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Old 01-05-2004, 02:16 PM   #1
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Hello All:

What's the latest on VMAR kits, specifically, quality? A couple of years back I purchased a VMAR .60 size Beaver and was less than impressed with the workmanship. The price was good, but attension to detail and material (balsa and ply) quality left a lot to be desired. I suppose you get what you pay for. Anyway, recently one of the R/C mags completed a review of VMAR's version of the Edge. I noted that the reviewer was very careful not to mention quality, but keyed in on completeness of kit, looks, price and and flying characteristics. Has VMAR improved the quality of their kits? Feedback appreciated.

Peter Merkel
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Old 01-05-2004, 04:59 PM   #2
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I have no idea, but the VCA glue that is sold by the same distributor was concrete hard within weeks and the answer was "we have different quality of CA's available. If you want something that lasts more than a few weeks you'll have to pay us more. Sorry. no refunds!"

Buy whatever product you would like from that distributor.

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Old 01-05-2004, 05:05 PM   #3
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Ya get's what ya pays fer!
After l watched a VMAR arf's wings fold up with very
little stress exerted no thanks. IMO
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Old 01-05-2004, 07:43 PM   #4
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Chris Rebidoux
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Old 01-05-2004, 09:01 PM   #5
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I had the vmar ramrod as my second plane and I quite enjoyed it, until it did a little nose dive, but that was my fault, not the planes.
MAAC #63500
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Old 01-05-2004, 09:30 PM   #6
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I was thinking of buying a Vmar plane a year or so ago, and the store owner actually talked me OUT of it, as he said I was not going to be happy... it was over the phone, and he lost the sale saying he knew what I was after (a well built plane) and allthough he carried them, he wasnt too keen on them.

That may have changed in the last 1 1/2 years, but personally I would want to see one before I buy it, ie, not mail order.

There are so many excellent companies now producing ARF's why buy one that is not going to stand up?
Andrew Coholic -MAAC #26287L

1/2A to giant scale, IMAC, SAM, R/C sport, turbine jets, Heli's...
if its got a wing or two and an engine - I like it!
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Old 01-05-2004, 10:47 PM   #7
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I've personally flown these VMAR arfs at our club in Toronto this season; Apache, Discovery, Beaver, Challenger, V-STIK. I've seen others fly the Chipmunk and T-34. They were all very pretty but most were dogs except for the trainers. Even they became a handful after a few repairs. Every single one of those arfs is gone now and the owners swore they would never buy another. Aside from that, the VMAR display at this years hobby show was truly spectacular.
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Old 01-06-2004, 03:00 AM   #8
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I'll personally will never own one.I'm a instructor at our field,and it seams that all most every beginner with one of these arfs will be sent home the first and second time because the plane needs this and that done ,flying control wires are to thin and sloppy .They don't know to check all the glue joints they can see,and so on.I'm glad that they come out and are learning to fly and not trying to do it on their own.The members at our club are very helpful to the new folk learning the hobby. I know time is a tuff thing to find time these days but I firmly belive that some one new into the hobby should try to a least build their first plane from a quality kit , they learn a lot and when your at the field telling them that this needs to be done they have a better under standing.Any one thinking of buying a arf trainer and learing to fly,should at the same time buy a second step plane(easy building) and build that as you learn to fly .It will help also help you when you have to repair your plane.And you will have to do some repair work.
Back to the question. This is just my 2 cents .Vmar 's wood quality is not great, the gluing isn't the best,covering sucks,and control rods are just bad.Also I think hobby stores that sell them should inform them on all the things that are weak on them and to fix them before they fly them.Arfs have come a long way,but vmar still has to put a little more quality in their planes.Remember this is what I've exsperenced at the field I fly at.We train the students that have vmar trainers but we make sure that the plane is safe and show him/her the potential problems and weakness's of those planes before they go up.This is my view on vmar.
Not a fan.

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Old 01-06-2004, 07:30 AM   #9
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About 6 months ago a friend and I took a nearly new VMAR Harvard and did a little kit bashing (converting it to a A6M Zero ). After stripping the film covering (which really isn't film covering, more like one big pre-printed sticker) we got a close up and personal look at a VMAR's "unique" construction. The "balsa" appeared to be cut from end grain. It didn't even look like balsa. More like some kind of milky white balsa/foam hybrid material with the structural properties of a dead leaf. No CA or epoxy I had in my collection would bond with this stuff properly no matter what we tried (like trying to glue fuel soaked wood only it wasn't). The ply wasn't too bad except for the fact that it had the same mystery anti-adhesion problem as the "balsa". The plane overall looked like it had been assembled with a hot glue gun by someone with a trembling hand. I honestly think that the "covering" was the only thing that held the whole works together. The other chief complaint I had was that it was really heavy. If a plane this size is going to weigh as much as a cinder block, it should at least have the crash survivability of one. This thing would fall apart if you walked into the room too fast. I will give it this - it was built straight at least. But, that alone wouldn't make me get one.

I'm going to take a shot in the dark on this one and suggest that the fellow who reviewed the Edge in the magazine was taught well by his parents that if one hasn't anything nice to say, it's best to say nothing at all and that this is why quality wasn't mentioned in the article. Not to mention those double page glossy ads that VMAR runs probably help pay his salary.
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If you don't have time to do it right this time, how are you going to have time to do it again?
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Old 01-06-2004, 07:40 AM   #10
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If you ask me, I think the magazines that are reviewing ARF's should disect them after the flight testing is done. The more constructive critisism, the faster they will improve.
Typically, a design fault is discovered only after several airplanes have crashed because of the fault.

Ron Mattiuz

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"Flying an airplane is just like riding a bike...except it's harder to put cards in the spokes"
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