I've received one of these for review, but as usual I will call it exactly as I find it, the same as I expect any other reviewers on rcgroups to do.
I haven't had a Volantex Sailplane before, but my club colleagues are positive about them. This one comes in three versions:
- kit version with no electronics
- PNP version with 4 servos, brushless 2212/1400KV motor and 30A ESC already fitted, and a folding prop 260mm diameter, pitch not marked
- RTF version with 2.4GHz 4 channel radio system, battery and balance charger included
I received the PNP version, and I plan to use a FrSky receiver and Taranis QX7 transmitter with it. The recommended battery is a 1500mAh 3S, but I am planning to use a very good 1300mAh 3S that I have.
It arrived in perfect condition in a 970x250x160mm box, everything secured with tape or ties, vulnerable parts in bubble wrap, and a partition to separate the hard bits from the foam bits.
There's not much to do in the PNP version - the description says you can assemble it in 20 minutes, and some people probably could, but I go about things in a pretty deliberate and careful fashion, and took a bit longer.
There's a manual with some line drawings and black and white photos to assist you with the assembly. It's in clear correct English and even if you are a beginner I think it would be hard to make a mistake if you follow the diagrams with care. Tail assembly is first, fitting control horns and screwing the vertical and horizontal tails together. The control surfaces have been prefitted with plastic hinges that move very freely. Then the tail is screwed with 4 screws to the fuselage, and servo horns fitted to the rudder and elevator servos embedded in the rear of the fuselage. Then the same drill with the ailerons, and push rods with clevises and clevis keepers provided.
When fitting the four screws that hold the tail in place, I recommend pre-fitting the screws in the holes before the actual assembly. Doing this will pierce the plastic and make the fitting easier. To screw them in you need to have the screwdriver parallel to the tailplane, and close to it, and it's hard to get much leverage, especially if you use the tiny screwdriver provided. Use a better screwdriver, the longest one you have, to make this part of the assembly easier.
There is a detailed section in the manual with photos to show how to set up the control surfaces so they are centred by adjusting the clevises once you have a receiver and battery fitted.
There are four spare control horn sets included.
A nice set of decals is provided, and it's worth taking the trouble to fit them carefully, as they look pretty good. If you do make an error, you can take them off and try again without damaging them (don't ask me how I know )
The battery bay comes fitted with two black velcro straps as well as a pad of white velcro. There's plenty of forward and aft adjustment room to get the CG right, and convenient marks under the wing to show the CG position.
To fit the wings, you insert the aluminium rod provided into one half, fit the aileron servo connector and push the half wing firmly into the recess in the fuselage until you hear a sharp click, then fit the other side, another click. The wings are easily removed by pushing up hard on the plastic hooks that hold them in until they disengage.
The canopy has four pins that engage with four holes in the fuselage, and once in place, I don't think there's the slightest chance it would come off in flight. An example of the good attention to detail in this plane, simple but effective.
The easily removable wing is a very good feature if you have a small car as I do. It's only a matter of seconds to assemble the parts at the field.
Once assembled and set up with battery and receiver, I weighed the ready to fly plane and it came out at 896g (1.97 pounds).
I was very happy with the build quality, manual and assembly, couldn't fault it really. Hope to post soon on how it flies.