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FMS 60 Size Rotating Electric Rretracts - Corsair, Hellcat, P40

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FMS 60 Size Rotating Electric Rretracts - Corsair, Hellcat, P40

Old 09-26-2013, 09:55 PM
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m998hmmv
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Default FMS 60 Size Rotating Electric Rretracts - Corsair, Hellcat, P40

Ok, I know this is a touchy subject, because I've done a lot of research on the issue of 60 size rotating electric retracts, and there are STRONG and differing opinions on the subject. I've been wanting to try out these ones from FMS since they came out with the 1700mm Corsair because I own an FMS P-38, and the retracts in it have held up to a lot of botched landings, and even a full out rebuild crash. Those retracts have held up to all that, and have never missed a beat. So I recently built a 60 size Hanger 9 Corsair that came with the mechanical retracts in it, and I quickly learned why my fellow club members hate mechanicals! Since I ruined the mecahnical retracts, I tried and tried to find some inexpensive electric rotators, and after weighing the options of the Hobby Kings, the RC Landers, and the FMS ones, I decided to go with the FMS retracts.
In the interest of expediting this post, I'm going to leave out the links to the places that I've found you can buy the retracts from. I personally have done business with RC Castle before, so I went ahead and ordered from them. For about $84, with express shipping, I had my retracts on the way. The retracts arrived in six days, which was actually pretty slow compared to other orders that I've had from RC Castle that I got the express shipping on. I opened the box up to find some pretty good size retracts. Here are my thoughts on my first impression of these things:
Pros: Good size, they look like they'll fit into the Corsair with little modification; Scale appearance, nice beefy struts with shock absorption, and scissor links; They come complete, they even have a tire included.
Cons: Plastic strut covers, I don't know how they'll hold up; Plastic base plate and case; Wheels and tires too big and ugly, they are 4" tires and don't fit into the wells.

I plan on following my progress as I mount and test these retracts in this thread, so if you're interested, you might keep an eye on this thread. It may be entertaining even if you aren't interested in these retracts, because these may turn out to be a bust, but it would be cool to finally find an affordable alternative. Here's some pics of the gear:
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:13 AM
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I ordered some of these on the advice of another member and have had good and bad experiences with them. On the positive side, the electronics seem to be robust and reliable. Every time I hit the transmitter switch the gear would move. This seems to be similiar to the other cheap electric retracts that Hobbyking and other vendors sell.

On the other hand, they also have the typical drawbacks. The plastic case simply flexes too much which can cause the trunion to push over center during a tough landing. This of course causes the gear to collapse. After it happens the first time, the condition will simply continue to get worse. Also, the plastic mounting tabs will eventually break. On some of the other cheapies they actually have a removable mount so you can replace it if you want. I'm actually going to machine up some aluminum mounting plates which should strenghten the gear considerably. Unfortunately, on the FMS rotating set the mounting tabs are built into the case so when you break one you will be out of luck.

I hope you have good luck with them. I had my set on a Top Flite Corsair which weighed 9lbs. Unfortunately, the final drawback of these (the case is too long) caused me to have to relieve some areas of the main spar in the gear well. I obviously went too far as I had a mid-air wing failure. Be aware of this if you're going to put them in a TF 60 sized Corsair. The Hangar 9 model might have more room in that area.
Old 09-27-2013, 05:39 AM
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Do the FMS extend 90 degrees or more? I know some brands will extend thru 100 degrees or so to get the main wheels farther out front to reduce nose-over problems.
Old 09-27-2013, 09:56 PM
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Aghost, they extend to 90 degrees, although, they sit pretty far forward. Maybe an inch to inch and a half back from LE. Thanks for that info Irocbsa, that is exactly what I was going for with this thread, to get that kind of info out about some of these sets.


As for my assessment of the retracts, you can kind of see the screw in one of my pics that drives the mechanism, and the rotation is caused by that little rod striking some upright catches, and the action of the extension makes the rod rotate. As you can see in another pic, the wire is a 5mm rod, and I haven't had a chance to try to break them down to see if you can change the wire if it gets bent. I am impressed with the fact that there is no slop in the retracts, the gear has positive control throughout the whole action. One thing that concerns me is that the catches that stop the rotation hang down, and I could see them easily breaking off if you have to belly land the plane. The struts are not all plastic, they look like plastic cover over a metal structure, and are held on by two fairly large set screws. The wheels are plastic and the tires are stiff foam, I have already changed them out. This is done by simply pulling an e clip and making the change. I will post some more pics when I get back to my computer.
Old 05-13-2014, 07:23 PM
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So, I've had 3 flights on these retracts, and I've had absolutely no problems with them. They don't have any slop, and nothing has broken. It would be nice to have a ten degrees more extension, but oh well. Worth the money so far.
Old 05-14-2014, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by aghost View Post
Do the FMS extend 90 degrees or more? I know some brands will extend thru 100 degrees or so to get the main wheels farther out front to reduce nose-over problems.
What brands would those be? Perhaps someone will do a thread on one of them.
Old 05-14-2014, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by m998hmmv View Post
Aghost, they extend to 90 degrees, although, they sit pretty far forward. Maybe an inch to inch and a half back from LE. Thanks for that info Irocbsa, that is exactly what I was going for with this thread, to get that kind of info out about some of these sets.
It's good to have an in-depth writeup on components that have an impact on the flyability of our warbirds. The value is in the details of course. So it'll be interesting to see just how far back from the LE your retracts place their trunion axis. If you also get a good measurement of the location of your CG, everyone should benefit from hearing how the ground handling works out.

On my H9 Corsair, the CG is recommended to be 3-3/4" to 4-1/4" back from the LE. For most models, getting the axles directly under the LE is the formula that gives best ground handling. Needless to say, most warbird model pilots will settle for less than "best". So it'll be good to hear how yours works out.

I hope you plan on including a picture or two showing the gear from the side too.
Old 05-14-2014, 04:12 PM
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Da Rock: Sierra has rotating retracts (pneumatic) that extend 100 degrees. I have them on my TF .60 Corsair ARF.

Brian
Old 05-15-2014, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by aghost View Post
Da Rock: Sierra has rotating retracts (pneumatic) that extend 100 degrees. I have them on my TF .60 Corsair ARF.

Brian
yup, here the retracts themselves are: http://www.sierragiant.com/prod30.html

Their specs are for up to 14lb models. One pound for the retracts themselves. $290 for the two mechanisms shown.
Old 05-18-2014, 09:46 AM
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Ok Rock, good suggestions, I'll work on pics. I think the CG was 4 1/4, but I'll check it. I have some Lado's and wingspans that are 100 degrees electrics. The Lados are a little slow, if you have a dead stick, you have to hit the gear switch quickly. The wingspans are in a kit that I'm building so I don't know how they perform in flight but I do know that they wont lift heavy tires even at 3.5 inches. The only tires that I can find that'll work are the Dave Brown Lite Flights and the tires that came with the retracts, but they are 4" and are a little big for that. 60 size wing.
Old 05-18-2014, 10:21 AM
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They may lift them on the ground but when you're coming in for a landing and there's wind resistance, they'll stop half way down. Ask me how I know. Da Rock has experience with this too. Wingspan retacts are garbage but they refuse to address negative feedback from customers. Throw them in the trash before they cost you an airframe. I can't believe they continue to sell those rotating units. I don't know of one person who had good luck with them.

Also, those Lado units you have are 90 degree, not 100. Quite a few of us have been begging them for 100 degree units but they don't seem to have any interest in making money.
Old 05-21-2014, 09:17 PM
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Okay, here's some more pics. I think the trunnion axis was about 1 3/4" back from the LE. I was able to shim an angle in to move the tires forward a little without them hanging out of the wing while retracted. I have a YS 120 in this ship that has vibrated my engine mounting screws loose (whoops forgot thread locker), and the retracts have held up to that vibration so far. I have broken two props due to nose overs, but this is my first Corsair, and I was able to keep it upright on my last landing with a little down elevator. Sorry guys, I'm pretty inexperienced in the hobby, so I don't know if that's just how to land it, or if it was due to the landing gear.

Now, due to irocbsa's last post, I'm faced with the question of trashing the wingspans and putting these in my TF Corsair kit that I've spent two years building or do I spend the money on Lado's? I need to get at least a few more flights in on these before i have any idea on that one.
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Old 05-22-2014, 03:26 AM
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I put the FMS gear in a TF Corsair and they have performed well, but mine was an ARF. If I had two years into building something, I might consider getting the Lados.
Old 05-22-2014, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by irocbsa View Post
I put the FMS gear in a TF Corsair and they have performed well, but mine was an ARF. If I had two years into building something, I might consider getting the Lados.
If I had two years into building something, it wouldn't have been a Corsair, Warhawk, or Hellcat. The retracts available for those don't place the gear very close to the leading edge of the wing nor extend the struts beyond 90degrees so you wind up with a real problem ground handling. There is one very expensive and very heavy exception but I don't have that much money nor want that much dead weight.

BTW, LADOs are stronger than other electrics, but their ground handling sucks too as they only extend 90degrees and their hinging isn't any closer to the LE than any other.

Last edited by da Rock; 05-22-2014 at 05:39 AM.
Old 05-22-2014, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by m998hmmv View Post
......................... I have broken two props due to nose overs, but this is my first Corsair, and I was able to keep it upright on my last landing with a little down elevator. Sorry guys, I'm pretty inexperienced in the hobby, so I don't know if that's just how to land it, or if it was due to the landing gear.

Now, due to irocbsa's last post, I'm faced with the question of trashing the wingspans and putting these in my TF Corsair kit that I've spent two years building or do I spend the money on Lado's? I need to get at least a few more flights in on these before i have any idea on that one.
What you're describing is what modelers have gotten from Corsairs and P40s forever. Recently, we've gotten a decent Hellcat ARF, so now we have 3 very popular airplanes available that usually have awful ground handling. And Lado's don't change a thing about that ground handling.

Ground handling is greatly affected by the relationship between the main wheels and the CG. When the wheels aren't far enough forward, the only fix is to move the CG aft. Moving CGs aft is terrifying to most modelers.

Right now, there isn't an affordable gear available. Neither affordable price nor "affordable" complete installation weight penalty are available. And it's been that way since many of us started flying Control Line in the 50s.

It really looks like the average modeler is out of luck. A couple of years ago, Lado's new owner said he had gear on the way us but I think that was either a language problem or a lack of real understanding of the situation.
Old 05-22-2014, 07:37 AM
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I've been following this issue also for a while as I have the TF 1/7 P-40, I have had Wingspans- sent them back for the above reasons, Robarts - junked them after collapsing all the time and sonic electric, also junk. Finally broke down and bought the Sierras and they are worth every penny. When you consider I have spent countless hours, and over $100.00 in parts replacement because of inferior landing gear it cost me money in the end . The saying " the bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of a bargin is gone" is so true. To me the weight issue is really a non issue since the plane flies fine at 12lbs with a DLE 20, but I am staying away from buying the Corsair and Hellcat because of the rotating gear issue. I guess since there are really only 3 aircraft with this type of gear the manufactuers don't see a whole lot of sales $ in it for them.
Old 05-22-2014, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by da Rock View Post
If I had two years into building something, it wouldn't have been a Corsair, Warhawk, or Hellcat.

Well, neither would I, but the OP did and now he needs good advice. If electrics are a must, you might as well go with quality (read: Lado) and try to rake them forward as far as possible. If ground handling is a priority and you're willing to go with air units, get Sierras.
Old 05-22-2014, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by irocbsa View Post
Well, neither would I, but the OP did and now he needs good advice. If electrics are a must, you might as well go with quality (read: Lado) and try to rake them forward as far as possible. If ground handling is a priority and you're willing to go with air units, get Sierras.
The advice needs to be complete. Truth is, we have no good solutions nowadays. The Sierras are more expensive than the price I paid for the latest P40, more than the last Corsair, and more than the Hellcat. And that's just for the two wing units. And the advice needs to be clear that the weight of those two units and the required plumbing is significant for models that were designed to fly around 7-8 pounds.

We also need to make it clear that installing 90 degree retracts "at an angle" produces a plane that looks like the gear is hanging out, because it is hanging out. And the ground handling very often isn't improved much at all.

We really do need better than Lado's present 90/90s. And all the available solutions aren't really solutions at all.

Unfortunately, unless all the detail is included, these threads can lead less experienced modelers to think some of the present offerings acceptable for them. The shame of it all is that our model industry very often shows how little they understand the situations our real airplanes encounter. They often don't understand things like CG as this problem demonstrates.
Old 05-22-2014, 07:03 PM
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I have to agree with the consensuses here. No good solution. I own a 1/7 Top Flite Corsair and have tried the plastic rotating retracts from PW-RC. Very similar to the FMS show in the OP. These were recommended by a friend and do seem better than some other plastic retracts. Fortunately they tend to stick in the down position so landing is OK. Another modeler has recommended the Horizon Hobby 25-46 size rotating 100 deg retracts. In the forums it sounds like a few modelers have used these with success. Has anyone here had experience with these retracts? The model flies great but I am not ready to make the leap to a set of air retracts that will significantly add to the weight and cost.
Old 05-23-2014, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by I_Fly View Post
.......... Another modeler has recommended the Horizon Hobby 25-46 size rotating 100 deg retracts. In the forums it sounds like a few modelers have used these with success. Has anyone here had experience with these retracts? The model flies great but I am not ready to make the leap to a set of air retracts that will significantly add to the weight and cost.
I have used the HH retracts on a warbird that is ALMOST 60 size. In fact, I'm using them in the present tense. The ground handling is excellent, which is not a surprise. It is Hangar9's F4U-1D Corsair 50 ARF. It's 57" wingspan and weight rank it near the minimums for what we'd call a 60-size. I assembled it as an electric however. I flew it first with a 4000 mAh single cell, and presently with a 5000. With the 5A, it takes off and lands at 7 pounds 6 ounces.

It's handling and performance is so good that I've basically quit flying my 60-size Corsair and Hellcat, and haven't bothered to finish my Top Flight P40 and TF Corsair, both of which promise to be 9 pounds or more.

The HH retracts failed the first day out, were replaced and have worked ever since. There is nothing about them that suggests to me they are to be relied on in a heavier bird. Of course, there was nothing that suggested one would burn out the first time out. I bought the 50 ARF and those retracts really to get a feel for the 60 size HH retracts that Horizon was promising back then. This industry has really let the modelers down in a number of ways.



This model is a pleasure to fly thanks to it's ground handling. I've fought the others for so many years that every time I taxi this one, every time I take it off or land it, I'm pleased and disappointed both. I've got 4 really nice models basically stored away forever that fly like gangbusters but are a major pain to get into the air and back without damage. I really don't think this industry has anyone sharp enough to understand there even is a problem.
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by da Rock View Post
The advice needs to be complete. Truth is, we have no good solutions nowadays. The Sierras are more expensive than the price I paid for the latest P40, more than the last Corsair, and more than the Hellcat. And that's just for the two wing units. And the advice needs to be clear that the weight of those two units and the required plumbing is significant for models that were designed to fly around 7-8 pounds.

We also need to make it clear that installing 90 degree retracts "at an angle" produces a plane that looks like the gear is hanging out, because it is hanging out. And the ground handling very often isn't improved much at all.

We really do need better than Lado's present 90/90s. And all the available solutions aren't really solutions at all.

Unfortunately, unless all the detail is included, these threads can lead less experienced modelers to think some of the present offerings acceptable for them. The shame of it all is that our model industry very often shows how little they understand the situations our real airplanes encounter. They often don't understand things like CG as this problem demonstrates.
I guess you just have more patience than I do for writing the same thing over and over. There are at least 10 other threads where we have both discussed the pros and cons of all the available hardware and reached the same conclusions. Not trying to leave out information, just too irritated with the continued lack of adequate gear to hash it all out again. There's more than enough information if people will use the search function.

For future reference, there's a lot of good reading and research done here:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-w...-retracts.html

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-w...-9-p-40-a.html

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/arf-...e-corsair.html

Last edited by irocbsa; 05-23-2014 at 05:34 AM.
Old 05-23-2014, 05:37 AM
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Also, for the OP, if you use the FMS gear in the Top Flite Corsair you will have to grind the spar down and find a way to reinforce it. Otherwise you might have the wing fail in flight of while landing. Ask me how I know.... I would consider another set of gear for your kit.
Old 05-23-2014, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by irocbsa View Post
I guess you just have more patience than I do for writing the same thing over and over. There are at least 10 other threads where we have both discussed the pros and cons of all the available hardware and reached the same conclusions. Not trying to leave out information, just too irritated with the continued lack of adequate gear to hash it all out again. There's more than enough information if people will use the search function.

For future reference, there's a lot of good reading and research done here:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-w...-retracts.html

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-w...-9-p-40-a.html

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/arf-...e-corsair.html
Hopefully the new people in each discussion wound up with "full disclosure", and have all the details with which to make their next move.

And hopefully, each discussion has been noted by a few more people in the industry who don't seem to understand WHAT'S MISSING.
Old 06-02-2014, 06:06 PM
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Oh no! Well, they're gone. I had a nice touchdown with no bounce yesterday, unfortunately, Ii landed on the mains instead of all three, and it nosed over. With hardly any damage except the prop, I thought I was in the clear, but then I went to retract the gear, the port gear failed to go up. After leaving the gear down for the ride home, I began to investigate and found that the rotating mechanism would not turn. I was trying to fix it when it ended up burning out. I couldn't tell what the problem was, because everything looked exactly like the one that still worked, nothing was bent or broken. I ended up getting four flights out of them, oh well, with the info that's in this thread, I think we've shown that these retracts are no better than the other cheapies. BTW, does anybody know anything about the Shulman Aviation rotators?
Old 06-03-2014, 04:46 AM
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Interesting, here's the link to the gear you're talking about.

http://shulmanaviation.com/product_i...64cb3a2b896b2b

I'm concerned that they look VERY similar to units that "RC Lander" sells but for twice the price.

http://parkrcmodels.com/product_info...5is0fi3r67arg7

Here they are with struts.

http://parkrcmodels.com/product_info...oducts_id=1661

A number of us had VERY bad luck with RC Lander gear. The original versions were simply rebranded Hobby King garbage that wouldn't even lift a foam tire. The slop was horrible and they would eventually fail in one way or the other. I'm not sure about this new version. I haven't heard any feedback on them at all.

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