The Art-Tech Devil is sold as a Sports Trainer, however with a few small setup changes it has the ability to become a 3D trainer as well. I came across this plane while visiting WiredRC in Brisbane, after looking at a few other models I kept coming back to the Devil, I think because it reminded me of some of my old nitro trainers. The Devil is a larger foamy with a wingspan of 1.4 meters(55 Inches) and looked like it would be a good ‘default’ plane, as well as being a stable platform with which to teach people; in fact it proved to be such a nice plane to fly I later bought a second one for my Girlfriend to learn on.
I got the box home and when it was all unpacked I had something similar to the pictures below. The version I bought was the PNF (Plug and Fly), so no radio and receiver, in the box you will find everything you need to begin building the model as well as spare spinner and prop (an addition which I think should become standard). The manual was about what you can expect from foamies these days and was relatively clear and even useful once or twice. It took me about 30 minutes to bolt everything together with no glue required, though I have since added glue to one side of the plastic wing fitting as I kept misplacing them.
As per normal with almost all planes I also had to supply my own batteries, which did highlight one of the few grumbles I have about the plane, the battery compartment pictured above is quite long but very shallow and most of the batteries I had would not allow the door to close properly. I did buy some Zippy Compact LiPos from Hobby King which fit perfectly but in the end I just removed the hatch and installed some Velcro battery straps which I had bought from ZeeJays Hobbies. The only other area of concern that I have found is that the screws that attach the landing gear to the plane are too small and too brittle, after a particularly rough landing most of them snapped. I simply replaced them with bigger ones and haven’t had an issue since.
The main wings span is 140cm (55 inches) with a thick aerofoil which gives a low wing loading which gives a wide flight envelope and helps with stability. There is no dihedral in the wing but being a high wing plane it will slowly revert to level but you really do need to fly this plane where you want it to go. I did notice that at really low speed ( I mean walking pace slow) she will drop a wing but it gives plenty of warning and it is a gentle drop so it shouldn’t be an issue. The whole plane is built of fairly thick and rigid foam with plenty of bracing and it has so far survived a few crashes, including one, at speed, into a tree. So as far a survivability goes this plane is pretty solid, the whole layout of the plane means it is also very easy to get to everything and even the motor and ESC are easy to access and replace if needs be.
The Devils Maiden flight was a very uneventful affair with only a few minor trim changes required, at about 3/4 throttle it rolled over the grass easily and gently lifted off without any elevator input . It was is a very solid plane to fly even in pretty choppy wind conditions was a fairly predictable plane to fly, on subsequent take-offs I have bounced it off the ground in as little as 3 meters and gone straight into a vertical climb without any issues. There is a very wide range of power to play with and with a bit of skill and a fresh battery this thing will easily hang off the prop in a hover. One thing to note is that even with full throws this thing is not ‘snappy’, it will do a lot of 3D manoeuvres but it will do them slower than a dedicated 3d plane, this needs to be taken into account when trying to do any 3D manoeuvre especially close to the ground. Otherwise this plane is a brilliant all rounder with power to spare and I plan on making it my airborne photography machine and maybe even some FPV down the track.
All in all I would say this plane is an excellent second plane for someone looking to try some more advanced flying or even someone who is looking for a robust daily flyer that can handle a wide range of flying styles.
Red Devil doing 3D flying
Video review from NitroPlanes
The Devil (and spare parts) can also be bought from the following US online stores :