Hobbyking Minimoa 2M Sailplane Review
The Minimoa sailplane, build in the mid 30's, was one of the first sailplanes build by Schempp-Hirth company, a most famous and largest glider manufacturer in Germany and in the world.
First flown in 1935, the Minimoa with its amazing silhouette was probably one of the most famous gliders of it's time, It was one of the sailplanes symbolizes the German soaring. Because of it's technological breakthrough it was the glider which helped many pilots quit the slope flying and explore the thermal or even the wave soaring. It was a big step from experimental soaring to pure sport flying. It was the first sailplane to carry water ballast, in a tank behind the cockpit.
In the late 30's (1938) the Minimoa established the world altitude record of 22,000 foot during a flight in a cumulonimbus cloud.
Richard du Pont and Chet Decker flew Minimoas to win the U.S. Championships in 1937 and 1939.
The HobbyKing Minimoa RC glider is 1/8.5 scale of the full-sized sailplane, but of course, an electric motor was added for take off assistance
TheHobbyking Minimoa was very well packed, in two cardboard boxes, one inside the other. They use lot of adhesive tape, so nothing could have moved or damage while being on the way. Everything arrived in perfect condition with no damage.
In the box
Fuselage with installed motor 1200Kv, 20A ESC, spinner and folding prop', two 9gr servos, landing wheel, pushrods.
two wings with aileron servos, pushrod and aileron horn installed.
Elevator with installed horn.
Rudder with installed horn.
Plastic bag contain
Four nylon screws - 4M - 2 for the elevator, 2 for the wings Phillips head screw driver.
.Afoam double sided tape
Y-cable for aileron servos.
Aluminum made wing joiner.
Small Allen key with 2 x grub screws.
A tube of unknown adhesive.
Required for Completion
Battery - 3S 11.1V (recommended - 2200Mah size20C)
Receiver – 4 CH (or more) receiver
No manual or instructions of any kind were in the box.
Wing span: 2000mm/78.7in
Weight: 923g/ 32.6oz include battery & receiver - ready for flight.
The Hobbyking Minmoa requires very little time to make it ready for flying
You should install the elevator with 2 nylon screws (don’t forget to connect the pushrod to the elevator horn first) and than to glue the rudder hinges to the rear part of the fuselage (again, do not forget to connect the pushrod to the rudder horn first)
Next you have to install your receiver and battery in the fuselage and connect it to elevator and rudder servos.
Next thing is to balance the glider to the proper CoG.
As I mentioned before, there is no manual. After short search in the web I found out that 54 mm from the leading edge is a good place to start with. You have to put the battery just behind the motor and to add lead (if necessary, depend on size and weight of Battery), in order to balance the model.
In order to minimize the motor warm up, I drilled in the spinner's hub 6 holesto allow air to cool the motor.
I put a piece of strong adhesive tape to minimize damage to the foam's front and tail skids.
You are ready to drive to your flying field
Connect the two parts wing with the wing joiner, connect the ailerons servos to the right channel of the receiver, and than install the wing to the fuselage with the wing support bracket and the supplied nylon screws, ( I must say that in order to assemble the wing and fuselage it's better to get help of somebody else). Install the canopy in place- I recommend replacing the canopy magnet to a stronger one or secure it withadhesive tape
Now you are ready for flying
At the Latrun flying field there was light wind, excellent for test flight. After checking all the controls I turned on the motor half way and gave a medium forward throw just slightly above level. I got my left hand onto the transmitter and move the throttle some more up. Climb with 3/4 motor was good but you must give some down elevator to prevent the sailplane climb steeper and steeper. It is a good idea to use throttle\elevator mix to control the climbing angle. You can easily get many good climbs with 3-cell 2200 battery pack.
Once at altitude it handles very well. No trim was needed for level flight. The glider is very stable and you don't need to "fight" the controls. Turns are easy but you must use the rudder (lots of) for nice coordinated turns. (It's a good idea to use ailerons/rudder mix). Once in a turn, you can almost leave the controls – it keeps turning without the pilot do anything. I caught a weak thermal and it was very easy to keep flying in it and even earn some height. To summarize briefly my impression of this model airplane – the Minimoa glides wonderful
Stalls were straight foreword with no wing drop and the Minimoa lost just a little amount of height, picked up speed and resume normal flight without me doing much of anything. On the other hand, power-on stalls (during climbing) were much more aggressive, the wing tip had dropped and the glider changed rapidly its flight direction (because of the large propeller effect).
This is a thermal glider and not a plane designed for sport acrobatics. But mostly because of the Aluminum made wing joiner, supplied with the model, (that seem to me not strong enough) I didn't fly any kind of aerobatic maneuvers
Very easy to get ready for landing and to fly the pattern, it flies slowly and you have plenty of time to get ready for touchdown, but it is good idea to plan carefully your glide path because the sailplane refuses to touch the ground and just keeps flying. You can feel the lack of airbrakes or spoilers. It might be a little tricky to land the Minimoa in a very limited area.
.Touchdown is very smooth with the installed wheel
?Is this for Beginners
There are other planes and gliders better suited for a beginner. This glider would be better for the one with at least some experience or intermediate pilot. I would not recommend for a beginner to fly this glider as the very first model.
Ireally love the look of the gull wings while watching the Minimoa in flight! Everything worked as it should and the plane showed no bad habits so I only have good words to say about this glider. Using the recommended balance point and original controls throws, the plane performed fine on all flights. The 3s 2200Mah Battery balanced the plane perfectly. Purchasing this sailplane is a very good deal.
Thanks to umbo for writing this review and editing the video
Thanks to Yosi Ringler for his help in making the video for this review.