E-flite Mini Pulse XT ARF

Vic and Quinn Walton review the latest home run from E-flite

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:42.5"
Wing Area:330 sq. in.
Weight:27 oz.
Length:37.5"
Wing Loading:11.8 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:4 E-flite S-75
Transmitter:JR XP7202
Receiver:JR R720
Battery:E-flite 3S 2100 MaH
Motor:E-flite Park 450
ESC:E-flite 25 Amp Pro
Manufacturer:E-flite
Available From:Horizon Hobby

When we saw the very first ad for the E-flite Mini Pulse in early July, we were in the process of reviewing Hangar 9's glow-powered Pulse XT 40. We looked at each other and said almost in unison: "We have to have that plane!" Our glow Pulse came to the field with us every weekend since we got it, logging over 200 flights - every one of them relaxing and enjoyable. Would the Mini live up to that high standard? With E-flite's proven track record, we had reason to hope.

From the moment it was trimmed out on the maiden flight, we knew: this little guy might be even more fun than the Pulse 40! It has the same pleasant lines and predictable, reassuring flight characteristics, in a plane you can fly at your glow field on Sunday or at your local park on your way home from work. That has always been the promise of electric flight, and with the Mini Pulse XT the promise has been fulfilled. It was 5 pounds of fun in a 1-1/2-pound package!

Kit Contents

As always with an E-flite kit, the Mini Pulse XT was very complete and came almost fully assembled. This was the third E-flite balsa-based ARF we've built in the last 6 months and they just keep getting better! The box promise a 3-hour build time, and that was just about exactly how long it took.

A quick examination of the kit revealed the same intricate, interlocking light ply construction that we've come to expect from E-flite. The plane was very strong and incredibly light, and the covering was applied expertly - we didn't even get out the covering iron!

Kit contains:

  • balsa/light ply construction airframe
  • fiberglass cowl and wheelpants
  • aluminum main gear
  • factory installed hinges and generous hardware package
  • spinner

Kit requires:

  • outrunner motor such as E-flite Park 450BL
  • four sub-micro servos
  • 25A brushless ESC
  • 4+ channel transmitter
  • 6+ channel micro receiver
  • LiPo pack, 11.1V 3cell 2100mA
  • 6 or 8" servo extensions for the ailerons (four total suggested, see below)

Assembly

Wing

Step 1: Open the plastic bag* and remove the one-piece wing.
Step 2: Carefully throw the bag away.

* For you married guys out there, here's a tip: don't just rip open the plastic bag with your teeth. Look around your garage and think of a power tool that you've always wanted to own. Tell your wife that you need it for your current project, and use it to open the bag. Suggestions: worm-drive circular saw, 14" band saw, plunge router, ride-on lawnmower (use with caution), chipper-shredder, or any glow engine fitted with an APC prop. Be creative!

It's done! Ailerons were hinged, control horns attached and servo mounting holes cut with the covering nicely ironed down around the edges.

Fuselage / Tail

The fuse was almost as easy to put together as the wing. The gear bolted on to pre-installed blind nuts in the fuse. The horizontal stab slid onto (pre-installed) bolts on the vertical stab - both pre-hinged and with control horns pre-installed - and the whole unit bolted onto the fuse. If you're planning on way-overpowering your plane and flying like a maniac*, you might consider gluing the tail feathers down to avoid flutter; we have used the bolt-on method a number of times and it has never been a problem.

* If you've ever pylon-raced a Slow Stick, this note might be for you.

Radio and Motor Installation

The radio pretty much dropped in with the exception of the rudder and elevator servos. The mounting holes provided for them were a bit too small for the (recommended) S-75 servos, and had to be widened a bit. (Finally we get to use a tool! Quick, where's the plunge router?) Actually a file would work fine, but where's the fun in that?

The Mini Pulse included a special mounting adapter specifically for the Park 450. The mount screwed to the back of the motor (a little Lock-Tite was recommended here) and the motor bolted on to the firewall through the motor mount using the included standoffs (Lock-Tite). A ball-driver was handy to have here, as the bolts were pretty close to the motor can and it was akward to get a regular hex-driver on straight.

A big disappointment with the kit was the spinner. You'll notice in our pictures that we didn't use it; this is because while it might fit E-flite's recommended 10x8 electric prop, our LHS didn't have any, and the spinner just wouldn't fit any prop we had on hand. Spinners are pretty - we wish E-flite would change its design so we could use theirs!

One more suggestion -- The manual says that 6" servo extensions were required for the wing servos. While 6" extensions will work, if you're planning on taking the wing off much, 8" extensions will give a lot more room to work. For that matter, two 6" extensions per servo - one in the wing and one remaining attached to the receiver - worked best.

Tip: put a piece of tape (or simply tie a knot) in the right-hand wing servo wire and do the same with the right-hand receiver extension: then when putting the plane together, it's much harder to plug in incorrectly.

Completion

The last two items on this very short list of build steps are the cowl and wheel pants. One advantage that the Mini Pulse has over its big brother is that the cowl just bolted on over the motor, with no drilling or Dremelling. Ha! Take that, big brother!

The wheel pants bolted on easily and stayed on through about a dozen flights so far (from a paved runway or very short grass.)

Power

The E-Flite Park 450 outrunner pulled 16 amps for 171 watts at full throttle, spinning the recommended 10x7 prop. We tached the prop at 7,000 RPM. When we put this data into a thrust calculator, it came up with approximately 1.47 pounds of thrust, which sounded about right based on the way the plane flies. This worked out to an impressive 101 watts per pound - more than adequate for the type of flying the plane was designed for. Calculated pitch speed at WOT was 46.7 MPH.

In case the numbers don't make it clear, let's put it this way: never at any point in our flying did we feel that the plane was lacking for power.

Flying

Basics

When we were cruising the pattern at our glow field, there were times that, if the Mini Pulse XT hadn't have been blue rather than red (and quiet), we couldn't have told the difference between it and the Pulse XT 40. It flew almost exactly the same - a lot bigger than its size. It tracked excellently and was generally a joy to fly a pattern. We found that we could take it to a park, and while we wished that we had more sky to play in, we didn't feel cramped; the "Mini" part of the plane came out and it was right at home with the Brios and Styrofoam warbirds.

Taking Off and Landing

Take-offs were routine; just firewall the throttle, touch the up-elevator, and it's flying. There wasn't even much need (or time) to correct the rudder to the right. Likewise landing presented little challenge - we lined it up with our runway, killed the throttle to idle, and slid it in, with little blips as needed to keep it on a good glide path. It bled off speed nicely, and well before it stalled, the sticks started to get that mushy, melting-ice-cream-on-a-hot-summer-day warning feel. The stall was so gentle it was more of a sleepy nod than a sudden drop.

Ground handling was excellent thanks to the tailwheel attached to the rudder post.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

While the Mini Pulse will never be seen in an F3A competition, it will handle your basic Sunday Flier stuff - loops, rolls, snaps, Cubans, etc. - very nicely. It knife-edged surprisingly well given the generous dihedral, with hardly any coupling; this means the plane can four-point roll at least as well as we do. It rolled about once per second with recommended throws (on high rates).

3D? Welllll - no. This plane just does not come equipped with the control surfaces for that kind of action.

Is This For a Beginner?

For an absolute beginner, no. Maybe, with a lot of sim time and a good instructor. But it would be an ideal second plane or aileron trainer - on low rates it won't bite the pilot. And when they're ready to start learning aerobatics, this plane will be right there waiting for its pilot to catch up to its capabilities.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

The Mini Pulse XT is a a great-looking park flier that can hold its head up proudly at a park or a glow field. It could be a perfect second plane and aileron trainer, waiting to teach you simple aerobatics, or a relaxing everyday flier the perfect size to bring along on Sundays or throw in the trunk for a flight on your way home from work. Nice job, E-flite.

Last edited by AMCross; Nov 21, 2006 at 04:01 PM..
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 04:15 PM
pda4you is offline
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Great review guys! Looks like a fantastic little plane...been eyeing it for a while now.

Mike
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 11:05 AM
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Great review! I typically use scissors to open little plastic bags, but now I think I'll at least upgrade to a 36" gas-powered hedge trimmer.
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Old Dec 28, 2006, 12:50 AM
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just got one i love the looks and hopefully the performance

i might maiden tomorrow

btw im running a 480 on it
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 02:45 PM
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Greetings.

My "park" is pretty small - it's acutally an elementary school play ground. I'm a pretty good pilot and can keep my little elec pattern ship and DLG withing the confines of this space. However, I have to hand-launch my elec since the grass is too long for ROG take-offs.

Questions: Will hand-launching work for the Pulse XT? And. . .what's the minimum space need to fly it, too?

Great review, thanks for the info!

Ciao.
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 07:35 PM
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Vic and Quinn Walton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Stark
Greetings.

My "park" is pretty small - it's acutally an elementary school play ground. I'm a pretty good pilot and can keep my little elec pattern ship and DLG withing the confines of this space. However, I have to hand-launch my elec since the grass is too long for ROG take-offs.

Questions: Will hand-launching work for the Pulse XT? And. . .what's the minimum space need to fly it, too?

Great review, thanks for the info!

Ciao.
I personally wouldn't fly it at an Elementary school, but I'm a wuss. Seriously, if you're comfortable in a small space, you'll probably be alright. It isn't a super-fast plane, so you'll have time to turn before you hit something; on the other hand, you'll be turning pretty much all the time. As for hand-launching, we've never tried it but I think it would be fine. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 02:52 PM
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hi .my planes are 1.wing dragon 4ch .2. T28 trojan foam. this would be my first arf plane, it looks easy enough to do looking at the review , i ordered this plane today but it didn't say anything about needing 6" servo extensions were required for the wing servos?

also should i change the throws on my dx6i for my first flight ?
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Other than the recommended e-Flyte motor / ESC combo any other ideas as to a motor and prop combo?
Thanks,
Don
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Old Oct 27, 2009, 02:16 AM
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Just bought one,,,

This plane rules,,anything Mike McConville designs or endorses rules...The guy knows how to build planes...I bought a scorpion motor that should be much stronger than a 450-480,,might add some nose weight but only a few grams,,

Anyone know how the CG is?,,,is is balanced perfect with the 450? or is it a touch nose heave,,,I saw the servo goes into the tail,,that usually allows for a bigger motor,,,

Thanks

Todd
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Old Oct 27, 2009, 11:39 AM
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CG on this plane doesn't have to be on the spot, I don't remember where it is, but mine is a little nose heavy (on purpose) and still doesn't want to land.
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Old Oct 27, 2009, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicoyenny
CG on this plane doesn't have to be on the spot, I don't remember where it is, but mine is a little nose heavy (on purpose) and still doesn't want to land.

I like my planes nose heavy as well,,,Did you have to add weight on the nose? or was it naturally that way..I guess my question is.. I am putting a 95 gram scorpion motor on the mini xt. the eflight 480 weighs 87 grams,,,the 450 weighs 72 grams,,,

The scorpion motor has 47.27 thrust ounces,,I am hoping to have good vertical,,I love hammer heads, but hate it when the plane barely makes it up high enough for a good stall turn,,,

Hoping I don't have to add too much tail weight..
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Old Oct 27, 2009, 06:56 PM
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i ran a tpx 22oo on mine with a 480 and i coulda ripped the plane apart if i wanted too
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Old Oct 29, 2009, 03:52 PM
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My flying buddy maidened his last night - he had a HeadsUpRC Power Up 450 on the front with the E-Flite 10X7 (floopy) prop. After the 1st flight, I made him put on an APC 10X7E - what a difference! I think that he is now sold on APCs 4-ever!
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 09:08 AM
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480 1020Kv Mod for the Mini Pulse

Iíve been flying this plane for about 2 weeks now; I can tell you that it is a beautiful plane and once is properly balanced and trim it flies well as long as thereís no more than a 3-4 MPH wind. the plane likes to come in hot, and if you try to slow it down it will stall. I modified mine by installing an E-flite 480 1020Kv a Haiyinstore.com 2200 Mah 3S 11.1V 40-50C LIPO and APC 10x7e, a 30 AMP BEC E-Flite ESC. Iím getting 25-28 Minutes flights with the above mentioned setup. I had to buy a Great Planes 1ĺĒ Spinner because the one that comes with the plane is basically useless, I also had to reduce the width of the prop at the hub in order to install the spinner since the 4 Millimeters shaft adapter that comes with the Park 480 motor is too short, you should also know that if you want to install the 480 motor on this plane you will have to use a rotary tool such as a Dremel and carefully grind off with a ĹĒ inch conical grinding stone two grooves on the back of the motor right above the holes for the screws in order for them to fit on the shorter end of the X mount that comes with the plane, it is also a good idea to use the washers that comes with the motor and put them between the motor and the X mount that comes with the plane hardware. Remember to properly balance the model!!! I moved the CG 5mm forward and added GPM self sticking lead weights to the tail at the bottom of the fuselage 14 Grams of it. The plane does everything I order it to do, fly straight; level and stable just remember to keep your thumbs on the throttle and elevator when landing, or, come in hot, too hot for such a small plane which is the only thing that I really donít like about the plane. If you like this plane you should really get yourself a Mini Ultra Stick also from E-Flite.
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Old Mar 13, 2012, 11:14 AM
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I enjoy the heck out of mine!

I also agree with the prior post about this airplane not being exactly "wind friendly" other than that it's a Cadillac.

eFlite 450
45amp ESC
2200 MaH
APC 10 x 8

Fly's like it's on RAILS!

Don
AMA 384859
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