The Firebird Stratos is a completely new approach to the beginner RC airplane. Twin engines and control mixing means you can learn to fly, without skilled help!
This curvaceous, twin engine model has been designed from day one, as the perfect beginner RC plane, and Horizon ( the manufacturer) claim that anyone can learn to fly, without any skilled help!
Here we can see the twin engines. The props are contra-rotating, i.e. they rotate in opposite directions.
This means that any torque that is generated is cancelled out, so there is no unwanted turning effects.
Another feature that is unique to the Firebird Stratos, is that the motor speed is "mixed" with the rudder. As rudder is applied, one motor is slowed down, thus assisting the turn.
The nose cone is a rubber molding, that should absorb some of the shock from a frontal impact. That does not mean that the model will survive a full speed run into a tree or other obstacle! Try and steer well clear of such things!
The front strut of the landing gear can also be seen. My advice is to remove the landing gear for the first flights and hand launch and land on grass. Try taking off later when you have some experience. You will need a smooth, hard surface for take-offs and landing. The wheels are small and will have a hard time on any kind of grass.
This photo also shows the foam construction. The entire airframe is injection molded from Z-foam. This is a high density foam that can be repaired with any type of glue, even normal CA, that normally melts foam. Epoxy can also be used.
The rudder is mixed with the motors, as explained and also with the elevator. Every time a rudder command is given, a touch of up elevator is applied, keeping the nose up. Also when the motors are commanded to a lower setting, the elevator moves up a small amount. This mixing makes the Firebird Stratos very easy to fly and helps the beginner stay out of trouble.
There is also a wing leveling feature that keeps the wings level during turns. If you get into trouble and say, loose orientation, just release the sticks and the Firebird Stratos will level itself and hopefully fly out of trouble, if there is enough height for recovery.
This whole system is called the Virtual Instructor. When you have some experience, this feature can be turned off and then the Stratus can be flown as a conventional beginner RC plane.
The wing is retained by magnets and a pin device, that allows the wing to "swing" as shown here, to prevent damage and looks a lot better than rubber bands.
Here you get a good view of the wing. Note the leading edge turbulators and the wing fences. These features make the stall very "soft" and gentle. This gives the flyer a little more time to recover.
All these features combine to make a superb beginner RC plane that should be very possible to learn to fly on your own.
Absolutely nothing! Everything required is included.
Very easy to fly- the transmitter mixing really helps and the self leveling feature keeps the turns flat. If the student gets into trouble, just let go of the sticks and the plane will right itself!
Use a large, obstruction free area and do not fly too far away. Wait until the wind has died down. High winds are not the time to fly. Keep up wind and stay close by.
Horizon Hobby are still stocking spare parts. Click here to visit the appropriate page