single servo for the aileron makes the wing quick-connect
feature much less attractive
the latest addition to their glider offering, ST Model decided
to reproduce a popular aerobatic glider of the 70's: the
H-101 Salto. The original was a pure glider, designed to withstand
the most extreme aerobatic figures. The good and robust design
of this aerobatic glider inspired Bob Carlton, who decided to
fit a (rather massive!) jet engine above the fuselage, and nicknamed
his creation the Super Salto. ST Model must have appreciated
Mr. Carlton's self-launching Salto, and incorporated a electric
powered ducted fan (EDF) on their rendition of the Salto.
But they didn't stop there: they went one engineering step further
and made the EDF unit mounted on a retractable arm. When the
motor is not activated, the turbine sits inside the streamlined
fuselage behind articulated doors. That reduces the drag of
the airframe, and enhances the performance. There is no
denying that first and foremost, it adds a lot to the "cool"
factor of this glider!
The ST Model is an EPO foam 1.8m glider, available in the US
in Ready-to-fly version only.
receiver-ready self-launching glider incorporates a
dorsal-mount electric ducted fan unit to power the glider
into the sky. Once it has achieved sufficient height,
the motor can be retracted to clean up the aerodynamics
of the model and increase your soaring time. All finishing
and most assembly is done for you.
in (1806 mm)
in (810 mm)
31 oz (880 g)
oz/ft² (39.9 g/dm²)
1800mAh LiPo battery pack
(at time of review)
Look and setting
box is well decorated and designed to bring the plane
safely from the manufacturing plant to your favorite
hobby shop It bares the usual indication we find on
ST Model box, including the surprising "2.4ghz R/C system"
and the description of the material used to build the
plane which is sold as "crash resistant". We will see!
The model is delivered Ready-to-fly, and there is really
not much left for the user to complete the assembly.
The V-tail surfaces simply screw on the fuselage. The
pushrod linkage are factory installed in the fuselage.
Make sure to turn on the radio, and center the servos
before tightening the linkage set screws.
wing attachment was designed for easy removal at the
field, with no tool required. The wing is inserted on
the carbon wing tube, and a quick rotation engage a
pin at the wing root. A plastic tab underneath the wing
prevent the wing from rotating back out. This is original
and well made.
Here is caveat: there is only one aileron servo, located
in the fuselage, so every time the wing are removed,
the control linkage must be set loose. That means that
not only that the tool-less quick-connect feature of
the wing becomes pointless, but also the aileron's neutral
trim will have to be readjusted every time the wings
fuselage is equipped with the foam main wheel in a front
and a smaller plastic wheel in the tail. These wheels
are great for landing on concrete runway, and they also
allow the Salto to take off on its own, as long as the
glider can be pointed into the wind.
nicest and coolest feature of this plane is the retractable
EDF mounted behind the canopy. The system is fast, and appears
robust enough. It doesn't look serviceable, so it is better
to handle this unit with caution.
for the review
light 6 channels R6106HFC is a good match
to the St model Salto.
used the recommended battery: Flyzone LiPo 3S 1300mAh
15C. The model is not power hungry, despite the EDF
unit used to bring it to altitude.
launch: This is the method used for
the first couple of takeoffs, until we got the plane correctly
trimmed. It is a very easy process: full power is applied, which
extends and activates the EDF unit, and the glider is launched
as horizontal as possible. On a windy day, the relative airspeed
makes it climb very fast the first few meters and then it stabilizes
and enter a normal ascent rate. On a calm day, it will be important
to keep the plane horizontal until it gains enough speed to
avoid any premature stall.
launch: Very much like its scale
counterpart, the ST Model Salto is capable of taking off on
its own, as long as the friction against the runway is low enough.
That means basically that it won't take off from grass, but
will have no problem to take off on a concrete runway. As long
as the plane is on the ground, there is limited rudder control,
and the Salto may easily be pushed around by the wind. The rudder
does not have enough authority for a crosswind take off, but
if the nose is directed
at the wind, the Salto will have no problem taking off on its
own. This is a very nice feature, and not very frequent for
a plane of that size (although ST Model has an unusually large
offering of self-launching gliders in the 2-meter-wingspan range.)
Flight: The Salto hold a steady 20-30 degrees ascent to altitude.
climb rate is consistent with the low power used by the EDF
unit, and the small battery required to fly. That makes for
a lighter plane, which improves the glide performance. The Salto
doesn't have any tendency to pitch up or down when the power
is applied. The down thrust (or in this case, "up thrust") imbedded
in the EDF mount by design is correctly adjusted. That is less
work for the pilot, as there is no correction to apply during
The stall only appears a very low speed but it is brutal, with
a tendency to roll over on one wing. The plane recovers easily
in less than 30 feet, thanks to a very light weight airframe.
This is to be watched on landing, as it better to come with
some speed, even if the plane ends up rolling over a long distance.
All the classic aerobatic maneuvers can be performed with ease,
as long as it doesn't require too much vertical momentum. The
Salto energy retention is correct for being a foamy, but the
light weight and the slight airframe deformation under load
are detrimental for this type of flying. The aerobatic glider
tends to have a higher wing loading, and they are as rigid as
possible. That has a direct consequence on the diameter of the
loop, which must be kept tight and will be preceded by a slight
descent to gain momentum. The Salto is very stable in all condition,
will not surprise its pilot with a dynamic stall, which is a
big plus for learning glider aerobatics.
Landing: Bringing the glider to earth is as easy as it gets. The
fuselage and wings are kept parallel to the runway almost until
touchdown. A small flair at the end brings the 2 wheels to touch
at almost the same time, and reduces some the rolling distance.
The Salto keeps a good aileron authority even at slow speed
on the runway, so it is easy to keep the wing tips from rubbing
against the pavement while the plane is still moving.
Model brings us a fun aerobatic glider with the H101 Salto. The self-launch
electric glider has no bad tendency and will be the perfect plane
for fun and relaxing flights. The retractable EDF unit is well
designed and feels robust enough to last the life the plane.
Designing a glider with all of these features and qualities and be
able to bring it at a sale price of $130 ready-to-fly is quite an
achievement from ST Model.
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.