Oxalys – Part Three

So, with introductions and assembly covered in Parts One and Two of this review, it's now time to think about heading to the flying field. The Sunday morning sunshine that streamed through the curtains hinted at flyable conditions, and flyable it certainly was. I initially opted for a hand launch as our grass strip was a little soft due to the earlier wet weather. There seemed plenty of urge from the motor so the Oxalys was sent on her way by 'letting go' rather than being pushed. Sure enough she climbed away without any problem, feeling very stable from the outset. I couldn't resist an early dabble to see how she’d respond, so endulged in a quick roll left and then right on low rate; very axial. Suitably impressed I climbed to altitude to check the stall, which proved to be non-existent; the model just 'porpoised' with full aileron control still available. Adding a touch of rudder with the aircraft in this attitude did induce a spin, which stopped immediately upon centering the sticks.

Right. So far, so good. Time to really test the Oxalys' pedigree, with a full aerobatic schedule. Still on low rates, it will perform any manoeuvre the pilot is capable of. One-roll rolling loops and circuits are very tidy, and standard manoeuvres like four-point rolls (both directions), Cuban eights, Lomcevaks etc. are very precise. I was surprised how easy it is to knife-edge this little masterpiece, and how minimal the amount of rudder required. The model's performance in this manoeuvre is no doubt aided by the 'turbulator ' mounted on top of the fuselage, which acts as a second wing that smooths the air over the rudder, making it more effective. With this in mind it was time to flick the switch and explore the 3D envelope.

First manoeuvre was the Harrier; with full up elevator applied the Oxalys just sat there, crawling along without a hint of wing rock (the C of G position is as per the instructions, which is spot-on in my opinion). Next came the inverted Harrier, which the model performed in the same faultless manner. Waterfalls and Blenders were great fun, the effectiveness of the rudder really flattening the spin quickly and effectively. Slowly spinning to earth I popped the nose up into a prop-hang, but after around 5 seconds the motor started to drop out slightly and couldn't hold the hover. Still, this brief encounter was enough to confirm the stability in this manoeuvre.

After around 12 minutes the battery showed signs of power drop so I decided to bring her in for a recharge. The landing was truly a non-event; this model just floats in with no fuss at all. Back at home after giving some thought to that power drop during the prop-hang I decided to try a more powerful motor, so I removed the PJS 550 in favour of a Dual Sky brushless glow class 10, fitted with the same APC 10 x 7". The power is now totally different. I've had about 10 flights with this new motor and the Oxalys will now prop-hang on quarter throttle with plenty in reserve. I've experimented with the C of G and different control throws but to be honest the data suggested in the instructions suits the model perfectly.

ALL-ROUNDER
What a great little model. CPLR have certainly hit the 'sweet spot' with this one. It's a great all-rounder that can put some larger models to shame in terms of performance, yet is equally happy as an everyday sportster. Ideal for that after-work summer evening session. Just to underpin what I've already said about the model’s superb performance, I've also flown a full FAI F3A schedule with it, and as a result it's become one of my practice aircraft. Enough said!

X