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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yak vs. Yak Standings

Yak vs Yak is complete for the current field.  I will add more Yaks over time.  This competition was a lot of fun and very eye opening into (1) how good the basic Yak airframe is, and (2) how much difference there is among models.

If there is a lesson learned, it is that foamies are not in the same league as Balsa and Ply models.  The dominant winner was the Great Planes Yak-55M.   This won't surprise people familiar with my blog, as the 55M is the Z8RC all time fav RC airplane.  The value this plane delivers is off-the-charts.  For just $170 for the basic airframe, it leaves plenty of room for extremely precise digital metal gear servos and your favorite electrics.

Another LL was that if you are going to buy a good Yak, you get what you pay for.  If you are going to buy a cheap foam Yak, there is not a lot of difference between carbon reinforced foam models, so one might be better off skimping.

Carbon rods and slats are cheap and easy to add to the models that don't have enough support, like the Carbon Z's un-reinforced, somewhat fragile fuselage.  The Art-Tech Yak-54 ships with no carbon, I sliced and pressed-in a $6, full-wingspan carbon fiber slat as tested.  The inexpensive Hobbyking Monster Yak-54 ships with by far the most carbon and plywood, in both the wings and fuselage, but it needed a new engine to compete favorably with this group.
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All of these planes are phenomenal aerobats; even the lowest rated can fly the pants off most planes.  And all of these Yaks are quite forgiving, with no apparent trade off for the docile handing, especially at low speeds, while maintaining roll, pitch and yaw rates that are something special (some, more special than others).

After this showdown, I can highly recommend both the 1st place airplane, the Great Planes Yak-55M, on pure aerobatic prowess.  I also recommend the last place airplane, the Art-Tech Yak-54, for min investment and max fun--after significant hop-ups, its price tag still led the field.  The Great Planes 41" Yak-54 is another standout for it's compact size while maintaining exceptional capability and precision.
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