Extreme Flight 70" Extra 300 EXP - build/fly/video
Hi guys! So, it looks like I'm the very lucky guy to get the new 70" Extreme Flight Extra 300 EXP first. Big thanks to Chris Hinson for that! I was so excited to get this thing that when I got the UPS delivery notification this afternoon I burned up the carpet getting out of the office to go home and get started on it!
I will update this post with new data and pics as I go along.
Chris wanted me to do a complete review of each of the 6, 7 and 8S setups as well as some video. So my plan is to finish the build this weekend and then as time and weather permit I will do a quick video of each setup and then pick my favorite. From there I will really explore the flight envelope and report back my findings.
My setup will be:
2 HS 5245 on Elevator
3 HS 7985 everywhere else
AXI 5320/18 (started with Scorpion but changed to AXI)
Ice 100 ESC
Castle Ulitmate BEC with TP1350 2S
Hyperion 4200, Flightmax 5000 and the new PowerEdge 5000 batteries from RCAccessory.com.
First build session:
I got the plane out of the box, installed all of the control horns, did the elevator/rudder hinges and completed all of the landing gear. It took approximately 4 hours worth of work to do all of that and I would of had the ailerons done too but ran out of 30 min epoxy and alcohol. Essentially at this point I am ready for radio and motor install, which is good because the servos should be here tomorrow.
First impressions: This airplane looks really good! The covering and color scheme are killer! It looks huge! The fuse is nice and wide with lots of side area. It looks even wider and taller in proportion to the smaller EXP. The hardware and fit and finish are top of the line! Can't wait to get back to it tomorrow! :D:D:D:D
Second Build Session:
Made and installed all control rods and cables. Completed aileron hinges. Sealed gaps. Final installed elevator halves (they are removable) and went over all of the covering with an iron/heat gun. It took approximately 3 hours to do that but the airframe is 100% ready for servos and motor. Tomorrow I need to go buy some bolts for the motor standoffs (I have metric but they are standard) and hopefully the airplane gods will deliver my remaining servos and extensions. Going to do some Dad stuff tomorrow but hopefully I will have enough time to get it ready for maiden on Sunday! :D
Third Build Session:
Well, I spent too much time at the lake today and did not get as much done on the Extra as I wanted. Looks like I am going to have to get up early if I want to get to the flying field at a reasonable time before it gets too hot.
I completed the motor install, ESC install, cowling, pull/pull, rudder servo, elevator servos, elevator linkages, RX install, Castle Ultimate BEC install, battery mounting, prop, spinner, setup ESC and programmed the radio for everything except ailerons. The fuselage is basically done except for decals. I spent 5 hours doing all of that. A lot of that was soldering batteries, motor wires and the BEC setup. So that's 12 hours so far, which is not bad considering I usually allow 16 for a small electric.
Tomorrow I will seal the ailerons hinges, install the wing servos, put on the decals and if all goes well maybe get it in the air for a couple flights. :D
Fourth and Final Build Session:
I finished up the aileron servos and got the decals on then waxed her up. After that I checked the throws with a pitch gauge and then put her in the car. That all took about 3 hours. So, the total build time was about 15 hours from box to maiden.
The longest steps were gluing in the hinges and soldering up the electrical system. Not much you can do to reduce time spent on the hinges, which are pre-drilled, but if you forgo using an external BEC (separate RX battery) and you don't set it up to handle multiple sizes of batteries it would go a little quicker. Time to fly!! :popcorn:
First Flights - Report
First flight was on 6S and an APC 20/8E.
**One tip for those of you who will use different size batteries is that the middle of the CG range is just about at the back of the wing tube. So, if you balance it each flight by picking it up by the back of the wing tube without the canopy on you will be very very close.
Maiden was very uneventful! A couple clicks of right rudder trim and we were off to the races! First impression was, "wow this thing flies straight"!
After I verified the CG was OK I put it through some stall testing and then a few touch and goes. The thin airfoil gives a super crisp stall break that 3D pilots will love. It has no wing dip or tipstall tendencies and stall recovery is simply lowering the nose or poring on the power. Landings are great! It settles in to a 3 point stance naturally and goes exactly where you want it. Slow speed handling and landing feel like a giant scale plane. Very predictable and stable.
Ok, that's enough about the basics. Let's talk aerobatics! Now, I'm only a few flights into this thing but I really feel that this has to be one of the best aerobatic planes out there! What I really like about it is that it combines the best of small and big aerobatic planes. It keeps the mind bending agility of the 48" EXPs while adding just enough giant scale stability and inertia to make it feel all warm and fuzzy!
I was ecstatic with my first outing. Flew 6S twice, 7S twice and 8S once. :D
(I will update this as I get more flights)
Tracking - This is a very precise and crisp aircraft. I really like the way it flies aerobatic lines and maneuvers. Rolls are very axial and snaps are crisp straight and lightning fast.
Knife Edge/Slip - I am not using SFGs at this point but KE and Slip are very good. High alpha KE is very stable and does not require a lot of elevator pumping. KE loops, power off over the top, are clean and it does not try to tuck or complain coming out of the last quarter. It settles into nice high yaw slips upright or inverted. You can make a very steep almost vertical approach and kill the speed nicely.
High Alpha - I don't think I have ever flown a plane that harriers well as this. It's a lot like the 48" EXP but more stable and locked in (size and weight mostly). Inverted or upright is just as comfortable.
High G - Walls, Water Falls, Falling Leaves are more Giant Scale looking. It hits the corner and slides (that's the inertia I was talking about). It rotates very straight and does not need a lot of rudder work to come out on heading. High G KE circles and loops look great. There's something about the thin airfoil that really makes all of these EXPs excel in fast maneuvering.
Spins/Tumbles - I didn't do a lot of traditional spins but the KE spin is a sight to behold! It has a fast rotation centered on the wing tube and the fuse parallel to the deck. Move the rudder stick to the other side to exit in a SICK elevatoring flat spin! Did a couple of tumbles and lomkevocs. It definitely has the big plane feel and look that make those types of maneuvers impressive. The sound of a big E prop in a tumble is AWESOME!
Roller - Like all the EXPs the roll rate is insane but I immediately felt comfortable with rolling maneuvers in either direction. Very stable and predictable rolling, one slightly wrong rudder or elevator move doesn't send it into conniptions. Roller loops big, small, fast or slow are notably sweet!
Update 7/2/10 I really enjoyed myself flying this plane tonight. It is such a sweet flying bird. So stable yet it will do anything you can throw at it. I worked on rollers today with it and I think it is my favorite rolling plane to date. Point rolls, hesitation rolls, slow rolls, rolling harriers, rolling loops are freakin fantastic! It also makes a neat whistle sound when the ailerons are deflected kind of like a composite plane but not as loud
All setup info includes:
AXI 5320/18 motor (Initial flights were on Scorpion 4035-330 which is in the shop for now.
Ice 100 ESC
The Scorpion motor and Castle Ice 100 performed great on all setups. Very smooth power delivery and great sound!
*** After about 10 flights the Scorpion 4035-330 motor quit running. After I took it apart I found that the front stator laminates had come delaminated (see pic) and a magnet rub had probably shorted out the motor. Contacted Scorpion USA (innov8tive designs) and Lucien was great about supporting the product. However, they are out of stock with that motor at the moment so I am switching to the AXI 5320/18 until I can get the replacement.
Aircraft weight without batteries is 126.7 Ounces or 7.92 Pounds.
6S - 20/8 APCE, 6s Flightmax 5000 25C. Power on this is actually pretty good. It has plenty of grunt for 3D. Throttle response is great for slow speed stuff. However, it is kind of weak at high speed or high load maneuvers. It will do IMAC type of flying all day but an upline snap or fast rolling loop and it's a little too weak.
*** After switching to the AXI 5320/18 the 6S setup got much better. I would be happy flying 6S on the AXI all day! The 20/8 is the best prop for 6S BUT it flies pretty good on 18/8 too. So, if you have 6,7,8S batteries you can fly all day without having to switch props.
These batteries weigh 26.3 Ounces or 1.64 Pounds bringing flight weight to 153 Ounces or 9.56 Pounds. With an average power consumption of 600mAh per minute (based on 3 flights so far) this will give you a 6.7 minute flight using 80% of the battery capacity.
This power setup puts out about 1750 Watts. Battery voltage drops from 24.94 to 21.84 pulling about 80 amps.
7S - 18/10 APCE, 7S Hyperion G3 4200 35C. Power on this setup is exactly enough for an aggressive pilot. Vertical pullouts are crisp and authoritative. Rolling loops as tight and fast as you like and upline snaps all the way to the top. Only problems here are that it's not way over powered so if you are a bit ham fisted you might like 8S and 7S is just harder to deal with. What I mean is Hobbyking does not do 7S and the Hyperion 7S can only be charged on the Hyperion charger unless you modify the plug. Also it limits what else you can do with the batteries. At least with 8S you have two 4S packs to play with. You could to one 3S and one 4S in series if you want. Point being that 7S is great and if you have the batteries for it you wont be disappointed.
These batteries weigh 27.9 Ounces or 1.74 Pounds bringing flight weight to 155.5 Ounces or 9.66 Pounds. With an average power consumption of 500mAh per minute (based on 2 flights so far) this will give you a 6.72 minute flight using 80% of the battery capacity.
This power setup puts out about 2400 Watts. Voltage drops from 29.02 to 25.7 and pulls about 93 amps.
7S - 18/8 APCE, 4S and 3S 5000 PowerEdge Batteries from RCAccessory. I haven't run the numbers on this setup yet but the AXI motor and these batteries on 7S are just about perfect. These batteries hold their voltage so good they almost feel like 8S.
8S - 18/8 APCE, 4s Flightmax 5000 30C. Power on this setup is more in the ballistic category but it is not too crazy. Lets just call it impressive power.
These batteries weigh 37.1 Ounces or 2.32 Pounds bringing flight weight to 163.8 Ounces or 10.24 Pounds. With an average power consumption of 500mAh per minute (based on 1 flights so far) this will give you an 8 minute flight using 80% of the battery capacity.
This setup puts out about 2450 Watts. Voltage drops from 33.15 to 30.11 and pulls about 81 amps.
8S Hyperion G3 4200 35C APCE 18/8
These batteries weigh 32.7 Ounces or 2.04 Pounds bringing flight weight to 159.4 Ounces or 9.96 Pounds. With an average power consumption of 500mAh per minute (based on 1 flights so far) this will give you a 6.72 minute flight using 80% of the battery capacity.
This setup puts out about 2500 Watts. Voltage drops from 33.25 to 30.15 and pulls about 83 amps.
RCAccessory PowerEdge 5000 8S APCE 18/8
These batteries weigh 37.3 Ounces or 2.35 Pounds bringing flight weight to 164 Ounces or 10.25 Pounds. With an average power consumption of 500mAh per minute (based on 2 flights so far) this will give you a 8 minute flight using 80% of the battery capacity.
This setup puts out about 2600 Watts. Voltage drops from 33.35 to 30.16 pulling 86 amps.
Choosing your setup:
The following video is to give you an idea of what the 6, 7 and 8S setups look like in the air. I tried to do 3 very similar and basic flights to give you an idea of the merits of each. I think the 6S is kind of floaty and very forgiving. 7S is about the same floaty but the power is very good. With 8S you can feel the extra weight, especially with the bigger 5000 packs, but that extra weight makes a lot of the maneuvers look better. Snaps are crisper, rollers are faster, torque rolls are more stable and the power is nuts. I like all three and will continue to fly all three.
Get'rr Done Chris!! :)
Just waiting for a U.K /Europe shop to get em in stock and I am having one !!!!
Already ordered the Motor/ESC and will order the servos in the morning :)
Can't wait to hear more! Do you have any other EF birds for comparison? I assume this one will have similar construction to the 78".
Updated build log on the first post above.
I'm really looking forward to flying this plane and will give you my honest opinion as we go along here!
Sounds like you're well experienced with their planes! The 78" was my first Extreme Flight and I love it. Construction looks very similar. EF is putting out such nice models, I don't know if I'll ever need to fly anything else with the line up thats coming out. Every time I'm ready to move up, they should have something for me! And their pricing is great!
This thing looks beautiful in the pics. I love that orange! I'm seriously contemplating selling my nice 50" electric I have and moving to this one as my go to electric 3D plane...
Coming along nicely Chris.
ordered mine and Chris and company got it out on the Brown truck already! Thanks for the pics and build thread!
A question for you regarding your selection of the full sized servo's.
Assuming you didn't already have them, why did you go with the 7985mg's versus the 7955TG Titanium coreless servo's that have alot more torque and are usually found for about $10 more than the 7985mg's?
just curious as I've been buying the 7955TG's instead of the 7985's
Nice plane and WOW, great price on this plane. That is about $50 cheaper than my other favorite manufacturer for a similar sized plane. I already have an Extra in this size class on the way but when the Extreme Flight 70" Edge comes out, I'll be right there.
Herc and word on where the 70" Edge is in the pipeline and when it might be coming out?
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