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Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

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Old 09-14-2010, 08:25 PM
  #1
cobrajocky
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Default Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

I've bought many RC and CL planes in my 63 years of life - kits, ARTC's and ARF's - so I think I've got a pretty good perspective on quality from great brands down to off brands. I have usually had good experiences with Great Planes model's in the last 5 years, never having to complain to Customer Service before. But a recent experience with their newest ElectriFly WWI model, has me questioning their quality control and service.
I recently ordered from Tower Hobbies the newest addition to the GP ElectriFly ARF WWI squadron, the Nieuport XI, after reading reviews online, seeing reviewed model pictures and seeing the promotional videos. I also have a few of the earlier GP ElectriFly models - the Fokker DR.1, Fokker D.VIII, S.E.5a and early this year the SPAD XIII. The Nieuport XI was a favorite of mine when just a kid building plastic models and this RC plane just looked beautiful in all the promo pictures and reviews.

To my shock when it arrived and rushing to open it, the plane was an ugly wrinkled mess on every surface, something that would make a mother Shar-Pei proud of a new puppy litter! (appropriate, since both have China as an origin!) It looked nothing like the pretty pictures in reviews and Great Plane advertisements! This was the worst covering job I have ever seen in my life from ANY manufacturer; hey, I seen $45 knock-off ARF's that had a better covering job! There was clearly no way I could ever get this degree of wrinkles out with a heat gun or iron and in MHO, I am damn good at covering and repairs with 50 years of experience building planes. The SPAD XIII I bought at the beginning of the year was wrinkled too, but not nearly as bad.
I called up Great Planes and complained about it, the CS agent assured me that this was a "fluke" and isolated case and to send it back to Tower Hobbies; who promptly sent me return shipping labels. Great Planes said the replacement would surely be perfect. Well Tower Hobbies quickly sent out a replacement, again from the Reno Nevada warehouse, once my return arrived at their facility in southern Illinois.

He is the heartbreak ... the second Nieuport XI model is almost as bad as the first, so it's hardly a "fluke" or "isolated" lousy covering job situation with this new addition to their EP WWI line! These models are being made POORLY! I have included pictures I've taken of the 2nd Nieuport "Shar-Pei" XI.
It is apparent that Great Planes is doing ZERO quality control at the Chinese "factory" where these are made and when they arrive in the US. Or, Great Planes just doesn't care what the quality is like ..... which means to me, they are now - Not So Great Planes. I would give this ElectriFly model a D- in quality of manufacturing and a F to Great Planes customer service.

Oh - BTW, I'm flying it the way it is, wrinkles and all, except that I had to recover both Ailerons because they were just to bad to fly with. I hope others that I fly around southern California with will see this ugly mess and ask me why it looks like a Chinese Shar-Pei. Trust me , they will get an ear full.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:44 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

Man, that's horrible!
I hope this doesn't set their new precedence.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:56 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

And I was thinking of buying one of these till I saw this thread. Looks like someone else other than Great Planes will get my money.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:26 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

send it back. I have called tower hobbies before for this reason. I am not above removing a few bad spots, but only to a point. I bought a super skybolt a couple years ago and when i opened the box it looked like your plane. At first I started ironing the bad spots, after about an hour I said to heck with it and called tower hobbies and returned it for a new one and everything was fine after that.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:18 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

definitley a QC problem. All assembly lines will turn out some junk from now and then, but it's up to the QC guy to say, "This isn't going out"!!!
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:24 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

First off, noone should have a product they are not satisfied with. That goes for model airplanes as well as anything else.

We stand behind every one of our products, and will make them good. A bad covering job is not something you should have to "live with". Whenever the model is not up to standards, then we should be told about it and we'll do what's necessary to make things right.

If your model is as bad as you state, with wrinkles everywhere, we can have it picked up and we'll hand-pick one for replacement. Your replacement was handled through the vendor and not the service center. We have not seen the original model, so we cannot make a report to the product manager to have the stock inspected. Your replacement model was sent from the vendor's remote warehouse, so we could not make sure your model was up to standards.

Apparently, you called Tower's customer service and not Great Planes Product Support to get your model replaced. Different things happen, depending upon who you talk to. If we can be of service, please let us know.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:18 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

wow. That's horrible. The parts I've ordered from GP for my Big Stik have been covered flawlessly. Not a wrinkle on the fuse or wing.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:28 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

Excellent news Bill.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:33 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

WOW cobrajocky that is a bad covering finish there .
And I have that plane on the top of my next to get list .
My experience with Tower Hobbies for many many years has been excellant , and products were backed up as needed .
I am impressed that the NEXT day after your post with photos , that you were answered here on this forum , with a offer to make it right to your satisfaction , thats always good news to read .

Would you please let us know how it is resolved please .

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Old 01-13-2011, 09:23 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

mine is the same way.. and iv'e read about people sending them back and getting the same quality in return. im gonna recover mine eventually. going to enjoy it for now... cant see the covering job from 30 feet anyway. Monokote is a little heavy for a parkflyer anyway. check out my in flight video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAyT8tI2f5M
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:15 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes becoming NOT So Great Planes?

Bax, thank you very much for your reassuring post. My Great Planes models are an inseparable part of the mission to help make modeling a more positive force in the victorious march of modeling in the culture war.

One quick question - would it be possible to order a Park Flyer Dr.-1 uncovered? The beauty of the airplane's structure is just too great to be covered up with any opaque covering, in my opinion. I also like the idea of easily reinforcing weak spots with carbon fiber to make the delightful little machine more resistant to my less than ideal piloting skills. My first such "kit" would be covered with one of the light translucent red covering plastic materials and finished with Great Planes black and white decals if such an irresistible kit were to be made available.

Could such a kit be made available at some point in the future? Yes, I would be willing to pay more for such a deal. Given its size and performance capabilities along with my desired modifications, it could easily become my very favorite demonstration flying machine.

Thanks again for your part in keeping the logistics support in order for what historians may very well record as one of the greatest crusades in model aviation history!

So let us carry on to FLY HIGH, FIGHT, AND WIN!

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Bax

First off, noone should have a product they are not satisfied with. That goes for model airplanes as well as anything else.

We stand behind every one of our products, and will make them good. A bad covering job is not something you should have to ''live with''. Whenever the model is not up to standards, then we should be told about it and we'll do what's necessary to make things right.

If your model is as bad as you state, with wrinkles everywhere, we can have it picked up and we'll hand-pick one for replacement. Your replacement was handled through the vendor and not the service center. We have not seen the original model, so we cannot make a report to the product manager to have the stock inspected. Your replacement model was sent from the vendor's remote warehouse, so we could not make sure your model was up to standards.

Apparently, you called Tower's customer service and not Great Planes Product Support to get your model replaced. Different things happen, depending upon who you talk to. If we can be of service, please let us know.


madwebtvscientist [sm=lol.gif] [sm=cry_smile.gif]____________________________________________ Modeling Promoting Bog: http://www.rcuniverse.com/community/...g&memid=266748 Modeling's rendezvous with destiny will surely be unstoppable when something greater than the narcissistic pleasure of a selfish esoteric chosen few is adopted in modeling.
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