Seagull Models

Has anyone purchased a model from this company. I have a suspicion the quality (or lack thereof) is similar to Vmar. Any comments would be
appreciated.
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strathboy wrote:

I purchased the Razzle 3D airplane the quality is ok but a couple of issues I had with the plane was: The blind nuts for the engine mount were not properly glued into the firewall so when I went to install the engine mount one of them backed out of the wood. Replaced them with 10/32 blind nuts and epoxyed them into the wood. I had a hard landing when the engine died on me on takeoff and the fuselage split in half. Seems that to save weight they did not strengthen the area just behind the cockpit. Repair was easy and I strengthed that area with little weight added to airplane. The airplane itself is a good flying airplane and I'm having a ball with it. Seagull is also a part of Hanger9 now, so I would hope that the quality will go up. John
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I had the same experience with a Vmar Chipmunk. The wood is second rate and I'm not surprised to hear that Seagull suffers from the same problem. I believe they come from Vietnam which must have a good supply of pseudo ply. Thanks for your comments

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If I wreck this airplane beyond repair I would buy another. I really like the airplane and the way it responds. I setup the ailerons for flaperons and such. I activated the switch and it went into a dive (my problem with setting to much down elevator) recovered the airplane about 5 feet from the ground (had to shake my leg to remove brown stuff) It is a very quick flying and very forgiving airplane. It is lightly built because it is a 3D flyer not not really a scale flier so I can understnd why the backend is weak were it joins with the cockpit area. The blind nut issue was were I was really upset becuase it happend prior to my first flight. I could not pass up the airplane from a dealer in Hot Springs, AR I got a second set of wings because the first set was damaged in shipment to him. I plan on recovering the wing this winter. With the horrer stories I have read on RCU about VMAR I'm reluctant in buying an airplane from them but I would not rank Seagull with them as I stated before I do not think that Hanger 9 would put there reputation on the line with a company that made bad airplanes. There are a number of threads on RCU about different seagull airplanes might take a look there for more info. John
strathboy wrote:

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I assembled a Seagull Boomerang trainer a few months ago, and that was quite reasonably built, just had to fit stronger undercarriage retainer fittings... the small plastic ones supplied were a bit flimsy, otherwise not a bad trainer at all. Certainly better than some I've seen!
Mike
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On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 18:12:18 -0500, "strathboy"

You're believing what you want to hear.
A CRASH aka a "hard landing" and/or ground loop and the stresses it induces on the airframe will break the back of any model no matter who built it, unless it's made of Indian rubber. To suggest structural integrity was at fault is laughable.
Seagull, Black Horse and Phoenix are all rebadges from the same company/factory. To say they're "the same company" may be technically incorrect if pragmatically accurate. According to hearsay they are owned by the father and two sons respectively and share the same premises/address.
Seagull/Phoenix no longer use that crap ply substitute they used to use in earlier offerings. I cant attest for Black Horse as I haven't bought a contemporary offering of theirs recently. Most of Seagulls and Phoenix's ARFs are now constructed from balsa and are laser cut. They are *a lot* lighter, straighter and stronger! The hardware packs are also much improved and they predominantly use Oracover/Profilm /Ultracote covering on most of their models.
I have two Seagull, three Phoenix and a Black Horse as well as a couple ea of World Models and CMPro ARFs for basis of comparison. As a kit builder of many years, I can attest there's little wrong with the latest offerings from either Phoenix or Seagull, just big savings to be enjoyed.
VMAR OTOH are sadly still infamous for pretty looking, reasonable flying but poorly covered questionably constructed crap. I'd like to see them lift their game too.
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wrote:

I've a Travel Air, from Black Horse, and it's pretty well put together, I've crashed it twice and it's gone in pretty much the same place at the front of the cockpit where the wood is narrowest. It's survived pretty well in my hands.
However somone I know bought a speed air (or a super air I forget which) and the landing gear pulled out of the wing on the first landing, it wasn't a bad landing problem, he'd touched down and the right hand side just collapsed, looking into it the block the landing wheel leg was screwed into was only secured by the smallest of spots of glue.
So it's a case of can be good can be bad, unfortunatly the only way he could have checked the speed air would have been to decover and check it all.
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Valid points re previous offerings Gavin, but the salient aspect is as I referred to earlier if I may paraphrase myself, ie; "Seagull and Phoenix have noticeably improved in leaps and bounds in recent months".
Most obviously, they've acquired a laser cutting device for the factory which means their fuselages et al are now naturally aligned by unskilled or uninterested labour, without the necessity of jigs, care or intellect in using same, and equally importantly, their models are now constructed predominantly of balsa instead of that ersatz 'lite-ply' rubbish with resultant huge weight savings dramatically improving their overall flight performances. Their QC is considerably improved as well.
Interestingly, though I note in RCM&E that the Black Horse brand is still dominant in the UK and to some degree in the US, they have disappeared completely from our local marketplace. This suggests the local single line distributor is running with Seagull and Phoenix as his cheapie brands due to their locally superior market profile and acceptance, and has adopted the always improving and impressive CMPro as his prestige brand. Another wholesaler already has exclusive local distribution rights to the World Models line.
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wrote:

I've no idea what they were like before I had an Arising Star before and it was OK, but the wings folded in flight, not sure it it was too tight a turn or damaged from an earlier crash, eitherway my fault..
My point was the QC may have got better as you say but it's not 100% and you cannot see under the covering so have to rely it's OK, or remove and recover it.
IN the case above they block was secured (tacked is probably a better word) to the balsa sheeting on the wing, not in the well that the block pushed into

I'm not sure it's balsa, it seems more like a ply but it's not, but I've no idea what. Deems denser than blasa but is not laminated as you'd get with ply
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On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 09:28:15 -0500, "strathboy"

Your suspicions are unfounded.
Both from Vietnam but different companies.
VMAR designs are OK, but agree their build 'quality' still sucks.
Seagull's quality has improved in leaps and bounds, particularly of recent. They're still not up to World Models or CMPro's current standard, but catching up fast. For the price, they're simply stunning. If you want and can afford foolproof, buy WM.
A few small very cost effective minor mods address the few issues which detract from most of Seagull's offerings.
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Just bought a Boomerang 40 tonight. It's my first glow trainer as I've been initially playing with electrics.
Starting with the presentation/delivery, everything is very well packed and all covered parts come in their own protective bag. Hardware is comprehensive and everything seems to be there. None of the supplied hardware looks like it needs replacing with better parts. The instructions are brilliant and written in perfect english (compared to some others I've seen).
Out of the box and a careful inspection shows some very good construction. Yeah, there's a little excess glue on one or two hinges (comes off easy) and a few very small sections of covering lifting in typical places (around an aileron arm) BUT it's far better than half the kit stuff I see.
Inspecting for workmanship (ignoring cosmetics) it appears pretty well built. No warps or other defects, solid construction without excess weight. Pre-fitted parts and glued sections done nicely. Engine mount is already mounted and all the screwed components look like they were done straight and true (as opposed to blind monkeys hammering in screws at angles).
Maybe I'm too inexperienced to tell BUT based on the few ARF's I've recently seen the Seagull Boomerang is towards the top of the quality heap.
I understand the Boomerang 40 and 60 models are predominantly for the Australian trainer market. But if this is typical of their quality I see no reason why I wouldn't recommend Seagull ARFs to anyone else. Of course, the real test is how it flies....
One thing you can't deny is that the good quality and low prices of todays ARFs make it much easier for beginners to get into the air. That can't be a bad thing for clubs and the hobby in general.
While I have built a glider I wasn't willing to commit so much effort to constructing a trainer (which I have the kit for) only to face the risk of me planting it into the ground. For some beginners, crashing something they put a lot of effort into is enough to make them walk away (seen similar in other hobbies). For me, I'd rather crash an easily replaced ARF than have to build a replacement from scratch again. Of course, there is a lot of fun in building and I will get into that once I master the basics of flying.
--
The Raven
http://www.80scartoons.co.uk/batfinkquote.mp3
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On Fri, 26 Nov 2004 21:48:18 +1100, "The Raven"

There are lots of good AND inexpensive ARF trainers out there in the marketplace now. Seagull's Boomerang 40 ranks right up there amongst the top few you might label "the best". The new Boomerang 60 marketed under its sister Phoenix brand label is also OK, but doesn't share the symmetrical aerofoil of it's smaller brother.

The only thing which might still come in for criticism hardware wise is the plastic piping supplied for the fuel tank venting system. Out of curiosity I've used it and it works. Still in service without fault. I prefer the traditional aluminum, brass or copper tubing for the greater confidence I have in its maintaining the feed and overflow angles bent into it.

Dressed up as they have recently been, you'll find the instructions supplied with most Seagull models are still lacking, and frequently entirely erroneous in sections. This can be confusing for RC neophytes whose concept of a 'technical skill' is knowing which button to push to turn the PC or TV on. Anyone who's built or assembled anything from a K-Mart self-assemble bookshelf or a previous ARF shouldn't have any problem sorting it out unless they're totally devoid of any common sense. The manuals such as they are a marked improvement on their predecessors, although even with written accompaniment to the frequently too dark diagrams or erroneous illustrations, are surprisingly often more ambiguous than the simple follow the bouncing ball illustration only manuals of World Model ARFs.

They'd be marketed elsewhere under local more colloquially appealing names.
The Seagull 40 flies superbly for what it is. One of the most prolific trainers and a popular general flying model at my club.
JL
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Yes the Boomerang 40 seem quite decent to me too. I purchased one myself a few months ago. I changed the undercarriage nylon securing straps for some a little more robust. The fuel lines from the tank were attached incorrectly too... just needed swapping over.
I also needed to lower one side of the wing mount seat on the fuselage as the wing and tail were not square with each other so had to shave about a 1/16" off.
Otherwise all was okay.... flies very well.
Mike
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wrote:

Mike those supplied plastic undercarriage straps are plenty robust for the job.
They are designed so the U/C will rip itself out WITHOUT taking half the fuselage mounting section with it. Handy when the 'driver' embarrasses himself with a controlled crash mildly disguised as a landing attempt. :)
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Good news. I'll stick with the supplied parts.........
--
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Silly question perhaps but......
Why not hinge them at the rear and spring load them at the front. With a hard landing they'll fold up, while simultaneously acting as emergency shock absorbers....
--
The Raven
http://www.80scartoons.co.uk/batfinkquote.mp3
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On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 21:08:58 +1100, "The Raven"

KISS. Because the plastic strapping system is already simple, cheap and effective.
Remember, by design brief, the Boomerang 40 is a trainer, even if frequently utilised by the inexperienced or less proficient as a general purpose flyer due to her flexibility.
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wrote:

Oh, I understand that. However, if people are going to get overly concerned about ripping the gear out their aircraft....

--
The Raven
http://www.80scartoons.co.uk/batfinkquote.mp3
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wrote:

ther not atht great, they tend to split at the screw end when tightened, I changed mine for SLEC type ones, same plastic type of clamp, but a bit thicker plastic so whilst they do rip out on a bad impact they don't split as I'm putting them in..
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I've got the Razzle 3D and have found that it's one of the better ARF's I've flown. While it's the only Seagull I've owned and flown, others in my club have bought and flown other Seagull planes and, as a group, they seem to be a cut above. I've flown my Razzle for several months now (w/OS61FX) and while I don't consider myself an expert pilot, none of my rough landings have resulted in any damage to the airframe. With that said, the only complaint I have is that the wire used for the tail wheel bends easily. Although easily straightened, I keep meaning to replace it with something better when I get the time. The linkage rods for the empennage servos is also a bit soft, but I think that's OK for that use because the rods ARE strong enough for their purpose and the screws bite into it better and hold better because of it. For barely over $150, the Razzle at least is a great buy and goes together in an evening. If I ever break this one, I'd get another. By the way, the FX61 flies the Razzle fine, but if you want really snappy performance, go with the FX91.
MJC

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