First off, I must admit we were a little hesitant to order from Banana Hobby considering all of the bad reviews and horror stories out there on the internet regarding them, but we decided to go ahead and still place the order.
ORDER / SHIPPING:
The order process was a little sketchy. The first couple of times we tried to place the order that evening, whether direct payment through their site or payment via Paypal, we continued to get some nondescript error and couldn’t order. After waiting a few hours, we tried again and were easily able to place the order and pay via Paypal.
It took a few days for shipping status and order confirmation to show up on their site as well as for the package to ship. However, after updating the shipping and tracking info on their site, the package arrived safely 5 days later. All said and done it took about 1 week from ordering to receiving.
The assembly process I assumed would be relatively easy considering their site says it’s 90% complete, and it was. As you can see from the picture on the left, there are very few pieces remaining to be put together – even almost all of the decals were put on (not the best application of them, but not bad either). The plane came with the receiver, ESC and servos installed on the necessary parts.
What remained for assembly was basically: The wings (inserting the wing rods through the fuselage, plugging in the servo / light connectors for the wings to the fuselage and then screwing in the one screw for each wing and connecting the wing struts to the fuselage.), tail / rudder (which required some A/B glue and some patience), wheels ( just pop them in place), propeller assembly (slide the couple pieces on the prop shaft and tighten the nut).
Problems: The first problem I ran into was that one of the two A/B glue compounds had dried out almost entirely. I was able to cut a slit into the bottom of the tube and get out just enough to complete the project. Personally I wouldn’t hold this against Banana Hobby as I have see this happen with MANY companies when you order things like this. Problem number two was that the directions said to install a screw into each end of the wing struts so as to hold them into place. The wing strut material is not very cooperative to installing a screw without a guide hole to get started. I would recommend a quick turn of a fine, sharp drill bit to get the holes started and then install the screws. Problem three was the battery cover had a small cracked. Not a big deal when it comes to functionality, but for $200 – I expect better. Problem number four was a simple one and common with RTF planes, the radio and receiver were not bound together. The information for binding in the directions sucked but here is a great video for binding instruction for quite a few radios by Pete of BH. The last problem was that the guide tube for the rudder push rod was loose and not attached in the fuselage on the end near the servo. A little bit of glue and some tape and all better.
In summary, I would say the only real issue that I considered a let down was the small crack in the battery cover so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this plane, or Banana Hobby to my friends. I will be posting a flight review of this plane in the coming weeks so check back.