I do enjoy watching the French performing slow and low slope aerobatics with large gliders. With this in mind I've been looking for a glider to help me learn and perhaps one day fly like the French. My 3D Traceur is a little too small, light and twitchy. The P2000 is close but not quite aerobatic enough and modified P6 isn't a million miles away either. I'm not a good enough pilot to try these manoeuvres with the Hammer just yet. I have tried and have paid the consequences! And the Mefisto is still sadly out of action waiting for a new wing.
When I came across the new Hacker XL Vagabond it looked just like the glider I had been looking for. Large 2m wing, Epp bouncyness and relatively light.
So here's what you get and what unfortunately you don't get.
The manufacturing of the parts is really impressive along with the art work and lam covered aerofoils. The fuse is left naked which for the cost is a little surprising as these kits aren't cheap.
Once you have read the instructions you soon be aware of two glitches. The kit doesn't include servo extension cables or the parts for the +/- 90 degree pulley controlled tailplane. This came as a bit of a shock as Hacker make no mention that additional cables are required and actively promote and photograph the pulley powered tailplane.
The first job is to make long shallow cuts into and along the fuse, then to push in and glue 5 lengths of reinforcing carbon fibre rod. As I didn't have any foam friendly CA glue I used the hot glue gun.
Then you start to assemble the all moving tailplane. A little care needs to be taken just to ensure you fit the control horn on the right side. At this point I fitted the rest of the control horns, again being careful as there is a pair for the ailerons and a slightly different shaped horn for the rudder.
Following the fitting of the tailplane and rudder it's a case of gluing in the servo tray and centre wing bulkhead plus some minor ancillaries. After which it's just a case of fitting the servo's and control rods. However, you will require a little patience to fit the supplied clevis's as the parts are pretty small (You have been warned)!
After 5 hours the XL vagabond is ready for the slopes. I only wish I had ordered the 4.8V flat pack batteries a week ago!!