RCU Review: ST Model ASW28

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    Contributed by: Laurent Caekebeke | Published: November 2015 | Views: 12283 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Salto ST Model on RCU

    • Very well priced
    • The simplicity and light weight design
    • The canopy design which leaves little room in the fuselage for the equipment
    • The canopy attachment, not strong enough, which tends to pop off in flight too frequently
    ST Model has a pretty large offering in the two-meter-range foam gliders. They vary in size and complexity, with some packed with functionality's such as a retractable motor mount or air brakes. The ASW28 is at the other end of the spectrum: it is designed with simplicity in mind. It is made light, with the standard control surfaces (aileron, rudder, elevator) and no other complication. The only "extra" feature is one we are now used to see on gliders of that size: the motor mounted in the nose, which allows the glider to be self sufficient to climb to thermal altitude - no need to carry a cumbersome bungy to the field.

    ST Model chose to reproduce the Schleicher ASW28, a single seater standard class glider capable of glide ratio up to 45. The full scale ASW28 exists in an 18 meter class variant mounted with an sustainer electric engine. That is where the comparison stops with the model version, as the electric motor of the ASW28  by ST Model does more than sustaining the altitude: it can perfectly bring the model to thermaling height after a hand-launch.

    Product Details

    Manufacturer's Description:

    Catch more thermals and soar endlessly with the 78.7" span ASW-28 Brushless EP RR from ST Model! Features an outrunner brushless motor, brushless ESC and micro servos, as well as lightweight and tough EPO foam construction and an easy-to-assemble two-piece wing.


    Manufacturer: ST Model
    Wingspan: 78.7" (2000mm)
    Length: 34.6" (880mm)
    Wing Area:  326 sq in (21 sq dm)
    Weight Range: 18.3oz (520g)
    Wing Loading:  8.1 oz/sq ft (25 g/sq dm)
    Battery 2S 1200mAh LiPo battery pack
    Requires:  4-channel radio (AIL-ELE-RUD-THR)
    Price: $90

    First Look and setting

    There is very little to do to get the model ready for its first flight. All equipment such as servos, linkage, ESC, motor are factory installed. The user only has to apply the decals, plug in the wings and stabilizer, and program the radio.

    All the control horns were properly glued in place, and no play could be seen on any of the control surfaces, which is a really good sign. The motor mount is most likely attached before the two fuselage halves are glued together, so better be careful not to damage it. Replacing the power unit could turn out to be a challenging task.
    The canopy is large and the instrument panel decal is already installed.

    The winglets and the wings are one single molded piece, which is a great weight and cost saving feature. They really add to the look of the glider. Let's just hope they are stronger than they look.

    Used for the review

    The light  6 channels R6106HFC really works well with this class of gliders
    We used the recommended battery: ElectriFly LiPo 2S 1200mAh 30C. 
    The ESC comes with a different connector that the one delivered on the recommended battery. So an adapter exists, and can be ordered separately

    Flight Report

    Hand launch:
    We tried the ST model ASW28 in many different wind conditions, and the takeoff has been very easy in all but one situation: the glider really doesn't like strong wind. The manual is very conservative with a limit of 6mph maximum, which is really a little breeze. The takeoff and flight in this type of conditions is still perfectly enjoyable and safe. If the wind gets too strong though, the takeoff becomes very difficult with the glider being pushed around nearly uncontrollably. The plane is feather-light so that is not surprise that it behaves this way. On normal wind condition, a light toss is all it takes to get the plane airborne, and it goes straight from there.

    The climb rate is what you would expect on a 2S glider of that size. The plane hold a 30ish degree ascent and it is very easy to control throughout.

    The airframe surprises by its performance. The glider very light wing loading makes it a great thermal catcher. The glider clearly identifies thermal by raising or dropping a wing, and it is most time just a matter of adding rudder input and opposite aileron to enter back into the ascending air. The glider spirals with ease with the correctly sized rudder and well recommended throws. We didn't feel the need to adjust any of the throws after the first flight.

    The glide ratio and the little power consumption makes flight up to 20-30 minutes very common, depending the flying style of the pilot. The ASW28 is not an aerobatic glider, and the roll will take a lot of rudder and elevator work to pass correctly. The unpowered loop will pass very easily as long as the diameter is kept tight. If the diameter is too large, the speed will not be sufficient and the glider will stall at the top. The inverted flight is easier and more efficient than one would expect.

    One word of caution with the canopy. More than a few times, we had the canopy detaching in flight, especially on takeoff. We had to use a piece of tape to keep it in place (which explains the unsightly piece of red tape on the pictures)

    The ASW28 should only land on grass, as there is no protection against wear from concrete runway. The landing approach is simple, but it may take a few trials at first, as on a day with no wind, the ground effect could keep the glider flying over a long distance just above the grass. Do not hesitate to slow down the ASW28 by pulling gently on the elevator, before the final touchdown.


    The ASW28 is a very well balanced glider, capable of efficient thermaling thanks to a very light weight. The glider is at ease in no to low wind condition, and will satisfy the thermal-chaser pilots with long and relaxing flight. The model has no bad behavior, and, under good supervision, may well be used as a first glider.

    ST model came up with a very well-priced glider and there is a good chance that we see more of the ASW28 flying on our local fields pretty soon!

    References and links

    Comments on RCU Review: ST Model ASW28

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    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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