Tower Hobbies Cherokee EP Rx-R 43.2" Review
Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- Cherokee Rx-R
- Spektrum DX9 w/ AR410 Receiver
- Gens Ace 3s 2200mah lipo
- Flies wonderfully
- Easy to assemble
- Everything is prewired
- Large canopy provides easy access
- Did I mention gorgeous?
- Wallet friendly price!
- One piece wing
When I first started flying RC planes, like most, I started with foam. When my buddies saw that I wasn't a "crasher" they encouraged me to move into balsa. Knowing nothing about building ARFs, I usually had friends build them for me. There were things that I was simply too afraid of screwing up, so I avoided building altogether. One thing that surprised me back then, was that there were no balsa planes on the market that assembled as easily as the average foamy. I'm the kind of person that likes to "Just Fly!" There is some gratification in building, but at the end of the day, all I really want to do is fly. Though I build all of my own planes these days, I was super-excited when I saw Tower Hobbies announce an RxR (receiver ready) version along side the ARF version of their 43.2" Cherokee. The current price is $169.99, minus super saver codes and you're in at about $155! That's cheaper than some micro planes!
Thankfully my order from Tower got here quickly. I wanted to get it flying quickly, so I started the assembly the day I got it. The packaging was superb and everything was bagged and taped down to avoid shifting and damage. Upon inspection, I found the covering on every part of the plane to be well adhered and very tight. I did ZERO ironing woohoo! I also noticed that in the nose was an actual Rimfire motor and not a generic one as they show in the picture on the product page. Aside from the entire plane, I was very pleased to find even a propeller was included. I am still floored at the price point of this plane.
Assembly and Set-Up:
Though this is billed as an Rx-R, there is a bit of assembly required, mostly gluing and a few screws and linkages here and there. It takes almost 2 hours to build and another bit of time to balance and program the plane. Be sure not to glue the wing fairing to the fuselage or you will not be able to remove the wings, not that you'd need to, the plane is relatively small and easily transported. Even if you do remove the wings, you'd have to unplug your servo leads from the receiver. If you have the storage space, it's easier to just leave it fully assembled.
As for balancing, I found the manual spot on. And as far as programming, I went with the recommended set up, though I did experiment with adding more throw to the ailerons (they don't need it). If you do find your throw measurements don't quite reach what the manual says, just use 100% as your base high rate. The ailerons are long so you won't need a ton of throw.
Yay, we get to talk about actually flying the plane. As you will see in my video, my field is wet and the grass is thick, so my wheels and wheel pants were getting stuck a little bit. It didn't stop me from taking off or landing though. The very first thing I noticed about this little Cherokee was how fast it is. Definitely way faster than what would be it's scale speed for it's size. I did find that it seemed most enjoyable at around 60 to 70 throttle. It tracks smooth as butter, but be cautious when flying in winds over 7mph or thereabouts. The plane is light, so stronger winds will bounce it around a fair amount. Granted, I was using a 3s 2200mah lipo, and the manual recommends anywhere between that and 3s 3300mah...so perhaps a little more weight would make it handle wind a bit better. All the same, it is a beautiful plane and it flies as good as it looks. Loops are effortless, rolls are tight on high rates, and there is plenty of speed on tap. I did find it landed a little fast, though its flight characteristics make it easy to land. As you see in my video, it will not knife-edge, not that anyone would expect a Piper Cherokee to knife-edge lol. The plane flies great on low rates also, but I prefer to pretty much always fly on high rates but with a decent amount of expo to tone down the center of the sticks. Using the recommended CG, I felt the Cherokee needed a fair amount of down elevator when flying inverted.
What can I say here that I didn't say in my longest video review to date lol. At the end of the day, this is one hell of a plane at one hell of a price. Superb quality, with name brand electronics, what more could you ask for a few bucks over $150? It looks great, it flies great and it is easy to build and easy to store. Tower Hobbies has definitely knocked it out of the park with this entry. I would recommend it to any intermediate and above pilot who wants a nice Cherokee in their hangar. It might be a good warm-up to those wanting to move into an ARF in the near future. Whatever the case, it is a tremendous value for what you get, so do yourself a favor and grab one. I did (and yes I paid for it)! Check out as much as you can tolerate of the video below and be sure to subscribe so you know when we have a new review up! Video reviews will usually come out before our written reviews.