I’ve been approved to release some information about the new, “Rifle 1M.” I’m a little nervous about “putting myself out there” personally associating myself with any particular model, but I love the airplane so much and am so proud of it I’m going to go ahead. Normally, if something needs to be addressed it can be done through the proper channels (Product Support) behind the scenes, but in this case I’ll be available to assist via this forum in any way that I reasonably can.
I also wanted to clarify that, sure, the Rifle 1M is still a mass-produced, mostly fiberglass model. Not a hollow-wing, painted–in-the-mold, exotic Kevlar/carbon fiber jewel made one-at-a-time by a guy in his shop in Europe. The disadvantages are that the Rifle 1M will be slightly heavier than its competition (though it still has a lighter wing loading compared to the original Rifle) and not as precisely made, but it is also considerably less expensive and backed by a company (Hobbico) that I’m quite certain has a good reputation for spare parts and technical and warranty support (not that other companies who sell composite planes do not). The Rifle 1M is still intended to be an ideal entry-level pylon-type of racer, but the improvements in quality and design will make it something advanced pilots can also enjoy, or easy for beginners to grow into. One of the best things is that all of the motor components and radio gear are ultra-easy to fit – the thing is a cinch to put together!
The published wing loading of the regular Rifle (outfitted with a 24mm motor and a 1500mAh battery) is 22 – 23 oz./sq. ft
. At around 300W this setup is pretty easy to launch. But the weight outfitted with a “mid-speed” setup (around 420 Watts), a 3S 1800mAh 25C battery and a 28mm motor and a non-modified wing is right at 20 oz. With a wing area of 112 sq. in that puts the wing loading at 25.7 oz/sq. ft.
This is a nice-flying, easy-launching, fast (130-ish?) every-day setup. I also have a couple of “Super Rifles” with carbon spars and paint jobs that bring the weight closer to around 22 oz. for a wing loading of 28 oz/sq. ft.
These could be trickier to launch, but there is so much power on tap I usually don’t have any problems. Now, with the recommended 28-45-3600 Ammo, 3S 2200mAh 30C battery and 50A ESC the Rifle 1M weighs 26.1 oz. With a wing area of 174 sq. in. that’s a wing loading of 21.6 oz/sq. ft.
So the weight (and wing loading) has been improved. Unlike the regular Rifle, there is no white base paint on the 1M – the white you see is the gel coat while the orange and black trim is paint. Obviously, in addition to reduced weight, this also contributes to extremely “free and easy” elevator and aileron movement.
From all the time I’ve spent with my smaller Rifles I’ve learned that there are uncountable permutations and combinations of motors, props and batteries that can be used to power it. For the “speed” setup with the Rifle 1M we’ve settled on the 28-45-3600kV Ammo inrunner, a 3S 2200mAh 30C ElectriFly LiPo, a 4.5 x 4.1 prop and Castle Creations Ice Lite 50 ESC. Static, this setup draws about 48A and makes about 520W (in), 34,000rpm for about 140mph – easily 130mph straight-and-level. Drawing an average of around 40A airborne you can go about 2 min, 20 seconds WOT. We will also be suggesting a lighter and slower “sport” setup using the same motor and ESC, except with a 2S 2200mAh LiPo and a 5.25 x 6.25 prop at about 45A, 300W, 2100rpm. With the sport setup you can probably fly closer to around 4-1/2 minutes because the current draw is less and you probably won’t be flying it full-throttle the whole flight. This setup is also easy to launch and relaxing to fly.
How much power can you stuff into the Rifle 1M and how fast can you fly it? Well, as I’ve written in the manual, the practical limit is based upon how much motor and battery you can stuff inside. I mean, eventually you get to the point where the additional weight or extremely short flight time will be prohibitive, so this will be up to the skill
of the pilot. I have flown the Rifle 1M with an HET 2W-18 (3650kV) on 3S with a 4.5 x 4.1, 4.75 x 4.75 and 5.0 x 5.0 (around 800W static), a Neu 1110/1Y (4550kV) on 3S with a 4.1 x 4.1 and a 4.5 x 4.1 (around 1050W static) and a Neu 1112/2D (3250kV) on 3S with a 5.25 x 6.25 (around 860W static) and the same 1112/2D on a ThunderPower 4S 65C with a 4.7 x 4.25 (around 1200W static). The latter setup weighing 32 oz. RTF, but it’s an older version with white paint and is about 2 oz. heavier than production will be. All the flights noted above are WOT the entire flight (no let-off) including vertical dives to terminal speed with full (low-rate) elevator pulls at the bottom. I’m looking at the plane on the workbench over my left shoulder at this moment with nary a scratch. It still has the 1112/2D inside. But what can I say? Based on our power recommendation in the instruction manual the warranty will cover you if using the recommended setup or anything close to it (that’s around 500W power in). Above and beyond that, how much the company will stand behind it would probably be determined by the details of each individual situation.
Improved, shortened, lightened aluminum spinner
Connectorless linkages (all z-bends)
FRP (fiber-reinforced plastic) control horns
3mm machine-thread horizontal stabilizer screws
Projected retail: $199.99
Projected “street” price: $159.99
Availability: Late spring, early summer
Images attached. You'll have to temporarily parden some of the "rough edges" as this is an earlier, hand-made prototype not from finished tooling.