E-flite's UMX Beast BNF
|Wing Area:||83.8 sq. in.|
|Wing Loading:||4.12 oz/sq. ft.|
|Servos:||AR6400LBL w/built-in long arms, (2) AS2000L servos|
|Transmitter:||JR X9303 2.4 GHz|
|Battery:||E-flite 2s 120mah (20C) lipo|
|Motor:||E-flite 180 brushless motor|
|Available From:||Horizon Hobby|
I must say, I'm a huge fan of biplanes!! Any biplane I've ever flown has always had very unique flying qualities; usually a nicely rounded cowl and an airborne presence that always seems to draw attention from the rest of the club members anytime they hit the air. However, the one drawback for me with most biplanes is the need to spend quite a bit of time at the field just putting them together and then having to take them apart for transport back home. Oh, how nice it would be to own a biplane that was small enough to transport without having to assemble at the field and maybe even small enough to fly in my own backyard or local park.
Well, E-flite has taken the biplane to a whole new level with the introduction of their new UMX (Ultra Micro eXtreme) Beast® BNF. Designed by aerobatic world champion Quique Somenzini, the UMX Beast offers up the same awesome scale looks as the full-scale Beast just in a smaller ultra-micro version. The level of detail in the UMX Beast is pretty amazing! Everything from the flying wires to the authentic Beast paint scheme right down to the gold spinner has been perfectly replicated on the UMX Beast. This is NOT your average biplane that's for sure!!
The UMX Beast was designed to be fully capable of flying both precision and sport aerobatics thanks to the outstanding power output of the included high performance brushless motor setup. The UMX Beast can be made flight ready in as short a time as it takes to charge the included 2s lipo battery pack.
The UMX Beast arrived nicely packaged and protected in a foam padded box. The box, which has a built-in handle is also used to help transport the UMX Beast to and from your flying site. There is nothing worse than damaging an airplane before it even gets in the air. First inspection of the UMX Beast revealed how well the biplane was virtually locked into the foam padded box through the use of additional foam blocks which were taped around the cowl of the airplane and just behind the canopy area. The foam padding also safely housed the included E-flite 2s 120mah (20C) lipo battery and the included E-flite Celectra 2s 7.4 DC lipo charger.
After carefully removing my UMX Beast from its box I immediately noticed some of the incredible details which come on this biplane. The pre-applied color scheme was flawless; all the seams matched up perfectly. While the UMX Beast is a small airplane, the molded foam fuselage gives it a very nice scale presence. The UMX Beast even comes with functional carbon fiber flying wires on both the main wings and on the bottom of the horizontal stabs.
Here is a good video of what the designer Quique Somenzini has to say about the E-flite UMX Beast.
The E-flite UMX Beast BNF contains:
The E-flite UMX Beast BNF requires:
Items used to complete the E-flite UMX Beast BNF:
The UMX Beast comes with a brief but informative instruction manual. The manual covers everything you need to know on how to bind your DSM2 transmitter to the AR6400LBL receiver as well as how to properly setup the control throw, exponential and center of gravity for the UMX Beast.
Just like most all the products found at Horizon Hobby the UMX Beast manual can be easily downloaded and viewed directly from the Horizon Hobby website. I think this is a great idea as it allows a prospective buyer to view the manual before purchasing the airplane. The buyer can see what equipment is needed (only a DSM2 radio in this case), and the online manual also allows individuals who may have purchased the airplane second hand a chance to get the proper CG and control throw setups without the need for the printed manual.
The only thing that really needs to be done before you’re ready to fly the UMX Beast is to charge the battery and bind a DSM2 transmitter to the included AR6400LBL receiver unit. The AR6400LBL receiver unit is compatible with the following DSM2 transmitters:
One thing which makes binding to the Spektrum AR6400LBL receiver unit unique is the fact no bind plug is required. Here are the simple steps needed to bind the AR6400LBL receiver unit to your transmitter (using a JR X9303 tx):
Once your transmitter is turned back on and the battery is plugged in you should be good to go. Don't forget to program in the recommended dual rates and expo. settings. The manual recommends a starting CG of 18mm measured from the leading edge at the root of the bottom wing. The battery tray in the UMX Beast is long enough to allow the CG to be moved forward or slightly aft depending on the pilot's flying style.
|Type:||short range micro receiver w/two integrated linear long throw servos and brushless esc|
|# of ch.:||6 ch. or 4 ch. plus X-Port|
|Voltage Range:||2 cell lipo (6.4V-8.4v)|
Normally, this is the part in most reviews where you get to hear about how the plane was built. Well, all of that has already been done for you on the UMX Beast. So instead I'd like to show you some of the unique features that come with the UMX Beast.
The UMX Beast comes with a very unique battery hatch location. In order to access the battery you simply remove the top half of the UMX Beast's cowl to reveal the battery tray and the 180 sized brushless motor. The hatch is held in place by two small but strong rare earth magnets. The battery tray is made out of foam and has a velcro strip (fuzzy side) that has been glued to the foam battery tray. The battery tray is long enough to allow you to move the battery pack around to adjust the CG to your personal flying style. For me, the UMX Beast flies the best with the 2s 120mah battery pack pushed as far back on the battery tray as possible. At this location the Beast flies very solid upright and needs only a slight amount of down elevator when inverted.
|Max. Continuous Discharge||20C|
|Max. Continuous Current||2.4A|
The 180 sized brushless motor in the UMX Beast screws to a plastic motor mount which is glued to the front of the cowl. The UMX Beast uses a 5" x 2.75" prop which provides PLENTY of power using the included 2s 120mah (20C) lipo battery pack. The carbon fiber landing gear provides plenty of ground clearance for the stock prop allowing the UMX Beast to easily takeoff and land on nearly any smooth surface. I have to admit the painted foam spinner on the UMX Beast really completes the scale look for me on this biplane. The spinner is held in place with a small screw which is accessible through the center of the spinner.
The UMX Beast comes with (2) Spektrum AS2000L long throw aileron servos pre-installed. The servos are connected directly to the AR6400LBL receiver unit, which in turn essentially serves as an electronic Y-harness for the two AS2000L aileron servos.
The UMX Beast's elevator and rudder controls utilize two Spektrum AS2000L long throw servos which are integrated right into the Spektrum AR6400L receiver unit. The elevator and rudder pushrods are composed of mostly carbon fiber rods with small metal wires heat shrinked to them that connect to the control horns. The metal wire can be adjusted mechanically for centering the control surfaces if needed. This is done by using a small pair of pliers and either contracting or expanding the U-shaped part of the pushrod.
The UMX Beast BNF comes with an E-flite 2s 120mah (20C) lipo battery. The battery is charged with the included Celectra 2s 7.4V DC charger. The only thing you need to provide is a power supply unit or lead acid battery to power the Celectra DC charger. The Celectra charger is very easy to operate and does a great job of charging AND balancing the E-flite 2s 120mah battery pack. Flight times on the 2s 120mah pack will vary depending on your flying style and throttle management, but I have been seeing between 5-7 minutes of flight time with my UMX Beast.
|Application:||Ultra Micro Aircraft|
|Torque:||2.8oz of force|
The UMX Beast manual recommends two different dual rate and exponential settings depending on the pilot's flying proficiency and flying style. After programming these settings into my JR X9303 transmitter I have yet to make any changes from what the manual has suggested. I found the low rate settings allow the UMX Beast to be flown very precisely without the controls feeling to mushy (soft) or overly responsive on the sticks. The high rates settings are more than enough to entertain the average to experienced aerobatic pilot.
The manual calls for the starting CG to be 18mm back from the leading edge of the bottom wing measured at the root. I did find it difficult to get my UMX Beast to hit this cg mark without putting the 2s 120mah lipo battery pack as far aft on the battery tray as my not-so-tiny fingers would allow. My fear with putting the 2s pack back so far was being able to remove the pack and not break off some of the foam cowl in the process. I have learned through the flights I have put on my UMX Beast to just take my time and not rush the process of installing and removing the pack in and out of the airplane. Patience is the key to safely installing and removing the stock battery pack without damaging the airplane.
|Low Rates||High Rates|
|Low Rates||High Rates|
The UMX Beast has absolutely no problem taxing thanks to the stock landing gear and steerable tailwheel. Once lined up on the runway the UMX Beast can get airborne rather quickly thanks to the high performance stock power setup. All that's required to get the UMX Beast airborne is to smoothly apply throttle and to use a few bumps of right rudder to maintain a straight track, and by half throttle the little UMX Beast is in the air. I use low rates on takeoffs which seem to work best for producing a semi-scale takeoff and climb out. Once in the air you will be shocked at how little throttle is needed to fly the Beast around in a nice scale manner. I was pleasantly surprised to find the little UMX Beast is able to be flown around at reasonably slow speeds both upright and inverted. At slow speeds the UMX Beast's controls remain very effective on all axes.
While on low rates I could not find any bad flight characteristics with the UMX Beast. The ailerons, elevator, and rudder all seem to operate in perfect harmony on low rates which makes flying the UMX Beast a real pleasure. The UMX Beast gets plenty of attention from the other flyers as it makes scale passes down the runway. I have to admit the UMX Beast does look pretty awesome on a those low passes as you stare at its excellent scale details.
Getting the UMX Beast back down safely on the runway only requires one thing..........throttle. As with most biplanes, the UMX Beast needs to be flown all the way down to the runway. If you cut the throttle too early during the landing the nose will fall forward and the plane will just plop in on the runway. Like most biplanes, the UMX Beast gets very draggy at really low airspeeds. Things like the rounded cowl, flying wires, and extra set of wings all contribute to biplanes needing more throttle during landings than do monoplanes. If you keep this in the back of your mind and remember to use throttle all the way down to the runway the UMX Beast will actually reward you with a very smooth landing every time.
This is the part I've been waiting for!! The chance to see how the UMX Beast would perform both sport and precision style aerobatics.
The high rates settings on the UMX Beast are very effective, and the airplane becomes highly responsive once they are turned on. The first thing I noticed after I flipped on the high rates was how much the rudder came to life. Hammerheads are effortless with all the UMX Beast and it took me a few flights to get comfortable with all the rudder throw available. The ailerons are quick but not overly so, and I had no problem getting the UMX Beast performing some nice rollers after a few flights. Below are a few of the spot and precision aerobatic maneuvers I've flown with the UMX Beast, and my thoughts on how it performed flying each of them. Many of these maneuvers can be viewed in the videos posted near the end of this review.
Spins - The UMX Beast is capable of flying both upright and inverted spins. The spins are not super flat and usually are performed with about a 45 degree nose down attitude. The UMX Beast spins very similar to my giant scale IMAC competition airplanes.
Rollers - The UMX Beast loves to roll!! Throttle setting is the key for controlling the speed of the rollers. If you are looking for a serious challenge then entering the rollers and applying a mid to high throttle setting will definitely get your heart beating fast. The Beast needs very little rudder for coordinated rolls but I do find the effective rudder on the Beast does allow you to manage where the nose goes very easily especially when turning in a roller.
Inverted - Inverted flight does require a slight push on the elevator stick to maintain straight and level flight this coming at no surprise based on the battery placement mentioned above. Inverted flight is very solid though and can be comfortably flown at slow speeds without the feeling like the plane is going to fall out of the sky.
Knife Edge - As is common with most biplanes the UMX Beast does have some knife edge coupling but not as much as I thought it was going to have. Knife edge flight does require some power to prevent the tail from falling down but these can be easily flown in a gym the size of my indoor flying area. I'm still not comfortable trying to fly the Beast at slow beta knife edge but it is something I look forward to trying outdoors.
Snaps - The UMX Beast has absolutely no problem with upright or inverted snaps. When flown with some speed you do need to be very quick on the sticks to stop the UMX Beast for a clean snap but with some practice snaps can be very clean. Inverted snaps work best with a slight push of elevator right before the snap.
Stall Turns - Because it has such an effective rudder the UMX Beast performs stall turns with ease. A little throttle at the top of the stall turn with coordinated rudder input is all that is needed to fly a clean stall turn.
The UMX Beast can definitely be flown in an indoor gym area by an intermediate to experienced pilot. I found it had no bad in-flight characteristics and can offer up some exciting precision/IMAC style aerobatics to the pilot that is willing to properly take the time to set up the airplane correctly.
The UMX Beast is not for the beginner pilot. The manual clearly makes a note that the UMX Beast is not recommended for beginners and this same information is also listed on the UMX Beast product page on the Horizon Hobby website. The UMX Beast is intended for intermediate to advance pilots only.
Overall, I couldn't be happier with the flying characteristics and great scale looks of my UMX Beast. The UMX Beast is very agile and is capable of being flown as a nice scale sport flyer but is also at home flying precision/IMAC style aerobatics. The included power setup offers MORE than enough performance to power the UMX Beast through large vertical maneuvers. The included charger will get you back up and flying in no time and I'm finding myself needing a few more packs because I am just having too much fun flying the little UMX Beast.
The UMX Beast offers giant scale performance in a convenient backyard/parkflyer size airplane! For those of you looking to gain additional insight as well see other member videos and flight reports on the E-flite UMX Beast there is a great thread right here on RCG's you can use to follow all the action:
|E-flite UMX Beast thread|
|May 05, 2011, 03:01 PM|
Another good review Tim .
I love my UMX Beast, finally a UM plane that can handle a little breeze too. I bought 2 x 2s180's (Eflite) for mine whilst they slow the vertical down a little, they make it much more stable in winds around 5-8mph, any more than that and its a handful.
The only problem I have with it is.......its making me want the 100CC'er.
I look forward to seeing how the Sbach compares.
|May 05, 2011, 03:09 PM|
|May 05, 2011, 03:41 PM|
Canada, ON, Richmond
Joined Apr 2011
Perfect timing on this review. I've had the box in my hands a few times but was on the fence....now I gotta have it! So much for the honey-do list this weekend......
|May 05, 2011, 05:35 PM|
I love my Beast. It did come with a bad aileron servo which was replaced, I looked at it under glass and it was corroded or defective from the manufacturing process. The part of the pc board where the wiper was to travel was bubblie and bumpy. The symptom was that it would go full up in flight. Fortunately the light Beast suffered no real damage when it crashed.
The pack that comes with it really doesn't seem to supply the juice, but I put together a couple of Hyperion 180 packs and they are beautiful. In one of the posts on the Beast thread someone shows a plastic tab added to the battery that allows it to be slid back even with the cowl opening and still be easy to insert and remove. That is about where it needs to be for good balance.
|May 05, 2011, 05:35 PM|
|May 06, 2011, 07:23 AM|
I am surprised by how many of these sit on my LHS' shelves. The store owner said many look at the bracing and thin wings and expect the Beast to be very fragile. I can testify that it is a BEAST in regards to taking abuse. I have dumb thumbed the Beast into the turf a few too many times. I had a few times that I really drilled the thing into the ground and expected to collect parts in a bag. I walked over and was surprised to see that the battery cover popped off and a carbon brace/flying wires contact pad had pulled away from the wing and needed to be spot glued back in place. Seconds later I was back in the air.
A plane that can survive a cash like this without damage allows you to take liberties that you can't with other planes except possibly EPP. This plane will allow you to practice low and slow inverted stuff without fear. Fly over grass and you should be safe from disaster. The control of flight is very accurate so you don't get surprised and you can relax knowing that the plane isn't going to rear up and bite you unless its your own fault.
I think its an awesome plane and again have to complement the durability to a fragile looking plane. Its anything but fragile. If this is holding you back from a purchase then proceed to the check out counter and bring it home.
Tom -always pushing the limit
|May 06, 2011, 08:01 AM|
+1 on the durability. I too have been suprised a few times to see how well the Beast held together after I dumb-thumbed it into the ground. The worst I've had is a broken prop and the issue the ducatirdr mentioned about the wing strut pad popping off the lower wing but that's EASILY fixed with a dab of CA and you're back in the air in no time.
|May 07, 2011, 08:48 AM|
Although I believe it to be a excellent aircraft and performance with the brushless motor and 2S battery has to be seen to be believed, I think it is price that is holding people back. I don't think they could keep them on the shelves at $130, at $165 even though it is just $35 more, I think people are hesitating to pull the trigger. When the aileron stuck up the second (and last) time, it was maybe 40' up and went in nose first into a black top road. The only damage was a little chip on the nose and a little scrunch on the spinner. I replaced the aileron servo and it has been a champ. i am amazed how durable this thing is.
|May 07, 2011, 01:52 PM|
Nice review Tim! I have been having a blast with mine! Make sure to check the elevator and make sure you don't have too much throw back there...my first one had a sticky elevator! Horizon took care of it and thankfully I found the issue on the ground! BTW the Beast will hover but you have to be on your toes! I love running two of the Hyperion 1S 160mAH 25C! Lots of power!
|May 07, 2011, 02:08 PM|
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