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GP Cherokee Really a Good Second Plane?

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GP Cherokee Really a Good Second Plane?

Old 06-08-2008, 03:34 PM
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Default GP Cherokee Really a Good Second Plane?

I flew the Cherokee today. Is it really a good second plane like they claim? I believe it is.

Handling on the ground is very tame, takeoff's are straight and it gently lifts into the air. Flight was very stable and forgiving. Landing? It can practically land itself. It just gently touches on the mains and rolls out. The flaps absolutely aren't needed. In fact, I preferred landing without them.

Stalls? I tried to stall it but the thing just wanted to sit there in the sky. Finally the nose dropped slightly and it gently started flying again. That's a nice feeling compared to the way other airplanes stall.

It did the basic aerobatics well. Straight, round loops, nice stall turns, and nearly hands-off inverted flight. Unfortunately I didn't get to try anything more than that.

I was flying downwind parallel the runway at about 1/2 throttle. May plan was to turn it around and try to land hot, deploying the flaps to see how it behaved. I banked left and gently pulled the elevator back... nothing. No elevator at all. It rolled inverted then dove into the ground. It was completely destroyed. My first thought was a battery, switch, receiver, etc. After examining the wreckage though I am pretty sure that the bolt on tail came loose.

You can read about it here: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_74...tm.htm#7595129

So yes this is a good second plane. It even makes a good 3'rd, 10th or 100th plane for a guy like me.

If you're building one and using the engine & radio from your trainer, there is no need to spend the extra money on flap servos. The flaps just aren't necessary. They are fun for more advanced pilots though. Also epoxy the tail. Don't trust the screws alone!
Old 06-08-2008, 03:44 PM
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Default RE: GP Cherokee Really a Good Second Plane?

Chuck, I'm sooo sorry for your loss! It's such a sweet looking plane. Thanks so much for reporting on it, a lot of us have been wondering about how it flew, and if it was indeed good for a second plane.
Old 06-08-2008, 03:49 PM
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Default RE: GP Cherokee Really a Good Second Plane?

I'm definitely not knocking the plane. It flew EXCELLENT. I will get another one, likely with a 4-stroke. I just never liked bolt-on tails and this pretty much re-confirmed why.
Old 06-08-2008, 04:17 PM
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Default RE: GP Cherokee Really a Good Second Plane?

I know it's not considered a defect, but it might be worth calling Great Planes and telling them what happened. You never know what might happen (tell them you've been modeling for XX years and love their planes, and are disappointed at getting only a flight or so).

I'm between this plane and the Pacific Aeromodels Knockabout Cherokee for my next plane. Your comments about the flaps make me maybe head toward the Knockabout though, but we'll see.

Again, sorry for the loss. I know what it's like to lose a plane or two
Old 06-08-2008, 05:41 PM
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Default RE: GP Cherokee Really a Good Second Plane?

This was my first major crash in a long, long time. I've had a rough landing or two hear and there but nothing completely destroyed for quite a while. It was disappointing but that's how this hobby goes. I have plenty more planes.

In spite of the issue with the tail, I still highly recommend this plane. The quality and finish is among the best that I have seen in an ARF. The one time that it did fly was very pleasant. The moment that it rolled down the runway and lifted off, I immediately knew it was a keeper. A lot of times when you maiden a plane it is nerve racking. Even when you think you know what to expect, you can never be too sure. Not so with the Cherokee. It needed a click of down and a click of left aileron. From there on it was like flying something very familiar and friendly. Then seeing it land so effortlessly really sealed the deal. I've got sport planes, biplanes, e;ectric planes and ther stuff but I'll definitely get another Cherokee.

I think it will be a good match for the new Alpha series .56 4-stroke. The .46-AX and Slimline pitts muffler worked very well too.

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