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Old Mar 19, 2011, 04:24 PM
Mile High Pilot
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USA, CO, Longmont
Joined Jun 2010
1,175 Posts
Mini-Review
Fantastic Parkflyer "Next Plane" - 3DHS 47" Extra 300 SHP

Though those of you following parkflyers might enjoy this - I started looking for a "next plane" after my T-28 and Stinson. This plane was recommended to me, and I could not be happier. It's a grin machine - flies easily at my normal park flight site, was a blast to build, fits in my car, and was an EASY plane for me to fly (the maiden was a breeze) when set up on "sport" settings. Its also a fully capable 3D bird if I EVER decide Im ready for THAT I like it well enough that I was motivated to write this review from the "Parkflyers" perspective (vs what you can find over in the 3D forums).


3D Hobby Shop Extra 300 SHP 47”
A Park Flyer’s Perspective



Introduction
Hi, my name is Jeff, and I’m addicted to RC flying.

My addiction to RC flying started in May of 2010 with the purchase of a Hobbyzone Super Cub – a plane that I consider the ideal first airplane. I’ve grown through a series of airplanes including a Parkzone T-28D, a Parkzone Stinson Reliant SR-10, a couple of ultra micros, and a coax heli. I’m what I would describe as an intermediate pilot, but clearly a park flyer. After 8 months and roughly 400 flights, I found that I gravitate to the T-28, and love to fly aerobatics, and wanted more. Much more.

I started the search for the next airframe with a query on RCGROUPS, looking for ideas based upon my experience. The discussion is here:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1389310
Quite a few good ideas came forward, and after a few weeks of research I decided to go with the 3D Hobby Shop Extra 300 SHP 47”. The current state of the art is the V3 airframe. All of the SHP’s are very highly rated, and a great deal of information/support can be found on RCGROUPS. I don’t need to repeat here all the accolades that you can read on RCG for 3D Hobby Shop, and their customer support. Its been said over and over, its exceptional.

At the recommendation of a fellow RCG member, I contacted Jeff at plane-funrc.com. Jeff was very helpful in making recommendations and build suggestions, and I ordered a red SHP from him. The configuration is:
  • Red 3DHS Extra 300 SHP V3
  • 3DHS Omega 103 motor
  • Airboss 45 ESC
  • HITEC HS65MG Servos
  • APC 13x6.5 5E Propeller
  • Spektrum AR6210 RX
  • My existing Spektrum DX6i TX

I cant say enough good things about Jeff… as I’m a park flyer, not an experienced 3D jock, I was full of questions, many of which probably seemed mundane or stupid to him. But he always responded quickly to my emails, and proactively provided hints and tips that I used throughout the process. Nice to know that there is a guy close to me that understands 3DHS airframes!!

I pulled the manual from the 3DHS web site in advance of arrival of my Extra 300, and visited my LHS to secure a few things that I didn’t have in my park flyers kit bag:
  • Thin CA (I only had foam safe CA, which I was unsure if would be appropriate for this model)
  • De-bonder
  • Accelerator
  • A Spektrum AR6210 RX (I had an AR500 with a spotty history, did not want to chance it with this airframe. In addition, I liked the idea of having a satellite receiver for this airplane.
  • A set of metric hex drivers. I have a set of allen wrenches, wanted a little more ease of assembly.

A quick note about the AR6120 – it replaced the AR6200 (which is what I originally planned to use). The AR6210 lists at the same price as the AR6200 adds DSMX technology to the receiver. DSMX adds additional security/confidence when you are flying at LARGE events with MANY DSM radios active. My current DX6i doesn’t support DSMX, but is upgradeable for $75. I don’t need that now, but nice to know I can get there if the day comes.

Out of Box Experience
3DHS has a spectacular reputation for safely packing their airplanes, and its well deserved. Everything was securely wrapped in plastic, and taped into the box so that it doesn’t move during shipping. Unlike the Parkzone products Im used to, the plane is not packed in styrofoam. Obviously there are a LOT more parts, and Jeff packed the rest of my “combo” into the box.

Everything arrived safely. There were some wrinkles in the covering, but I expected that in the dry climate of Colorado. With the guidance I’ve seen on RCG, I expect Ill be able to get those out with a little heat gun work later.

Overall, the packaging generated a lot of confidence in the quality of the product.

Building

I set up my workspace in my garage so that I would have lots of room, have easy access to power and tools, and most importantly, avoid getting in trouble with my better half. Unlike the PZ models I’ve assembled before, I didn’t expect this one can be completed in a couple of hours on the dinner table.

I followed IPSMOTORS build video closely
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...287812&page=82 It was an awesome tool to complete the build. Frankly, I don’t know if I would have succeeded with out the videos. While the manual is well written, there were many questions that were answered simply by looking at the video. The video goes in quite a different order than the manual. I eventually just used the manual as a reference, and followed the video.

This is a much more involved process than assembling the run of the mill Parkzone foamie, and much more rewarding as well. I’m not the most skilled hand with a bottle of CA yet, so by then end of day one, I had successfully glued my fingers together more than once. Fortunately, I did have a bottle of de-bonder handy, which helped with cleanup of my fingers, and a couple of drips of CA in the wrong places.

Because this was my first ARF build, I took my good old time, and it took a couple of good days to complete. A few notes:
  • I really liked the soldering iron technique for opening the holes in the covering. Its quick, effective, and seals the covering down where its cut out.
  • I like some others could not find the holes in the side force generators, and just drilled new holes,
  • I liked the idea of a metallic look spinner. I bought a white one, and just painted it silver. It looks great, is light, and was much cheaper than an aluminum spinner.
  • I did not mount the long servo control arms (yet), rather I used the one sided control arms that came with the servos. I did have to drill out the holes in the control arms to accommodate the pushrods, which were to heavy to work in the existing holes. I used the second hole from the end for my initial set-up.
  • Unfortunately, I managed to break the elevator control horn. I repaired it with guidance from Jeff at plane-funrc, and from Scott. I cut off the broken tip, and using some CA and a couple of small screws attached a cut down horn along side of the one that had broken. I’m confident that the only downside of this is cosmetic, and even that is so minor as to be a non-issue.
  • My SHP came with white nylon wing bolts. I had read on RCG that some folks where having trouble with them before I started my build. One worked great, the other wound up stripping the threads on the bolt, and had to be replaced. Ultimately, I had to cut the old wing bolt, and with help from 3DHS, replace the blind nut.

After completing the build, but before trimming, I taxi tested the SHP in my cul-de-sac. It was obvious from the first moment I applied power that this is one very powerful airplane. In taxi testing, It tracked very nicely with no adjustments required.

Trimming and Flight Preparation
There is an unbelievable amount of guidance available about setting up the SHP available online ar RCG and other web sites, much of which is oriented to expert pilots with at least some 3D experience. As a park flyer moving up into 3D, the idea of an airframe capable of twisting itself inside out can be a little intimidating. Just watch a few videos of the SHP in action. Fortunately, Doc Austin on RCG has taken an interest in helping the uninitiated get a safe start with the SHP.

A visit to Doc’s thread http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1318268 is well worth your time as a park flyer. Doc has carefully explained the SHP for those of us new to 3DHS products and 3D flying, and makes a compelling case that the Extra 300 SHP can be tamed to be a sport machine than can grow in capability as your skills grow towards 3D. Not only is the advice excellent, the video’s are entertaining and compelling.

After looking through the various threads and the SHP manual, I decided that I would take a 3 phase approach to my setup. Summarized here are the settings as presented in the Doc Austin thread, as well as the included Extra 300 SHP 47” manual

Low Rates


High Rates


I intend to progress through 3 phases with the SHP. I used phase I as the settings for my first two flights:
Phase I - Learn the airplane (without rekitting it)


Phase II – More Aggressive Precision Flying


Phase III – Full 3D flight
Control Surface Scott Stoops Full 3D


Maiden Flight
I expected that the combination of flying the PZ T-28 and Stinson would be good background for the SHP, and it was. The T-28 taught me the dynamics of flying a low/mid wing plane, and it was my aileron trainer. The Stinson taught me about takeoff and landings on a tail dragger with more sophistication and challenge than the Super Cub (which you can pretty much just firewall to take off). I’m glad I had both of those experiences under my belt before advancing the throttle on the SHP for the first time.

On maiden day, I flew the T-28 first, and tuned up my aerobatics (it had been almost 5 weeks), and then flew the Stinson a couple of times (mostly take offs and landings) to get my taildragger touch back. I finally got the Extra 300 ready, and did quite a bit of taxi testing, both to get the feel of the airplane, but also to make sure the tail wheel was correctly aligned. After putting in a fresh pack (Turnigy 2200mah), it was time to give her a go. Take off was completely uneventful. A gentle acceleration with a little right rudder and it took off nicely.

I flew for about a minute on the Doc Austin low rates, and immediately was comfortable. I think the SHP is actually easier to fly than the Stinson. Its responsive, with absolutely NO bad habits. It goes where you point it – with precision. Loops and rolls are easy. After kicking it up to high rates (Doc’s sport high rates that is), the roll rate is spectacular. With the Turnigy 2200 loaded up, the SHP will climb seemingly endlessly on the vertical line, rolling all the way. Cubans were precise.

I was a little nervous about the landing, as the wind was a bit gusty. It was pretty obvious that the SHP was going to be a floater. It flies SO nicely slow, and after a bit of roll axis excitement on final, I was able to settle the SHP softly onto the street.

The second flight was on an e-Flight 2100 pack. It flew nicely on this pack, but I immediately missed the punch of the higher discharge rate. The second landing was a bit harder (stalled about a foot over the runway), but no damage. All in all, a fantastic maiden day!

A buddy captured video of the maiden, it can be found here:

Maiden Flight of the 3DHS Extra 300 SHP (4 min 47 sec)


It’s a pretty rough edit, Ill fix it up later. If you dont see anything else, note the vertical line at 2:57. The SHP climbs straight up rolling until I backed off the power. This is something Ive longed for with the T-28 for a LONG time.

Evaluation
Overall Evaluation: 12 out of 10. It’s a fantastic airplane, built with impeccable quality, and the support is outstanding. It flies like a dream, and appropriately trimmed, is an easy step for the parkflyer. I expect to move to phase II of my settings next time out.

Final Thoughts
If you are a parkflyer now, and looking for just a little more, buy this plane. Do it now. Don’t hesitate. You wont regret it.

I have to say that the support from Jeff, and Scott were second to none. The build videos by IPSMOTORS are invaluable to the new owners like me. As a fifty something, I’ve had a lot of customer support experiences, some bad, many good, but this was outstanding. Its very obvious that they have spent a lot of time thinking about how people build and fly their products, as well as interact with them. I now understand the seemingly endless lovefest for 3DHS that I’ve read on RCG. I have to admit, I’m now a full blown 3DHS addict, and I’m certain my next airframe will be one of theirs.


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Last edited by milehighjc; Mar 19, 2011 at 05:50 PM.
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Old Mar 19, 2011, 07:20 PM
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Joined Dec 2010
145 Posts
great write-up also just found the 3DHS planes and ordered one within a day or reading the forums. i went with the 42" EDGE and can't wait to build my first ARF and first BALSA

I only have experience flying a Micro T-28 a UMX Beast and my PZ P-51 Mustang a few times so this will be a step up. Great to see any happy customer thread on what seems to be a great company
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Old Mar 19, 2011, 08:22 PM
Just having fun
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United States, KY, Hopkinsville
Joined Feb 2008
2,094 Posts
Wow, what a story!!! Thanks for the write up. I am glad you like the SHP. I certainly love mine.

Here is something that you may like that goes well with the SHP and precision/sport flying - IMAC. It sounds like you enjoy perfecting aerobatic maneuvers. And that is what IMAC is all about. Look at the 2011 Known Basic. That is what I have been practicing with my SHP and in my computer simulator. I do not expect to be competing in IMAC but in reality a competitor can fly any plane they want in the basic class. The SHP can fly the IMAC well and it is fun perfecting the sequence.

Good luck with your flying. I believe that you made a great choice. Oh, and your plane looks awesome!!!

Freddy
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 04:02 PM
Just having fun
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United States, KY, Hopkinsville
Joined Feb 2008
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Did you fly your SHP today? I am into the 4th season with my SHP and I am still in awe how well it flys every time I fly it.

Freddy
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 05:13 PM
Mile High Pilot
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USA, CO, Longmont
Joined Jun 2010
1,175 Posts
Not yet, still hopeful however. Just been too windy - and very gusty (bothers me MUCH more than just a steady wind).

Im pretty interested in your IMAC link... looked around at the site this morning, but did not get too far in yet. I really enjoy doing precision aerobatics (although sometimes I just like to let it all hang out too).

Hopefully as the sun starts down towards the mountains, this wind will settle a little, and I can get a couple of flights in!

jc

EDIT>>> Got out this evening, and squeezed one flight in as the wind died, and before it got too dark to see. Flight #3 was a blast - probably STILL too windy, but I really wanted it. Was MUCH more aggressive on this flight. Tried aileron rolls, loops, vertical rolls, slow rolls, and some down right weird stuff where I banged the sticks around a little just to see what it would do. Mostly I started working on getting the patterns more clean (round loops, level rolls, etc). This plane is SO responsive and yet so STABLE. It really just does go where you point it.

Its going to be a long week - next opportunity to fly will be Friday at the VERY earliest, and most likely Saturday or Sunday. I cant wait to get a day where the wind is calm to see what I can do with it...

jc
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Last edited by milehighjc; Apr 18, 2011 at 03:50 PM.
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 12:01 AM
Mile High Pilot
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USA, CO, Longmont
Joined Jun 2010
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After getting the SHP, I also got my hands on a copy of Scott Stoop's book The Pilots Guide to Mastering RC Flight :

http://rcpilotguide.com/home/

Scott is the designer of the Extra 300 SHP. I finally got to read a good chunk of it on my return flight home tonight. Its a great read, and not just for high performance aircraft. I really wish that I had read it before I started trying basic aerobatics with my T-28 - for that matter before I ever started flying it, It may well have saved a crash or two.

jc
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Old Apr 21, 2011, 02:11 PM
Mile High Pilot
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USA, CO, Longmont
Joined Jun 2010
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Going a little more agressive

After 15 flights, I'm pretty comfortable now with the SHP. I commented very early on that I was thinking about going to my "phase 2" settings even after the first few flights. Well, I never got around to it, mostly because all my days were outrageously windy, and didn't get as comfortable as fast as I expected, mostly with landings.

Ive now been working with the sim for a while too, playing around with some 3d maneuvers. Its past time, so I just finished adjusting my dual rates to the phase 2 settings (see the opening post). I did go a little more aggressive with the aileron settings however I think it was an anomaly between doc austins high rates, and scotts low rates - they both called for 3/4" of deflection (although differing angles). Being too lazy to get out a protractor, I just set the high rate elevator deflection at 1" (half way between the manual low and high rates) since I would like a little better roll rate than what I had before.

Looking forward to testing it.

jc
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