Comparing the little and the big NitroPlanes Predators

I've now had a chance to compare the old 63" Nitroplanes Predator with the new 98" Reaper, which is finally in stock. There's no comparison. Compared to the awesome Reaper model, the Predator is a toy. The new Reaper has a fiberglass and balsa/ply body, solid fittings and landing gear and about twice as much internal room. Very solid model and tremendous finish quality.

Here's another shot (I haven't assembled the Reaper's steerable nose gear yet)

Here's the cockpit view (I haven't put the servos in the Reaper yet, but you can get a sense of the size difference. Also note how much room there in the big canopy):

I haven't flown the Reaper yet, and my only concern is that it's very short-coupled (like all Predator models) and may be pretty twitchy in the pitch axis. But I sure feel more comfortable putting it in the air than I did with the little one, which had a bad habit of tip-stalling. I think the flaps on the Reaper are going to help a lot with solid landings.

I probably won't fly this until Sept, since it needs the servos and motor installed. But it's looking good so far!

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Comment by Gary Mortimer on August 21, 2010 at 11:42pm
Are you mixing flaps in or splitting those huge surfaces Chris?? The ailerons look enormous and perhaps too much if they are single piece. Keeping the speed up is still going to be needed methinks.

Comment by Brian on August 21, 2010 at 11:49pm
Out of stock! I'd like to know about flaps too. Hardly hear of anyone using them or flaperon configuration using ardupilot...
Comment by frederic reblewski on August 22, 2010 at 12:44am
on both top picture and side picture one can see that there are in fact 2 control surfaces of about equal size per wing. I am more surprised by the fact that the aileron tip is "far" from the wing tip inducing more drag for the same roll effect

Comment by Gary Mortimer on August 22, 2010 at 1:04am
Your right Frederic I did'nt spot that.
Comment by JOHN PIZZICARA on August 22, 2010 at 1:05am
Hi Chris,

Congrats on being one of the Lucky 100 and receiving one of the new Reapers! I'm commenting because I hope the reason your Predator is sitting on its tail skid is that the batteries are out of the nose or something similar. If not, the reason for its' being prone to tip stalling is the CG is too far back. If not, have you checked the wing loading (oz/ft2) or metric equivalent? If it is sitting there with full payload it should want to have the nosewheel on the ground. See the Zagi CG video on their website for more info about static balancing. The Reaper's beta test guy's video mentioned about having to move the CG forward, just FYI. He also mentioned that the nosewheel was a bear. I agree that the overall quality is great and the only thing that looks like it might need some modeling creativity is the camera turret!

Comment by Robert Krogh (hooks) on August 22, 2010 at 1:20am
Too bad we can't buy in EU..
Well it probably a matter of national security.. hehehe. So I gotta stick with my china model and again the Reaptor is probably also made in china.
Comment by Chris McNair on August 22, 2010 at 8:56am
cut the tail off and extend it!

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on August 22, 2010 at 10:05am

Yes, the Predator doesn't have its battery in. Don't worry, I know how to set a CG--I'm not a total n00b!
Comment by JOHN PIZZICARA on August 22, 2010 at 10:42am
Hi Chris,

Better safe than sorry, my appologies!!
Comment by ken wood on August 22, 2010 at 11:52am
I am a n00b, but a lucky one: I too just received my MQ-9 on back order since June. It looks awesome and intimidating as it is my first ever RC ARF. I will go very slow on this build and I will be sending spies to look over Chris's expert shoulders.


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