I've now had a chance to see and test virtually all the EasyStar clones out there, so this post will compare them all and make recommendations. There are a few others out there by different names, but I think most are just rebadged versions of the ones below. Bottom line: I think the HobbyKing Bixler (see below) is the best option.

 

 

First, the baseline: The classic Multiplex EasyStar ($72 for basic airframe, no electronics)

 

Pro: Lots of cockpit room, tough, flies well.

Con: Only 3 channels, comes with terrible brushed motor that must be upgraded, rudder too small and must be enlarged. Quite expensive once you add all the stuff you need. See our post on upgrading it here.

 

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HobbyKing Bixler

 

It's available as a kit, a RTF with a 4 channel radio, and an ARF without radio. I recommend the ARF version, which is just $52. Add a 20a ESC, battery (plus battery and motor connectors), a charger, a 7ch RC radio and the APM 2 autopilot and you've got a UAV for under $500.

 

Some of the advantages of the Bixler, compared to the EasyStar and the other clones:

  • Ailerons
  • Big cockpit area, with tail servos on the outside
  • Decent brushless motor
  • Available in ARF form with servos installed but not a useless radio that you have to throw away
  • Inexpensive

This is a comparison the Bixler cockpit (left) with the EasyStar (right). The Bixler has a bit more room.

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Dynam HawkSky ($99 with everything you need: servos, brushless motor, LiPo and charger). See our review here.

 

Pro: As much interior room as the EasyStar, has ailerons, comes ready to fly.

Con: Plastic motor pylon is noisy. Included FM RC system should be thrown away and replaced with proper 7+ channel digital radio.

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Xen Phoenix ($48 for airframe with brushless motor. Servos etc not included). See our review here.

 

Pro: Brushless motor and ailerons

Con: Fuselage is too narrow. Not enough room for autopilot electronics. Fragile. Weird four-bladed prop.

 

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Sky Surfer ($130 with everything you need: servos , brushless motor, LiPo and charger, 2.4 RC system)

 

Pro: Comes with digital RC system (only 4ch, however, so must be replaced for UAV use). Solid design w/ailerons

Con: Sadly, the design has changed and what appears in the product listing to be servos on the outside of the body, like the EasyStar and HawkSky, are now on the inside, taking up valuable interior room. Here's a picture of what the current cockpit is actually like:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AXN Floater ($50 with servos and brushless motor). Formerly known as the Cloud Sky

 

Pro: Inexpensive, solid design w/ailerons

Con: servos on inside of cockpit like SkySurfer, robbing interior of valuable room for electronics. Narrow nose makes 2200 LiPo a tight fit.

 

Views: 186455

Comment by Charlton Chutckhan on June 28, 2012 at 10:30am

Thanks. greatly appreciated.

Comment by Ben Lambers on July 6, 2012 at 4:20am

Looking forward to taking the plunge!  I have been interested in RC planes for a while, but not motivated enough to get started.  I just ordered the "starter" kit as recommended above.  Looking forward to exploring and learning more!

...saw the link actually sent me to a 9 channel controller - figured more is better and went ahead and pulled the trigger on that one.  Chris, not sure if you wanted to update the link to route to a 7-channel controller or update the recommendation to a 9-channel (?). 

Comment by Charles Peterson on September 21, 2012 at 8:39am

As there has been no updates to this post in the last 9 months, I would like to re-open and ask the question.

I am hoping to get an electric R/C flyer in the next couple of months and would appreciate any updated suggestions for a beginner regarding airframes and radios.  Electronics to be added at a future date.

 

Thanks in advance.

Comment by ECODRONES on September 21, 2012 at 10:32am

H!

I'm finishing build of the my Bixler (rev. 1). I go with motor B2835, 2200kv inrunner, and 6x4 or 6x5 prop. About ESC, a HK 40/45A will support these setup?

I have other KH 60A, but it's so huge!! Because, I thinking fix ESC central fuselage, foward motor.

Some pics:


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Thanks for any help.

Comment by Patrick Morrison on November 22, 2012 at 7:43am

Is there any change to the other parts for the bixler 2?

Comment by Acorn on March 20, 2013 at 5:13pm

I just purchased the Bixler 1400, Turnigy 9 CH Radio, and other accessories recomended by DIYDrones. Looking forward to flying it with my son. We'll add video after we have figured out the flying part of this hobby. Bought from HobbyKing. The only thing holding it up are the two T2200 Batteries that are on back order. Zzzzzzzzzzz

Comment by Oliver Giess on October 11, 2013 at 3:23am

IS there a similar summary for intro hexacopters/multirotor craft? Thanks in advanced :)

Comment by Oliver Giess on October 11, 2013 at 3:26am

PS for the Bixler are these still the recommended parts to purchase with it?

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