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Hacker Model Production Extra 330 SC 1200 ARF Review

No one does foam models quite like Hacker Model Production. These premium planes are beautifully engineered, easy to assemble, easy to repair and fly great. We'll see what happens when we put this new offering together with some top name-brand electronics for guidance.

Splash

Introduction

It's hard to believe that a year has come and gone since I was fortunate enough to review two marvelous foam profilers from Hacker Model Production.

Not only do I still fly both my Super Zoom 2 and Super Zoom XL in as-tested condition whenever possible, I stepped up for a couple of extra Sonic battery packs from Subsonic Planes.com for the SZ2. Subsonic supplied that model's original power system and I knew that it would balance properly with the same battery up front.

But I digress.

It's with more than a small bit of pleasure that I offer up this review of the brand new Hacker Model Production Extra 330 SC 1200. This magnificent all-EPP model from Karel Hacker and his crew boasts a full fuselage expertly assembled at the Hacker factory in Řevničov, Czech Republic and is distributed to dealers here in the US by World Toy Imports of Pataskala, Ohio. Like the Super Zoom XL, which is basically the Super Zoom 2 enlarged twenty percent, so too is the Extra 330 SC 1200 with its 1200mm wingspan an enlarged version of the regular Extra 330 SC with its 1000mm wingspan.

Some of the best names in the hobby business are going into this beauty. The motor and ESC will be from Hacker Motor GmbH via Hacker Brushless USA in Tempe, Arizona (no relation to Hacker Model Production) and will spin an APC propeller with an E-flite adapter. The servos are coming from Hitec RCD in Poway, California, the battery will be a new high-discharge Mad Dog brand li-po from 2DogRC.com in Fayetteville, North Carolina and guidance will be from a state-of-the-art Futaba FASST radio system provided by Hobbico in Champaign, Illinois.

Grab a snack and then grab a bottle of CA. This is gonna be fun.


Hacker Model Production Extra 330 SC 1200 ARF
Wingspan:48.25" (1200mm)
Wing Area:512 sq in (3303cm2)
Flying Weight:29 oz (822g)
Length:48.4" (1230mm)
Wing Loading:8.15 oz/sq. ft. (24.85g/dm2)
Speed Range:45 mph (72.5km/h) visually estimated
Servos:Hitec HS-65HB analog micro with KARBONITE gear train
Transmitter:Futaba T6EX FASST six-channel aircraft
Receiver:Futaba R606FS FASST six-channel aircraft, full range
Battery:Mad Dog 2200mAh 3S 35C lithium polymer
Motor:Hacker Motor A30-28S outrunner, 1140Kv
ESC:Hacker Motor X-40 SB Pro, 40 amperes
Propeller:APC 11x5.5E thin electric with E-flite 4mm prop adapter
Operator Skill Level:Intermediate/advanced
Manufacturer:Hacker Model Production, a.s. Zahradní 465, 270 54, Řevničov, Czech Republic
Distributor:World Toy Imports/RCBaron.com, 310 Jefferson Park Road, Pataskala, Ohio 43062 USA
Available From:Any dealer which stocks Hacker Model Production products
Catalog Numbers:HC1331A (red); HC1331B (blue); HC1331C (yellow)
Basic Airframe Price (USD):$134.95

Kit Contents

Some of my harshest criticism of the other two Hacker models I reviewed was leveled toward the busy-looking package labeling with its misspelling of the company website and the poorly translated English throughout the manual.

I'm pleased to report that the labeling has been greatly improved. The manual still suffers from some translation problems, omissions in the assembly procedure and small, blurry photos. Ninety percent of this company's premium priced models are exported; Hacker is turning their attention to this easily corrected problem. I believe their brand perception in a competitive hobby market would be greatly enhanced.

Translated English notwithstanding, the manual will do a good job of getting the truly fine contents of the box together and flying.

The basic airframe comes well equipped with the following:

  • Pre-decorated fuselage, wing and horizontal stabilizer
  • Landing gear with rubber-tired wheels
  • Carbon fiber struts and pushrods
  • Complete quality hardware package
  • Photo-illustrated instruction guide

The items needed to complete the Extra are:

  • Aircraft radio system with four micro servos
  • Four 12" servo extensions for the servos and one 6" servo extension for the ESC
  • Servo Y-harness if builder wishes to operate both ailerons off a single channel
  • 250 to 350 watt brushless motor (1000 - 1200Kv, 38mm diameter, 26mm length, 98g weight)
  • 40A electronic speed control
  • 11x4.7 thin electric propeller; 11x5.5 recommended by World Toy Imports and used in the review subject
  • 1 3/4" (45mm) spinner or E-flite 4mm prop adapter if the Hacker motor in this review is used
  • 3S lithium-polymer battery (1500 - 2500mAh, 20 - 25C)
  • #11 X-Acto knife or equivalent
  • Dremel Moto-Tool or equivalent
  • Builder's choice of battery connector if the Hacker ESC in this review is used
  • Five-minute epoxy
  • Regular thin CA and accelerator (not foam safe)

Assembly

Wing

This is a fairly straightforward task. The wing halves are first glued together with regular thin CA and kicker. Two 1000mm CF rods are used to reinforce the wing with one on the bottom and one on top. A new X-Acto blade should be used to keep from tearing the foam; a new blade easily cuts through the EPP.

One thing I learned from the previous builds was that thin CA wicks through EPP rather quickly. It's easy to glue one's fingers to the model as well as having unwanted glue seep to the other side of the part and possibly to your work surface.

It's also easy to lift some of the CNC-printed graphics from the parts. Hacker roughs up the surface of their foam parts which allows the sprayed-on inks to grip the otherwise slick surface. Not all the ink soaks in, it would seem. Normal handling of the parts will almost certainly result in premature "hangar rash." Just par for the course; this model and my two previous builds have evidence of rubbed-out areas of paint.

The sprayed-on graphics exhibited another problem, namely that of the inks not wrapping around to paint the edges of certain parts. It's most pronounced in the wing and fuselage upper cover, but the effect from the lack of sprayed ink is a nice, even fade to the natural white color of the foam. It's not bad looking, but the parts would look better with that bit of additional finish work at the factory.

I glued the CA rods into the cuts a bit at a time, applying kicker across the length of each cut and maybe an inch or two of CA at a time. The kicker takes a moment to fire off, allowing the cut to be held shut as the glue sets. This is similar to what Hacker used on the Super Zooms; the result is a strong, rigid wing.

It's a real airfoiled wing as well, with its unique machined leading edge and tips. There are a lot of molded foamies with airfoils molded in, but the Extra 330 is a sheet foamie with nary a flat control surface in sight.

Step four has instructions as to how and where the aileron servos are mounted. We'll take a look at those fantastic servos provided by Hitec RCD before we review that step:

 <b>Hitec HS-65HB</b>
Hitec HS-65HB
Type: Analog micro servo
Operating Speed (4.8V): 0.14 sec/60°
Stall Torque (4.8V): 24.99 oz/in (1.8kg/cm)
Weight: 0.39oz (11.2g)
Gear Type: Hitec KARBONITE with ball-bearing support
Operating Voltage: 4.8-6.0V

These servos are definitely worth your consideration and are a perfect compliment to the Extra 330. They're smooth, fast, strong and worthy of the Hitec name. Ben over at World Toy Imports flies his own Extra with these same servos plus the extra added attraction of the HS-65MG metal-geared version for the rudder. Ben, you see, loves to fly knife edges mere inches above the runway. With the metal gears, the rudder servo is, quite naturally, less prone to stripping if the tail contacts the ground.

There's an error on the photo; it shows the inside surfaces of the servos spaced 150mm from the center line of the wing, but doing so does not match the photo. Matching the servos with the photo puts the outer surfaces at 150mm. Once the servos are settled into their cutouts but not glued in, a ruler is used to line the output arm to the place where the CNC-routed plastic servo horns are supposed to go. The horns are quite large; there's almost no chance of these pulling loose once they're glued down.

Hacker provides exceptionally nice pushrod connectors which are secured with a one-way metal disc and which I praised in the the first two reviews. A tab between the screw and the CF pushrod spreads the pressure across a broad area, preventing the pushrod from being crushed. If one elects to use the same Hitec servos as used here, use the long single arm that comes with them.

The pushrods are assembled from precut carbon fiber rods, metal wire with Z-bends and shrink wrap tubing. Shrink the tubing over the rod and wire, secure it with a bit of CA and you have a lightweight, strong pushrod which I can honestly say works well in practice.

The aileron control horns go in on step 6, but I elected not to glue them in until after I'd installed the servos. Both aileron pushrods, the elevator pushrod and rudder pushrod are all assembled in step 7. The aileron pushrods are made from a pair of 115mm rods, but there was only one. One each of a 130mm and 160mm rod were supposed to be supplied for the elevator and rudder, but closer examination turned up an extra 130mm rod. It was easy enough to measure and trim that rod for use as an aileron pushrod.

Since the servos were going to be wrapped in Scotch tape and glued in place, I thought it best to make sure that the arms were properly placed over the splines, moving in the proper direction through a Y-harness and electronically trimmed with the Futaba T6EX transmitter's sub-trim.

Fuselage

The CNC-routed plywood motor mount is first up. The photo clearly shows how the four main parts go together; a hole in the side panel identified as part 18 identifies it as the right side panel which in turn will give the completed assembly some right thrust.

The parts were almost too snug a fit due to routing "flash," but some minor trimming with the X-Acto got things fitting well for the test fit. Five-minute epoxy is used to assemble the mount and to hold it in place. A brace dovetails in behind the upper mounting tabs to secure the mount in place; a bit of five-minute epoxy makes this a strong, well-aligned assembly. That same epoxy is used to hold the plywood joiners which will eventually help to secure the motor cowl.

Step 11 was a bit of a mystery and the first really indecipherable problem with the manual.

It calls for the installation of part 8, the "landing gear stiffener." The problems lay in the photo showing the part in place; it appeared to be made of foam, but the manual didn't specify that the part was foam. Neither did the parts listing back on page four.

A small foam slab that looked as if it would do the trick was sealed with the foam strut covers and wheel pants. I'd mentioned earlier that Ben Andrus at World Toy Imports flies an Extra 330 SC 1200 of his own, so whom better to call? Ben verified that my mysterious foam slab was indeed our stiffener; it attaches with five-minute epoxy.

Installation of the rudder and elevator servos and their 12" extensions is outlined in the next couple of steps. The photos are very clear as to where the holes should be cut, in which direction the servos should go and where the extensions exit atop the fuselage, but not so clear as to how the servo arms should be oriented. The rudder servo is on the right and is shown with its arm pointing upward. The inset photo on step 13 is simply too small to show the elevator arm orientation, but a bit of common sense combined with another blurry photo up on step 23 revealed that the elevator sevo arm should be pointing downward. Naturally, the pushrod connectors and the servos themselves are installed in the same way as the aileron servos, although the manual fails to point out the installation of the connectors.

It's necessary to cut the fuselage at the wing saddle in order to install the wing. It's also necessary that the servo leads and extensions be routed to the top of the wing first, but the manual fails to mention this. I'd failed to do so and I discovered the problem after the wing had been triangulated and glued down, but the fix was relatively easy if somewhat work intensive. It required that I open up a hatch along the bottom of the fuselage, cut slots in each wing for the servo leads, cut open a slot in the wing saddle to allow me to pass the servo plug, drill a hole through the wing and use a thin length of music wire to fish the extensions through their holes atop the fuselage. Once I verified that the servos were working correctly, I glued the hatch back in place.

Tail

More straightforward stuff. All the tail itself needs is the installation of the control horn. The elevator/horizontal stabilizer is a bit more involved, requiring the installation of a wooden joiner and then the control horn.

The horn is notched to fit over the joiner, but lo and behold, it did not extend far enough over the hinge area. I double-checked my measurements and they were fine. Thank heaven for my Dremel. I used it to route the cutout so that I could properly align the horn.

A bit more surgery on the fuselage is required to open it up for the horizontal stab. Triangulate it to the wing, glue it down, done.

The vertical stab/rudder glues directly to the fuselage, requiring only a bit of careful alignment along the axis of the fuselage before gluing it down. Once the pushrods are installed, the basic airframe is complete.

Radio Installation

I love the home stretch of the assembly procedure. We're really close to getting this bird flying now!

The motor is now bolted in place; Hacker Model Production has thoughtfully supplied some mounting screws and in this case, were necessary since the screws supplied with the motor were too short. As for the Hacker Motor brushless outrunner itself, enjoy the specs on it and the ESC:

 <b>Hacker Motor GmbH A30-28S</b>
Hacker Motor GmbH A30-28S
Type: Brushless outrunner
Number of cells: 3S lithium polymer
Kv (RPM/V): 1140
Weight: 2.5 oz (75g)
Diameter: 1.46" (37.2mm)
Length: 1.22" (31mm)
Max RPM: 18,000
Shaft Diameter: .157" (4mm)
Current Capacity: 15A; 25A up to 15 seconds

 <b>Hacker Motor GmbH X-40 SB Pro</b>
Hacker Motor GmbH X-40 SB Pro
Type: Brushless Speed Controller
Number of cells: Li-Po 2-4, NiCD/NiMH up to 18
Max Continuous Amps: 40A
Weight: 1.6 oz (43g)
Max servos: 2-6/5V
Dimensions (mm): 75x28x10

The ESC tucks in nicely in the nose of the fuselage; the power and radio leads feed through an opening atop the inner floor of the fuselage. I thought there was no opening, but on closer examination, the factory had simply failed to remove the cutout plug.

Opening up the motor shaft and cooling holes in the nicely vacuformed plastic cowl is a cinch with a Dremel. Once they were roughly opened with a small grinding stone, I finished the job with a sanding drum and the X-Acto.

Test fitting the cowl for its mounting screws along with the prop and spinner is next, but I ran into a problem. The 1/4" stud on the prop adapter was too short. I was only able to engage a couple of threads even without the thin aluminum backplate of the Great Planes spinner I'd hoped to use.

After another technical chat with Ben at World Toy Imports, I found out that this too-short collet is a problem with Hacker motors. Rob Thomas of Uncle Don's Hobbies in nearby Palm Desert went one step further to tell me that the factory collets are hollow and easily broken with too much torque.

The solution from Uncle Don's was an E-flite 4mm prop adapter, catalog number EFLM1924. Its stud is more than long enough to accomodate the APC prop and the installation looks great with its machined aluminum spinner nut.

As for that neat little Great Planes spinner, it wound up on the Super Zoom XL. Perfect fit.

The cowl was attached with the supplied screws per the manual, but the prop wasn't cinched down just yet since the cowl would need to be removed in a later step.

On to the landing gear!

Completion

The main undercarriage is based very sturdy piano wire and Hacker's beautiful rubber-tired wheels. The wheels, some of the nicest I've ever seen on an ARF, are a snug fit over the wire and will need to be drilled out. Once they're retained with the two supplied 10mm lengths of plastic tubing cut to four 5mm lengths and small dabs of CA, they spin free and true.

The foam strut covers presented the same problems I'd experienced with the two previous builds - and then some.

It's necessary to slice a 4mm deep slot in the parts with the aid of a ruler, but it's all too easy to slice all the way through. Once sliced, the pants are glued to the piano wire followed by the wheel pants.

My kit came with what I assumed were upgraded 55mm wheels, available through Hacker dealers under part number HC5205A. At 12mm wide, these marvelous wheels were too wide to fit inside the pants. Trimming the pants into something resembling fenders simply looked bad as evidenced by the photos.

An e-mail from Karel Hacker indicated that the problem was in the parts bag itself. My example came with the bag from the 1000mm version. This helped explain why the foam landing gear reinforcement block seemed to be too small as well. Mr. Hacker immediately and graciously offered to replace the bag despite the cost of shipping it here to the US; I politely declined his kind offer because of the cost and the delay in getting this review published on time. That kind of customer service is a real plus.

The tailwheel installation is straightforward with the rough finish of the bracket and wheel suggesting that Hacker may have produced them in-house with their rapid prototyping equipment. Like the main undercarriage, the wheel will need to be drilled out just a bit in order to get it to fit over the prebent wire axle/spring.

A check of the CG is necessary before cutting and installing the fuselage's top cover. The balance point is between 125 and 135mm behind the LE of the wing and is accomplshed by positioning the flight battery. Hook and loop tape provided with the kit secure the battery in place.

The top cover requires that it be sliced into three pieces with a center section 170mm long. The outside halves of the cut cover are glued to the top of the fuselage; the front segment needs to be tucked into the cowl and removing the cowl will make properly gluing down that segment easier, but it made it a bit more difficult to reinstall the cowl and prop and to line up the cowl's mounting holes.

The center section is made into a removable battery cover with the aid of a latch, retaining washer, the final small length of CF rod, a plastic strip and the final wooden sprues. Lke the tailwheel bracket, the latch and washer appear to be made in-house with Hacker's rapid prototyping equipment. The sprues secure the front of the hatch and are glued along the length of the cover just inside the wall thickness of the foam while the plastic strip is glued to the underside of the rearmost cover, giving the latching system something to hold onto other than foam. This keeps the newly built cover from moving laterally once installed. The finished product is a securely mounted but easily removed cover.

Trimming the clear canopy and installing it with four screws completes the model. In my case, I added an extra bit of "bling" to the cowl with two of the Hacker Motor decals supplied with the motor.

The recommended control throws of 40 degrees of aileron, 50 degrees of elevator and 45 degrees of rudder were easily set via the Futaba T6EX transmitter's dual rate setup menu. Not a lot of adjustment was required since the throws were pretty close right off the bat. I set the recommended throws with some expo as the low-rate default and added a bit more throw and expo for future high-rate flying. Since I'd set up the ailerons as flaperons, thereby eliminating the need for and weight of a Y-harness, I took a moment to add about 25% flaps just for fun.

Flying time!

Flying

Basics

I met my friend and frequent videographer Ken Alan on a beautiful mid-September morning at the Coachella Valley Radio Control Club near Coachella, California. We both snapped some preflight "beauty shots" before I hooked up a Zippy 2300mAh 3S li-po. I'd hoped to be able to use a new Mad Dog li-po from 2DogRC.com, but it hadn't yet arrived.

After a quick range check and control throw operation check, the Extra was ready to rock.

Taking Off and Flying

Despite its size, the Extra 330 is a lightweight beast; the north-south wind blowing in perfect alignment over the runway made the ground handling a bit sloppy.

Once it was lined up on the center line and I advanced the throttle, the Extra really showed its pedigree by tracking perfectly straight with almost no rudder input required.

The Extra took off straight and true, needing only a couple of clicks of right aileron trim to get it flying hands off. At roughly 2/3 throttle, the Extra cruised around the sky almost as easily as a trainer. It liked some rudder input in the turns; the Extra almost flies itself, but not quite. Slowing down and adding a lot of rudder in the turns turned the model practically within it own length. In short, it's a full-fuselage model which acts much like a profiler.

Speed was good on the slightly smaller propeller than was called for; I eyeballed it at about 45 MPH (72.5km/h) at full throttle. This is of course a totally unofficial claim, but I can say that all but the most speed-obsessed among us will be happy. Besides, the Extra is an aerobat, not a speed demon.

Aerobatics are a joy as we'll see.

Landing

Landing this model could not be easier. It is, as I pointed out, exceptionally lightweight. Throttling back in order to glide in on final almost brought the Extra to a stop, even without the flaperons. It didn't so much land as "harrier" in. Had I tried to land with the flaperons, it might very well have defied gravity.

Keeping some power on during landing is definitely recommended for scale-like landings.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

I returned to the club the following week to get a real feel for how the Extra 330 would perform without having to take it easy for a videographer.

The Mad Dog li-po from 2DogRC.com had arrived as well, needing only that I replace the factory-installed EC3 connector with a Deans Ultra-Plug.

Since I believe in giving credit when due, I stuck the "killer Chihuahua" decal to the top of the motor cowl since Mark Grohe of 2DogRC was kind enough to send me the battery in the first place.

Here are the performance specs with that battery as measured with an AstroFlight Super Whatt Meter. The battery was new and unflown at the time of the test:

Voltage at zero throttle: 12.4V
Peak wattage at full throttle: 372W
Current draw: 32A/.79ah
Prop speed: 9240 RPM

The sky was clear and the wind near calm when I took off. This time, I really got down with the Extra:

  • Inverted flight was as simple as flipping the plane on its back and adding a bit of down elevator to keep it flying straight. It's one of the easiest planes to fly inverted I've ever reviewed.
  • Rolls are an aerobatic model's stock in trade, but the Extra doesn't like simply having the ailerons hauled over. Some opposite rudder cleans things up and helps to keep the model rolling straight. Following through the roll with the elevator helps as well; it wasn't long before I was doing some elegant slow rolls and even four-point rolls. I noted what appeared to be a tendency for the tail to twist under hard manuevering and turning, but if the tail was in fact twisting, it didn't seem to harm the flight characteristics.
  • Loops were an absolute blast to perform once I'd done a bit of fine tuning with the transmitter. Immelmann turns were a cinch, but it took a couple of tries to get a good Cuban Eight. That was more a function of my piloting than anything having to do with the plane; it just took a bit of practice on my part to get the Extra doing nice, straight Cubans.
  • Knife edge flight was locked down and smooth thanks to the generous rudder area and the factory recommended throw. There's room for more throw if desired. As I mentioned, the rudder will literally turn the model in its own length if the airspeed is low enough; I may have to attempt a flat spin and report back over at the comments section.
  • Hovering on the propeller is shown in Hacker's official YouTube video, but my model wasn't balanced for it. There's enough control surface throw to pull it off, but some rear weight bias is necessary.
  • Vertical climbs are virtually unlimited. While not a tremendously fast plane, at least with the 11x5.5 prop, it has no problem whatsoever climbing straight up with seemingly little effort. It does so better than any other electric in my hangar except for my pusher prop jets.

I did try some flaperon takeoffs and landings. Taking off with the flaperons naturally reduces the already short runway distance needed to get airborne, but landing was more difficult. The model hung like a kite, defying my attempts to get it to simply flare out and land.

So, I'll be doing some really showy flaperon-assisted victory roll takeoffs in the future, but they'll remain switched off for the landing.

Is This For a Beginner?

Tempting as it may be for a beginner to attempt a plane like this due to its ease of assembly and crash-resistant construction, this particular instance from Hacker isn't a beginner's plane when it comes to flying. It's a typical low-wing design insofar as its lack of dihedral to help with stability and its lack of any self-righting flight characteristics. If one has access to a field and an instuctor, Hacker Model Production makes a number of similarlay constructed trainers.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Many thanks go to Ken Alan for these photos:

Downloads

Conclusion

The Hacker Model Production Extra 330 SC 1200 ARF may well be one of the finest sport planes in the world regardless of price or materials used. Aerobatics are as easy to perform on this model as anything you're likely to fly and will look great doing it. The assembly manual needs a bit of work, but anyone who's ever assembled a Hacker foam ARF - or any ARF for that matter - should have no trouble getting an Extra 330 of his or her own up and flying. At US$135, this is by no means an inexpensive foamie. It's pricey to be sure, but in my opinion that price will amortize nicely over the lifetime of the airframe. Crashes which would reduced a wooden model to kindling are either shrugged off by the EPP foam or are easily repaired. Most repairs may even be invisible.

The Super Zoom 2 and Super Zoom XL made me a Hacker fan; the Extra seals the deal for me. Two thumbs all the way up for this fantastic model.

Many, many heartfelt thanks are necessary, beginning with Ben Andrus of World Toy Imports. RCGroups works closely with this fine agency and it's always a pleasure for me to work with Ben. It's also a pleasure and a privilege to work directly with Karel Hacker himself in the Czech Republic.

This was my first time working with Suzanne Lepine of Hitec RCD. She was a joy to work with and I look forward to showcasing Hitec's fine products again soon. I have family in San Diego and I hope to be able to arrange a visit to Hitec's headquarters in nearby Poway someday.

It was also my first time working with Aeromodel/Hacker Brushless USA and I hope that it won't be the last. They were kind enough to not only forward the motor and ESC thanks to Ben Andrus but also the necessary APC propeller and even a DVD of the movie, Electric Flight School.

I've worked with Mark Grohe of 2DogRC.com in the past and he is a genuine asset to the R/C community. My friend and coworker Ken Alan always steps up to the plate to shoot video; he and I generally step up to plates of breakfast after the shoots. Angela Haglund is our catalyst here at RCGroups.com. As administrator, she acts as a tireless liason between we the authors and the fine companies who produce and sell fine R/C products.

All of us are grateful to you, our readers, for making RCGroups.com the premier hobby-related site on all the internet. That's no mean feat and you all made it happen. My personal thanks go to you as well for taking the time to read about this terrific model and the products that made it fly.

See you next time!

Pluses and minuses

Pluses abound with the Extra 330 1200. Among them:

  • Outstanding flying characteristics
  • High-quality, precision-cut parts
  • Fuselage was beautifully prebuilt at the factory
  • Outstanding hardware package; the pushrod clamps and wheels deserve special praise
  • Quick to build with little more than CA; just as quick and easy to repair in the event of a crash
  • The CAD-printed graphics make the model a standout on the ground as well as in the air
  • Spare parts are available
  • It's simply fun to fly

Minuses are relatively minor:

  • There's some badly translated English in the manual, but Hacker is working to correct that
  • The manual has some rather serious omissions as well, especially in regards to the aileron servo leads
  • Some of the inks used in the CAD-controlled painting process tend to rub off
  • A small amount of CA on one's finger will have the same result, if not worse.
  • Some edges which should have been painted weren't, possibly because of engineering limitations of the CAD system
  • The motor's prop adapter is too short for use with this particular propeller
Last edited by DismayingObservation; Sep 27, 2011 at 11:46 AM..

Discussion

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Old Sep 30, 2011, 07:07 AM
Registered User
Joined Jan 2009
7,643 Posts
Nice review and photos. It looks to be a straightforward scale up from its one-meter sibling, with many of the same traits. I have the smaller one and love it -- though it has required its share of repairs in the year or so I've been flying it.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 05:13 PM
Transmogrified.
DismayingObservation's Avatar
Southern California
Joined Feb 2006
2,832 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by rafe_b View Post
Nice review and photos. It looks to be a straightforward scale up from its one-meter sibling, with many of the same traits. I have the smaller one and love it -- though it has required its share of repairs in the year or so I've been flying it.
Thanks much for the nice words. Sounds as if you're having a blast with your original. I had one crash with the Super Zoom and the repair is utterly invisible. If you ain't breaking planes, you ain't flying!
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 05:21 PM
smoke is my wattmeter
Longview, Tx
Joined May 2008
1,121 Posts
Likewise, nice review. I've been curious about this plane and it's construction. Now I know. Not sure if it's really a good plane for me as a 3d trainer. For someone with skills it's probably fine. I can see it in my future though.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by krexken View Post
Likewise, nice review. I've been curious about this plane and it's construction. Now I know. Not sure if it's really a good plane for me as a 3d trainer. For someone with skills it's probably fine. I can see it in my future though.
Unless it's a profile EPP plane from Hacker (Zoom), Hyperion (Sniper), RCFactory et. al, I can't think of a better "3D trainer."

If you can set aside the non-scale looks, there are some advantages to profile planes: ease of repair, access to components, and in the air (eg. great knife-edge performance, minimal roll coupling, etc.)
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Old Oct 01, 2011, 09:28 AM
I still get nervous on final
FlyDude's Avatar
Richmond, VA
Joined Mar 2007
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Very nice review Ralph.

The Hacker Extra brings back memories of my first 4 channel plane; the EPP Miracle 900 from Boruvka Models. This was another Czech company whose airframes, at that time, were distributed in the USA by Hobby-Lobby. The Miracle was smaller with a 900mm span and the construction was different. The forgiving nature of EPP survived my transition to mid wing aerobatic flight. I haven't flown the Miracle in a while, but she is still flight ready and proudly on display in my shop.

BUD...
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Old Oct 02, 2011, 12:24 AM
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I am flying the Hacker 48" Edge. Had the 40" Extra. Great construction. Prefer the Edge for all out 3D. With the upper mid wing set up it just seems much more stable and forgiving. Did some added carbon mods to suit what I needed but it is probably one of the bestEPP foamies I've owned. So good I have a second one waiting to be put together. I will say that it handles a larger motor without any issues. I have a 130 gram motor in one and am putting 103 gram in the second. Only thing I wish they would have done differently is on the ailerons, at least on the Edge's. Had to run a carbon ribbon towards the LE of the ailerons to stiffen them up. Easily doable, just have to be careful in making the cuts to fit the ribbon in. One thing on the Edge, it is wing rock free in upright harriers, which for me is a huge plus. Have friend with a 48" extra, same great construction. He is also moving up a size in motor strength.
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Old Oct 25, 2011, 10:06 PM
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I'm genuinely pleased that all of you are enjoying your own Hackers. As for me, the Extra has been my "go-to" plane for the last several trips to the field. Of all my models, it's proven to be as well-rounded a model in regards to fun and functionality as any I've ever owned.

BTW, Mr. Hacker did in fact pack and ship the bag with the correct wheel pants, strut covers and landing gear reinforcement block. Must have cost him a small fortune. No way to change out the block without major surgery and no need to change out the strut covers since they're about the same as what are already in place, but man, do the pants improve the look of this model!
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 06:16 PM
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Ralph,
think you can fix the video? It's really just a music file.

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Old Nov 14, 2011, 12:28 PM
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It's coming through OK on my Mac, but I'll alert the administrator. Thanks for letting me know. Hope you enjoyed the review other than that!
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Old Nov 20, 2011, 09:13 PM
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Does the motor have to me mounted behind the firewall? I really don't care for collet prop adapters. I would rather mount in front of the firewall and use a bolt-on prop adapter.
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Old Feb 04, 2012, 08:03 PM
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Seattle, WA
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Stiffening mods to the Hacker EPP EDGE

There are a few mods you can make that will make the 1200mm Hacker's 3D very well. Unfortunately the stock Extra and Edge flop around and with the recommended power setup you can pretty much only expect scale performance.

You will have to remove the elevator to make the mods but it will be well worth the time and effort.

Stiffening mods to the Hacker 1200mm

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...7&postcount=83
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Old Feb 07, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Nicely done Nick. Hope you get your motor soon. I was and am really impressed with this airframe, since it is a foamie, and how well it is in upright harriers, so stable. Also with the mods, especially done to the tail feathers, how tight and violent the KE spins are.
Steve
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 08:29 PM
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Anyone haveing any problems with your rudder servo?

I started out using a Hitec HS-65 MG servo for the rudder and noticed I was getting a lot of push and not much rudder authority. I switched out the 65 mg for an HS-81 HB and after 4 flights the servo stripped.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

Mike
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Old Mar 17, 2012, 10:17 AM
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I have not had that problem.

What sort of rudder throw do you have? Is it the recommended amount?

If you are willing to lose some throw you can move one hole inward at the servo and one hole outward at the rudder - that will decrease the throw a bit but also reduce the force on the servo.
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