Espritmodel.com Telemetry Radio

E-flite Rhapsody 25e ARF Review

See how classic biplane meets modern styling with the Rhapsody 25e from E-flite!

Splash

Introduction

E-flite Rhapsody 25e ARF

Wingspan:47 in
Length:38.9 in
Wing Area:530 sq in
Weight:4.4 lb -4.6 lb
Servos:JR Sport MN48 (x4)
Receiver:Spektrum AR7600
Battery:E-flite 4S 14.8V 3200mAh Lipo
Motor:E-flite Power 32 brushless outrunner
ESC:E-flite 60-Amp Pro Brushless ESC
Propeller:APC 13x6.5E
Transmitter:Spektrum DX7
Manufacturer:E-flite
Available From:
Horizon Hobby
Price:$229.99

What's that? You're looking for a biplane? And you don't want one that looks like all the other biplanes out there? You are in luck! E-flite has just released the Rhapsody 25e that is sure to scratch your itch for a nice biplane while still crossing over the line from ordinary into extraordinary.

At first look of the Rhapsody one would get the hint of classic biplane. After looking a little closer you will find that this thing doesn't look like just any other biplane. The attention to detail makes this a great looking scale aircraft. Check out the fiberglass wheel pants and monsterous cowling! Unique colors make the the trim scheme look stunning on this airframe.

Read on and see what makes the Rhapsody an excellent choice for your hangar!

Kit Contents

Airframe (pre-assembled and covered fuselage, wings, and tail surfaces)

  • Landing gear/wheels
  • Fiberglass cowling and wheel pants
  • Wing transport jig
  • Hardware
  • Instruction manual

The Rhapsody comes packaged in a very attractive and colorful box. Upon opening the box you will notice the time and attention given to the packing process of each part of the plane. All pieces are packed securely in place.

The illustrated manual does a very good job of guiding you through the assembly process. The pictures and descriptions are very clear and easy to follow. Go check it out for yourself...a PDF copy of the manual is online.

E-flite has two recommended power setups for the Rhapsody:

For this review, E-flite provided the High Power Setup, which includes the following equipment:

<font size=-2><a href=http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFLM4032A target=E-flite Power 32 " src="http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/1/8/0/7/1/t3960287-164-thumb-DSC03046.jpg?d=1303429209" />
E-flite Power 32
Type:Brushless Outrunner
RPM/Volt (kv):770
Motor Weight:7.0oz (200g)
Overall Diameter:42mm (1.7 in)
Overall Length:50mm (1.90 in)
Shaft Diameter:5mm (.20 in)
Number of Cells:34S LiPo
Continuous Current:42A
Max Burst Current:60A (15 sec)
Max Power:800 watts

<font size=-2><a href=http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFLA1060 target=E-flite 60-Amp Pro " src="http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/2/2/1/9/2/t3102122-124-thumb-Eflite60AmpProESC.jpg?d=1267849405" />
E-flite 60-Amp Pro
Type:Programmable Brushless Speed Controller
Number of Cells:3-6S LiPo
Max Continuous Current:60A
BEC:Switch-mode / 2.5A
Max Servos:7 analog or 6 digital standard-size
Weight:2.3 oz (62g)
Dimensions:33 x 76 x 13mm (1.30 x 3.0 x 0.50 in)

<font size=-2><a href=http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFLB32004S30 target=E-flite 3200mAh 4S 14.8V 30C LiPo " src="http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/1/8/0/7/1/t3988177-229-thumb-battery.jpg?d=1304455420" />
E-flite 3200mAh 4S 14.8V 30C LiPo
Type:Lithium Polymer
Number of cells:4
Capacity:3200mAh
Voltage:14.8V
Max Continuous Current:30C / 96A
Weight:13oz (343g)
Dimensions (WxLxH):1.70 x 5.20 x 1.20 in

To control the Rhapsody you will need at least a 4-channel radio system. For this review, I used a Spektrum AR7600 DSM2 7-channel full range receiver with a Spektrum DX7 transmitter providing the control link. The solid and robust JR Sport MN48 mini servos were used on all the control surfaces. A total of four servos are required to complete the Rhapsody.

<font size=-2><a href=http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=SPMAR7610 target=Spektrum AR7600/now7610 " src="http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/1/8/0/7/1/t3960295-50-thumb-DSC03054.jpg?d=1303429269" />
Spektrum AR7600/now7610
Type:2.4GHz DSM2 Receiver
Number of channels:7
Weight:0.31oz (10g)
Size (WxLxH):1.15 x 1.35 x 0.45in

<font size=-2><a href=http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=JSP20040 target=JR Sport MN48 " src="http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/1/8/0/7/1/t3960294-114-thumb-DSC03052.jpg?d=1303429244" />
JR Sport MN48
Type:Analog Mini Servo
Operating Speed (4.8V/6.0V):0.18 sec/60 / 0.15 sec/60
Torque:48 oz-in
Weight:0.8oz (22.7g)
Dimensions (WxLxH):0.58 x 1.30 x 1.02in
Gear Type:Nylon

Additional items required to complete:

  • One 3-inch Y-Harness (EFLRYH3)
  • APC 13x6.5e propeller
  • Basic model-building tools and adhesives

Assembly

Wing

The wings come pre-hinged and ready for servo installation. The wing panels are both strengthened by carbon fiber spars and secured with screws. The wings are connected by struts and attached to the fuselage by cabane struts. With these in place the wings are quite sturdy. The bottom wing has the servos mounted in it that controls the ailerons. There are pushrods with clevises that connect the lower ailerons to the upper wing ailerons. Once assembled and installed the wings are quite sturdy with no twisting or flexing.

Fuselage

The inside of the fuselage is accessed by the removable canopy hatch. The hatch is for accessing the battery, receiver, and tail servos. It is secured by magnets. There are optional components that can step up the scale personality of your Rhapsody. The pilot figure and the dummy radial engine add a nice finishing touch to an already beautiful airplane.

Tail

The tail surfaces are held on by four screws and finished off with thin CA glue. Notice that the tail wheel assembly is already installed in the rudder and ready for flight.

The manual suggest 5-7 hours to assemble the Rhapsody. I logged my time on this one, and over the course of three evenings, I got mine built in exactly 5 hours total. There are many tasks that the manufacturer has already completed. They have already hinged the surfaces, installed the tail wheel, drilled the servo bays in the wings, cut the pushrods to length and even grinded the flat spots on the main gear axles. E-flite has defintely gone the extra mile to get you flying faster.

Flying

So now its time to get the Rhapsody where it belongs. After seeing this beauty on the workbench, I couldn't wait to see it in the air. Now.... it's time for the maiden flight!

Taking Off and Landing

The Rhapsody does great on a nicely mowed grass strip. The steerable tail wheel works well on the grass or pavement. With the Power 32 motor takeoffs are a snap with anywhere from half to full throttle. It has a great climb rate and will ascend like a rocket.

Landings are very stable and have no bad tendencies. Floating it in and allowing it to slow down will allow the plane to land gently. I noticed that leaving about 20% throttle in as you are about to touch down will help to cushion the landing.

Aerobatics

The Rhapsody is an excellent choice for a unique aerobatic biplane. It is quite capable of most aerobatic maneuvers. With the Power 32 motor, climbing into long loops or high altitude spins is as easy as giving it full throttle and watching it climb to the clouds. Inverted flight is quite easy and doesn't require much down elevator at all. The roll stability is nice while inverted. Aileron roll rate isn't blazing fast even with full rates but it is crisp and probably more scale. Knife edge flight is possible but I had a hard time sustaining it for more than a single pass. Snap rolls look really nice with the Rhapsody. Both inside and outside snap rolls are quick and tight. Tumbles are awesome to do as well with the Rhapsody.

Photo/Video Gallery

With the combination of the stunning looks and excellent flight characteristics, the Rhapsody proves to be a very fun airplane to fly. See for yourself with these action shots and the flight video. FYI: I even mounted my GoPro camera on it and went for a spin!

Downloads

Conclusion

Is This For a Beginner?

I would have to say that the Rhapsody isn't a good model for a beginner. It would make a good plane for someone who is proficient with 4-channels. Keeping it on low rates will make it more docile but it will move on pretty quickly with throttle so stay ahead of it. Besides, this is a sport plane, so it is designed to move fast and do some stunts.

Summary

A WORD OF THANKS

Thanks to my brother and fellow author, Andy, for his help with the awesome photo and video skills.

I'd also like to thank Horizon Hobby for providing the Rhapsody for this review.

Thank you all so much!

The Rhapsody is definitely a "different" looking biplane from any other at the flying field. Rest assured that it will not only excede the other old biplanes in looks, but it will also excede them in flight. With the option of the capable Power 25 motor or the muscled-up Power 32, you can build your Rhapsody to your flying preference. You can count on having more flying time and less assembling since E-flite did a lot of the building for you. The flight capabilities are sure to please the casual sport flyer as well as the gutsy aerobatic pilot.

Pluses:

  • Super fast assembly
  • Beautifully unique trim scheme
  • Smooth and stable flight characteristics

Minuses:

  • Pilot figure should be included with the kit.

Last edited by Angela H; May 16, 2011 at 08:04 AM..

Discussion

Reply
Thread Tools
Old May 23, 2011, 12:26 PM
E-flyer since 1981
Michael in Toronto's Avatar
Joined Oct 2000
1,491 Posts
Nice review; I want to buy a biplane!

How does it compare to the E-Flite PT-17?
Michael in Toronto is offline Find More Posts by Michael in Toronto
Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 2011, 02:36 PM
Registered User
United States, IL, Elgin
Joined Oct 2010
13 Posts
love the wing video camera. so cool to watch all the control surfaces move during flight. what camera was it? good review
moser5 is offline Find More Posts by moser5
Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 2011, 03:03 PM
semper mitis
gentle ben's Avatar
Paducah, Kentucky
Joined Nov 2004
901 Posts
700 dollars plus model, in todays economy? For me, those days are long gone.
gentle ben is offline Find More Posts by gentle ben
Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 2011, 04:56 PM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
United States, TX, Kingsland
Joined Sep 2005
4,966 Posts
Love the video Gary! Your flying hardly even fazed the pilot -- he never changed expression throughout the whole flight .

McD
kingsflyer is offline Find More Posts by kingsflyer
RCG Plus Member
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 2011, 09:06 PM
Registered User
kevinb120's Avatar
Joined May 2009
1,158 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentle ben View Post
700 dollars plus model, in todays economy? For me, those days are long gone.

It has the convenient sliding blind nuts for multiple mount sizes, just use this motor:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=4657

and a 60A Turnigy plush ESC:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=2166

I have it with a 14x7 and it's a rocket, can take off in 3' if you want. Perfectly happy at half throttle as well. Upped the aileron throws about 25% from stock high rates, really makes it fly a ton better. I fly it with the 3600 30C 4S Turnigy packs I share with my habu and Gaui 550, plenty of flight time.
kevinb120 is offline Find More Posts by kevinb120
Reply With Quote
Old May 24, 2011, 08:11 PM
Honey, I got more planes!
ghee-grose's Avatar
USA, AL, Athens
Joined Jun 2003
4,274 Posts
Onboard camera was a GoPro Hero HD. Pilot was unphased due to extensive training.
ghee-grose is offline Find More Posts by ghee-grose
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old May 24, 2011, 09:13 PM
Registered User
kevinb120's Avatar
Joined May 2009
1,158 Posts
Hey Gary, I love the review!(and the plane) But shouldn't this be in the sport planes forum, it's a bit too much plane to really be a parkflyer?
kevinb120 is offline Find More Posts by kevinb120
Reply With Quote
Old May 25, 2011, 04:08 AM
Registered User
England
Joined Nov 2005
1,109 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinb120 View Post
Hey Gary, I love the review!(and the plane) But shouldn't this be in the sport planes forum, it's a bit too much plane to really be a parkflyer?
Yes, that was my thought too.
netdudeuk is offline Find More Posts by netdudeuk
Reply With Quote
Old May 25, 2011, 08:15 AM
Honey, I got more planes!
ghee-grose's Avatar
USA, AL, Athens
Joined Jun 2003
4,274 Posts
I agree. I have put in the request to get it changed to the correct forum. Good catch!
ghee-grose is offline Find More Posts by ghee-grose
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old May 25, 2011, 09:21 PM
Registered User
Joined Jul 2008
77 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in Toronto View Post
Nice review; I want to buy a biplane!

How does it compare to the E-Flite PT-17?
Hah I am looking at this plane as well. Maybe I will let you get it first and see how it flies.
terrabit2001 is offline Find More Posts by terrabit2001
Reply With Quote
Old May 26, 2011, 07:26 AM
RMS
Registered User
RMS's Avatar
Westport, MA
Joined Oct 2004
871 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentle ben View Post
700 dollars plus model, in todays economy? For me, those days are long gone.
You can do it for a lot less. If you don't want to by the non name brand GOOD cheap stuff from HK you can buy them here in the US from Hobbypartz.com. They have a series of Monster Power motors that have specs almost identical to the E-flite motors at a fraction of the cost. I have been using them successfully for a while.
RMS is offline Find More Posts by RMS
Reply With Quote
Old May 26, 2011, 07:21 PM
just go FLY !!
brn-grose's Avatar
Jasper, TN
Joined May 2004
1,174 Posts
Great review Bro !!

the onboard vid is just too cool!!
brn-grose is offline Find More Posts by brn-grose
Last edited by brn-grose; May 26, 2011 at 07:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2011, 09:41 AM
Our God's Alive
100mph's Avatar
United States, NE, Bennet
Joined Mar 2011
306 Posts
Looks great, I always like the biplane look.
100mph is offline Find More Posts by 100mph
Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2011, 11:12 PM
Servos can't have all the fun!
Moonbeam Six's Avatar
Athens, Alabama
Joined Jun 2005
1,116 Posts
Excellent review. Beautiful plane. Nice camera work.

MB6
Moonbeam Six is offline Find More Posts by Moonbeam Six
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion E-Flite Rhapsody 25e ChuckTseeker Sport Planes 1168 Apr 26, 2014 11:25 AM
Article E-flite Diamante 25e ARF Review Doc Austin Sport Planes 276 Apr 19, 2014 02:35 PM
Article E-flite Advance 25e ARF Review pda4you Sport Planes 134 Nov 05, 2011 11:26 PM
Discussion Question for E-Flite about the Rhapsody 25e ARF V2rider Electric Plane Talk 0 Nov 06, 2010 01:16 PM
Article E-flite Ultra Stick 25e 50" ParkFlyer Electric ARF Review rc2xs Sport Planes 29 Jan 16, 2010 03:56 PM