Review: Volantex Phoenix V2

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Hey guys, here is my review of the Volantex Phoenix V2 (KIT)! As this is not a dedicated FPV platform I guess you are wondering why I am posting it here... but most of you know me... and so you should be expecting some mods in that regard, and in fact even though I thought I will not be FPVing this one... it is just too good of a platform to pass on the opportunity to do something interesting with it! 


In all honesty, my second ever plane was sort of a motor glider, it was an LRP Pocket Stream, and it was small... around 780mm in wingspan, and that was ages ago! Since then I haven't really flown anything similar... until now that is!

The plastic fuselage makes this plane quite durable and it is made out of some very smooth and glossy material, which I am sure will reduce drag in flight, and should improve flight efficiency as a result. Unlike the Ranger 2000, the Phoenix V2 comes with the flap servos already installed, for obvious reasons. Another good news is that a lot of its parts are the same as on the Ranger, so if you have both you can easily swap them should the need arise!

In terms of flight performance... I don't have an easy comparison for a glider, but in my opinion it flies exceptionally well and for quite a while on a small battery. I've not had a model with a front mounted motor for a while, and it was certainly a feat for me to balance this one, even with a small battery!

SPECIFICATIONS FOR PHOENIX V2

Wing span: 2000mm
Wing area: to be determined
Length: 1132mm
Flying weight: 1444 grams for my current setup /w battery
CG: middle of the CG markings on the wings


SPECIFICATIONS FOR PHOENIX 2400

Wing span: 2400mm
Wing area: to be determined
Length: 1182mm
Flying weight: will measure it soon
CG: middle of the CG markings on the wings


ARRIVAL STATE

Box arrived undamaged, and there was no damage on any of the plane's parts. All is good!


WHAT I LIKE

Since there is a lot to cover... lets start with the fuselage! It is very slick and smooth, and you can tell the idea here was to minimise drag as much as possible. It just looks so clean and simple... it is beautiful actually, and definitely designed for a single purpose in mind - best gliding performance.

  

Even though the Phoenix V2 has a plastic fuselage, like the Ranger 2000, it is not made of the same material. The fuselage on the Ranger is more like matte finish, feels rougher to the touch, and is a bit more flexible, so it can sustain a tremendous amount of crashing, while the fuselage on the Phoenix is more glossy and definitely smoother, and is supposed to be the same material Volantex make their boat hulls out of. Not as flexible as the Ranger, but there are always trade-offs, and it should still be a lot tougher than foam.

Next are the wings, now a proven tip stall resistant design, they are identical to the ones on the Ranger, only difference is these come with the flap servos pre-installed.

Naturally, the CG is marked on the wings, which makes setting up and balancing the plane so much easier and quicker!

There are two square alum tubes inside each wing side, one is very short, and only goes up to the first opening, you can sort of see it through the foam on the photos. The second one goes almost all the way to the wing tip, and that gives the wings a lot of rigidity.

And again, all control surfaces, save for the rudder, have carbon rods in them for added rigidity, and ALL control surfaces have proper hinges installed. I've said it before, and I will say it again - this saves a TON of work and time when putting these planes together.

The flaps have been hinged as well, but are fixed in place, so they wouldn't move around in case you decide not to use them. The two foam pieces visible along the hinge will need to be removed before use.

All of the wiring for the wings has been done, and I do like this new white tape they use to cover the cables.

And I can never stop praising these new locking mechanisms. They do a great job and are very quick and easy to use. Haven't had an issue with them so far, and I hope I never find out how they handle a crash!

Some people may not be sure why Volantex use these aluminium tubes instead of carbon ones, but in reality these are much more durable during assembly and disassembly of the wings, and are more flexible... they can survive a crash, while the carbon ones just crack since they are too stiff!

The spars are also aluminium, but are quire stiff. They fit very tight in the tubes in the wings... so even if the locks fail, I am pretty sure the wings will stay on due to friction alone!

The moulding for the wings in the fuselage is a very good fit, and in conjunction with the locking mechanism I don't think these will be going anywhere! Besides... I've done some pretty extreme things in flight with this plane, and the wings remain firmly attached!

The wiring for the ailerons is also done, although the Y-cable for the flaps is not installed. I do like these slots in the plate, which hold the cables, so I don't have to dig them out of the fuselage every time.

Just like on the Ranger, tail servos are at the back of the fuselage, which makes a world of difference here, since this plane has the motor at the front, so moving weight to the back becomes even more critical if you want to have a chance to use a battery larger than an AA NiMh cell!

Since the air that gets in at the front of the plane needs to get out of somewhere, that opening is right at the back of the fuselage. Another purpose that this opening can serve, is to wire... something... to the tail, or on top of it... but what...?
Another great thing I love about this model is the wheel. It gives the fuselage some clearance so it wouldn't get scratched on landings.
On the inside of the wheel there is this foam piece covering the opening, and preventing dirt and bits from getting in on landings. Its a nice touch!
On the inside the layout is very similar to that of the Ranger 2000, I am actually willing to bet that the top plate is absolutely the same! All the wiring has been routed to the top plate, where the receiver should go.
Apparently, the wings on the Phoenix V2 are mounted further forward on the fuselage, I am guessing to help with CG given the front mounted motor.
The canopy is also the same between the two models and can be used as spare part from one to the other.
The tails are the same too, and unlike with the Raptor, where a lot of people were complaining about the reliability of the tail assembly... I am yet to see one person complaining about it on the Ranger... and I think the same would be valid for the Phoenix.
They have even glued on the self-adhesive velcro for the receiver.

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