Hobbico Nexstar

I am a newbie to R/C flying. I have seen some postings, positive and
negative, about the hobbico nexstar and thought I would post my experience
for anyone that may be interested. I will try to keep this short. I
purchased the Hobbico from a local hobby shop on the recommendation from the
owner. Not knowing much and seeing the kit was complete from transmitter to
flight simulator it sounded like a good buy. The hobbyshop owner, in his
role as educator to a newbie, prescribed some tasks for me to complete prior
to learning how to start the engine and subsequently flying. He had me
remove the engine and apply additional epoxy to the firewall, then he had me
apply locktight to all screws on the engine, from the mounting bracket to
the muffler. He also had me apply copper sealant to the exhaust manifold.
I was glad I did this, not only for the learning experience, but the screws
were not all tight, so much for flying out of the box. The owner also had
me apply some clear coat silicon around the landing gear to keep the exhaust
from entering the fuselage and to epoxy the tail to the plane. The engine
is stated to be broken in at the factory, the hobbyshop owner had me run it
as if I were breaking it in myself, just for the learning experience. All
this done and with some time on the simulator, it was time for the first
lesson. The owner trimmed the plane, the elevator had to be moved a notch
from the recommended setting but not much else in the way of trim. The plane
appeared to handle well with my limited knowledge. The owner indicated that
he was impressed with the way the plane handled. I managed to finish the
lesson and the plane went home in one piece. I don't believe the plane is
as 'out of the box' as the company indicates. I do however believe it to be
a great training plane, very forgiving with the AFS turned to about 30%.
The wind was kicking up to about 20-30mph and the plane handled well, didn't
crash. The simulator software if very helpful for learning the use of the
transmitter and reactions but not with depth perception. It is like hitting
golf balls at a driving range then actually playing on a golf course, two
entirely different experiences. I would recommend to any newbie that he/she
get sound lessons in a structured manner. I learned to ski by myself and
have since mastered all the wrong ways to do things.
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I have a Nexstar and it only took 1 hour to get it flight ready. There was no need to take the steps outlined below. I put the plane together, practiced on the sim for a week, then went to a dry lake bed and flew the plane. I have made about 60 or so flights with the Nexstar and no problems with loose screws or anything. If you were flying this plane in 20 to 30 mph wind it would have been turned in scrap. In 8 to 10 mph wind the plane handles good but will not turn with ease and in some cases the plane will not turn at all due to the shape of the wing.
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Sounds like you have a great LHS owner there. Too many of them will talk you into something you are not ready for, or wont need and are no help at all. Obviously this wasnt a Hobby People or Hobby Town USA type of store although once in a great while there will be somebody there that knows more than how to ring up a purchase. All the things he had you do are good ideas, especially teaching you to break in the engine. That will come in very handy later when you buy your next engine. (and you will!) I recommend you try to give that owner all the business you can if you can. The small hobby shops are a disappearing breed, unfortunately. I have a great one in Glendale, Calif. called Robin's Hobby. I try to do all my business with him whenever possible. He knows the hobby (second generation owner) and has a lot of good advice.
Congrats on your first flight! I pretty much learned how to ski the same way along with learning to fly RC and went thru a LOT of planes before getting the hang of it. There is a lot to be said for getting an instructor. I also wish I had had a decent simulator but didnt have the puter for one at the time. There isnt as much of a nervous factor when flying a simulator as there is when flying something that will break, right? ;-) Welcome to the hobby. You are now doomed. There is no escape. You have been assimilated.
Practice, practice, practice, and, once again, welcome to the hobby!
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I, too, am a newbie and the flight simulator is great except for fact that you can't see how far above the ground you are (most of the time). Also it's tougher in reality to tell from a great distance if the plane is approaching or departing (coming or going); whereas on the simulator, it usually appears close-up that you can tell.
I have the Cessna 180 from Wattage that I bought at the RC/Expo a few weeks ago. I have never flown before, and this plane is a nice trainer. The staff worker from Hobby People was very helpful. I was going to buy another beginner plane, but he recommended against it because the radio was only good in that plane. Although it's 27Mhz, with my Cessna at least I can take out the radio and use it in another plane when I'm ready.
As a beginner (self-taught, no buddy box), I basically read a lot, did some simulation, and watched others. This is my third weekend with it and I can do laps around a school yard and actually land it really smoothly a few times. Of course, I've only gone out when it was absolutely calm out. My only mishap was it got too far away and I misjudged the direction and ended up losing altitude and went into a tree. The next day I had to fish it out--but no damage what-so-ever!
I've also gone through a few props trying to land the thing (which are inexpensive to replace). The Cessna is a very durable plane.
Cessna review:
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Steven York
On 5/9/2004 10:26 PM Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
The problem in turning is not with the shape of the wing. The problem is the AFS.
MANY EXPERIENCED PEOPLE have reported that when using the AFS, they are fighting the plane. Go to
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and do a search on NexStar. The general consensus from the majority of people (many of whom I respect for their knowledge) is that the AFS is more trouble than it is worth and should be turned off.
Several instructors have almost crashed the Nexstar because of the AFS.
If the AFS works for you, great. In can not recommend it. I feel you should have an instructor and preferably with a buddy box.
Reply to
Ted Campanelli
Your LHS owner is fantastic! He showed you a lot of things learned by lots of us by trial and error.
Reply to
Morris Lee
I just read the review, and I agree.
The AFS will attempt to correct ANY deviation from straight and level flight, including a planned altitude change or banked turn. This means control input will partially be used to overcome the AFS. The wing leading edge extensions will not cause turning difficulty, and are not a new idea, by any means. The speed brakes may actually slow the plane so far below the envelope that recovery is not possible by any means. Ah...if you want the plane so slow down, reduce the throttle. It's worked for years on such venerable trainers as the Eagle, PT series, and many others.
I tried a gyro (which the AFS essentially is) on the rudder of my first Dr.1. I flew it about a week and promptly removed it and LEARNED TO FLY THE PLANE. I agree with you, pull out the AFS, get an instructor, and simply learn to fly.
The AFS may actually hinder the flight learning curve. It will allow the novice to rely too much on electronics to correct the plane, and he will not have the needed skills when he flys anything without the AFS.
All of the pre-building/installing means the novice will know even less than most about his plane's construction and the principles of properly setting up engines, radios, and applying aerodynamics to his flying.
The other "innovations" are not really innovations, but simply a manufacturer's new hype for old ideas. Everything on this plane has been done many years ago, including speed brakes, a steel rod wing joiner, bolt on stabilizers, detachable landing gear, vibration isolating engine mount, and a pivoting/ breakaway bolt on wing mount. Hobbico simply packaged them and attached a pricey tag.
Even the ad hype suggests you should have an instructor and buddy box.
It ain't worth the money, people. Dr.1 Driver "There's a Hun in the sun!"
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| If you were flying this plane in 20 to 30 mph wind it would have | been turned in scrap. In 8 to 10 mph wind the plane handles good but | will not turn with ease and in some cases the plane will not turn at | all due to the shape of the wing.
Note that a steady wind does not change the way a plane flies. It only changes the way it *appears* to fly to somebody on the ground.
The plane does not `know' how fast the wind is blowing. All it knows is the direction and how fast it's going (air speed, not ground speed.) It doesn't care if it's going upwind, downwind or in a crosswind. It turns at exactly the same rate as it does in no wind. All that differs is how it appears to fly to one on the ground.
However, there are a few things that I should mention --
- Wind tends to create turbulence, which bounces your plane around. This is certainly a real effect.
- As you get closer to the ground, the speed of the wind tends to drop, due to the drag of the ground slowing down the wind near it.
What this means is that if you're landing upstream, your air speed drops as you get closer to the ground. This can stall your plane if you're not careful, but it also helps you land in a small area.
If you're landing downwind, it will tend to make your plane baloon up and can make you take lots of space to land -- or take you smack into the fence at the end of the runway.
- Wind is rarely steady. If you're flying upwind in a 20 mph wind, and it gusts to 25 mph, your plane just gained 5 mph of airspeed. Conversely, if it slows down to 15 mph, your plane just lost 5 mph of airspeed. If you were really close to a stall, that may send your plane crashing into the ground.
What this usually means is that you want to fly a bit faster when you're close to the ground on a windy day than you would with no wind.
Of course, when flying in a wind, the plane *appears* to fly differently depending on what direction it's going. But this is mostly just a matter of perception, only really important when your plane is on the ground or about to be on the ground (take-off and landing.) (Or if you're trying to do precision aerobatics, which are typically done to look right to somebody on the ground.)
Of course, for the Nextstar, apparantly the problem is the AFS rather than anything else, but I've never flown one, so I don't know ...
Reply to
Doug McLaren
Take that AFS system out or turn it off! It'll turn great!
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Customer service is number one here:
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I do not use the afs. I used it my first time on a dry lake bed and the color of the lake bed confused the AFS. I will not use the AFS agian.
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I used the AFS to learn flying in the wind, worked great for me,
wouldn't fly in anything higher than 15 to 20 tho. I thinks the Si works great, I have only had one minor crash out of 15 flights but I d break props, plan to get larger wheels to sovle that problem, I now fl without the AFS or speed brakes but both of those are great tools problem really is that ole timers don't want to learn new things shame. That plane has helped many people learn to fly from scatch wh don't have clubs close enough to attend such as myself, anyone wh knows the basics can fly the Nexstar. Also I have read stories abou holes in the plane or everything loose, huhm, mine had hole in it too mount the speed brakes and no more screw holes. All engine screws ar still tight. I can't believe people tell someone who just paid 400.0 for a great plane to throw away half of it, just can't believe it.
My Two Cents
Kelly D. Co
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A dog for a A/C trainer ????? for somebody starting off on the Nexsta
as a R/C trainer is GOOD, you get to see the plane fly slow and see the forces affectin the A/C as it flys and for a R/C student that is so important "slow as dog, ooooooo yes we need it".
one day we fly fast!!!!!!!
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wego birddog

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