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Hobbico NextStar Mini EP vs. E-Flite Apprentice 15e

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Old 07-26-2010, 04:07 PM
  #1  
bighoffer
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Default Hobbico NextStar Mini EP vs. E-Flite Apprentice 15e

First off, this is my first post andI am excited to now be a part of the ******** community. I will be purchasing my first "real" RCaircraft in the next week or so. I hate to say this, but my flying experience consists of two foam AirHogs from Target. One being a 2-channel, the other a 3-channel. Both were fun at the time, butI soon realized that I neededsomething more.I have since been making weekly trips to my local Hobby store's simulator and feel very comfortable with a 4-channel high-wing trainer.

Having said that, I have my decision narrowed down to a couple planes. The Hobbico NextStar Mini EP and the E-Flite Apprentice 15e. Any suggestions? I'll go ahead and list my own pro's and con's for each model and let you tell me right from wrong after that...

Hobbico NextStar Mini EP
Pro's:
-44" wingspan seems versatile (I will be flying in a soccer/football field)
-Reasonably priced
-Speed-limiting flaps appear to be a nice feature
-Air-foil extensions also appear to be a nice feature
-The pivoting wing design may absorb some of my early flying fumbles
Cons:
-Balsa-wood/monokote construction worries me. If I can consistently land a 4-ch on the simulator, do I have anything to worry about? I will not fly in any weather less than perfect to start off with.
-Repair. Are balsa-wood planes repairable?

E-Flite Apprentice 15e
Pro's:
-Foam construction
-A number of positive reviews on the web
Con's:
-Size. I'm worried that the 58" wingspan will seem too large for my flying area.
-The price is on the high end of what I'd like to spend.

Misc. Questions
Does anyone have any feedback on the DX5e versus the Tactic TTX440?
How large of a flying area is recommended for planes such as these?
What accessories are recommended to start off with? Extra batteries, props, ACadapter, etc?
Thinking long-term...what would be the logical next plane after a high-wing trainer?
Are there any more good 4-ch models other than what I listed above?

Feel free to give me feedback!Again, I'm looking forward to acquiring more and more knowledge of this sport. I haven't even flown yet and I already feel obsessed.

-Mike
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:56 AM
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aeajr
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Default RE: Hobbico NextStar Mini EP vs. E-Flite Apprentice 15e

Tell me about your flying field. How big? Runway? Clear of grass or bushes or what?

Secure or are there people walkng all over the place?

Your post has been here for a while and no one has offered help. I am offering.

Did you buy anything yet?

As to your questions:


Misc. Questions
Does anyone have any feedback on the DX5e versus the Tactic TTX440? -

They both work.

How large of a flying area is recommended for planes such as these?

I would say a minimum of 600X600 or about 4 football fields. An experienced pilot can fly in less but a new pilot needs room. More space would be better. Isaid this was the minimum.


What accessories are recommended to start off with? Extra batteries, props, ACadapter, etc?

Assuming you get 10 minutes per battery pack, I would suggest 2 extra packs, 2 extra props.
A/C adapter assumes these have 12V chargers. So you can use an adapter or you can just charge them in your car.
Clear packing tape. CA glue. Odorless or foam safe works on wood and foam so get that one.
Some 5-10 minute epoxy will probably be useful as well.


Thinking long-term...what would be the logical next plane after a high-wing trainer?

There are hundreds to choose from. Get these flying first.


Are there any more good 4-ch models other than what I listed above?

Lots, but these are good choices.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:25 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NextStar Mini EP vs. E-Flite Apprentice 15e

The NexStar Mini EP is the way to go IMO. I own the Mini EP and so far it has outperformed the other trainers I have flown recently. Tower hobbies has the RTF on sale with coupon today for $204.00 shipped after instant coupons. For the money, this can't be beat. The plane is in real flight G5.5 so you can learn to fly it before hand.

Cons that I have noticed:
the wing mounting system helps prevent major damage in a bump, but be prepared to do minor repairs to the wings because the little screws don't hold very well. I guess that's the point, LOL.
You have to poke a hole in the fuselage monocote to adjust the front wheel servo trim.
The battery fits annoyingly snug, and the center of gravity will require the battery to be positioned way forward.
The prop is a tad brittle (carbon fiber), but has excellent thrust for an electric. I have tried many aftermarket props with this plane, but the factory one is still the best performer all around.
wheels are a little small for tall grass, but can upgrade
Don't try to adjust your control stick height. They WILL strip out. Aluminum caps on steel rods, with poor tapping = PITA!!!

Pros that I have noticed:
easy to assemble and charge
2.4ghz
fast for a trainer
nice aerobatics, not much on the snaps turns and spins
fits in a ford focus back seat fully assembled (44"wing span)
full throws on controls
inexpensive
Balsa is easy to fix
looks pretty once factory wrinkles are ironed out.
Flies well in tight spaces, but can fly high and fast too
pretty much lands by itself with throttle control and barely a touch on the elevator to flare.
Rolls, spins, hammerhead stalls, loops, inverted flying, all do outstanding considering a high wing trainer.
I get about 20 minutes max out of a new battery...not too shabby. (most of the time about 15 minutes)
lifts off in a short distance, and hand launches very nicely.


Definitely get props and another battery. AC adapter is handy if you are fying near your home. Zacto-knife, glue, balsa sticks, spruce plywood to rebuild motor mounts if you pile drive it. clear packing tape to repair monocote will save you money on your first plane, because looks don't matter after 4 or 5 crashes, LOL. You should be able to fly a dozen times or more on one set of double AA batteries in your Transmitter. I have tried to be completely honest about the negatives and positives of the NexStar Mini EP. I imagine the other radio is better than the TACTIC, but it works.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:06 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico NextStar Mini EP vs. E-Flite Apprentice 15e

Thanks for the review, converting glo to E can be frustrating.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:35 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico NextStar Mini EP vs. E-Flite Apprentice 15e

Regardless of which plane you choose, and both are great planes, consider finding a mentor/instructor to help you out (this can be done by visiting an RC flying club in your area).  Weekly sim practice at the LHS isn't a very good indicator of what a "real" RC airplane can do or how easy it is to fly. Having someone by your side who lets you know the ropes is ten times more valuable than any sim made. I would probably be able to fly twice as good as I do now if I had done this early.
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