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Ace Grasshopper Problems?

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Ace Grasshopper Problems?

Old 07-17-2002, 02:12 AM
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Dr. Wine
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

Has anyone tried to build the Ace Grasshopper and ran into some design flaws like the brittleness of the so called nylon pushrods, wrong dihedral angles pre-cut into the foam wings, wing covering instructions missing, weel axle bolts and nuts not of the same size, etc.

At first glance, I was impressed with the crash damage minimizing design. It seemed to be a perfect beginner plane for my daughter. However we had many questions that needed answers when building the kit. I tried to contact Ace via telephone. The numbers were disconnected. I tried the website and got the new number. Called and left many messages without getting any return calls. I even emailed several times and got no response. It has been seven months now and I've gotten no response.

I replaced the wheel axle bolts and brittle pushrods. We built the wing following the written instructions and assumed the angles were cut correctly. Upon completion the plane would not fly. We cut the wing joints and reduced the dihedral angle. Have not flown it yet. Maybe this weekend.

Oh yea, the problem with the push rods is that the instruction say to use CA glue on the clevises, however the glue reacted with the rods and they became brittle. Both broke approx. 1/4" away from the clevises during normal radio operation. I drilled out the clevises and re-glued the rods. The same thing happed one hour later.

I would like to hear form anyone who had problems or success with this kit. There were some other problems with my kit but the ones listed above are the main ones.

Thank you.
Old 07-17-2002, 03:23 PM
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LoneRanger
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

I am not famillar with the kit but I am building an Ace Simple Series Corsair that is going together well......



it says "simple" however I would not suggest building for the beginner although I am having no real problems I would do some things diferent..



Have you built many aircraft your self? I am just currious......

I could think of quite a few planes tat ould be better suited t the beginer....







let me know!


L.R.
Old 07-17-2002, 09:11 PM
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Dr. Wine
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

Originally posted by LoneRanger
I am not famillar with the kit but I am building an Ace Simple Series Corsair that is going together well......



it says "simple" however I would not suggest building for the beginner although I am having no real problems I would do some things diferent..



Have you built many aircraft your self? I am just currious......

I could think of quite a few planes tat ould be better suited t the beginer....







let me know!


L.R.
Old 07-17-2002, 09:23 PM
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Dr. Wine
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

Dear Loneranger,

I have been building airplanes for 25 years, kit, scratch and my own designs. It is obvious that the grasshopper kit was packaged with no quality control. I chose this particular airplane because my daughter wanted to build one. It seamed that the kit was designed for the beginner, however without my past experience I would not be able to rectify the problems. A true beginner would have a very discouraging time trying to build and fly this plane. Like I said earlier, for months I tried to get in touch with Ace to help them correct the problems with the plans, hardware and wings. I got no response.

By the way I'm also scratch building a corsair, 1/4 scale Bud Nosen. This bird is HUGE! 108" wing span.

Thanks for the reply.

Sincerely,
Perry Beebe
Old 07-17-2002, 10:18 PM
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LoneRanger
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

Dr. Wine, in your 25 years have you ever heard of the "ACE" name aside from your current problamatic kit?



I have NEVER heard of them till recently.



however I have heard of Sig, or Herr, or Guillows...........


do not use CA glue on clevise's, unless they are plastic or something???? I always use gold-n-braid realy good stuff and if soldered correctly wont EVER break I know I have tried! and your wings sound like a problem with wash-out as opposed to dihedral but I'm sure you will figgure it out with some tinkering.


best of luck with your project, LoneRanger
Old 07-17-2002, 11:21 PM
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Dr. Wine
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

Loneranger,

No, I have not heard of Ace until a few years ago. From what I have been told the company was bought out by a Korean company and that's when the problems began.

The kit came with "nylon" pushrods and clevises. The instructions say to use CA glue, however the glue reacted with the pushrods and made them extremely brittle. I replaced them with music wire and metal clevises. The tail on this bird is attached to the fuselage via a carbon fiber arrow shaft with the pushrods running inside. Really neat design, however no room for a normal pushrods.

The wing comes in three pieces with the angle already cut. There is no washout on these wings. The instructions say that the angles are pre-cut to exact specifications. It also says that the distance of the wing tips should be 1 3/4" above a base line. But when assembled, using the pre-cut angles, the distance is exactly 2 3/4". Without any response from Ace, I assumed that the 1 3/4" was a type-o. There are several type-o's in the instructions(written by a Korean). I re-cut the joints and filled in the gap with thickened and lightened epoxy. I will attempt to fly it this weekend. Will let you know how it turns out.

By the way I have a Thunder Tiger GP .07 engine on it. Really nice engine with plenty of power and smooth transition. Even with the power the plane drops like a rock when hand launched 16' above the ground.

What kind of engine are you going to use? I hear people are having problems with the Norvel engines. I almost bought one for this plane but went with the Thunder Tiger because I have a GP .61 that was given to me NIB which turned out to be a very good and powerfull engine.

Sincerely,

Beebe
Old 07-18-2002, 04:02 AM
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r1morris
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

An Ace Grasshoppper I have not seen one of those in years. That was an old Ace kit back in the 80's as I recall. It used the ace tapered white foam wing. and a bit more diehedral then needed for a two channel plane or three channel with a cox 051 with throttle sleeve. Have you checked for the right wing incidance and the amount of decaloge betwen the angle on the wing to the stab?
Did you reinforce the wing with nylon packing tape?
Those grasshoppers were not a great trainer but they did fly fine when built right. More then likely the materials in the kit you built were pretty old and the plastic was not all that great anyway. CA and plastic pushrods never did work that great.
This looks like another case of getting an older kit that few remember.
I would stick to newly kitted airplanes where help can be had easily. You may pay a few more bucks up front but you will enjoy greater success.
Old 10-31-2002, 05:50 AM
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Grampaw
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

Hi guys, I'm new here, but I've not new to R/C, and as I go back a ways, and I can shed a little light on ACE. The Grasshopper was simple to assemble, designed for the newbies to crank, toss, crash and put back together again to do it again. Now ACE, no longer in business, started out in 1953 supplying us with the electronic items needed to do your own thing. It evolved to one of the country's top catalog model businesses, handling models and other related products plus designing and selling some of the best in radios. Their kits were designed by Tom Runge, Fred Reese, Bud Atkinson, D. B. "Doc" Mathews and Bob Benjamin of electric fame to name a few. I for one hated to see the name ACE disappear from the R/C world but time marches on.
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Old 10-31-2002, 01:08 PM
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flyinrog
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Default funny?

I just got an Ace simple Extra 230 , UPS last week from Quantum models and while its not my first kit(and prob not my last) it seems to have good quality materials but (Fred Reese design) really bad instructions as bad or worse than the HOB mustang I have given up on for now for the 2nd time (in like 10 years), and (gulp!) a Norvel .074 to put on it,,,,,,,,but dang it all I have faith. If both plane and engine turn to crap, well, I'll know better next time and if both provide the fun I'm hoping for well, then I'll be on here touting the wonders of Ace and Norvel and some will read with dismay and wont believe and others will cheer with me saying "hey thats what I want"......... so hope with me that it is the latter and a good time will be had by all.......... Rog
Old 10-31-2002, 01:24 PM
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rahtware
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

My "Ace" list:


Ace High glider - easy to build, Ok (not outstanding) flyer.


Allstar Bipe - You think setting up one Ace foam wing is tough... I love the way it flys.

Both of these are 15 years old.

Years ago, a friend of mine bought, built and destroyed a Grasshopper. It seemed to fly a bit fast and "twitchy" for a beginner.
Old 10-31-2002, 02:19 PM
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Dsegal
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

> Dr. Wine, in your 25 years have you ever heard of the "ACE" name aside from your current problamatic kit? <

Ace was one of the great names in the hobby and they were quite active within the past ten, not 25, years. They made some of the best radio gear around including single-stick (3 channels on one stick) and specialized RC boat transmitters. I am still using an 8 year old Constant Voltage Charger which keeps my field battery automatically topped up. They are missed.

Dave Segal
Old 10-31-2002, 11:10 PM
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Default Ace......

Ace is still in business....

http://www.acehobby.com/

Several years back (@94 or 95 I think) Ace was bought by Thunder Tiger, the Taiwanese engine, ARF and heli manufacturer. This was done to establish themselves better in the US, and probably for tax and tariff reasons as well. TT makes some very nice products, especially their Raptor heli, and their motors are pretty decent too. (The pylon guys in the Northeast run the PRO-40 on their birds exclusively). They recently moved to California. As with any move, there will be many bumps in the road, and it's not easy to find quality customer service people. TT has also been updating and improving a lot of the of the ACE products, and re-introducing many of their discontinued kits like the Simple series birds.

I have one of their Simple Ultimates, and that little thing flies great. I agree that the instructions are a bit cryptic, but I've been in RC since 84 at the age of 14, so it's not like I have never built a plane before. I built their Whizard in 85, and learned to fly on that and a CG Eaglet 50.

My recommendations for your problem: get on the phone and don't give up 'til you get to a human. Some companies don't take email as a serious form of problem resolution. They may feel that if something was truly wrong, that you would call and pester them. Maybe see if your LHS is an ACE dealer, maybe they can get through to them for you.
Old 11-01-2002, 06:48 AM
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

Hey Rahtware, I had an Allstar Bipe that gave me some great fun!
That rascal was a bear to get off the ground, or hand launch! A buddy built his from RCM plans I believe and used the ACE foam wings. I liked his so much I got the kit. I finally learned to leave it alone after it broke ground and once it got thru wagging its tail it really flew great! Dsegal mentioned some other items like the single stick TXs. I still have a 7 ch. single stick that blows my club members away whenever I fly it. They are all Futuba 2 stickers. I also have one of the little ACE Flight Pack Mini E.S.V. voltmeters (for checking airborne packs) that I got back in the mid 70's still in use every week. Thats quite a few flights! ACE had some great products, and I hope the new folks will continue all, or some of the "old" stuff...at the same quality.
Old 06-10-2003, 02:32 AM
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CaveRanger
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Default Flys OK

I just started flying an Ace Grasshopper that I built several months ago. I actually learned (taught myself) to fly with a GWS Tiger Moth.

My Grasshopper has a Norvel .049 4RB on it, with an AM Hitech Focus 3 radio. I attached the landing gear with rubber bands and it ROGs fine. I did not use the nylon pushrods, but used Dubro metal pushrods instead. I did not have any problems with the wing; the angles were cut just right.

With the Norvel, I throttle back to about 1/3 or even 1/4 throttle for level flight.

It will loop after a shallow dive, and is fairly stable, but not a particularly good trainer. Even though it is traveling only 15-30 mph, that is too fast for a beginner. Get a Tiger Moth, then move to the Grasshopper. This is, of course, merely my humble opinion.
Old 06-10-2003, 03:09 AM
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Default ace kits

Hey all....

i started flying r/c in 88, bought a couple of trainer arf's. avistar,skylark 40t, and crushed them all up, bucket o money down the crapper, then i got an ace wizard, power was a black widow 049, ahhh......., the good old days, fly that bird for 4 years. on some of it's last flights, it consisted of mostly epoxy and fly VERY slowly, but it got me into flying, now i got anther one about a year ago, along with 2 simple cubs,a simple corsair, grasshopper and an alpha, they are all great kits, EXCEPT i also had probs with the fake***** push rods they included with the grasshop and the corsair ailerons, replaced them, and some hardware and they were good to go, as far as the precut dihedral line,mine were cut wrong too, i set mine according to the instructions, which left a good wedge of epoxy between them, but works great, the alpha is the least good out of all, the whole thing is plywood so it a HEAVY plane, the whizard is much better, thanks fer the ears,

The CAMEL
Old 06-10-2003, 03:38 PM
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Tim Wiltse-RCU
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

Hey Dr. Wine,

I had one of the Grasshoppers over 10 years ago when I was 16 or so. I had a standard 2 channel in it and flew on a Cox Black Widow .049. The TT .07 sounds like alot of juice for the little thing to handle as a trainer for your kid. The good thing is it bounces pretty good that's about it. There is alot better planes out there to start with. This one would be way down my list for sure.

Later,
Tim
Old 06-12-2003, 05:30 AM
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ryanrink
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Default Ace Grasshopper Problems?

i taught myself with an ACE Grasshopper, it was the 1st R/C i built. I thought it was a great flier and easy to build. I bought it 5 years ago. It has served me very well. after i got into the bigger .40 size stuff and fun fly airplanes it was still my old trusty airplane, very stable, very reliable. I must have got a kit that was made before the company changed. I've been thinking about buying one again if i run into another one. Mine has a Norvel .061 with 3 standard servos (throttle) and a standard size battery. it handled all that extra weight fine. i think i new one would fly better with micro gear and alot less expoxy from many "learning experiences"
Old 10-02-2020, 05:17 PM
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vtwinguy
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Default Ace rc

Originally Posted by Grampaw View Post
Hi guys, I'm new here, but I've not new to R/C, and as I go back a ways, and I can shed a little light on ACE. The Grasshopper was simple to assemble, designed for the newbies to crank, toss, crash and put back together again to do it again. Now ACE, no longer in business, started out in 1953 supplying us with the electronic items needed to do your own thing. It evolved to one of the country's top catalog model businesses, handling models and other related products plus designing and selling some of the best in radios. Their kits were designed by Tom Runge, Fred Reese, Bud Atkinson, D. B. "Doc" Mathews and Bob Benjamin of electric fame to name a few. I for one hated to see the name ACE disappear from the R/C world but time marches on.
I learned to fly with an ACE Wizard in 1973. Terrific airplane, tough as hell. I have one today. Built and flew several ACE kits, all great flyers. Also used to fly with their 2 channel transmitters, worked great. Just picked up a Grasshopper for electric park flying. I am sure that it will be like the rest. Hated to see them them go out of business. Baffled that you could be flying 25 years and never heard if them. NOT POSSIBLE!

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