ST Model Arcus M Brushless EP Glider RR 87.4" Review
Review by Eric Bradley, Staff Contributor
- 7 ch Radio (Spektrum DX8)
- Ar7000 with satellite
- Gens Ace 3s 2200 LiPo (too big recommends 1300)
- Wire adapter, super tiger to ec3
- awesome scale features like air brakes, retractable motor pod and landing wheel.
- can slow to a crawl and speed through rough winds with ease
-supplied RMS is horrible (will explain)
-instructions are weird
-elevator throws bind the servo
So it was packaged well for shipping and everything was in the box. Something about foam planes... when you get a box with styrofoam holding a styrofoam plane. But the plane looks great! No need to apply decals.
I don't know why Chinese companies won't just hire a native English speaker to translate for instructions.... maybe another way to cut costs? So you start on page 7 (the first few pages have instructions for radio setup and actually installing the motor pod, servos and air brakes and such) and just screw the stabilizer on after you hook it to the elevator pushrod. Every surface has been attached to their corresponding servos for you making building quite easy. The wings are held together with a plastic spar that links the wing spars and you simple tighten a couple of screws to clamp the wings together. And there is plenty of extra servo wire to route into the fuse.
Now as far as setting up the controls, it was easy, rudder and elevator required reversing throws. Throttle and ailerons were in the correct direction. This plane comes with an RMS mixer... not sure what it stands for but let's go with Rotten Mangled Shit. So it's a mixer that is hooked up the servo that retracts the motor pod and the esc. Ideally when you throttle up, the RMS should bring the motor pod into the forward position and then the motor should turn. And then when you throttle down completely, the motor will stop, the servo will slightly retract stopping the propeller blade against a rubber stopper and then hide the motor away in the fuse. DOES NOT WORK. Do yourself a favor and ditch that piece of garbage. Hook up the motor pod servo to a working flap switch and program the throws so that the middle position will catch the prop for proper folding into the fuse. The canopy is held on with two plastic clips along the sides of the cockpit. Very little room for wiring and the receiver here. It's actually a little bit frustrating trying to tuck the wires down to make sure the canopy clicks into place.
So initially I thought a gentle toss by my wife would be ideal.... with the battery I used positioned as far back as possible to achieve CG it nosed straight into really really soft sand. I was so surprised the foam didn't deform. So the next try I started on the ground with the wheel down and eased the throttle to lift of into the air. Once airborne it was a beauty! The large wing span looked so majestic flying above the crashing waves on take off. It took very little adjustment with the ailerons to achieve level flight. So I climbed about two to three mistakes high and pulled back on the throttle... the nose just started dropping so I tried to compensate by pulling back on the right stick. That didn't work, so I have more power to pull out of the dive. I thought maybe it caught some tail wind so I turned it around and tried again to no avail. Then I realized... that motor pod... I retracted the motor pod and it fixed the problem! The rudder had a ton of authority and it was quite easy to just lay back in a beach chair and use one hand to soar the ocean skies. I actually got to fly with a few pelicans. Rolls are wide and slow and inverted flight is typical for a glider (you lose altitude fast). So I lined up on the beach for a landing and the Arcus started to speed toward the sand. It was way to fast to set it down so I pulled the air brakes and it slowed it down to a crawl. I was able to gently put her down on the beach with a smooth roll out. It was fantastic to fly!
If you are rough on your planes, this thing isn't going to last. I can already see parts where the foam is splitting down the middle of the fuse, which I noticed when I pulled it out of the box. It's a gentle flier with really nice scale lines and if you don't mind a bit of hassle it's worth its price. It's a great flying plane, but I feel like I have to baby it or it's going to get totaled.