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Old 07-18-2003, 03:00 PM
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Hey all, I am looking into an electric trainer and I am interested in the Hobbico SuperStar EP. Is this plane a good one to start with, and does anyone know where I can find a video of it to look at before I buy it? Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2003, 04:43 PM
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I have not seen it fly, but I briefly looked to purchase it last year.

It's not a "park flyer", look at its weight and overall size. If you live in Iowa with lots of open spaces or will join a club and fly at their field it will make a good trainer. Not good at the local park or athletic field and/or flying over homes. It's a potential 3 1/2 pound mis-guided missle!

I also believe I read that the engine is marginal and probably needs a gear box to fly well.
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Old 07-18-2003, 06:37 PM
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A gearbox would definitely make a marked improvement on the performance of this plane.

I don't have one either, but most reports I've read have been favorable, even built stock.
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Old 07-19-2003, 01:22 AM
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ok, what bout the spectra select RTF? Its bigger but a sailplane and will fly a lot slower right?
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Old 07-27-2003, 10:07 PM
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Oh boy are you all over the map. You go from a heavy trainer to an e-glider. Huge difference.

What are your goals? Are you interested in gliders and thermaling? The Spectra would be a good choice

Are you more interested in heavier power plane? Go with your first plane.

Do you plan to join a club? Are you going to try and teach yourself?

Do you have a runway or are you flying in grass fields?

Myself, I bought an Aerobird and I love it. Just so happens I also now have a Great Planes Spirit 2 Meter which is the unpowered twin to the Spectra.

How about a personal review of the Aerobird from a new RCer, me. I looked at the Firebird II, XL, Fighterbird and the Aerobird. With three channels you can do a lot more, so I went with the Aerobird.

I was not interested in building. If I spent a month building and then wrecked it, I would be crushed. I wanted a RTF that could take some punishment.

I am a first timer. However I am also one of these guys that goes into intense research when I get interested in something. After several months of research, talking to people, flyers and non, I bought an Aerobird. It is a super value but there are other good starters. Here are the plusses and minuses in my mind
of the Aerobird.

Very inexpensive and rugged for a three channel starter - $130-$160
The plane comes complete and fully assembled. Charge the flight battery, put on the wing, put the batteries in the transmitter and up you go! Even the batteries for the transmitter are included.

New flyers like me are going to crash, so you don't want something costly to start with. There is a full line of parts available at reasonable cost. You can replace the whole main fuselage for $49 including the motor and all the flight electronics. A wing is $15 and the tail is $9. So, if you crash badly you can get everything for under $75 and you are back in the with a three
channel plane.

Batteries and charger:

The battery will run for a full 5-6 minutes at full throttle and 10-15
minutes+ at half throttle. Many planes in this class run 4-6 minutes. And unlike many of the 2 channel starters, it comes with a peak charger that you can use in your car. If you pick up two spare batteries you can stay in the air all day. A full charge takes about 40 minutes.

Another plane I like is the Sky Scooter Pro II. You can get it
as a base plane and motor and add your own electronics or get it ready to fly with a 72 MHZ Hittec 3 channel radio for about $160. This was my second choice to the Aerobird. I like it a lot! I may still get one.

The Aerobird also has an X-Pak hop up kit available for $30. It includes a 7
cell battery (the basic is 6) and a larger tail. This makes the plane faster
and more maneuverable. So, once you get good you can soup it up! I bought the
X-Pak when I bought mine. I will use the 7 cell as my second battery and save
the tail for later.

WIND

All new flyers should start in winds under 5 MPH so that you are learning to
fly the plane rather than fighting the wind. I didn't do that and crashed a
lot because of the wind. However, now I am very comfortable flying this plane
in 10-12 MPH winds. Handles it very well.

27 MHZ vs 72 MHZ Radio

The Aerobird uses a 27 MHZ radio which is assigned to general use for planes,
cars and boats; mostly low end stuff. There are only 6 available channels. So,
if you have a kid with a RC car in the same area where you are flying, and he
is on the same channel you are on, and he is close enough, when he switches on
his transmitter, you will lose control of the plane and probably crash. Even
with 72 MHZ radio systems, this will happen if you get two flyers on the same
channel, but 72 MHZ is dedicated to airplanes. High end RC cars are on 75 MHZ
so they won't interfere.

The flight control is a single stick radio with rudder and elevator on the
stick. Throttle is on a slide on the left top. It is similar to a Futaba or
Hitec single stick arrangement. I find it very comfortable to use and other
flyers who have tried it say they find it easy as well. I now fly a sailplane with a hitec radio with exactly the same arrangement. Much simplier to learn than a two stick radio.

If you are going to join a club, check with them. Some clubs will not admit 27 MHZ based planes because they can't be flown with a buddy box, a training system, like a dual controlled car, that is used for pilot training. After long consideration I bought the Aerobird, but these are things I took into consideration. My club, www.lisf.org has many firebird pilots, so the Aerobird was welcome The Sky Scooter Pro, mentioned above, is on the 72 MHZ band set-up so you don't have any of these considerations.

Resources Aerobird, Sky Scooter Pro

Here is an internet site that sells the Aerobird. They also have a
link for a video of the plane flying:
http://www.parkflyers.com/html/aerobird.html

As I said, my alternative plane was the Sky Scooter Pro. It had been about $260 RTF, but they recently released the Sky Scooter Pro 2 at about $160 so you might want to give it serious consideration.
http://www.hitecrcd.com/Funtec/Pro2.htm

Videos
http://www.hitecrcd.com/Funtec/videos.htm

So, that's my evaluation of the Aerobird and why I purchased it. I fly as often as I can. I have about 50 flights on my plane since the end of March. I am fully self taught. At this point I am just loving it. My friend has a Wingo and liked flying my Aerobird so much he bought one too.

Now I have expanded to gliders, so don't let anyone tell you what you learn on the Aerobird can't be transferred. They are wrong.

Whatever you get, happy flying!
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Old 07-28-2003, 06:09 AM
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I just had the oportunity to trip out a SuperStar EP yesterday for a guy. It flies very well and would make an excellent trainer (as the owner is going to learn on it). I was flying it in sustained winds of around 10MPH and it showed no bad tendancies. I took it up high and even performed a loop from level flight. So I don't think it needs a gearbox, Matt.

I'd definately recomend this one.
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