I went to the hobby store one day to pick up some hardware for my GWS corsair and maybe a GWS E-Starter to get back into aileron training and have something in the air again after the slow stick folded up mid flight. After discussing the matter with the guy at the hobby shop I came home with the Tribute 3d.. an inexpensive foam 3d capable airplane that shouldn't be a problem to fly after having mastered a slow stick.
The construction was really straight forward. I used Gorilla Glue to bond most of it together. Some of the control surface hinge tape had come unstuck/unsticky so I replaced a couple pieces of it with clear packing tape. I did find that you can't use Gorilla Glue to attach the elevator/rudder pushrod tubes to the fuse as the stuff doesn't stick to the depron very well so I used some epoxy instead. I left the wheel pants off because they kept getting in the way and wouldn't stay in the right position no matter how I glued them.
The first flight was a bit disappointing, the airplane hardly flew at all off the 2 cell 1200mah li-po battery the hobby shop guy recommended. I ended up switching to a 750 8.4v NIMH GWS battery and it actually flies pretty well for it's size with a brushed motor, but it does NOT 3D off the stock motor, and it can only hover for like 5 seconds right off a fresh charge. That having been said, I do think the airplane was an excellent step after the slow stick. It's rather aerobatic though. I need to remind myself it's for 3d and not for aerobatics. There are stories about the tails breaking off, and after doing 3 full speed, full deflection rolls in a row and watching the tail struggle to keep up with the wing I can see how it could happen. I am currently flying it with gws pico clone servos and I have all the throws set to the max.
It is very mild in the air and flies inverted nicely, I haven't used the rudder much because it's run by a junk e-sky servo that is way too slow to bother with so for now it's mainly holding the rudder in place. I think it's a great aileron trainer for someone with some flight expierance. I would call it an intermediate airplane, or a beginner aerobatic airplane that's supposed to be for 3d but also flies around pretty nice too. For $45-$50 with a motor that will fly it (though it won't scream) I don't think it's not bad at all. I'm looking forward to getting a brushless motor setup for it to allow for things like cuban 8s, vertical rolls and some actual 3d type stuff.
I dorked it trying to hover off a fresh pack from about 6' up, which broke the carbon fiber tube and cracked the engine mount. I ended up cutting the cf tube off and splicing it with a piece of coat hanger, extra-time epoxy and some thread. seems very sturdy now.
I got a brushless setup for it at christmas time with some help from "santa" and the folks at Northeast Sailplane Products. I have a himax 2025-4200 that is currently running 5.3:1 with an 11x4.8 prop and a thunder power 1230 3 cell li-po pack. as of right now I've only been able to fly it a couple of minutes but it seems like it is going to be fun.
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