Extreme Flight 58" Extra 300-E Review

Looking for scale details in a model that presents larger than life and 3Ds with the best of them? Read on as Bill Killillay explores the new Extreme Flight 58" Extra 300-E.

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:58"
Wing Area:700 sq. in.
Weight:89 oz. as reviewed
Length:57"
Wing Loading:18.3 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:Hitec & Futaba
Transmitter:DX7
Receiver:AR-7000
Battery:MaxAmps 5s4000
Motor:Torque Revolution 4014T/570 Brushless Outrunner
ESC:Airboss Elite 80 Amp ESC
Manufacturer:Extreme Flight RC
Available From:Extreme Flight RC
Retail Price:$259.95

When this plane was introduced and one of the prototypes flown at SEFF '07, I thought, “looks nice, but show me something new.” WELL! Extreme Flight RC did just that and a lot more! This is not just another semi-scale RC plane. A lot of thought and attention to detail have gone into this model, and it has redefined my thinking of what should be in an RC package of this size. Thanks to Chris and Extreme Flight the bar, has been raised!

Kit Contents

The first thing that is evident is that care and attention went into packaging and protecting your new investment.

By the point that I had these pictures taken I was very excited. I knew this was going to be a quick build and could just feel that this would be a great flying plane.

Also included by Extreme Flight for this review were the Torque 4014T/570 & 80 AMP Airboss Elite.

The complete kit features:

  • Immaculately completed and covered airframe
  • Trimmed and completed canopy
  • Matching pre-painted and trimmed cowl
  • Prepainted pilot bust
  • Scale cockpit instrument panel
  • Pretrimmed color coded wheel pants
  • Matching spinner with aluminum back plate
  • Premium thoughtfully complete hardware package
  • Clearly written and illustrated manual

Kit requires:

  • 3-4 Hitec HS-225MG servos and 1 HS-475HB for rudder, or
  • 3-4 Hitec HS-5245MG servos and 1 HS-5475HB for rudder
  • 750-1500 Watt Brushless Motor - Torque 4014T/570 strongly encouraged
  • 60-100 AMP ESC - 80 AMP Airboss Elite strongly encouraged
  • 5-6s3500-4500 LiPoly battery

Additional Items used in this review:

  • Misc. CAs and razor blades
  • 4 servo extensions, 2 - 24inch and 2 - 12inch
  • 1 Receiver of choice (AR7000 used by author)
  • Radio of choice (DX7 used by author)

Assembly

Fuselage

Specifications
KV:570
Weight:280 grams
Shaft:6mm
Retail Price:$104.95
The motor comes with presoldered connecters that mate perfectly to the Airboss 80 amp ESC. Using the recommended 15x8 Xoar prop and warm packs I get ~1200 watts. This setup provides truly unlimited vertical and powerful 3D.
For an in depth review of this motor and ESC be sure to check out fellow author Tim Tworek's review of this combo.

After carefully inspecting for any damage or loose seams (and noting the incredible laser work that went into keeping the structure light yet strong) I chose to install the horizontal stab. The fit was nearly perfect with no shimming or sanding required.

Be sure when installing to check the horizontal stab for alignment and that it's parallel with the wings, both with them on and off.

I decided to install the stunning CF landing gear, and I found this little lip under which the gear slides. After further inspection, I found that this is a load bearing former and that the designers had addressed the old landing gear problem of folding back by hooking it under this former. Nice!

Finishing off the LG are the high quality finished wheel pants. The included axles and wheel keepers are also tops in quality.

Tail

Next, I chose to assemble elevator halves and install the servos in the tail. Since I already had Futaba 3102s on hand, I chose to use these, one on each elevator half. The speed and torque are nearly the same as the recommended 5245s, they center very well, and they weigh nearly .5 oz. less per servo.

The elevator joiner is a nice, very stiff hardwood. I carefully cut and sanded the joiner until I had the fit that I wanted. Then using MT5 Thin CA by Mercury, I glued each half to each elevator half.

Next, I trimmed a little covering off so that the support plate that goes around the phenolic control arm could be mounted squarely to the control surface. Be sure to lightly sand both the arm and plate lightly before gluing to ensure a good fit.

Finally, each elevator half is installed onto the horizontal stab. EF has taken all the work out of it by precutting the slots. The CA hinges are even in place, but not glued. The alignment of the slots was perfect.

The last thing that I like to do on all my models is seal the hinge. I did this with the Extra as well by using a sealing iron and 1 inch strips of clear ultra coat covering material. You can also see that there is plenty of throw available due to the generous bevels.

The rudder install follows suit; it's clean, simple and fast! While I chose to use a Sullivan assembly, the reasons for this are purely personal. The included tail wheel hardware is first class.

Wing

There is stunningly little work required on the wing. The servo openings need cutting, and because the hinges are precut, all that is required is to install the control horn and glue it and the CA hinges.

The taper designed into the wing roots makes for a perfect fit to the fuselage. This is another of those small details that Chris and the EF team went to lengths to ensure was correct and makes this a special plane.

Cockpit

The innovative level of detail that EF has included in this package for the cockpit is worth its own section.

I wanted to see where I was starting from and how much weight this setup would add to the overall install, so I started out by weighing the base empty canopy. Our starting weight is 4.9 oz.

The visor is the only item that has to be cut and installed. I used normal lexan scissors to cut the visor out and then used the included self tapping screws to attach it. This gives it a nice scale appearance.

I really like the clear panel and the design here. Each instrument has a bubble over it giving it a three dimensional appearance. The colors and details behind the clear panel really make this pop!

Finally, I wanted to see how much this scale detail cost me in total weight: 7.1 - 4.9 oz = 2.1 oz. At less than 5% of the total AUW this was well worth it to me. Now it has me wanting one of these little guys for all my semi-scale planes! If you’re like me and would like one, EF offers them separately! Click here for more info.

Completion

Specifications
Capacity:4000mah
Weight:455 grams
Size:44mm X 137mm X 32mm
Voltage:18.5
Retail Price:$189.99
INCLUDES a Hyperion balancer tap, but addition taps can be requested. I use the TP taps on mine.
Available from MaxAmps
While testing these I have seen over 1000 watts on the recommended setup from Extreme Flight. This provides close to 200 w/lb. Making for very spirited and truly unlimited 3D!

The last items that any self respecting plane should have are some stickers. Extreme Flight has provided a very tasteful complement of stickers to finish off your plane.

Flying

Between the airfoiled tail group and the most powerful ailerons that I've ever flown on a plane this size, the control throws are important, and I've included them for reference here.

Control throws were set per the instruction manual:
Low Rates UpLow Rates Down High Rates Up High Rates Down 3D Rates
Elevator 10º 10º 45º 45º 45º+
Aileron 15º 15º 35º 35º 35-45º +/-*
Low Rates Left Low Rates Right High Rates Left High Rates Right
Rudder 20º 20º 45º+ 45º

Basics

With my throws set per the book, the maiden flight went off without a hitch. The EF Extra does all the basics with ease, and in fact, it makes simple things like a loop or stall turn look fantastic. The size and design are perfect for maintaining energy throughout, but not so much that it's like trying to control a rocket. The overwhelming thing that I noticed on the first flight was how smooth it flies. This plane goes where you tell it, and it stays that way until you tell it to move. I like not having to fight a plane, but rather being able to fly the plane.

I started with my timer set at 7 minutes and 30 seconds. The MaxAmps 5s4000HV's came down barely warm to the touch even with the air cooling hole still uncut and took back in 2650mAh from the first flight. (please note the outside temps were in the mid 40s at the time). I would like to say that I just flew nice easy circuits on the first flight, but that simply did not happen. The plane was calling to me to go big or go home, so I did!

Taking Off and Landing

Keep a little power on when landing, but if you've been flying planes this size for very long, you probably already do it and don't give it a second thought. While the EF Extra is quite floaty, in my opinion, it still likes just a tick or two of throttle to make those landing greasers!

3D Flight

With 3D or beyond stall flight becoming so popular these days it seems that most aerobatic planes will do some flavor of 3D. Some planes do a little bit well, some planes do a lot of things so/so - not so with the Extra. So far everything that I've thrown at it has been handled with ease and precision.

One staple of 3D seems to be the hover, and I enjoy doing it as much as the next pilot. On the early flights, I found it hard to hold a good hover, so I made two changes. First, I moved the CG back to the aft end of the spar tube (or maybe even a little bit beyond that).

The second change had to do with control throws. I found that as soon as I'd get the hover established, the plane would start torque rolling even at max deflection. I cranked the throws on my high rates for the ailerons way up. This worked VERY well for stopping the torque roll and allowing me to control the hover, but it also scared me to death the first time I did an outside snap from inverted with high rates! The plane covered three full revolutions before I realized what had happened and why. Yes, the ailerons are THAT effective. I have since tweaked again and put my rates on a 3 way switch so that I can hover on one setting and 3D on another. I find this to be more enjoyable. All the other rates I left per the manual, and I could not be more pleased with this setup.




ManueverGrade Notes
Hangar A Moving the CG back and upping the Aileron throws helped a lot here!
Torque Roll A+ Establish the hover, and then relax the aileron input... the EF Extra will do the rest...
High Alpha Level Flight A At times there was a little wing rock, but shifting CG aft will tame this.
High Alpha Inverted A+ Roll it over, set the power, and drive with the rudder!
Flips (high alpha half loops) B I will be changing my servo arms to longer ones on the elevator to help with this. My feeling is that this is a setup problem of my making and not a design flaw.
High Alpha Rolling A Watch out! These ailerons are very, very powerful.
High Alpha Knife Edge A+ So far I've not found any need for mixing here.
Stall Turns A+ The rudder is more than powerful enough and these happen almost in place.
Knife-edge-to-knife-edge turns A All that is needed is throttle to control the size of the loop at each end.
Wall B+ Due to my shorter servo arms, I found that I needed a little power to do these. Longer arms will fix this as I've seen other EF Extras do this without issue!
Flying Flat-Spin A+ These are just plane (pun intended) fun! Up right or inverted, take your choice, even with smaller servo arms, had no problems.
Waterfall/loopet B+ Reserving more judgment for longer servo arms.
Pinwheel A Keeping the wheel round is a fine balance of power I found. Torque rolling out like some other models however does not happen. Just take it vertical, hammer the rudder over and hold on! *grin*

Is This For a Beginner?

This plane does NOT self correct like trainers or even some more forgiving aerobatic models. This model goes where you point it and stays there until you again change it, and it goes there pretty quickly too. You'll be much happier if you get a few other planes under your wing first. It is worth buying now and holding on to until your ready though. You won't be disapointed when the time comes and your ready!

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

Overall I am very, very pleased with Extreme Flight's latest offering in this size. The 58 inch Extra is just what I was looking for: something that is scale, and that will fly an IMAC sequence one minute and get down on the deck and rock and roll the next. With no bad habits that I've uncovered so far, I can already say that no trip to the field would be complete without this plane in the truck.

Additional resources for information on this fine machine:

  1. Extreme Flight RC
  2. Build Thread 1 on RCG
  3. Build Thread 2 on RCG
  4. First thread I saw here on RCG
  5. The manual, provided by Extreme Flight
  6. German Build Thread - Look for G.Hanssmann's posts!
  7. Electric to Glow instructions.
  8. Additional Video
  9. More video in High Def from

Pluses:

  • Scale cockpit!
  • Detailed and complete hardware package
  • Included top shelf in quality spinner
  • Precut cowl
  • Beautiful, wrinkle free covering job when it came out of the box
  • Attention to detail and quality
  • Immaculate laser cutting and innovative design touches, such as the LG plate and carbon rods from firewall to plate!
  • Options such as one or two servos for the elevator or converting to glow

Minuses:

  • Some of the included ball links had some slop
  • The airdam to route hot air out provides access for the pull/pull wires, but nothing for the servo wires
  • The wing bolts are a little close to the wing tube for my fat, stubby fingers
Last edited by Bill K.; Jan 21, 2008 at 08:45 PM..
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 10:55 AM
edge5foamy is offline
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Very nice review man! I want one of these BAD!
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 11:41 AM
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A very thorough review — nice job!

It looks like a great kit, with a lot of nice details. I thought the included wing bags was a very nice touch.
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 11:48 AM
Doctor Who is offline
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Bill,

Nice review on a very nice looking aircraft.
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 01:07 PM
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Thanks Guys, it's a lot of fun to fly. It's been a couple of weeks since I've been able to fly it due to weather and I'm having withdrawals.
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 02:03 PM
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Yeah, it's been hard to find good flying days lately here in the South...

(Global warming? Not lately! )

I just finished watching your video — very nice job with it, too. You definitely are an A-plus pilot.
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill K.
Thanks Guys, it's a lot of fun to fly. It's been a couple of weeks since I've been able to fly it due to weather and I'm having withdrawals.
I think I finished mine before you did and I haven't flown it yet!
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffery
I think I finished mine before you did and I haven't flown it yet!
I think you did too. Or very close to it. I'm getting bugged by our weather. With some luck I'll have it back out this weekend though.
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 05:06 PM
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Nice review Bill.
I love my Extra. I might have to add the blue and yellow one to the hangar also. The Maxamps works good? I just ordered a couple of those.

Cory
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC4x4
Nice review Bill.
I love my Extra. I might have to add the blue and yellow one to the hangar also. The Maxamps works good? I just ordered a couple of those.

Cory
Cory,

I've had very good luck so far with my packs. I have these and some 3s3000's that I'm also running and so far both sets have been awesome packs. I would not hesitate to recommend them. Oh wait that's what I just did.

BK
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 05:52 PM
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Very nice plane indeed. But why would anyone pay this much money, or buy a plane that is built so heavy requiring such an expensive motor and battery combo when you can just get a Stevensaero 55" Cap and fly it on less of a motor and battery at sub 45 oz weight.. I love the larger planes but having to use such an expensive power and battery combo seems to ruin it at least for poor folks like me... Why don't they build them lighter like the SA kit(s)?
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goleith
Very nice plane indeed. But why would anyone pay this much money, or buy a plane that is built so heavy requiring such an expensive motor and battery combo when you can just get a Stevensaero 55" Cap and fly it on less of a motor and battery at sub 45 oz weight.. I love the larger planes but having to use such an expensive power and battery combo seems to ruin it at least for poor folks like me... Why don't they build them lighter like the SA kit(s)?
Frankly... because people don't like building planes anymore and are too used to ARFs... Sad but true -- I love kits, too. And they always end up much lighter, too.
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goleith
Very nice plane indeed. But why would anyone pay this much money, or buy a plane that is built so heavy requiring such an expensive motor and battery combo when you can just get a Stevensaero 55" Cap and fly it on less of a motor and battery at sub 45 oz weight.. I love the larger planes but having to use such an expensive power and battery combo seems to ruin it at least for poor folks like me... Why don't they build them lighter like the SA kit(s)?
I think a lot of it has to do with the ARF process that adds the extra weight. Though for its size and wing loading it's not nearly as heavy as you'd think.



I recently built another fairly large kit, a 63" WS kit. I figured up the cost by time I got all the covering, bought the wing tubes, landing gear and other misc. hardware and I can tell you that I spent as much or more, probably more than I would have for an ARF of the exact same kit.



Like my daddy used to say, you get what you pay for!! In the case of this ARF; the quality is unreal, there are only two other ARF manufacturers that I've seen and built that are even playing on the same ball field, let alone in the same league as the EF planes.



Take care,

Bill K.
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 06:25 PM
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Yep, I can get a plane with really good flying characteristics and very manageable wing loading built and covered for ~$100 more than the SA Cap.

And I too was once an ARF hater, but frankly I can't build/cover as nice as this for what the $100 would mean to me. I still love to build, I've only ever had a handful of ARFs, but this really is a nice plane through and through.
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 07:07 PM
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Don't get me wrong, I am no ARF hater. I enjoy building but not very good at it and enjoy flying MUCH MUCH MORE! I have an EF YAK and love it. Not as much as my SA Cap but two diff planes for diff flying.. The thing that bothers me is the extra weight means 5s or greater lipos! Anything greater than 3s and the price becomes "unreal". All the planes I own have at least two batteries and even though when i went lipo a few years back i went with an astro 109 so it would grow with me as my exp grew, I cannot justify the cost of a 5s + battery but I would love to have larger than 55" planes..
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