|Scream Around The Skies With The Valenta Halloween.|
Having flown a number of small models since starting flying again in 2000, I decided it was time for something a bit bigger! I first saw the Halloween at the BARCS Soaring Market in December 2002, and was impressed with the size and shape of it. After a few emails to GoGliding, a trip up to Lincoln was made to pick my model up in February 2003.
what do you get?
The fuselage is well made, and the moulding line isnt too prominent. The fuz is reinforced almost all its length with Kevlar, which is really helpful on such a large flexible moulding. The only point I need to raise about the fuz, is where the wing locating lip, slots into the fuz.
The actual glass cloth used in the overall construction, is very thin. Where the lip slots into the fuz is probably the weakest point on the model, and no attempt has been made by the manufacturer to beef up this area.
Knowing that the wing will want to twist on landing, I knew it wouldnt take long before this area split under shock loading. Before any form of assembly was started, I reinforced the entire area with 2 wide Carbon cloth and copious amounts of epoxy. Although the Carbon cloth should be OK for the job, I recommend that two layers of Kevlar in the same place, would make it bullet-proof. Here the front and rear shots give you an idea of the carbon reinforcement I added.
The supplied fittings are reasonable, although it doesnt take too much force to prise the balljoints apart.
The wings required very little work. Exit holes were drilled at the root, so the 4 servo wires could be pushed through. All four servo wells were reinforced with a patch of Kevlar and epoxy, to help eliminate any skin flexing once the servos are installed. All four servos are held in place, using the masking tape / superglue method.
The fuselage preparation was very simple, although I discarded the supplied servo tray, opting to mount the elevator servos on a removable plate instead. The first photo here (left), shows the servo mounts, whilst the second photo (right) shows the Kevlar cloth inside the fuselage.
As this model is Full-House, youll need at least 7-channels for all functions.
The radio installation comprises of 2 x Hitec HS-85MGs for the elevators, 4 x Hitec HS-125MGs located in the wings, 1 x Futaba R147F Rx, and a Model Power 1600mAh, 6v Ni-Mh battery pack.
Your choice of wing servo is critical, as these wings have a very thin section! Smaller profile servos could be used, but the HS-125MGs fit perfectly into the servo bays, whilst returning good performance.
With everything installed, the C/G was set at 58mm back from the leading edge, as GoGliding recommended (more on that in a bit).
The wind was a steady 15mph+ from the WNW, so confidence was reasonable, hoping that the Halloween would get away cleanly from my hands . The conditions were easing towards the end of the day and the available lift was quite marginal at times.
After doing a range check (very impressed with the range of the R147F Rx!), all controls were given a final look-over before that all important first launch
A moderate heave saw the Halloween track straight out into mother natures clutches, she felt good even after a few seconds. Within a short space of time I realised something was wrong, as any form of speed increase had her ballooning up quite violently. I carried on flying her, the best I could and decided to land after 15 mins.
It seems that the supplied figure for the C/G position is completely wrong, as Ive had to add a lot of extra weight into the nose. On my last flight of the day with her, she had calmed down hell of a lot, but still needed a bit more fine tuning.
That aside, she was quite fast, agile and sniffed out the lightest bits of lift with ease. Aerobatics are fun, and very smooth to perform (Stall-turns, Loops, Rolls, a Cuban 8, and some half-piping). The conditions died off completely around 4pm, so we all packed up and went home.
I didnt get another chance to fly the Halloween until the 13th March. This time we had a fairly brisk 25mph+ (gusting to 30mph) on the SW slope. The model was again given a good lob out, and although the H hasnt been fitted out with extra ballast, she coped extremely well in the strong conditions!
During my time away from flying, I had reduced the aileron movement. This turned out to be a big mistake, as she just wouldnt roll! Once this was remedied in flight, the roll rate was found to be much better. Height gain in lift is excellent, and all-round penetration is very good too. The Halloween is a fast model and quite tough, but yanking back on the stick too hard from a high, high speed dive, may see the wings folding at the joiner, or parting company with the fuz all together.
The flaps were found to be a bit too powerful during the first testing session the previous week. The movement was reduced, and a tad of down elevator was mixed in. On the approach for landing, the flaps were deployed and were found to be far more subtle.
So if youre in the market for a nice 2 metre span, sports slope model, the Halloween may be for you. She is fast, but no racer. She soars like a dream, and is very docile.
At the present time, Im still setting her up. If you would like to know what the movements are for this model, please contact me via the webmaster.
On a serious note, I strongly feel that model manufacturers should be quoting the correct C/G position in their instructions, as this is the second model Ive had from Valenta, where the C/G has been way out. Importers should also take note of this too .
That small gripe aside, this model is well moulded and will hopefully provide many hours of service.
The Halloween is imported into the UK by Go Gliding, based in Lincolnshire. Their website can be found at www.gogliding.net .
The Valenta Halloween is available in the UK from:
mention 'Flying Sites' when contacting