|Wing Area:||505 sq in|
|Wing type:||Built up balsa - Symmetrical|
|AUW weight:||Advertised – 56-60oz Actual - 60.4 oz|
|Wing loading:||~17.4 oz/sq. ft.|
|Transmitter:||/Futaba 7c 2.4/GHz|
|Servos:||Futaba s3150 Digitals|
|Receiver:||R617FS 7-Channel Receiver|
|Battery:||Power Series 25c 2200MAh 4s LiPoly|
|Motor:||Rimfire .32 42-50-800 Motor|
|ESC:||45 AMP Silver Series ESC|
|US distributor:||Great Planes|
|Sequence ARF:||Sequence ARF|
Great Planes has released a new electric F3A pattern ship, the Sequence. This is a great mid-sized, impressive model that has an attractive covering scheme and is an all-around excellent performer. Way back in the day, I used to fly a bit of pattern. I still love the shape and precision of pattern ships even if the pilot is a bit sloppy these days. I will have to work on that!
This is a high quality exceptional ARF that is an head-turner, indeed.
The review package arrived in perfect condition. It was exceptionally well packaged, double-boxed and the contents in the box were isolated, bagged and protected from shifting during shipment.
Included for this review:
The Great Planes Sequence is an F3A pattern model that is a true ARF. Most of the difficult work has been completed for you at the factory. This Sequence was highly prefabricated, including a expertly covered fuselage, wing and tail surfaces.
Most will find the Sequence can be assembled in just a few hours. Especially impressive was the factory-installed six color covering scheme, very attractive!
Done by the factory:
The builder needs to:
Assembly starts with the wing panels. The servos mount in the wing and there are direct short linkages, my preference, that make setup direct, quick and easy. The factory has installed servo-wire pull strings and included all the necessary hardware for ailerons.
Installation of the nylon anti-rotation pins in each of the wing halves was quick with a drop of CA. The wings attach to the fuselage using a CF tube and thumb screws. It takes less than a minute to install the wings at the field.
The fuselage comes assembled and covered. The vertical stabilizer and rudder was factory-installed and the rudder hinges came glued.
The main gear bolted right on with the factory-installed blind nuts. I used some low-tack painters’ tape to secure the screws, lock washers and washers on the screwdriver end. This saves a great deal of aggravation, and aids getting those screws started deep inside the fuselage.
The horizontal stabilizer has a full airfoil that is a nice touch and really adds to the overall looks and flight performance of the Sequence.
Remove the elevators, and do not forget to install the elevator joiner wire! Then simply slide the horizontal stabilizer in the precut slot. The covering was factory trimmed - a nice touch!
Use epoxy to glue the elevator joiner wire to the elevator halves.
The fuselage includes an integrated vertical stabilizer and a full airfoil. The rudder was installed, hinged and glued.
The rudder uses a string actuated pull-pull setup. Finding the exits for the string was eased by using a thin wire showing just where to cut the covering. I was initially concerned about routing the string through the tubes but that was made easier by the fact the stout string was somewhat rigid.
The Sequence has a factory-installed battery and servo tray. This lite ply tray includes cutouts that fit either the S3115 or S3150 servos with no modification. The Sequence allows you to choose the location of the elevator servo - in the fuselage or in the tail with a short linkage. Where you place the servo may depend on the weight of your battery pack. For lighter packs the internal location will likely be better as it saves weight in the tail, and that can be difficult to balance if you use light 4s packs.
The recommended Rimfire .32 brushless motor was used to power the Sequence. Installation was straightforward with pre-drilled holes and factory-installed blind nuts. They mated to the "X" mount on the Rimfire .32 perfectly. Thrust angles are 2 degrees down and 2 degrees right.
The 45 AMP ESC was simply attached to the motor mount with a forward location helping with both CG and cooling.
The entire canopy is removable for easy battery access. It used dowels that keyed into the forward former and both magnets and laser-cut light ply hooks in the rear to secure. My canopy did not fit well and required a bit of modification. The laser cut hooks would not key properly in the tabs in the fuselage. I simply used a hobby knife to enlarge the slots on the fuse side, and that helped a great deal. On ships of this size I prefer a simple canopy latch.
The cowl attachment on the Sequence was a breeze with the brilliant factory-installed magnet attachment. It had the cowl mounted with a click of the magnets! Use clear tape to keep the cowl from shifting in flight.
Futaba s3150 Digital Servos
The Futaba 3115 servos have provided consistent, sport performance, but usually I prefer to use metal gear servos on larger ships such as the Sequence. While I like the budget price of the S3115 servos, they were certainly tested with the large control surfaces of the Sequence, especially the rudder.
The Futaba s3150 digital servos offer 12in/oz more torque - a big asset in the Sequence. Digital servos also offer significant holding power which was very apparent in flight: The knife edge was much better with a visible amount more throw being held in the rudder.
The digital servos also center much better and allow a more locked-in, precise feeling which is a very important trait for any pattern ship. The metal gears of the s3150's are durable and work well on the large Sequence. The flight loads on the surfaces are high, and the gears in these mini servos are small. Metal helps to combat that with super strength.
The coreless motor and dual ball bearings also help with the precision and power of these servos. I highly recommend the use of these digital powerhouses.
The brushless motor is perfect for use with 4s packs. With the ElectriFly 2200 mAh 4s pack I measured the following results:
These power levels gave the Sequence 165 watts per lb enough for solid performance in a pattern model. The power and performance was good for the "up" lines needed in the Sportsman pattern maneuvers.
The Silver Series 45 AMP ESC has held up well on 4s voltages. Although ElectriFly says you can use the built in BEC at 4s voltages, I recommend using an external BEC. I added a Castle Creations 10AMP stand alone switch mode BEC. I prefer the peace of mind of a BEC; they are a small investment for and provide solid power to the receiver and servos, especially power hungry digitals.
A single 4s 2200 MAh 25c LiPoly battery was used to provide power. This pack weighs in right at 8.4oz (235g). Performance of this small pack was stellar. It provided great voltage with a 41+ amp load. It was small and light - perfect for this plane.
The Sequence is covered with a very attractive, genuine Monokote covering. As is common in the change of climate, a few wrinkles formed, but were easily removed with an iron.
With the 4s 2200MAh pack placed in center of the tray, the Sequence balanced right on the 124mm CG. It is very nice to see this long tail airplane balance with a smallish 2200 pack perfectly. Impressive. CG is a pilot preference so adjust at will, but I was very happy with the recommended CG for a starting point.
The Futaba 7c transmitter was used for this plane. RCG Review. Rates were set as recommended in the manual with ailerons at 19mm high rates and 13mm low. Elevator at was set at 7mm high and 5mm low with the rudder set to the high rate (my preference for first flights) at 51mm in each direction. Exponential rates were set at my preferred 25% low rates and 35% high rates for the primary flight controls. I use 50% expo in rudder.
The ailerons were a bit sensitive for my taste, so I tamed then down just a bit. Also, the elevator was much too soft for me, and I changed low rates to 7mm and increased the high rates to 12mm. Control surface throws are a very personal preference - so please adjust your accordingly.
As you can imagine with the long lines of the Sequence, it was a very predictable flier. It is smooth and precise and allows you to complete pattern maneuvers with skill and precision.
With the light wing loading and over 160w/lb, the Sequence gets up to takeoff speed in a hurry. Ground roll out is very short. Ground handling was excellent with the long fuselage. I did find the spring loading of the steerable tail wheel to be a bit light in positive control in our thick field grass. On the paved runway it provided great steering control.
The Sequence has a thin airfoil, aiding with snap maneuvers in more advanced pattern routines. This is one slick ship, and it retains energy very well, so it is a good idea to plan for some longer approaches. Landings are very easy, and it will slow down extremely well and needs little, if any, throttle.
The Sequence is a fine aerobatic performer, especially with the monster Rimfire .32 in the nose and the light 4s pack.
The Sequence was one very smooth machine in the air. It goes exactly where it is pointed, and it travels there with grace. The 6" pitch propeller worked well, keeping speed in check but still allowing great thrust for the up-lines. The plane penetrates and handles wind very well.
The plane stalls very predictably for a model with a low ~17 in/oz wing loading. Recovery is very quick. In fact, it is near instant - just what is desired in a pattern ship.
Loops were easy to keep large and round. Power was very welcome in this essential basic pattern maneuver. Rolls are magnificent and completely axial, straight and true. Inverted flight required a bit of down indicating my CG still needed to go further back.
Knife edge did not exhibit much roll or tuck and was impressive. A rearward CG helped here also. The power of the digital S3150s was welcome as they held that large rudder for KE loops.
The flight timer was set to count down from 5 minutes giving an audible warning to land before the battery was depleted. The 2200 ElectriFly pack was able to supply the Sequence with full throttle runs with no ill effects.
Power with the Rimfire brushless motor and 4s voltages was excellent. It did not leave me wanting any more power. Flight times with the 2200 pack were limited to about 5 minutes. Larger packs are easily accommodated but the light weight 4s packs are sure nice in flight, and that is really enough time.
The Sequence is for the experienced pilot but it is not hard to fly by any means. It goes exactly where it is pointed and exhibits no self correcting behavior. While that is essential in a pattern ship, it is something a rank beginner will not enjoy. The Sequence would make an excellent first pattern ship for the aspiring pattern pilot!
Here are some great sites to acquaint you with just what pattern is. You start with the Sportsman and advance from there!
When first opening the box, it was quickly apparent that a great deal of attention went into this model. The covering scheme, wing and tail surfaces were all perfect. It is a well-engineered plane as was evidenced by the quick assembly.
Assembly of the Sequence ARF was quick and straightforward. The prefabricated parts fit was good making the assembly process smooth. The Sequence is very attractive and the covering was also expertly applied.
I appreciated the magnet and hook system but it would have been nice to see canopy latch attachment system used for the large canopy. Mine required minor modification to fit properly.
The Rimfire .32 brushless power system provided excellent power for the Sequence. 4s voltage helps to get the watts needed while keeping amps under control. The small light 4s pack kept the weight down as did the engineering of this ship. Many cut outs and lightening holes are used to keep the weight down.
Designed as an F3A pattern ship - the Sequence is long, sleek and smooth. The pattern role has the Sequence well mannered and able to perform graceful aerobatics and wicked snaps. It performed very well in-flight and has a very large presence so it was very easy to see.
|Dec 03, 2009, 12:05 PM|
My buddy maidened his on turkey day.. It truly is a excellent plane and looks big and flys big in the air.
PDA4You hit on all the right Points in regards to this plane. I wasn't too fond of the price tag that is associated with this model but when you compare it to other models in this size category it is actually priced well. Look fwd to getting one down the line.
|Dec 11, 2009, 04:47 PM|
Great Planes strikes again. A couple of inches bigger than the 3DHS Aspera or EF Vanquish, and almost a pound heavier...
They're obviously following the GM business model.
|Dec 11, 2009, 05:14 PM|
|Dec 11, 2009, 07:20 PM|
My Slick 51" is within 3-4oz of the Sequence. Trust me - this is right in the ballpark.
With the recommended power system - you don't notice the couple of extra ounces.
|Dec 20, 2009, 08:02 AM|
Watts are magic - volts help to get you there! With 4s packs being very affordable I really like the lower amps for great power.
|Apr 11, 2012, 10:26 PM|
I am enjoying this airplane and combo - But the SS45 is not up to the task if you want to cruise around leisurely at 1/2 throttle - It will overheat and shut down every time.... All 3 of ours do... So I recommend a 60 amp controller for more headroom.
|Aug 30, 2012, 09:26 AM|
Joined Aug 2012
Sequence F3A Maiden Flight
I built the Sequence F3A a month ago. I finally got around to its maiden flight last week. All went well I decreased the Ailerons throws just a tad. Added a few click or rudder and it flies like a dream.
The magnets on the canopy did not hold and the canopy flew off on the first flight
we retrived the canopy and temporarily taped it in place for the second flight. I have since modified the canopy to be held on with 2 screws. The magets holding the cowel in place are also a problem. I was warned about that by another club member so that was also modified prior to the maiden flight again being held in place with screws.
The landing gear is the weakest area of all so that will be beefed up as well.
Very pleased with the flight characteristics using a 3000mAh, 4S, 25C Turnigy Nano-Tech battery with a Rimfire .32 42-50-800 motor. The prop is a 12x6E APC. This setup provides 625 watts of power drawing 40 amps of current and develops 9900 Rpm. The AUW of the plane is 1.858 kg. The balance point to start with is on the perscribed CG as per the manual. I found the takeoff to be short and straight down the runway with a little rudder applied as required. It goes where you point it. It will slow to a crawl and stall straight ahead. Landings must be done with some power it will drop suddenly, that will tear up the landing gear for sure. Nice plane overall love flying it.
|Dec 08, 2012, 08:06 PM|
I read F3A planes average 150 mph. Can the Sequence fly that fast and stay in one piece or do I not know all I need to know aqbout F3A pattern planes ?
|Dec 08, 2012, 08:21 PM|
150 MPH is well past the speed of most models and is not needed for F3A.
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