Electrifly's™ Extra 330 SC ARF
|Wing Area:||267 sq. in.|
|Weight:||5.6 oz. (airframe), 6.3 oz. (RTF)|
|Wing Loading:||3.4 oz/sq. ft.|
|Cubic Wing Loading:||2.5 oz/cubic.ft|
|Servos:||(3) Futaba 3114 servos|
|Transmitter:||Futaba 7C 2.4 GHz|
|Battery:||Electrifly™ Competition BP300 7.4V 300mah (20C)|
|Motor:||GP Rimfire 250|
|Prop:||GWS EP 8 x 4|
|ESC:||GP Silver Series 8A ESC|
|Available From:||Tower Hobbies|
It's no secret that indoor foamies are here to stay!! Over the past several years I've seen indoor aerobatic airplanes improve leaps and bounds in weight, electronics and durability. Great Planes and Electrifly™ have been real innovators in the advancement of indoor foamy technology and development. So it was no surprise to me when Electrifly™ introduced their all new Electrifly™ Extra 330 SC ARF aerobatic airplane which takes advantage of the all new Pro-Formance Foam™ technology. The Electrifly™ Extra 330 SC ARF also comes with a high level of prefabrication that includes pre-hinged control surfaces, pre-installed carbon spar and carbon stiffeners, and pre-beveled hinges all adding up to minimal time on the work bench and maximum time in the air. The Electrifly™ Extra 330 SC ARF offers up an aerobatic foamy that is capable of extreme unlimited 3D aerobatics that won't break the budget!!
The Extra 330 SC arrived in terrific condition, and I was immediately impressed by the very cool picture of the Extra 330 SC on the box top cover. Electrifly™ did an excellent job of packaging and protecting the airplane from damage as all parts were either taped to the box or nicely packed away in protective plastic bags. Upon removing the foam parts from the box I found no warping of any kind and I was very impressed by how much work was already done to the Extra 330 SC right from the factory (see below for more details).
The Extra 330 SC comes with a great looking pre-painted covering scheme which includes a matching pilot bust figure painted in the cockpit. All of the decals on the Extra 330 SC come pre-painted on the airplane right out of the box. Electrifly™ also provides a nice set of additional decals that can be applied to the Extra 330 SC if desired.
The Electrifly™ Extra 330 SC ARF contains:
The Electrifly™ Extra 330 SC ARF requires:
Items used to complete my Electrifly™ Extra 330 SC ARF:
The Electrifly™ Extra 330 SC ARF comes with a very well thought out and comprehensive 17 page assembly manual that walks the builder through each step of the assembly. I found the manual very easy to follow and the clear photo illustrations left no doubt in my mind as to what should happen in each step of the assembly. The manual includes everything from how to assemble the Extra 330 SC correctly, to properly setting up your radio, and even offers up some "Pro Tips" that allow you to set up your Extra 330 SC like the pros.
Electrifly™ has really gone above-and-beyond to make sure that everyone is capable of building a straight and true Extra 330 SC. The way they have gone about this is by including fuselage and wing alignment crutches that interlock with the Extra 330 SC fuselage and wings ensuring that everything fits arrow straight. The crutches are constructed of 3mm foam with small foam feet attached to help them stand up on there own. Each crutch is pre-slotted to fit along a select part of the Extra 330 SC fuselage. I have to admit that most of the foamies that I have built have all been built on just my work bench without the aid of a crutch like this one. I also know that some of my past foamies performance suffered a little because they were not built as straight as they could have been. The crutches are used quite extensively during the assembly of the Extra 330 SC and they provide a very solid platform by which to assemble, glue, and install the electronics into the airframe.
The Extra 330 SC kit comes with a lot of precut alignment holes which make installing items like the included ABS support braces and carbon fiber rods an extremely easy task to accomplish. I was very impressed by the fact that the carbon fiber wing spar was pre-installed in the forward horizontal fuselage. I used Pacer Foam Safe CA and Pacer Kicker exclusively on the build of my Extra 330 SC as this glue works great on depron foam and the kicker lets the glue setup in just seconds.
Futaba S3114 micro servos
|Torque:||(6V) 24 oz-in (4.8v) 21 oz-in|
|Speed:||(6v) 0.09 sec/60° (4.8v) 0.10 sec/60°|
|Dimensions:||0.9" x 0.4" x 0.8"|
The Extra 330 SC comes with a very nice supply of ABS braces that are used throughout the assembly to help reinforce those areas where the carbon fiber stock meets the wings and fuselage. What you end up with is a fuselage and wing setup that is both straight and rigid and provides consistent in-flight performance. The carbon fiber rods required only minor trimming to fit into the pre-cut alignment point slots. All carbon fiber rods are test fitted before final gluing. This allows you to make any final adjustments to the wings and fuselage and to remove any bowing or flexing in these structures that the carbon fibers rods may have inadvertently induced.
The motor mount area uses a series of 3mm foam doublers that help strengthen and support the area where the ABS motor mount will be attached. I chose to glue the ABS motor mount in place with Pacer foam-safe CA and hit it with some kicker. This provides a very solid and secure setup for mounting the brushless outrunner motor.
The Extra 330 SC comes with a very nice ABS anti-differential aileron servo arm. This arm is screwed onto the small Futaba servo arm that comes with the S3114 servos. This arm allows the ailerons to produce the same amount of up and down travel and produces the extreme throws needed for super fun 3D aerobatics.
Silver Series 8A brushless ESC
|Input Voltage:||2-4 cells LiPo (20V input w/o BEC)|
|Output Current:||8A continuous max., 10A surge max.|
|Max Output Power:||100W|
|Low Voltage Cutoff:||Battery voltage x .67|
|Thermal Cutoff:||230°F (110°C)|
I was very impressed by the included servo mounting hardware that comes with the Extra 330 SC kit. The kit includes pre-assembled aileron and elevator pushrods and a rudder pushrod that only requires one z-bend wire to be installed. This is one of the only kits that I have ever seen such a high level of prefabrication done on the pushrods.
I used (3) Futaba S3114 servos to handle the control surface work load on my Extra 330 SC. I have used these great little servos in many of my past foamy airplanes with great success. These servos are not only priced very affordably but they also have more than enough torque and precision to handle the extreme loads that will be placed on them. The Extra 330 SC comes with pre-cut servo mount locations and each slot is cut to fit the Futaba S3114 servos perfectly. Each servo was glued into the appropriate location with foam safe CA and a little kicker. I chose to use the long servo arms that came with the Futaba S3114 servos. These arms allow for extreme 3D throws without having to max out my ATV settings on my radio.
Rimfire 250 brushless motor
|Recommended Prop Range:||7x6 - 8x4 SF|
|Input Voltage:||7.4-11.1V (2-3S LiPo)|
To power my Extra 330 SC I decided to go with a Rimfire 250 brushless outrunner motor. This is the smallest motor in the Rimfire line of brushless outrunners but I knew it would provide MORE than enough punch to power my Extra 330 SC through even the most demanding 3D maneuvers. This little motor weighs in at just 20g and it can be powered by either 2s or 3s lipo batteries and comes with a pre-installed mini Deans connector already soldered on. I chose to run the GP Silver Series 8A ESC which is the perfect match for the Rimfire 250 motor. This little speed controller has a built-in BEC (battery eliminator circuit) which can handle 1.5A and just like the Rimfire 250 motor the GP Silver Series 8A ESC comes with a pre-installed mini Dean connector soldered on as well. This makes this setup a perfect plug-n-play setup for any 4-6 oz. size foamy airplane. I decided to use one of Futaba's new R6004FF 4-channel micro indoor receivers for my Extra 330 SC. This little receiver weighs in at a mere 3.8g and has a range of 300 ft. making it the PERFECT receiver for nearly any indoor airplane.
Futaba R6004FF 4 ch. micro receiver
|Dimensions:||0.81" x 1.39" x 0.30"|
|Input Voltage:||4.0V- 8.5V|
|Approx. Range:||300 ft (91.4m)|
|Fail Safe Voltage:||3.8V|
Electrifly™ Competition BP300 7.4V 300mah (20C) lipo
|# of cells:||2|
|Max. Charge Rate:||1C|
|Continuous Discharge Current:||6A (20C)|
|Dimensions:||2.1" x 1.3" x .0.3"|
At this point there really isn't much left to do to complete the Extra 330 SC. As noted before this plane comes with a lot... A LOT of prefabrication work already done for you. Another one of these items that is done at the factory is the carbon fiber landing gear is already assembled and ready to be installed in the airframe. The wheels and wheel pants come factory assembled and glued to the carbon fiber landing gear so that all that is left is to insert them into the ABS landing gear supports and glue.......THAT's IT!!.
Near the end, the manual it offers up what is called "Pro Tips". This section of the manual talks about adding some additional (optional) carbon fiber tail bracing if you plan on flying high energy 3D aerobatics such as demanding rolling maneuvers with the Extra 330 SC. Because I knew I was planning on pushing my Extra 330 SC pretty hard I went ahead and added the optional tail bracing as per the manual. The optional tail bracing gives a great deal of additional support to the horizontal stab with a very negligible weight penalty. I've seen zero flexing in this area even after putting the Extra 330 SC through some extreme 3D maneuvers.
My Extra 330 SC balanced at 7/8" behind the wing's carbon fiber spar strip (see picture above). This is only slightly aft of the manufacturer’s recommended starting point of 5/8" behind the wing's carbon fiber spar strip. For me the Extra 330 SC flies nearly perfect at my current CG and I find it a great compromise for flying both 3D and precision aerobatics. My finished Extra 330 SC weighed in at 5.6 oz. (airframe only) and 6.3 oz. (RTF). While some might think that this is a higher weight than what we have come to expect from an indoor foamy the weight is really inline with many of today's non-milled indoor aerobatic airplanes of this size (the Extra 330 SC isn't small). The Extra 330 SC was not designed to compete with today’s F3A milled foamies that are flown in many of the nation’s indoor contests. The Extra 330 SC was designed to be an all out 3D aerobatic machine with some precision flying kicked in for good measure.
|Control throws were set per the instruction manual:|
|Low Rates Up||Low Rates Down||3D Rates Up||3D Rates Down|
|Elevator||1" (18 deg.)||1" (18 deg.)||2" (38 deg.)||2" (38 deg.)|
|Aileron||1" (13 deg.)||1" (13 deg.)||3 3/4" (56 deg.)||3 3/4" (56 deg.)|
|Low Rates Left||Low Rates Right||3D Rates Left||3D Rates Right|
|Rudder||1 5/8" (19 deg.)||1 5/8" (19 deg.)||3 3/4" (49 deg.)||3 3/4" (49 deg.)|
I have really been enjoying flying my Electrifly™ Extra 330 SC. My indoor flying facility can easily handle this size of airplane, and I have become very comfortable putting the Extra 330 SC through both basic and advanced flying maneuvers inside our gym. Takeoffs with the Extra 330 SC are super easy. The Extra 330 SC takes off at about half throttle on a smooth flat surface like our gym floor and also can be easily hand launched with very little effort on the pilot's part. The Extra 330 SC tracks very well, and I found that it can actually be flown quite slowly without any signs of an imminent stall. The oversized control surfaces on the Extra 330 SC remain quite effective even at the slowest of air speeds.
My Extra 330 SC is very stable and predictable using the manufacturer’s low rate settings. For many the low rate settings might seem a little sedate for this size plane and I did find myself flying the Extra 330 SC more on 3D rates than I did low rates. I found that with a moderate expo. setting dialed into my Futaba 7C 2.4 GHz radio my Extra 330 SC could be flown just as precise using the 3D rates setting as it could on low rates. The rudder is very effective on the Extra 330 SC (low rates and 3D rates) which allows for very accurate turnarounds in my gym. The Extra 330 SC does require a blend of rudder and aileron to make smooth turns but I found this was very easy to accomplish after only a few passes around the gym.
I'm very impressed by the power of the Rimfire 250. I'll have to admit that at first I was a little skeptical that this little motor would be adequate with my finished weight coming in at 6.3 oz. Well, needless to say my worries were put to rest after just the first flight on my Extra 330 SC proved this little motor was up to handling the task. The Rimfire 250 motor provides plenty of punch for this airplane and does so very quietly. The Rimfire 250 motor and GWS 8 x 4 prop are a perfect combination on the Extra 330 SC. I really only find myself going to full throttle during extended vertical runs or while performing certain 3D aerobatics. Landing my Extra 330 SC really couldn't be any easier. Since the airplane flies so stable at low speeds it really is just a matter of flying the Extra 330 SC down to a few inches off the ground and reducing power.The Extra 330 SC will take care of the rest!! I also found that hand catching the Extra 330 SC is also quite easy thanks impart to the super solid hovering characteristics of the airplane and solid power response produced by the Rimfire 250 motor and GWS prop. combination.
EXTREME 3D AERBOBATICS!!! That pretty much sums up what the Extra 330 SC was designed to do, and boy does it deliver!! This is where the Extra 330 SC really shines and excels. With its large oversized control surfaces and gobs of torque provided by the Futaba S3114 servos the Extra 330 SC is truly in it's element flying off the wall (literally sometimes) 3D aerobatics. I found the manufacturer’s recommended 3D rates provided more than enough throw for most 3D pilots to really have fun with this plane. However, there is enough room to increase throw rates even more without over driving the servos if a pilot does opt for more. I was very pleased by the performance of the Rimfire 250 while flying 3D aerobatics as I thought it provided plenty of pull out power for everything from hovering to sustained waterfalls to nice and smooth rolling maneuvers. The Extra 330 SC performed nearly every 3D maneuver I threw at it with ease and as I started to become more and more comfortable flying my Extra 330 SC I found myself flying the plane lower..........and lower...........and lower.
Below is a list of some of the aerobatic and 3D maneuvers that I've flown with my Extra 330 SC and my thoughts on how the plane performed each of them. Many of these maneuvers are featured in the video at the end of the review.
Snaps - The Extra 330 SC really works at trying to produce clean snaps. Like most foamies the Extra 330 SC will perform what I call a "foamy snap". Because of the amount of wing area and relative light weight of most foamies, the Extra 330 SC included, you really don't get a clean snap like you would on a heavier balsa/ply outdoor flying airplane. None the less with some practice I was able to perform some decent "foamy snaps" with my Extra 330 SC.
Hovering - This maneuver just can't get any easier when flying one with the Extra 330 SC. The ultra smooth Rimfire 250 and GWS 8 x 4 prop provide the perfect combination for all day hovering. The oversized ailerons provide plenty of roll control authority to counter any unwanted torque rolling and the rudder does a fantastic job of keeping the nose pointed vertically. The Rimfire 250 also provides plenty of power for pull outs when needed.
Rolling Circle - This is by far my favorite maneuver to fly with my Extra 330 SC!!! Using the recommended 3D rates on the ailerons produce super smooth rollers. The roll rate is not blistering fast but I really don't think it needs to be with this airplane. I really like flying this maneuver using 3D rate ailerons and low rate rudder and elevator. This makes for very coordinated rollers that look great and are very easy for my thumbs to keep up with.
Waterfalls - You can really have some fun flying waterfalls with the Extra 330 SC. The elevator has an awesome amount of pitch authority when setup on 3D rates and the Rimfire 250 provides more than enough power to throw the Extra 330 SC head-over-tail in less than one airplane length. Once I got the timing down right on my Extra 330 SC I was able to comfortably perform consecutive waterfalls in our indoor flying area.
Torque Rolls - The Extra 330 SC just loves to torque roll!! The Futaba S3114 aileron servos perform perfectly for this maneuver and with some work are actually able to counter-torque roll the Extra 330 SC as well. I prefer to fly torque rolls with a slightly aft CG on my Extra 330 SC which really reduces the work load and makes for some great on the deck torque rolls.
Spins - I was quite surprised how well my Extra 330 SC performed both upright and inverted spins. Like snaps most indoor foamy airplanes struggle at performing decent looking spins. Not the case with the Extra 330 SC!! This maneuver does require high rates (3D) on all surfaces and moderate use of the throttle in order to pull the spins off cleanly. The decent rate is very controlled and with practice these can be taken right down to the ground with plenty of power for recovery.
Harriers - The Extra 330 SC really excels at flying both upright and inverted harriers. The 267 sq. in. of wing area and large control surfaces really make the Extra 330 SC ultra stable in harrier flight which results in near zero wing rock. I have been able to fly my Extra 330 SC at nearly a snails pace in harrier flight with no signs of dropping a wing or imminent stall. Inverted harriers are just as stable and are super easy to fly producing zero wing rock.
The Electrifly™ Extra 330 SC is a very stable airplane, can be flown extremely slowly, and it could definitely be flown by a beginner with the assistance of an experienced pilot. However, I think an airplane made out of EPP foam or similar material might be better suited for the beginner pilot as it is much more robust and forgiving than the depron foam material used on the Extra 330 SC.
Hmm....is it coming or going?
Awaiting its turn to take to the air.
The author up close and personal with his Extra.
Nothing like rock solid hovering!!
Sweet pre-painted pilot bust.
Super smooth upright harriers!!
Overall I couldn't be happier with my Electrifly's™ Extra 330 SC. From the minute I opened up the box I knew that this airplane was going to offer something special. From the pre-painted airframe and pilot bust to the pre-hinged control surfaces and pre-assembled landing gear this Extra 330 SC has it all. The Extra 330 SC is very affordably priced and the relatively low cost to get it up and flying is within the price range of most anyone looking for a top notch aerobatic and 3D pilot foamy airplane. The in-flight characteristics will definitely not disappoint as the Extra 330 SC is ready and willing to offer up some extreme 3D aerobatics at the push of the throttle.
I really have been enjoying flying my Extra 330 SC indoors during the cold winter months but I look forward to getting some stick time on it outdoors as well out at the flying field or in my back yard on those calm summer nights.
Tis the season for IMAC. Yes, the Extra 330 SC does require about a 1/4 still of rudder to keep the nose point in the right direction in the waterfall.
The recommended motors for the Extra 330 SC are the Rimfire 250 (indoor) and the Rimfire 300 (outdoor).
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