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Written and video by Tom Sullivan.
Fly all day for less than the cost of a premium cup of coffee
Read the full article in the July 2013 issue of Model Aviation and the app.




SPECIFICATIONS

Model type: Sport ARF
Skill level: Intermediate builder; beginner/intermediate pilot
Wingspan: 69 inches
Wing area: 880 square inches
Airfoil: Semisymmetrical
Length: 55.5 inches
Weight: 7-8 pounds
Power system: 10cc gas, .52-.61 two-stroke or .62-.72 four-stroke glow, .46 electric
Radio: Five-channel minimum
Street price: $229.99

Test-Model Details

Engine used: Evolution 10GX (10cc gasoline)
Propeller: Evolution 13 x 6
Radio system: Spektrum DX18 transmitter, Spektrum AR7010 receiver, seven Spektrum A6060 digital servos, four-cell 1200mAh NiMH receiver battery, and a five-cell 2100 mAh NiMH ignition battery
Ready-to-fly weight: 8 pounds
Flight duration: 15-20 minutes

Pluses:

• Laser-cut balsa and plywood used for construction.
• Includes tank, wheels, all control hardware, and plastic spinner.
• Tricycle gear for easy taxiing.
• Plug-in wing halves for easy transportation.
• Motor box and battery tray included if you decide to power via electric.
• Canopy doubles as a large hatch for quick access to radio and batteries.
• Wonderfully stable in the air, yet capable of mild aerobatics.
• The included flaps are effective.

Minuses:

• Included fuel line wasn’t long enough to cut to the lengths mentioned in the manual.
• Five ounces of nose weight were needed to correctly balance.

Video






In the air, the Meridian makes a great trainer at low speeds, and a competent aerobat at higher speeds. Its stability can give you confidence to attempt maneuvers that you think are out of your skill set.






Whether you choose to use flaps or not, there are no surprises in landing the Meridian. I recommend using the flaps, because I’ve had a great time with steep and slow, stall-free approaches.






Out of the box, you’ll find that the Meridian is built from laser-cut plywood and balsa. The airframe is covered with UltraCote in this eye-catching red, white, and black color scheme.






To keep the nose gear’s wheel pant firmly attached to the strut, I added two pieces of plywood inside the pant.






After the canopy/hatch is removed, you will see a large opening that provides easy access for all the radio, batteries, switches, and the fuel tank.






This cockpit detail comes as you see it from the factory, including the pilot. It’s a nice touch and makes the Meridian slightly realistic.






The prepainted fiberglass cowl requires trimming to fit around the engine. Take your time because if you cut too much off, you can’t put it back!



Read the full article in the July 2013 issue of Model Aviation magazine and app.

—Tom Sullivan
tmsullivan@roadrunner.com





3 comments

appears that the 15gx would be a better install than the 10gx if your going to go with gas instead of glow

I found a number of poor design features with this model, not least the fact that so much additional nose weight is required to make it balance where it should. Bearing in mind that it was designed around the Evolution 10cc petrol engine, you'd hope when usung the stock set-up the thing would balance. The installed pilot figure doesn't exactly help either, being very heavy and well aft of the CG. The nosewheel steering pushrod is poorly thought out - much too long and if installed as shown, with the clevis at the front, it is impossible to adjust the position of the nosewheel relative to the rudder, with the engine cowl in place. Also, the clevis can get caught-up where it passes through the bulkhead. These problems are overcome by reversing the pushrod, putting the clevis at the servo end - but why not use a seperate servo for the steering, a much better solution. The way the canopy is attached leaves a large gap between it and the front firewall. OK, it is covered by the engine cowl but what a stupid design... Then there is the wing attachment. Most models with two piece wings use one or two thumbscrew type bolts either side of the fuselage, that screw into the wing and securely pull the wing towards the fuselage and thus securely on to the joining tube and locating dowels. The Meridian however, has two tiny M3 machine screws that go down vertically into the bottom of the fuselage through tongues that are fixed to the wings and slide into the fuselage. Not only is this method extremely fiddly, with the screws being so small and awkwardly placed, but they provide no tension whatever in drawing the wing inward. Who designed that system?? I could go on... No, this is not a good design - I only hope it flys well.

The Meridian as many flaws, by far the worst is the gross tail heavy design.
Mine is built just as stated in the manual, I'm using JR 821 dig servos, Both battery packs
located under the fuel tank, True Turn Spinner. Finished weight is 8# 4 oz.
Weight required to balance @ 3.3" 11 oz, (insane) total weight is 8# 15oz, add fuel and your over 9#. Hanger 9 states the plane is 7-8 pounds ...... a False Statement.
And yes, CG was checked inverted.
Not going to bother listing the other issues, just don't buy this plane ! ! !
I will remove all of the components I installed on this plane and cast it aside,
I will never purchase another H9 product !

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