Kit comparison for Wright Stuff

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Maxout
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Kit comparison for Wright Stuff

Post by Maxout » May 5th, 2019, 12:01 pm

I've completed my kit comparison for Wright Stuff. Ran out of time so I couldn't review the Retro RC model, but it's similar to the Lasercutplanes kit. Following the review series, I designed a new Senior Flyer. Hoping to get one to a customer to fly at the nats, but not sure that'll happen.

Final conclusions:
Lasercutplanes is my favorite from a building and appearance standpoint. Looks cool, extremely fast to build. Unfortunately it's hocked by an undersized, heavy prop, and the fin and motorstick are sized for that prop, so you can't go to a larger one.

The Guru plane is golden in terms of simple, affordable materials. Once trimmed, it flies surprisingly well. The prop, however, is undersized, and the instructions tell you to build it with no stab incidence. Additionally, the tail fins are half the size they should be. That said, I got it trimmed after invoking my own methods and found it fun and durable. If the fins were correctly sized, it could accomodate a larger prop and be competitive against anything out there. It has just the right amount of adjustability (wing can be shimmed and slid fore and aft). Builds quite quickly.

The Freedom Flight model is the standard this year for flight performance. The supplied propeller is nearly perfect, and you'd be hard pressed to build a better prop. There is a self-aligning prop mount and the wing/tail spars are excellent. Things I don't like: 1. Fin is too small. 2. The carbon reinforcing is completely unnecessary. 3. There is waaaaaaaay too much adjustability on this model. Having the stab removable is great. Having it adjustable in position and incidence is ridiculous, and worse, you can't replace the attachment bands because of the tail fin. 4. The wing and fin mounting tubes are insane. I couldn't make myself work through them and modified them slightly which tremendously improved the usability of the plane

Senior Flyer (biased since it's my kit). Several folks like it. Many found it hard to build. I'll never produce another SO kit with a balsa prop. Yes, it works, but it doesn't provide enough advantage over Ikara props. The spars are too thick and impact flight performance when sent head to head against carbon models. Other than that, it has the advantage of robust construction, properly sized tail fins, modern wing mounting methods, a complete covering frame, and quality aluminum bearings. Next year's model will have preformed S hook prop shafts, too.

Here are the reviews:
Lasercut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWf_bSGrATQ
Guru: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6zTVNurd0o
Freedom Flight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LX0wehqO43Q

Flight comparison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqrTzIv0m6o
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Re: Kit comparison for Wright Stuff

Post by CrayolaCrayon » May 5th, 2019, 12:38 pm

Nice reviews, Mr. Finn!
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Re: Kit comparison for Wright Stuff

Post by Rossyspsce » May 5th, 2019, 1:33 pm

Maxout wrote: 3. There is waaaaaaaay too much adjustability on this model. Having the stab removable is great. Having it adjustable in position and incidence is ridiculous, and worse, you can't replace the attachment bands because of the tail fin.
why is this considered a bad thing? You are able to experiment with different variables. Also, the attachment bands are fairly easy to replace and remove

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Re: Kit comparison for Wright Stuff

Post by Maxout » May 5th, 2019, 3:31 pm

Rossyspsce wrote:
Maxout wrote: 3. There is waaaaaaaay too much adjustability on this model. Having the stab removable is great. Having it adjustable in position and incidence is ridiculous, and worse, you can't replace the attachment bands because of the tail fin.
why is this considered a bad thing? You are able to experiment with different variables. Also, the attachment bands are fairly easy to replace and remove
More adjustments = more things to get bumped out of alignment when you've got 2 minutes to get a flight in because you messed something up. Take this from someone who's had to launch a highly complex airplane with less than a minute left in a major contest (and won).

The attachment bands for the tail aren't so easy to replace. Unless you're planning to slide them all the way from the front, and that rear hook isn't easy to get them over.
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Re: Kit comparison for Wright Stuff

Post by bjt4888 » May 6th, 2019, 7:19 am

All,

Just wanted to post my experience with Freedom Flight WS kits. My four teams bought 9 kits and used parts from them to build our own design (17 airplanes in total). Having the excellent FF kit design as a starting point was very helpful. Also, very much like the set of directions with lots of pictures and the very high quality wood where necessary (motor sticks).

Also watched many stock FF kits put up very good flights at the four Invitationals we attended and the one that I judged (plus Regionals and States). As the average Invitational in our State is 40 to 60 teams, this was a lot of good flying FF kits.

Also, although not directly experiencing the J&H Aero kits, love them too! Great to have another good company in the mix. Also, used the Lasercutplanes kit (with modifications) last year for middle school and much appreciated the simple wing and stabilizer construction.

Good job to all in the support of hands on science!

Brian T

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Re: Kit comparison for Wright Stuff

Post by klastyioer » May 6th, 2019, 9:52 am

ive only had experience w the ff kit
a few notes on it
i dont like the cf like at all
i know the whole point was the reduce the warpage but i mean the box it comes in is already tiny and every kit ive ordered this year had at least one piece that was warped because it was forced into the box
i also dont like the idea of having to use ca on most of the plane i think that its hard for someone like me who isnt very careful to have to adjust parts so fast before they glue or like remove anything thats broken without breaking anything else
i dont like how the wood is so light i mean its good for having more weight for the ballast and prop but its like really really light the first plane i built had a tow in the motor stick because it was under sm power and it warped over time
i also dont like the bearing i think it snaps easy (first plane broke) and its not as secure as i was hoping for it to be
otherwise everything in that kit is good and has shown to get very good times in competitions all year
it comes with almost everything you need, is the most expensive but even then 30 bucks a plane isnt too shabby, things are easy to follow along with, and yeah

as for mr. finn's kits, i have never purchased one before but i have watched all the videos like 5 times each for the senior flier just to see how he approaches things
i find his kits to somewhat be harder to built just from the looks of it because you have to make your own prop and offset the tb ( i think if i remember correctly ) to get the plane to turn ya da yada its hard to mess up if youve never built a plane before you know
i do like his kits as a more advanced option however because it teaches u to use skills that other kits on the market may not use
i also love the aesthetics lol sorry i just had to all wooden planes look sick just puttin that out there
if i were to have the kit with me and follow along with the videos i find it way more helpful considering i really dont want to spend like hours of my time reading instructions and trying to figure out what goes where
and i mean you can like rewind and stuff so you actually know what youre doing and you make sure you know

both i feel are very successful kits that have lots of potential and its really a matter of your personal needs and skill level to determine which is better for you
if you like ff because you like the cf or the light wood go with it
if you like videos to follow along with or you want to try making props and offsets in tbs go with the senior kit

okay sorry that was rly long but if youre reading this and debating on which kit to choose i would suggest going with someone elses input before mine on the senior kit because i have never actually tried to build one... also someone whos a bit less biased i rly dont know if i am but man those aesthetics are rly getting to me mr. finn
it's not about the medals; go out there and have fun. make progress, learn a few things and have one heck of a time; that's all that matters.

Check out Klastyioer's Userpage!

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Re: Kit comparison for Wright Stuff

Post by CrayolaCrayon » May 6th, 2019, 11:28 am

klastyioer wrote:ive only had experience w the ff kit
a few notes on it
i dont like the cf like at all
i know the whole point was the reduce the warpage but i mean the box it comes in is already tiny and every kit ive ordered this year had at least one piece that was warped because it was forced into the box

Please, Mr. Zeigler, I'm begging you; if you're reading this...

Make the box 1 inch longer so the entire set of CF doesn't come warped!!!
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Re: Kit comparison for Wright Stuff

Post by CrayolaCrayon » May 6th, 2019, 11:32 am

Something I'd also like to note is that the Senior Flyer works perfectly fine if you take a standard ikara, remove the clunky default bearing, insert a new hook of piano wire, and equip it to the Harlan bearing. An optional balsa prop shouldn't discount the rest of the kit altogether.
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Re: Kit comparison for Wright Stuff

Post by coachchuckaahs » May 6th, 2019, 11:47 am

While I have not built any of the kits myself, I do want to make a few comments:

FF Kit: Dave makes these kits flexible/adjustable to allow the kids to improve, experiment, etc. That makes them "seem" complicated, compared to someone who makes the final product kit, but I agree with his philosophy. Dave's kits have been dominating at Nationals over the last few years. I disagree with the critique above on the CF spars (except if there is an issue with box size). We went to carbon spars 3 years ago, and have never looked back. They are lighter, stronger, and do not change shape with the weather. They make a simpler build than the partial-carbon Dave used to have. You do need to pin down the spars on a building board, but that is normal building practice. Yes, the laser cut spars with self-fixturing features are nice, but this is not hard. Our experience is that when we changed to carbon spars, we started building about 2g under minimum. We also saw a noted improvement on our flight times over wood.

If manufacturing a kit, wood selection is one of the biggest headaches. Wood must be excellent for the motor stick and the spars. Eliminating wood spars, even if carbon costs more, may be a better deal when bad wood is considered.

I agree with the comments about the small vertical fin. The dutch roll can be tuned out, but a slight increase in fin size makes a huge difference,.

Senior Flyer: While Josh is new to the SO market, he is no slouch in indoor flying circles. He also strives toward great performance in his kits, and has done brilliantly in the gliders. His latest iteration of the Senior flyer, with the tandem arrangement, shows that he takes feedback quite well, and it is highly unusual to change an SO design during the season. His videos are certainly a huge plus. I suspect the new kits, with lessons learned on the assembly as well as the prop, will be a force at Nationals, and in the future. I think the advantages of self built props are there, but probably not warranted in the kit. The Ikara props have done well, especially in higher ceilings. The one or two teams that build or modify props will earn some extra time, but not enough to justify it in a production kit.

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Re: Kit comparison for Wright Stuff

Post by Unome » May 6th, 2019, 1:33 pm

coachchuckaahs wrote:While I have not built any of the kits myself, I do want to make a few comments:

FF Kit: Dave makes these kits flexible/adjustable to allow the kids to improve, experiment, etc. That makes them "seem" complicated, compared to someone who makes the final product kit, but I agree with his philosophy. Dave's kits have been dominating at Nationals over the last few years. I disagree with the critique above on the CF spars (except if there is an issue with box size). We went to carbon spars 3 years ago, and have never looked back. They are lighter, stronger, and do not change shape with the weather. They make a simpler build than the partial-carbon Dave used to have. You do need to pin down the spars on a building board, but that is normal building practice. Yes, the laser cut spars with self-fixturing features are nice, but this is not hard. Our experience is that when we changed to carbon spars, we started building about 2g under minimum. We also saw a noted improvement on our flight times over wood.

If manufacturing a kit, wood selection is one of the biggest headaches. Wood must be excellent for the motor stick and the spars. Eliminating wood spars, even if carbon costs more, may be a better deal when bad wood is considered.

I agree with the comments about the small vertical fin. The dutch roll can be tuned out, but a slight increase in fin size makes a huge difference,.

Senior Flyer: While Josh is new to the SO market, he is no slouch in indoor flying circles. He also strives toward great performance in his kits, and has done brilliantly in the gliders. His latest iteration of the Senior flyer, with the tandem arrangement, shows that he takes feedback quite well, and it is highly unusual to change an SO design during the season. His videos are certainly a huge plus. I suspect the new kits, with lessons learned on the assembly as well as the prop, will be a force at Nationals, and in the future. I think the advantages of self built props are there, but probably not warranted in the kit. The Ikara props have done well, especially in higher ceilings. The one or two teams that build or modify props will earn some extra time, but not enough to justify it in a production kit.

Coach Chuck
Has anyone tried using carbon for the... I don't know the term... the non-spar parts of the wing? (perpendicular to the fuselage) I saw it occasionally in Helicopters, it seemed to work well.
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