Horizon Hobby HobbyZone AeroScout S 1.1m RTF


Written by Kyle Jaracz Form follows function, which equals fun! As seen in the Winter 2020 issue of Park Pilot

SPECIFICATIONS:

Type: Trainer Skill level: Beginner Wingspan: 43.1 inches Length: 34.25 inches Ready-to-fly weight: 27.8 to 29.5 ounces Price: $199.99 Info: horizonhobby.com

Features:

  • 100% complete including a Spektrum DXe controller/transmitter, battery, and charger
  • Beginner, Intermediate, and Experienced flight modes
  • Panic Recovery function

Here’s what is included in the box. You’ll have it put together before the battery is done charging, so take your time and read the manual, which will set you up for success.

>> I’m a bit snobbish when it comes to the look of an aircraft. Sometimes my love of scale aircraft, with their classic lines and instantaneous nostalgia, draw me in more than the models’ flight characteristics and capabilities. As such, when I first encountered the Horizon Hobby AeroScout during the evening flying at EAA’s AirVenture (eaa.org/en/airventure) in 2019, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic to give it a chance … boy was I selling this trainer short. Before I get into the model’s flight characteristics and why I believe it is a perfect fit for new pilots, let me start with the build process. Horizon Hobby knows a thing or three about how a model aircraft should go together, and the company has created a simple process to get this out of the box and into the air. The included manual is informative and easy to understand. There’s even a single-sheet guide to quickly put together the airframe for those who might be unable to contain their excitement and want to assemble it as quickly as possible. I had it assembled in less than 15 minutes. No glue is required, and the only time you will need the included screwdriver is when you affix the nose gear using a single screw. I added a drop of blue Loctite threadlocker to the front gear screw to keep it from working loose.

The AeroScout comes with everything you need to successfully navigate the sky.


The binding process to pair the included DXe transmitter is outlined in the manual. You’ll have access to the powerful SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology by utilizing the top left switch. You can easily move from Beginner, to Intermediate, then Experienced mode. By doing so, you can safely and effectively advance your skillset while always having a safety net in place via the Panic Recovery button. If you get disoriented in any of the modes and press that button, the aircraft will attempt to return to neutral level flight. You can also link the radio to many other Spektrum transmitters as a buddy-box system so another pilot can learn to fly while having an experienced instructor available to take some of the pressure off. After you’ve read the manual, charged the included battery, confirmed the CG (center of gravity), and bound the radio, you can begin your first flight. You shouldn’t need to worry too much about breaking a propeller because the pusher configuration protects it. The aircraft’s large tires accommodate a range of field conditions.

The battery compartment is roomy, but remember to check your CG and ensure that the control horns and canopy latch are unimpeded.


I’ve heard that some pilots have had good results with the AeroScout in a belly-landing configuration to save a bit of weight or if they have tall grass with which to contend. If you do so, you should protect the bottom of the aircraft by adding a piece of polystyrene, or at the very least, covering the front servo with something to protect it during nose-forward landings. I also recommend that you reconfirm your CG after such a landing. I chose to use the landing gear on mine. Be cognizant of where you place the battery pack and avoid any potential interference with the servos at the aft side of the tray and the canopy latch at the front of the airframe. With the “always on” AS3X technology contained in this aircraft, I’ve found the CG to be fairly forgiving. This allows you to utilize a broad range of battery packs. For beginners, the included 3S 2,200 mAh LiPo will do just fine and enable you to learn at a slower pace. Ground handling is smooth, and there is enough control throw to taxi easily and effectively. Rollout under power was great, and before 20 feet had gone by, I was in the air. Flying with SAFE technology is as you’d expect. The controls are smooth, and this aircraft is surprisingly responsive! This is aided in part by the motor’s pusher configuration. This allows greater direct airflow over the control surfaces, which equals greater control. This airplane does a great job of gliding. Be prepared to make a few go-arounds when learning to set up your landings. I changed to Intermediate mode and was pleased with the results. I recommend doing most of your learning using this mode because it allows you to develop the corrective actions of self-leveling your aircraft after banking or pitching. When you’ve mastered this, you can move to the Experienced mode, knowing that if you become disoriented, you can hit the panic button. When set at Experienced mode, I was able to perform loops, rolls, and inverted flight, but even in high rates, I didn’t have quite enough control to feel comfortable flying inverted. As you progress, you can add a bit of control to these surfaces by adjusting the servo linkages. I highly recommend this aircraft to be used as a first trainer to intermediate flier. Once you get past the aesthetics, you’ll realize the beauty that the AeroScout holds by doing what it’s supposed to do very well! The form follows function on this aircraft and as a trainer, it’s one that I now recommend across the board. In fact, I had two of them under the Christmas tree for my boys!

Flights are smooth, and the aircraft’s response to inputs is snappy. This trainer flies great!


Written by Kyle Jaracz | kylej@modelaircraft.org
 

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3 comments

Great plane !! I own 3 of them, i removed the stickers and painted each one differently.
I painted one a flat gray and put German stickers on it and now it’s a German drone !!
I put a few machine guns on the wings. The other one is a Japanese drone and the 3rd one is a British drone !! Once again great plane !!

I second this article. This trainer may look frumpy but it flies very well, I have a PNP version with my own 6 ch radio/receiver , my radio has dual rates and expo. I am an advanced beginner and I have no problems flying this plane, take offs and landings on a grass field are no problem . Great beginner plane.

All of the above. Taught my friend to fly this winter with the Scout - I highly recommend it. He owns a 1:1 Cessna 172XP and has 1500+ hours - sometimes those guys can be harder to teach good habits and break bad ones - Not in this case at all! We considered Apprentice vs Aero Scout at great length - I struggled with the looks of this land-born amalgamation of an old 1944 Seabee (in fact rumor has it one can remove the gear, add a couple of sponsons, and head for the lake). We gave the Scout the nod based on:

Price - $199 out the door ( you also will want a spare battery and a better $42 charger - we went with a couple of new Hi-tec minis, which seem to be a good choice)
Spare batteries are very reasonably priced
Plane reduces back down to the original box for an RV traveler with limited space
Pusher prop = fewer damaged props and SAFER with the occasional unplanned foray back into the pits or out into the weeds. We've replaced only one prop in hundreds of landings so far
More robust landing gear = better ground handling and less damage from those nose-first "wheel barrow" landings.
Must be some good carbon in that skinny tail-section of the fuse because it stands up to quite a bit of abuse - I've seen quite a few broken fuse tail sections on the Apprentice
Better ground handling in cross-winds
Seems easier to land on "main gear first" compared to the Apprentice
After initial few flights, mid-range SAFE mode is a great flight mode to progress with
Not sure of the advantages of the full-flying "stabilator" elevator, but it works just fine

It is a bit "floaty", but we are thinking of trying "flaperons" on his new DX6 Tx - not sure if SAFE will let us do that?

There was obviously a LOT of thought went into this bird - it is NOT just a cheap knock-off. Overall, it "do be an ugly bird" (keep thinking Classic Seabee), but it has a utilitarian beauty in so many ways.....Try it, You'll like it....I figure to add one to the hangar for buddy-boxing "interested walk-o newcomers" at the field.

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