RCU Review: FMA Direct FunJet RTF/ARF with On-Board Flight Stabilization


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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: December 2009 | Views: 51068 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    FMA FunJet RTF

    Review by: Greg Covey
    Flying Photos: "Papa Jeff" Ring
    Video Pilot: Devin McGrath



    FMA Direct
    5713 Industry Lane, Suite 50
    Frederick, MD 21704
    Ph: (301) 668-7614
    Toll Free: (800) 343-2934
    Fax: (301) 668-7619
    www.fmadirect.com



    • Includes everything you need in one box
    • Minor assembly required on video
    • Power system installed
    • Battery and charger included
    • Superb on-board flight stabilization
    • Protects a beginner's investment
    • Co-Pilot II stabilization sensitivity can be varied to suit the pilot
    • Co-Pilot II can be transfered to other models
    • Spare parts available from FMA
    • RTF and ARF versions available

    None
    FunJet RTF/ARF with On-Board Flight Stabilization

    The new FunJet package from FMA Direct combines a complete Ready-To-Fly (RTF) aircraft with FMA’s new Co-Pilot II patented infrared flight stabilization system. The Co-Pilot II uses onboard infrared sensors capable of measuring the difference in temperature between the earth and sky. If the model is in any orientation other than level, all the pilot has to do is return the right control stick to neutral on the transmitter and the aircraft will go to level flight in less than one second!

    The RTF version includes everything you need in one box to be successful. All you do is some basic assembly then charge the battery and fly! The package includes a 7-Channel, 2.4GHz Spread Spectrum radio system, brushless outrunner motor, 18-amp ESC, 3s 1100 mAh LiPo Battery, charger and spare prop.

    This ARF package requires you to install your own radio receiver for use with your existing transmitter. In addition, this package includes the IRNet programmer and router which are required for setting up the CPII Remote ON/OFF function using an auxiliary switch or knob on your transmitter. Access the full functionality of the CPII flight stabilization system, including preflight information on screen, and all advanced setup options from the IRNet wireless programmer. The pre-installed CPII system in this ARF is equivalent to the stand-alone CPII-C2 combo, and therefore represents a fantastic value! Either package includes a DVD manual along with flying video.

    Specifications:

    • Wingspan: 34.4" (875mm)
    • Overall Length: 27.5" (700mm)
    • Flying Weight: 18oz (510 g)
    • Motor Size: BL250-1800Kv brushless (installed)
    • Speed Control : BMC 18A ESC (installed)
    • Skyartec 2.4GHz 7-channel Spread Spectrum receiver (installed)
    • Battery: 1100mAh 11.1V Lithium Polymer (included)
    • Charger: DC-powered 2-3 cell Li-Po balancing (included)

    RTF Key Features:

    • Fully tested RTF package
    • Includes 2.4GHz 7-channel Spread Spectrum radio system
    • Electronics installed, tested, and all linkages pre-set
    • Durable foam construction
    • FMA Co-Pilot II pre-set at factory and installed
    • Easy and fun to fly!
    RTF/ARF Contents :

    The RTF version of the FMA FunJet comes with the Co-Pilot II (CPII) set up on the proportional knob on the top left of the 7-channel transmitter. This allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the CPII stabilization as needed. As the beginner gains flying skills, the amount of stabilization can be decreased.

    The ARF version (shown above left) has a Spektrum AR6100 receiver installed. I first tested the RTF version and then replaced the receiver to use my Spektrum DX-7 transmitter.

    Both versions come with the CPII sensors installed. The main sensor has four infrared detectors on it and the vertical sensor has two infrared detectors which allow the CPII to detect the horizon from any direction. Note that the FunJet has two finger holes for easy hand-launching.

    Also included with the ARF version is the IRNet Programmer and Router Combo. The combo is also available separately to round out the Co-Pilot II system for the RTF version but it is not needed since the RTF models are already installed and pre-configured for level flight stabilization mode.

    The router simply plugs into the CPII, which is included with both versions, and allows you to easily configure the model for flight stabilization. When in use, the IRNet components allow access to the advanced features of the CPII including all settings, on-screen pre-flight information, and 3D modes such as inverted flight, vertical hover, and knife edge. The IRNet combo will be required should you elect to transfer the CPII to another aircraft down the road.

    Download and Watch in Windows Media Player here!

    In addition, the IRNet programmer and router together can also function stand-alone by plugging into a spare RX channel. This can be useful in a gas powered model for on-board, wireless voltmeter. Never get caught with a dead battery. Just check the voltage on the flight pack by pointing the programmer at the router and reading the voltage right on the 2 line, 16 characters LCD. A very convenient feature!

    Some Assembly Required:

    The FMA Model Shop FunJet ships with a DVD that includes video manuals as well as flight demos. There is also a DVD menu so you can go to the video you need directly. Further, all of the individual videos are posted on the FMA video page. The last 3 videos on the page pertain to the FunJet.

    The basic assembly steps are as follows:

     
    • Install the AA-size batteries in the transmitter
    • Charge the flight battery
    • Epoxy the two wing assemblies to the fuselage
    • Epoxy the two vertical fins to the fuselage
    • Attach the two elevon servo leads
    • Cover the servo lead channels with supplied tape strips
    • Attach servo leads to the Co-pilot II
     

     

     

    Ready-To-Fly:

    Since my FMA FunJet came ready to fly, I only needed to charge the flight battery before testing it. The plane weighed 18oz (510 g) and I measured 80 watts and 7 amps at full throttle. This power level delivers about 71w/lb which provides good sport aerobatic performance.

     

    My initial testing of the FunJet was with the Co-Pilot II off. I wanted to see the capabilities of the plane and test for any bad habits. The FunJet flew very stabile yet had plenty of agility. The gains seemed to be about right although I missed the ability to program some exponential in the throws to soften the control in the center of the stick. The 7-channel Skyartec transmitter worked fine so I flipped on the CPII and set it for maximum sensitivity. The plane flew very stabile with the CPII compensating for wind gusts and we purposely put the model in various bad positions only to watch the CPII instantly correct it when we centered the stick.

    Download and Watch in Windows Media Player here!

    In the first video above, Team JR's Devin McGrath helps me test out the FunJet in 10-20mph winds. The plane seems to have plenty of power in the wind and the CPII really helped smooth out the flight when it was enabled. Even when we flipped the plane inverted, the CPII would instantly correct it when we centered the stick.

    After more test flying in calmer conditions, I realized that my confidence in the Co-pilot's ability to stabilize the aircraft would allow it to land on its own. I only needed to turn the direction of the plane and cut the throttle. The video below demonstrates the truly amazing capabilities of the Co-Pilot II.

    Download and Watch in Windows Media Player here!

    Beginner pilots that have never flown will still greatly benefit from having an instructor initially teach them how a model is supposed to be flown around a field safely. Once they learn the basic concepts, most beginners will benefit from the stabilization provided by the Co-Pilot II.


    Summary

    The new FMA FunJet with the Co-Pilot II infrared flight stabilization system is a great way to get started flying. Although an instructor is still the best way to get proper guidance, the Co-Pilot II eliminates the need for a buddy box. Further, since it works in most weather conditions, it allows the beginner to continue learning on days that are less than perfect or if an instructor is not available when you want to fly.

    The Co-Pilot II includes “stick priority” as a built-in option to provide a natural flying “feel” when using flight stabilization. When using stick priority, the Co-Pilot II is capable of automatically reducing flight stabilization sensitivity just by moving the stick further away from center. This results in a natural flying experience without sacrificing recovery time.





    Intermediate or advanced flyers can also utilize the CPII for other features like inverted flight, knife edge, or hovering. It is easy to switch between basic stabilization and 3D modes with the flip of a switch so you can learn new aerobatic maneuvers with safety and confidence.

    The IRNet Programmer and Router provide a “wireless” user interface for a simplified system setup and monitoring. As future IRNet peripherals become available from FMA, you may soon be able to include GPS integration, on-board watt meter, tachometer, temperature sensor, and digital servo matchbox setup.




    FMA Direct
    5713 Industry Lane, Suite 50
    Frederick, MD 21704
    Ph: (301) 668-7614
    Toll Free: (800) 343-2934
    Fax: (301) 668-7619
    www.fmadirect.com

    Distributed Exclusively in the U.S.A. by:
    Horizon Hobby, Inc

    Comments on RCU Review: FMA Direct FunJet RTF/ARF with On-Board Flight Stabilization

    Posted by: jhicks112562 on 12/21/2009
    Stable........very stable plane.
    Page: 1
    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.

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