Hangar 9's Aspire™ EP has opened a whole new world of soaring excitement for modelers everywhere by giving them a beautifully crafted electric-powered sailplane that goes together in about three hours. With the introduction of the new ready-to-fly version of the Aspire EP, all that's left for a modeler to do now is install the transmitter batteries, bolt on the tail, slide together the wing halves, charge the included Ni-Cd battery, and fly!
The only marked differences between the standard Aspire EP and the ready-to-fly version are the factory-installed radio and bolt-on tail. Everything else is identical, from the excellent balsa/ply structure to the artful use of transparent violet UltraCote® in the trim scheme on the wings. The use of UltraCote to cover the Aspire EP RTF will make repairs easy, not to mention practically invisible, by allowing modelers to match colors exactly with UltraCote from their local hobby shop.
The Aspire EP RTF is, without a doubt, the most thoroughly equipped RTF electric sailplane ever. Complete assembly takes less than an hour. Control is provided by JR Sport's S400 4-channel radio system. The same 550-type electric motor and folding prop combination that's found on the standard Aspire EP is included in the RTF. Regulating the power to the motor is E-Flite's sophisticated Maxx 25 proportional electronic speed controller. Hangar 9™ has even thrown in a 6-cell, 1500mAh sport battery pack and 30-minute fast charger. Everything is in place and ready to use. There is practically nothing left for the modeler to provide other than 8 "AA" batteries for the transmitter.Inspiring flight performance.
The Aspire EP RTF will easily offer 8- to 10-minute motor run times with the included 6-cell sport pack. The actual flight times will depend on just how good one is at fishing for thermals. Fortunately, if things are uncomfortably calm, the powerful 550 motor can prevent any impromptu safaris into the weeds. In calm conditions with the power on and a full charge, the Aspire EP RTF will climb at about a 20-degree angle. Cut the power, and the Aspire EP will settle into a nice gentle glide slope that can take the plane quite a ways with sufficient altitude. Stall behavior, even in turns, is very tame. The plane practically recovers itself. Turns are neutrally stable. Just feed in enough rudder to achieve the desired turn rate and then release the rudder and use elevator to maintain the circle. This will be nice for first timers since it will allow them to focus on hanging on to the lift rather than struggling to stay in the turn.
There is no question that the Aspire EP RTF will bring a lot more people into the sport of R/C soaring, and we bet it brings in just as many first timers to R/C aviation in general. Its mild stall behavior and solid stability, coupled with its completely ready-to-fly simplicity, make it a fantastic trainer choice too. Whatever the reasons, those with great aspirations to fly will find Hangar 9's Aspire EP RTF a fantastic way to get started. Look for it later this month.