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
half. Seems that to save weight they did not strengthen the area just behind
Repair was easy and I strengthed that area with little weight added to
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
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
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
the cockpit area. The blind nut issue was were I was really upset becuase it
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
The Seagull 40 flies superbly for what it is. One of the most prolific
trainers and a popular general flying model at my club.
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
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
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
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.
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
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 those supplied plastic undercarriage straps are plenty robust for
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. :)
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.
KISS. Because the plastic strapping system is already simple, cheap
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.
Assembling my third Seagull model (Laser 200) and am impressed - excep
for the pushrods that are supplied - way too small for this bird!
Been modeling since '49 - which makes me an Old Fart