New TechOne Popwing Overview and Review


Hey everybody!  Hope everyone is doing great.  I wanted to post a quick blurb about the new TechOne Popwing that I received from Nitroplanes.  I had read a lot of good things about this plane and I can say that so far I have not been disappointed.  I purchased the ARF version that basically comes with everything besides the receiver and battery.  Currently, I am just using a Spektrum AR400 DSMX receiver with my Spektrum DX8 transmitter.  The specs of the ARF kit are as follows:

Fuselage length: 575mm (22.6in.)
Wingspan: 900mm (35.4in.)
Flying Weight:300--350g (with battery)
Motor: T2208 KV 1370
ESC: 20 Amp
Propeller: 7050E OR 6050E
Servo: 8g micro servo * 2pcs

Needed to Complete:

TX/RX: 4 channel
Battery: 11.1V 800-1200mAh Li-po 20C

Build Overview:

This plane was very easy to build and the included instructions were pretty thorough, although some of the pictures in the instruction manual were blurry and hard to follow.  For the most part though, most will not have trouble getting this plane together.  One item that is not mentioned is servo extensions.  I have watched several videos and read posts of others noting that the servo wires are not quite long enough.  However, I will say, the ones that are included WILL work with out extensions, but you definitely have NO room for slack in the wires.  They are pretty tight to get them to fit in your receiver and it doesn't leave many options for mounting the receiver.  You just about have to mount it in the middle of the cutout tray for the wires to reach like they should.

The servo wire issue is definitely something TechOne or Nitroplanes needs to address.  At the very least, it needs to be noted on the instructions or the "needed to complete" items.  I guess they opted to leave this out since they DO work, but very tight.  Other than that item, the rest of the components and other accessories seem to be of good quality and work well.

I have to say one thing I didn't really like from initial impressions were the O-rings that are used to hold the propeller on.  I assumed these would be easily broken and probably give me fits, but I have to say so far they are acceptable.  I went ahead and installed BOTH of the o-rings that were included in the kit for extra strength.  This design using the o-rings does keep you from bending shafts and breaking props as if you had a very rigid or collett type design, the first time you landed on the ground and had any power running whatsoever you would definitely be replacing the shaft, propeller, etc.  So it is a very forgiving design for ground landings.

Flight Review

As I mentioned before, the flight of this great delta wing is a great experience once you have your throws adjusted.  For me CG seemed to be very good with the 1300mAh Sky Lipo batteries that I am using from Nitroplanes.  Again it required just a few clicks of UP trim to make things completely straight and true, but after getting it dialed in it was definitely on rails.

This plane is very maneuverable and it can take novice pilots by surprise if they "full UP" the right stick, this plane will turn on a dime and can be a little intimidating if a pilot doesn't realize the different maneuverability characteristics of this plane.  On my DX8, I went ahead and programmed in 60% Expo on the Aileron and Elevator controls just to smooth this out a bit, but still, full controls work when you bank and yank them to create either pretty spectacular maneuvers or some unintended crashes.

I want to also speak of the extreme durability of this plane.  I have already nose ended it into the ground a time or two and banked it into the ground as well, and the EPP foam has withstood everything that it has endured so far.  This foam is very pliable and seems to take trauma very well.  It is not indestructible but it sure feels like it comes close to that.

This is a very good plane however to get used to hand catches.  This thing just about floats if you want it to, so slow speed approaches are very easy and make hand catches the desirable way to bring this bird back to the ground.

CG considerations of course are important on any plane, but this delta wing popwing seems to be especially sensitive to CG as well as UP/DOWN adjustments to control pitch.  It took me a bit to get the throws and trims adjusted right for completely stable and true flight.  Normally, I start off with dead center on the control surfaces and everything zeroed out to begin with.  However, the control surfaces on my Popwing at zero were applying a tremendous amount of DOWN to the pitch axis.  You should be on your toes on the maiden flight as you may find yourself on the right stick quite a bit until you figure out where your popwing is on trims and so forth.

All in all, this is a great plane either to get into wings in general or just as a next step up plane that you want to take your flying to the next level with.  It is extremely maneuverable, durable, and has a good amount of speed characteristics that can be invoked at full throttle.  If you are looking for a great platform for continued enjoyment in this hobby, the TechOne Popwing just may be your plane.