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Posts Tagged ‘Great Planes

Great Planes HobbyTown USA
What was new in the Great Planes room? A whole lot!

Starting on the surface side, the Axial Yeti was in the room and getting tons of love. You’ve seen our review and soon you’ll be seeing them flying off the shelves of your LHS.

There was also a sighting of the new ARRMA Typhon 8th scale buggy. It was cool to get a chance to look it over first hand, and if it lives up to the hype of being a buggy made for hardcore bashing, it should be a great seller. We were told that its release date has been moved to sometime around the beginning of August.

The brother of the Typhon, the Kraton monster truck, did not make it in time for the show and we were told it is set to release about a month after the buggy.

Speaking of ARRMA, the brushed Mega series was also in the room and we hear they are just weeks away from hitting dealer showrooms. A lot of people have been waiting for these to drop, including us.

The 18th scale Dromida line-up were strong sellers last winter and have continued to be in high demand due to their low price point and high fun factor. Being such a success, the line has received a bunch of new products. There is a Desert Truck version headed to the market, as well as a version of the rest of the line being released with pre-installed brushless power systems.

The Dromida line-up will also soon be taking to the air with their new Ominus and Kodo (with video) quadcopter/drones. They look like a lot of fun and are street priced at $80 and $60 respectively.

Want to learn more about Great Planes? Click Here to visit their official website.

Read more HobbyTown Convention Coverage at This Link on BigSquidRC.

Kyosho Great Planes Hobbico

Will we be seeing Kyosho being sold again at Great Planes & Tower Hobbies this summer?

RealFlight Mobile
It seems like nearly everyone has a Smartphone or Tablet, now that is all you need to practice flying an rc airplane. How? RealFlight Mobile has just dropped and is available for both Apple iOS and Google Android. RealFight Mobile comes with one flying field and two different airplanes to get you started, but 6 other planes and 3 more flying areas are also available for download. RF Mobile simply makes it very easy to learn how to fly.

* Presets for beginner, intermediate & realistic
* Uses onscreen joysticks for control
* Two different camera modes
* Adjustable control sensitivity
* Adjustable physics for speed, stall severity, & autopilot assist

Get more details at This Link over on the RealFlight website, or simply Click Here to get it for your Apple device, or Click Right Here to get it for your Android.

Read our last RealFlight review Right Here on BigSquidRC.

RealFlight 7 Update M
The latest update to RealFlight 7 is now available and for all your multi-rotor fans it includes something really cool, Quadcopter Trials. The Update M starts out with two easy quadcopter challenges – making a pinpoint landing on a reactive touchpad and flying through a rectangular gate, then gets progressively harder. There are 10 challenges in all and pilots who fly well enough can receive a medal and earn the coveted Quad X to fly.

The update is free for RF7 owners, to learn more hit up This Link over on the RealFlight website.

Thank Goodness It’s Friday, how about a TGIF Mystery Link?

In this week’s conclusion to ‘Blade Runner’ we discuss an important aspect of multirotor and airplane flight, propeller balancing. Granted an unbalanced propeller doesn’t keep something from flying, but it can cause propeller based failures as well as increased noise due to the blade imperfections. There are two parts to propeller balancing: Horizontal and Vertical Balancing.

To start, one needs a propeller balancing apparatus. This can be as simple as a pen placed across two boxes, or a commercial balancer from companies like this one from Dubro or this option from Great Planes. Next, you need either sandpaper to shave down the prop, or some clear tape or stickers to add to the prop. I’m a big fan of tape/stickers, but there are many schools of thought when it comes to prop balancing, so work with what makes you comfortable.

Prop Diagram

For reference, above you will see a diagram of a prop courtesy of Horizon Hobby. When I talk about the leading edge of a propeller, I’m making note of the thicker part of the propeller, shown as the light gray area of the propeller. The trailing edge of the prop is the thinner edge of the prop and is marked on the diagram as the black area.

Before any balancing can occur, don’t forget to ream the mount hole to fit your propeller shaft (similar to making body post holes, for you surface RC people). If you do not ream the hole until after balancing, you will have to do it again, and no one wants that.

Horizontal Balancing

Propeller Balancing Horizontal

Once you have the propeller on your balancing post, place it into the horizontal position. Here is where the sandpaper or tape/stickers come in: See what direction the propeller spins after in the horizontal position, and either add tape to (or near) the leading edge of the lighter half of the blade or sand down the trailing edge of the heavier half of the blade. Continue this process until the prop only deviates from the horizontal position 5-10 degrees.

Vertical Balancing

Propeller Balancing Vertical

The same applies to vertical balancing. Place the blade on the balancing post into the vertical position and, like horizontal balancing, either add tape to (or near) the leading edge of the lighter half of the blade or sand down the trailing edge of the heavier half of the blade. Continue this process until the prop only deviates from the vertical position 5-10 degrees.

…And that is all there is to it! With your propellers balanced you will see an instantaneous change in the noise coming from your motors as well as small changes to performance.

If you have any propeller or other RC Aircraft questions, feel free to contact me (kevin (at) If you have not yet, check out the big Multirotor Build Project I’m working on right here. Until next time, Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!

Great Planes RC4WD
There is some big news out of Champaign Illinois that Great Planes is now distributing RC4WD products. This arrangement makes it easier for GP dealers to stock RC4WD products. On the consumer side, it means more local hobby shops will have your favorite RC4WD scale parts on the shelf, or if not in stock, they will be easier to order in for you.

For more information on Great Planes simply Click This Link and you can hit This Link to visit RC4WD’s official website.

Great Planes Curtis P-6E Hawk EP Biplane ARF
One of the latest airplanes in Great Planes product line-up is a Curtis P-6E Hawk EP Biplane ARF. The P-6E Hawk was one of the best looking bipes of the 1930s and was the last biplane produced for the Army Air Corps. The new Great Planes version features incredible scale detailing for an authentic look, and was designed to be lots of fun while up in the air. The Great Planes P-6E comes ARF and requires a 4 channel radio, 4 micro servos, an ESC and motor, and a 3S LiPo battery and charger to complete.

* Length- 34″
* Wingspan- 43.5″
* Wing Area- 352 in²
* Weight- 3.75-4.5 lb
* Wing Loading- 25-29 oz/ft²

The part number is #GPMA1164, it has a street price of $249, and you can expect to start seeing them hit hobby shops in late June. For more information hit up This Link over on the Great Planes website.

Instead of a TGIF mystery link, please check out This Link over on Associated’s website about Gene Hustings. Gene recently passed away and was a legend in the rc industry as well as a founding partner of Team Associated.


A while back a few of us around the office caught the flying bug. We love bashing vehicles, but planes just don’t quite take the same abuse. Our in house pilot 3DBill would take us out, get a plane in the air, and hand us the controls. This would normally result in two things. One, he rips the controller out of our hand and says ‘What are you doing!?’ or two, we look like we are trying to fly 3D when we are just trying to go straight until we smash into the ground and 3DBill yells ‘What are you doing!?’.

So it seemed like maybe we should look into a rc flight simulator. We have seen and played with RealFlight dozens of times at the kiosks located in just about every hobby shop on the planet. Those things are like a magnet, seriously! Have you ever been to a hobby shop and not seen someone messing around with it? So we picked up a copy with a controller and were ready to go!

The software and hardware installed without a hitch, and we were up and running in no time. Our version we were using was 6.5 (They update often) and consisted of literally 100′s of air vehicles. From foamies to giant scale planes, helis and quads. Nitro, gas and electric, it has them all! If you can’t find your perfect plane, you can tweak and modify them to get what you are looking for. There are also dozens of cool looking locations to choose from, as well as different scenarios. They also have tons of built in tools/training software to cover take off and landings, flight instruction, and more. I’m not kidding when I say you can start just about any question with ‘Do they have…’ and the answer will be yes.

To keep this short, I’m just going to mention some highlights of our experience. All the planes feel different, and this was awesome. I started off flying a ‘foamie’ because they are pretty easy to save yourself when you get into trouble, and they have a feel just like the real things. Then I changed over to a large scale plane, and whoa what a difference! I know I’ll never fly a large scale in real life, (cost, danger, skill) but RealFlight give you a chance to experience what that would be like, and how it would fly.

The question we always get ‘Is it just like the real thing? Will I be a pro after?’ The answer is no, but it’s darn close. We found that flying planes was slightly easier than flying the real thing. Using RealFlight is a great way to help get your bearings, and learn the controls. I don’t panic nearly as much when flying the real thing, as I believe RealFlight has given me the confidence and the skills to fly a little better, and work my way out of situations I get myself into. When it came to flying the quads, it seemed like it’s easier in real life than in the simulator. The simulator quads like the 1SQ didn’t seem to have as much auto stabilization as they do in the real world. So if you can fly one in the sim, you will have no problems in the real world for sure.

Yes you still crash, and parts/pieces go everywhere. Put it this way, I know never to attempt flying 3D with a nitro heli.. ever. We will leave that to the pros.

I find flying in the sim sometimes tranquil. It’s fun to just pick up in the evening and fly for a while. The kids love attempting to fly, and they are getting better. Maybe this summer I’ll give them a shot at some real world flight time and see how well their skills transfer over.

You can get the software with a few different transmitter options, or save some money (if you already have a transmitter) and the one with the transmitter interface. Our version used the InterLink Elite controller, and it worked well.

To sum things up, it’s fun to fly and experience all the different models. Something you could never do in the real world. It will help (especially new people) learn the controls, and get a better feel of how to fly. It won’t make you a master, but it will help you earn your wings. If you have been on the fence about picking it up, we recommend you do, or at least hit your local shop and give it a try in the kiosk. The support they give is top notch, and the constant updates and improvements are welcome additions.

For more information, to check out new versions, or to buy Click Here to head to the official RealFlight webpage.

Great Planes Videos
Our friends over at Great Planes have sent out two new videos showcasing the features and flying abilities of some of their aircraft. In the first video below you can learn a lot more about the F1 Rocket Evo Sport Scale ARF and see it in action. The second video features the Escapade MX GP/EP ARF, showing how versatile it is and how well it can maneuver in the sky. Prices for the two planes are $179 for the F1 Rocket Evo and $139 for the Escapade. Hit up This Link for more information on them.

Click Here for more air news on BigSquidRC.

Great Planes F-1 Rocket Evo GP EP Sport Scale ARF 52"
Modeled after popular kit aircraft, the new Great Planes F-1 Rocket Evo ARF is made for fun times up in the air. It can be flown casually as a “Sunday flier” or it has the capability to be quite an aerobatic performer.

The F-1 Rocket Evo comes mostly assembled, cutting the amount of time it takes to get in the air. It comes covered in MonoKote and with pilot figure already installed. It can also be powered by either gas or electric, making it more versatile.

The part number is #GPMA1030 and it has as street price of $179. It should be hitting hobby shop shelves by mid-July and you can get more information at THIS LINK.

Looking for more air news? Check out THIS LINK right here on BigSquidRC.

Great Planes Cirrus SR22T GP/EP ARF 69"
The newest plane in the line-up for Great Planes is the Cirrus SR22T. The Cirrus has a lot of things going for it, the first thing being its scale detailing. A molded fiberglass fuselage and MonoKote covered wood wings and tail are used for light weight and great scale looks. The plane is finished in an authentic Cirrus trim scheme and includes running and landing lights for even more scale detail.

The Cirrus can be set up to run either a glow engine or to be electric powered. This adds to its versatility, now and down the road. Some of its other key features and specifications include-

* Easy assembly
* Large canopy is easily removed to access radio gear
* Pre-hinged ailerons, flaps and rudder
* Wingspan- 69″
* Weight- 7.5-8.25 lb
* Length- 47.8″

The part number for the Cirrus ARF is #GPMA1363 and it has a street price of $349. Early July is the expected release date, click THIS LINK for more information.

Looking for more air news? Check out THIS LINK right here on BigSquidRC.

Great Planes Rifle 1M EP Sport ARF
Have you ever flown an rc plane at 130 mph before? Nope, me neither, but sign me up!

The new Great Planes Rifle 1M EP Sport ARF reaches speeds of 130+ with a “speed” power system, and 90+ mph with a “sport” power system. If you are looking for the thrill of sheer speed the Rifle 1M should impress you.

The Rifle comes as an ARF, meaning you’ll need to supply a radio system, a motor, speed controller, a battery and a charger. Otherwise the Rifle 1M takes very little in the way of final assembly, meaning you’ll be flying in a jiffy.

The 1M designation is for its wingspan, 1 meter, making it a fairly large size that is both easy to see and control at lunatic speeds. The part number is #GPMA1806, the street price is $160, and it should start hitting shelves in mid May. Click on THIS LINK for more information.

Interested in more Great Planes news? Check out THIS LINK.

Hobbico/Great Planes Exclusive Distributor for HPI Racing

We were the first to break the news a few weeks ago on our Google Plus show, Cubby then talked a little about all the details we had. Then again when all the other websites were claiming HPI was bought, we assured people that it wasn’t the case. HPI has now confirmed what we have been saying all along since we broke the news.

Here is the official announcement from HPI Racing about their exclusive distribution deal with Hobbico/Great Planes.

“In light of recent media speculation, HPI would like to confirm that it has appointed Hobbico/Great Planes Model Distributors as their exclusive distributor for HPI RC Cars in North America. This distribution partnership is a further extension of the HPI’s exclusive distribution network that is operating very successfully throughout the rest of the world.

We would like to be clear that Hobbico has not purchased HPI, HPI’s assets or the rights to any HPI products. Hobbico/Great Planes Model Distributors have simply purchased the necessary product inventory to enable them to provide the service levels required from an exclusive distributor in such a large market area. Their comprehensive distribution facilities will ensure fast and effective supply of the entire HPI product line.

As the exclusive North American distributor, Hobbico will also be providing first-class customer services utilizing their extensive facilities and knowledgeable staff at their headquarters in Champaign, Illinois. The customer service facility will be operational for the HPI product range beginning March 1st, 2013.

HPI USA will retain its headquarters in California, where we will continue to develop market-leading products and maintain relationships with our high-profile corporate partners. HPI Europe will handle centralized purchasing and logistics operations, resulting in more efficient accessibility of global product demand. These combined efforts will enable North American shops and customers better and faster access to HPI’s kits, spares and support.

This exciting partnership will enhance HPI’s presence within North America by giving both companies the opportunity to concentrate their efforts on their own specialized areas of the business.

HPI’s dedication to product development, marketing collaborations and our distribution partners will ensure HPI will remain the front runner in the worldwide RC market.”

So there you have it folks, expect big from HPI and Great Planes in the years to come. For more information on all of HPI’s fine products HERE is the link to their official website.

Another week has flown by and is in the books, why not give your luck a try on a TGIF Mystery Link?