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CARF-Models worth the extra money?

Old 06-25-2013, 09:21 PM
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RichardGee
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Default CARF-Models worth the extra money?

As I was waxing the stabs of my CARF-Models 3 meter Yak 55, I reflected on a recent blurb by a CARF Sales Rep in which he was contrasting the true value of a CARF against similar ARFs made of wood and plastic film.

This is my 6th CARF aircraft, although I have been building model aircraft for over 40 years, mostly from balsa and ply. I have built dozens of planes; everything from Cox TD .010 powered single channel flyers, to fully scaled and detailed quarter scale aircraft with gas and glow, single and multi-cylinder engines.
During the last 8 years while building 6 state-of-the-art CARF aircraft, I also built a Bud Nosen Gere Sport biplane and a Top Flight Taurus… it doesn’t get anymore ‘old school’ than that! [8D]Unrolling a fresh set of plans and gluing sticks together offers a certain satisfaction that no other aspect of the hobby can satisfy.

But if you are looking for a quality ARF that has the potential to last as long as you do… you simply cannot do better than a composite airframe. In my experience, they are ALWAYS straighter and stiffer than wood or foam ARFs. They are stronger. And believe it or not, they are usually also lighter -
Case in point, my CARF-Models 2.1M Yak 55, w/DA50 and canister exhaust, and top of the line servos and electronics, tipped the scales at 16.4 lbs. ready to fly. Another modeler at my field had a typical (cheap) wood and plastic ARF 50cc Yak 54 w/stock exhaust. His plane was a few inches larger than mine, BUT it weighed a whopping 23 pounds!

A stiffer, straighter, lighter airframe will ALWAYS fly better. Now if that weren’t enough of a plus, CARFs NEVER require ironing or re-shrinking of the covering because they have NO plastic film. The finish is a type of Gel Coat; a good wax job a few times a year will keep the finish looking like new.

Other considerations: Should you choose to fit a smoke system, CARFs are impervious to smoke oil. With a plastic film covered aircraft, it isn’t IF, it’s WHEN the smoke oil works its way under the seams of the covering, that’s the beginning of the end of the covering job. Worse, IF your gas tank OR your smoke tank happen to spring a leak INSIDE the aircraft, a CARF will not be adversely affected. Just sop it up, wipe it out with some lacquer thinner, and you’re back in business. Try that with a wood frame and plastic covering… OR watch what raw gas does to foam!!

I know of some CARF aircraft with literally thousands of flights; aircraft that have gone through two and three engines and many flying seasons; aircraft that still look great thanks to a finish that never wrinkles or fades and with a little care, will continue to look like new for years. CARF-Models also come with high quality, ALL useable hardware.

When compared to wood and plastic ARFs, are CARF-Models really WORTH the extra money? Without any hesitation I can state unequivocally, YES.
Old 06-26-2013, 03:23 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

Comp arf airframes are great indeed and I have owned and flown my share of them, as far as them being lighter, and straighter then a well built wood airplane, that is simply not true, a builder can produce a straight and much lighter airframe with just a little forethought during the build. As far as them flying better, it really depends who is on the sticks. Just saying...

Bob
Old 06-26-2013, 04:31 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

A Lexus is built way better than a Kia too,,, not everyone can afford a Lexus
Old 06-26-2013, 06:36 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

Watch the video in the first post here [link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_11474504/tm.htm]CLICKY[/link]

CARF airframes are not always up to snuff.
Old 06-26-2013, 07:02 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

With an inordinate level of planning and expense, a superlative builder MAY be capable of producing a lighter airframe – that point I will concede. However, there are very few modelers today who could produce a lighter, straighter, and stronger airframe than a CARF. Such a production requires jigs, hand-selected wood (have you priced balsa and light ply lately?), and strategically placed composites.

Ever tried to produce a scale thickness (i.e. razor thin) and laser straight trailing edge using wood? This is routine on a CARF...and the trailing edge is rock hard.
– how many modelers have the expertise, let alone the patience?

An aggressive 3D flyer can turn any lightly-built wood airframe into a loose collection of sticks – not so with a composite airframe. And you still have drawbacks of wood/foam vs. composites when it comes to exposure to fuels and temperature extremes.

Did I mention hangar rash? Bang a wood wing leading edge into a door frame…you probably just produced a dent….. ‘nuf said.

As far as cost, IF a $2500 CARF lasts 5 times as long as a $1250 wood and plastic ARF, is it REALLY twice as expensive? If you do the math, the CARF is actually less than HALF the cost.

Am I completely SOLD on CARFs? Yup - and this is coming from an 'RC modeler' of more than 4 decades who still very much enjoys scratch and kit building - a wonderful art form that requires patience and craftsmanship.
My point is simply to educate those who may have been put off by the high initial price of a composite airframe.
You should know that when you plunk down your hard-earned bucks on a CARF-Model, you get what you pay for; when you amortise the cost and performance over the life of the airplane, the CARF is a superior value.
Old 06-26-2013, 07:11 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

ORIGINAL: j.duncker

Watch the video in the first post here [link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_11474504/tm.htm]CLICKY[/link]

CARF airframes are not always up to snuff.
* CARF-Models does not make an F-14
* Control surface flutter can occur from no less than a half-dozen reasons, none of which have anything to do with the composition of the airframe.
* 99% of flutter is caused by insufficient control linkage set-ups (i.e. The Builder)

Old 06-26-2013, 07:13 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

I don't think anyone will argue the quality is not there,, but if you can afford it, you can't afford it.

CARFs crash too, so if you crash a $2500 CARF vs a $1200 ARF,, wasn't it still twice as expensive??
Old 06-26-2013, 07:18 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

ORIGINAL: scale only 4 me

I don't think anyone will argue the quality is not there,, but if you can afford it, you can't afford it.

CARFs crash too, so if you crash a $2500 CARF vs a $1200 ARF,, wasn't it still twice as expensive??
Agreed. There ARE flyers at my field to whom I would NEVER, EVER recommend an expensive aircraft of ANY composition; they go through airplanes like underwear[X(]
Old 06-26-2013, 08:22 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

My CARFs...
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:59 PM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

carf scale planes aren't bad, but there aerobatic planes don't fly that well, much better alternatives from extreme flight, carden, 3dhs, and Krill.
Old 06-26-2013, 03:24 PM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?


ORIGINAL: DiscoWings

carf scale planes aren't bad, but there aerobatic planes don't fly that well, much better alternatives from extreme flight, carden, 3dhs, and Krill.
While the examples listed above are all fine airplanes, I don't consider Comp ARF airplanes at a dis-advantage. Back in 2006 I closed out the season flying IMAC advanced with 3 wins, 3 second place and 1 third place finish and a 2nd in the championship points while flying a 3M Extra 260.

I would have to agree with Bob that some of us who build wood and foam can get airplanes rather light. I have a 96" Laser that is powered with a DLE 55 with an MTW canister that weighs 16 lbs. My issue with wood airplanes is that they are constant maintenance on the covering. IMO both Monokote and Ultracote have gone down hill. The composite airplanes are great in that respect, just wipe down when done and they are ready for the next outing. The sharp trailing edges look cool but actually hinder performance. The 3M Extra 330 I am currently refurbishing has 3/8" trimmed off the elevators and rudder. The opening this leaves is filled with epoxy and cabosil then left square. This makes the airplane track much better. Not a Comp ARF thing as any of the composite airplanes would benifit from this mod.

My only gripe with Comp ARF is their marketing. Having to call a rep and then check availability and get a quote anf that whole system is just a pain. IMO they would do much better if you could just make the purchase through the website and have the airplane show up 3 or 4 weeks later.

Old 06-26-2013, 04:07 PM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

ORIGINAL: RichardGee

With an inordinate level of planning and expense, a superlative builder MAY be capable of producing a lighter airframe – that point I will concede. However, there are very few modelers today who could produce a lighter, straighter, and stronger airframe than a CARF. Such a production requires jigs, hand-selected wood (have you priced balsa and light ply lately?), and strategically placed composites.

Ever tried to produce a scale thickness (i.e. razor thin) and laser straight trailing edge using wood? This is routine on a CARF...and the trailing edge is rock hard.
– how many modelers have the expertise, let alone the patience?

An aggressive 3D flyer can turn any lightly-built wood airframe into a loose collection of sticks – not so with a composite airframe. And you still have drawbacks of wood/foam vs. composites when it comes to exposure to fuels and temperature extremes.

Did I mention hangar rash? Bang a wood wing leading edge into a door frame…you probably just produced a dent….. ‘nuf said.

As far as cost, IF a $2500 CARF lasts 5 times as long as a $1250 wood and plastic ARF, is it REALLY twice as expensive? If you do the math, the CARF is actually less than HALF the cost.

Am I completely SOLD on CARFs? Yup - and this is coming from an 'RC modeler' of more than 4 decades who still very much enjoys scratch and kit building - a wonderful art form that requires patience and craftsmanship.
My point is simply to educate those who may have been put off by the high initial price of a composite airframe.
You should know that when you plunk down your hard-earned bucks on a CARF-Model, you get what you pay for; when you amortise the cost and performance over the life of the airplane, the CARF is a superior value.
The truth is I loved all 4 of my 3.3M Yaks and my 3.1M 330, with that said, I will tell you that you can get hangar rash and tear them up in the air as well. First lets use your example of hangar rash; if you walk into a doorframe with a comp Arf wing leading edge you most certainly can damage it, same as wood. Now on the wood leading edge in most cases you can inject a small amount of water in several places and swell your way out of trouble, allow to dry out for a couple of days and touch up the covering with a heat gun and or a covering iron. Now with the composite airframe you must first know how to properly make a light but structural repair on composites, prep prime, and either blend finish the area or complete finish the areas affected without adding a bunch of weight. Either process is fine for me because I have dabbled in both processes for a minute. As far as turning a light 3D airplane into splinters in flight, I will tell you this; I once broke my Comp ARF 3.3M yak wing while performing a noontime demo flight with it, I did manage to get it back down without destroying it and Adreas did replace the wing for me. Anyway my point is you can in fact break a composite airplane in flight just like a wooden airplane, it just depends how far your willing to push the limits.
Old 06-26-2013, 04:37 PM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

I'm putting my first CARF together. I'd buy another, nice quality. Sure they are expensive. I can't afford lots of them but RC flying is one of my biggest passions, so my models get more money invested and I sacrifice elsewhere.
Old 06-26-2013, 04:48 PM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

They are very nice quality, much better then most can do in there shops.

Bob
Old 06-26-2013, 04:54 PM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

ORIGINAL: RichardGee

ORIGINAL: j.duncker

Watch the video in the first post here [link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_11474504/tm.htm]CLICKY[/link]

CARF airframes are not always up to snuff.
* CARF-Models does not make an F-14
* Control surface flutter can occur from no less than a half-dozen reasons, none of which have anything to do with the composition of the airframe.
* 99% of flutter is caused by insufficient control linkage set-ups (i.e. The Builder)

Hi, great subject and I think you are almost right on except for the 99% linkage part. Full scale aircraft such as a cessna 172 require ballancing aileron surfaces after painting and they have weights placed forward of the hingeline to allow for this. Some older design planes such as the North American Navion used counter ballances to do this. In pictures you can see what looks like a little egg on a stick under the aileron and forward of the control hinge. In old time aerodynamics it was said that any conrol surface will flutter if you go fast enough. There is a whole thing about P-38s in high speed dives durring WWII going unstable, (some say the aileron controls even reversed) which was probably flutter. Flying 78 pound UAVs in 2000 to 2003, a 1/5 th scale SU-25 with very simple piano hinge ailerons we sometimes got flutter in diving passes and then we sometimes did it on purpose when the gunnery oficer said, get rid of that one right now. They were shooting 50 cal and live stingers at us. Just sayin.. wallace.tharp
Old 06-26-2013, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

Their finish is nice but light they are not!
Old 06-26-2013, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

ORIGINAL: j.duncker

Watch the video in the first post here [link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_11474504/tm.htm]CLICKY[/link]

CARF airframes are not always up to snuff.
Well that link doesn't tell Anything about CARF airframes, considering the jet in that video is a FLY EAGLE JET..... Your comparing apples to orange's man.


And for those who don't think they are worth the money.. I suggest you do some research on the process of making a plug, molds and that first flying model. It is a very long, expensive process!

Not to mention the materials that CARF uses for it sandwich material isn't exactly cheap either
Old 06-27-2013, 02:34 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?


ORIGINAL: j.duncker

Watch the video in the first post here [link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_11474504/tm.htm]CLICKY[/link]

CARF airframes are not always up to snuff.
The OP is talking about CARF the Company, formally Comp-ARF from Germany! That isn't the same.
Old 06-27-2013, 02:46 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

My CARF's at their best! I won't waiste my money on anything else.

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Old 06-27-2013, 06:28 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

Thank you for the reminder that CARF is a manufacturer's name as well as a term related to construction methods which I was aware of.

But the OP contains this

you simply cannot do better than a composite airframe. In my experience, they are ALWAYS straighter and stiffer than wood or foam ARFs. They are stronger.
I was linking to a thread which discusses at length the problems with an airframe which appears to be less strong when composite materials replace plywood.

I am a firm believer in composite airframes as I have used them in very high speed and high flutter threat situations when dynamic soaring but I have seen composite models virtually explode when they hit the boundary layer and an examination of the wreckage suggested that the wing had delaminated. Getting high tech composites to stay together is not always easy. Ask the people who build yacht hulls. Even with very carefully controlled applications including vacuum bagging and autoclaving failures occur. EG in the 2012 Volvo RTW race.
Old 06-27-2013, 08:09 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

I found this very old video on another forum that somebody took at an event I was flying at with my second 3.3M Comp Arf Yak way back in 2002, or 2003, as I said earlier, composite airplanes are great and well worth the money, but in my case, I can build lighter, so I build.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oN0r...ature=youtu.be

Bob
Old 06-27-2013, 08:22 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?



I recently purchased a Yak 55 and I can tell you that for the money I expected a bit more.

1st.dont likethe joint seams of the mold (If your going to paint a plane, paint itoutside the mold.....I just spent $2500 on a plane that someone took a short cut in the process instead of filling and sanding and doing a proper paint job).

2nd, the masking on the paint job is very poor with paint bleeding through the lines (very amature).

3rd. my landing strut mount didnt line up with the fuse holes (off by a 1/4 inch which I had to correct).

4th. why would you use foam on the rudder hinge points???

5th. Gluing job could have been much cleaner.

Besides all that, I like the plane as it flies very solid.

Will probably buy another COMP-ARF.

Yes, I know Im picky......after all the money is coming out of my pocket.

Old 06-27-2013, 08:33 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

There is a budget for everyone, yet mine does not really allow for the high-end airframes or I should state it is a choice I make not to buy high-end airframes. Although no disrepect meant for those that own CARFs my preference is to take the same amount of greenbacks and own more planes. I guess I am too frugle with my greenbacks.

I know some that have the comps and I do agree they are very nice, however the fact that I have 2-3 other planes for the price of one makes the latter the most appealing to me.

Ok, don't flame me, for what it is worth I am just stating my view here. I am just not in a league with you high end flyers
Old 06-27-2013, 08:56 AM
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Chris Nicastro
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

Are CARF Model superior or worth the money?

In my experience so far that answer is 50/50.

I own the Eurosport Evo and its under construction right now. Let me give you the short list of issues with that jet for starters.
1) the fuse is NOT symmetrical especially from the CG to the nose
2) the canard mounts were not installed right. We tore them out laser cut jigs and relocated them
3) one wing is thicker than the other around the servo pockets making the servo mount situation another custom job
4) there is no bulkhead at the base of the vertical stab so we laser cut one to stiffen up the airframe
5) the optional intakes supplied DO NOT fit the airframe, were modifying them to make them work
6) the optional air brake parts DO NOT match the airframe so when you cut out the fuse you have to do a custom job again
7) the landing gear door set is a joke the nose gear door is flimsy and warped, the door cut out is the opposite shape

There are more issues with this plane than I care to go on about but all of the above are substantial projects on their own for an ARF.

I also own the Corsair and have not started it yet but the parts look ok so far.

So are they worth it? In my opinion their OK but you should inspect and ask questions of a CARF owner before you buy a particular model.
Old 06-27-2013, 09:38 AM
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Default RE: CARF-Models worth the extra money?

Chris!
I have to agree with you that they no longer meet the standards of the original company and the first planes out. Guess it is mass production. I still love them. But, there are several issues that I am never happy with on the assembly of the jet/plane. But, lets face it, the parts probably aren't match to the individual jet/plane, but rather there is a box full and throw it into the shipping box? I sure hope that I am wrong on this assumption. I have had issues on every assembly, but, let's face it, what ARF have we not had issues on assembly? Dan

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