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Avanti P180 R/C "Park Flyer" Airplane, retail $52.50
Manufactured by Tuffoam™ R/C (www.guillow.com)
Last updated 09-02-13

Wel, thuh kompanie thaat maiks thuh Tuffoam™ Avanti P180 R/C "Park Flyer" Airplane kant spel thuh werd "tough", but they still make an excellent product.

This isn't a flashlight, household lamp, Christmas light set, or other thing that glows, but since I love things that fly (this is also why I added seperate sections titled "PRODUCTS DESIGNED TO FLY" and "GUILLOWS TUFFOAM™ PRODUCTS" on my website), and because it has several LEDs in it to help you see it during those pesky night missions, I figured "what the hey".

This is a medium-sized (18" (45.7cm) wingspan), lightweight, easy-to-fly remote controlled airplane. It has two motors (not just one like many other R/C aircraft), and is steered by varying the power to each motor, not with an adjustable horizontal stabiliser like single-engine R/C airplanes (and most real airplanes for that matter) have. Its propellers have three blades, not two like most other R/C airplanes. And it has wheels so it can take off from and land on hard surfaces such as sidewalks and unused streets.

The following is from an email sent by a pilot several years ago; this person knows more about aircraft than I do.

I read a few of your RC aircraft reviews, and you have a pretty serious misconception stated at least twice in discussions of models with 2 motors: In full-sized aircraft or in RC, the horizontal stabilizer is NOT primarily involved in turning the aircraft. It does have a secondary role in turning, which I'll return to later. I have dabbled in RC aircraft a couple of times in my life (I'm essentially your age) and I also have a private pilot's license for full-sized aircraft, although I have not exercised that privilege since moving out of Colorado.

The first part of your misconception seems to be that the horizontal stabilizer controls horizontal movement. Not so.

There are three rotational movements: yaw, pitch and roll. Yaw is the horizontal displacement of the nose and tail about the vertical axis. Pitch is vertical displacement about a horizontal axis roughly aligned with the wing, and roll is vertical displacement of the wing tips about a horizontal axis roughly aligned with the propeller shaft.

The fixed horizontal stabilizers (the little wings usually at the back of the aircraft that stick out horizontally) and movable elevator attached to them (or the "stabilator" or "all-flying stabilizer" in the case of a single piece which moves in its entirety) control PITCH. Although this points the nose up or down, and so generally increases or decreases lift, it really controls airspeed: nose-up leads to slower airspeed and nose-down leads to higher airspeed. The aircraft's "state of trim," which depends more or less on the position of the elevator or stabilator, tends to maintain a constant airspeed, although the varying airflow with changing engine power off the propeller does affect trim speed somewhat. POWER translates into climb or descent: at a constant airspeed, more power means climb and less power means decent, and at a constant power more speed means descent and less speed means climb (until you reach the "region of reverse command," when induced drag increases so much that lower speed means MORE power is needed to maintain level flight, or in the most extreme case: when the wing stalls and a small decrease in speed leads to a loss of lift and RAPID descent). This is a common-sense situation: it takes more power to go uphill at a constant speed than downhill, whether in an airplane, car, bicycle or scooter. The lack of a solid hill doesn't really matter.

So, you probably really meant that the VERTICAL stabilizer (the fin sticking up at the back of the fuselage (this word is definitely *NOT* pronounced "
fyoo SELL' uh jee" as Drake Parker from the TV program "Drake and Josh" would pronounce it )), which affects yaw, controls turning. This is also wrong, although not completely in the case of some RC aircraft. However, unlike in a surface vehicle, YAW, although it does slew the nose sideways, does not turn the aircraft in the sense of causing it to travel in a circular horizontal course. That is actually the result of ROLL, or banking. Rolling into a modest bank angle causes the lift vector of the wing to point sideways as well as up. The sideways force becomes a centripetal force that moves the aircraft in a horizontal circle. The only centripetal force provided by yaw directly is the vector of the engine's thrust resulting from the yaw angle, and except for military jets, the engine's thrust is WAY less than the force of the wing's lift, and is not enough to turn the airplane through a decent arc. (Other exceptions exist in 3D aerobatics, but I'm ignoring that.)

In fact, in a really well-designed airplane, the rudder is hardly needed to turn, and in RC aircraft, low performance planes with 2 channel control have rudder and elevator, but high performance 2 channel planes have aileron and elevator control. (Assumes either glider or constant-power engine/motor. Read as "3-channel" if you want a throttle control, too.) Low-performance models use yaw-roll coupling to let the rudder CAUSE the roll needed to turn the plane, usually via excess dihedral in the wing, but ideally, roll is controlled directly by ailerons. The problem is that ailerons cause roll by increasing lift on one wing, which raises that wing but also induces drag (lift is not free of cost) and slows it down. The wing going up needs to go faster, not slower, to go around the outside of the turn, so this causes "adverse yaw:" the plane tends to turn the opposite of the intended direction, at least while the roll is occurring (the effect becomes less, but not zero, while maintaining a constant bank angle). The rudder is primarily needed to provide a yaw force to offset this adverse yaw and lead to a "coordinated turn" in which there are no net yaw forces, also described as lack of slip or skid. (Deliberate slip is a another use of the rudder to increase drag on the aircraft, and skid can cause the fun/dangerous spin or snap-roll when combined with stall. Brief rolling motions with proper rudder use leads to a "Dutch roll" in which the heading of the airplane doesn't change while the wings rock back and forth. Look them all up if desired!) Older airplanes had lots of adverse yaw, and needed active footwork on the rudder control pedals to make a nice turn or good Dutch rolls, but more recent and more clever designs can make almost-coordinated turns with your feet off the rudder pedals, at least at average airspeed.

There IS an important roll of the horizontal stabilizer in turning: If you want to turn and simultaneously maintain constant altitude, you need to pull back on the stick (pitch the nose up) to increase lift, since as you roll the lift vector would otherwise be the same force. With part of the force directed horizontally, the aircraft would begin to descend unless lift increased, so total lift must increase by either more power (and more airspeed) or more pitch (and slightly reduced airspeed). The latter is usually chosen, so to turn an airplane properly, you use aileron to roll and simulanteously rudder to control adverse yaw, then as the bank angle increases, back stick to increase lift and maintain constant altitude. It's all much easier when you are in the aircraft and can FEEL the results vs. an RC model or flight simulator program, except the consequences of mistakes are worse.

It is a Tuffoam™ Power Plane, 8000 Series (specifically, an 8003), distributed by Paul K. Guillow, Inc.

The Piaggio P180 Avanti is an Italian twin-engine turboprop aircraft produced by Piaggio Aero. It seats up to nine passengers in a pressurized cabin, and may be flown by one or two pilots. The design uses a small forward wing and a main wing combination that places the wing spars outside of the passenger cabin area. Although the front wing resembles a canard configuration, a conventional horizontal stabilizer on the tail provides longitudinal stability and pitch trim. It features a lifting laminar flow fuselage and has its engines in pusher configuration.

This flying model is 1/35 scale - so it is larger than you might expect. It's not *HUGE*, but it isn't puny either.


This toy is remarkably easy to use for an airplane...here's how to get it flying:

Assemble it (see the included instructional material - you really only need to install the landing gear {wheels}), screw the antenna into the top of the remote control, and as with any rechargeable product, charge the flight battery (see directly below) -- then you can pretend to fly a really large dragonfly (well, that's what the kitty cat would think it is if it were designed to be flown indoors).

Attach the ribbon to the remote control's antenna, extend the antenna, point the antenna straight up, and observe the ribbon. If the breeze blows the ribbon at less than a 45° angle, it is safe to fly.

1: On the remote control, turn the "on/off" switch to the "on" position.

2: On the bottom of the airplane's fuselage (body) in front of the battery door (very near the charger port), there's a black slide switch. Use a fingernail to slide this switch back toward the tail to the "on" position.

3: Hold the airplane (level, not pointed up or down) in one hand, push the left hand stick on the controller up (toward the front), and firmly but gently toss it straight forward.
Alternately, you may place it onto a hard (paved) surface with a decent length of clear space ahead, and attempt to get it to lift off - this may *OR* may not work however.

4: The motors should immediately throttle up, and the airplane should now begin to climb. Be certain to aim the remote control more or less up at all times; this will help to reach maximum range of the R/C.

For additional instructions & tips on how to fly, please read the instructional material that comes with the product.

Turn the airplane and remote control off when finished using them.
Same switches as before, but slide them in the opposite direction this time.

The battery in the airplane itself is rechargeable; however the batteries in the remote will need to be changed from time to time.

To change the batteries in the remote, turn the unit upside-down, place both thumbs on the texturised areas near the top of the battery door, and firmly push toward the bottom edge of the remote. The battery door should then come off. Very gently place it on the ground, and kick it into the garden so the hungry, hungry praying mantids will think it's something yummy for their insect tummies and subsequently strike at it...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead.

Remove the eight used AA cells from the compartment, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

Insert eight new AA cells into the compartment, orienting each cell so its flat-end (-) negative faces a spring for it in each chamber.

Finally, place the battery door back on.
Aren't you glad you didn't kick that battery door into the garden with all those hungry, hungry praying mantids now?

Here is what a praying mantis looks like.
I found this guy on the morning of 09-08-06 clinging to the basket of my scooter.

To charge the flight battery in the airplane itself, plug one end of the included charger cord into the right-side jack on the bottom edge of the remote control, plug the other end into the receptacle for it on the underside of the airplane's fuselage (body), and slide the switch near the center of the remote control's upper surface downward (away from the antenna).

A red LED on the control should start to slowly blink. When this light stays off, the airplane's battery pack is charged: Unplug the charger cord from the airplane and from the remote, and slide the switch on the remote to the center position.

The flight time per charge is stated at "over 5 minutes".

The Avanti P180 R/C "Park Flyer" Airplane is meant to be used as a toy in a dry area outdoors, not as a flashlight meant to be carried around, rained on, thrashed, trashed, and abused, so I won't try to drown it in the toilet tank, bash it against a steel rod or against the concrete floor of a patio, let my sister's citty kat , my mother's kitties, or my own little fuzzbomb go to the litterbox on it or let my mother's big dog's ghost lift his leg on it, run over it with a 450lb Celebrity motorised wheelchair, leave it outside in the rain, stomp on it, uranate on it (the Avanti is already yellow, so there is no need for such asshaberdashery! ), use a medium claw hammer in order to bash it open to check it for candiosity, fire it from the cannoñata, drop it down the top of Mt. Erupto (I guess I've been watching the TV program "Viva Piñata" too much again - candiosity is usually checked with a laser-type device on a platform with a large readout (located at Piñata Central), with a handheld wand that Langston Lickatoad uses, or with a pack-of-cards-sized device that Fergy Fudgehog uses; the cannoñata (also located at Piñata Central) is only used to shoot piñatas to piñata parties away from picturesque Piñata Island, and Mt. Erupto is an active volcano on Piñata Island), send it to the Daystrom Institute for additional analysis, or perform other indecencies on it that a flashlight might have to have performed on it. So this section of the web page will be ***SIGNIFICANTLY*** more bare than this section of the web page on a page about a flashlight.

The remote control's maximum range is stated as 150 feet.
The frequency of this particular unit is labelled as 27.095MHz.
They are available in two frequencies: 27.095 MHz or 27.045Mhz, so you can fly with a wingman.

There is a long, thin white wire coming from the back of the airplane;
***DO NOT*** pull, cut, or otherwise remove it!!!
This is the airplane's antenna, and it is absolutely necessary for the wire to be intact for the airplane to maintain contact with its remote control!!!

Photograph of the remote control.

Photograph of the LEDs on this airplane, illuminated of course.
This is as the airplane is facing you.

Photograph of the "taillight" LED on this airplane, illuminated of course.
This is as the airplane is facing away from you.

Here is the wire that busted off the airplane's Rx (receiver) from the female portion of the battery connector.
This is the primary reason why my poor, defenseless, innocent, helpless little Avanti can't fly.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of one of the forward (white) LEDs in this airplane.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of one of the forward (white) LEDs in this airplane; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 430nm and 480nm to pinpoint native emission peak wavelength, which is 455.522nm.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the rearward (red) LED in this airplane.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the rearward (red) LED in this airplane; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 660nm and 700nm to pinpoint peak emission wavelength, which is 677.072nm.

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

This video shows that something's a bit queer about this airplane.
The plane failed totally shortly after this (the positive {+} wire leading to the female part of the battery connector became broken off at the PCB inside the airplane) so I will not have video of its maiden flight(s) today.

This video is approximately 59.85756344881 megabytes (60,314,300 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than two hundred ninety nine to load at 48.0Kbps.


Test unit was purchased on Ebay (from the Silver City Hobby Ebay store) on 08-22-12, and was received at 11:16am PST on 08-25-12.

* My unit is defective, as the starboard prop continues to turn at a low speed (est. ~300RPM) even when the "Power" switch is off, thus continuing to discharge the flight battery. One way I've found to mitigate this problem and be ready for its maiden flight is simply to remove & unplug the flight battery; reinstalling it in the field shortly before initiating my flight(s).

The vast majority of Tuffoam™ Avanti Park Flyer R/C Airplanes out there should not have this issue.

BUT (and you probably saw the 'but' coming!), when I took it out for its maiden flight yesterday, I could not get it to power up at all! When I got home, it was plain to see I forgot my hat...O NOOOO!!! There I go thinking about the thrash metal band AnthraX again!!! The part about the hat is from the song, "I'm the Man '91" from the album, "Attack of the Killer B's"...what I meant to say was that it was plain to see why the airplane wasn't getting any power. The positive (+) wire leading in from the female part of the battery connector was broken off, and I have absolutely ***NO*** idea of where it's supposed to go...therefore, the dreadful "" icon will have to be used at once, denoting that the product failed before its first use.

UPDATE: 09-23-12
I attempted an ad-lib repair yesterday; that is, I found where the (+) wire goes and soldered it back in place.
It does fly now; though rather poorly (see video above). In the event that the flight battery was in a state of partial discharge, I charged it fully, and plan to make some additional flights this afternoon.

UPDATE: 09-24-12
The negative (-) battery wire busted off the PCB, so the flights I had planned for yesterday have been postphoned until repairs are effected -- since repairs are complete as of this writing (it took three attempts!!! My soldering iron tip fell off some number of months ago and I never found it, so I manufactured one from household aluminum foil -- and while aluminum conducts heat well, it cannot be tinned, so a reliable soldering job simply isn't possible!!!), it looks like the flights will now take place a bit later today (it's 5:20am PDT now; the flights will begin at ~8:45am PDT).

And guess who's going to Radio Shack this morning for a new soldering iron tip?

UPDATE: 09-28-12
The flight battery is fairly old (it came out of my P-38 Lightning R/C "Park Flyer" Airplane that's had hundreds of flights since I purchased it on 06-14-08) so I'll be ordering a replacement in early-October 2012. Hopefully it gets here before flying season comes to an end and doesn't begin again until April or May 2013 (you know, twenty-stick-boobs).

UPDATE: 10-05-12
The replacement flight battery came yesterday morning; I wasted no time in charging it and intend to take my Avanti out for one or more flights later this morning -- weather permitting of course.

During my rather brief flight on 10-03-12 (very brief primarily because of high winds), I took the following photograph of its landing:

Durable tough foam ("Tuffoam™") construction withstands multiple crashes
Flies *EXTREMELY* easily!
Flies *EXTREMELY* well too!!!
Trim adjustment is easy (just reposition flight battery and a small square of styrofoam)

Flies somewhat faster than expected
Turning response is more sensitive than any other R/C airplane (or, "aeroplane") I've ever flown

You do have to huck it somewhat more vigourously at launch than other Tuffoam™ aircraft to ensure that it at V2lof (minimum launch velocity) otherwise it will just nosedive into the ground

    MANUFACTURER: Tuffoam™ R/C
    PRODUCT TYPE: Remote controlled airplane
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 3 (2 white, 1 red)
    SWITCH TYPE: Slide on/off on bottom of product's fuselage
    CASE MATERIAL: Plastic & compressed foam
    BEZEL: N/A
    BATTERY: 8xAA cells (remote), 7.2 volt 150mAh NiMH rechargeable (airplane itself)
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER- AND DIET PEPSI-RESISTANT: Very light splatter-resistance at maximum
    ACCESSORIES: NiMH flight battery, wind ribbon, charge cable
    SIZE: 18" (45.7cm) wingspan
    WARRANTY: Not specifically stated (reads "reasonable amount of time")


    R/C ratingR/C ratingR/C ratingR/C ratingR/C rating

Avanti P180 R/C "Park Flyer" Airplane *

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