You’ve been searching for the best RC plane for beginners that’s incredibly easy to fly, then take a look at the Duet HBZ5300 by HobbyZone. For the price, you’ll get everything you need to fly, including four double A batteries for the controller. Priced affordable and easy to handle, flying the Duet is truly a joy.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a pro quality plane, so you’ll need to have realistic expectations in terms of what this plane can do in the air. Hobbyzone is a popular company that produces both low and higher priced models, so we decided to dig a little deeper and see what they had to offer with the new Duet.
Duet RC Plane Overview and Features
The first thing we noticed when we took this plane out for a test spin was the fact that it’s almost impossible to stall and overbank this plane. There are no ailerons, so turning the plane is accomplished by differential thrust. This means that you’ll only have to worry about a few channels instead of four. Even though it doesn’t come with ailerons, this plane is still able to turn well. This model doesn’t like to stall. Just by giving it a little more thrust, the plane forgets that it was just about to nose over. The three channels will allow users to have full control of throttle, steering, and climb.
The flight time for this plane is around four to eight minutes, depending on how fast you fly. The flight time is decent considering the plane runs on a 150 MAH lithium battery. One thing that’s annoying is having to charge the controller. To remedy this issue just buy a USB charger and you won’t have to worry about draining the controller’s batteries.
The plane’s battery is attached with Velcro under the nose. While it may not sound like a secure spot to place the battery, we didn’t experience any problems with it falling out during use.
We were also really impressed with how quiet the motors are. At a good cruising speed, around forty percent power, you can still barely hear the motors. At around sixty to a hundred percent, they do begin to vibrate a little.
The biggest difference between the Duet and other models in this price range is the Duet features an extra channel which controls the elevator, providing the flier with the ability to easily get out of stalls or do loops. Basically, it gives you a lot more control during flight.
The controller features trim tabs to adjust the turning and elevator. You’ll have to put a lot of down elevator trim when you first fly the plane in order to prevent it from stalling and nosing up.
On the left wing, you’ll find a couple of dark stripes located on the bottom that is designed to help with orientation. It really helps if you fly in the middle of a large field and test out the Duet until you’ve become more acquainted with the controls.
At around thirty to forty percent throttle, the plane will cruise nice and level and can fly at a comfortable eight to ten miles per hour. The plane does get tossed around a bit on windy days so try flying early in the evening or morning when there’s little to no wind.
Duet Pros and Cons
Pros: For the price, the build quality is much better than we expected. Additionally, because of the price, you can expect to get the same type of flight performance that you would with an RC plane that costs a few hundred dollars. This plane was built to fly slow and have fun with.
The plane’s lightweight frame puts less stress on the structure, which results in less damage. However, we do recommend flying over grass, especially if you’re totally new to flying. If you end up crashing on asphalt or dirt, the Duet isn’t going to last long. However, the plane can easily handle light crashes on grass.
The front landing gear is very easy to remove and since you’ll mainly be flying over grass, you should just take it off.
Doing loops with this plane will take some practice. The propellers are pretty small and because of this, they’re not going to be able to do a loop easily. You’ll first need to get your speed up and gain some altitude, then you can nose dive with some power. Once you see the plane start to pick up speed then you can pull up quickly and perform a loop. If you maintain speed during the loops, the plane will continue to do them.
Take off with this plane is pretty simple, just make sure you’re using at least seventy-five percent power when you’re climbing. Once the nose starts to get too high, apply some down elevator and the plane will climb nice and level. Be sure to gently use the elevator controls. The controls get more responsive the faster the plane goes, so make sure you don’t yank down on the elevator when the plane is close to the ground.
Cons: While the plane can land and take off with the wheels on, don’t expect it to steer well while on the ground. The wheels are made from a dense foam and only spin. One flier mentioned that the plane’s vertical tail needed a little tape in order to prevent it from flying off. We don’t recommend using glue because it could damage the foam material.
Hobbyzone RC Plane Conclusion and Rating
The Duet by Hobbyzone is a lower priced RC plane that’s fun to fly but can be challenging to use on windy days. It doesn’t have the type of power you’ll find in a professional pricey model, but it does fly well under the right conditions. For the price, this is an excellent deal and it’s a great option for the beginner. Consumers who purchased this model gave it a rating of four out of five stars for ease of use, battery life, handling, and overall quality, and that makes it one of the best RC planes for beginners.