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E-flite Extra 300 32e ARF Review

Looking for an airplane that is capable of flying razor sharp IMAC precision aerobatics with a little 3D thrown in for fun? Then take a look as Tim Tworek tries out the all new E-flite Extra 300 32e ARF airplane.

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Introduction

 <b>E-flite's Extra 300 32e ARF</b>
E-flite's Extra 300 32e ARF
Wingspan:52.5in.
Wing Area:542sq. in.
Weight:74oz.
Length:49in.
Wing Loading:19.66 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:(4) JR Sport MN 48 Servos
Transmitter:JR X9303
Receiver:AR 6200
Battery:Thunder Power 4s 3850mah lipo
Motor:E-flite Power 32
ESC:E-flite 60A Pro Switch-Mode BEC ESC
Flight Time:7-8 mins.
Manufacturer:E-flite
Available From:Horizon Hobby
Retail Price:$199.99

I have to admit there is something about a clean looking aerobatic airplane that really gets my blood flowing. This is exactly what happened when I saw the new E-flite Extra 300 32e ARF for the first time. I was very impressed with how well the airplane physically looked and how much it resembled (but in a smaller version) many of the IMAC (International Miniature Aerobatic Club) airplanes I see at contests I attend in the North Central Flying Region (NCFR). The Extra 300 32e has a very scale cover scheme which I knew would present very well in the air under various sky conditions. While the Extra 300 32e is advertised as a 3D capable performer I knew right away after looking at it for a few minutes it would really excel at precision/IMAC style flying...........which as of lately is my kind of flying!! I have to say this speculation of mine turned into a complete reality once I put the airplane in the air and through some hard core precision flying.

The new Extra 300 32e is packed with some pretty cool features for a plane of this size. The airplane comes with carbon fiber stab tubes (2 tubes actually) a carbon fiber wing tube, airfoiled rudder, and elevator surfaces, a bolt-on fiberglass cowl (no visible screws), and a highly visible 4-color Ultracote® covering scheme. With the included detailed manual I was able to get the airplane from the build table to the flight line in only a few short evenings worth of work.

I have always wanted to have a small, easy to transport, great flying electric airplane I could use as an everyday practice IMAC airplane. Read on and see if the new E-flite Extra 300 32e ARF was able to fill that void!!

Kit Contents

The E-flite Extra 300 32e ARF contains:

  • Attractive and highly visible 4-color Ultracote® covering scheme
  • Carbon wing tube and stab tubes
  • Airfoiled rudder and elevator control surfaces
  • Pre-painted fiberglass wheel pants
  • Two bolt cowl attachment (no visible screws!!)
  • Robust one piece aluminum landing gear
  • Large canopy hatch access with pre-installed hatch latch
  • All balsa and light plywood construction
  • Comprehensive assembly manual

The E-flite Extra 300 32e ARF requires:

  • Brushless outrunner motor
  • Brushless speed controller
  • (4) mini analog or digital servos
  • Dubro #671 long servo arms
  • 13"-14" diameter prop
  • 2 1/4" spinner
  • Minimum 4 ch. radio - (6 ch. programmable radio works best)
  • 4s lipo battery pack
  • (1) 3" servo extension, (2) 6" servo extensions, (1) 18" servo extension
  • Miscellaneous building supplies (glues, tape, etc.)

Items used to complete the E-flite Extra 300 32e ARF:

  • E-flite Power 32
  • E-flite Pro 60A Switch-Mode ESC
  • (4) JR Sport MN 48 servos
  • APC 13 x 6.5e and APC 14 x 7e props
  • Dubro 2 1/4" spinner
  • JR X9303 transmitter with a AR 6200 receiver
  • Thunder Power Pro Power 4s 3850mah (30C) lipo battery

Assembly

The Manual

The E-flite Extra 300 32e comes with a very comprehensive and thorough assembly manual which walks you through the steps needed to build the airplane from start to flight line. As with most E-flite manuals the Extra 300 32e manual offers up what are called "E-tips". These are helpful tips which help to ensure the plane is built properly or items which might be over looked by the builder. The clear photo illustrations in the manual are a huge help and reference throughout the build. At no time did I have any problems figuring out how something needed to fit during the build thanks to the well written text and accompanying photo illustrations.

I also really like how E-flite has made the manual available for viewing on their website. By doing so this allows a prospective buyer to view the manual prior to purchasing and to see what items are required to complete the build (servos, motor, esc, etc..). It also allows someone who might have purchased the airplane second hand to view the manual for proper weight and balance measurements. Really a great idea!!

The complete E-flite Extra 300 32e ARF manual can be viewed here.

Wing

JR MN48 Mini Servo


Type: Analog
Torque: 48 oz-in (3.5kg-cm) @ 4.8V
Speed: 0.18 sec/60° @ 4.8V; 0.15 sec/60° @ 6.0V
Length: 1.30 in (33.0mm)
Width: 0.58 in (14.7mm)
Height: 1.02 in (25.9mm)
Weight: 0.8 oz (22.7g)
Bushing Or Bearing: Bearing
Bearing: Single
Gear Type: Nylon
Application: 20- to 40-size aircraft

Aileron Setup

The wing assembly on the Extra 300 32e is a very straight forward process. All the servo bays on the airplane come with the covering already removed right from the factory. This is a nice time saver and money saver as I tend to go through a lot of x-acto blades just trimming covering off a plane during a typical build. Each aileron gets attached to the wing with (5) conventional style CA hinges. The ailerons are double beveled so you do not need much gap between the front of the aileron and back of the wing in order to obtain full deflection. The Extra 300 32e makes use of control horn screws to attach the nylon control horns. This is a very similar process that many giant scale airplanes use on there control surfaces. Using this method on the E-flite Extra definitely gives you sense your building a giant scale airplane. The one thing I would recommend here when you install the control horn screw is to use a small amount of blue loctite to ensure the tapered nut does not back out. Not sure that it would but it is always better to be safe then sorry.

I used a couple of JR Sport MN 48 servos to handle the aileron controls. These servos fit perfectly in the servo bays with no trimming or adjustments needed. The stock servo arms which come with the Sport MN 48 servos do not include any kind of heavy duty long arms so I bought some Dubro heavy duty arms which easily allow full aileron deflection when needed. I have to admit I was very impressed with the pushrod clevises which are supplied with the kit. These clevises have metal pins in them instead of the plastic pins like you would normally see in a plane this size. This gave me some added confidence that this setup would hold up quite well under the demands of high energy maneuvers.

Tail

Elevator Setup

The Extra 300 32e's elevator setup is very unique and once again it has that giant scale feel to it. There is nothing tricky to setting up the elevators as the manual takes you precisely through the step-by-step process on how to get everything installed properly. The horizontal stabs get installed on two robust lightweight carbon fiber tubes which run through the tail of the plane. Each stab half then gets epoxied to the side of the fuselage. The elevator halves are joined using a metal joiner wire and then installed using CA hinges. This really makes for a lightweight but ultra-strong elevator setup on the Extra 300 32e. I was very impressed by the fact the elevator and stab on the airplane are completely airfoiled. I knew with this setup the elevator would have plenty of pitch authority for pretty much any maneuver I was planning to throw at it.

Once again I opted to use a JR Sport MN 48 servo to handle the elevator control duties. The elevator controls use the same control horn screw setup that was used on the ailerons. Overall I was very happy with the parts fit and final geometry of the installed elevator and servo setup. However, I am a little baffled as to why the elevator/stabs were not designed so as to be removable should someone want to remove them for transport. With the elevator stabs riding on the carbon fiber wing tubes the elevator stabs could have had small tabs installed that would have allowed each stab to bolt up against the side of the fuselage instead of being epoxied. This is the way most giant scale airplanes are setup to make the elevator/stabs removable for transport. I realize with a plane of this size it may not be necessary for many pilots to have a need to remove the elevator/stab but it would be cool, if not at times practical for some, if this option was made available.

Rudder Setup

Installing the rudder and stab on the Extra 300 32e just couldn't be any easier. The airfoiled vertical stab gets tabbed and glued into a pre-cut slot in the tail of the airplane. There is a stab fairing which goes around the vertical stab and then simply gets glued in place. The vertical stab and fairing give a very solid and ridged mount for the rudder to mount on. The tail wheel assembly gets mounted and glued to the tail of the airplane followed then by the installation of the rudder.

The rudder uses a long control screw and a pair of nylon control horns for controlling the movement of the pull-pull rudder setup. I used a JR Sport MN 48 servo to handle the rudder pull-pull setup. I once again used a Dubro heavy duty double arm so I could obtain full rudder deflection. The completed rudder pull-pull setup went together very quickly and there is very easy access to the pull-pull cables should tension adjustments need to be made to the wires at some time down the road.

Fuselage

The Extra 300 32e fuselage is comprised of a mix of balsa and lightweight plywood construction. The fuselage is quite roomy inside and allows very easy access to the battery tray and rudder servo locations. The fuselage definitely seemed to be built up in a way to ensure it was as light as possible but also has the additional strength in the areas that are impacted the most by in-flight loads.

Landing Gear Setup

The Extra 300 32e comes with a one piece lightweight aluminum landing gear which is installed using (2) 4-40 screws and a couple of small washers. Once the landing gear gets installed a landing gear fairing is bolted in over the fuselage which gives the bottom of the landing gear a nice clean finished appearance. There really is not much to installing the landing gear axles. The big thing here is to be sure to file or lightly Dremel about a 1/4" (6mm) long area from the end of the axle to provide a nice flat area for the wheel collar set screw to tighten down to. The pre-painted fiberglass wheel pants get attached to the landing gear using a single 4-40 screw and washer.

I really applaud E-flite for using rubber wheels on the Extra 300 32e rather than the standard foam style wheels. While the rubber wheels may weigh slightly more than the foam wheels, the rubber wheels have the advantage of not getting distorted should you want to store your airplane on a table or floor. I have owned many planes of this size (and some larger) where the foam wheels became distorted to the point of being unusable after only a short period of time.

Motor and ESC Setup

Meet the E-Flite Power 32


Type: Brushless Outrunner
Size: Replacement for 30-32 size glow engines
Bearings or Bushings: Ball Bearings
Wire Gauge: 14
Recommended Prop Range: 11 x 7 to 14 x 10
Voltage: 12.0V to 16.8V
RPM/Volt (Kv): 770
Resistance (Ri): .02 ohms
Idle Current (Io): 2.40A @ 10V
Shaft Diameter: 5mm (.24 in)
Overall Length: 50mm (2.40 in)
Weight: 200g (7.0 oz)
Overall Diameter: 50mm (2.00 in)
Diameter: 42mm (2 in)
Continuous Current: 42A
Maximum Burst Current: 60A (15 sec)
Cells: 3-4S Lipo

I really like how most of the larger E-flite airplanes come with the pre-installed and adjustable blind nuts in the motor box. The adjustable blind nuts allow you to easily install not only E-flite motors but almost any other brand of motor in the recommended size range. I like the functionality of the adjustable blind nuts much better then having to drill out holes in a motor box to mount a motor.

On my Extra 300 32e I installed the recommended E-flite Power 32 brushless outrunner. The kit comes with (4) aluminum spacers which need to be installed behind the radial mount to give the E-flite Power 32 the proper spacing with the cowl and spinner back plate. The Power 32 comes with a very solid radial mount and hardware for installing the motor on the motor box. I did use a small amount of blue thread lock on each of the (4) 4-40 motor mount screws just for a little peace of mind.

The E-flite 60A Pro Switch-Mode BEC ESC was mounted on the bottom of the motor box using some velcro and a large velcro seatbelt. This setup allows for plenty of airflow to move over the esc for cooling and easy plug-and-play connection with the Power 32 motor. The Extra 300 32e has a cut out inside the fuselage to mount the on/off switch which comes with the Pro Switch-Mode 60A esc. I have to admit it did take quite a bit of work (and time) installing the on/off switch plate inside the fuselage. The switch plate cut out is located in a very awkward spot inside the fuselage which makes it difficult to get to easily. My not so nimble hands did not help this issue but eventually I was able to get the switch plate mounted correctly inside the fuselage.

Cowl and Spinner Setup

Fitting the cowl on the Extra 300 32e is just down right simple. The cowl has a plywood ring glued inside of it which allows the cowl to be mounted to the fuselage without any external screws. The cowl bolts on using (2) 4-40 screws and washers. It just doesn't get any easier than that!! Access to the cowl bolts is fairly easy to get to using a long ball driver. I decided to use a Dubro 2 1/4" plastic spinner on my Extra 300 32e. I had no problem using the Power 32's stock collet adapter and the Dubro spinner. One nice thing about the Dubro spinner is the spinner back plate has a slight recess on it which took out some of the unwanted gap between the front of the cowl and the spinner back plate (see photo above). Another great option for spinners is the new E-flite 2.25" aluminum spinner. This spinner gives a much closer spacing between the spinner backplate and the front of the cowl. But since I had the Dubro spinner already on-hand in my workshop I decided to use it instead.

Receiver Setup

I installed an AR 6200 receiver in the Extra. This is a great little receiver for this airplane which offers up full-range capabilities in a very lightweight compact receiver. One thing I have started to do recently on all my mid-size and up airplanes (gas and electric) is to add 3" servo extensions on the two aileron ports in the receiver. This allows me to plug my aileron servos wires into the extensions instead of constantly trying to plug them directly into the receiver. I also like to use servo extension safety clips to ensure my aileron connectors don't come apart for some reason.

Canopy Hatch Setup

The canopy on the Extra 300 32e comes pre-cut but does require the builder to glue it onto the hatch. I used Pacer 560 canopy glue to handle the job. Pacer 560 canopy glue goes on white but dries clear and does a great job of securing the canopy to the hatch. I used one of the clear plastic bags that my wings came in to help prevent the canopy from sticking to the fuselage. Blue painters tape was used to hold the canopy down while the glue dried. The finished canopy hatch assembly turned out warp free and really gave my Extra that clean finished look.

The canopy hatch assembly is secured on the fuselage with a very nice latch pin setup. I love latch pins on canopies!! I feel they hold up much better then rare earth magnets especially when flying high "G" maneuvers. E-flite even installed a small fiberglass insert in the back of the hatch where the latch pin goes through. This is a great idea as there have been many airplanes I have flown before with latch pins which end up wearing out the balsa opening in the hatch (not good).

Completion

Watt's Up!!

Thunder Power 4s 3850mah (30C)
Thunder Power 4s 3850mah (30C)
APC 13 x 6.5e prop
Amps: 61A
Watts: 936W
RPM: 9210
Watts/Lb.: 202W/Lb.
APC 14 x 7e prop
Amps: 60A
Watts: 923W
RPM: 9150
Watts/Lb.: 199W/Lb.

I was extremely pleased with how well the finished Extra 300 32e looked!! It has very clean lines and the covering scheme really does compliment the airplane. My finished Extra weighed in at a very reasonable 4 lbs. 10 ozs. AUW (including battery). I decided to use a Thunder Power 4s 3850mah (30C) lipo to power my Extra. With the front of the Thunder Power 4s battery pack all the way against the front of the wing tube phenolic I was able to obtain a CG of 93mm, measured from the leading edge of the wing at the wing root. This CG works out pretty well for precision/IMAC style flying but a further aft CG is definitely more desirable for 3D flying (read more below).

Control throw setup

Control throws were set per the E-flite Extra 300 32e instruction manual:
Low Rates UpLow Rates Down High Rates Up High Rates Down
Elevator 3/4" 3/4" 2 1/4" 2 1/4"
Aileron 5/8" 5/8" 2" 2"
Low Rates Left Low Rates Right High Rates Left High Rates Right
Rudder 1 1/2" 1 1/2" 3" 3"

As is customary for me to do with new lipo batteries I stuck a piece of velcro (fussy side) on the bottom side of the pack. Unfortunately, by doing so this prevented me from getting the Thunder Power 4s 3850mah pack into the airplane. With the velcro (non-fussy side) glued on the battery tray the pack was just to long to drop into the tray properly. The solution was to remove a small portion of the velcro I had put on the bottom of my battery pack so the pack could slide in a short way to clear a plywood brace in the fuselage (see picture above). I now have no problems getting my battery pack in and out of the plane.

Near the end of the build of my Extra 300 I realized the plane was missing something. On nearly all of my mid-size and larger electric planes I have air exit holes somewhere located on the bottom of the cowl or fuselage area. The manual for the Extra 300 32e did not indicate if a cooling hole was or was not needed on the airplane. Since we have had a very hot and humid summer here in Northwest Ohio I went ahead and made a couple of cooling holes in the bottom of the fuselage to ensure the motor and battery received adequate airflow. The Power 32 and Thunder Power battery pack stay just above ambient air temperature during most of my 7-8 minute flights. Cutting the cooling holes out may not be needed for those pilots flying in cooler climates but it is well worth the time and effort for those of us that fly in the summer heat.

Flying

Basics Including Take Offs and Landings

Transporting my E-flite Extra 300 32e to the field is super easy thanks to the removable two-piece wing design. Setting the plane up at the field simply requires you to bolt the wings on and connect the ailerons servo extensions. The wing bolts up to the fuselage using (2) 4-40 screws and a couple of washers. For those of you not use to bringing tools to the field to setup your airplane it will require you to at least bring a ball driver to tighten the wing's socket head screws. It would have been nice to just see some threaded nylon bolts to hold the wings on which would not require the use of the ball driver. As it is though the socket head screws work just fine and firmly hold the wings in place.

The Extra 300 has excellent ground handling characteristics. It handles great taxing on either grass or hard pavement (as I fly off of both) and with the long tail moment there are no signs of nosing over. I have been flying my Extra 300 almost exclusively with an APC 14 x 7e prop and there is plenty of ground clearance for leisurely taxing on cut grass runways. As I do with most of my planes before I take off I set a low idle on my throttle trim tab. What this does is prevent any dead spots between the motor and esc in flight. By keeping a low idle the motor response is instantaneous when going from low to high throttle settings. The low idle setup is very helpful especially when flying 3D aerobatics.

Take offs with the Extra 300 are just a matter of smoothly increasing throttle and a adding a slight bit of right rudder to maintain heading. Before you know it the Extra makes a gradual climb out almost doing it automatically even though slight up elevator is required to get the Extra airborne. Once in the air the Extra 300 tracks tremendously well and as I had thought the top covering scheme shows up quite easily in nearly any sky condition. The bottom of the wings are covered in all white Ultracote® which depending on the attitude of the airplane can cause some orientation issues. It would have been nice to see some kind of chord width stripes or colored squares placed on the bottom of the wing to help with orientation. The need for such markings on the bottom of the plane can really be seen when flying knife edge circles with white puffy clouds in the background.

The Extra 300 flies like a much bigger plane in the air. The airplane can easily handle 5-10 mph winds and maintain a solid heading with only minimal corrections needed. With the airplanes smooth lines wind penetration is never an issue as it seems to cut right through the air. Using the manufactures control throw settings the Extra 300 is very responsive. These settings are great for most sport fliers but are actually a bit too high for flying IMAC precision aerobatics. After several flights I ended up lowering my control throw settings to make the Extra 300 32e fly more like a mini version of my 35% scale aerobatic airplane. Here are the current control throws and expo settings I'm using on my Extra 300.

My personal IMAC control throw settings (setup on my X9303 flight mode switch):
Low Rate / Expo. Snap Rate / Expo. 3D Rate / Expo.
Elevator 3/8" / 55% 1/2" / 55% 2 1/8" / 85%
Aileron 9/16" / 50% 7/8" / 60% 1 7/8" / 70%
Rudder 1" / 50% 1 1/2" / 50% 3" / 80%

With the new control throw settings in place the Extra 300 is a pilots IMAC delight. The roll rate is right where I like it and is easily adjustable depending on the maneuver I need to perform. The rudder is still very effective at my IMAC settings and does a great job of keeping the plane on heading at all times. The elevator response is just where I like it and provides plenty of pitch authority when it is needed.

Landing the Extra 300 is a matter of lining the airplane up with the runway and keeping just enough throttle in until you’re ready to flare. The Extra 300 does have a very clean profile and because of that you do need to plan your landings a little ways out. I really prefer landing my Extra 300 so that I'm coming in on a nice long and low final to help bleed off any excess airspeed. Once you have the airplane settled over the runway the Extra 300 almost wants to land in a perfect 3-point landing every time. Down on the runway the Extra has no tendency to balloon back up, as it stays firmly planted on the ground using only slight up elevator pressure and rudder to maintain heading.

NOTE: One thing that is very important to remember before you land is to remove any throttle trim you may have put in before take off. By removing the throttle trim you help to slow the plane down for landing and more importantly should the airplane land in a less then normal configuration (crash) you lessen the damage that can be caused to the motor with the prop turning.

Precision Aerobatics

What is IMAC flying all about?

First off I have to admit two things. I have a passion for flying r/c airplanes (no surprise there), and I am a very, very competitive person. That is part of the reason why I love flying IMAC because I am able to take both of those personal qualities and put them to use flying IMAC (International Miniature Aerobatic Club). Flying IMAC is also a great way to meet others who share many of your same interests in r/c. IMAC teaches you to use both sticks on your transmitter and that the left stick can be used for more than just making your airplane go fast or slow. In the past 3 years since joining IMAC I have seen a significant improvement in my flying skills. Not only has my precision flying improved dramatically but I have also found my 3D flying has also improved. How can that be? As previously mentioned IMAC helps you to better use both sides of the sticks on the transmitter which also comes into play when flying 3D (a whole lot actually).

A big part of flying IMAC is understanding what is known as the Aresti sequence. One of the best resources I have found for better understanding the Aresti has been "Aresti Made Simple" by Barry Wegman. Barry does a terrific job of explaining the Aresti diagrams and symbols. Another great resource that has only recently been introduced is the IMAC On-Line Judging School. This outstanding tutorial walks you through learning the Aresti language, judging criteria for each maneuver in the Aresti family, and some judging philosophy. Really a great tool for the beginner to advanced IMAC pilot. If you have ever wanted to take your flying skills to the next level IMAC is a great way to get you there. Check it out!!

After dialing in the Extra 300 32e with my new IMAC settings (see above) all I can say is this is one IMAC rocking machine. I have really been enjoying flying the Sportsman IMAC sequence with my Extra 300. While the Extra 300 32e doesn't fly quite as slow as my larger competition airplane it does track extremely well through each maneuver and holds its lines very well. The Power 32 and APC 14 x 7e prop give the Extra 300 unlimited vertical performance which is nice to have when flying hammerheads, humpty bumps, teardrops, and cuban maneuvers in a sequence. At first I tried flying the Extra 300 with an APC 13 x 6.5e prop but found that both my vertical and horizontal lines were just to fast with that prop. The APC 14 x 7e gives a nice mix of both horizontal speed and is able to provide some decent downline breaking.

Listed below are some of the precision IMAC maneuvers I have flown with my Extra 300 32e and how I thought the airplane performed flying each of them. All of these maneuvers and more can be seen flown in the videos below.

- My Extra 300 flies very solid upright 45 degree up lines. You merely have to put the airplane at the angle you want it and it will maintain that angle nearly hands off. However, because of the forward CG when you roll the airplane inverted on the 45 degree line it will need a small amount of down elevator to maintain that line.

- My Extra loves to fly these!! With the unlimited power provided by the Power 32 the vertical lines are no problem to draw as big as you want. The Extra does show some pull to the canopy on the down line (as most aerobatic planes do) so I programmed in a Throttle-Elevator mix (+1 at Point-0 ) to eliminate this. As noted above the down lines are bit fast but the APC 14 x 7e does a good job of slowing down the plane a bit.

- Rolls with the Extra 300 are very axial and the JR Sport MN 48 servos do a nice job of stopping the roll when you tell it to. The ailerons on the Extra 300 don't appear to be very oversized but they pack plenty of roll authority when you turn the rates up. I am using a fair amount of expo. on nearly all my aileron settings due to how effect they work in the air. I really have not seen the need to use any aileron differential on my Extra 300. My Extra also loves to fly point rolls! I believe the biggest reason point rolls are so much fun with this plane is due to the wing and stab placement. They are nearly right inline with each other and the end result is an airplane which has zero roll and pitch coupling to contend with. You can fly 2-point, 4-point, and even 8-point (though I am still working on these) all day long from one end of the field to the other.

- The Extra 300 32e powers through this maneuver with ease. You will need to carry a bit of power on the backside of the loop near the bottom so you do not pitch the loop. Only a small amount of rudder correction is needed to keep the Extra pointed on heading throughout the maneuver. Loops are always fun when you throw different elements in them such as a snap at the top (avalanche) or a full roll/point roll at the top of the loop. It definitely keeps your fingers (or thumbs) busy on the sticks.

- The Extra 300 really excels at hammerheads! I will normally enter my hammerhead on low rates, as I get ready to hammer I will flip my flight mode switch to my hammer setting. The powerful rudder on the Extra 300 allows the airplane to pivot easily at the top of the maneuver with near zero vertical speed. On the down line I usually flip my flight mode switch back to low rates well before I exit the maneuver.

- For a small plane I was very surprised by how well my Extra 300 spins. Most small sport planes have a some what fast spin, the Extra 300 however has a nice and easy to control spin rate. The Extra has a very sedate stall break and results in only a slight pitching down of the nose once it stalls. The spin rate is easily controlled by the amount of rudder and aileron used in the spin. The Extra recovers very nicely from a spin with the release of the elevator and opposite rudder applied. To help with nailing my spin exits which is needed to score well in IMAC contests I usually use a small amount of opposite aileron. Works Great!!

- Extra's love to snap and my Extra 300 32e is no exception. I was amazed at how little aileron throw is needed to fly the Extra through a nice snap. While the JR Sport MN 48 servos do an admirable job handling the snaps I do think that some mini digital servos might help clean them up slightly especially with exiting the snap. The JR Sport MN 48 servos seem to need a super quick hand in order to get the snaps to exit right where you want them to without causing the airplane to under or over rotate too much. The Sport MN 48 servos have held up quite well though even through some really brutal upright and inverted high rate double snaps.

3D Flying

I'm sure one of the big questions for some people who are looking at possibly buying the E-flite Extra 300 32e is how well does the airplane 3D. I would have to say the Extra 300 did surprise me on how well it can 3D. While the elevator controls on the Extra 300 are not counter balanced and the overall control surface sizes are slightly smaller than what you might expect to see on most pure 3D airplanes, the Extra 300 has no problem throwing down some 3D maneuvers.

The Extra 300 does have some wing rock in upright and inverted harriers but that can be easily sedated with the correct and timely aileron application. I would suspect that being able to move the CG further aft would help with that some of the wing rock problem. Unfortunately, the Thunder Power 4s 3850mah battery pack is already against the wing tube phenolic and can not be moved any further aft then where I have it now (93mm CG). The Extra 300 does a great job of flying high alpha knife edge thanks impart to having no roll or pitch coupling at my current CG. The rudder and Power 32 motor have enough power to muscle the Extra 300 through smooth knife edg loops.

The Extra 300 has no problems flying blenders though the rotation is kind of fast as you go through the transition into the inverted flat spin. With the highly effective ailerons on the Extra 300 rollers and high alpha rollers are not a problem. I actually had to tone down my aileron dual rates a bit and add some additional expo. to smooth out my rollers as the ailerons were just to fast for me to keep up with. The Power 32 and APC 14 x 7e prop provide a great combination for rock solid hovers and gives the extra power needed for pulling out of hovers. While the Extra 300 will not rocket out of hovers the pull out power will be more than adequate for most experienced 3D pilots.

While not purposely intended for extreme 3D flying the Extra 300 will definitely hold its own when it comes to 3D flying. It will take a little more effort on the pilots’ part to perform some of the 3D maneuvers but with some practice the Extra 300 makes for a very fun 3D airplane.

Is This For a Beginner?

The E-flite Extra 300 32e is NOT an airplane designed for the novice flyer. The Extra 300 32e is a very responsive and highly maneuverable airplane that utilizes a fully symmetrical airfoil which reacts faster than a typical trainer’s flat-bottom airfoil and the Extra 300 does not possess the self-leveling qualities that many trainers today now have. The Extra 300 is marketed more towards intermediate and advanced pilots looking to improve their flying skills.

Photo Gallery

Flight Video

Downloads

I would like to give a special thanks to Jim Hugg who shot the above videos. It is not easy trying to video tape a small airplane flying an IMAC sequence (on a breezy day) but Jim did a great job!!

Conclusion

Overall I am very pleased with the scale looks and performance of my E-flite Extra 300 32e. It has meet and exceeded all my expectations of what a mid-size electric precision aerobatic airplane should be capable of. With its solid in-flight performance, terrific ground handling characteristics, and highly visible covering scheme the Extra 300 32e makes for a great IMAC practice plane. The removable wings make transporting the Extra 300 32e to the field super easy and convenient which should make this a great airplane to take with you anytime you head out to the field. I really like the large canopy hatch access area which makes for fast and easy battery changes and the hatch latch does a fantastic job of ensuring the canopy stays firmly in place. The Extra 300 32e builds very quickly and the included hardware and instruction manual make it easy to get the airplane from workbench to flight line ready in no time flat.

If you have been looking for an electric airplane which is capable of precision IMAC aerobatics and a little 3D thrown in for fun then you really owe it to yourself to check out the E-flite Extra 300 32e. I have really been enjoying flying mine especially when I can't always take my giant scale IMAC airplane to the field.

Pluses:

  • Great looking 4-color Ultracote® covering scheme
  • Highly effective airfoil tail surfaces
  • Terrific scale lines
  • Carbon wing and stab tubes
  • Excellent hardware
  • Bolt-on cowl (no visible screws.....Nice!!)
  • Easy access to battery compartment
  • Canopy latch
  • Adjustable motor mount
  • Comprehensive photo-illustrated manual
  • Ease of assembly
  • Fantastic flying characteristics

Minuses:

  • Stripes or squares would be nice to have on the bottom of the wings to help with orientation
  • On/Off esc switch was difficult to install
  • The stabs are not removable
  • No mention of air exit holes for motor/battery cooling
  • Wings require screws/washers and ball driver to install, nylon thumb screws would be nice
Last edited by Angela H; Sep 23, 2010 at 10:04 AM..

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Old Sep 23, 2010, 11:24 AM
3DHS Junkie
800mZero's Avatar
Rhode Island
Joined Jun 2005
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great review as always my friend!
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 11:58 AM
Test your skills....fly IMAC!!
sun.flyer's Avatar
Swanton, Ohio
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Originally Posted by 800mZero View Post
great review as always my friend!
Thanks Mike I appreciate it!!

Tim
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 12:48 PM
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Athens, Texas, United States
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Good job Tim!
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 01:08 PM
Test your skills....fly IMAC!!
sun.flyer's Avatar
Swanton, Ohio
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Originally Posted by ekotil View Post
Good job Tim!

Thank you sir.

Tim
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 01:13 PM
Software always has bugs
United States, TX, Missouri City
Joined Nov 2008
262 Posts
Very informative review. Great job Tim.
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 01:44 PM
Look Up!
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Canada, MB, Niverville
Joined Apr 2008
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Great review for a great plane.
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 03:11 PM
E-flyer since 1981
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Joined Oct 2000
1,501 Posts
I usually fly non-aerobatic scale models, but I recently built and flew this one too.

I'm learning new things - always fun.

I can do sustained knife edge with this plane, and have (just last weekend) done my first ever 4-point rolls. They were sloppy, but now that I know I can do them, they will improve.
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 03:20 PM
Test your skills....fly IMAC!!
sun.flyer's Avatar
Swanton, Ohio
Joined Feb 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in Toronto View Post
I usually fly non-aerobatic scale models, but I recently built and flew this one too.

I'm learning new things - always fun.

I can do sustained knife edge with this plane, and have (just last weekend) done my first ever 4-point rolls. They were sloppy, but now that I know I can do them, they will improve.
Mike,

Congrats on your successes with your Extra!

You'll find that as your flying confidence grows the Extra will be more than willing to offer up something new and exciting for you to try out.

Tim
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 05:31 PM
Triple boxed goodness!
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United Kingdom, Doncaster
Joined Sep 2008
1,552 Posts
Very nice review Tim , you flew it very nicely in both vids - didn't notice much wing rock at all if any.
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 05:49 PM
Test your skills....fly IMAC!!
sun.flyer's Avatar
Swanton, Ohio
Joined Feb 2005
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Originally Posted by simon737 View Post
Very nice review Tim , you flew it very nicely in both vids - didn't notice much wing rock at all if any.
Thanks Simon!

Tim
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 06:23 PM
J. Titors Gr Gr Grandpappy
Sonofagun's Avatar
Charlotte,NC
Joined May 2005
2,037 Posts
I was hoping someone would give a real review on this plane, thanks for your efforts...
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 07:24 PM
JUNK RADIO
Flazo's Avatar
USA, NY, Queens
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I don't like these nylon thumb screws...3dhobbyshop offers them with their 57 and under...

fred
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 07:25 PM
JUNK RADIO
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Thank you for an Excellent review.

fred
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 07:31 PM
Test your skills....fly IMAC!!
sun.flyer's Avatar
Swanton, Ohio
Joined Feb 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flazo View Post
I don't like these nylon thumb screws...3dhobbyshop offers them with their 57 and under...

fred
Fred,

Understood, however some people don't like having to take tools to the field to put their wings on. The stock method is very effective for most but perhaps not for everyone.

I know I'm one of those people who have lost more than my fair share of 4-40 screws and washers on my 35% giant scale plane.

Everything has pros and cons to it.

Tim
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