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MScompositusa Maxi Swift EPP Review

This EPP wing can handle just about any aerobatic maneuver and also makes a pretty good soaring airframe! Join Dr. Dave and the huge Maxi Swift as they take to the air.

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Introduction


Wingspan:1380 mm / 54 in
Wing Area:56 sq dm / 868 sq. in.
Weight:32-43 oz. / 996 grams
Length:880mm / 34.75 in.
Wing Loading:6 oz/sq. ft. / 17 g.dm sq
Servos:HS81MG
Transmitter:Futaba 9Cap
Receiver:Futaba R168DF
Battery:Flightpower 3300 mAh 11.1 Lipo
Motor:Axi-2808/24
ESC:Jeti advance 30 amp
Available From:MScompositusa
MSRP:$89.72

MScomposit continues to explore the possibilities of radio control flight with their Maxi Swift. The Maxi is a direct descendent of the Swift and the Swift II but with larger wings, thicker airfoil and overall size. Advertised as being smoother and quicker than its predecessor the Swift II, it is a huge slope/soaring glider with an almost fully aerobatic repertoire. Made of EPP foam, the Maxi Swift is just about indestructible. Four different versions of the color scheme are available including the review Space-Racer, the Retro Racer, the Metal Racer and the Speedy.

Kit Contents

The Maxi Swift comes in a box and a big one at that since the entire box is needed for just one wing half! Mine arrived with no damage.

Kit includes:

  • Airbrushed wing halves with pre-hinged aileron
  • Wing tips/winglets
  • Motor mount
  • Control horns
  • Structural string

Kit Requires:

  • Axi 2808/24 brushless motor
  • 25 - 30 amp ESC
  • 3000 mAh 11.1 Lipo
  • Two HS-81 servos
  • 2 - 6 inch servo extensions
  • Medium CA
  • Four channel receiver

Assembly

Unfortunately the instructions are lacking in clarity. Unless you have built another MScomposit plane you may not know what some of the items are used for. I recently built and reviewed the Blade Dancer and knowing that process really helped me with this build.

Elevons

You begin by installing the servos into each wing so that you have less of a struggle moving four feet of wing around as you make the cutouts for the servos. I used HiTec HS-81MG servos which were an excellent choice. They can handle the load placed on them by the large elevon surfaces with ease.

Start with the servo locations, and turn the servo so that the arm is closest to the elevon, otherwise the linkage provided will not be long enough. Use the measurements, and then outline the servo and cut out the foam using a Dremel tool. Make sure you get the servo deep enough so that it is flush with the bottom of the wing. Note that everything is installed on the bottom of the wing.

Install the control horn, but first rough up the plastic surface with a hobby knife so it has better adhesion. The control horn hole should be directly over the hinge. I noticed the wings comfortably sat on their topside and were flat across the elevon, so making the linkage meet the midpoint of the symmetrical wing was easy.

Wing/Fuselage

The wings represent the biggest component of the build process, and I found they fit together perfectly. You can use CA (EPP does not require foam safe CA) or 30 minute epoxy.

I chose the latter and used masking tape to make a hinge so I could place the glue and then leverage the gap shut to get a good intimate bond. The tape also keeps the glue off of the airframe. Note that the tape will take the airbrush paint off the wing, so be careful and donít press too tightly. Cellophane tape may work better, but I doubt it will stick to the EPP foam.

Finish the wing by installing the string reinforcement. Following the same lines in the instructions for the tape, make a 1/4 to 3/8 inch deep cut across the surface of the wing. I used a small flat bladed screwdriver to then force the string into the cut making sure I kept it tight as I went. Once in place take medium CA and force the tip into the cut and soak the string as you move along the cut. Let that dry. DO NOT USE THIN CA AS IT WILL WEEP THROUGH THE EPP AND ONTO THE PAINTED SURFACE AND ATTACH ANYTHING CLOSE BY.

There are two strips on the top and the bottom of the wing. Slightly offset the top from the bottom.

Motor

Next I added the motor because this does not have any choice in its location, and all other components will be adjusted to get the correct CG.

To begin the process, I had to make a larger firewall. The Axi 2208/24 does not fit the provided plastic mount; The mounting bracket is just too big and the two mounting holes in the plastic motor mount do not line up with the motor.

I cut two pieces of lite-ply. The first fit inside the sidewalls of the motor mount and the second fit the backing plate of the motor. I bolted the motor to the firewall, and then from the back screwed the firewall to the motor mount with three screws. .

Be sure to square the motor with the centerline of the wings, and CA the mount with medium glue, and seal the joint.

Radio Installation

The radio gear is now ready for installation, but first you need to place the Maxi Swift on a CG machine and make sure everything has a place for the proper CG (300-320mm from the nose). Move a few things around, but do not leave anything out including the servo extensions, receiver, ESC and battery. Remember everything goes on the bottom of the wing.

The layout for the CG is because of the steep rake of the leading edge. My machine would not allow enough distance with the guides. so I just made some indentations in the top of the wing and placed the ball joint points into the indentations and used that to balance. Be sure your balance points are square with the wing centerline.

The placements were pretty much where the instruction manual indicated they would be. The forward battery location is an absolute for getting the CG right. From the on-line manual here is some additional information:

"Attention, the delta wings are more sensitive to proper balancing in comparison to standard planes. Throw the model similar to a boomerang holding it on the leading edge. The model should immediately fly (trim in some up elevator to be sure). Climb higher and adjust the trims to perform final COG check. Let the model decline with approximately 30 degree angle and put the stick in neutral position. If the angle tends to increase and the model decline faster, the COG is too much in back and it is needed to put some additional weight in the plane front. If the model tends to reduce the decline the COG is too far forward. Put some lead in the rudder."

Completion

Finish up by cutting out the ESC and receiver cavity and secure all the servo extensions and motor leads with zip ties. I use Aeroworks connectors because once installed, the lead is not going to come apart.

Now that the Maxi Swift is supersized, getting enough space to set the elevons is a challenge. I sort of rotated everything and leveled the wings and then set the controls.

Control Throws

  • Elevator +/- 15mm
  • Aileron +/- 20mm

The last thing to do after everything is set up is to check the amps and watts for the motor. The Axi 2808/24 motor draws 23 amps and 240 watts while swinging a 10 x 5E prop. As soon as you do a few run-ups you will hear what I would say is a pretty loud power system. At full power it is definitely noticeable. Perhaps thatís a good way to hear the planeís power curve, and when the motor if off and you are soaring things get very quiet.

I used the Flightpower 3300 mAh 11.1 LiPo, and it is a hoss. You need that to compensate for the weight of the motor. I also used PowerPole connectors and do so whenever I have an ESC of 30 amps or more. In this case, the amperage draw was not as high as I thought, but nonetheless the Powerpole connectors are easy to use and transmit all the amps without getting hot.

Note that you can use a smaller battery, but you may have to add some weight to the nose to get the proper CG. Either way you will likely end up with about the same AUW.

Flying

My first hand launch was not good. I tanked it into the tall grass and there was no damage, but I realized I needed some up trim to compensate. Once I added some trim, the next launch was fine. Climb out was brisk, and after some slight trimming I was up and flying

Basics

I have flown several powered gliders, but he Maxi Swift performs differently. First of all, full power is not going to give you vertical performance. That's not a problem. You will have to get used to the size and realize those 1,000 grams are configured a little differently than most planes. With the Delta wing configuration, you can get the advantage of super and hypersonic speed, but think about what is in the slipstream: all of it. There is some induced drag present I believe in the Maxi Swift, and for that reason it is not a speed demon. Great climb out, good control and stability, but don't expect a rocket.

Taking Off and Landing

The slinging motion outside toss or the underhanded pitch are your choices for launch. Give it your best light toss, and it will fly with no problem.

The landings are easy, but you need some speed to get over the threshold. Once there, you can cut the throttle, and fly it to the ground. I added some protection to my receiver, battery and ESC by adding some very small foam pieces so that on a landing I did not break something. I did the same thing for the control linkages ahead of the servo arm. That I know would grab on grass and perhaps break off on a hard surface.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The big Maxi Swift can roll, loop inside and outside and fly inverted with absolutely no problem. It is a very aerobatic aircraft; not 3D but fun to fly aggressively. On the other hand, it is also billed for slope soaring and as a glider which I would consider fair. I was able to glide easily and keep it in the air for a while. Because of the size you need either some head wind or some thermal lift. The flooding around here has limited farmersí access, but once the black dirt heats up I know thermals will be present, and the Maxi should fit right into soaring with the hawks, eagle and buzzards.

Is This For a Beginner?

For durability, hands down all the EPP products from MScomposit get my vote. Can a beginner fly it? I think so, but not without a little help. Once in the air, pass the transmitter over, and let your trainee have at it. Slow simple turns and some power are easy to handle, and the delta wing is not that big on stalling.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

I think you get a fun plane to fly that is stable in the air and durable on the ground. It is not the best soaring plane I have seen or flown, but it is one of the more aerobatic. I think the airframe is worth a continuing effort to see what it can do and what motor/prop combinations take it to another level of performance.

Plus

  • Easy to build
  • Great stability
  • Eye catching
  • Durable beyond description

Minus

  • Instruction really need a supplement
  • Expensive electronics are exposed on the bottom
  • Hard to transport
  • No launch grab point on the underside
Last edited by 78dave; Jun 20, 2008 at 05:12 PM..

Discussion

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Old Jun 20, 2008, 05:57 PM
No Guts, No Glory
flyin C's Avatar
Simi Valley, CA
Joined Feb 2007
2,024 Posts
Very nice review, im glad you did this review as it will help many others with the not so good instructions.
i have seen a few of the smaller swifts fly, they are reallyyy smooth

and did you cut out a slot for the lipo?
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 07:46 PM
nooobama
United States, PA, Stroudsburg
Joined May 2004
984 Posts
just hope you dont' need any parts if you break anything.
I've been waiting for 3 MONTHS to get a new motor mount for my maxi. They won't break one out of a kit for me either. I have three of their planes but i will not buy another because of this.
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 08:46 PM
Where did Steve go ?
Alexandra
Joined Jul 2007
3,312 Posts
I just built another one from lite ply after the plastic on my swift 2 eventually failed. I should probably fly with a folding prop as it's the landing with a normal prop that put pressure on the mount. Allot quicker and cheaper than waiting and paying for a new mount.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finishman2000
just hope you dont' need any parts if you break anything.
I've been waiting for 3 MONTHS to get a new motor mount for my maxi. They won't break one out of a kit for me either. I have three of their planes but i will not buy another because of this.
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 08:57 PM
nooobama
United States, PA, Stroudsburg
Joined May 2004
984 Posts
it's more the point of it. I have many planes all up ready but i spend my money with companies that give good service and I won't be spending more with them. I will slice in an aluminum plate with an inrunner when I get to it.
I'll also make sure to say "hello" to the guys at the WRAM show next year (where I bought the planes last year)!
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 10:02 PM
Not your average DiggsyBear
Diggs's Avatar
Raleigh, NC
Joined Dec 2006
8,859 Posts
I am very happy someone reviewed this plane! I have a pair of Swift II's one still waiting to be built. I really love this wing, it is the only plane I have that will land itself. However, I was a bit disappointed after watching the video. I don't think there is any non powered gliding. My Swift II gets more airtime with zero power than with the prop spinning, which allows for extremely long flights. Also, I was kind of shocked at the size of the gear used. It seems very heavy! The SII is so lite that it just floats and doesn't need any power. Mine in WOT static testing hits a whopping 7.5 watts with the hacker a20 30m and APC 8x6 E prop. It has plenty of lift.

I also noticed it was fairly lethargic with rolls. The SII is also a bit slow to roll, but has a great glide rate in a trade off. Seems like the bigger brother has the same slow roll, but even less of a glide. I would love to see a lite build. 996grams seems very porky!

I still want to try one since the Swift II is such a great wing!

Diggs
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 10:14 PM
nooobama
United States, PA, Stroudsburg
Joined May 2004
984 Posts
Diggs, the maxi is BIG and isn't a speed wing. Thick wing and not very ridgid. The swift II is a different kinda flying.
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 11:47 PM
Where did Steve go ?
Alexandra
Joined Jul 2007
3,312 Posts
Yeah I appreciate your point and do the same myself. Did you get them direct from the mscomposit website www.mscompositusa.com or a reseller ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by finishman2000
it's more the point of it. I have many planes all up ready but i spend my money with companies that give good service and I won't be spending more with them. I will slice in an aluminum plate with an inrunner when I get to it.
I'll also make sure to say "hello" to the guys at the WRAM show next year (where I bought the planes last year)!
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Old Jun 21, 2008, 12:35 AM
What no reset button?
Bleemer's Avatar
Joined Aug 2005
35 Posts
Maxi Swift Elevon flexing

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the review.

I have this aircraft and find it to be a big floater. It makes a very smooth camera platform for AP.

I use a larger motor from BP hobbies, part # BP A2814-6 Brushless Outrunner Motor, with a 4000 Mah 3 cell on mine. With this motor I can fly straight up as far as you can see this large wing. I specked it out at the cloud base recently and floated for 20 minutes on my way down.

Looking at your video and especially the inverted flight it looks to me that you could move the CG back some more. The nose looks like it was dropping fast in inverted and the landing glide was dropping faster that I see with mine. I can land this thing with a very soft flop much as a 3d foamy would land for reference to those who thought it glided poorly. I am likely even heavier in my build than you are as I chose a larger motor and battery.

My thoughts matched yours on the manual being weak, but once you build one of their planes you get the picture quickly.

I have all three sizes of the swift wing family and love them all. We fly the mini swift very light for indoor winter golf dome flying. The medium sized Swift II is a great all around performer that will fly slow or fast, not Speedwings fast yet not Zagi snappy either. Nice first wing in my opinion.

My frustration with the Maxi Swift is that the Elevon's are very flexible as they are simply cut from same EPP foam as the whole wing. This leaves the elevon very twisty across its length and front to back.

I have a friend who built his Maxi Swift right before me and in his maiden flight he had control fade as he accelerated to 3/4 throttle. He had to back off the throttle and wait for speed to bleed off until he got control back.

Seeing this I decided to move my servo control attach point to middle of the elevon rather than the inside position as noted in the instructions. I hoped this would minimize the flex across the elevon length. I used a Hitec 82MG servo similar to your choice.

As I maidened my wing, I too suffered control fade as the elevons seemed to flex back to flat instead of holding their control positions for elevator or aileron. Good thing I tested at altitude or we would have seen how crash worthy this foam really is. I too had to wait for the speed to bleed off to get control back. Yikes! I really hate those "I aint got it" moments! The symptom is either straight ahead control fade or a wobbly oscillating as the elevon's flex back and forth.

We have tried to use some Carbon fiber to reinforce these elevons but they are quite large and successfully finding a solution to make them more rigid has escaped us so far. We are open for ideas.

My buddy called their USA distributor and he said people are using much higher wattage(over 800 watts) motor combo's than we are with no problems. I find that hard to believe unless they have done significant mods to this wing. I would like to know if anyone has faced this and has a working solution that we can try.

Overall its a great wing if you want to float it around, but ramping up the speed did not work for us. To be clear, I am not talking about trying to make this a 100mph screamer either, just ramping up to speed on a 320 watt brushless motor drawing around 32 amps.

So I do really like this plane but want to be able to go faster with better control versus just floating it around all the time.

Thanks,

Blee

Remember, every plane has an expiration date. Have fun flying until you find it.
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Old Jun 21, 2008, 05:20 AM
Where did Steve go ?
Alexandra
Joined Jul 2007
3,312 Posts
I found the foam also looses some strength over time and the wings become soggy!. Fixed it with a bit of carbon along the leading edge and also some light weight glass on ailerons really help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleemer
Hi Dave,

Thanks for the review.

I have this aircraft and find it to be a big floater. It makes a very smooth camera platform for AP.

I use a larger motor from BP hobbies, part # BP A2814-6 Brushless Outrunner Motor, with a 4000 Mah 3 cell on mine. With this motor I can fly straight up as far as you can see this large wing. I specked it out at the cloud base recently and floated for 20 minutes on my way down.

Looking at your video and especially the inverted flight it looks to me that you could move the CG back some more. The nose looks like it was dropping fast in inverted and the landing glide was dropping faster that I see with mine. I can land this thing with a very soft flop much as a 3d foamy would land for reference to those who thought it glided poorly. I am likely even heavier in my build than you are as I chose a larger motor and battery.

My thoughts matched yours on the manual being weak, but once you build one of their planes you get the picture quickly.

I have all three sizes of the swift wing family and love them all. We fly the mini swift very light for indoor winter golf dome flying. The medium sized Swift II is a great all around performer that will fly slow or fast, not Speedwings fast yet not Zagi snappy either. Nice first wing in my opinion.

My frustration with the Maxi Swift is that the Elevon's are very flexible as they are simply cut from same EPP foam as the whole wing. This leaves the elevon very twisty across its length and front to back.

I have a friend who built his Maxi Swift right before me and in his maiden flight he had control fade as he accelerated to 3/4 throttle. He had to back off the throttle and wait for speed to bleed off until he got control back.

Seeing this I decided to move my servo control attach point to middle of the elevon rather than the inside position as noted in the instructions. I hoped this would minimize the flex across the elevon length. I used a Hitec 82MG servo similar to your choice.

As I maidened my wing, I too suffered control fade as the elevons seemed to flex back to flat instead of holding their control positions for elevator or aileron. Good thing I tested at altitude or we would have seen how crash worthy this foam really is. I too had to wait for the speed to bleed off to get control back. Yikes! I really hate those "I aint got it" moments! The symptom is either straight ahead control fade or a wobbly oscillating as the elevon's flex back and forth.

We have tried to use some Carbon fiber to reinforce these elevons but they are quite large and successfully finding a solution to make them more rigid has escaped us so far. We are open for ideas.

My buddy called their USA distributor and he said people are using much higher wattage(over 800 watts) motor combo's than we are with no problems. I find that hard to believe unless they have done significant mods to this wing. I would like to know if anyone has faced this and has a working solution that we can try.

Overall its a great wing if you want to float it around, but ramping up the speed did not work for us. To be clear, I am not talking about trying to make this a 100mph screamer either, just ramping up to speed on a 320 watt brushless motor drawing around 32 amps.

So I do really like this plane but want to be able to go faster with better control versus just floating it around all the time.

Thanks,

Blee

Remember, every plane has an expiration date. Have fun flying until you find it.
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Old Jun 21, 2008, 07:35 AM
Dr. Dave
USA
Joined Nov 2005
1,319 Posts
Blee, your comments are perceptive of perhaps why the roll rate is slow. When I review I always stick with the manufacturers setup. I suspect they many times appreciate comments with regard to other maybe even better setups. I was very diligent on the CG. It is possible I was off, since I found I needed up trim to take up off and that translates to nose down inverted. Since the battery is cut into the foam my only choice would have been lead and I thought I was at enough weight base on performance. Also there is likely a correlation between flex, control horn placement and power. A fine line perhaps.

Sorry, I clipped the soaring out because it is hard to see and sort of boring. I try to keep the videos to 3 minutes so the download times are not too bad. I thought it floated very well. As I mentioned I have had no extra lift due to weather and no plowed dark ground. That has to change soon. This winter as well I think the EPP will excel.

Finally, wish the parts things was not a problem since it now seems mine will break too at some time. The mount is pretty simple so some lite-ply might get you another mount and back into the air soon.

Thanks for all the comments.
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Old Jun 21, 2008, 10:40 AM
What no reset button?
Bleemer's Avatar
Joined Aug 2005
35 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by 78dave
Blee, your comments are perceptive of perhaps why the roll rate is slow. When I review I always stick with the manufacturers setup. I suspect they many times appreciate comments with regard to other maybe even better setups. I was very diligent on the CG. It is possible I was off, since I found I needed up trim to take up off and that translates to nose down inverted. Since the battery is cut into the foam my only choice would have been lead and I thought I was at enough weight base on performance.

Hi Dave,

One trick I used with this Maxi Swift build was to duct tape the battery in place to check the final CG in flight. I have had past issues with recommended CG versus where it actually flies best for me.

Now that I see one idea is to glass the elevons, being able to easily move the battery again to counter the extra weight will be lucky planning.

So note to others, tape the battery in place then test fly before cutting the foam.

-Blee
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Old Jun 21, 2008, 10:57 AM
Not your average DiggsyBear
Diggs's Avatar
Raleigh, NC
Joined Dec 2006
8,859 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleemer
Hi Dave,

Thanks for the review.

I have this aircraft and find it to be a big floater. It makes a very smooth camera platform for AP.


So I do really like this plane but want to be able to go faster with better control versus just floating it around all the time.

Thanks,

Blee

Remember, every plane has an expiration date. Have fun flying until you find it.
That is exactly what I wanted to know. The video doesn't really indicate it floats well. I love how my Swift II will float. I have Ritewings for speed and I am not looking for that in either the SII or the MaxiS. I am about to build my second swift II for a night flyer. They float so well it would be perfect with some glow wire on a nice calm night. I was kinda hoping the Maxi would have similar flight characteristics just larger and float a bit more maybe, but that is not an easy task. The Swift II glides extremely well.

Diggs
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Old Jun 21, 2008, 02:18 PM
Dr. Dave
USA
Joined Nov 2005
1,319 Posts
Funny you should say tape. I guess duct tape does stick to EPP? Clear tape does not.
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Old Jun 23, 2008, 01:24 AM
C'mon more Energy
Swoopdown's Avatar
Melbourne, Australia
Joined Mar 2005
3,345 Posts
Going to Goop my Swift 2 and tape it or Profilm it this weekend. It will be intersting to see how extra weight and extra strength and extra smoothness effects this little winner.
3M77 spray glue helps tape stick for anyone intersted.
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