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Magazines say there are no bad planes??

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Magazines say there are no bad planes??

Old 10-01-2005, 10:53 AM
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Pavan
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Default Magazines say there are no bad planes??

I have been reading RC magazines for over 8 - 9 years now. I have yet to come across a product review where a plane has been stated as to not be upto the mark. You name it....Chinese, Vietnamese, US, German the last line in the review is usually contains the words..

Awsome!, Excellent, Great Plane, Best plane I have flown etc etc etc.

There may be a little three lines of misses.....but they are usually insignificant and always minor issues.

Now when you buy that plane based on a review....it may be a monster or a lemon....missing hardware, missing manuals, warped wings, underpowered engines and you name it. Now I am not saying that all planes will be like that but, some have to be just taking into account the probability of numbers.

I think that one should not buy a plane because of a review we just read....... I made a mistake of buying an H9 Aresti 40 after reading a rewiew and the horizantal stabilizer broke in the middle during straight and level flight.......I check RCUniverse and I am not the only one either....If you read the review it says that the plane is for precision aerobatics and great....

Great yes.....it cost me a brand new receiver and also the plane which I only had for 2.5 months. Plus I got split wheels which I sent H9 pictures of in June and they said they would ship them to me but ..........I should have known better, I am still on the waiting list for a pair of 2.5 inch wheels.

Maybe we should forget about that guy in China and build our own planes after all.
Old 10-01-2005, 11:18 AM
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Campy
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

You are forgetting one BIG thing.

These companies PAY the magazines to do a review.

If the magazine writes a "less than favorable" review, how much additional business do you think they will get ? The magazines are in business to make money. If a company does not send them models to review AND/OR decides to pull their advertising because of a "bad review", the magazine loses a bunch of money.

Read these reviews and take what is said in them with a LARGE GRAIN OF SALT. Look the model over closely. Are there potential weak spots in the airframe (such as the fuselage being heavily cut out where the main wing attaches ) that can be readily seen ? Based on the model's weight, does it seem that it will handle a "less than perfect landing" ?

You get the general idea of what I am saying.
Old 10-01-2005, 12:01 PM
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Homebrewer
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

You have to read between the lines and be knowledgeable enough to know some basic parameters.


For example, when I was a newbie and didn't know squat about airplanes, I bought a flightcraft ARF. The review seemed good but now I know that a 200-250 foot takeoff roll with a .46 engine for this size airplane is NOT GOOD and indicates a heavy airplane with high wingloading. That flightcraft ARF was a piece of junk that flew worse than a durabrick.

Your best bet to know a planes strengths and weeknesses is to ask the general rcuniverse population.
Old 10-01-2005, 02:50 PM
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MinnFlyer
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

While Campy is usually right, Manufacturers do not pay for reviews. It is true that we get to keep the product afterward, but in most cases, when you consider all of the work that has to be done (And believe me, there is PLENTY of work involved) Keeping the plane afterward comes out to a payment of about 20 cents per hour. So it would be a heluva lot cheaper to take on a part time job and buy the planes outright.

There are several reasons you don't see a bad review. One, as Homebrewer alluded to, is that many times what YOU consider bad, someone else may not.

For example, Maybe a plane needs to have the pushrods built, this doesn't bother me at all, so I'm certainly not going to slam the manufacturer for it. On the other hand, maybe I hate having to assemble a pushrod, I'm still not going to slam them because there are many people out there that don't mind building them. So I will mention that the pushrods need assembly, now it's up to YOU to read that and decide if that's a deal-breaker for you.

How about this: An ARF comes with a badly wrinkled covering.

Well hell, if I built a plane, and covered it beautifully, then put it in a crate and put it on a boat to China, whould I complain if it was wrinkled when I opened the box? Hell no. I'd EXPECT it to be wrinkled. Many times I am AMAZED at how well the coverings have held up.

Now, if a product was found to be defective, we do just what you would do, we contact the manufacturer and give him a chance to set things right (Note: see my RCU Magazine review of the Evolution Engine). So if you get a bad product, but the manufacturer replaces it, it's no longer a bad product.

I add to what Homebrewer said by saying this: Read a review carefully. DOn't just skim through it, or read the summary. See if you can get a sense of how the reviewer actually feels about it, or as Homebrewer said, "Read between the lines"
Old 10-01-2005, 03:06 PM
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Pavan
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

Point well taken Mike. Thanks to you and others who have replied.

The latest RCU Magazine has the review of the Showtime 40 from H9. I need some more information from the person who wrote that. how do I get in touch with Mr. Tyler Renkert.

Thanks and regards,

Pavan
Old 10-01-2005, 07:04 PM
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vicman
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

I like the British Mags because they seem to give a little more honest view of how it is.
Old 10-01-2005, 07:13 PM
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JCOKEEFE
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

[8D]I agree with your last sentence, "............build our own planes.....".

Old 10-01-2005, 07:56 PM
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blikseme300
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

If you believe magazine reviews . . . . I have a bridge for sale!

Safe Flying!
Old 10-01-2005, 08:59 PM
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Tall Paul
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

Planes which don't work when tested for the magazine don't get reviews.
It's a money thing.
Old 10-01-2005, 09:48 PM
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JCOKEEFE
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

[8D]I have never paid any attention to magazine reviews to help me determine which kit
that I should purchase. It's seeing a model aircraft at a flying field, knowing what feels
right and then purchasing that kit. Unfortunatley, in todays atmosphere, the individual
getting into the hobby for the first time sees primarily arfs and, secondly, many great
kits have disappeared from the marketplace.

So has gone our hobby.

Old 10-01-2005, 09:53 PM
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vicman
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

I pic what to build and fly by a picture. Again all the Brit mags supply a plan with each issue[sm=thumbup.gif]. If the plan and plane look worthy of my time I build it and fly it. I have only built one kit, the rest are from plans.
Old 10-02-2005, 12:34 AM
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linclogs
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

Quote from MinnFlyer:
************************************************** *********
"Well hell, if I built a plane, and covered it beautifully, then put it in a crate and put it on a boat to China, whould I complain if it was wrinkled when I opened the box? Hell no. I'd EXPECT it to be wrinkled. Many times I am AMAZED at how well the coverings have held up."
************************************************** *********

This brings up a question I have on wrinkled covering on a new ARF. Having ALWAYS been a "silk & dope man", awhile back I bought a Thunder Tiger ARF J3 Cub. While I felt most of the package was really top notch, I noticed there was some slight wrinkling of the Goldberg Ultracoat over some of the lightening holes. Since I've never worked with iron-on coverings, can these wrinkles be ironed out? Or is it too late to change anything at this point? It's all still "new in the box" so I'm wondering if an iron or a heat gun could be used on it.

Linclogs
Old 10-02-2005, 12:50 AM
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Ernie Misner
 
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

Linclogs, absolutely yes, the Ultracoat will iron out beautifully. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised and might just find that you like the modern coverings. I prefer a covering iron with a hot sock on it. Just so smooth. Slowly glide the iron over the wrinkles and watch them disappear.

Ernie
Old 10-02-2005, 12:53 AM
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saramos
 
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

A heat gun will take them right out. Just remember that Ultracote is a lower temp covering and use medium heat.

Scott
Old 10-02-2005, 02:24 PM
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strulag
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

Magazine reviews are worthless. They shouldn't even call them reviews anymore. They should call them advertisements. It's all politics. These "reviews" are not done to benefit the reader. They're done to benefit the manufacturer. PERIOD
Old 10-02-2005, 03:53 PM
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Rcpilot
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??


ORIGINAL: strulag

Magazine reviews are worthless. They shouldn't even call them reviews anymore. They should call them advertisements. It's all politics. These "reviews" are not done to benefit the reader. They're done to benefit the manufacturer. PERIOD
Yeah, what he said.
Old 10-02-2005, 09:37 PM
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MinnFlyer
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

Now why would I lie to everyone? For a free airplane? Let me give you an insite into the amount of work involved in doing a review...

First, the longest and most difficult part - Clean the workshop so the pictures will look good

Next:

1 Take a pic of the box
2 Open the box, take pics of the packaging
3 Remove all pieces, arrange nicely, shoot pic.
4 shoot pic of manual
5 Shoot pics of all of the major steps throughout the assembly
6 Shoot pics of finished plane
7 Shoot flying pics
8 Shoot video (Don't forget the time involved waiting for good weather - and then having to cancel whatever other plans you may have because you FINALLY have a good day for shooting video and you're deadline is approching (Or past!)

Ok, now the easy stuff is done. Next comes the real fun

1 Edit, color correct, and resize all of the images, and create thumbnails for each one.
2 Transfer and edit all of the useable video footage - Note, this alone can take the better part of a saturday - when most of you are out flying)
3 Create Graphic banners for each heading (Like "Introduction", "Assembly", Flight Report". etc. and of course the Title Banner)
4 Write the review.
5 Create an HTML document linking all of the thumbnail and full size images (If you have any question as to what that means, open any review page, and click "View - Source" - Yes, we have to write that too)
6 Add all of the links to the products used in the review.
7 Proofread it, and check that all of the links work.
8 Submit it

Now, All that time and money (Yes money, we still need to supply glue, and buy special servos if needed etc), and when it's all done I get to keep a $139 airplane.

At $10/hr (Which is considerably less than I make at my full time job) I would only have to work 2 days To pay for it as opposed to the weeks of work that a review requires.

So I repeat, why would I lie?
Old 10-02-2005, 10:40 PM
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CoosBayLumber
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

Pavan......


Now you crossed that line. Went from a nice gullable consumer to a critic who expects that all we read in print is the truth. Magazines don't lie, nor do newspapers, or the evening news hour. Long after the blatant headlines have turned gray, those same places will post a follow up near the end which tells that their experience with the prototype may not match the production A/C.

Back in the early 1990's I once got asked to do a couple hundred laser parts for a new kit to be introduced onto the market. They sent me rough plans, the text from the proposed article, and a bunch of pictures of the airplane in action. Only thing was that someone used translucent covering, and then you could easily see that the make up of the model was different in all three instances. The text for the article did not mention anything about the tail feathers, and the plans were sort of vague as to what the final shape was to be. Oh, and one other thing they needed it all done before the end of the month because of publication lead times. The magazine is no longer around, if that will enlighten some of their internal problems.

If you check reviews in magazines back in the 1960's through early 1980's they often did not get into the actual construction, as they knew it was all so inaccurate and rough. They moreover wrote of how well the model performed. AND, they did not but seldom mention all the radio gear used, for they did not want to favor one advertiser's equipment over another's. Magazines then were filled with chatter, pictures of club or national events, and how to help one another. Different than today, when you read that the model has some $10 shelf bought item, instead of a similar $1 home made item. We seem to have gotten into the age that only professionals can design and assemble, and kit or plan building is a past art. If you can build a model from $40 of raw materials, have it going in three weeks, OR buy an ARF for $340 and have it ready for next weekend, you may be an equal flyer, but are you and equal modeler?


Would like to read more of what you have to say in a host of subjects.

How about next one being, why can't we get away from computer based radio systems, and get back to when practice and skill were more admired.

Wm.
Old 10-03-2005, 08:31 AM
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Pavan
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

CoosBayLumber,

Thanks for your reply and also to Mike for his detailed information on how he does the reviews.

One thing we must keep in mind always is that we ALL have opinions. How many times a fellow modeler has an engine trouble and a bunch of guys hower over a .20 size Pitts. All you hear is "Change the propeller"," the engine mount is too low", the spark is the wrong type" etc etc. But, we must respect everyone's opinions.

I appreciate what you and Mike and others have to say and after this thread am more in tune with what to expect when I read a magazine review. I am not from the United States and so am not aware of the extent to which commercialization has or has not effected reviews and magazines.

What I take away from all of you is the same as flying a new airplane.

'There is no perfect airplane so there cannot be a perfect review, the plane does fly, thus so, the review does help'.
Old 10-03-2005, 01:23 PM
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Ed_Moorman
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

I have done some reviews for R/C Report magazine and I think I can say that mine are different from most you'll read. I usually devoce a couple of paragraphs to building, if that's what you call sticking an ARF together, and the rest of the review to flying. This is usually the opposite from all the other reviews I read.

I normally do acro and 3D planes. For example, I did the Funtana 40, Twist, Taco & Burrito. The latter two I had to build since they weren't ARFs. The Twist had 4 major parts, wing, fuselage, horizontal & vertical tail. What's to do.

I spend most of the review on flying. Maybe the general RC flying population doesn't like that, but when I read a review, I go right to the part on flying so I make my reviews the way I like to read them. I fly every maneuver the plane can do and report on each one. Sure, if there is something messed up in the construction, I do report on that. You know, if it builds really tail heavy or nose heavy and I have to re-locate servos in addition to the battery to get it to fly. That needs telling about, but how many times do I have to see someone photograph swabbing the inside of the wing joiner with epoxy and taping the seam.

As for the covering, 99% of the planes I review have a better covering job than I'll do. I'm not doing those fancy patterns. Speaking of wrinkles, after a plane spends a week hanging in my garage, it starts looking like a prune. I just hope I get the pictures before it starts looking really bad. Use a heat gun on it, get outta here, I'm getting the next one ready to fly. The plane whose covering has stayed the best in my test cell (garage) is the Cedar Hobbies Twin Stick. It's the Fokker red with Maltese crosses so there are at least a million similar planes, but it still looks pretty good after a couple of months. It's covered with something called Cedarcote, whatever that is. Chinese Oracover under another name, maybe.


When it comes to integrity in the review, I've not had anyone pressure me for a good review. Of course, Gordon would probably sic his dog on them if they tried. We are a little magazine that is big on telling it like it is.
Old 10-03-2005, 01:30 PM
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

If you want honest reviews look no farther than R/C Report.

Ed I like your reviews and articles just fine, you may have even talked me into trying a twin.
Old 10-03-2005, 11:50 PM
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Rcpilot
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

ORIGINAL: Ed_Moorman

The Twist had 4 major parts, wing, fuselage, horizontal & vertical tail. What's to do.

You got it right on the head there, Ed. Assembling an ARF is pretty simple.

How many times do I have to see someone photograph swabbing the inside of the wing joiner with epoxy and taping the seam?

I know it. I don't need a pic of a guy drawing the CL down the stab before he cuts the covering away. Anyone who has assembled 4 or 5 ARFs should have a pretty good idea of how to do it by now. We can all read and look at a picture in a manual.

I want to see a review on:
Did the parts actually fit right?????
Did the plane actually balance with the recommended engine, and electronics--or at least close enough to fix without getting out out the scalpel and a skill saw???????????
HOW DOES IT REALLY FLY???

IMO, the U-Can-Do 3D is the absolute WORST 3D plane ever sold. It's SPECIFICALLY sold and marketed as a 3D trainer for the first timer. About the only thing it does WELL--right outta the box--is hover. And, even then, only if you put about 25%--40% MORE power on it than is recommended. It can be MADE to do some pretty sloppy 3D if you don't mind putting about 100hours of work into trimming it and tweaking it. But, thats NOT how it's marketed. You'll find raving reviews about it everywhere you go. Good marketing, I guess.

I enjoy your reviews Ed. I think you're the only guy really telling it to me--like it is.
Old 10-04-2005, 07:56 AM
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MinnFlyer
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

ORIGINAL: Ed_Moorman

how many times do I have to see someone photograph swabbing the inside of the wing joiner with epoxy and taping the seam.
On the one hand, you're absolutely right Ed, Every time I do a review I think the same thing - as I'm shooting the pictures.

Something we should never forget is that while most of us have seen some of these processes a thousand times, virtually anything in the "How To" field should (IMHO) be done for the person who has never done it.

It's easy for someone like Rcpilet to look at a picture and say, "Hmm, yeah, remove the covering and epoxy the stab in place, yeah, yeah, yeah, been there, done that." and then skip past it, but someone new to building might say "Oh! Remove the covering... I never thought of that"

Many things that WE take for granted are totally foreign to many others, so while I don't harp on the easy stuff, I also try not to omit it.
Old 10-04-2005, 11:53 AM
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

To add a bit:

In another thread on a similar subject (well, the same actually!) Someone mentioned that you'll rarely see a 'bad review' as the reviewer will work with the manufactrurer to correct the mistakes / flaws he's found. Basically, the reviewer is the last 'beta builder' for them.

With the flaws corrected, the reviewer does a new evaluation, and bases the report on that.

In all, we all win. But the reviews will always praise.



Or, is this a sign of our times? That we like to see (and 'get off') on watching others fail? And we want to see / read about some-one elses failure to meet expectations
Old 10-04-2005, 12:49 PM
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Rcpilot
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Default RE: Magazines say there are no bad planes??

ORIGINAL: MinnFlyer

On the one hand, you're absolutely right Ed, Every time I do a review I think the same thing - as I'm shooting the pictures.

It's easy for someone like Rcpilet to look at a picture and say, "Hmm, yeah, remove the covering and epoxy the stab in place, yeah, yeah, yeah, been there, done that." and then skip past it, but someone new to building might say "Oh! Remove the covering... I never thought of that"

Many things that WE take for granted are totally foreign to many others, so while I don't harp on the easy stuff, I also try not to omit it.
I guess your also right, Minn.

In our society of clueless idiots and generations of people rasied without a shred of common sense--we all end up catoring to the lowest common denominator.

I understand that you need to include all the simple steps in a review--to accomadate the newbie--or we will loose that aspect of the hobby. And it's that very aspect that makes the hobby continue to grow and get better for all involved.

But I'd also like to see more technical write-ups as well. Many of use RARELY use the hardware that came with the ARF. So, I'd like to see a review done, where the hardware is replaced with quality stuff. I'd like to see how the guy modified the FW to accomadate his inverted engine. I'd like to see someones' new and trick way of mounting wheelpants so that they actually last more than 3 landings. Lots of times--when assembling an ARF-----if you were to actually assemble the wheelpants according to the manual---they will fall off on the 3rd or 4th landing. So--let me know how you modified the mounts to make a nice, solid and clean wheelpant.

Maybe I'll write a review I've got several planes coming in the mail, and I rarely build my planes "stock". Neither do most of the flyers I know.

How can I write and publish a review here on RCU?

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