Hobbico Hobbistar 60 Select
In the spring of 2011 I had a lengthy back-and-forth with the Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) at Stetson Flyers here in Ottawa during which he patiently answered my steady stream of questions. I joined the club (and MAAC), signed up for flying lessons and bought this plane for flight training.
I chose glow over electric at the CFI's suggestion. Glow powered engines do require tuning, cleaning and support equipment, but they do not require a complex charger and one or more large batteries that must be charged before every flight. Since I would be flying several times on training days, glow was the choice for me.
The Hobbistar is available as an Almost Ready to Fly (ARF) package, but this version came Ready To Fly (RTF). Well, theoretically. I had to put a few hours of work into the assembly, including the repair of the aileron servo tray. But it came with the transmitter, receiver, batteries, chargers, engine, propeller... just about everything except fuel.
There were several reasons why I chose this plane over the many other trainers that were available:
- Good reports from reviewers and owners
- Ready to fly
- .60 vs .40 size - bigger planes are easier to see and handle the wind better
- Futaba radio - recommended by the CFI
- OS engine - also recommended by the CFI
- Available through my local hobby store (LHS)
It was an excellent plane to learn on and the instructors at the club flight school were great. Midway through 2011 I soloed in front of the CFI to earn my wings. What a rush!
I flew the Hobbistar all through 2011 and equipped it with skis to fly in early 2012. Early in the spring that year I made an error in distance judgement and flew the plane into a tree. The wreckage sat in the basement until the fall of 2012, when I spent a lot of time repairing the extensive damage to the wing. After that was done, I converted it from tricycle gear to a tail dragger.
I re-maidened the plane in March of 2013 on skis and it flew perfectly well. However, I had forgotten what a mess glow fuel makes - when I purchased an RCGF 32 in 2013 I decided it would go into my Pulse 125 and the DLE 20 would go into the Hobbistar. At the same time I converted the wing - from single to dual aileron servos, and from band-on to bolt on. I also fabricated some all-season skis, and just after this photo was taken I fabricated a cowl as well.
|Flight time:||12h 56m|
*Performed by me as opposed to an instructor
|Wingspan:||1805 mm (71")|
|Length:||1400 mm (55")|
|OS 65 LA - removed and sold|
|Receiver battery:||6.0V 2700 mAH NiMH|
|Ignition battery:||4.8V 2000 mAh NiMH|
|Aileron servos:||Futaba S3004|
|Elevator servo:||Futaba S3004|
|Throttle servo:||Futaba S3004|
|Rudder servo:||Futaba S3004|
|2014-06-08||Found out pretty quickly that the skis do not slide on grass. I removed the skis and took off, forgetting to check the balance of the plane. It was REALLY tail heavy. I was able to trim it to mostly level flight but I had to hold down elevator at anything more than 20% throttle. The landing was hard and fast and I bent the gear a bit. I'm going to take a friend's advice and add a pocket to the underside of the forward hatch. It will hold weights when the skis are off.|
|2014-11-02||Flown for the first time since the tail repair. There was a 35 km/h crosswind blowing from the north towards the flight line on the main east-west runway so I used the shorter north-south runway. Takeoff was very fast into such a strong wind and I spent the entire ten minute flight reacting to the airplane instead of controlling it. Landing was again into the wind on the short runway and I had to kill the engine from the transmitter because the idle wouldn't drop. Time to tune the engine again. But the tail repair held up fine!|
|2016-04-17||Smaller wheels (removed 5" tundra tires for more proportional 3" wheels). Good flights, a little up elevator needed. Warm day with a slight wind blowing straight down the runway. Still tuning the engine; it's 4-stroking in the midrange. Awesome flights. The DLE 20 is crazy powerful for this plane!|