RC Electric Plane Hobbyzone Champ – Reviewed

Written by Joe Baker on . Posted in Miscellaneous


Hobbyzone ChampThis is the second of seven remote controlled electric planes that we intend to review in separate detailed writings on this site.  The others being: the Apprentice 15e (completed), Mini Super Cub, Super Cub LP, Trojan T28, Cessna 182 and the new Cessna Classic 500 culminating in a final article with a final comparison grid on all planes.  Our intention is to also review other peripheral equipment associated with RC planes such as Simulators and Performance batteries but interrelating the peripherals where they are best suited, ie a review on the Phoenix simulator will be with the Trojan T28 as it is one of the aeroplanes you can actually fly in the Simulator programme. 

The little Hobbyzone Champ arrived today so let’s look at the second plane in the review series supplied by www.rchobbies.com.au.

 (See 21 best electric planes compared - this site)


All the bits

Assembly comments
As you can see from the photos, this little guy comes fully assembled with EVERYTHING supplied.  No screws or glue needed and only requires the battery charged and the normal transmitter/receiver bind or check.

We would like to comment on how well this 3 channel plane is made as all parts seem to be quality finished and aligned.  NO adjustments were required on our plane whatsoever prior to flight.

Supplied Charger
This is a purpose built small single charger that will only suit charging of a tiny single cell 3.7v Li-Po battery (size: 1cm x 4.5cm x 5mm).  The battery slide in is configured in such a way that it would be virtually impossible to put it in incorrectly, making it extremely idiot proof and children compatible.  The charger is powered by 4 x AA batteries which will charge the LI-Po battery about 10-15 times.  This makes the whole power system extremely portable.
Supplied Transmitter
Considerably smaller than your normal ‘run of the mill” transmitter, the Spectrum 2.4 GHz with DSM2 technology comes mode 1 or 2 switchable.  Surprising as it may seem, this little unit has dual rate capability accessed by stick press.  Make no mistake, everything is small and so we will choose our day carefully to fly in order to be fair.  With everything done within five minutes as instructed in the supplied manual, but with a 20 minute battery charge time, we were ready to go flying.

Note that we do not have a trainer buddy control link available on the Tx but with the ‘plane being so little, “how hard can it be”??

• Everything you need to Teach Yourself to Fly in one box - even the batteries
• Completely assembled and flight-ready
• 2.4GHz transmitter with Spektrum™ DSM® technology
• Scale wing rib detail and steerable tail wheel
• 1S 3.7V 150mAh Li-Po battery and DC Li-Po charger included
• Detailed instruction manual with flying tips included

Wingspan: 22.4 in (517mm)
Overall Length: 14.3 in (365mm)
Flying Weight: 1.3 oz (38g)
Radio: 4-channel 2.4GHz transmitter with Spektrum DSM 2; 3 channel receiver and aircraft
Prop Size: 130 x 70mm
Charger: DC 3.7V Li-Po charger (included)
Recommended Battery: 3.7V 1S 150mAh Li-Po (included)
Landing Gear: Fixed main with steerable tail wheel
Trim Scheme Colours: Yellow with orange trim
CG (centre of gravity): Approximately 28mm from leading edge of the main wing

You Will Need
Nothing, everything is included.




Note that all wind speed recordings are not the “wet finger in the air” as we were sent a WM200 anemometer, courtesy of www.weatherdownunder.net.au which measures not only wind speed and direction but also a multitude of other things like cross, head and tail winds as well as temperature, wind chill, etc etc and its all in a small HANDHELD device.



Champ is up there


First Flight
With a 3 km wind, we took the little Champ to the football oval for its first skyward venture and even I was able to take it up on my first attempt and flew it around with only a minimal amount of problems.  The main concern for me was that I had gotten used to the rudder control being on the left side in Mode 1 along with the elevator.  This was not the case and I was unable to change the supplied Tx or bind in my DX6i so that it was the same as the Apprentice ie Mode 1 with rudder and elevator on the left and ailerons and throttle on the right.  Whilst seasoned fliers like my friend George experienced little problem in overcoming this, I found that as a learner it was very disconcerting and have now vowed that I will only ever buy 4 channel trainer planes.

Champ .5 mtr lift off

Second and Subsequent Flights
With George at the wheel, we put it through some test phases (pink markers are 1 metre apart) and as you can see it performed extremely well with no obvious disappointments.

You need to be aware that this little plane will not take off from grass higher than 10mm and would need to be hard surface or hand launched. 

Ideally suited as an indoor flyer, an outdoor  take off on the bitumen showed that this little plane with a full battery and a 3km head wind can take off in a distance of as little as half a metre, but it is heavily influenced by winds and will simply get blown on it’s back at about 5km winds.  Once up though, it will fly okay at winds of about 4.5 km if you are an experienced flyer, but even at this wind strength, it does tend to get blown away and is difficult to retrieve.

The battery fly time was well over expectations of 6-9 minutes, but probably maximised by us being able to do what we wanted at about half throttle.

As a Beginner on your Own
•    An extremely well presented and finished aeroplane with no construction required
•    Because it flies so well with auto glide down (hands off) it is less likely to get damaged on inadvertent operator error
•    Excellent indoor or very calm outdoor ‘plane
•    Very good ‘plane for small area (cricket pitch size is adequate)
•    Pretty much looks after itself on take off and a hands off landing
•    You are forced to accept that the rudder must be operated (mode 1) with right control stick.
•    Will not take off from grass
•    Can be blown away
•    Very, very susceptible to the impact of wind
•    Unable to accept a tandem Tx so that you can use an experienced flyer/trainer to help

As an Accomplished RC flyer
•    A versatile little fun plane that you could take with you and fly on a calm day or inside a building
•    Good speed capability
•    Flying is limited by wind
•    Being small it must be kept fairly close
•    Having no ailerons is restrictive

Summary Conclusion – Hobbyzone Champ
A highly portable aeroplane which could be easily flown in very calm or windless small areas, yet can be quite a fast flyer. (Full details of all attributes on the test base will be in the final “Comparison Grid”.)  At a retail price of approx $149 Aud, we think it’s good value!

News Flash!

We have been able to bind the DX6i Tx and get the rudder in Mode1) to the left stick (by mixing) now a bit happier with a 3 channel plane.

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