|Reach For The Stars Wiht the Orion!|
In 2001, I purchased what I thought would be the ideal light wind floater, for slope soaring on reasonably calm days. I won't name the ARTF model in question, but for what it was, I thought it was quite dear. The wings were so out of balance, that 5g of lead was needed on one tip!
To cut a short story, shorter. The model was dumped after a few flights, because it was so poor.
I started looking around again for something to replace it. Then, I was in my local model shop one day, when the Westwings Orion kit caught my eye.
The Orion is a 59 1/2" span, traditionally-built light wind soarer. The construction is all built up from very good quality Balsa and Liteply. The only gripe I have here, where that both the Liteply fuselage sides were badly warped in the box. Other than that, the fuselage went together with ease, and was completed within two days. Light mods were made to correct the warping.
The only items I discarded from the kit, where the two plastic "Snakes", and plastic clevises. I, in turn used 22swg wire and plastic sleeving for the pushrods instead.
The wings were a peach to build. Having never built a "built-up" model before, I was deeply concerned about cocking these up. But with a bit of time and patience, all three wing panels came out warp-free! The tailplane and fin are also built-up, and presented no problems. The elevator is a nice size, and responsive. The rudder on the other hand, does lack in size, and lacks control authority.
The radio gear used, are two JP Naro micro servos, a GWS-4N 4 channel micro Rx, and a SuperRonik 600mAh, 2/3AA Ni-Mh battery pack.
The covering is Solarfilm, to which I thought these colours would make a change from Red, White or Blue ??. The Orion doesn't come with any kind of sticker, so I designed one myself on my PC, and made it out of "day-glo" yellow Solartrim.
The Orion makes the ideal first slope / thermal model, as she is so stable in flight. She's not aerobatic, but I do tend to throw her around as much as she'll let me! Thermal soaring is almost too easy as the models light all-up weight is a real bonus. This model will stay up in virtually nothing, as I have flown her in little more than 4mph. But at the other end, she's happy to fly in anything up to 15mph !.
She's been flying for just over a year now, and is still giving very good service.
All in all, this is a very pleasing, and underrated model.
The West Wing Orion is available from:
mention 'Flying Sites' when contacting