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GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Old 06-28-2005, 07:34 AM
  #1  
alotbsol
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Default GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Hello fellow flyers. Long time reader, relatively new poster. I usually fly low when it comes to product recommendations or endorsements, but I feel personally obligated to help protect the hard working people in this hobby.

I have, like many, been eagerly awaiting the release of these so-called superior 3D flatouts. I went to my local hobby shop yesterday and picked up my brand new Matt Chapman EP. That was the first mistake I made. I saw on the box that assembly time was 2~3 hours and was excited because I thought I’d have it built in the evening and ready to fly today. 2 hours into assembly and realizing that foam safe CA takes a very long time to adhere, I began to feel assembly is more like 2~3 days. Use 5-minute epoxy!!! Enough about that.

The kit leaves much to be desired. The foam wings are much too thin and even with the carbon fiber tubes attached I could tell this plane would never be able to handle aggressive maneuvers. And speaking of carbon fiber tubes, they are extremely difficult to glue to the foam edges of the panels. The cut lines of the foam are not clean and the manual says nothing about trimming or sanding them smooth, but I guess you should or you will only get intermittent glue contact with the tubes. I didn’t do that and so I have tubes that are attached to the foam in very few places and so I know I’d have to go back with epoxy to make things stick together. All in all I am very uncomfortable with the method of assembling the hinge tubes. It’s just a major accident waiting to happen. I broke the rubber tube off before I was even half way done.

The manual has numerous mistakes as well. For example, the photos of the control horns on the elevator are on the wrong side of the plane and if you don’t catch it ahead of time you’ll have to break the control horn out of the wing to fix it. Not good.

I am so disappointed with the assembly of this kit. I feel like I have gotten totally taken by Great Planes. I am a mechanical engineer and if I designed stuff with this degree of quality, I’d be out of work in a hurry. The worst part is that I have beaten the kit up so badly during assembly that it is now unfinishable and will never see the air. And if it did ever fly, heaven forbid I land the least bit rough. It would be destroyed in no time.

If you are considering a profile foam flyer, I highly suggest another alternative. Save your money for a better design.

I hope I’ve helped someone who was on the fence, not get burned by a poor quality kit!

Good luck and happy flying!
Old 06-28-2005, 07:58 AM
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GWR
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

After reading this, I'll be picking one up this afternoon.You sound like a guy at my field[:'(]He bought a $19.99 YAK from HL[:-]It was his first flat foam plane and he also screwed it up putting it togetherBut of coarse, it was the kits fault[sm=spinnyeyes.gif]
Old 06-28-2005, 08:19 AM
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exeter_acres
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Sorry about the bad luck...

sounds like par for the course for many foamies...
at least for another brand that is overly popular around here... over engineered with bad to no directions....

actually GWS, I love your post... my Yak was probably the easiest to build with a book of directions....
Old 06-28-2005, 02:32 PM
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taipalerm
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Hey,

I've been flying my brushless CAP for about a week now and I do sort of agree with alotbsol. While the kit wasn't that hard to put together (imo), the wings do flex LIKE CRAZY. I mean, the plane looks like a U from behind during positive G maneuvers and vice versa with neg G. Now that I have their Rimfire (motor mount that comes with the kit is a fairly simple bolt-on) I'm still tempted to give the Flatana a try since I would think it's not quite as bad being a mid-wing.

I do like the hinges though! [8D]

Old 06-28-2005, 03:52 PM
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Tall Paul
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Haven't flown this yet, but based on the serious bending the E-Flite Tribute showed, I added these braces to the wing...
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Old 06-28-2005, 06:13 PM
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GonzoBonzo
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Alot,

Maybe you should take up the tuba. All Foamies stout the 2-3 hour build time. Which is about right after you've put a couple of them together. I don't know what kind of CA you are using, what ever brand, you should be using an accelerator. The stuff from E-Flight is good. The airplane was designed thin so it would be light weight, with high performance. I too, like Paul use carbon fiber to stiffen areas I think are too flimsy. I usually fly outdoors, so I use the rods from the landing gear, and go gear-less. I read another post from someone crying about the fuselage breaking where the battery goes, gee, it wouldn't have anything to do with the fact you're using a battery that is twice the recommend weight. The hinges are the best I've seen, and for $39.00 with a motor you cant beat it.

Bonzo
Old 06-28-2005, 10:38 PM
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3dcrazy
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Hello I was conserding getting a flatout foamie and getting the brushless Rimsfire motor,is it a good powerfull motor? I am looking for something to replace my yak its starting to get to the end of its up
Old 06-29-2005, 01:27 AM
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GonzoBonzo
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Crazy,

The rimfire and BL-8 ESC make a light and powerfull combo, and is perfect for the flatout foamies. My Fantana hovers at a little less than half throttle and climbs out of my hand like a home sick angel at full. Use the 640mah 3-cell battery and APC 9-3.8, or 9-4.2 prop.

Bonzo
Old 06-30-2005, 06:07 PM
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3dcrazy
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Glide to hear the Rimsfire will be plenty of power,most of the time I will be flying it in my frount yard are at the field, I do have 3 thunderpower 3 cell 1320 battarys that to big of battarys for the foam to handle?



I did go ahead and decide to order the Flantana and the RimsFire motor so it should be here next week sometime.
Old 06-30-2005, 07:34 PM
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Tall Paul
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

With the stock motor and an 8x800 nimh, the CAp 580 got at least a wingspan up from the ground, several times yesterday before the landing gear retracted.
Changing to a 3s640 Lipo, it -will- go vertical from a hand launch, or a short takeoff run.
Stock motor and prop.
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Old 08-12-2005, 09:49 AM
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model pilot 14
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

So the stock motor sounds all right, How well does it really perform?



Nick
Old 08-12-2005, 12:14 PM
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AirplaneMan04
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Paul and the rest of you with this plane? The problem i see is not with the plane itself but
the pilot and builder. Since when have u bought a gas powered ARF that claimed it could be
put together in 12-15 hours, then to find out it took twice that?? Come on, this is the real world.
The same with the foamies. 2-3 hrs = about 6-8 real time. You have to have patience with
these model airplanes foamie or balsa. Doesn't matter. I have the Chapman flatout and took
my time building it. Paul , i noticed in your pic of your "flattened" landing gear that the nimh
pack u were using was huge. Did u stop to thing the sheer weight of it compared to the lipo packs
was overkill. I am sure it put a major burden on the stock landing gear. So that's why i say,
not the plane but pilot and builder error. I am not attacking u personally but since u did post the
pick of that long stick nimh pack on top of the fuse, I had to mention it. Does anyone else agree
with me? I am running the rimfire setup with a thunder power 900mah 11.1v pack. It weighs a little
over 2.5 oz. I have had no problems with my cap breaking . There is some flexing but it does not
seem to hurt anything. Paul , what did your nimh pack weigh? I can bet it was twice what the lipos
tip the scales at. Anyway guys, just have patience with all these planes and your experiences will
be more enjoyable. Btw Paul i love the pic of you, if thats u, in the cockpit. I think ill do the same with
mine. Just my 2 Cents

-Airplaneman
Old 08-12-2005, 01:56 PM
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3DNobody
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

AirplaneMan- I tend to agree on many of your points. I have the Cap 580 and love it. I built it light by using a little screamers and a 2-cell TP 730 battery. It comes in at under 8oz. It does not have rediculous power but it flys NICE. It will float around and do most anything you want it to. A friend let me borrow a 3-cell 640 pack for it and...well...it was ballistic. Almost wish I would have bought 3-cell packs for it now. The lightness is the key. I have landed in the grass and grounded it a couple of times...the only damage has been a tweaked wheel pant.

Old 08-12-2005, 01:56 PM
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funflyphil
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

i just flew my Flatana for the first time the other day.....i must say i am very dissapointed...

wings flexed a TON, flew like CCCRRRRAAAAPPPP with tons of very bad tendencies....only thing it did better than my 3d foamy edge was a very slow knife edge. the roll had so much yaw change i didnt even need any imputs other than aleron to do rolling harriers and rolling circles...

i have to dissagree with alotbsol though....i did like the way it went togather....longer than a shocky but i liked it more....im on my way to 3dfoamy.com to order another one of their foamies....

-phil
Old 08-12-2005, 03:17 PM
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Phil - how much did your plane weigh RTF?
Old 08-12-2005, 05:42 PM
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

I also have the cap580 with the brushless setup, it was also my first foamie, had no prob's putting it together,as far as the manual being wrong, yes it was wrong but if you really pay attention you would have caught it, I didn't know it was wrong but what it was saying didnt make sense to me so I got on the website and looked at the tech notes and sure enough there was a note about it, I enjoy it so far, it's been a fun flyer for the front yard.. but this is just my opinion, not trying to be an *****, so please don't take it that way.
L8R.
Old 08-13-2005, 05:19 AM
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

I bought and built the Flatana last week. This is only my third plane, first two are RTF, I spent about 6 hrs building. I could build another one (of the same plane) in 2-3 hrs easy.

I stayed with the stock motor and pretty much followed Great Planes recommended setup. I tried thin CA first (you can about guess what the top of my wing looks like when I glued the cf rods to the le and te!) Definitely use medium CA with accelerator.

My two other planes are three channel so I was concerned that I might not be able to handle a 3d foamy, that it might be so responsive that I would just auger it into the ground on maiden. Not so. In normal flight with dual rate on, I found this plane very easy to fly, and it does exactly what I expect every time. I realy like it as a parkflyer. I have about 15 flights in now with wind anywhere from calm to 20 mph. While I don't suggest the 20 mph, I was able land it safely without even loosing a wheel pant! For perspective, my first rc flight was this June.

I have been trying some 3dstuff because it looks so cool, and my plane is probably now 20% CA from hard unscheduled "landings". During my last three flights with the Flatana I have been able to accomplish some variation on hovering and harriers. With no wind, I can get it to hover at just above ½ throttle.

As for flexing, I can see where this could delay a response in extreme 3d flight (I'm not good enough to notice if it does) but bridges, tall buildings and full scale aircraft flex all the time, but it doesn't mean the structure is inadequate. I would suspect that indoors it would be difficult to go fast enough to flex the plane much. Also, for some reason the Flatana is the only flatout with extra bracing the length of the fuse, so it might be more rigid about the axis than the others?
Old 08-13-2005, 03:41 PM
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Malves
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Got a CAP580 for my first plane. I am a novice and only have 2 flights under the belt. First one I got, I crashed on the first flight. It took me only 1min to smash it. My fault thou. As a novice I should've never bought this plane to learn to fly (r/c planes I mean, cause the real thing I can fly).
But I insited on it and got another one. Build time was 6h, with pizza break. Did a flight today and didn't crash.

It's not strong, but I love the look. One of the wing strust support snaped from the wing in flight. The wing folded, but it didn't break. Just glued it back and now I am waiting for the wind to calm down for more fun. It's my first plane and I love it!
Old 08-14-2005, 05:03 PM
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS


ORIGINAL: Tall Paul

Haven't flown this yet, but based on the serious bending the E-Flite Tribute showed, I added these braces to the wing...
Hi, it looks like from your pics that you just switched sides with the elev and rudd servos. That's what I'm doing. I just switched the servo mounts around when I put the fuse together. I think this is a simpler solution then what greatplanes says to do.
Old 10-17-2005, 10:57 AM
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sdan9151
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Got the 580 and flew it about a dozen times before I put it in. I'm off to buy my second, nice thing about it is at around $40.00, you can be a little more daring (and learning) with these Flatouts. Put the Rimfire in it with a 1000mah LiPol battery and after a good charge on it, it liked to rip the plane out of my hand with so much power.
What a great plane just to have fun with. If your fast and hard on the stick, yes you'll flex the wings and possibly pull too many G's in flight to damage it. Just watch your throttle and your throws. Landings can be damaging as in any aircraft that comes in too hard and fast, (how my demise came about). Would not recommend flying in the school yard with blacktop, better a nice field with grass to soften the landings. It is light, even tough the Rimfire setup I put in gave it enough power, watch the wind.
I am not a foamy fan, had several GWS's and would not buy another, but this plane I really had a blast with and as I stated above will be buying another. Plan on moving my electrical's (servo, motor, reciever) over to the new plane. Might repair old number 1 aircraft and install factory supplied motor and let the "Phoenix" rise again.
Would recommend this plane and motor setup (Rimfire and LiPol) and have a blast with these.
Oh Yeah, anyone who's built a foamy knows, "Foam Safe CA and Accelerator Spray" is the only way to go. If not be prepared to have a lot of Hobbico Light Weight Filler, it's also foam safe, (for the holes not using Foam Safe Glue).

Have Fun
Old 10-31-2005, 02:17 PM
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CByrne1
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

I recently completed a FLATOUTS REFLECTION Bi-Plane and I have to agree that it didn't take any 2 to 3 hours to complete. My wife will contend that it was on the kitchen table for about a month, waiting for days at a time for the thick foam safe CA to dry and for weeks waiting for additional and or replacement materials to rebuilt the botched mess I made of others. Well, it's finally together, but my major concern now is that the aleron servo has a very difficult time moving all of the linkage that's associated with the 4 alerons. I guess there is twice the torque required for the Bi-Plane as for any of the single wing Flatouts. I have used thin viscosity plastic safe oil, but there is so much tension in their Z connectors (as anyone who has ever attempted to squeez them together will attest) that there's no room for the lubricant in the joint. I am now faced with dissambling the entire aleron system and drilling the holes out to eliminate friction and drag. That should be at least another two hour project. Has anyone else figured out how to deal with this problem ?

Thanks for listening
Old 10-31-2005, 03:10 PM
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

My wife will contend that it was on the kitchen table for about a month, waiting for days at a time for the thick foam safe CA to dry
Dude! Three words for ya.

FOAM SAFE KICKER!

That's all.

Chris
Old 10-31-2005, 10:29 PM
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ml0126
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Problem is definately in the lingages. Must be totaly free. Before you glue the hinges/ect to the plane, use a drill bit to drill out the holes. Slide the hinges onto the graphite shaft before you glue them on th check for any tightness. You should be able to flick the hinge with your finger and it must rotate several times before it stops or it is not free enough. Forget about using the hobby knife, use a drill bit for all points that will be used a pivot point or hinge.
Old 11-01-2005, 03:06 PM
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bdavison
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

Seems to me like alot of the problems are a direct result of not understanding foam airplane building techniques or methods.

1. When glueing foamies together you should use a foam safe CA and "ACCELERATOR". Thats why they make accelerator to make the glue dry faster. With foamies CA is a two-step process....like epoxy...you need both parts to get it to work correctly.

2. The manufacturers time is based on what it takes the average experienced foam pilot to build it. Beginners or those lacking building skills with this type of project may take longer to complete it. Adjust your building time accordingly.

3. The instructions that come with the Flatouts CLEARLY state to use an exacto to trim all the flashing and open up the Z-bend connectors....otherwise they are too tight and bind. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST, THEN build the plane.

4. The box tells you what equipment to use, yet we see continously people use equipment that is not designed for the airplane.

5. These planes were specifically designed to be flown at a certain weight. Use of heavier components will result in increased chance of structural damage and reduced or odd performance due to improperly loading the aircraft. Its like packing 12 people into a cessna 172 and then wondering why it flys like poo and the landing gear collapses on a landing.
Flying foamies on NiCDs is like flying a .25 powered nitro plane with a 46oz fuel tank.

6. People assume that because its a "foam" airplane that it doesnt require any advanced building techniques. This simply is not true. Pilots that have been building balsa nitro planes for years, still need to learn how to build and fly a foamy. There are hundreds of differences in both building techniques and flying techniques. They may be able to get one airborne, but to truly tweak one out requires knowledge about how a foamy works. Seeking assistance from other builders before beginning a project is one way of gaining valuable information that will help maximize your success with the aircraft.


Old 11-04-2005, 09:56 PM
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mblue2050
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Default RE: GREAT PLANES FLATOUTS

I have built two of the Flatana's.

I am not really suggesting anything here. Just what I have done that works.

I found removing the flashing with an exacto not quite enough or to much trouble anyhow. I simply drilled out the holes, easier but still tight connecton to the z-bend things. No slop....my bit is small but I forget what size exactly.
I also use light oil on those connections before making them.
I only use the stock plastic z-bands on one end. I use the tiny dubro ez connectors on the servo horns
For me its a must to insert the rod into the z before istalling. Its tight but once set its set.

I take the control rod and insert and glue to the z-bend thing on one end. I install and check the linkage for desired results. I leave the control horns off the control surfaces until last. Slide the assembly into the dubro connector mounted on the servo....0088oz each. Then clip the GP horn on the rod system and glue in place in the slot in the foam control surface. Adjustment is now possible so I tx center the servo at 0 sub and align the control surface then tighten the set screw.

Mine is a hoot to fly. flutter yes warp yes...its foam. Still for what it cost its impessive and I get to fly nearly every day with it.

Blue
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