Recently I’ve been consumed with unpowered flight. Not too long ago a “blowout deal” arrived to my inbox from GeneralHobby.com. It was for this 70 sized (60″) Sbach 342. At the time it was $149.99 plus shipping. Having wanted a Sbach for some time and the seemingly good deal I was ready to pull the trigger.
I have only heard good things about the manufacturer, Skyline-RC. They seem to work with the same models that are produced by Goldwing. A member of the club where I fly has a few of these models. He puts them through their paces and they have held up for some time. He even went on to say they’re just as good as an Aeroworks kit and that perhaps the only difference was in the quality of the hardware. I also found a thread or two on RCGroups, albeit a few years old, that gave good reviews.
Even though I wanted to do some research I knew that I was going to end up purchasing the plane. I ordered it and had it shipped UPS for roughly $10 more than USPS. The cost to ship it from California across the US was not cheap, $61. Everything arrived safe and sound, though.
Pulling the Sbach 342 Out of the Box
With no visible damage on the outside I figured that the contents had to be in good shape.
Upon opening the box I was greeted with a nicely packed ARF. Honestly, the only nitpicking thing I could say about the packing job is that I wish they would have double boxed on the exterior. The tail feathers and wings were very nicely wrapped in plastic and taped securely to the internal packaging. All the surfaces were taped down so they could bump around during transit. Kudos to the Skyline-RC guys for their extra work on packaging this model!
One of the first things I wanted to check was the wings. After seeing how nicely everything was packed my expectations for the kit doubled. Looking through the plastic wrap I couldn’t see any large amount of wrinkles. The covering felt nice and tight. Now, I live in a humid area so this may change over the course of a week or two but it was nice to see the quality on the covering straight from the box.
Getting a bit excited, I got the fuselage out next. The covering was again top notch. I just don’t know how they can crank out a model like this for $150!!!
Unfortunately, I was getting ready to head out of town when UPS dropped this off. I took only a quick peek through the rest of the kit. The hardware included looked to be very nice. No paper manual was included but a CD was taped to the top of the tail feathers which contained an electronic version. Looking through the boxes I quickly found the cowling and wheel pants. They were nicely covered in a layer of foam wrap.
If I could I’d buy another one of these just to horde away. Quality wise this is probably one of the best ARFs that I’ve seen. I thought the Aviator from Value Hobby was nice out of the box, but this one might take the title away!
I’ll be starting this build very soon. I want to see this thing in the air badly!