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ElectriFly Sopwith Pup Slow Flyer EP ARF Review

ElectriFlyís Sopwith Pup replica WWI slow flyer is an ARF sure to take you way back and make you smile.

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Introduction


Wingspan:30 in. / 760mm
Wing Area:332 sq in / 21.4 dm. sq.
Weight:7.5 Ė 8 oz. / 215 Ė 225g
Length:22 in. / 545 mm
Wing Loading:3.3 Ė 3.4 oz/sq ft / 10 1óg/dm sq
Servos:Futaba S3114
Transmitter:Futaba 9 Cap Super
Receiver:GWS Naro 6 channel horizontal pins
Battery:ElectriFly Competition BP300 7.4 LiPo 300mAh
Motor:Brushless RimFire 300 28-22-1380 outrunner
ESC:Great Planes Silver Series 8A
Manufacturer:Electrifly
Available From:Your Local Hobby Shop
MSRP:$59.99

The Pup, named after itís two-seater sister the Stutter, was a hit from the start. It was slow, yet quick to turn, and the Royal Flying Corps quickly showed the Pupís superiority in the air. It was equipped as a fighter with a 7.7mm synchronized gun and an 80 HP motor and was a small but notable force on the western front. While it had many attributes including maneuverability and high altitude flight, it was the ability to land on a short field that pushed the Pup to more advanced uses. Records show that in August of 1917, a modified Pup became the first aircraft to ever land on the deck of a moving ship.

!Kit Contents

Mine arrived double boxed and with no damage. The ARF will take a couple of hours to complete, but give yourself a little more time so you can add in the extras like the flying wires.

Kit Includes:

  • Two wings painted and decaled with cutouts
  • Cabanes and struts
  • Fuselage
  • Cowling
  • Pre-hinged horizontal and vertical stabilizers
  • Landing gear and wooden gear struts
  • Wooden wheel and hub caps
  • Accessories and Velcro
  • 8x6 slow flyer prop
  • Well written and photographed instruction manual
  • Electrifly decal set

Kit Requires:

  • RimFire 300 brushless motor
  • 8 amp ESC
  • 300 mAh 7.4V LiPo
  • 2 servos (Futaba 3114)
  • 4 channel receiver
  • Foam safe CA glue
  • Flexible foam safe non-CA glue
  • Flying wire thread

Assembly

The more accurately you build this slow flyer the happier you will be with its flight performance. There are two tech bulletins out at this time, so be sure to read both before you begin.

This bulletin deals with the gap between the fuselage and rudder.

This bulletin deals with the enlarging of the servo openings for Futaba 3114 servos.

Give yourself about two hours for the kit. The use of CA might remove some of the paint. Lightly grip the fuselage as you build or you may dent or crush the sidewalls.

Fuselage

Bottom Wing

The build begins with attaching the bottom wing to the bottom of the fuselage. I made some small holes along the point at which the struts will attach which come in handy later and ensure a good bond of the wing to the strut. Note that the outer skin of the fuselage will roll inward and allow for the wing to correctly mate with the fuselage. There is no need to trim anything. I used thick CA and held the wing in place. It is a press fit, and it holds very well as the glue dries. You can look inside the fuselage through the nose and see the joint.

Top Wing

The top wing has to fit perfectly. After correctly installing the struts and cabanes, I turned the plane upside down and slipped the top wing in place letting the plane weigh the wing down. I placed a small piece of foam under the wing center section to keep the dihedral and used a clothes pin and wooden sticks (protect the finish) to secure it while the glue was setting. I let everything dry overnight.

Tail

The horizontal stabilizer must be symmetrical with the wing. I glued the horizontal with CA and then installed the vertical stabilizer making sure I was at right angles to the horizontal stabilizer. Make sure to read the tech bulletin with regard to the rudder installation.

Once the glue had set, I installed the control horns. I used the wooden keeper from the opposite side to hold the horn in place and CAíd the keeper.

Radio Installation

Begin the electronics installation by installing the servos. The Pup is designed for Pico Micro servos, so I had to cut a couple of millimeters off the front and back of the openings to get the Futaba 3114 servos to fit, and it was no problem (Tech Bulletin). Looking at the plane from the bottom with the nose pointed away, the rudder is on right and the elevator is on the left. Before installing, I trimmed the servo arms exactly as noted in the instructions to ensure the control throws. I finished by installing the screw-lock connectors to the linkages.

I installed the motor onto the motor mount with the supplied screws, turning the motor so the wires were toward the bottom of the plane. The holes matched up perfectly. One of the things I really liked about the ElectriFly components were the connectors already installed on the motor, ESC and battery. The motor and ESC use bullet connectors while the battery to the ESC is a Deanís Micro connector.

I connected the motor to the ESC and installed the ESC on the right side of the motor mount and the receiver on the left side of the motor mount. I routed the wires so that the ESC battery connector was down and out the bottom of the plane at the motor mount.

I installed the battery using Velcro inside the motor mount with the wires out the bottom.

The cowling slips over the radio, battery, ESC and motor, but you need to be sure to center your side components and use a receiver that has horizontal pins so the connectors clear the cowling. I used the GWS 6-channel Naro horizontal pin receiver. In the end, I was slightly nose heavy, so choose components that are as light a possible. I added 7 grams (.25 oz.) to the tail.

Completion

The gear wire slips into a slot behind the motor mount. I installed the wooden struts and secured only the front with CA. These struts may appear to be cosmetic, but do provide support. The strut is meant to slide freely inside the wing (no glue). The wheels must rotate freely. I sanded the landing gear shaft to make sure they spun.

The flying wires are optional, but they look good! I used a heavy light colored thread. The lower outer strut to the upper cabane can be pulled through and glued with CA. The upper strut and lower wing required me to place the wire through the lower wing. I used some small pieces of wood to secure the lower wires.

As you rig the Pup, be sure to not let the wing flex or pull too hard on the wires or you will warp the wing. Support the plane at all times so the wings are neutral.

ElectriFly has incorporated a nifty way to check the CG: There are three tips that will give a tail heavy, neutral and nose heavy setting. I had to add seven grams (.25 oz.) to the tail to get the center setting level. Because the little Pup is so short you may perceive no need to add the weight as recognizing level my be very slight from out of level.

Flying

Boy, what a blast to fly this truly slow-flyer. I started with the rudder and elevator as my control inputs, but I just cannot fly in that configuration. I tend to lead with the ailerons and add rudder. I had to switch the rudder from channel 4 to channel 1 which improved my mental control of the plane greatly.

The little plane flew slowly. In fact, it is hard to stall. I liked the fact that the rudder was responsive, but didnít throw the Pup into a spin. The elevator is sensitive so I dialed in about 30% expo.

I can see where the Pup would be great fun indoors. It turns tightly and is controllable.

The Pup has a lot of down and right thrust. It was good on the part of the designers to recognize the need! A quick throttle did not make the Pup jump skyward. The tracking was straight and predictable. Overall, it was just great flying fun.

Basics

With throttle management, the little 300 mAh LiPo can keep you in the air well over ten minutes. Most of the time I flew at half or less throttle, and only when necessary did I run at full throttle. The ridiculous wing loading of 3.3 oz./sq. ft. really shows up in flight. I flew on a calm day, but I do think the Pup is designed well enough to handle a slight breeze. I experienced some durability problems with the landing struts, but in the end some hot glue fixed everything. I even flat dropped the Pup on its nose while installing a new prop O-ring and had no damage. Itís light, but pretty durable.

Taking Off and Landing

For the most part you can achieve whatever type of takeoff you want. I never noted any tendency to P-factor off to the left or swerve during takeoff roll out. Tracking on the ground was good. Hit the throttle, and it leaps off the ground.

Landings are easy, but the surface must be smooth and preferably hard. I was flying off my dirt field (formerly grass until the farmer sprayed accidentally), and it was a little wet. The slim tires grabbed the mud, and several times I nosed over on landings. You can easily glide to a landing on a smooth hard surface. Grass is out of the question.

I did not hand launch the Pup, but I know that is not a problem. The problem is getting back to earth with nothing to land on without damage. There is really no way to save the cowling if you take the gear off.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Loops are about the limit of the Pupís aerobatics performance. They are tight and would work well indoors. Slow flight is where the Pup excels, and it really makes the flights enjoyable. You will love being able to fly in tight areas and indoors at airspeeds that even if you do crash will cause little in the way of damage.

Is This For a Beginner?

As far as I am concerned ElectryFlyís Sopwith Pup is all about following the inputs of the pilot and being slow enough to react to during flight. These are indeed characteristics of a good beginner aircraft, but it will not fly itself.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

I think all will love the scale looks and potential fun-factor the little Pup has to offer.

Downloads

Conclusion

Without reservation I recommend ElectriFlyís Sopwith Pup. Itís an elegant, gentle, slow flyer with great scale looks.

Yea:

  • Scale looks
  • ARF with little to build
  • Well designed and well thought out electronics
  • Super slow flyer

Nay:

  • Prop keeper is tough to get behind bolt head on motor
Last edited by 78dave; Jul 30, 2009 at 03:49 PM..

Discussion

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Old Jul 30, 2009, 09:57 PM
KK6MQJ
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Joined Sep 2004
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Very nice in flight photos Dave (Dawn? )
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Old Jul 31, 2009, 05:54 AM
Dr. Dave
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You bet, I am a very lucky guy!
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Old Aug 01, 2009, 09:07 AM
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Joined Jun 2005
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Well presented, flown, & videoed!

I concur, on all counts. We almost got to enjoy our pair a couple of months back, had not fate intervened. Thank you for the review.
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Old Aug 02, 2009, 11:36 AM
Hooper, full throttle!
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USA, NY, East Islip
Joined Feb 2004
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Very well written article. I be it would be a fun indoor model!

Thanks Dave!

Tommy D
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Old Aug 03, 2009, 12:22 AM
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Nice Review Dave, I'm kinda found of Camels - - Jim -
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Old Aug 03, 2009, 05:19 AM
Dr. Dave
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Thanks all.
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Old Aug 06, 2009, 08:19 AM
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Evansville Dress Reg., Indiana, United States
Joined Jun 2004
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Nice review thanks .
Received one last night , upon opening the box ,and looking at everything , I am impressed with the quality and finish of everything , really a nice product , with QC .
To be a nitpicker for details though , the only thing I see is the round decals/stickers on top of the upper wing are not smooth completely , some wrinkles in them .
But the finish on the wooden parts is great !
This is really a good looking plane , and really light weight material .
Very Nice product Electrifly
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Old Aug 06, 2009, 12:55 PM
When pigs fly rc
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USA, NY, Chester
Joined Apr 2008
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great review now i will get one !
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Old Aug 07, 2009, 04:23 PM
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wattman's Avatar
Evansville Dress Reg., Indiana, United States
Joined Jun 2004
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Just as reference info , this Sopwith Pup all together , with ONLY what comes in the box , plus the weight of the glue I used , my postal scale reads the Pup at 4 oz
4 ounces , thats lite !
Now for the self supplied items to be added in/on , motor , battery , servos , receiver , ESC , etc .

OK , so I gathered the self supplied items up ,except the prop , and weighed them , 3.1 oz .

Will have to weigh the Pup for its AUW , when its all assembled together .
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Last edited by wattman; Aug 07, 2009 at 04:34 PM.
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Old Aug 11, 2009, 09:02 PM
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Evansville Dress Reg., Indiana, United States
Joined Jun 2004
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Why are there not more postings about this Pup ?
Is it too new , I am still putting mine together , and wonder if I am just one of very few , who purchased this plane ?
If it flys as good as its parts look , it will be great .
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 03:51 PM
Dr. Dave
USA
Joined Nov 2005
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Wattman, nothing to do with the plane, more to do with flyer interests. Let us know how it goes. Great flyer and really fun.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 08:35 PM
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Evansville Dress Reg., Indiana, United States
Joined Jun 2004
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Oh it flys so beautifully

Oh my goodness what a great plane
I have just returned from the first Sopwith Pup flight , rolled out tracking straight , lifted off , gained some height , made a small up trim adjustment to the elevator , and a small left adjustment trim to the rudder .
What a floater and slow flyer this Puo is !
Thank you Electrifly for my now , most favorite rc plane , it does fly as good as all the parts look from the start .
I am so happy and pleased , that I just am at a loss of words to fully explain just how great this Pup flys and looks !

My Pup details , CG balanced between the middle mark and the front mark , a hair nose heavy , a small hair that is too .
Battery on the first flight did not go 9 minutes , at half throttle , the flight time may increase maybe with use .
There was NO wind when I flew the Pup .
Everything assembled just as per the Electrifly Pup manual
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Last edited by wattman; Aug 14, 2009 at 08:53 PM.
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 09:19 AM
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Evansville Dress Reg., Indiana, United States
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Early pre dawn patrol this AM , no wind , crack of dawn
Again this plane flys really great , I am able to do the 2 point landings and roll along and set the tail down when I want to , I am really enjoying this slow flyer
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 08:17 PM
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Evansville Dress Reg., Indiana, United States
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Sunset patrol tonight , grandson was with me , as he has a couple of times over a couple of years , plane is flying great , some touch and goes , 2 point landings and hold the tail up and roll on the mains , as long as I want , then a little throttle and up and away .......................man this is a great plane . And he was impressed with my flying , of course I had never before been able to do the things that I can do now with the Pup .
When we returned home his grandma asked how I did with the Pup , and he said fantastic and wonderful !
Its been a great day .
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