3D Hobby Shop (3DHS) 44" Slick 580 Review
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Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- Slick 44" ARF
- 4x HS-70MG Servos
- Omega 103g motor
- Castle 54a ESC
- Spektrum DX9 w/ AR400 RX
- 12x6 APC Prop
- GensAce 3s2200mah lipo
- Great looking
- Flies great!
- Versatile airframe
- Nice landing gear
- Cavernous battery area
- Friendly on the wallet
- Great 3DHS quality
- Extremely quick build
- Pull-pull rudder seems unnecessary
Let me start off with a disclaimer to the snobs and haters (not that you are reading this), but if you are, stop, this review is not for you! I am not a 3d pilot in any sense of the term. I don't pretend to be, nor do I pretend to be an expert on all things model aviation. This review is for the guys that see dudes at the field with aerobatic airplanes and think to themselves, "I can't wait until I am good enough to fly one of those!"
To get right to it, I personally always wanted a high-performance plane myself, but never wanted to spend a bunch of cheese on doing so. With a wife and kids and all kinds of other commitments, I just do not have the time it would take to learn hard core aerobatic flight. Most of my plane collection are scale models and sport planes. When 3DHS announced this little 44" Slick, I knew I had to have it. The funny thing about this review, is that I got this plane when it first came out, but am only recently reviewing it. After my first few weeks of flying it, I started to get tons of other stuff to review that had to get bumped up in line because several items were provided to me for testing. This year has been a nasty one for my field and the few times I have been to the field this year, I have pretty much been flying stuff I had to review. These last couple outings, I was able to just go to the field at my leisure and just fly this little Slick to enjoy it.
Unboxing / Assembly / Programming:
My Slick arrived nicely packaged as expected, double boxed and with all the parts bagged and secured with tape. Absolutely no complaint there. ExtremeFlightRC charges a few bucks for shipping, but they send their planes priority, which is nice in that you get it quicker and with more security.
The plane parts themselves were pretty tightly covered, and the joints looked well glued. I did some ironing anyway and went over the major joints with some thin CA as recommended in the manual. The hardware was organized into small bags but not labeled, which is not a big deal...it's not rocket science to see which parts go to the various parts of the plane. One thing that made me really happy was how the wings go on. They use little thumb screws that hold each wing to the fuselage. So much easier than lining up a tab with a hole and trying to drive a hex screw in. You can install your wings at the field in about a minute if you don't take it already assembled. Fully assembled it fits easily into even the smallest of cars.
I used the recommended servos for my build and they fit nicely after I trimmed away the wood in the servo slots a bit. Assembly was very straight forward and very quick, with the exception of the pull pull rudder system. In retrospect, I should have ignored it as many others have and just mounted the servo toward the back. There is actually a slot in the back of the fuse for doing so, and 3DHS provides you with the push rod for it, but I figured I'd try my hand at my first pull pull set up. It took me a while and frustrated me, but I think I did it pretty well. It works, and I get plenty of throw and zero flutter on the rudder. To my readers who are relatively new to building, just mount the servo in the back, you'll save yourself the frustration and potential failure.
When it comes to programming, I always try my best to stick to the suggestions in the manual. I ordered the wooden throw meter from ExtremeFlightRC and that made measuring my throws easy peasy lemon squeezy. While I normally would have used a 6ch receiver so I could separate the ailerons on their own channel, I had a 4ch laying around and decided to use it. I also programmed 3 different sets of rates, as I always do. I figure if high rates are too crazy and low rates are too chill, I'll have a nice in between.
If ever there were a perfect maiden flight, this was it. It was the first time in ages that I didn't have to put in any trim. And when I say perfect, I'm not saying I flew perfectly, but the plane really did feel perfect. It didn't do anything I didn't tell it to. It certainly flew bigger than it's true size, which is surprising considering how light the plane feels. My maiden flight is the first one below, and the other video is just another round of flying, but a little bit closer to my camera. I know it's a small plane and will look small on the screen, but hey, I have no camera man and I shoot with a GoPro lol. Really, my videos are here to show you what an average Joe looks like flying a high-performance plane. As I'm used to flying sport planes, I found myself just cruising around at half throttle almost forgetting I had power on tap to speed things up and make my basic aerobatic moves look smoother.
In high rates, this plane can roll like a drill. Hovering is straight forward, provided you are capable of hovering (I barely am...on good days lol). Loops are as nice as you can make them, stall turns and any other tricks you may have are easily performed with this little Slick. Knife-edges are easy, at a bit more than half throttle, and flying inverted is about as easy as flying right-side up. As a person who really enjoys landing, the Slick lands with the best of them. Smooth, no stalling, just bleed off some speed, line it up, keep a tiny bit of throttle, and ease it in. The carbon landing gear also soaks up those less than perfect landings pretty well also, not like the stiff aluminum gear you find on other planes. With my limited capabilities, this plane is an absolute joy to fly. Do a search on Youtube to see what the experts and pros can do with this bad boy.
As my first 3DHS plane, I have nothing to compare it to, but it is easy to see the great quality of the plane, the nice hardware, and the ton thought goes into the designing this little beauty. I really love it. A few other brands will give you a decent plane, but will cheap out on the hardware or will make you come up with your own solution to a design flaw. Now back to my intro and who this review is for. For you guys, I really want you to know that flying an aerobatic plane is no major feat. If you are at least an intermediate flyer, you shouldn't have any issue with a plane like this. You can always tone down the throws and increase the expo even lower than the low rates recommended. You'll find that a toned down aerobatic plane flies like a really excellent sport plane. If and when your skills improve, you can always pump up the throws and start to get a feel for more daring aerobatics. While some of the other major brands like Horizon and Hobbico offer similar looking planes (which are decent), if you want an aerobat, you should really look to the guys that specialize in it, namely 3DHS and ExtremeFlightRC. They are a great group of guys too, and will answer any questions you may have. I personally have gotten some great guidance from the guys there. This 44" Slick is 3DHS's smallest offering and least expensive. This won't cost you any more than buying from any other good brand. To wrap it up, I'll say again, this little Slick is an awesome plane and one I really think you'll enjoy. Now go on, nab one!