Great Planes Avistar Elite Review

Review by Eric Bradley, Staff Contributor

Equipment Used:

OS .46AX motor

AR600 DSM2 receiver

7 x JR ST47 standard servos

JR power switch

Hobbico Hydrimax 6v 2000mah battery

Pros:

- Easy to build

- Pre-hinged surfaces

- Easy flap installation

- Sport plane flight with trainer gentleness

- Given all hardware for both nitro or electric power

- No drilling for the motor mount

Cons:

Cons in the summary section as they require some explaining

Summary:

So here are the cons, with explanations:

- You don't glue anything for this plane, the tail section is held on with two nylon screw caps that take a million turns to get them in

 place correctly, I actually reached a point where I didn't think they would screw down any more and there was so much play in the

tail... I kinda want to glue them in... But I understand GP was trying to make a trainer that was easy to build.

- NO BOLTS hold the main gear on... They snap in place with the use of a plastic tab system... Feels like a hard bump will knock

them loose.

- The main wing was actually two pieces held together by an aluminum wing tube and a plastic alignment pin. The front of the

wings have a plywood pin that fits to the fuse... I will need to either thicken the plywood on the wings or fill the fuse because the

wing wobbles. Also the plywood tabs in the front of the wings are thin, one side was actually broken when I pulled it out of the box,

I hated the design I actually made a single wing by joining them together with epoxy and a fiberglass cloth to reinforce the flimsy

front tab.

- Covering around the engine compartment and the hatch was coming off, I sealed it down with canopy glue, wiped the excess, then

brushed some thinned 30 min epoxy around the edges to keep the edges from flipping up if fuel were to get underneath.

 

Now for the rest of the review:

Since my big stick smashed into the ground I wanted another plane if could utilize for training but still wanted something I could have fun with. The .46 bolts right in. Out of the box I held the fuse next to a similar length 60 size plane in my garage and started to doubt whether a 46 was going to be enough. Got to the field, I started it up and took off with out a problem. It needed very little trim the left aileron and it was flying straight. Rolls, hammer heads, and a slight knife edge wasn't a big problem for this plane. Flying inverted took slight elevator to keep the nose up with the recommended CG. Deployed full flaps and the plane slowed to a crawl... I think I could run next to the plane it was so slow. The next step was to put my buddy Bart on a buddy box with it, and he did great making circuits with it. I actually didn't set a timer and we ran out of fuel. With no power I was able to bring it back and lined up with the runway. Started to lose speed, deployed flaps and it coasted onto its wheels without a problem. Aside from my gripes above about possible failure points, it is a fantastic plane, I could see a small block gasoline motor in this for more power or possibly a 65 two stroke or 82 four stroke. For a beginner that has been on a flight simulator, this could be a great first plane, it's docile without power and sporty on the throttle. This is probably going to be an everyday flyer for me and for those kids and families that want to give RC a try I can buddy box them on it. I highly recommend this for people wanting to get into the hobby.