Posted by: scote621 | March 9, 2012

My thoughts on buying planes from cheaper online vendors

I wanted to voice my opinion regarding plane purchases from cheaper online vendors such as nitroplanes, hobbyking, banananhobby etc.  If you google these companies there is an incredibly large amount of negative reviews and youtube video links expressing how horrible these companies and the products they sell are.  I myself have had issues with one plane I purchased from nitroplanes (FMS 800mm P-40).  Let me start by explaining the issue I had.

I was ready for my second warbird I had been flying a couple months and was picking it up pretty well.  I ordered the P-40 from nitroplanes and did a motor swap out to install a bp 2212-10 1400kv motor (great motor by the way).  This was the second time I had done this upgrade on an FMS warbird plane so I knew what I was doing.  When it came time for the maiden flight I thought everything was all set.  BOY WAS I WRONG.  I hand launched the plane and she went straight down like a fat guy at a pie eating contest.   Still being very new in the hobby I asked some experienced members for some help.  One man looked it over and told me right away the angle of the elevator was way off.  I took the plane home and removed the elevator and quite a bit of foam, adding shims and hot glue to get it to mount at the right angle and brought it back the next day for a second attempt and that plane was incredible after I got the stabilizer at the correct angle.

Moral of that story is, these sites may not always sell you a plane that flies great out of the box but if you give it a good inspection and are willing to deal with the potential for modifications to get a nice flying plane they are a great deal.  Most of the planes I have bought have flown great out of the box.  Maybe they were underpowered but so what you can always upgrade that later.  I feel that part of the hobby is spending some time tweaking and modifying.  Stuff happens, and you are going to prang a plane and should know how to fix it when you do.

Moving forward I plan on using the cheaper sites to buy propeller driven planes as plug and play models, their power systems are decent enough in almost all cases.  BUT I will not buy an PNP EDF.  They sell them with underpowered motors and unbalanced fans.  I would recommend finding a vendor that sells a quality product.  I personally have liked Donsrc.com fast shipment, quality product and great customer support.  I ordered a 64edf with his 4800wicked motor and balancing service last Sunday night and had it by Thursday!  I had previously used his motor with the stock fan on my freewing F-15 and even being badly out of balance this plane was still pushing 60mph on 3s and capable of very good vertical climbing.  Can’t wait to see it with his balanced fan!

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