Thoughts on Nexstar

I am new to r/c airplanes. Long ago I attended an R/C giant scale show as a
kid and thought it looked like a lot of fun, and always enjoyed building
scale models. I have a few hundred hours in full size aircraft, but since my
son arrived I have taken a hiatus from flying in the clouds.
Since I am very busy, I wanted a RTF trainer that I could assemble quickly
and train with. I'll address building a bit later, which I am really looking
forwrd to. I am generally pleased with the aircraft, but have sent the wings
and spar back to Hobbico to have them replaced. The tolerances on the left
wing were off by 2-3 mm at the leading or trailing edges, and they never
lined up correctly when mounted with the factory spars. Not sure if I am
digging myself a deeper hole at this point, as I'm sure the plane would have
flown just fine. I have seen two or three other Nexstars at the hobby shop
that have a perfect fit, so I figure its worth the effort. I'll post about
first flight impressions at a later date.
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Just practicing with the gimicky simulator at this point....
Kirk
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IMO, the Nexstar is a piece of donkey doo. It may fly well, IF the so-called autopilot is completely disabled. The autopilot actually fights any control input that deviates from straight and level, and makes the plane harder to fly.
You'll do better with one of the other Hobbico ARF trainers like the Avistar and Airvista, or the Tower Hobbies ARF trainer. All build easily and fly great. Get a decent radio and a decent engine, don't buy the bottom line if you can help it. Tower Hobbies offers combinations that are good values.
The wing is off 2-3mm and you sent it back? That's a little picky for an ARF trainer. This is a Pacific Ring ARF, and most are not built to the tolerances an experienced modeler would build to. Most beginners can't build that closely, either. I assure you, the plane would have flown just fine.
It sounds like you're planning to attempt to learn to fly alone. I suggest you don't do it. Get with a local club or at least another, more experienced, pilot. Some people do learn to fly by themselves, but very few. Their learning experience is often at the expense of many crashes. Your many hours in a full size plane will help to some extent, but they won't make up for proper instruction in R/C. There's a big difference.
R/C is a fun hobby, if approached the right way.
Good luck!
Dr.1
Reply to
Dr1
Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
IMHO, the Nexstar is an OVERPRICED piece of cr*p. The "automatic flight stabilizer (AFS)" will cause you more problems and trouble than it is worth. My suggestion is to send the complete thing back to where ever you got it and get your money back.
Get yourself one of the multitude of ARF trainers (assembly time is typically 6 - 10 hours INCLUDING drying time for the glue/epoxy), a user friendly 46 ball bearing engine (OS AX, Thunder Tiger Pro, Evolution engines) and a DECENT 6 channel COMPUTER radio (Futaba 6EXA or equivelant). In the long run you save money on the purchase price and the learning experience will be a lot less frustrating.
A half decent flight simulator can be downloaded from FMS
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for free. You use your transmitter and a $15 cord to connect the transmitter to the PC.
If you want to find out exactly what the Nexstar is like go to RC Universe
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and do a search on Nexstar. There are several threads on this plane.
FWIW - I feel you are being a little too critical about a 2 - 3 mm out of alignment. The Nexstar is not one of the better built Pacific Rim (aka China, Taiwan, Vietnam ) built trainers. The Hobbico SuperStar and Avistar are better built with none of the problems frequently associated with the Nexstar. The ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT THE NEXSTAR is the engine. It is the only RTF package I have seen that has a good, user friendly, powerful engine.
Reply to
Ted Campanelli
Don't mid dr. More people than he realizes have taught themselves how to fly RC. If you like the comerraderie and don't mind the expense then go for a club, but since you already know how to fly you probably just need sime simulator time to learn how to fly a remote airplane from the grounds perspective. Save your money for your kid and download FMS and get a $14 dual analog controller from best buy.
Then get a cheap used electric airplane off ebay for starters. If it isn't the best flyer in the world, that's ok, it shouldn't cost you more than about $50 with a cheap radio, and hopefully you will have some parts left over for your next plane. Kit gliders are a nice simple diversion too as well and they are usually excellent flyers and can be hand launched almost anywhere.
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Dave Brink
Yes, I realize the 3mm offset is picky, but I have seen 2 or 3 Nexstar aircraft that have a near-perfect fit of the wings. At this point I am more interested in spending time flying than building. I don't think this package is extremely overpriced for what you receive with the package. With a discount and certificate I spent $299 on this airplane....and I can sell it on Ebay when I am ready to start flying low wings or investing more $$$ in the hobby.
I am flying the simulator with little problem, but my plan is to fly with an instructor at a local club (I'm in Houston) until I am comfortable with landing and wind conditions.
Kirk
Reply to
kirkstinson
Dave Brink Mar 29, 6:22 am show options
Newsgroups: rec.models.rc.air From: "Dave Brink" - Find messages by this author Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 14:22:11 GMT Local: Tues, Mar 29 2005 6:22 am Subject: Re: Thoughts on Nexstar Reply | Reply to Author | Forward | Print | Individual Message | Show original | Report Abuse
Don't mid dr. More people than he realizes have taught themselves how to fly RC.
And don't mind Dave. He shows his lack of experience by recommending a POS electric park flyer. I won't go into the problems you'll have learning on one of them! He stated his outlook several times, "cheap, cheap, cheap." You get out of this hobby what you put into it, both time and money-wise. You don't have to spend 1,000s of dollars, but don't handicap yourself by getting a plane Chip Hyde himself couldn't fly.
Reply to
Dr1
Can't you adjust the gain on the AP to suit your skill level?
Reply to
Ed Forsythe
Too bad you don't live a little more north I would let you fly my trainer. I flew today. (a bit windy) If you ever come thourgh Hamilton TX stop at Storms. mk
Reply to
MK
Why are you so defensive? You made the statement: "Some people do learn to fly by themselves, but very few. ". Can you back that statement up?
My experience has been quite the opposite, and with free simulators it is no suprise.
Dave.
"If you aren't crashing, you aren't trying hard enough"
Reply to
Steve Banks
You can disconnect the AP or adjust the gain in the Nexstar.
In my case, George will remain disconnected. It might be something fun to play with, but only after I have learned to fly the airplane.
It looks as if I might be able to have some fun with this Nexstar airplane. I think I will wear a big t-shirt that says "NEXSTAR BADASS" on my first visit to the flying field.
:)
Kirk
Reply to
kirkstinson
Can you back > that statement up? Why don't you ask the other guy to back his statement up? I back mine up with personal observation. I'm sure he doesn't have any better statistics for his side, either.
And with all due respect, your experience is not my experience. I know far, far more pilots who have taken the conventional approach to learning than ones who've taught themselves.
Dr.1
Reply to
Dr1
I was going on my own experience, but I did uncover a poll from rc groups: Out of 191 respondants: Club / teacher with a foamie 1.57% Club / teacher with a balsa trainer 26.70% Self taught with a foamie 50.26% Self taught with a balsa trainer 21.47%
I consider my statement officially backed up :)
And to dr1's assertion that people crash, cry, and leave the hobby: the availability of cheap and durable planes is exactly what negates that argument as well as encouraging more people than ever to give it a go. If you can't learn to keep a park flyer in the air after practicing on FMS (simulator) with similiar models then you may benefit from an instructor/guide/club, or you may just need to tape that part back together one more time and then you'll have the hang of it.
Reply to
Dave Brink
The poll is flawed. It was posted in a place that to a large extent determined the outcome. Post the same poll in a more general group, one that is widely followed by all fliers instead of just electrics, and the results will most likely be quite different.
Some people do learn to fly on their own. Others try and give up after spending too much time and money on repairs. Others seek help. The mix is different in the glow and electric camps.
Reply to
C G
How is poll flawed???? rc moderated groups hold the lion's share. The objective was to find out who was Self taught and who went the club/teacher route not what sits in the nose of a plane....ic or electric motor.
Mike
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Mike R
Agreed, it is less than perfect since it was posted to the Electric section. Certainly going to the local club and asking would be flawed as well.
I think this is hinted at by the balsa trainer category. Wooden planes (gas or electric) tend to cost more in time and/or dollars and be less durable. This is argueably why they make poor training planes.
I do not see it as two "camps", I will and do fly anything. I just learned on a simulator/foamie because it was the most convenient and inexpensive method for me and apparently most everyone else :). Still the poll suggests that way more than a small percentage are self taught in spite of dr1's statements. If you consider that the vast majority of activity on rc groups is in the electric category even though there is a gas category then you might also conclude that the majority of enthusiasts are spending far more time on electrics than on gas, which would strengthen the polls validity.
Reply to
Dave Brink
Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
No one said a person could not teach themself to fly. The end result though is frequently:
Teaching yourself to fly is very often frustrating AND expensive due to lack of skill/knowledge and repair costs involved.
Teaching yourself to fly MAY cause you to develop poor/bad flying habits. An instructor is no guarantee of good flying habits, but certainly goes a long ways toward promoting them.
Teaching yourself to fly is often done in areas that are not safe to surrounding property and/or people. With an instructor, flying is normally done at the club field which is usually in a location that is substantially safer for people and property.
A lot of people who teach themselves to fly do not bother having adequate insurance to cover personal/property mishaps. Since most clubs require joining the AMA, a person can be reasonably sure they will have adequate insurance coverage in case something happens.
Reply to
Ted Campanelli
If the same poll was taken of our club's new members over the last thre
years, 100% of them would say they learned on a balsa plane with a instructor. I chose 3 years since that is how long I've been with m current club.
Personally, I did start with electrics and did learn on my own. However it did take 3 planes before I could take off, fly around an land consistently without crashing. When I joined my current club mostly gassers, I insisted on being put on a buddy box, since I had t land on a hard asphalt runway (I flew my electrics on a grass field). Good thing too, since I didn't know about the flare.
As for the Nextstar, I've flown several and must say that it is a nic flying plane, though it is just like any other trainer. Most of th other instructors ask that the auto-pilot be disconnected, and I als ask that the flaps be taken off since they make the plane too slow an floatly. It may be slightly overpriced but if you look at the othe RTF packages they are generally around $100 more. That extra mone gets you a flight simulator that works, ie you don't need to buy o worry about getting the right cable (some I've seen for $60), and more powerful and robust BB motor that offers additional flexibility i going into the next plane
-- sfsjki ----------------------------------------------------------------------- sfsjkid's Profile:
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sfsjkid
It was done in an online site that attracts more electric fliers than glow, and it was posted in an electric forum within that site. I don't know about you, but most of the glow fliers I know don't spend much time reading electric forums. Being located in such a site, it was naturally going to attract people who are more likely to be self taught.
Reply to
C G
Yup, sure would.
No, they are not poor training planes. They are only a poor choice for someone who chooses to try to learn on their own.
You may not see it as two camps, but many do. I've seen many people who fly electrics who appear to have nothing but contempt for glow planes. I've seen less of this attitude from the glow fliers about electrics, but I know many glow fliers who have no interest in electrics. And then there are the people in the middle, like yourself, who "will and do fly anything".
Your theory about the relative percentages of activity on rcgroups proving that electrics are more popular than glow or gas misses one major factor, rcuniverse. You will find that the opposite is true at rcuniverse, the vast majority of activity is in the glow forums.
Reply to
C G
If I can get a word in here while these guys do their usual song and dance routine, is there a question here Kirk about the Nexstar?
Phil AMA609
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