RCU Review: Hobby Zone Champ RTF

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    Contributed by: Geoff Barber | Published: June 2010 | Views: 81559 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of HobbyZone RTF Champ
    Geoff Barber

    Email Me

    Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (800) 338-4639



    • Quick, Easy Assembly
    • Can Be Flown Indoors or Out
    • Scale Appearance
      and Color Scheme
    • Comes with everything needed to get airborn

    • None!

    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    The Aeronca Model 7 Champion, more commonly known as the Champ, is a single-engine, two-seat, fixed conventional gear airplane. Designed for flight training and personal use, it entered production in the United States in 1945.

    The Champ was built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation and first flew in 1944. Selling for around $2,095, Aeronca was producing 50 light aircraft per day and by the time production ended in 1951, the company had sold more than 10,000 Champions.

    Like the Piper Cub with which it competed, the Champ features tandem seating. While the J-3 model of the Cub is soloed from the rear seat, the Champ can be soloed from the front, giving improved forward visibility on the ground and during takeoffs, landings, and climbs. The Champ has a wider cabin than the Cub and offers better visibility.

    Hobbyzone has just released their own micro version of this Ready-to-Fly classic aircraft, designed to help you teach yourself to fly. I'm excited to see what's in the box, so let's get started!

    Name:Hobbyzone Champ RTF

    Price: $89.99

    Wingspan: 22.4 in (517 mm)

    Length: 14.3 in (365 mm)

    Flying weight: 1.3 oz. (38 g) with Battery

    Radio Used:2.4 GHz DSM2 (Included)

    Battery: 150mAh 1s 3.7 V LiPo (included)
    6-10 Minutes Average Flying Time

    Channels Used: 3 total - Elevator, Rudder, and Throttle

    Items Needed To Complete

    • Nothing- everything is included to get you in the air!

    The colorful box protects the Champ in a secure foam cradle, and serves as a carrying case for transport. The Champ comes pre-assembled, and looks scale- especially when you consider the very small size of this plane!

    There are a few features that I liked. The battery is really easy to install in the underside of the plane, the instruction manual helps you get your Champ in the air quickly, and the scale decals and wing rib detail added to this micro-flyer makes it stand out from the rest!

    Assembly begins (and ends) with installing the batteries in the charger base and the transmitter, and plugging the LiPo flight battery in for a charge. The plane itself comes completely assembled!

    After the battery has completed charging, insert it in the pocket in the underside of the nose.

    If you prefer to fly the Champ with your own Spektrum radio, you can. I'll show you how to bind it to a Spektrum DX7 transmitter. Binding is easily done in three steps:

    1) Plug the battery into the receiver on the plane. At this point the LED on the receiver will start to flash.
    2) Move the transmitter sticks on the transmitter to the desired failsafe positions.
    3)Press the bind button on the back of the radio while turning the radio on. The light on the bind button will start to flash, and you can release it after 2-3 seconds. Once the LED on the receiver glows solid, the binding process has been completed.

    I think it's great that Hobbyzone includes a section that shows you in detail how to repair your Champ in the event of those occasional mishaps. It covers replacing the propeller, replacing or repairing the prop shaft, and even includes a troubleshooting guide.

    Two cool features included transmitter are the dual-rate set up and servo reversing. To switch between high and low rates, simply press in on the right stick. The LED will flash and you'll hear a beep. Servo reversing (if necessary) is done by pushing in on the digital trim button of the desired channel and holding while the radio is turned on. After approximately five seconds, you'll hear an audible tone signifying that the change has been made.

    Let's take some pictures of the Champ and get it airborne!

    When Hobbyzone says "teach yourself to fly with the Champ", they mean it! I took off from the ground at about 3/4 throttle, and it flew very nicely. I added in a few clicks of up elevator, and I was able to fly the plane 'hands-off' at 1/2 throttle.

    The Champ flies very slowly. It gives you plenty of time to react to it, and is a lot of fun to fly. You can also speed it up, and full throttle passes are by no means fast, but it will clip along at a fairly quick rate.

    Basic three channel aerobatics can be done. Loops and stall turns look beautiful, just remember to enter with a bit of speed on the plane.

    Landing the Champ could not be easier. Just keep the nose into the wind, pull back on the throttle, and it will float right in and land almost at your feet.

    Check out the video to see the CHAMP in action!

    Hobbyzone CHAMP
    Or, Download the Video (10meg)

    As I come to the end of this review, I must say that I really like these small indoor/outdoor flyers. A few years ago, I was not interested in the electric airplanes at all, because you had to use expensive motors, heavy batteries, and usually you ended up with less performance. The new electric gear, especially LiPo batteries, have come so far, that I am really enjoying the small electric planes. The fact that you can go from the box to the air in less than 30 minutes and have a scale looking aircraft is just amazing, not to mention that with the Champ you get all you need to get it in the air for less than $90.00!


    Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (800) 338-4639

    The product(s) contained in this review were given at no cost to the
    reviewer for the purpose of this RCUniverse review.

    Comments on RCU Review: Hobby Zone Champ RTF

    Posted by: twizzy on 07/03/2010
    great airplane i had it for almost 2 weeks now and it's a bang for the buck!!
    Posted by: pettit on 07/09/2010
    This looks like the perfect plane to take over to my local park across the street to unwind after work. But, is it a Champ or is it a J-3 CUB? (title below video screen) Looks like a Champ to me
    Posted by: rcfalcon56 on 08/22/2010
    I have a question. How much wind can it realisitcally handle? Down here in South Texas, the wind is rarely calm and is usually blowing around 07-15 mph. Would this be a viable small field choice in these wind conditions?
    Posted by: G.Barber on 08/22/2010
    I would say that 5 mph wind would be at the upper limit for most pilots.
    Posted by: rcfalcon56 on 08/24/2010
    Thanks for the feed back.
    Posted by: Jb Stearman on 10/25/2010

    Posted by: tommcg46 on 01/11/2011

    Posted by: callmemario on 04/08/2012
    Great review, thanks!
    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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