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Old Dec 05, 2009, 12:18 AM
Gotta have toys!
La Jolla, CA. USA
Joined May 2006
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Extreme Flight 78" Extra 300 Build

The long anticipated Extreme Flight 78" Extra 300 has finally been shipped. Mine arrived this afternoon. Here in San Diego we have a precision flying series called EMAC which is limited to electric powered planes. The EF 78" Extra 300 seemed like the perfect platform for this series, so a number of us did a group buy. Almost the entire Advanced class will be flying this model next year, so it should be a great series. Much like a spec. class in racing with equal equipment for all. I will be posting my build, and a few of the other guys will be contributing information where their build differs from mine.

Chris took a long time developing this plane, and has tweaked it to the max. Being 78" wing span, and 76" in length, it is stretched about as far as it can be and still fit in the IMAC 10% scale rules. If you look at the dimensions of this plane, the proportions are almost identical to the Dalton ML Extra, which has been a stellar performer in IMAC for the last couple of years.

I am hoping my plane will come in very close to 11 pounds with my light weight battery freestyle setup, and still under 12 pounds with my big batteries in EMAC setup (it needs to fly almost 10 minutes to complete two Advanced sequences). I like to fly straight lines, but we all gotta cut loose once in a while and do some 3D. I've seen some videos, and this plane can 3D with the best of them. At 11 pounds, and 1225 square inches of wing, it should be a very light flying plane in 3D mode.

I've just had a very tough week. I've been in and out of the Hospital for four days trying to pass a Flintstone sized Kidney Stone. This sucker will not come out, and is about the most painful thing I have ever had. Some advice, if anyone ever asks "Who wants a Kidney Stone?", don't raise your hand. It's bad news. They have me drugged up, and I have to pee through a strainer. I'm hoping that when it finally comes out it will have the face of Jesus, or Obama on it, so I can sell it on E-Bay or something. The arrival of the EF 78" raised my spirits. We have two more days of good weather in the forecast, so I hope to do some flying this weekend. After that, San Diego's version of a building season will begin. We'll have 4 or 5 days of freezing, 60 degree temperatures, and showers, so I hope to get a lot done.

Anyway, on with the build!
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Old Dec 05, 2009, 12:21 AM
Gotta have toys!
La Jolla, CA. USA
Joined May 2006
856 Posts
OK, here is the obligatory "whats in the box" photo.

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Obviously my Wife is out of town at a Horse show (and you thought our hobby is expensive), so I unpacked the plane on her "fancy eating table" for the picture. Luckily she never reads the "dumb toy airplane" forums so she'll never know.

Everything appears to have arrived in good shape, so no broken parts to worry about. Whenever I get a new ARF kit I go through it just to get an impression of the quality. This is an Extreme Flight product, so everything looks to be top notch. Although I generally iron all my planes, and will do so with this one as well, I have yet to see a single wrinkle in the covering.

One thing I like to do is weigh the two wings to see how close they are. Having wings of equal weight is something custom builders focus on, as it has a profound effect on precision flight. Unfortunately, many ARFs are not even close, and a lot of weight must be added to one wing. In this case my left wing weighs 394 grams, and the right wing 399 grams. Pretty darn close for an ARF. To me this shows good design, consistent wood selection, glue application, and covering methods. I like it!

My big custom built IMAC planes have spoiled me when it comes to hardware. I rarely can bring myself to use much of what comes in an ARF kit. However, I am very pleased with the hardware package that came in the EF kit. Composite dual control horns for all surfaces, Dubro Ball Links, my favorite Titanium "Pro-Link" linkages (I love these, and never heard of them being included in a kit this size before), carbon fiber wing and stab tubes, and even a CF rear gear setup. All great stuff. This may be the first ARF I've ever built where I will not have to buy, or change, any hardware. That represents a huge savings, making this plane even more of a value. Well done EF!

The one extra thing that all of us purchased was the optional carbon fiber main landing gear. I have never had good luck with Chinese aluminum landing gear. Also, I will need to save weight wherever I can to make my final weight goal. The standard gear in my kit weighed right at 6 ounces, the carbon fiber gear weighs 2 7/8 ounces. Just about half, well worth the price. The bonus is that they appear to be very well made, with a nice air-foiled design. I recommend this option to anyone who buys this model.

OK, the drugs are telling me it's time to go to bed. Please forgive my spelling and writing, I'm not all here right now. Tomorrow I'll start actually putting the pieces together, probably starting with gluing in all the hinges.

Please feel free to question, comment, make suggestions, or contribute any way you want to as we go along.

Here are the specs from EF on this model as flown in the video by Chris Hinson of EF:
mix of precision aerobatics and 3D flying with the new Extreme Flight RC 78 inch Extra 300 ARF.
Specs:
Wingspan: 78 inches
Length: 76 inches
Wing area: 1225 square inches
Weight: 12.6 lbs including batteries
Power: Torque 5030/20 Brushless Outrunner
Airboss 90 Amp Opto ESC, APC 20x8
Zippy Flightmax 10S 5000 mah battery
Radio: JR 12X and Hitec 5985 servos

Video: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showa...7&d=1253030249
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Old Dec 05, 2009, 08:45 AM
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Looking nice! Looking forward to see more pics!
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Old Dec 05, 2009, 12:33 PM
sooo RTF
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Old Dec 05, 2009, 03:18 PM
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Looking forward to watching you build this thing.
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Old Dec 05, 2009, 07:08 PM
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San Francisco, CA
Joined Nov 2005
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Also subscribed. Mine doesn't get there until next Thrusday and I still have to wait for batteries from HK.
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Old Dec 05, 2009, 09:10 PM
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Old Dec 06, 2009, 01:24 AM
Gotta have toys!
La Jolla, CA. USA
Joined May 2006
856 Posts
Normally, I start a build by removing the covering from all the openings required in the kit. Even though the manual says to do this, it looks like EF has done this step for us, and did a better job of it than I can. Save me a lot of time, thanks guys! So, I started the build with gluing in the hinges. I really like Robart style hinges. they have proven reliable, and are easy to work with. The entire process of gluing the hinges into one side of all the surfaces took only about 1 1/2 hours, and went without any unexpected snags.

Here is a picture of my hinge gluing setup.
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My method is pretty simple. The setup consists of:
30 minute, two part epoxy
Cups for mixing the epoxy
A scale for weighing the epoxy to ensure proper mix
Mixing stick
Denatured Alcohol for cleaning the hinge posts
Toothpicks
3 in One penetrating oil
a Qtip that I have removed the cotton from one end. I use this to apply the epoxy into the the holes for the hinges. It is the perfect size.
File for making adjustments to the holes.
Scissors (didn't need on this kit)
Hobby knife (also didn't need)
Pre cut paper towel pieces for keeping things clean. I hate messy glue jobs!

Before I start the gluing, I do a dry fit inspection of all the surfaces to ensure I end up with a nice, tight, non-binding hinge line. I look to make sure that the the alignment is good, that the center of the hinge pivot point lines up tip of the bevels, and provides the trow I am looking for. If I find I need to do some adjusting, I use the round file, and/or hobby knife to tweak the openings until I am happy. With this kit I only lightly adjusted two openings. The hinge holes were properly done at the factory, this has not been my experience with some other kits. On the elevator, the manual says you will need to cut one of the hinge posts to make sure it doesn't hit the stab tube. On my kit this had already been done for me at the factory. Less work again. When I was dry fitting the ailerons I checked to make sure that the surfaces lined up perfectly at the wing tips. They did not, they were off by about 1/8th inch. This is too much for me, and it would be a lot of work to fix. T then checked the gap at the root of the wing/aileron and it was straight, even, and the right size. It didn't make sense that EF would make the ailerons too short, it's not like them. Then it hit me, this kit comes with side force generators that attach to the wing tips. I dry fitted one of these, and sure enough, the gap was perfect, and required for the SFGs. False alarm!

Here is a picture of a dry fitted elevator/stab. Everything is tight, and straight. I think you will all have to agree that there is plenty of throw!

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Now that all surfaces have been dry fit, it is time to start the gluing. I do this one surface at a time. First I remove all the hinges and line them up on a clean paper towel. I apply oil to the hinges to make sure the epoxy won't stick to the parts of the hinge that needs to move. I use a cup to hold some of the 3 in 1 oil. I use a toothpick to dip into the oil pool, and apply a light oil coat to all parts of the hinge that need to move. I use the toothpick method because I can be very accurate, get the coverage I need, and be sure not to get any oil on places I want the glue to stick. If you use too much, it will run down the rod, and the epoxy won't stick, if you use too little the hinge will be glued solid. This is very important!

Next it is time to mix the epoxy. Since I mix a fresh batch for each surface, I only need a small amount. I mixed about 1 1/2 grams each of epoxy, and hardener for each batch. Next I dip the QTip in the epoxy (remember use the side which has had the cotton removed), get a nice bead of epoxy and coat the inside of each hinge hole. Make sure you coat all the way down to where the wood stops. I use a spinning, plunging motion to make sure I get complete coverage. You don't need a lot, but you do need good coverage. Done carefully, an small amount of epoxy will come out the top of the hole. Wipe this off with a pre-cut paper towel. Next, cover one rod of the hinge completely with epoxy. Again not too heavy, just enough to ensure good coverage. Then push it into the hinge hole with a twisting, motion. If you have used just the right amount of epoxy a small bead will come out of the hole when about 1/8 inch from the hinge knuckle. Stop pushing, and do all the hinges to this point. Now go back, and clean off all the excess epoxy. You can now push the hinge the rest of the way into the hole.

It is very important to get the alignment of the hinges right. You want the center of the metal hinge pins to be right at the peak of the surface bevel. You want the throw of the hinge to be exactly perpendicular to the bevel line. Check the alignment, and make sure that each hinge can rotate freely the desired amount, and that the alignment doesn't change as it rotates throughout it's movement. Now is the time to look over the surface, and clean up any extra glue, or fingerprints that may have gotten on it. The surface is now finished, set it aside to dry. While drying, I stand it vertically so any glue will flow down into the hole.

You are now ready to start the whole process over on the next surface. After I complete each surface, I go back to all previously completed surface and gently rotate the hinges through their entire range of motion. This "exercising" of the hinges will make sure that epoxy doesn't bond in the hinge.

This simple method has worked well for me. It is easier to do than it sounds. In fact it takes longer to type how to do it than it does to actually do it. If you guys have other methods, please feel free to post. I'm always interested in learning how to do things better.

Total time into the build so far 1 1/2 hours. Tomorrow I'll glue the surfaces other side, and hopefully have time to glue on all the control horns.
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Old Dec 06, 2009, 01:30 AM
Gotta have toys!
La Jolla, CA. USA
Joined May 2006
856 Posts
Great to see all of you are interested in this plane. I am expecting it to be a very special electric. I still haven't decided on which servos I am going to use. Guess I'll have to make a choice and order them on Monday so I don't slow up the build. Any Ideas, or recommendations?

The rest of the system is on my parts shelf. The build should go smoothly. The most difficult part will be the motor mount. I am planning on using a Neu 1515/3D geared in-runner on 10S. The motor box was designed for an out-runner so this will take some re-engineering.
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Old Dec 06, 2009, 09:20 AM
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Forest City PA
Joined Jul 2009
130 Posts
Subscribed also.. I'm building mine now also in the same trim scheme. I'm using the Power combo that EF is selling as a combo with the plane on 10s. I will be using Hitech 7955's on all surfaces only because I already have them sitting around.
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Old Dec 06, 2009, 10:40 AM
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United States, GA, Lawrenceville
Joined Jun 2003
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1bWana1 - I like how you lay out everything you need before the build. Normally I amrunning to get paper towel when I have spillage or something. I will have to start preparing like you do.
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Old Dec 06, 2009, 11:21 AM
Gotta have toys!
La Jolla, CA. USA
Joined May 2006
856 Posts
livinma1,
I know what you mean. I am not one of those "naturally talented" builders, so when I want it to come out right I have to force myself to be organized. I still find myself falling into the tearing through the drawers, looking for something quite often. Mostly happens when I start what should be a quick little repair, and things get out of hand. My Wife really laughs at me when I start swearing and stuff.
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Old Dec 06, 2009, 11:49 AM
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Joined Jul 2004
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A suggestion: After building two 88" yaks, I found that gluing all hinges into the stabilizers and ailerons first makes the final jointing much easier. After the aileron hinges are cured, you can cut a couple of "V"s into a cardboard box to help support the main wing vertical with the gluing surface level. Same procedure with the stabilizer and elevator. With the main wing stabilized, you can test fit and glue the other part much easier. While drying, you can temporarily tape the ends of the ailerons for alignment.
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Old Dec 06, 2009, 01:55 PM
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United States, GA, Lawrenceville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bwana1 View Post
livinma1,
I know what you mean. I am not one of those "naturally talented" builders, so when I want it to come out right I have to force myself to be organized. I still find myself falling into the tearing through the drawers, looking for something quite often. Mostly happens when I start what should be a quick little repair, and things get out of hand. My Wife really laughs at me when I start swearing and stuff.
That's my world. Things get out of hand very quickly.
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Old Dec 06, 2009, 03:21 PM
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Definitely subscribed.
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