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Quality of Airfield RC planes?

Old 08-16-2011, 03:44 PM
  #1  
earthsciteach
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Default Quality of Airfield RC planes?

How do the owners of Airfield airplanes feel about their quality and flyability?

I own an 800 mm Spitfire by Airfield. Overall, it is a great looking model and pretty durable, but it has some poor components that make it a royal pain in the rear to keep in the air.
1) The connector between the two elevator surfaces is poor.
2) The elevator surfaces are too thin and deflect unevenly in flight causing unexpected snap rolls.
3) The wings are held on by two screws which attach to plastic inserts in the foam of the fuselage. That foam becomes compressed very quickly making it necessary to modify.

I don't want to write off Airfield based on my experience with one model. What do you guys think about them?
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:43 PM
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simibill
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I have the 800 mm T-28 from Airfield and find it very good. My only complaint is the attachment of the main landing gear. It is quite weak. The larger 1400 mm models are also very good. Airfield models are actually FMS rebranded by NitroPlanes for sale in the USA.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:27 PM
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Monterey10
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Red face P47

I had a smaller P47 that wouldn't fly at all. Of course, I'm fairly new and might not have ID'd critical flaws. I'm guessing that the motor needed more downward thrust.

I'm sure an expert could have figured it out.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:38 PM
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kyleservicetech
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Originally Posted by simibill View Post
My only complaint is the attachment of the main landing gear. It is quite weak.
Seems weak landing gear issues is very common on many of the ARF models. I had one model that weighed in at 6 pounds, where the aluminum LG was bolted to a single piece of 1/8 inch lite ply, about 1.5 by 4 inches in size.

That piece of lite ply was attached to the fuse with very thin CA. And sure enough, on what was a pretty good landing the LG came off, damaging the tail structure.

Found that only about 20% of that 1.5 by 4 inch piece of lite ply was actually glued to anything, the rest was air gaps. Also had several other ARFs where the LG came off on perfectly good landings.

One club member indicates he ALWAYS beefs up the LG in all of his models. He's probably right, I've started doing this, and had zero problems since.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:06 AM
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Well, I finally have the little Spitfire flying well (enough). Here's what I had to do:
1) Reinforced the elevator surfaces and connection between the two,
2) Added a 1 ounce lead fishing weight in the nose to move cg forward. I made a cradle out of a small block of foam then covered it in packaging tape to make it nice and secure.
3) Fabricated a new firewall out of balsa. I utilized the core of the original motor mount to, um, mount the motor onto the new firewall,
4) Replaced the stock motor with an equivalent from HeadsUpRC. The stock motor's bearings seized up after about 4 flights.
5) Dialed in expo and DR on the TX to keep the ailerons under control.

I still have an issue with elevator travel causing snap rolls at high speed. I will have to remove the elevators at some point and replace with balsa if I want to remedy this.

It flew pretty well today with these mods. I guess I can't ask too much from a $60 ARF.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:08 AM
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Based on my experience (so far) with this 750mm P47, I'm scared to death to put the 1400mm P47 up without changing out a lot of things, most important would be the transmitter/receiver...if the 1400's is anything like the problems I've been having with the 750, that's getting changed. I'm gonna try to fly the 750 again when I get a nice day, if it does the same thing again, and I can salvage it (again) gonna be some changes made to both planes...

Edit: what's remarkable (to me) is the fact that I haven't had one single issue with these little Nine Eagles 400mm Micros...not a one. They fly great, with a tad of noseweight they'll even fly pretty good in a breeze. I'm thinking I should have just stuck with micros...
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by earthsciteach View Post
Well, I finally have the little Spitfire flying well (enough). Here's what I had to do:
1) Reinforced the elevator surfaces and connection between the two,
2) Added a 1 ounce lead fishing weight in the nose to move cg forward. I made a cradle out of a small block of foam then covered it in packaging tape to make it nice and secure.
3) Fabricated a new firewall out of balsa. I utilized the core of the original motor mount to, um, mount the motor onto the new firewall,
4) Replaced the stock motor with an equivalent from HeadsUpRC. The stock motor's bearings seized up after about 4 flights.
5) Dialed in expo and DR on the TX to keep the ailerons under control.

I still have an issue with elevator travel causing snap rolls at high speed. I will have to remove the elevators at some point and replace with balsa if I want to remedy this.

It flew pretty well today with these mods. I guess I can't ask too much from a $60 ARF.
with Just about all ARFs You have to help them out a little, Remember these are not the Planes that you would build from a kit and add strength as needed as you go along building, if you fly slow and easy, the ARFs may be ok out of the box, but if your a Hot Rodder like me you have to add strength as needed, so Always look at a ARF and think, How can i make this plane Faster and Stronger and fly Better, Remember you have the Technology to do this Take care and have fun, Chellie
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
with Just about all ARFs You have to help them out a little, Remember these are not the Planes that you would build from a kit and add strength as needed as you go along building, if you fly slow and easy, the ARFs may be ok out of the box, but if your a Hot Rodder like me you have to add strength as needed, so Always look at a ARF and think, How can i make this plane Faster and Stronger and fly Better, Remember you have the Technology to do this Take care and have fun, Chellie
+1
I learned this very quickly with my first few planes that where more than up to the job if i had known how to fly at that time, as i didn't i did what Chellie suggested and it works well,i still take this view on most of my planes i get today.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:23 PM
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+1 on Chellie's comments. I do still have the Airfield Cessna 182 though I rarely fly it and made some mods to accommodate my field conditions(Grass). Build quality was pretty good. I mean , for EPP foam? I always ask myself: Is it the plane or the planee? LOL Usually it's the planee !

So, I keep my expectations relatively low on most ARF's knowing they will get modded out in one way or another later. Fly them stock, as-is until I either burn something up or break something. Then I know what to mod.

It still amazes me that one can buy an RX ready, nice flying plane with all the bells and whistles imaginable for less than $150.00 . Nitroplanes is selling the C-47 for $89.00 including shipping. I'd have a hard time buying two new motors and two new 30 amp esc for that amount. Note to China: Keep dumping !

-Hawk
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:34 PM
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I don't know if this is the case with you but many people blame the elevator flexyness on snap rolling during a loop. well, the main cause of a snap roll during an extreme loop is the wing stalling. There comes a point where the wing can't handle the loop rate. You simply are pulling too much elevator. I went all over the place running dual rods, dual elevator servos in a .40 Katana until I learned this. It is no different with my 800mm Airfield spitfire.
CG has some affect, but for the most part, keep reducingn Elevator throw till it does not snap on full elevator throw.

BTW, Airfield is bang for the buck IMHO, not high quality.
YOu can't beat them to death and nearly every kit I've purchsed, I've built stock then done some sort of mod to them.
800mm BF109, spitfire
1400 T-28, P47, Spitfire,
F22 EDF, A4 EDF

I think the BF109, I kept stock, it was the best flying 800mm I had cause of the elongated tail they chose to design in instead of making it more scale like the Spit.

The most rugged foam arf I've seen is the parkzone T-28. A guy at the field torchers the thing. He put bigger wheels on it but CONSTANTLY flips it over on take off or landing.

With any of those foamies, you can "crashproof" (that's a stretch) them with exra Carbon fiber rods or add BiDi tape etc.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewdg7gNHFTs[/media]

the reason why Part #2 was not filmed:
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV7v-mIiWAo[/media]

(Buddy eventually totaled it after he fixed it)
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:00 PM
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I found this guy's "reinforcement" ideas interesting....it's not new and has been posted here before.

Haven't had a need to try it (or trying to sell it)........but seems he has a few Air-Tech, Dynam, Durafly models much like the Airfield variety.....carbon rod supported kits.......a few here have tried.

http://www.killerplanes.com/catalog/planes/manufacturer
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:15 PM
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Jeez, I oughta get the 109 if this P47 is any indication of how THAT one flies, because this plane is just awesome, does pretty much whatever I ask of it, rolls on-axis, doesn't wander at all, doesn't roll out of a loop...FANTASTIC plane!! Now it's a toss-up between the BF109, and the P40...REALLY like that camo P40...
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:23 PM
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//oops - wrong thread.

Last edited by mclarkson; 08-25-2012 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
I found this guy's "reinforcement" ideas interesting....it's not new and has been posted here before.

Haven't had a need to try it (or trying to sell it)........but seems he has a few Air-Tech, Dynam, Durafly models much like the Airfield variety.....carbon rod supported kits.......a few here have tried.

http://www.killerplanes.com/catalog/planes/manufacturer
That's the one I was thinking.
I found for my hawsky foamie, I'd just add BiDi tape and it made a HUGE difference. Some of the locals will add the tape to the leading edge of their T28 and that's when I did it to mine. Even packing tape can help if you don't mind it not looking as good. The tape needs to be on the bottom if your worried about the wings folding. That idea that one surface of the foam expands when it bends, so if you put tape there, the tape will cause tension to keep it from bending.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:38 PM
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earthsciteach
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Thanks for the input, guys. Funny thing is, I posted this over a year ago. As the last 3 comments were posted, I was putting the 800 mm Spitfire back together after mounting a PowerUp 400 Zoom motor on it. It is still an extreme handful to fly and I am planning on buying an 800 mm kit of a different model, using the guts out of the Spit. I figure I'll send her out in spectacular fashion!

Since posting this thread, I've flown the T-6, T-28 and P-40 in this series. They all fly MUCH better than the Spitfire. The T-6 is rock solid in the air. The Spit is just not a well behaved little bird. But, who knows, maybe she will be a fun rocket with this motor!

I did solve the elevator deflection issue by running a push rod to each elevator surface. That eliminated the snap roll in all but the most aggressive loop, as dditch66 pointed out.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by dditch66 View Post
I don't know if this is the case with you but many people blame the elevator flexyness on snap rolling during a loop. well, the main cause of a snap roll during an extreme loop is the wing stalling. There comes a point where the wing can't handle the loop rate. You simply are pulling too much elevator. I went all over the place running dual rods, dual elevator servos in a .40 Katana until I learned this. It is no different with my 800mm Airfield spitfire.
CG has some affect, but for the most part, keep reducingn Elevator throw till it does not snap on full elevator throw.
I wondered about that. Several years ago I had a Cap 232 electrified model that went in during a simple loop. The bottom of the loop was about 150 feet off the ground. At the bottom of the loop, that model simply snap rolled, and before I could correct, . I was not pulling more than about 20% elevator, and the model was going at a good clip. The power system was a Hacker A40-10L motor, pulling about a Kilowatt.

Several club members then told me that the Cap 232 models were known for doing this, even the larger versions. Two or three other club members Cap 232's also went in under similar circumstances.

Any other wattflyer readers run into this?
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:43 AM
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Am I thinking correctly that this is largely due to high wing loading? I think its called, "high speed stall."
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by earthsciteach View Post
Am I thinking correctly that this is largely due to high wing loading? I think its called, "high speed stall."
That's is likely the issue that caused my crash. The model was no where near normal stalling speed at the bottom of that loop. The model was repairable after that crash, but I just didn't want to fly it again. (It bent up my new Hacker A40-10L motor)

At any rate, this model's weight was well within the published specifications.
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:09 AM
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here is an Airfield 800 P-51 i flew a few times. if you look at the pic, the right aileron servo locked up...went into the death dive
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:47 PM
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Haven't had any of that trouble with the 750mm P47, but I DID notice this morning that there's a considerable amount of main wing flex in a full throttle turn...I thought it was gonna break but it didn't. I did find (at least with me) that installation of a gyro for ailerons made the plane a whole lot more manageable, perhaps some sort of stabilization for the Spitfire might tame it a little?
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:01 PM
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earthsciteach
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Huh. I never thought of that. Maybe a gyro on the rudder would counter the snappiness. Not a bad thought!
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:05 PM
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Dude, I'm tellin' ya, I got a Detrum GY48V, and before I put it in the plane would violently roll left whether I hand-launched, or ground take off, and the gyro cured that problem. Only thing is you have to get at least a 5 Ch. receiver for the delay, OR, you could see about getting the Fly Sky EK2-0704 rate gyro, which doesn't need the extra channel for delay, but this P47 flies like a trainer now...
gonna get some kind of 3 axis gyro for the big FMS P47 (1400mm)
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:07 PM
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earthsciteach
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5 channels is NO problem! Can you post a link to where you bought it? Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:31 PM
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Did I hear gyro and stabilization systems? A guy I know through another group has invented an affordale gyro system for planes. He's an ex British Aerospace Engineer living in Thailand. $50.00- http://www.bluelight-tech.com/products.htm


Check it out

-Hawk
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:53 PM
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I got mine through a private sale, but I do believe Hobby King has them, and I THINK Nitroplanes does too, the Detrum GY48V hook the delay up to Ch.5, and whatever you do, don't hit the toggle switch to activate the delay...very bad things will happen, I don't even use it, rudder orientation is label to either side, aileron label facing front or back, and elevator label facing up...
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