SonicModell AR Wing Pro Review

Sometimes history goes in circles. Back in 2018 my first ever wing was good old AR Wing 900 (you can read more here). Two years later almost to date I have a brand new AR Wing Pro on my bench ready to build. Slight larger and slightly different design than AR900.

Is it a wing for Pro’s? Is it the wing for you ?

In this review I will show you my AR Wing Pro build in detail and also take it to my usual flying spots for some flying and

Big shout to SonicModell for sending a sample to me before it officially hits the shops shelves.

Box content and overview

My sample PNP version come with:

  • AR Wing Pro
  • SunnySky 2216 1400KV motor
  • 40A SonicModell ESC with 5V 3A BEC
  • Metal Gear 9g servos
  • 8×5 Prop
  • Additional foam nose inserts and main compartment cover (for DJI FPV gear)
  • Servo attachments and hardware
  • Stickers
  • Manual
  • Carbon Fibre rod

AR Wing Pro comes in 3 main parts including main fuselage and detachable wings.

Main fuselage is made of moulded EPP with plywood sandwiched in the middle for additional strength. This can be visible when looking through the components side bays.

There is a lot of cutouts for cooling inside all compartments.

Plywood GoPro mounting plate installed

PNP version doesn’t come with any components pre-fitted.

AR Wing Pro has 4 main compartment in the central fuselage:

  • Rear one for ESC and GPS
  • Main one at front for Flight controller and battery
  • One on each side for other components like VTX, RX, air speed sensors etc.

Similarly to ZOHD planes/wings there is a dedicated spot for GPS and plastic cover is included.

One of the interesting features of this wing is a wing connector allowing to pass trough 6 separate signals:

Provided servo linkages have metal rods threaded on both ends and ball joints. They are relatively short and servos are flushed with the foam protecting them from all sorts of damages from landing.

Winglets come separate. They need to be screwed in onto wing. Much the same as the AR900.

PNP kit includes 40A ESC and SunnySky 2216 1400kv motor. ESC has bullet connector with motor – this can help changing motor direction without much of a hassle.

Guys at SonicModell have done fantastic job on predicting what would typical wing builder do when building a wing and best example is below:

Underside of the wing has pre-made canals for wires to feed through. Also there is small compartment on the bottom side of both wings where you could for instance fit RX or VTX. Thanks to wing connectors there is 3 signals to utilise for connecting anything from the wings but usually 3 signals will be occupied by servo leaving us 3 for RX or VTX. While its possible to use VTX via 3 wires, TBS Crossfire receivers have 4 wires so bear that in mind.

To sum up wing assembly: it was straight forward with clear instructions included. I had zero issues with it.


DJI HD and HD Cameras

AR Wing Pro has many options for mounting HD cameras. It comes with two covers for main compartment: standard and DJI HD. The latter has a dedicated place for mounting DJI Air Unit. In such configuration DJI camera is fitted in supplied foam nose tip. I am not DJI user but I still used DJI top cover to mount old fashioned (but still cool) RunCam 2 facing rear capturing cool footage from a different perspective.

Wing nose is also a perfect place for GoPro camera. It can take Session or Hero style.

Marc Hoffmann (@b14ckyystech) has designed some really cool nose options and I helped him testing them out. Here’s the one I use with my Session, it’s totally removable and can be swapped for another mount dedicated for a different camera like Hero 7. Very cool stuff:


AR Wing Pro build

Parts used for my build:

  • Matek 722-Wing with INAV 2.5.1
  • TBS Crossfire Nano
  • TBS Unify HV VTX
  • RunCam Phoenix camera

I am huge fan of Matek boards and here I used Matek 722-WING recommended by Mr. PaweΕ‚ Spychalski (INAV developer) and I normally trust him A LOT πŸ™‚ This is pretty awesome FC with tons of UARTs for pretty much anything you might want to add to wing. Quickly flashed it with latest INAV 2.5.1 and done the ACC calibration before fitting it in.

As for the rest of the parts, I use crossfire so Nano RX was the best option here. Also I went for TBS Unify video transmitter because it always worked for me and I’m the most familiar with it.
When it comes to FPV camera this is important choice because in analogue video feed we can have either very bad video quality or too candy (popping colours). Phoenix fives amazing HDR quality image and I prefer it the most.

I have finished build in one evening. It was THE QUICKEST wing build I’ve ever done hands down.

First started with fitting motor and ESC inside the rear bay. ESC was fixed to the bottom of the bay by double sided tape. Tucked away cables with zip ties.

Flight Controller is fixed to fuselage by 3M double sided tape. Some of the connections to FC have been soldered on the bench because its easier that way. Tucked away wires with zip ties. Cable management – very important thing πŸ™‚

Inside of main bay with Artpack Li-Ion fitted (more on that later)

I have decided to use left side compartment for Video Transmitter and right one for Crossfire. Using small compartments on the wing tips was out of question for RX because we only have 3 wires spare (3 occupied by servo) and crossfire is using 4. I could have move VTX there but wanted better cooling which only side compartment could offer. Fitted Pagoda antenna and used 3D printed attachment to secure it in the compartment cover. VTX itself sits in 3D printed PETG tray so it doesn’t melt foam below if it’s roasting hot:

Cooling for the VTX bay

On the other side I’ve added Crossfire Nano with Immortal T sitting though the left wing on 3D printed plugs which work like a charm. Wire from FPV camera goes through that same compartment into the main bay to the FC:

AUW of AR Wing Pro with GoPro Session and LiIon 6000mah battery was about 1220grams.


Artpack

I wouldn’t have done any of AR Wing Pro flights without my “Artpack”. What is it? Well, its my hand made 4S2P Li-Ion pack. I have made quite few 2S packs for ZOHD Drift but never pack of this size which is 6000mah – 8 x LG H2 cells in total.

I’ve spent roughly 2 hours making this pack and worst part was to find some really good instructions for it (here). End product was great and looked even better with a proper label πŸ™‚ It works so well I am in process of making another pack for more fun πŸ™‚


Centre of Gravity

Wing wouldn’t fly well if CG was off the design location. AR Wing Pro has this point marked on both wings by a moulded mark with CG written on it.

After few flights I came to conclusion that if we move CG to about 3-5mm in front of that mark she will fly more stable on pitch axis.

Worth mentioning is the fact that without HD camera in the nose wing wont hit CG unless more weight is added do the front. That’s du to design and the fact that battery sits in one, non-adjustable position inside fuselage. I have bought 5 and 10 grams leads with sticky tape and its easy to adjust CG with them. Whatever works for of course so even coins can be used.


Flying experience / Test flights

Flight 1 / Maiden: Stock PIFF settings, overhead launch in ANGLE mode and she went off successfully. I didn’t have much time before rain came back but at least this flight gave me confidence that build worked and wing flies correctly. I came back home happy after this flight:)

Flight 2: in windy conditions. Side launched. She flew really nice. I tested landings in a very limited space on the top of the dune and yes, I am a master of it πŸ™‚

Flight 3: Same location as Flight 2, simmilar conditions but this time a little bit of low pass over the dunes.

Flight 4: I called it breakthrough flight because I had big banana smile after that one when I got home πŸ™‚ Nearly 0 wind conditions and I have enabled AUTOTUNE via INAV. Damn, this was smoothie flight and from that moment I started looking at AR Wing Pro in slightly different way, like at the wing you just really want to fly when you’re going for some FPV

Flight 5: Very breezy conditions this time but I have experimented and flew it with 9×5 APC Sport prop. Fantastic performance. I was blown away with performance in such conditions. I literally didn’t expect such stable flight in such wind. I have made my mind after this flight.


Conclusions

Here’s my list of things worth mentioning to those considering buying AR Wing Pro. There is A LOT of points I like about that wing but not everything is always perfect and here’s what I found out.

Pros:

  • Comes in small-reusable box
  • Very well thought with big attention to detail. Seems like it was made by pilot who knows what people normally need and do with new wing build
  • Detachable wings
  • Wing 6-pin connectors are super handy – no more messy wiring
  • Tons of space inside for components
  • Very good ventilation inside the fuselage
  • Multiple camera nose options for mounting GoPro or any other HD cameras at the front
  • Designed to work with DJI Air Unit out of the box with supplied second main bay cover
  • Dedicated cut outs on both wings for fitting Radio Receiver or Video Transmitter + pre-made canals for wires
  • PNP kit comes with very efficient motor, good quality ESC and fantastic servos
  • Very quiet during flight with PNP motor and prop. Ideal if you (like me) fly in the area where dog walkers can take revenge on you for being noisy! πŸ™‚
  • Large Li-Ion packs can be fitted without any issue. 4S 7000mah Li-Ion, even 4S 5200mah LiPo fits without a problem
  • Very nice flight characteristics. Even better after INAV autotune
  • She flies very will in pretty much *any wind conditions (*not hurricanes of course!)

Cons:

  • Supplied servo push rods are little bit too long making it a slightly difficult to add reflex to control surface because it’s impossible to screw plastic attachments more. Easy fixable, but worth pointing that out
  • I thought that box AR Wing Pro came with can be used to store it once wings are removed but it isn’t the case. It wont fit the box with motor and winglets attached which is a bummer if you (like me) go on holiday in your car filled up to roof and planning to take a wing as well πŸ™‚
  • Winglets are thin and they chip easily from landing. Mine already lost a bit of foam
  • Winglets tend to detach or even rip the plywood bit off on landing unless they are glued or secured by tape etc.
  • Plywood plate that is meant to hold HD cam can crack after few landings

Final thoughts

Enough with bullet points. Time to tell you my own personal opinion about AR Wing Pro.

So short answer is: Yes, I like this wing. And here’s why.

It is very well engineered product. SonicModel has listened to pilots, they checked their preferences, their typical build techniques etc and made this wing in such a way that when you build it you’ve got a lot of things already done for you and you only have to worry with decisions like: “should I fit VTX in the wing, or in the bay, if so, left bay or right bay?” , stuff like that.

Personally this made me super happy because finishing wing build in one evening is a huge achievement, again, because of good design.

Another thing is options. You’ve got two top plates for either DJI/HD Cam or just plain cover. You can use different types of GoPros or any other HD cams in the nose. You can choose from many different batteries to use and they should fit making it a good option for ultimate long range, DJI HD “eagly eye” type of cruising wing or fast screamer to burn 10000mah in under 5 minutes πŸ™‚

There is huge amount of space inside for the build. Literally space is the last thing to worry when it comes to building AR Wing Pro.

She also flies very nice. I was lucky enough to test her in different flying weather and apart from the maiden I was super happy with every flight. I didn’t like maiden because CG was possibly knocked by a bit and she didn’t fly as nice as during next flights.

I am by no means a fanboy here, just genuinely think it’s a good product, even for beginners (if they can side launch a wing !).
There is always room for improvement (see Cons list) of course and I am sure that SonicModell can do their best and address those issues in the future.

Hopefully my review will give you few answers about this wing.
If you want to discuss it more head over to my YouTube channel and stay in touch!

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