RCU Review: ParkFlyers.com BeginAir


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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: November 2004 | Views: 90034 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon


    Parkflyers Hobbies & Toys
    117 2nd St.
    Lakewood NJ 08701

    www.parkflyers.com
    Email: Parkflyers@msn.com
    (732) 363-6181


    Watch video of the BeginAir

    High Bandwidth



    • Slightly Pitch Sensitive

    ParkFlyers.com has a new Ready-To-Fly airplane called the BeginAir. The Begin-Air is a 4-channel aircraft that will teach the novice pilot how to fly a real 4-channel plane with virtually no building required. Controls are already installed for ailerons, rudder, elevator and proportional throttle. Also included is a 4-channel, FM, 2-stick radio that boasts a super long 2500 foot range.

    The BeginAir is powered by a speed 480 high torque motor and 50 amp speed control which can provide flight speeds up to 50mph! The powerful speed 480 motor ensures good climb outs and responsive aerobatic flight control. The new BeginAir is a true 4-channel flight trainer that will teach the novice the 4 basic flight controls. BeginAir features a tough polypropylene plastic fuselage that is virtually unbreakable. All the electronics come pre-installed. Each piece is individually wrapped in plastic and stored in the box for protection against shipping damage.




    Kit Name: BeginAir
    Manufacturer:
    ParkFlyers.com
    Price:
    $179.99
    • Wingspan: 41"
    • Length: 34.5"
    • Wingarea: 363 sq. in.
    • Flying Weight: 23oz
    • Motor: 7.2v Speed 480 direct drive
    • Battery: 8-cell, 1000mAh NiMH
    • Radio: 4-channel, 2-sticks, trim tabs
    • Flying Time: 16 minutes
    • Flying Range: 2500'
    • Controls: Ailerons, Rudder, Elevator, Throttle
    Kit Parts:

    Here is how it comes
    in the box
    A Quick Setup guide is included for assembly. The transmitter and wall charger are held safely in a foam box.

    The plane assembles in just 15 minutes and no tools are needed to get plane into the air. The included 8-cell, 1000mAh NiMH battery pack allows for a long 16 minutes of flight. Eight AA-size batteries for the transmitter is all you need to get flying!

    Assembly:


    Step 1 of the assembly is to press the wing halves together and hold them with the supplied long tape strip. My wings went together firmly so the tape wasn't really needed.

    Step 2 is to install the landing gear and canopy.

    The landing gear simply pressed into place. The canopy first needed to be cut out and then have some holes cut for the front wing rod. The instructions say to remove the front wing dowel by pulling it apart but I managed to break mine since both plastic caps had been glued onto the dowel. Although it is shown here glued back together, I ended up replacing the plastic dowel with a wooden dowel rod. The repaired plastic rod could not properly hold the rubberbands to anchor the wing in place.

    The tail assembly was easy and straightforward. Both stabilizers are locked together and positioned onto the fuselage through existing holes. The tailwheel is held in place by the two plastic head screws that lock the stabilizers to the fuselage.

    Initially, I attached the clevis to the center hole on each control horn. After the first flight, we decided to reduce the elevator sensitivity so I moved the clevis to the outer hole on the control horn furthest away from the elevator.
     
    The main wing is attached to the fuselage by four rubberbands after first connecting the aileron servo wires to extensions coming out of the plane.

    The flight pack is charged before installing it into the plane

    When I powered everything up, I noticed that the rudder servo arm was not properly aligned so I remove it and set it on perpindicular with the rudder. This provides a maximum (and equal) swing in both directions. I then needed to re-adjust the clevis to center the control surface.

    The prop is pre-installed on the 480 sized motor. When I wasafinished with the quick assembly steps, I had some spare parts left over that didn't seem to be needed. They must be extras. :-)


    I flew the maiden voyage of the BeginAir during a lunchtime break across the street where I work in an office park. It was hand-tossed over grass and landed in grass. I also planned another test flight off pavement in the future.

    The plane flew well overall. It had good power and good flight time for the first charge. The ailerons and elevator were a bit sensitive so I'll reduce the throws by one hole at the control horn. The plane looped well from level flight with sufficient speed. Rolls didn't require both aileron and rudder (a snap)  input but it worked much better than when just using ailerons alone.

    After landing, we were happy with the plane's performance but noticed a tendency for it to pitch from side to side.
     

    Second Flights:

    I flew the BeginAir again about a week after we had the maiden voyage. I had reduced the elevator and ailerons to minimum gain by moving the clevis to the outer most hole on the control horns. The rudder linkage remained in the middle hole. This time, I took off and landed on pavement...a parking lot.

    The plane flew well again. It took off and landed softly but was still a little pitch sensitive. It would still loop fine with minimum elevator control but rolls require both aileron and rudder. You won't notice it snap so it looks like a normal roll. This is likely due to the stick fuselage.
    The plane took a good hit this time on the road as I missed clearing a tree top on one of my take-offs. I gave it full up elevator as it dove for the pavement and then saw it come back up over the bank that blocked my sight momentarily. The motor was off so I just leveled it and let it hit the road. To my surprise, there was only a few minor dings in the wing and under the nose so I brought it back to the parking lot and took off from pavement again. The plane proved its durability, and, on my next take-off, I made sure that I cleared the trees!

    I flew my BeginAir a third time off pavement again to get a final summary of its flight characteristics. It definitely takes-off and lands on pavement nicely. The ground handling is very acceptable even without a steerable tailwheel. The power level is adequate and the flight times are a reasonable 10 minutes with mixed flying.

    By reducing the aileron and elevator controls, the BeginAir flew with good authority. I could still loop and roll, although, the rolls were better when I used a combination of rudder and aileron. The sealed ailerons may have made them a bit too effective since the plane does have a tendency to pitch back and forth. Perhaps a small amount of additional dihedral would help reduce the pitch sensitivity. Although the occasional side to side pitching didn't affect its flying, it could be considered disturbing to novice pilots who are first learning to use ailerons.


    Overall, the BeginAir seems like a good package value that is complete with a 4-channel radio system. Although it is not meant for a beginning pilot, it will properly introduce any pilot to their first 4-channel flying experience. It isn't a great looker, but, it is rugged and used conventional components that can be easily repaired or replaced. I feel that the package benefits, value, power, ruggedness, and performance, outweigh the lack of good looks and minor pitch sensitivity.


    ParkFlyers.com
    Parkflyers Hobbies&Toys
    117 2nd St.
    Lakewood NJ 08701

    www.parkflyers.com
    Email: Parkflyers@msn.com
    (732) 363-6181

    Comments on RCU Review: ParkFlyers.com BeginAir

    Posted by: olwarbirds on 06/07/2009
    Just got one of these for my dads B-day, agree with all the above...one thing i would suggest is put a small spar/brace behind the motor, when it gets hot during an extended flight the plastic its mounted too gets soft and the 2 screws holding the motor in will pull through. also mine came with everything in the fuselage pretty much so just thrown in so i foamed the rcvr in place etc. other than that its a great lil cheap plane......DJ
    Posted by: agridoc on 03/19/2011

    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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