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SuperFlyRC.com SuperFly Review

What makes a plane super? Durability? Versatility? Wild moves beyond human comprehension? Jeff Williams thinks he's found a bundle of super EPP goodness, and they call it the SuperFly.

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:27"
Recommended Weight:10.9 - 11.2 ounces
Weight as Flown:11.0 ounces
Length:22"
Servos:BlueBird BMS 380
Transmitter:Futaba 10C
Receiver:Berg 4L
Battery:Common Sense 2S 800/1250
Motor:TowerPro 21 Outrunner Motor
Prop:GWS 8x6HD / APC 8x6E
ESC:Castle Creations ThunderBird 18
Manufacturer:SuperFly RC
Street Price:$96.90

I heard it said once that every now and then you will come across an airplane that simply looks like it would be fun to fly. And if you were to add to those fun-to-fly-looks with stall resistance, slow flight, durability, agility, quickness and an easy build, you would be looking at a truly exciting airplane. Dave Halko at the SuperFlyRC.com compound has been doing his best to churn out aircraft that fit this description.

Over the years, Dave has been reworking his SuperFly design to produce maximum smile with minimal investment, be it financial or emotional. With past hits like the SuperMite, SuperFlea, SuperFlea Twin and now planes like the HyperFlea, SuperFly and MegaFly, itís obvious that Dave is doing a wonderful job keeping both goals attainable. One of the staples of the SuperFly lineage is the SuperFly, and after going through several evolutions, it keeps getting better and better.

Kit Contents


All of Dave's kits show up in the same way no matter what level of trim "triangle" you purchase from him: PRECUT canopy with battery and receiver slots, EPP elevons, all hardware, powerful brushless TowerPro 21 Outrunner Motor, 8x6 HD prop and complete instructions and of course the EPP wing cores in the form of an impenetrable foam block. Depending on the level of trim, it can also show up with some nice items like the ESC, servos and even Lipos.

I picked up the SuperFly with the "leather interior." It included all of the above, but it also included:

Castle Creations Thunderbird 18 ESC

  • Blue Bird BMS 380 servos




Items I needed to complete the SuperFly included:

  • At least a 3 channel with elevon mixing. I decided to use my trusty Futaba 10C.
  • 2-3 cell 1200-1500 LiPoly batteries. I have been flying the Fly on Common Sense 10C 2S 1250's and recently Common Sense RC 3S 20C 1350s. The difference between 2S and 3S are two completely different aircraft. We will dive into that later in the article.
  • Battery charger capable of charging said 2-3S batteries. I am using the Common Sense RC Proton charger.
  • Hot Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Paint - does not have to be FOAM safe. EPP has tuff.
  • Approximately 2 hours worth of time to devote to the build.

Assembly

Dave has said that he doesn't like a plane that he can't build very quickly. I know it is more than cliche' to say that a plane goes together "fast", but when you are building the SuperFly you are only limited quite literally by how slowly the hot glue dries. The manual is also available online, so if you are considering buying a kit, href=http://www.superflyrc.com/pdf/SuperFly.pdf>download it and give it a looksee.

Wing (It's ALL the wing)

Before I started putting glue to EPP, I removed the slag (the melted foam on the wing left from the cutting process) from the foam parts. Slag is easily removed by simply rubbing all the foam parts together; I use the leftover foam between the elevons.

To join the wing halves, I grabbed each half, applied an appropriate amount of glue to each wing root and stuck them together.

Since the motor is "mid-mounted" on the SuperFly, I cut a prop slot into the wing to allow for prop clearance.




Once the prop slot was cut, I installed the elevons. The elevons must be trimmed just a touch to get the "SuperFly" look.

 Before and After elevons
Before and After elevons

All that is needed to install the elevons is hot glue. The elevon hinge is also hot glued. Of the many SuperFly products I have built, I have not had too many issues with the hinge: It's very strong and very durable.

The hinge is actually very simple, but I recommend you practice on some scraps before you do it for "real."

A couple tips:

  • Keep the bead about the width of a spaghetti noodle
  • Keep the bead around 2" long
  • Keep your razor blade edge nice and clean.
  • Keep your razor blade edge nice and clean.
  • Keep your razor blade edge nice.. and.. clean..

With the elevons installed it's time to install the vertical stabs. The stabs are cut from scrap EPP in the kit using the provided templates. Once I had them cut out, I sanded the base of each stab so it would sit flush on the wing at the approximate angle required. The angle for the stabs is also on a template that can be cut out. I traced these onto some cardboard and then cut them out to get the angle correct.

Before I glued the stabs to the wing, I went ahead and painted the Fly. Paint is dead weight, so keep the paint to a minimum.





The motor mounts to the motor mount stick and then hot glues onto the airframe.



With the major parts of the build complete, the finishing touches must be applied: The servos, pushrods, receiver and speed controller must all be installed, and the control horns for the elevons must be installed. These are also installed with hot glue.



I use an extremely handy Z-bend tool which makes putting the Zs onto the pushrods these a breeze. I marked where I want the bend, inserted it into the tool and squuueeezzzed. Voila! Z-bend!


With the Zs as bent as they could get, I installed the pusher of the Z, the servos. I laid the servo out onto the wing, traced around it with a fine point Sharpie and cut out this outline with a #11 blade. The hole can be cut with a hot iron, soldering iron or a number of other foam obliterating methods, I chose to go quick and easy with the blade. Once I had the cutouts, I glued the servos into the hole again hot glue. I relieved the foam perpendicular to the control horn screw to allow a screwdriver access to this screw after the servo was glued for all eternity into the SuperFly. (Of course it's not glued in for all eternity but it sounds much more exciting to say so!)



Lastly, the ESC, receiver and EPP canopy must be installed. The EPP canopy comes with a 90* edge on the canopy, and while there is nothing wrong with this, I like to add a little something... a little flair. I simply trimming a little of the canopy for a dash of panache. I marked the canopy back to where I want to cut (about 1/4 inch or so) and then grabbed a FRESH #11 and went to town. Once trimmed, I hit it with a shot of black paint and Bam! It's not much, but it makes the SuperFly look so much better.



Once I pimped my canopy, I installed it onto the airframe and routed the antenna along the SuperFly to keep it out of the prop slot. I personally do not enjoy the look of an antenna flapping in the breeze or being routed all over the aircraft, and having owned a previous version of the SuperFly and the HyperFlea, I know that soon youíll be trying things that can often put the antenna into harmís way.

Letís play a quick game of
Letís play a quick game of "where is the antenna?" I'm tellin' ya, if it was a snake, you'd be bit. Seriously bit.

I made a gentle slit the top of the canopy, back and forth along the length, and then gently tucked the antenna into the canopy. This installation has been PERFECT on both my HyperFlea and MegaFly.




With the installation of the canopy, the SuperFly is complete!

Flying

Flying is what the SuperFly is all about. Because itís made entirely out of extremely durable EPP, flying the Super Fly is very exciting, yet the worry about meeting terra firma unexpectedly that exists with other crunchable aircraft is nonexistent.


Basics

Stable:

  • a: firmly established : fixed , steadfast
  • b: not changing or fluctuating : unvarying
  • c: permanent , enduring
  • d: placed so as to resist forces tending to cause motion or change of motion
  • e: designed so as to develop forces that restore the original condition when disturbed from a condition of equilibrium or steady motion b (1): not readily altering in chemical makeup or physical state (2): not spontaneously radioactive

The SuperFly is quite stable in all aspects of flight. Inverted or right-side up: the SuperFly doesn't care.




The SuperFly is capable of extremely slow flight and high angles of attack, both inverted and right side up. It also has a very quick roll rate with the rates up.

Taking Off and Landing

Takeoffs and landings must be made via a toss and a belly landing. Hand launches are extremely easy. I usually grab the SuperFly by the canopy, and with a flick of the wrist, launch the Fly into the air. Power on or power off, it doesn't matter. I really enjoy bringing the SuperFly by low and slow, grabbing a wing tip, quasi-pirouette and launch it back in another direction. To land, I bring the Fly down nice and low, pull the power out and let it simply plop down.

Special Flight Performance

The SuperFly and all the others in the SuperFly lineage are extremely durable.

Downloads

This durability allows a relatively new pilot a great amount of fun without worrying about crashing. The durability also allows seasoned pilots to push the limits even more.

Downloads

The SuperFly often finds me trying things I would not try with other aircraft... such as landing IN the back of the wifeís CRV. The durability of the SuperFly combined with its agility makes it a ton of fun to fly.




Is This For a Beginner?

While it is very durable, I wouldn't recommend it as a first aircraft to someone with zero experience. However, with a buddy box, why not? It can fly nice and slow, it's extremely durable, inexpensive and fun to fly.




I would recommend the SuperFly as a second or third airplane to anyone with the "basics" down; It would definitely bolster their skills.

Downloads

Conclusion

I'm going to go out on a limb and say everyone should own one of these. If you were to show up on any given Saturday at my flying field, a SuperFly would be there. I have put more time on my SuperFly products than quite possibly any other aircraft. The SuperFly line of aircraft are incredibly fun to fly and extremely durable. Lots of guys say they'll throw something in the car to fly, this one you can literally THROW into your car.

Sometimes you just need something a little different than the norm. The SuperFly is a great bird to warm up your thumbs or relax your knees after a stressful flight. Want to fly combat (be it full contact or streamer)? The SuperFly is ready to go. It's great for both honing skills and developing them. The confidence that is inspired by the ultra-durability of the SuperFly is a great tool to train your thumbs to tease mother earth. The SuperFly is the little guy that can do it all. I can heartily give it a Tram's thumbs up.

Tram says "Thanks!" I'd like to thank those who have participated in one way or another with this review. My wife Harley for all the rockin' pictures and video. My good buddy Napster for the indoor video. Dr. Dave Halko for giving me the opportunity to play with yet another one of his toys, Mike K. @ CommonSenseRC.com for the battery packs, Lee E. @ CastleCreations.com for the Berg 4L..

Cheers:

  • Very Durable
  • Tons of fun to fly
  • Extremely easy to build

Jeers:

  • The "Hot Glue Hinge Method" can take a little practice to perfect.


Last edited by Angela H; Jan 14, 2009 at 08:07 PM..

Discussion

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Old Jan 15, 2009, 12:19 PM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
United States, TX, Kingsland
Joined Sep 2005
5,059 Posts
Great Review Jeff. I still fly my SuperFlea twin EDF on a regular basis. Dave showed us how to taxi and do touch-n-goes on the gym walls with his first SuperFleas.

With the mid-wing propslot, the SuperFly may not be able to do these tricks, but it sure seems to have all the rest of the great flying traits of the originals. Dave's Supers are the absolute most fun you can have with EPP foam! It looks like the SuperFly would be a great choice for the 2009 SEFF full contact combat event.

Mike McD
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 12:23 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Florence, Al
Joined Oct 2000
29,301 Posts
Yeh, the gym floor scootin' looks like a blast..

Is there talk of full contact combat again??
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 02:12 PM
Gravity sucks ↓
alienteabagger's Avatar
USA, FL, Miami
Joined Nov 2008
275 Posts
I have one of these too!! What a freakin BLAST to fly. It loves to be flown in the wind too!! I have flown mines on days when the wind was gusting Ī20mph and it was so much fun!!

I use 3 cell packs ranging in size from 800mah to 2200mah, with the 800mah packs I can slow it down to a crawl and pretty much walk alongside it while it floats along at an absurdly high angle of attack. The larger and much much heavier 2200s require much higher throttle positions to maintain flight, the happy medium (for me) are my 1300mah packs. Over 12-18mins of flight time before the ESC hits cut off!!

As for using this as a trainer, I have recommended this plane to ALOT of people as a first plane for the simple reason that it is a VERY tough plane!! I started out on this and have flown it into trees and poles at speeds higher than I care to admit and nothing that a bit of hot glue and patience couldn't fix. I have learned alot from flying the Superfly and its my FAV thing to fly!!

As for full contact combat... Watch this video on youtube... Im the guy in the black shirt =)
Superfly combat at Tamiami Park (8 min 21 sec)
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 02:51 PM
Fly me to the moon...
Atom1025's Avatar
Sacramento
Joined Jun 2005
4,140 Posts
Great review Tram. The funnest times I have had in this hobby is with the Superfly. For me it coined the term "stupid fun". What is stupid fun? Stupid fun is when you do ridiculous, off the wall, and just plain stupid maneuvers that you would never dare do with any other plane.

Maneuvers such as rail slides, through and loops of the soccer goal. Thats when you blast through the soccer goal and yank back looping over the goal and then back through. Under the fence, find a low beam or fence and test your skills at how fast you can go under it. Set up targets low on the ground and try and hit them. Touch and goes off the roof of my buddies Valiant Forest flying is the best. Find a group of trees and just blaze about trying to avoid the inevitable. When your friend has one as well the stupid fun levels increase dramatically.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 06:24 PM
Molon Labe
BpPilot's Avatar
United States, CA, San Luis Obispo
Joined Feb 2008
644 Posts
Ive been seriously considering getting one of these and i think that just sealed the deal. U think hs-81s would be good in it? I have 2 of them and a micro 4ch rx doing nothing rite now...
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 06:34 PM
"Have Glue - Will Travel"
dawnron1's Avatar
Ft. Worth, Texas
Joined Jan 2004
2,428 Posts
GREAT review, Jeff!! A very enjoyable read and the videos, especially the 'evergreen' one was a hoot to watch. Please tell Harley she took some GREAT pictures!!

Ronnie
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Last edited by dawnron1; Jan 15, 2009 at 06:40 PM.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 06:34 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Florence, Al
Joined Oct 2000
29,301 Posts
HS81's would probably work fine.. I think the only advantage the Blue Birds have over them is a touch of speed..

Jeff
www.CommonSenseRC.com
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 06:40 PM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
USA, TX, Trophy Club
Joined May 2002
14,479 Posts
Your wife get combat pay for that vid?

Great stuff.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 06:43 PM
resU deretsigeR
PaulVi's Avatar
Dublin Ca
Joined Aug 2004
7,787 Posts
I spent a bunch of time on the sticks of my twin still my avitar cuz it reminds me of good times
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 06:44 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Florence, Al
Joined Oct 2000
29,301 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by pda4you
Your wife get combat pay for that vid?

Great stuff.
Which vid? Did I buzz her?
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 06:46 PM
Mum is the word!
Joined Jun 2003
6,785 Posts
Nice review Tram , you are still doing them?
ck
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 06:48 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Florence, Al
Joined Oct 2000
29,301 Posts
Dude.. the next wing I fly will be a RiteWing.. I promise..
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 08:07 PM
Gravity sucks ↓
alienteabagger's Avatar
USA, FL, Miami
Joined Nov 2008
275 Posts
I have HS-81s in mines and it flies just fine. Had I known then what I know now, I woulda have gone with smaller and faster servos. Even so, I can now perform inverted low passes with the vert stabs nearly touching the ground!!

Here's another video... Winds were at 10 - 15mph that day. Flying without dual rates or expo. The Superfly is great plane to train the fingers nad to build the hand-eye coordination needed for more advanced flying.

Adolfo Flying the SuperFly at Tamiami Park (2 min 31 sec)
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Last edited by alienteabagger; Jan 15, 2009 at 08:20 PM. Reason: added video
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 08:32 PM
Registered User
Pudknocker71's Avatar
Debary, Fl.
Joined Oct 2007
2,314 Posts
Did the SF really need a review?

Just getting the hang of mine. Only had a couple of flights on it. Some great ideas out there on how to abuse it. I need to head out to my local Jr high.
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