Distributed by: Firelands Group LLC
2919 Crossing Court, Suite 2
Champaign, IL 61822
Phone: (866) 410-0921 www.ares-rc.com
Taylorcraft - an airplane manufacturing company that has produced nearly 20 different planes, but mainly recognized for just a couple models. The company spans more than seven decades building and selling airplanes. From the Taylor Cub to their last model, the Taylorcraft F-22 (NOT the military fighter) The company has always tried to build the highest quality product.
Meet the newest plane from Ares (pronounced Air-Ease). A state of the art, upgradeable Taylorcraft - it comes out of the box as a three-channel airplane with a full length, 22" wing and a brushed motor. This version will be right at home flying in your local gymnasium. Ares has LOTS of optional items for the Taylorcraft as well! A brushless motor/ESC combo is available, and even a clipped wing with ailerons for that true four-channel experience!
Like most other micro aircraft, the Taylorcraft 130 comes in a nicely adorned box that doubles as a carrying case. Mine arrived without a scratch! Inside, I found a safely packed airplane needing only the landing gear installed, a flight battery, a micro transmitter with charger, and batteries for the transmitter.
Inside the fuselage, I found actual geared servos - not linear actuators! The micro transmitter (included with the RTF version) is small, but feels comfortable in-hand and the AA batteries are included. I really like the wheel pants - full plastic pants are included on the assembled landing gear and look much better than the standard flat foam "pants" on many micro-sized planes!
Magnets, magnets, magnets EVERYWHERE! From attaching the wing and wing struts, to the cowl, and even the 3-in-1 receiver board are all held secure with magnets!
Assembly, if you can even call it that, consisted of sliding the pre-assembled landing gear in place. The four included AA batteries were installed in the transmitter, and the 200mAh single cell LiPo was plugged in to charge
Beyond the Basics Clipped Wing with Ailerons
Once you mastered the basics of flight and want to have even more fun, it's time to upgrade! Moving from a three to a four channel aircraft is a lot of fun, and opens a pilot to a new world - aerobatics!
The Taylorcraft has an optional clipped wing available. The wing, aileron servo, and wing struts are all sold separately, but approximate price for all three is under $40.00. The aileron servo was first mounted to the wing.
With the servo in place, the next step would have been to connect the two pushrods to the control horns on the ailerons... Unfortunately, the control horns on the wing I received were loose on the torque rods. I was lucky, though. I drilled a hole through the base of each horn, roughed a spot on the torque rod with the tip of my 1/32" drill bit, and added a drop of medium CA. YOU MUST BE CAREFUL WITH THE CA - IT WILL MELT THE FOAM IF YOU'RE NOT CAREFUL!
I also had to remove some of the wood bracing in the center of the wing to make it fit inside the fuselage, and this was done carefully with a single-edged razor blade.
With the ailerons fixed and connected to the servo, I plugged the servo wire into the 3-in-1 control unit. This is where it got really COOL! When the servo wire was connected and the battery was plugged in, the 3-in-1 control unit automatically switched the control of the rudder to the left stick and added the ailerons to the right stick! Last item on the installation list was to magnetically snap the wing on the fuselage and the shorter clipped wing struts in place.
Brushless Motor/ESC Upgrade
Also available are two brushless Ourtunner packages that really liven up the action! Both packages (including a 2000kV or 2300kV motor, mount, and 6 Amp ESC) cost under $40.00! Keep in mind that if you upgrade to the brushless version, you'll also need a 2S 180mAh LiPo battery. Ares has these for $10.00.
Time to upgrade to the brushless motor package! I started by removing the top half of the cowl, unplugging the two-wire brushed motor connector from the 3-in-1 control unit, and removing the motor mount screws.
The brushed motor system was then removed from the fuselage - please be careful with this step! The motor mount stick was held in place tightly, and took some coaxing to get it out without forcing it. The manual (included with the motor upgrade) stated to cut a small hole in the firewall for the new ESC battery wire. When I looked at the firewall on my plane, the hole was already there!
I connected the ESC to the motor and slid the ESC in place behind the motor mount - When connecting the ESC and motor, line up the red dot on the ESC with the red wire from the motor. With that done, I connected the ESC to the 3-in1 control unit and secured the motor with the included screws.
Some of the foam on the inside of the cowl must be removed so that the outrunner motor can spin freely - with the cowl in place, I gently pressed on the outside (top) of the cowl, causing the motor to make a mark on the inside of the cowl. With the mark in place, I gently removed some of the foam using my rotary tool and a metal bit. IF YOU DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE USING A ROTARY TOOL FOR THIS, YOU SHOULD USE A HOBBY KNIFE! When enough foam has been removed, the cowl will snap in place. That's it - the upgrades have been completed! Now to go have some FUN!
The manual included with the Taylorcraft was much better than I had hoped for! The illustrations are clear and the written instructions are easy to read and understand. Also inside the manual, there is a Lithium Polymer battery safety guideline. There is even a section on choosing a flying site and 'first flight' tips/suggestions!
Just a few days after receiving the Taylorcraft 130, we had a scheduled indoor flying day at our local high school gymnasium. With the transmitter turned on, I plugged the One-cell LiPo in to the wiring and snapped it in place on the bottom of the plane. The magnets on the plane and small steel disks on the LiPo make it really easy to hold the battery in place!
I set the T-craft on the floor and taxied out a ways - the steerable tail wheel made this really easy. With some power added, the T-craft moved forward and the tail rose off the floor - a few more feet and the plane was gently gaining altitude. The take-off was easy and didn't require any rudder.
I added three clicks of down elevator and the T-craft was flying 'hands-off' across the gym. I was already really liking this plane! Inside, with a low ceiling, it's hard to do any type of aerobatics, but the T-craft was a great little plane for lazy flying and relaxing.
Landing was a non-event. Nothing special here - just line the plane up where you want it, fly the plane down to about two feet off the floor and cut the throttle. The T-craft settled in nicely and came to a stop nearly at my feet!
I removed the full wing, installed the clipped wing, and upgraded to the optional 2300kV brushless motor. Now we're ready to have some serious FUN! With the little Taylorcraft sitting on the ground at my favorite abandoned runway, I advanced the throttle - the brushless motor sprang to life and pulled the plane off the ground almost faster than I was ready to react! There's plenty of power on tap now!
With the throttle pulled back, the Taylorcraft will still cruise around quite nicely - much slower than I had imagined. Following the instruction manual's guidelines for aileron pushrod placement was a great choice, as it gives plenty of authority on the right stick without being hard to control. Remember, the transmitter is a basic four-channel radio. There's no Expo or dual rates either!
Time for some aerobatics! The Taylorcraft can do all of the basic maneuvers - probably best to shy away from the 3-D stuff, because that would just look unnatural. But there's enough power to pull vertical take-offs from your hand - just be on the right stick as the T-craft will pull hard to her belly.
I was, again, pleasantly surprised by the clipped wing's ability to fly slowly - even landing was easy - just fly it down to the ground and pull the throttle back. It's that easy!
The day that my buddy Jim Buzzeo and I shot the outdoor video for the Taylorcraft, there was actually a breeze blowing - I'd say in the range of 5-7 MPH. The 2 ounce plane handled the wind very nicely! Having the extra power of the brushless upgrade and the ailerons made flying outdoors easy - the breeze may have proved more difficult for the standard version of the T-craft.
Flight times were pretty even between the One and Two cell batteries - Eight to Ten minutes was average, but depended on the type of flying.
I really like the new Taylorcraft 130 from Ares. It's a great little plane for indoors if you leave it stock. I had a blast flying it outdoors with the optional upgrades. I also really liked that this T-craft actually LOOKS like a plane - no flat foam wing or fuselage, full wheel pants, and I really like how the red and black trim scheme seems to 'pop' in the air! Thanks Ares - this one's a keeper!!!
Distributed by Firelands Group LLC
2919 Crossing Court, Suite 2
Champaign, IL 61822
Phone: (866) 410-0921 www.ares-rc.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.