HLG Chrysalis Review

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The DJ Aerotech HLG Chrysalis was my first real attempt at building for quite a while. It was also my first HLG so I was pretty darn keen to get the project started. I ordered the plane from DJ Aerotech by phone and confirmed it by email. It took a few weeks to get here but then New Zealand is a long way.  Having said that the courtesy on the phone when I enquired was appreciated so thanks for the good customer service guys.

When the box arrived it was in perfect condition so due credit to the manufacturer for a good packaging.  I read the instructions and numbered all the wing rib cut outs as recommended ...glad I did because my two year old son found the box the next morning and spread the parts around the house ....no damage done ..phew !!   I set up a good flat building surface expecting my lack of building experience to cause problems.  To my delight building the 'C' was a breeze.

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The building was so straight forward this is the only picture I took of the building process ...it was kinda over before it began !!


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The final framework of the Chrysalis before covering

One thing I did notice was that the wing did not build accurately over the plan ...i.e. the wing ribs did not match the position on the plan when fitted to the spar notches. This is mentioned in the instructions however it almost caught me when I went to cut the dowel leading edge to size ...from the plans.  I built the two piece wing which fitted precisely as per the planes...just make sure you use the ply wing ribs supplied.  I also shear webbed the central spar out  to the first wing rib past the dihedral.  This may have added some weight but I have had no problems with wing flutter.

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The Chrysalis wings after covering.

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Finished in transparent blue Monokote ...

Covering the Chrysalis was a bit more challenging.  I used a transparent blue regular weight Monokote.  It went on quite well but you need to take your time especially around the wing tips. It looks very cool finished and is very neat in the air .....but then the Chrysalis is a pretty good looking design.

I fitted HS81 servos and a 250 mAh battery and a standard receiver. I have to admit I could have gone lighter in a number of ways but given the Chrysalis is light already I went for a touch more strength instead. The one area I did have difficulty with was the push rod installation. I followed the instructions closely but ended up with far to much 'slop' in the rods at the V tail end. This resulted in considerable   flutter of  the tail feathers.  I have remedied this by cutting a hole in the bottom of the fuselage and inserting a spacer between the rods, effectively reducing the lateral movement ...this seems to have fixed the problem.  I could take this one step further and completely box in the rods ....but then a little extra weight 'back there'  means a whole lot more upfront....bad !!

Now the interesting bit ...flying the darn thing.  I have two very big recommendations here with respect to trimming the Chrysalis.  Firstly in addition to all the normal things make sure the recommended wash out is in the wings and secondly the one that was really fooling me was 'over-control' .  I had tossed the plane around the park a few times but was curious as to why I would occasionally end up with a kinda 'squirrelly' flight pattern that would force me to straighten up real quick or suffer the consequences ...normally a tip stall.  Well it was not the plane it was me overcontrolling .....I cut the throw on the control surfaces back from 50% to 20% (computer radio's are great !!)   and 'voila' a beautifully smooth plane that carves up the park effortlessly !!

I have been flying the Chrysalis for a few weeks now and it is a very cool airplane.   I am impressed by how quickly it covers the ground making our very big local park look very small at times.

Cruising at Sunset ....

Floating around the park at sunset

Floating around the Park

Cruising in the park ...between 30 and 45 seconds hang time in dead air !