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Arrows RC Husky 1800mm PNP
Written by Jon Barnes
Review
As seen in the May 2020 issue of Model Aviation.

Bonus Video


At a Glance

Specifications

Model type: Electric STOL
Skill level: Beginner to intermediate
Wingspan: 71 inches
Wing area: 739 square inches
Length: 47 inches
Weight: 75 ounces
Power system: Electric brushless
Radio: Minimum five channels required
Construction: Prepainted EPO foam
Price: $259.99

Test-Model Details
Motor used: Arrows RC 3541-750 Kv brushless outrunner (included)
ESC used: Arrows RC 45-amp brushless with integrated 3-amp SBEC; XT60 connector (included)
Servos: Six 17-gram digital (included)
Recommended battery: Minimum 35C 4S 2,200 to 2,600 mAh LiPo (not included)
Propeller: 13 x 7.5 (included)
Radio system used: Spektrum DX9 DSMX 2.4 GHz transmitter; Spektrum AR6210 six-channel DSMX 2.4 GHz receiver
Ready-to-fly weight (with 4S 2,500 mAh battery): 79 ounces
Flight duration: 5 to 15 minutes (depending on battery size)
Pluses

  • Scale, foam-based model nicely represents this popular, light utility, backcountry aircraft.
  • Abundantly oversize battery bay enables use of a variety of different sizes of batteries, with the benefit of potentially longer flight durations with larger packs.
  • Sporty looking, authentic Aviat red, white, and black color scheme.
  • Included bright white landing lights mounted in the wing’s LE, and wingtip-mounted red and green navigation lights.
  • Full selection of spare parts available from Horizon Hobby.

Minuses

  • Top side of both wing panels feature several undefined, ambiguous holes that slightly detract from the overall pleasing aesthetics of the model.
  • Black paint flakes off easily around the edges of the battery compartment.
  • Manufacturer/Distributor
    Arrows RC
    www.arrowsrc.com
    HobbyZone
    (888) 953-9663
    www.hobbyzone.com

    Looking the part of its full-scale counterpart, the Arrows RC Husky floats in on final approach with full flaps deployed.

    The arrival of late winter/early spring on the 2020 calendar marks the one-year anniversary of one of the industry’s newest companies, Arrows RC. During its first year in business, this fledgling company primarily focused on releasing models in the 1,100 mm wingspan class and smaller.
    Early offerings included a pentad of quintessentially popular World War II-era warbirds, followed by several slightly smaller general aviation airplanes. With this solid foundation of initial product offerings in place, Arrows RC decided to switch things up a bit with the release of a significantly larger 1,800 mm wingspan Aviat Husky.
    The RC industry has popularized this relatively new genre of models by churning out a number of backcountry, short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL)-style models in the last few years. The Arrows RC Aviat Husky stands out from the rest of the pack, if only for the simple reason that, unlike most of its competitors, it is based on a real-world utility airplane.
    The full-scale Aviat Husky is the only all-new, light aircraft to be designed and produced (by Christen Industries) in the US during the mid- to late-1980s. Six iterations have been developed since the initial release. The most recent A-1C version is available with either a 180 or 200 hp four-cylinder Lycoming powerplant.
    With total production numbers exceeding 650 aircraft, the Aviat Husky has been used in pleasure and adventuring roles and in a variety of commercial applications. Perhaps its most noble mission is the fleet of seven that are flown on regular patrols by the Kenya Wildlife Service to help prevent the poaching of elephant tusks for ivory.

    Like most recent larger EPO foam kits, the Husky assembles without adhesives. Unlike most larger EPO foam kits currently on the market, the wiring for the wing electronics is not transferred into the fuselage using multipin connectors; the servo leads are routed into the fuselage the old-fashioned way and plugged directly into the receiver.

    Assembly

    Assembly of the Arrows RC Husky can be quickly completed and without the need for any adhesives. The sole tool needed to assemble this model is a good-quality 2 mm hex bit driver. Unlike many other models in this size and class, no multipin connectors are used to transfer signals from the wing electronics through the wing roots and into the model’s fuselage. Pilots must manually connect the aileron, flaps, and included LED lighting system when mating the wing halves to the fuselage.
    All of the wing wiring feeds into a recessed channel, located on the top interior side of the fuselage. Grabbing the wires out of the channel with one’s fingers can be a little difficult; a pair of hemostats greatly simplifies the task. Several servo Y-connector cables are included and used for joining the two aileron servos and two flap servos.
    A slightly different type of Y-connector is included to connect the factory-installed LED lighting in each wing half. Each half has a red or green wingtip-mounted non-strobing navigation light, as well as a pair of always-on, bright white landing lights embedded in the outboard part of the wing halves’ leading edges (LEs).
    Ball link connectors are used on the control horn end of all pushrods. Two white antennae index snugly into slotted plastic receivers mounted in the top side of the wing. Their snap-lock fit negates the need for any adhesive to secure them in place, and allows pilots to remove them for transport and storage.
    While assembling the airframe, I noticed several somewhat ambiguously placed and unexplainable holes located on the top of both wing halves and approximately along the spar line. The assembly manual makes no mention or reference to their purpose.
    The main gear assembly keys into the underside of the fuselage and is held in place with a plastic jam block. A second, similarly designed plastic gear-mounting piece is embedded in the fuselage a short distance aft of the one used to secure the main gear in place. Although at the initial announcement and introduction of the Husky nothing was mentioned about optional floats being available, the presence of the second gear-mounting block, and the pervasiveness and popularity of the full-scale Husky’s setup as a floatplane practically guarantees that a set will eventually be made available for this model.
    Arrows RC chose to bedeck the Husky with an authentic-looking Aviat Husky red, black, and white color scheme. It features a cool-looking “blacked out” upper cowling section, spinner, and propeller, and sports the trademark Aviat Husky dog’s head logo on both sides of the vertical stabilizer.

    From a small, four-cell 2,200 mAh LiPo battery pack up to a comparatively mighty 4,000 mAh pack—and perhaps even beyond—this model embraces four-cell battery packs in an impressively wide variety of capacities.

    The red, white, and black color scheme chosen by the factory is authentic Aviat Husky livery and features a cool-looking, blacked-out upper cowling, spinner, and propeller assembly.

    Flying

    Although the assembly manual modestly specifies a four-cell LiPo battery pack in the 2,200 to 2,600 mAh range, the Husky features an abundantly oversize battery bay that is sure to lure pilots into upsizing the battery packs that they use. Pilots can only truly benefit from the implied longer flight durations of such an oversize battery area if there is ample longitudinal dimension included to allow the imperative shifting of whatever battery is used, in order to maintain the proper recommended center of gravity. Arrows RC earns a well-deserved thumbs-up for equipping this model with plenty of room.
    When using battery packs on the lighter side of the recommended range, pilots will be pleased to find that it is possible to push these smaller packs all the way forward toward the firewall. Larger-capacity battery packs, from 2,600 to 4,000 mAh and perhaps even bigger, can be positioned rearward as needed. This model’s oversize battery bay is notable and impressive indeed!
    Although the “blacked out” paint scheme used on the upper cowling and spinner assembly contributes to a really cool color scheme, the unavoidable act of inserting and removing a battery will result in the black paint flaking off around the edges of the opening that is created when the hatch is removed. A few careful dabs with a chisel-tip black Sharpie is one way to help keep this Husky’s colors looking crisp and new.
    Takeoffs can be executed in either a slow, scalelike manner or in a rapid, more ballistic manner! Pilots who opt for the former and ease into the throttle with a little self-control will revel in the way that the Husky pivots up onto its main gear early in the takeoff roll. The icing on the cake with this style of departure is a rudder that is almost immediately effective, offering pilots ample rudder authority with which to hold the centerline of the runway until airborne.
    Pilots who prefer to allow their big dawg to run off leash can simply slam the throttle stick to the top and watch the Husky leap into the air in a few feet and climb skyward with a vengeance! Either takeoff option rewards pilots with a satisfying performance and appearance.
    Pilots can also experiment with satisfying STOL-style departures by deploying the large flaps. Mixing in 15% to 20% down-elevator limited the tendency for the nose to balloon with flaps deployed.
    In the air, the Husky possesses a versatile flight envelope. More astute pilots might notice that this model demonstrates a subtle proclivity toward the pitch-sensitive side of things. This is probably at least in part owing to the model’s large wing and somewhat short tail moment. This can be mitigated with a little extra exponential added in on the pitch axis in the radio transmitter programming. Keeping the elevator throws a bit more on the modest side will also help smooth things out.
    Roll rates at less than full throttle are slightly slow, even with full mechanical throws selected. Pilots will want to feed in a bit of compensatory elevator and rudder inputs to keep aileron rolls from getting too large. The slight dihedral of the Husky’s long wing manifests itself in a tendency to self-stabilize in the roll axis.
    Pilots will also need to use the rudder in order to keep the tail properly inline in the corners. This can either be done manually or by programming a mix on the radio transmitter. Although physically a larger model, the four-cell-based power system used in the Husky gives this model surprisingly strong vertical performance.
    Crazy-long flight durations are possible when using a larger-than-recommended 4,000 mAh LiPo battery! (Pilots might find that it is possible to go with even larger battery packs!) Pilots who pack a meaty-size battery pack into their Husky with the intent to slowly parade around the pattern with the flaps deployed while practicing arrivals and departures could find that their bladder will petition for a full-stop landing long before the battery demands one!
    While the hardness of the oversize tundra tires can make no-bounce landings on hard runways challenging, putting this Husky down in the grass or on other softer runway surfaces can make even inexperienced pilots look capable and proficient at their landings.

    Conclusion

    Although there are currently more than a few tundra tire-equipped, backcountry, STOL-capable models from which to choose, pilots who place a premium on models that possess real-world, full-scale counterparts will especially like what the Arrows RC Aviat Husky brings to the table.
    Its 1,800 mm wingspan gives the Husky the biggest bark of any model in the Arrows RC product lineup. With an oversize battery bay that can easily accommodate nearly any four-cell LiPo battery pack—from 2,200 mAh up to 4,000 mAh and beyond—pilots can assuredly achieve their personal perfect balance between in-flight performance and long flight durations.
    HobbyZone distributes the full lineup of Arrows RC airplanes in the US and faithfully offers pilots access to a full inventory of spare and replacement parts.

    Large-diameter tundra tires allow this backcountry-capable STOL utility airplane to be flown from a variety of less-than-perfect surfaces. A factory-installed lighting system includes two always-on bright white landing lights on the outer LE of each wing half and red and green non-strobing wingtip-mounted navigation lights.


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