|Contributed by: Don Sims | Published: July 2006 | Views: 61542 | Email this Article
distributed exclusively by:
Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021
Champaign, IL 61826-9021
Planes has had the large version of the Slinger in production
for a few years and now has designed us a smaller version called
the Mini Slinger. This little 180 powered plane can be tossed
in the back of your car and taken along for those quick flights
you sneak in whenever given an opportunity to fly. Build time
is short and stock the plane exceeded my expectations in flight.
For less than forty bucks for the plane and motor, the price is
Wingspan: 805 mm; 31.5 in.
Wing Area: 14.8 dm squared; 230 square in.
Weight: 215-240 grams; 7.5-8.5 oz. (As per Great Planes)
Actual Weight: 262 grams; 9.25 oz. without battery.
336 grams; 11.9 oz. with battery
Wing Loading: 14-18 g/dm squared; 4.7-5.9 oz/sq ft.
Length: 380 mm; 15 in.
Radio: Polk's Hobby Tracker II
ESC: Great Planes Electrifly C-12 with BEC
Servos: 2 Hitec HS 55's
Motor: Included speed 180
you ever gotten a box dropped off by the big brown truck and
said; "Ohhhh nooooooo crushed box?" That's what happened
to me the evening I got home and saw the box that this plane
was in. What made matters even worse was that the delivery person
left the box outside the gate on our porch and we have two teething
puppies that run lose around our place who have eaten several
of my things the past few weeks. I opened the outer box and
found the inner box was also crushed. Now I was expecting to
open the box containing the Mini Slinger and find it crushed.
Luckily all that happened was that the motor mount was slightly
damaged and one wing had a slight crease in it which came out
with a quick pass of my heat gun.
this was sorted out, I got on with the build. The instructions
claim that it would take less than an hour but I ran into a
few more difficulties and ended up putting in close to two hours
on the build time. I'll discuss the major difficulty I had in
this review when we get to the wing spars. The hardware is fairly
good quality considering the price and I didn't need to go out
and purchase any extra items for the plane besides what Great
Planes suggested that I needed.
Planes provides you with a 12 page instruction book and it had
two features that I liked. One was little boxes to check or
X as you assemble the Mini Slinger and the other is a lot of
black and white photos to help ease you through the building
process. I used five minute epoxy and foam safe CA glue for
servos were easy to install and Great Planes left strings inside
the holes to pull the servo leads through the wings. Joining
the wing halves together is where I ran into problems. When
the wing got crushed, the tube that the joiners went through
also got crushed so I ended up pulling the tube on one side
back out, cutting out the bad parts, and glued the joiner back
in the tube with foam safe CA. Then I put some five minute epoxy
on the tube and shoved the whole thing back into the Mini Slinger.
I hated to add the weight of five minute epoxy to the wing but
felt that foaming glues would eat the foam on this plane. After
the wing halves dried next was gluing on the control horns and
hooking up the rods. It took me longer to figure out how to
get around the crushed tube than it did to put the entire wing
together. The Mini Slinger has a pre formed tray for your radio
components and a sling handle which need to be glued in the
plane. Great Planes recommends making a slit just aft of the
leading edge to run your antenna but I chose to add a few pieces
of tape on the underside of the wing to run my antenna. Running
my antenna was the only deviation that I made to the instructions.
(Not counting the crushed wing joiner rod!)
Mini Slinger already has a 180 motor pre installed in the pre
formed radio tray. There are also cooling vents pre formed in
this tray so you don't need to worry about cooling the motor.
One thing that seemed strange to me was that the connector for
the motor was different than the speed control. As a solution,
I just clipped them both off and soldiered on Deans connectors.
I already have Deans connectors on my chargers and other electronics
so that worked out "right fine" as my neighbors would
say. As I was soldiering the connectors on, I put the suggested
Great Planes 8 cell 2/3 AAA battery pack on my Triton charger.
The battery connector didn't fit the speed control either. I had
already converted it to a Deans. After the pack was charged up,
I loaded the speed control, battery, and receiver in the tray
and checked the Mini Slingers center of gravity. The CG was right
on at 137 mm or 5 3/8 inches from the front of the plane. There
seems to be enough room in the compartment for a lipoly battery
if you want to try one you may have to put a few coins up front
if the center of gravity is off.
first thing that I did with the Mini Slinger was an antenna
down ground check. I couldn't believe it, the control surfaces
were correct the first time and I didn't have to reverse any
servos. If your radio doesn't have computer elevon mixing, you'll
have to purchase a mixer in order to fly a wing.
Once the ground check was done I did a glide test. I had to
give the Mini Slinger a bit more up on both sides to make it
glide several feet forward. Once the gliding went well it was
time for a power up throw.
Mini Slinger is very light and throws easily. I liked the grip
that is on the underside of the plane. Instead of trying to
avoid the prop when throwing, the grip provides a margin of
safety on takeoff. Watch the video for totally stock performance,
the plane has enough power to loop at the beginning of a flight
and rolls well throughout three quarters of a flight. If you
have a less than perfect landing, the plastic covering on the
wings provide a bit of additional protection to the foam. It
flies well in the area the size of a soccer field and could
be flown indoors in a basketball gymnasium if you so desire.
are straight forward and easy to recover from. Stock the Mini
Slinger doesn't fly as fast as some other mini wings that I've
flown in the past but it is still a lot of fun to fly for the
money. The plane flies inverted well and quite frankly, I couldn't
find any bad habits that the plane has. It flies where you point
it, is very stable, and a nice stock flyer.
Great Planes speed control has a purple LED bulb on it so I
tried to fly the plane at night by hanging the speed control
out of the hatch a little. As long as I kept the plane low to
the ground this worked well but when I got it above eye level,
I couldn't see the light. With a couple of more LED's in the
wings this would make a hoot of a night flyer.
the Video of the Mini Slinger
My only complaint about the Great Planes Slinger was the electronic
connectors provided by Great Planes. The connectors that I got
for the motor, battery, and speed control were not compatible
and would really confuse a new pilot. Hopefully GP plans to
address this issue in the near future. The Mini Slinger is a
nice little wing and a good value for the money. It flies well
stock, is compact, and a lot of fun to fly in a small area.
If you have any comments or questions then please feel free
to post them over at www.wattflyer.com
I hang out over there with that great bunch of knowledgeable
and Distributor Info
distributed exclusively by:
Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021
Champaign, IL 61826-9021
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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