The big brother of the original Radian RC sailplane has just been released by ParkZone and I happened to get a hold of one to try out. Designed for pilots who want a full-house sailplane, the addition of ailerons and flaps lets you experiment with custom mixes such as camber, crow and reflex. You will need a 7 channel radio in order to program all these goodies, but this plane can be flown using a 5 channel radio with a basis setup that gives you throttle, elevator, rudder, ailerons and flaps.
The Pro comes in a Bind and Fly version that features:
- Powerful 480-size 960Kv brushless outrunner motor installed
- E-flite® Pro 30A brushless ESC installed
- Ready to fly in minutes
- Durable, lightweight and repairable Z-Foam™ construction
- Spektrum 2.4GHz DSM2 AR600 receiver installed
- 3S 11.1V 1300mAh Li-Po battery pack included
- 2- to 3-cell DC LiPo balancing charger included
For those of you that want to supply your own battery, charger and receiver, ParkZone offers a plug and play version which is what I chose to go with.
Un-Boxing your Radian Pro RC Sailplane
You will want to save the box that the Radian Pro comes in. The Pro is quite big with it's 78-1/2" wingspan and if you drive a small car like I do, your not going to get this puppy in the backseat when it's fully assembled. I used the box to make a carrying case so that my Pro does not get damaged while taking it to the field. (more on this in a latter post).
Also, be sure to inspect all control surfaces for warpage. I've read a few complaints of owners receiving ailerons that have been damaged in shipping. I saw one Pro that had been returned to my local hobby shop where the wing and aileron were so warped they would have to be replaced. Some have been able to straighten theirs by applying heat with an iron, but be careful you could melt the foam.
If your having a hard time finding the instruction book, it's been taped to the underside of the box. Be sure you locate a small plastic bag that contains 2 servo y harnesses, your wing mounting screws and a few squares of tape for attaching the elevator.
Assembling the Radian Pro
Putting this jewel together is pretty straight forward. The fuselage and fin are one piece with the ruddr attached. The canopy snaps into place via a couple of magnets. There are left and right wing halves and that are supported via a round carbon fiber wing spar. The horizontal stabilizer and elevator are attached using clear tape squares that are supplied.
The most difficult part of assembly is connecting the aileron and flap servo wires. To be honest, this is a total PITA. You have to fish the wires into the fuselage cavity as your sliding the wing onto the spar and into the fuselage. Then using a pair of needle nose pliers, you have to reach in via the receiver cavity and grab the ends of the servo wires to pull them up to the receiver. Once you have one side connected, it's time to do this balancing act on the other side. This I tell you is no fun at all. I've been looking at a couple of modifications for making this easier and I plan to cover this in a latter post.