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Great Planes Sequence 1.20 - FlyingGiants Flight Review

In part 2 of this FlyingGiants review, we test the flight performance of the Great Planes Sequence, a 1.20 sized intermediate-level pattern ship.

Splash

Flight On A Rail, Anyone?

Product:Sequence 1.20
Wingspan:71.5"
Wing area:836 sq in
Wing loading:27-30 oz/sq ft
Motor used:Rimfire 1.20
ESC used:Castle Phoenix Edge 80HV
Battery used:FlightPower 6s 5000mAh FP30
Prop:APC 17x8
Servos used:Futaba S9650 x 2 elevator, Futaba S3152 x 2 ailerons and 1 rudder
Transmitter used:Tactic TTX850
Street price:499.98
Manufacturer:Great Planes

Great Planes describes the Sequence 1.20 as an intermediate-level pattern plane that's slightly smaller than the full 2-meter ships, and therefore uses less expensive power systems. For the modeler interested in learning to fly F3A, or the weekend warrior just wanting to add a great flying ship to their hangar, the Sequence 1.20 definitely fits the bill.

We already introduced you to the Sequence 1.20 and assembled her in the Great Planes Sequence 1.20 Review Part 1; it's time to put this medium-sized pattern ship through a few maneuvers and see if it performs as well as it looks.

Final Setup and Balance

As a total noob to pattern flying, I'll admit I was almost reluctant to set the control throws at their recommended settings. They definitely seemed short for someone that predominantly flies 3D and sport. It didn't take long to come to my senses and realize that the Sequence 1.20 isn't designed for large throws and abrupt changes in direction, but rather smooth flying and flowing transitions from one maneuver to the next is the name of the game. And as I found out, it takes very little deflection to hold a solid knife edge with the Sequence's broad fuselage. With that said, I followed the manual's recommended control throws (shown below) and found them to be just right for my flying style - that is: the plane reacted smoothly yet swiftly to inputs without excessive over-controlling.

The Futaba 14SG is my go-to transmitter for all giant-scale builds, but as I explained in part 1 of this review, I decided to break tradition and use my Tactic TTX850 for the Sequence. Despite a solid and well-proven bind between the transmitter and receiver, the Tactic brand has yet to become fully adopted with giant-scale crowd; it still casts a shadow of doubt due to it's price point. I hope that by using the TTX850 on this Sequence 1.20 and other giant-scale aircraft moving forward, I can help dispel this myth and prove that it's a fully-functional computer radio that's equally at home controlling a park flyer or a giant-scale aircraft.

Since the Sequence uses dual elevator servos, I had to setup my TTX850 specifically for them. Under the Model Management menu, there's specific sub-menu's for wing type and tail type. Under tail type, I chose 2-elevator. This tail mode moves the second elevator servo input to channel 4, and the rudder input to channel 6. There's a simple diagram in the Tactic manual that explains where to plug in servos for various modes and it makes setting up complex aircraft a straightforward task.

Balance for Neutral Elevators

Generally, you want a pattern plane to have completely neutral elevators in flight for obvious reasons: any trim past neutral will cause coupling during roll and knife edge flight. This can be said for most aircraft but is especially important with the Sequence. Balancing the Great Planes Sequence 1.20 was a painless process that required no additional weight (with the electric power package). The manual recommends a cg between 6" and 7.5" (150mm to 190mm). I ended up with a perfectly neutral cg of 6.6" (168mm) that kept the elevators neutral in flight and resulted in some pretty maneuvers with no coupling.

Flight Performance

You've probably heard "it flies like it's on a rail" before; I know it's cliche, but this statement holds true for the Sequence 1.20. With the cg at 168mm back from the leading edge, the plane required zero trim at the elevator right from the maiden takeoff. Once airborne, the Sequence needed what I would refer to as "marginal" power settings for most maneuvers; half-throttle or slightly above for knife edge and 45-degree up lines, and 3/4 throttle or slightly more for full vertical up lines. Immelmann turns required a little blip of throttle and full rudder to get the long fuselage turned back around cleanly.

Knife edge flight is one of my favorite and seemingly easiest maneuvers to accomplish with the Sequence 1.20; even if you can't perform them in your sleep, the Sequence makes them a relatively simple task. After a nice and clean 45-degree downline, level out and roll left or right, followed by a very slight input of opposite rudder to whatever side you rolled. The Sequence 1.20 will hold the knife edge effortlessly with no elevator coupling, no tendency to pull left or right, and only the slightest hint of nose-up attitude. The long and tall fuselage acts like a flying surface and holds the Sequence almost level... it's a sight to see and perform.

With the Great Planes Large Brushless Motor Mount holding the Rimfire 1.20 motor in place, I was able to line the prop and spinner up with the nose for just a slight amount of right and down thrust. This proved to be the correct setting for vertical uplines that didn't pull left, especially under full power. And speaking of the Rimfire 1.20, it's indeed a great match for the Sequence on 6s. It may not have the overall brute power of a larger 2m ship, but it has more than enough torque and top-end speed to perform anything the airframe is capable of, with an APC 17x8 prop.

Landing the Great Planes Sequence 1.20 requires the speed to be up to keep the air moving under those thin, short wings. It's a lightweight plane and doesn't exhibit any nasty stall characteristics, but if you do get too slow, the Sequence will begin to sink rather quickly, wings level, and it can happen fast! After making the base-to-final turn, keep in about 1/4 throttle as you cross the "threshold", and then slowly let out until low throttle as you touch down. It's easy to land hot and roll all the way down the runway, so practice your landings accordingly and it won't take long before you can grease her on the mains without overshooting.

Post landing, a touch-test of the FlightPower 6s 5000mAh battery and the Castle Creations Phoenix Edge 80HV esc revealed both to be warm but not hot, proving that the power combo is well within amperage and wattage limits.

Video

Flight Photos

Conclusion

The Great Planes Sequence 1.20 has me officially hooked on pattern flying. I may not be entering any competitions with it, but learning to fly this ship smoothly and precisely will definitely transfer over into my sport and 3D flying. Stick banging is all to easy; learning to smooth things out at the thumbs is an often overlooked skill and can only translate into a more attractive flying style when performing your own personal airshow, whether it be with a pattern plane or a slow and low 3D plane.

The Sequence 1.20 has absolutely zero bad habits in the air; I honestly can't think of a single negative issue with it's performance. The recommended power system provides plenty of torque and speed for all maneuvers, and the airframe actually does fly like it's on a rail! If you're interested in trying your hand at F3A, or you just want to improve your game through precision flying that will transfer over to all your other flying styles, I highly recommend getting your hands on the Great Planes Sequence 1.20.

Links:

Last edited by Matt Gunn; 06-30-2015 at 10:45 AM..
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:50 AM
BarracudaHockey is offline
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Nice job as always Matt!
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:53 AM
N233W is offline
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Sounds like a cool plane.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:16 PM
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Matt, How much flight time are you getting with that battery/esc combo? Looks like you have her flying really well. Maybe some more expo on the rudder! You were not kidding that sucker looks touchy.
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Old 07-09-2015, 05:17 PM
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I was getting a little over 7 minutes with 25% left on the 6s 5000.
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:51 PM
Vapor Trails is offline
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You have been practicing
Looking sharp bro!

When you coming to visit? Ill take you for a drink at the old DFC! This has all been built out.
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Last edited by Vapor Trails; 07-09-2015 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:01 PM
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is this one 6s or two in series?
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:04 PM
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by the way your response will help me deccide the power plant chioce for me. I am thinking a 160 and 2 5000 batts AMA #54154
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:12 PM
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Single 6s 5000
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:29 AM
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I'm interested in the plane, but a review of one electric powered does me no good and is of no interest.
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob101 View Post
I'm interested in the plane, but a review of one electric powered does me no good and is of no interest.
Why? I am a die hard gasser guy, but the electric stuff is taking off! (pun intended)
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:58 AM
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fly, eat, fly, bath, fly, eat,
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I searched if someone has flown this plane with a 20cc but so far only found that have flown electric.

No one has tried?
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:46 PM
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That plane just looks right!!
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
That plane just looks right!!
and it flies pretty dang good, too!
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:13 PM
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Matt: What did you use for quick removal of the canopy for battery changes?
Doug
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