Night Walrus Review

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Every RC pilot sooner or later probably will have a bunch of different models.

I really love FPV flying and have a few pretty fast FPV wings  besides masses of other planes and copters that give me the adrenaline rush I sometimes need.

Sometimes… But…

There are the days, stressed out, only little time in the evening and the need for some relaxation. These were the days when I pulled out my tried and true Bixler 1 or, to be more precise, my tried and true "Hot glue mess". It is the plane I learned flying with, I crashed it a hundred times, repaired it, flew it and crashed it again. I do not crash it that much these days and installed some LEDs to make it even more versatile.

But let’s be honest:  that thing it is not only ugly (remember 99% hot glue)- but also gliding
is next to impossible due to its gained weight.

What to do?

Frequently checking the HobbyKing New Items page I finallyfound the solution. I have flown the walrus of a friend once and already thoughtthis might be a perfect plane for "these days". Seeing there is a new version with night lighting and other improvements now I HAD to pull the trigger- a formidable sailing plane with a wide flight envelope and flashy LEDs already pre-installed for that price? PnF?!

Seems to be a no-brainer- right? Let’s see!

The Walrus comes neatly packed in a pretty small long package. Assembly is a breeze. The decals are nicely attached and the foam is of good rigid quality. All parts fit together perfectly. The small parts also are of good quality. Only a few of the holes in the control horns needed to be widened with a small drill. The user manual is a nice colored booklet and it makes perfect sense. No "Chenglish“, no nonsense. Good stuff.

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The only downside so far is, that even if the planes belly is “cute and chubby” there is not muchspace inside the canopy. Things are pre- installed, so no big deal, but still a bit fiddly to install receiver and battery. I mounted the receiver and the ESC both with Velcro in order to be able to remove them easily when ever needed.

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The antennas fit perfectly under the new plastic fuselage protection- small detail but I really like it. Routing the wires of the wing is also not too comfortable, so I think I probably will leave them attached to the plane or just hot glue servo extensions in some holes in the canopy like I did with my Bixler. Some people complained about the screws to secure the wings (same as with the old Walrus) but I had no problem with them so far.

Independent of this the whole assembly process probably takes about 45 minutes- if at all. When your packs are charged the assembly should be done!

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This being the first “full house” plane with 4 control surfaces in the wing I own I decided to have “full control” and used a FrSky X8R 8 channel receiver. This way I can control everything independently and use all sorts of possible mixing: Camber, Reflex, Crow, Full span ailerons and Snap flaps. A good explanation of all these possibilities can be found on: http://www.rc-airplane-world.com/rc-glider-wing-setups.html

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The Walrus should be forgiving enough to not crash immediately when the mixing is subpar, so it also seems to be well suited to be my guinea pig.

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Suggested CG is 71 mm from the beginning of the wing according to the manual.

I choose a 3S 3000mAh battery instead of the 2200mAh, because this is what I had on hand. I mounted it with the supplied Velcro as described in the manual to be able to adjust the CG later if needed.

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First light: Whow!! 

Usually it is somewhat exciting to connect the battery first time because at least I am always waiting for the magic smoke to escape (usually my models are “ultra high tech home-brew” with tons of electronics). This time: no magic smoke, just a sense of delight: what a nice illumination! Even with
full daylight in my workshop the illumination is clearly visible.

Finally weather got better sooooo…

First flight: Again: Whow!!

For the first flight I took a pretty conservative approach on the mixing. I deflected the ailerons 100% and the flaps 50% in the same direction. 

The motor has enough power for a really easy hand launch even for a pilot with little experience. It does not climb vertically, but reaches a good height within just a few seconds. It reacts well to
stick inputs and has no tendency to stall even when flying really slow. It is not a super fast model but this could be expected, and actually this was what I wanted, a nice gentle relaxing flyer! Even landing (remember- the critical part of the flight- especially for a beginner) is a breeze. Also learning simple aerobatics is easy with this model- just make sure you have enough height and "go for it".

Customers have complained about few problems with ESCs in the “old” walrus. This should be a thing of the past now, because the Night Walrus has a new ESC in the form of an Aerostar 30amper and so far everything is running smooth and cool.

I am really happy to have pulled the trigger on this plane before it was sold out (I hate it when things are out of stock…) because I really like it so far. 

The Night Walrus with its gentle flying characteristics seems to be the perfect solution not only
for the beginner. I am not the best LOS pilot in the world but had no problems with this plane at all.  If you, like me, want to take the next step to a “full house” E-glider or just want a nice, gentle flyer for relaxed flying this might also be a great plane for you.  It really looks nice and gives you the ability to do night flying without further modifications, too- big fun! The build quality also looks promising and from what I know the weak points of the first version of the Walrus have been improved.

So I still think it is a no-brainier!

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