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Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

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Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

Old 04-27-2013, 09:01 PM
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ThunderBoat42
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Default Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

I bought this plane a little over a year ago and decided to put it together to play with. Fuse went together quickly and quality overall is excellent keeping a first time pilot in mind.

There were a few things that are not typcial to the kit I hope. The batteries will not hold a charge and are crapped. Yes, it is new in box and has been on the shelf in a HVAC controlled workshop. It was a little surprising. Furtunately, I had a new receiver battery so just chaged that out. Will need to order a new transmitter battery. I will comment on the other radio problem later!!! Lord

The prop tip was chipped off on one blade. It wasnt dropped and there was no evidence of box damage so I must assume it was assembled that way. Guessing is it some people in a factory somewhere that put these together but dont fly them,... I had a spare prop obtained when I bought it so no biggie.

The engine will be run-in tomorrow. I do like the preset needle valve and how it's set so a first timer will be close out the gate.

The rudder servo would not center consistently. So grabbed another one and switched it out in 20 min to include aligning the steering. Again, this is considered a rare event. Futaba and Hobbico are both excellent products. As a matter of fact, I have 25+ yr old Futaba am servos with god only knows how many hours on them that still work great.

Overall, for a new pilots FIRST airplane (looking at it from a new to hobby buyers perspective).. this thing is awesome. My 10 year old Daughter is loving the included "Real Flight" Simulator that comes with it. I do too. first class and a great value. The AFS seems pretty cool although I think it will be weird for the unit to be self righting the plane when turning. I will let my daughter get oriented on the flight sim and let try it with her and the buddy box.

The only mod I have made is to replace the wheels to 3.25 rear and 3" front Dubros for better grass performance. The ones that came with it are lighter and would work great on a mowed grass field as-is. I just like the Dubro's used since my first "Eaglet 20" three decades ago.

i will do the wing tomorrow. Its so straight forward... I will have it done quicker than this 'builder" would like LOL. The leading edge droops and flaps are so cool (and the reason I bought the plane)

Overall, I am wondering why I havent gotten this thing out sooner. It's so simple and straight forward. If it flies anything like the sim and I know it will. It's a great flyer too.

SO FAR ... I am IMPRESSED and recommend this to anyone wanting a traditional nitro Cessna looking trainer. IT is COMPLETE and the Simulator is awesome addition. As a matter of fact, with the Sim, leading edge droops and speed controlling flaps ... oh dont forget the self levelling AFS system...the ability to add real flaps later. engine mounting system, etc etc.... this is the best value for the dollar for this type plane.

Just my 2cents worth.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:38 AM
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chris923
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

This is an excellent training plane providing you take off the gyro and the extra wing fairings and perforated brakes. Very stable, lots of power, very sturdy. Upgrades: larger wheels and a fults nose gear.

The nice thing about the Nextstar is that if you wreck it, parts are availible.

I personally have taught 15 students with them. The only ARF better, is the 60 size Tower trainer, with a OS 61.

Chris923
Old 04-28-2013, 07:44 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

Also, use a 2100 life battery 6.6 volt for your receiver. All the Futaba and Hitec servos can handle the voltage. You will get 20 (or more, please monitor your battery) flights. The Nice thing about life batteries is that they are not as volitile as lipos, they don't have the voltage drop as the nmih and the life's hold there charge for a long time with almost no voltage loss while sitting around.

Chris923
Old 04-28-2013, 09:12 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

I agree on all points.   The more I look at whats "Standard" the more I am impressed with whats included.   I am putting this one together for doing the same, training others (any to play with).   So I am doing it just as it comes at first to see what a first time modeler would find.   
Will post some pics later.  one SHOCKER  LOL

I am changing all my batteries over to LiFe.   Haven't decided on a charger yet.  My 25 year old Hobbico Expanded scale volt meter will not work with them either.  
Old 04-28-2013, 01:14 PM
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chris923
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

Hitec x4 multi charger.....pricey but the best!

http://www.hitecrcd.com/products/cha...i-charger.html

Old 04-28-2013, 01:19 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

HK has an x4 charger also good.  They also have a good range of 50 watt and beyond, all capable of pb, nimh, nicd, life, lion, lipo.
Old 04-28-2013, 01:21 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

Agree to remove the "gyro", droops, and brakes. It is a very good plane but overpriced in my opinion. We have used them to train folks and they work good but the same can be said for a Tower trainer, Hobbico trainer, etc... at a much lower cost.
Put it together and enjoy it. It makes a great ski and float plane too !
Old 04-28-2013, 04:49 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

A couple of more Fuse pics.. things I think are nice features.

The wing mounting bolt instead of rubber bands is one. The bolt goes into a rubber socket mount to provide some give for new pilots who will have the inevitable wing tip lass that perfect landing. I have the bolt pulled over in the picture.

I would prefer a foam tape on the mounting rails,

The engine mount has a rubber lined block to secure the engine yet provide some vibration isolation. Really neat and functional set up.


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Old 04-28-2013, 04:53 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

On to the wing.

The wing spar tube is HEAVY DUTY and HEAVY too. There is a joiner plate out of abs, 4 screws to secure, a rear pin and the rod. As you can see, this is a heavy duty rod.

The dihedral is automatic. You cant screw this up. I did have to clear some wood debris our of the rear pin hole. but thats it.

I like the ability to pull the halves apart in the future to add flaps. YES!! you can add wing servo's and flaps later... it's already built flap ready.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:00 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

Here you can see the aileron differential is already considered with the linkage set up out of the box. You can also see the joiner plate.

There are mounts for using a Y and wing servo's in each wing half. This facilitates the existing aileron servo to be used for flaps and yes, even instructions on set up. As you can see, much to my surprose, there is a string paped in the wing to pull the leads through if you want to add them now or later.

This in one quality basic trainer arf/rtf.

If you have an engine and radio,,, this thing, at 149 from tower for the airframe is a bargain.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:08 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

Back to this assembled wing. The leading edge extensions are removable for aerobatics. I am leaving them because I love slow flight on the rudder and doing touch n go's.

The aeleron servo arm was off one tooth on the spline,,, so pulled it and corrected. There is differential throw set up althogh I hde to bendthe aileron rods back up towards verticle some to get the proper up throw.

The right hing is glues so tight I can not get enough up through to match the manual. ITs the way its installed more than stiff hinges. I will think about best remedy. May be to completely re-hinge. Not something a new pilot should have to do spending the $450 for the RTF version.

The CG, well there is nothing ambiguous about where that should be (see pic)
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:27 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

Back to the radio supplied.

I will preface the next statement by saying I have always used and been very happy with Futaba radio's.

This radio is crap. The one I got anyway. It looks like a good enough unit for this application - yes, considering the overall quality of the RTF version, it's applicable for the price.

That said, the one I got must have been made the first day back to work after the new year with everyone hung over!!! The battery will not hold a charge. The Throttle will only go up as far as shown here. Sonething is screwed up in this transmitter. It's annoying. I can change the crystal in the receiver and use my 8au transmitter but (a) I dont want students using my 8au and (b) I am doing this as purchased.

Being I bought this at a Hobby Town that is now out of business (had on the shelf in my shop for well over a year). not shure if Hobbico/Hobby Services from Tower will honor the warranty due to time. My fault for not unpacking when I bought it to make sure all was good.

the prop tip broken was no big deal, the rudder servo .. well thats a first in 30 yrs of using Futaba products and coutless numbers of their servo's. The batteries and transmitter... ugggg.

Now that I am through venting.. the plane is overall fantastic. OS is a great engine, the airframe is well thought out with some surprising features (ie: the flap option is over the top cool), the speed brakes for rookies, the afs (the jury is out on that one till I try it), the wing and engine mounting, the gear mounting, wing assembly and even the sporty look.

The wing joiner... LORD, that thing is heavy. A carbon fiber light weight joiner would savea ton on weight and make this thing fly even better.

The fuel tank is plumbed with a 3 line and has a dot in the filler. Smooth.

Before maiden... Do something with this CRAP transmitter I got in the box (NOT typical of Futaba - I was just the lucky Wanka golden ticket for a crap one winner). deal with the right aileron so I can get full movement. Break in the engine (for me that is about 6 to 8 tanks on the ground as I like to break them in slowly and why by 30 yr old engines sitll perform flawlessly).


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Old 04-28-2013, 05:30 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

Chris.. I agree on the X4. After looking at tons of them... seems worth the $$. Tower has those LiFe chargers for about $30. I did consider just getting two or three of those as they are ACDC compatible. but the x4 will do it all.
Old 04-28-2013, 05:37 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

The ARF alone is $149. For all that comes with the airframe... thats a deal. The other 99 dollar arf trainers are good too. The SIG Kadet 40 is a favorite too. I do like the optional flap set up with this one. After I let my daughter fly it a while, I will pull are the un necessary stuff out and add the flaps.

I actually ordered another set of gear after I get the plane and the fuse slide mount to intall forward. That way I can drop the nose wheel out, and add a second set of mains forward for floats with a quick change when we go to the lake house.




flyinwalenda Date 4/28/2013 10:21 PM
Agree to remove the "gyro", droops, and brakes. It is a very good plane but overpriced in my opinion. We have used them to train folks and they work good but the same can be said for a Tower trainer, Hobbico trainer, etc... at a much lower cost.
Put it together and enjoy it. It makes a great ski and float plane too !
Old 04-28-2013, 05:45 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

This is next... P51 with that Biela 4 blade prop hanging behind it and electric sequencing retracts. along with a kit built CG Cub and CG Ultimate.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:45 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

I've taught several students with this model and it's the one I ALWAYS recommend for a first trainer. However, I always remove the gyro, slats and flaps because I don't want my students to learn to fly with what are effectively "training wheels."

I've thought of buying one for myself just because it's a stress-free way to burn holes in the sky.


Old 04-28-2013, 07:03 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

with the radio situation,,,  looks like I am putting a different receiver in anyway and using the 8ua or one of my old 6 channel radio's.  So the AFS is not going to be applicable.  

This one does not have the gyro in the true sense.  It has a light recognizing slight stabilization ...  it can be turned down to fly normal yet claims to self level if you let go of the sticks.  It will be fun to play with but that's a good point.   When I learned, we didnt even have a buddy box.  It was a "Here" and hand it back to the instructor who had to grab and act quick.  We survived then and it was 'exciting' to say the least.   LOL

the airframe at $149 from Tower is a pretty good deal considering what you get.  it's got all kinds of surprise neat features.  I LOVE the dual aileron and flap set up available.  
Old 04-29-2013, 12:32 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

Here is My T.F. P-51B with G-62 with 20-10 Biela Prop.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:40 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

As for radios. The radio that comes with the arf we always use as a buddy box. I always loan a Futaba 7c 2.4 to the students ot work with the buddy box. The 7c is a great middle of the road radio, not to cheap and not overkill.
Almost all my students buy one sooner or later,or they by an 8.

Old 04-29-2013, 06:28 AM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

You may be able to bring the batteries back to life by charging them for 24 hours with your wall mounted charger and cycling them once or twice. I have done that with nicads that have set for a number of years and they still work fine. I use a peak charger but the first charge should be charged steadily for 24 hours at the 10% rate.
Also, the OS engine is an ABC type with pinch at the top of the stroke. It should be broken in at a fast speed not slobbering rich like you do with a piston ringed engine. I bought my Nextar used and I like it for lazy Sunday afternoon flying without any of the add-ons.
Old 04-29-2013, 12:26 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions


ORIGINAL: EyeflyRC

You may be able to bring the batteries back to life by charging them for 24 hours with your wall mounted charger and cycling them once or twice. I have done that with nicads that have set for a number of years and they still work fine. I use a peak charger but the first charge should be charged steadily for 24 hours at the 10% rate.
Yup... I've had packs in storage & when I connect them to a computer controlled charger, the charger shows the pack fully charged in minutes, but when I discharge the packs, they show discharged almost immediately.

If I take the same packs and perform a 24hr charge, they test out to full capacity and the computer controlled charger then has no problems with the pack in both recharge and discharge.

Old 04-29-2013, 07:02 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

I did the C10 charge rate and cycled a few times and they progressively got worse.  When in doubt, throw it out.  just going with new ones and no worries.  Tomorrow I am ordering the LiFe batteries and the X4 charger.  

CHRIS.. that is an awesome looking Mustang.  I wish I had seen that combo before I ordered the smaller one. I do have a YS engine needing a home so that was the driving force.  Thats another thread but I am very interested in how it flies with the Biela 20x10 etc.  We are designing a 1.64 reduction for the DLE55 for the 24" Solo prop for the aeroworks P51.   

I contacted Hobby Services on the radio issue today.  Sat on hold for an hour,  Left a message finally and shot an email.  No reply at all.    I "Can do nothing" is an OK answer... I respect company policies - we have them.  A no answer, no reply gets under my skin quicker than anything.  So much so I am considering buying a Spectrum radio and forgetting it.  

 
Old 04-29-2013, 07:07 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

With reference to the wing aileron servo. The travel limit on the one aileron was limiting the servo travel and binding it. In addition, the angle of the aileron post is not conducive to free movement. Brought thepost back up closer to aroung 80 degrees from about 45 or 50 deg. and that helped get full travel without loading/stalling the servo.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:18 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

Its finished with the exception of the bigger wheels, changing the ruder servo and correcting the aileron linkage/hing issue... overall, yes, very impressed with the airframe and will probably pick up another one in the ARF version for a saito 65 4c I have on the self. the $140 price is a great value IMHO.

Maybe run the engine in a little while tomorrow after work and hopefully get this radio issue worked out. I am sure I will end up having to take it apart in fix it myself. Hobby Services/Futaba lack of employees or what ever it is to make them impossible to reach is a stress that I dont need in my life. (Rant) "If you have a business, you must have accessibility for your customers. That is so important.. Our customers that are treated with promp answer and courtesy are happy... even when their problem was self induced. They always come back. I refuse to do business with companies that dont have any access when there is a question." OK feel better LOL

My 10 yr old daugher is excited to have flying time together. We will go when the field is empty ... like after school. A couple of boys in the 'Hood have already had their Dad's down to see the shop and planes. Now they have an opportunity to try it. Budding future new AMA Members.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:53 PM
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Default RE: Hobbico NEXTSTAR 46 RTF impressions

Well.. after the radio issue thats now somewhat corrected ... somewhat in that it's still not rite..... I got around to running-in the engine. My the middle of the second tank...
The AFS Module fell out
the muffler set screw and cannister bolt backed off
The engine mount screws backed out.. the top 2.. by alot!! See pic.
Took muffler and engine off and tightened mounting screws with some lock-tight as well as the engine mounting screws and muffler assembly.

Engine, after 5 tanks at 40 minutes turns 11,600 and idles at 1800... although 2100 makes me feel better. Idle mixture was way too lean.

needless to say, a first timer wouldprobably be totally frustrated by now and likely pizzed.

After run in, cleaned up and noticed the lower rudder hinge is non existant (or it was broken at the hinge line). So tonight I am going to un-hinge and use the goldberg hinges I have always used when building CGEagles and Ultimates. I know the pushrod mount will suffice.. but knowing better and maybe a little anal about things just rite... I am adding a ball link and correcting the geometery so the rudder will move qually both ways. I wanted to before but was thinking a new commer wouldnt know .. try it as it comes... but after all the issues... going to do it while the rudder is apart.

overall .. I still like the plane. The radio has me a little biffed at Hobby services rite now. so much so... when I buy my next radio.. it will not be a Futaba after 25+ years of exclusively Futaba... We will be getting a divorce.
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