my first flight with my own plane. Had a rough landing and from then on it was hard to fly the plane. But then I bought a fus. but it was the older commander body and from trying to keep the commander 2 in the air. Like you had said in your post about flying in wind it made it difficult for me to control but the ACT would take over and level out the plane. The reason I am sending the plane in is to check and see if the ACT works. I brought it to the hobby shop I bought it from then they called the tech's and from what they said I should send it in to get it checked out. If there is nothing they can do I will chaulk it up to experencince. But all in all the plane has been a great learner for me.
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Old 11-21-2005, 02:08 PM
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Default RE: HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

Bought this plane as my first, and yeah, had trouble with wind which went on to smash the wing and tail. I've replaced those parts, but have had some trouble with the tail adjustment because of the control linkage. It just doesn't seem to be made for replacement. Does anyone have any ideas on how best to reinstall the control linkages to the tail horns, or is there an alternate configuration that might make it work just as well that is easier to install and customize?
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Old 11-26-2005, 10:29 PM
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Default RE: HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

If you go to HobbyZone.com and go to the How-To section, they have a pretty good explanation on how to replace the tail assembly.
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Old 12-31-2005, 06:05 PM
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Default RE: HobbyZone Firebird Commander 2 w/ACT

[sm=confused.gif][sm=confused.gif] dude you need to Revise your paragraph
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