Hobbico SuperStar EP


 


Building Level


Flying Level

 
Review 9-Feb-2005 Patrick Plawner Video Available First flight
Motor 600 Direct Servos 2 standard servos
Speed Controller 30 Amp Batteries 7 x 1700 Nicd
Channels 3 with motor Flight Time About 4-5 minutes
Propeller 9x6 Gear Box None

                                 

Wingspan 48.75 "
124 cm
Length 24 "
91 cm
Empty weight 21.86 oz
620
 gr
All Up weight 43.39 oz
1230
 gr
Wing Area 2.6587 sq.ft
25.63 dm
Wing load 16.1 oz/sq.ft
48 gr/dm
CG location
from wing edge
2.5" to 2.875"
6.35 to 7.3 cm

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Building

This is a real ARF. Meaning everything is done for you. Here, just install the servos, remove and reconnect the horns to the installed wires, tape the wings together and you're done more or less. Really EXCELLENT work from the designers.
Note that the Covering material needed some ironing, when received, as many parts on the fuselage and tail, were not shrunken enough. Still, after some ironing sessions, could not recover everything but the plane still looks fine as it is.

Take-off From the ground, it is easy, just make sure to be against the wind as if not, it could be challenging to keep it's control. Hand launch is very easy if your runway can't face the wind, and for a beginner. Just throw it against the wind, and it will fly away eventless.
Flight behavior Clean flight. For a 2 axes planes, it behaves well with very good responsiveness to the pilot inputs. It glides very well, very clean trajectories.
Landing The Landing gear is strong and could handle most missed landings, if they are within acceptable ranges. Because it lands on wheels, it means that you need to align on the runway but if your runway is wide enough, you should be fine. The plane is a little heavy but still glides forever until the stalling point, which then does not leave you a lot of options to recover if your are too close to the ground. At this point,  the motor won't have enough power to save you out of your stall, when using the manufacturer recommended setup of 7 cells on 600 direct.
Crash Results I did not crash yet, but feedback from the Ezone threads gives a lot of credit to this plane strength. It seems that the structure is very strong and can handle quiet some abuses. Still, one could imagine that the motor mount would break on front crashes. The wing cover will tare apart if hitting something strong enough. Now, The plane is made of balsa so wings and fuselage could be broken as well as any other balsa plane, just this plane seems to be on the stronger side compared to other balsa planes.
Repairing Balsa and Oracover. Many people say it is as easy, if not easier than Foam type planes. I personally don't think it is as easy, and I think it is the weak point on this plane. For an equal shape of plane, and an equal type of crash, this plane will have more chances to be damaged, compared to a EPP one and will require more time and talent to be repaired.
Other comments This plane package comes with a very good user manual, and surprise... a video tape. This video tape covers the building of the plane, and it is an EXCELLENT idea. I wish other manufacturers would do as well here. Said that, the video tape did not add a lot, as the manual was already excellent. It would have been great to get more regarding how to pilot the plane

The plane could be better optimized for Electric. Why using standard servos ? Why the battery compartment forces you to use 7 cells ? The balsa used is very strong, but on the expense of weight. The Recommended setup works which is a good point. Still, it feels that this plane is more a Thermic to Conversion effort from Hobbico, than a smart optimized planed, designed for electric.
Now, it is very easy to remove some of the balsa in order to insert a 8 cells battery pack which will provide certainly much better power to the plane.

For the look, it is generally fine, except the very ugly motor part when the motor just hang in the air, no cover all around. Some will say it is good for the motor cooling...

Regarding using a Lipoly battery, I tried putting a 3S1P 2.6 Amp and the CG could not balance with the motor used. Adding some extra weight on the front would help but shame to have to add extra weight... Now, if you plan to use a lighter brushless motor, the problem will even be worse.
I tried 3S2P 5.2 Amp but then it would not enter the battery compartment. Still, the design used to switch battery pack is Excellent, and a pleasure to use.

1 more positive points to add to this plane is the possibility to purchase a new wing, with ailerons.

So... Can it be ready in 20 minutes, as it says on the Box ? Yes, certainly but run to plug your battery to be charge as soon as you open the box... :)

Priced $99 at TowerHobbies, the price is attractive, as it includes Motor, Battery and Speed controller

Interesting Links

Some links to purchase it, I found:

FMS plane  
Pictures

Basic Tests Video

Test # Test Name Done
1.1 Take-Off X
1.2 Climb rate

X

1.3 Glide, with motor off

X

1.4 Slow speed X
1.5 High Speed X
1.6 Plane banked stall X
1.7 Plane Flat stall X
1.8 Landing X

Aerobatics Simple Tests Videos

Test # Test Name Done
2.1 Rolls X
2.2 Loops X
2.3 Inverted Flight X
2.4 Snap Roll  
2.5 4 Points Roll  
2.6 Hammer Head  

X: Test remaining to be done
Y: Test Done and successful
Y-: Test Done but not successful

Latest Update: Monday, 20 June 2005