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Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

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Old 02-09-2006, 04:07 PM
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Barry2
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Default Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

I am tired of 2-channel flight and am looking to move up to a 3-channel trainer. Not a really slow one either like the Slow Stick. I think I would tire of that too quickly and there's usually a 5-10 mph breeze around here. I am thinking of the Firebird Freedom or the T-Hawk. Something that will keep me interested for a while. I can get an experienced pilot to help me get started with it. And both fit my budget.

One thing I want is a plane that stores easily in it's own box between flights to keep in my car trunk for those impromptu flying sessions. I think the Firebird Freedom does that. Can anybody that has one confirm this? How about the T-Hawk storing in it's own box? I don't think that one does. Of course I am talking about just removing the wing and maybe the landing gear, but not major take-down that will consume time. My goal is to be able to pull the car over on the spur of the moment when I have 15 minutes to kill and be able to just mount the wing and fly for at least 10 of those minutes. I don't want to totally rebuild the model every time. I know I could probably build some kind of custom storage crate for any airplane, but realistically I am not going to spend the time on that kind of project.

My choice between these two planes may come down to this storage factor. The T-Hawk seems to have a bigger following and is supposed to be very crash rugged. The Freedom is probably more fragile, but it is available from a LHS and has the Anti Crash Technology feature and is a little less money up front. I also like the Freedom's throttle location on the front of the TX and of course it is bigger. I would probably lean toward the T-Hawk based on how members like it, but I really want something that stores easily and relatively compactly (the Freedom has a 2-piece wing that also helps keep the package small). So can anyone tell me about the storage characteristics of either or both of these planes? This is the kind of thing that reviewers don't always cover.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-10-2006, 10:38 AM
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Leo L
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Default RE: Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

I cann't tell you about the storage of a T-hawk, but the Firebird Freedom stores very easily in its shipping box. I bought a Freedom for my son for Christmas and we keep it stored in the box all of the time. If you add the tail wheel, you need to make a cut-out in the styrofoam for the wheel, otherwise the tips of the tail stick up above the protection of the styrofoam. You should also consider the Aerobird Challenger. I have been flying my challenger for the last eight months and it lives (semi-premanently) in the trunk of my car. Besides the plane, I keep a spare wing, a small box of tools and tape, two sets of home-made skis and my AeroAce in the one box. The box is longer than the Freedom, so you must make sure that your trunk is large enough to fit it. If it is, I suggest you get the Aerobird over the Freedom. It flies better and is easier to assemble and dis-assemble than the Freedom. However, the differences aren't great and both planes are very nice. Good luck and let us know what you select.
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:18 AM
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Default RE: Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

Leo L,
Thank you very much for the tips. I had originally ruled out the Aerobird Challenger because on paper, the Freedom looks like a lot more plane for less money. Larger, more powerful, steel rods on the servos, ACT, more modern design, etc. But hearing you say that you have both and the Challenger flies better offsets all of that. It all comes down to how it flies.

How large is the Challenger box? The wingspan is 42" so I am guessing the box is just long enough to contain that, maybe 44" or so? It sounds like there is a whole lot of extra room in the box. I have a Civic with a small trunk, so that may be pushing it. I'll have to measure.
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:29 PM
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Default RE: Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

I keep my freedom in my trunk with me i also drive a civic. I really like this plane and it is really easy to store in its box and reassemble in seconds at the field. I dont have a aerobird but i think the split wing of the freedom makes it easier/faster to throw together.
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Old 02-11-2006, 08:39 PM
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Default RE: Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

The other wind design will chop up wings if your not careful. It is very easy to pull the landing gear off, and the wings out of the fuselage. Probably takes a minute to throw it together.
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:36 PM
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Default RE: Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

Thank you all for your replies. It looks like the Freedom and it's smaller brother the Challenger would both work well as store-in-the-box planes and also fit in my trunk. I have also determined that the T-Hawk will not store in the box without taking the tail apart, which I don't want to mess with each time.

However, I found a Rubbermaid plastic storage box at Wal-Mart, intended for underbed storage, that will fit in my trunk and looks like it would just barely accept the 40" T-Hawk wing and plenty of other stuff and of course be very durable. I would just need to add some internal bracing for the fuselage, Tx, etc. I am thinking of hot-gluing some styrofoam blocks in there for the purpose. The box is like 19 inches wide, so bigger than necessary, but overall a good option at about $15 and this might open up the T-Hawk as a choice for me now. And this will be rugged storage for the garage, as well, which is another concern of mine. I guess messing around with the box would not be more work than making the necessary pre-flight reinforcements to a Challenger.

The only problem is that I am not sure the fuselage and vertical tail will fit within the 5.5 inch height of the box. I have contacted Toytronix for that information.
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:01 AM
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Default RE: Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

Update: I bought an Aerobird Challenger today. Major factors were the ability to store it in its box in my trunk and the fact that I got a pretty good price on a used one. I can't wait for delivery and the maiden flight.
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:35 PM
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Default RE: Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

Barry,

I think you will be very happy with your ABC. Just be careful when storing anything in the trunk when it gets hot, it is not good to store any foam in exessive heat, especially in the summer...

Have fun!

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Old 02-21-2006, 01:43 PM
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Default RE: Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

Thanks for the tip. I was thinking that would be an issue for the foam and also for the batteries. Excessive heat will not be a problem for a couple more months at least, but I live in North Carolina and it gets very hot in the middle of the summer without a doubt. In fact, I wonder if my garage will even be safe for storage. It'll probably get to 90+ degrees F in there on hot days. Does anyone know the exact temperature where this becomes a problem?

Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2006, 02:14 PM
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Default RE: Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

Barry,

The bigger issue is keeping out of direct sunlight for long periods of time and the "greenhouse effect" you tend to get when things are in a tight space such as a trunk or even the inside of a car with the windows rolled up when it is hot...I store my planes in an upstairs bedroom that does not have A/C and it gets hot in Illinois in the summer as well (and HUMID)!!! I have not had a problem...

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Old 02-25-2006, 02:23 PM
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Default RE: Firebird Freedom vs. T-Hawk: Storage question

I have been flying a Challenger for 3 years, all year round, along with a fleet of sailplanes and other electrics. The challenger has lived in my trunk in NY since the begining. I have not had a problem with the foam if the plane is properly placed in the box. Rubber bands tend to get dried out or gummy when they get very hot, so watch that. Can't say if the batteries have been bothered or not.

I do believe that having the plane in direct sun is not good for it, but in the box it seems do do fine. I used some cardboard to create compartments along the inside.

I carry 6 batteries, 2 rolls of tape, 3 wings, extra tail ,2 chargers, pile of rubber bands, various spare parts, 8 spare batteries for the radio and a roll of string ( tree fishing ), combat module, drop module, light module and it all slides into the box.

Reinforce the cardboard box with tape along the opening area. Wrap tape around the top of the foam to keep it from breaking up over time. Spary silacone inside the cardboard box so the foam will slide in and out easily.

Be sure to put your name and phone number on the plane so that if it wanders off, some nice person can help it come home.

After 500+ aerobird flighs, I have some experience with the plane.
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