E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D BNF
|Wing Area:||74 sq. in.|
|Wing Loading:||2.33 oz/sq. ft.|
|Servos:||Spektrum AS2000L (ailerons), AR6400L integrated linear servos (elevator & rudder)|
|Transmitter:||JR X9303 2.4 GHz|
|Battery:||E-flite 3.7V 150mah (12C) lipo|
|Motor:||8.5mm Coreless Brushed|
|Available From:||Horizon Hobby|
It is an undeniable fact the age of the ultra micro flyer is upon us and E-flite continues to prove why they are leading the way in advancing this wonderful new aspect of our hobby. After the extremely successful release of the Ultra-Micro 4-Site last year, E-flite has once again introduced yet another innovative airplane that has taken the world of ultra micro flyers to a whole new level. The E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D BNF, designed by ETOC champ Seth Arnold, is a fully capable 3D aerobatic airplane weighing in at a mere 33 grams. The E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D comes complete as a convenient BNF (bind-and-fly) setup with all necessary servos and speed controller pre-installed right from the factory. The only thing needed to get this awesome little airplane in the air is a quick charge of the included E-flite 1s 3.7V 150mah (12C) lipo battery.
I have to admit this video really sparked my interest in the E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D BNF and what it was capable of performing in such a confined space!!
My UMX Extra 300 3D arrived in great condition with no visible signs of shipping damage. This is not surprising considering how well padded the airplane is inside the box. The UMX Extra 300 3D arrives in a foam padded box that serves not only as a shipping box but also as a convenient transport box as well. The box is very easy to maneuver in and out of your vehicle or house thanks to a built-in handle which is incorporated into the top of the box.
The UMX Extra was sealed very nicely in the foam padding with additional foam blocks which essentially lock the airplane into the box. After carefully removing the airplane from its foam housing I was pleasantly surprised to find a very straight (no warp) and true airframe. I was very impressed that such a delicate looking airframe could be built within such exacting tolerances. The UMX Extra 300 3D is made out of 2mm foam which has been strategically cored out (not milled) to help provide a light weight yet robust airframe. The covering film on the airplane is very similar to that found on a Park Zone Vapor. The covering interestingly enough is only found on one side of the fuselage and on the top side of the wings and control surfaces (another weight saving measure).
The E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D BNF contains:
The E-flite Extra 300 3D BNF requires:
Item used to complete the E-flite Extra 300 3D BNF:
The UMX Extra 300 3D comes with a basic instruction manual which is mainly used as a quick reference guide for obtaining CG, dual rate, and exponential settings. The manual also takes you through the steps of binding your DSM2 transmitter to the AR 6400L receiver unit, how to install the optional SFGs and adjusting the control horns and linkages (if needed).
As with most E-flite products you can find the UMX Extra 300 3D manual conveniently on the Horizon Hobby website. I think this is a great idea as many airplanes are purchased second or even third hand and many times the included manuals are long gone. Having the manual available online allows the new owner to correctly setup the control surfaces and CG before their first flight.
One interesting side note is the UMX Extra 300 3D manual can actually be downloaded in 4 different languages (English, German, French, and Italian) off the Horizon Hobby website. Very cool idea!!
As mentioned above the Ultra-Micro 4-Site requires a DSM2 compatible transmitter in order to bind to the 6 channel AR6400L receiver unit. Here is a list of the transmitters which are DSM2 compatible:
Unlike most binding practices with Spektrum receivers, the AR6400L doesn't require the use of any type of binding plug or even any type of contact with the receiver unit. Here's the simple steps needed to bind to the AR6400L receiver unit (using a JR X9303 tx):
THAT'S IT!! That's all there is to binding the AR6400L receiver. It really doesn't get any easier than that.
Spektrum AR 6400L Receiver
|Type:||micro receiver w/integrated brushed speed controller & two integrated linear servos|
|# of channels:||6 ch. or 4 ch. w/X-Port|
|Length:||0.92 in. (23.45mm)|
|Width:||1.09 in. (27.75mm)|
|Height:||0.32 in. (8.10mm)|
|Weight:||0.14 oz. (3.9g)|
|Voltage:||1s 3.7V - 4.2V|
This is normally the section I get to start talking about how the build of the airplane went. However, in the case of the UMX Extra 300 3D all of this has already been done for you right from the factory. So instead I'd like to point out some of the excellent features that have been incorporated in the UMX Extra 300 3D.
The UMX Extra 300 3D comes with a pre-installed 8.5mm coreless brushed motor which is mounted to a robust radial type mount. The plastic mount is glued to the nose of the airplane and adds a certain amount of stiffness to the front of the airframe. The coreless brushed motor has a small pinion gear mounted on the front of it which spins a plastic gear. The plastic reduction gear houses the prop shaft and 130mm x 70mm prop setup.
The ailerons on the UMX Extra 300 3D are powered by two pre-installed Spektrum AS2000L servos. These are 1.7g long throw servos which are capable of providing more than enough control surface deflection to keep even the most experienced 3D pilot thumbs happy.
The UMX Extra 300 3D elevator and rudder controls utilize two Spektrum AS 2000L long throw servos which are integrated right into the Spektrum AR 6400L 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 Extra 300 3D gains much of its strength and rigidity through strategically placed light weight carbon fiber rods located in the fuselage and in the wing. The fuselage has a carbon fiber rod which runs from the nose of the airplane to just underneath the canopy section (about mid-fuselage). This definitely provides a great amount of stiffness to the nose and forward section of the airframe. The UMX Extra 300 3D also utilizes carbon fiber reinforcements in a couple of different areas on the bottom of the wings. The first is located near the wing tip where small carbon fiber rods have been imbedded into the wingtip. Carbon fiber support bracing has been added under the wings which adds a tremendous amount of support to the wings allowing a pilot to fly aggressive 3D maneuvers with very little (if any) wing flex.
A small piece of depron bracing has also been added which runs along the bottom left side of the fuselage giving additional support and stiffness to the fuselage. The landing gear on the UMX Extra 300 3D consists of small diameter carbon fiber rod which makes ROG (rotate off ground) takeoffs very easy on nearly any hard surface.
The UMX Extra 300 3D comes with a very cool set of optional SFGs which can be easily installed and removed depending on each pilot's preference. The SFGs have a very unique installation method in which they actually interlock into the carbon fiber supports located on the bottom of the wings. The SFGs can be permanently installed using foam-safe CA and a small amount of accelerator if the pilot so desires. Do I prefer flying my UMX Extra 300 3D with or without the SFGs? Keep reading to find out!!
Spektrum Linear Long Throw Servo
|Application:||Ultra micro aircraft|
|Torque:||2.8 oz. of force|
|Length:||0.66 in. (16.9mm)|
|Width:||.87 in. (22.0mm)|
|Height:||0.33 in. (8.2mm)|
|Voltage:||3.2V - 4.2V|
The UMX Extra 300 3D instruction manual provides recommended dual rate and expo. settings for programming in your DSM2 transmitter. The recommended settings have worked out great for my flying style and I personally have not felt the need to deviate from them. Of course this may vary depending on each pilotís skill level and flying style, so using the recommended settings is a great place to start and then adjusting them to your own personal preference as needed.
|Dual Rate Settings|
The recommended starting CG called out in the UMX Extra 300 3D manual is 82mm, measured from the trailing edge of the aileron at the fuselage. This is a little different way of measuring the CG but definitely a very accurate one as well. Don't get caught trying to measure the CG from the leading edge of the wing measured at the wing root (most common way to measure CG). If you do this your CG location will be off from what the recommended CG should be.
For those of you that have the new DX 8 transmitters you can go to the Spektrum Community website and download Seth Arnold's personal settings which include the UMX Extra 300 recommended manual dual rate and expo. settings as well as setting up a flight mode switch with rudder mixing to help remove the small amount of coupling. This website does require you to have a registered DX 8 transmitter in order to access the website. However, for those of us that do not have a DX 8 (yet) here are Seth's personal mixing recommendations:
|Seth Arnold's Rudder Mix Settings|
|Right Rudder||Left Rudder|
|Rudder to Aileron Mix||5% left aileron||10% right aileron|
|Rudder to Elevator Mix||15% down elevator||5% up elevator|
E-flite 1s 150mah (12C) lipo
|# of cells:||1|
|Length:||1.625 in. (41.3mm)|
|Width:||0.440 in. (11.2mm)|
|Height:||0.220 in. (5.59mm)|
|Max. continuous discharge:||12C|
My UMX Extra 300 3D required very little trim right out of the box and the starting CG allowed me to fly nearly hands off upright but did require a moderate amount of down elevator to maintain level inverted flight. There is enough "fuzzy" velcro on the side of the airplane's fuselage to allow the CG to be shifted back slightly to help reduce the amount of down elevator needed when inverted. With my battery placed in the location seen in the picture above my CG is right at 82mm (recommended starting CG). If someone was so inclined and needed to move their CG back even further there is enough room to add additional "fuzzy" velcro to the back of the existing battery location without interfering with the battery connector coming out of the AR 6400L receiver unit. At this time I have not really felt the need to add any additional velcro as I really like how my UMX Extra 300 3D currently flies at my current CG setting.
The UMX Extra 300 3D is the perfect size for nearly any indoor flying facility from a high school gym or multi-purpose area to a field house, even a living room might be big enough for the most skilled 3D pilot. Whichever area you end up flying the UMX Extra 300 3D in you will become immediately impressed with not only its flying capabilities but how harmonized the airplane feels on all axis.
The UMX Extra 300 3D can easily ROG (rotate off ground) off nearly any hard surface such as concrete, a gym floor, and even AstroTurf. The carbon fiber landing gear is rigid enough to resist flexing and I have had zero issues with nose-overs on any of the aforementioned surfaces. The airplane can also be easily hand launched as well. The best technique I have found for doing this is to gentle grip the airplane right around the canopy area and hold the airplane at a slight nose high attitude while apply approximately fifty percent power. A slight toss will get the UMX Extra 300 3D safely in the air allowing you time to get your hand back on the sticks. Once in the air the Extra flies very smoothly on low rates without feeling to sluggish or overly sensitive using the recommended control throw and expo. settings.
The UMX Extra 300 3D has a very good speed range using the stock E-flite 1s 150mah (12C) lipo battery. The airplane remains very stable whether at walking speed or at full throttle. The one thing I noticed is there is not much pitch change when throttle is added or reduced. Some airplanes will experience significant pitch changes when throttle is increased and decreased, this is not the case with the UMX Extra 300 3D.
The UMX Extra 300 3D has a very effective rudder (even on low rates) and with speed you can actually fly very nice knife edge passes using just low rate rudder (after a bit of mixing has been added). I followed Seth's mixing recommendations noted above which makes the airplane track absolutely beautiful knife edge passes using only rudder and a bit of throttle. You can fly uber slow knife edge passes with the optional SFG's installed. I really like the way the SFG's increase the effective side area of the UMX Extra 300 3D making slow controlled beta (high) knife edge passes very smooth and absolutely worry free.
The UMX Extra 300 3D can fly for a good 5-7 minutes with a mix of 3D and precision flying. If you plan on hovering the airplane most of the flight (easy to do, see below) look for your flight time be reduced to around 4 minutes or so. Just like on the Ultra-Micro 4-Site the motor will start to pulse letting you know the battery voltage is getting low and a landing should be planned soon.
Landing the UMX Extra 300 3D is an absolute breeze! With the airplane's excellent slow speed characteristics and super stable platform there are no worries when it comes to slowing it down for landing. All it takes to make picture perfect landings is to just keep a little throttle on till you are a few inches off the floor and then slowly apply enough up elevator to lightly touch the mains to the floor. It really doesn't get any easier than that. The UMX Extra 300 3D does not have a tail wheel. Instead the airplane has a foam skid which is wrapped with a piece of tape and extends below the rudder to help prevent the rudder from coming into contact with the ground. The UMX Extra 300 3D is actually very easy to taxi on a gym floor using high rate rudder and just short controlled bursts of throttle.
This is where the UMX Extra 300 3D really stands apart from the rest of the micro flyers on the market today! The airplane really comes to life when you flip the 3D rate switch on. I was simply amazed at how easy the UMX Extra 300 3D was able to perform many of the 3D aerobatics I threw at it. I use 3D rates for nearly all of my aerobatic maneuvers and I felt very comfortable with the airplane using the recommended dual rate and expo. settings recommended in the manual. The airplane is very agile on 3D rates but at no time did I feel the UMX Extra 300 3D control surfaces were too sensitive or twitchy. The ailerons, elevators, and rudder all produce large amounts of control throw deflection making rolling and snapping maneuvers easy and fun to perform.
I have to admit my initial thoughts were the UMX Extra 300 3D looked kind of fragile and would not be able to withstand a lot of abuse. Well, needless to say I was wrong as this little airplane has proven time and time again it can take more than its fair share of hitting the floor during less than perfect torque rolls or rollers. I have seen some of my fellow club mates accidently crash their UMX Extra 300 3D airplanes repeatedly during our indoor sessions and ninety percent of the time they simply walked over to their plane, took a good look to make sure nothing was broke, and continued right on flying it. The other ten percent of my club mates who crashed their airplanes were able to get them back up and flying within minutes after using some foam safe CA and kicker. This is a robust airframe which is great for those of us looking to try new 3D maneuvers or to fly existing maneuvers just a little closer to the ground (gym floor).
This UMX Extra 300 3D is by far and away the most advanced and capable micro flyer I have ever flown! PERIOD!! It will keep even the most experienced and seasoned 3D pilot happy with its action packed performance envelope. Below is a listing of many of the 3D aerobatic and precision maneuvers I have flown with my UMX Extra 300 3D and how I thought the airplane performed flying each of them. Many of these maneuvers are featured in the video posted near the end of the review.
Hover - The UMX Extra 300 3D could quite possibly be the easiest micro airplane to hover! The stock power setup allows the airplane to comfortably hover at just above half throttle using the included E-flite 1s 150mah (12C) lipo battery pack. Once the airplane is established in a solid hover very little stick movement is needed to maintain a locked in feel. If corrections are needed the UMX Extra 300 3D's large control surfaces instantly respond providing immediate feedback. The ailerons also provide plenty of authority to help counter any unwanted torque rolling affect when locked into a hover.
Snaps - For an airplane weighing only 1.2 oz. the UMX Extra 300 3D has absolutely no issues flying both positive and negative snaps. I enjoy flying these using 3D rate ailerons and high rate rudder and elevator dual rate settings. These settings allow for a nice clean rotation on the snap without allowing the snap to go to deep or to loose to much momentum.
Knife Edge - As previously mentioned above the UMX Extra 300 3D loves to fly knife edge flight. Using Seth's rudder mixing above also allows for super easy transitions from horizontal flight right into knife edge. The optional SFG's offer up an excellent advantage if you like flying knife edge a lot on each flight and is well worth the two seconds needed to install them on the wings.
Beta Knife Edge - Beta what? Many people call this high alpha knife edge but the correct terminology is actually high beta knife edge. No matter what you want to call it the UMX Extra 300 3D can easily fly it!!! As a matter of fact it is almost scary how slow this airplane can fly high beta knife edge. Don't worry though, it won't fall out of the sky as long as a little power is used to keep the airflow going over the rudder. VERY FUN TO FLY!!!
Rolling Circle - If youíre a fan of rolling circles like I am then you will absolutely have a blast flying them with the UMX Extra 300 3D!! This is perhaps the most enjoyable maneuver I like flying with my airplane. The feel on the controls and the roll response from the airplane feels very much like a larger outdoor airplane than it does a small little micro flyer. To me the controls on the airplane seem very well connected which make heading and altitude changes in the roller quite easy to perform on a consistent basis.
Spins - Spins can be a pretty tough maneuver to fly well with nearly any size foamy. However, the airplane is capable of flying both upright and inverted spins with ease thanks to the oversized control surfaces and slightly forward CG which helps maintain some momentum in the spin. Appropriate throttle application is also needed to keep the UMX Extra 300 3D in a nice tight spin. The technique I like to use is to pulse the throttle periodically which helps maintain the rotation throughout the spin.
Torque Roll - The UMX Extra 300 3D is a torque rolling machine!!! The easiest way to fly these is to simply not touch the ailerons once you are locked into a solid hover. The airplane will automatically start to torque and will keep doing so with only small corrections needed to keep the nose pointed skyward.
Hammerhead - Thanks to the UMX Extra 300 3D's extremely effective rudder, performing such maneuvers as hammerheads/stall turns is super easy. The power setup on the airplane allows for very spirited vertical runs and can easily be accompanied with a stall turn at the top of the line. Hammerheads are best flown using 3D rudder rates which allows the little Extra to pivot tightly at the top of a vertical line.
Harrier - I really enjoy flying harriers with this airplane! It is very easy to establish a solid harrier with the UMX Extra300 3D. All that is needed is to flip to 3D rates and to slowly apply elevator while gradually applying a small amount of throttle. Once established into a harrier the airplane can fly along at super slow speeds without any fear of a wing dropping unexpectedly. I have not observed any noticeable wing rock either upright or inverted with my UMX Extra 300 3D. All control surfaces remain very responsive in harrier flight making heading and altitude corrections quick and easy.
While the UMX Extra 300 3D is surprisingly robust for its size and can be flown with great precision on low rates I would not recommend it for the beginner pilot. The Horizon Hobby website clearly recommends the airplane for advanced skill level pilots who are comfortable flying highly aerobatic airplanes in an indoor or outdoor environment.
WOW!! I have been having an absolute blast flying my E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D in my indoor flying facilities. The airplane has proven to me that good things do come in small packages and the UMX Extra 300 3D's flight performance rivals that of my favorite outdoor giant scale 3D aerobatic airplane. The included power package and lightweight airframe make this the ultimate indoor ultra micro airplane. The UMX Extra 300 3D is the perfect size for flying in any size gym and can also be flown by some people in their own homes or garage areas. I am a huge fan of when an airplane flies exactly as the manufacturer says it is supposed to (unfortunately this is not always the case) and the UMX Extra 300 3D flies exactly as advertised.
The time of the ultra micro flyer is definitely upon us and is very evident by the large number of pilots flying them in their weekly indoor flying facilities. Ultra micro flyers have become the largest group of pilots in my indoor flying facilities and the E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D is the airplane most of them are flying. With the airplanes excellent flying characteristics and robust nature itís easy to understand why this airplane has become so popular in such a small amount of time.
I look forward to seeing what E-flite has to offer in the future with the ever growing interest in the ultra micro flyer. In the mean time I know I will continue to enjoy flying my UMX Extra 300 3D and pushing the limits of both the airplane and my own personal skill level.
For those of you looking to gain additional insight as well see some other member videos and flight reports on the E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D here are a couple of great threads you can use to follow all the action:
|E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D thread (Micro RTF Forum)|
|E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D thread (3D Foamies Forum)|
|Mar 20, 2011, 03:49 PM|
Another great review Tim!!!
I picked one of these up a few weeks ago, and have flown the snot out of it!! These are great little planes!
I would like to add one other minus though... It only comes in one color!!! We need a blue and green one too!!!
|Mar 20, 2011, 06:39 PM|
Great review Tim! I have had one for several weeks and find it a fantastic slow aerobatic plane for indoors or calm conditions outside. Mike H
PS: More colors would be good!
|Mar 20, 2011, 07:27 PM|
Thanks for the positive feedback!
A second color would be nice but I'm getting quite use to the current scheme. It almost seems appropriate for this time of year don't you think (see my avatar).
|Mar 20, 2011, 07:29 PM|
Hope you have many more enjoyable flies with your UMX Extra 300 3D.
|Mar 20, 2011, 09:36 PM|
|Mar 21, 2011, 12:22 AM|
Great review - Thanks Sun Flyer. I have reviewed all the Micros in Australia RC mags and enjoyed all but the sukhoi. Just could not learn to love it. The UMX beast is fantastic but I wonder why the UMX Extra does not come brushless ?
|Mar 22, 2011, 07:19 AM|
I personally have not needed to make any repairs on my airplane. However, several of my flying buddies have had no issues making repairs with foam safe CA and kicker. Most of them are back in the air within minutes of making the repairs. No issue with the covering from what I have seen with their repairs.
Hope your doing well my friend.
|Mar 22, 2011, 06:43 PM|
Joined Oct 2009
|Mar 22, 2011, 07:57 PM|
Great review!! The only downside to this little cutie is the price. Considering all other micros are at about $100, this one seems somewhat on the high side.
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