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Thread: MINI "SENIOR SPORTSTER" ARF Reviews

  1. #1

    MINI "SENIOR SPORTSTER" ARF Reviews

    The Granvilles Would be Proud
    Before I got my Senior Sportster, the A in ARF from my previous models stood for “Almost has its wing already on”. This Gee Bee is a true ARF which requires a touch of craftsmanship and creativity to assemble. My Gee Bee is now finished and stunning; with a dollar store Barbie for a pilot. I can’t help but think that despite the fame of Gee Bee’s chubbier cousin, this was probably the secret favorite of the Granville Brothers. The plane comes well protected and sorted in its box. The parts were all there and separated nicely into bags. The instructions were tiny but effective. The flamboyant black and red covering was striking and a tad saggy. Tautness was restored easily via a few quick passes with a heat gun. I accidentally snapped one of the tiny supporting plywood spars which I replaced with a new spar. Given the ultralight and delicate construction of the battery tray, I added a touch of fiberglass reinforcement and a tab to keep the battery from sliding. The CG was spot on with the recommended 2100mah battery against the firewall. The recommended Atlas motor had more than adequate power. The plane is a sporty and stable flyer and a beauty to look at! I would recommend this plane to any moderately skilled ARF-head with intermediate stick skills and the only improvement I’d suggest is a tiny bit of added strength in the structures below the battery hatch.
    I give this product 4 stars. Review by Idjadi, Joshua

  2. #2

    Re: MINI "SENIOR SPORTSTER" ARF Reviews

    Nice flying model
    I've been flying my Senior Sportster for over a year now and really enjoy it still. It's a good quality kit and goes together easily. The plane flies really nicely, though it can be a challenge to land it smoothly. Practice makes perfect though!

    When building it, there are a few things to watch out for. The battery tray is made of thin ply and needs reinforcement. I used some EPS foam to make a cradle for the battery which works well to both strengthen the tray and keep the battery in place. Also, the included clevises will come unsnapped from the control horn if you don't secure them. Use some heat shink tubing or a short length of fuel line. And finally, the wheel pants, as beautiful as they are, will break very easily with a bad landing. Hobby Lobby does sell spares, but after going through a couple pairs I normally fly without them.
    I give this product 4 stars. Review by Payne, Doug

  3. #3

    Re: MINI "SENIOR SPORTSTER" ARF Reviews

    Gee Bee
    I was surprised to find the plane very easy to build and fly. I also had several problems along the way. Here they are - battery tray was not strong enough, had to add support. The wheel pants are very good addition yet do not hold up . The landing gear is not at all strong enough for this plane. Any not perfect landing will bend them just a bit - then just keeps getting worse. This creates problems when rolling out to take off and on landing. Mine finally snapped at the 90 above the wheel on landing. I had to cut off the 2nd wheel and wire a stronger landing gear wire to existing one also put on larger wheels I was very lucky not to hurt the plane when this wheel broke upon landing. The plane had a few scrapes, but now lands and rolls perfect.
    I give this product 4 stars. Review by Jones, Roy

  4. #4

    Re: MINI "SENIOR SPORTSTER" ARF Reviews

    Gee Bee Mini Senior Sportster
    This is a beautiful example of the Golden Age Racers. It's not perfectly scaled but perfectly engineered and built for a wonderful flying experience.

    Assembly is easy and well illustrated in the manual. The colors are not true to the original example from the period and that fact lowers my score. The red and black is very attractive, but difficult to maintain orientation in low light.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with the Mini Gee Bee. Although not for beginners, it's light, flies beautifully and demonstrates a graceful visual presence both on the ground and in the air. I like it.
    I give this product 4 stars. Review by Dressler, Richard

  5. #5

    Re: MINI "SENIOR SPORTSTER" ARF Reviews

    Mini Gee Bee Senior Sportster ARF 48
    Except for the weak landing gear this plane is good looking and a ball to fly. First of all it fits together well and flys great with no real bad characteristics. It has a lot of wing area and it is a low wing aircraft so it is susceptible to cross wind landings and should be landed directly into the wind (especially on windy days) or you will (at the very least) grind a wing tip. It will also play havoc with the gear which is very light and bends easily. I have replaced mine with a homemade version of piano wire of twice the diameter that is supplied. I also slotted the side of the wheel pants and put a lateral brace over to the reinforced area of the wing near the center of the plane. These two modifications have rectified the only problem with this plane. I have also overpowered it with a Turnigy 3542 1250 motor and increased the prop size to 11'’ x 7'’ which adds to the fun. Oh, one other thing if you go bigger on the motor, add two strong magnets to the hatch as it will blow off at high speed. It will just float down to the ground with no harm, but it could be problematic if you fly over trees, water or a swamp! I would rate this plane a 95 out of 100 and it is a real attention getter.
    I give this product 4 stars. Review by Bourke, John

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