[Review] Vagabond XL from Hacker Model
One year after releasing the successful VTPR EPP glider Vagabond, Hacker Model decided to create a revisited and larger version with a wingspan of 2 meters. When I saw first the specs, I told to myself, will this version still be a VTPR plane (Voltige très près du relief), which means "aerobatic maneuvers very near the ground")? What is the benefit is a larger wingspan? This is what I propose to discover in this review.
What is different?
Google photos album: Kit Overview
A quick assembly ...
On the tail, this time, I have been lazy and just glued the 2 halves together without making it removable. It is carefully glued together on a perfectly flat table with the center part, the control horn in place. Once finished, the tail is fixed on the fuselage with Cyano, then the fin.
The elevator servo is a digital 9gr and metal gear in order to provide speed and accuracy. The control rod is made from a piano wire. I glued the servo in place with cyano. The elevator servo mount would have been better secured I think with a small servo tray.
At the opposite of the Vagabond, the XL accommodates itself very well with a 4 cells 2000mAh Eneloop battery which will give you plenty of flying time!
Final weight is at 830 grs, which is a bit above the indicated weight, but still light for this plane.
Flying the Vagabond XL
End of the summer and fall has been pretty nice for flying in the French Alps so I could fly it often, and compare it with the standard version of the Vagabond.
In light conditions, the Vagabond XL shows better capabilities than his small brother, but compared to the SKG Swift from the same manufacturer, we can say that it is still not a marginal-lift flyer.
It performs best in vertical lift and light to medium breeze when it can chain all manoeuvers easily, carve along the slope edge, and fly inverted for ages. Wings are not bending thanks to the spar.
Vertical manoeuvers have a bit more amplitude. Knife edge flight is better and easier thanks to the larger lateral area of the fuselage. The flip is still not possible, the tail movement being limited by the servo maximum rotation.
Overall, I would say that the Vagabond XL has a larger flying envelop than the standard version, but at the opposite is a bit less VTPR or in other words “in-your-face” flying. This said, finally, I prefer the XL version over the standard Vagabond.
Google photos album: Flying the Vagabond XL
Finally, Hacker didn’t replace the Vagabond, but added a new plane to its product range, with little differences in term of flying performance. The kit quality is without any surprise. I only regret that the tail is not removable and that there is no pulley. Now it remains that this Vagabond XL is still very addictive and delivers tons of fun and pleasure. I often like to land my F3F competition planes to fly the Vagabond and “relax” …
- Wingspan 2010mm
- Lenght: 990mm
- Weight: 830gr
- manufacturer: Hacker Model
- Price: from 150 euros
My Settings :
- CG: 100mm (92 to 100mm)
- Ailerons : 40 mm up, 30 mm down
- Rudder : + / - 60 mm
- Elevator : + / - 70 mm (Exponential mandatory)
Again, better than 1000 words, here are 2 videos filmed this autumn that will give you a good and unbiased idea of its flying capabilities.