How does a company design a 1.20 sized low-wing airplane that is easy to fly and is relaxing? That's just what Hangar 9 set out to do. They accomplished this task by creating the Pulse 125 XT. With a winning record behind the two smaller planes in this series, the design team created the largest Pulse yet. This new plane has all the great flying characteristics of its siblings, while being even easier to see in the air. The Pulse is covered in genuine Ultracote covering, in a three color, eye catching scheme. The orange, white, and silver colors stand out against any sky, and the bottom side of the wing differs greatly from the top, making orientation easy.
The Pulse 125 XT also has some great features, such as pre-installed (and glued) hinges and control horns, rubber wheels, and a bolt on tail, making assembly easy.
Flying Weight (advertised): 8.2-9.5lbs (3.7-4.3 kg)
Radio Used: Spektrum DX7
Engine Used: Evolution 1.20 NX 2-stroke
Channels Used: 4 total - Elevator, Aileron, Rudder, Throttle
Items Needed To Complete
4 Channel Radio (Minimum) w/ 5 Standard Servos
9" Servo Extensions (2)
3" Servo Extensions (2) for separating the ailerons to two channels, OR
"Y" Servo Extension for one aileron channel
Thin CA Glue and Thread Locking Compound
Canopy Glue and 30-min Epoxy
Various Standard Shop Tools
The Hangar 9 Pulse 125 came out of the shipping carton and caught my eye with very contrasting colors on the large box top. The orange, white, and silver color scheme really jumps out from the darker background. With the box top removed, I saw the usual Hangar 9 packing, which consists of individually bagged parts and smaller boxes all taped together to keep them from moving around during shipping. None of the pieces of the Pulse arrived with any damage.
There are several features that really impressed me as I unpacked the Pulse 125. The large removable front hatch makes fuel tank or battery pack installation very easy, while the fiberglass cowl and wheel pants, along with the durable aluminum landing gear are robust enough to take quite a beating.
Some of the other features I liked were the large rubber treaded wheels, the pre-cut and painted canopy, and last, but not least, all the servo mounting screw holes are laser cut! These are all nice features, but the pre-cut servo mounting screw holes are a real time-saver.
The manual is another area where the Pulse shines. There are tons of great illustrations, and the written instructions are easy to follow. I did find one concern that I would like to point out, but I'll get into that in detail in the engine mounting section.
Assembly starts with the tail, and securing the tail wheel bracket is first. The manual walks you through every step, and nothing is left to question. The tail wheel bracket is one of only two places that required epoxy, and the rudder hinges are the only ones that need gluing in place.
Once the rudder is hinged, assembling the tail cosists of laying the horizontal stabilizer on the fuselage, and sliding the two bolts from the vertical stabilizer through. Make sure to bend the rudder to the right to allow passage of the pre-installed rudder control horn past the elevaor.
Securing the tail feathers to the fuelage is as easy as installing two washers and two locking nuts. Be careful not to over-tighten the locking nuts- you do not want to crush the fuselage in the tail area!
Radio installation is next, and could not be easier. The Pulse has such a spacious opening that anyone can work in there. The pre-cut servo mounting screw holes save a lot of time, and need only to be tapped with a servo screw, and hardened with a drop or two of CA.
Once the CA is dry, the servos are mounted using the hardware that came with the servos.
Mounting the JR Chargeswitch is easy, because there is a laser cut hole for it. All I had to do is cut away the covering and install the switch. The battery pack is installed using a hook and loop strap and foam padding. While the hook and loop strap is not included in the kit, they are available at almost any hardware store, and do not cost much.
The receiver is installed in front of the tail servos, and is also secured with foam padding and a hook and loop strap. One other nice feature designed into the Pulse is the holes to loop the strap through. They are long enough accomidate any type of receiver.
Now that the servos, receiver, battery pack, and Chargeswitch are installed, it's time to move on to installing the elevator and rudder pushrods. The pushrods have a z-bend in the servo end, and are slid into the pre-installed guide tubes. At the other end, make sure to slide on a piece of fuel tubing, and spin on a jam nut before the clevis goes on.
With the control surfaces held straight, adjust the pushrods to the correct length, tighten the jam nut, and secure the clevises to the control horns with the fuel tubing.
AILERON SERVO INSTALLATION
With the ailerons and control horns pre-installed, all that's left to install is the aileron servos and pushrods. We'll start by pulling the servo string free from inside the wing. Next, tap the pre-cut servo mounting screw holes with a screw supplied with the servo. Follow the tapping with a drop or two of CA to harden the threads.
Once the CA has dried, tie the servo lead pull string to the lead and pull it through the wing. Now the servo is installed using the hardware supplied with the servo. One of the arms included with the servo is modified using the instructions in the manual, and then the aileron pushrod z-bend is inserted in the arm.
After the servo arm and aileron pushrod are secured to the servo, a short section of fuel tubing, a jam nut, and a clevis are installed on the pushrod, and then secured to the control horn. The last item to install is the front wing dowel. Use a small amount of epoxy to secure the dowel. The dowels included with my Pulse fit so tightly that they had to be tapped into the wing's leading edge. That's it! The wing halves are complete.
LANDING GEAR INSTALLATION
On to the landing gear! The main gear is installed using five bolts and washers. Make sure to use some thread locking compound, you want the gear to stay secure! The axles are then attached to the main gear, and the axle nuts are the nylon locking style, so no thread locking compound is needed.
After grinding flat spots on the axles, the inner wheel collar goes on, and it is secured in place at 3/8" from the outside edge of the landing gear. This gives the proper spacing to install the wheel pants. The rubber treaded wheel and outer wheel collar are installed next.
The wheel pants are installed next, and could not be easier. the wheel pant is secured to the landing gear with two bolts and washers, and the outside part of the wheel pant has hole that slides over the axle to provide a little extra stability.
Last, but not least, the tail wheel is installed, and secured using the provided wheel collar.
ENGINE AND THROTTLE SERVO INSTALLATION
The Pulse comes with a template that is marked with two sets of holes, for four stroke glow, two stroke glow, and electric powered set-ups. The two and four stroke options use the same holes.
The template is attached to the firewall with low-tack tape. I prefer to use electrical tape, but any low-tack type tape is fine.
Using the template, drill a pilot hole in the locations needed for your particular power option.
After the pilot holes are drilled, remove the template and use a 5/32 (4 mm)drill bit to open up the holes in the firewall. the blind nuts are then inserted in the back side of the firewall, and pulled into place with the engine mount bolts. once secured, attach the engine mounts to the firewall, using thread locking compound to keep them secure.
For this review, I am using the new Evolution 1.20 NX. I placed the engine on the mount at the recommended 5 1/2 inches from the fire wall and marked the location of the engine lug holes. The engine was then removed and the holes were drilled using a 5/32 inch bit.
NOTE: During cowl mounting, I noticed that the face of the prop hub on the engine stuck out of the cowl by 5/16 inch. I removed the engine and relocated it 1/4 inch further back on the engine mount, and the prop hub and the front of the cowl lined up properly.
The engine is secured to the mount using the included hardware, consisting of hex head bolts, washers, and nylon locking nuts. The instructions do say to use a drill press when drilling the engine mount holes to make sure they are drilled square to the mounting beams.
The throttle pushrod is bent as needed for the particular engine, and attached to the engine after sliding into the guide tube. Mounting the throttle servo is standard procedure, but Hangar 9 goes one step further. They provided servo mounting locations on both the left and right sides of the fuselage. This is a great idea, and makes set up easier for any power option chosen.
FUEL TANK INSTALLATION
The fuel tank is assembled next, and is standard procedure except for securing the cover. This is done with a metal clamp, and it is an easy task. Hangar 9 included fuel line for both gas and glow.
A zip-tie is then threaded through the slots in the fuel tank tray, and the assembled fuel tank is held in place with the zip-tie.
once the tank is secured, a brace is glued in behind the tank, and then a small piece of foam is added for extra security.
Now the remote receiver can be installed, and it can go just about anywhere the cord allows it. Just remember to keep the antennas perpendicular to the main receiver's antennas.
COWL, PROP, AND SPINNER INSTALLATION
Mounting the cowl starts with taping a piece of tag board or other suitable paper to the nose of the airplane. Trace around your engine of choice (no cowl cutting is needed if using an electric motor) and trim the tag board until you are happy with the fit.
When you are satisfied with the opening, remove the engine (making certaing not to move the template) from the mount and install the cowl. Transfer the opening in the tag board to the cowl using a felt tipped pen. Remove the cowl, and cut the opening in the cowl to the lines made with the pen. I prefer to cut the rough opening with a cut off wheel in my rotary tool, and then use a grinding stone to finish.
Now it is time to remount and secure the engine, connect the fuel lines and throttle pushrod, and mount the cowl. As I pointed out in the engine mounting section, the engine did need to be relocated 1/4 inch further back on the engine mount due to the cowl mounting blind nuts in the fuselage, but that was done with minimal effort.
The spinner, propeller, and muffler are mounted last, and are standard procedure.
The inside edge of the canopy is roughed up with sandpaper before it is glued in place using canopy glue, and gives the glue a better surface to adhere to. Once the canopy glue has been applied and the canopy is in place use plenty of low-tack tape to hold it in place until the glue is dry.
Final wing assembly starts with inserting the wing joiner tube into one half of the wing.
Slide the other wing on the tube and the wing halves meet perfectly in the middle. There is an alignment pin already installed in the left wing, and it fit nicely in the other wing. All that is left to do is attatch the aileron servo leads to the Y-harness, and secure the wing to the fuse with the included 6mm x 40mm nylon wing bolts. They turn in very tightly, and there is no way vibration could back them out.
Now, let's take the Pulse 125 out into the daylight, and see what it's got!
The day finally arrived for the maiden flight of the Pulse 125. While it was fairly warm for a November morning in Minnesota, the winds were a little strong, blowing at 12-15 mph. After spending a few minutes tuning the new Evolution 1.20, it was time for take-off. Almost as soon as the throttle was opened up, the tail came off the ground. After a short roll, the Pulse took to the air. Now I am sure that the breeze helped get it airborne a little quicker than it normally would have, but the Evolution 1.20 is a great power package for this plane.
After a few circuits around the field, it became apparent that the Pulse 125 is a very nice, relaxing airplane to fly. The slow flight characteristics are nothing short of amazing- it will float around all day at 1/3 throttle, and the 16 oz. tank seems to last forever! After slow flying, the throttle was opened up to see how it handled. While not blazing fast, the Pulse moved through the air quickly, but gave plenty of time to stay ahead of the airplane.
I set the control throws up according to the manual, and they do give plenty of authority on high rates to perform graceful areobatics. Loops, rolls, Cuban eights, Immelman turns, and inverted flight are well within the Pulse's capabilities.
Before I knew it, it was time to land. Any one who can land a trainer can land the Pulse!
The airplane came in so slowly that it had almost no foreward airspeed when it finally touched the ground. Of course the winds added to the slow landing, but it did not feel overly sensitive in the 12-15 mph winds. I can confidently recommend the Pulse as a second airplane!
Check out the video to see her in action!
Hangar 9 Pulse 125 ARF Or, Download the Video (24meg) CLICK HERE
The Hangar 9 Pulse 125 is a very nice airplane all around. It is a large plane, without being too large. I was able to leave it assembled for transport, and it fit nicely in the short-bed of my full-sized truck. While the engine mounting was a little frustrating, assembly was still easy, and the Pulse flies great. I would say again that anyone that can fly a trainer, can fly this airplane! This airplane is a fantastic flyer that can make anyone look like a great pilot! At $269.99, it isn't the cheapest airplane in the 1.20 size, but I feel that with the quality of this plane, and the great flight characteristics, you just can't go wrong with the Pulse 125!
JR Radio Systems Distibuted by: Horizon Hobby
4105 Fieldstone Rd.
Champagne IL 61822
Phone: (217) 352 1913 www.horizonhobby.com
Evolution Engines and Propellers Distibuted by: Horizon Hobby
4105 Fieldstone Rd.
Champagne IL 61822
Phone: (217) 352 1913 www.horizonhobby.com
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.