E-flite UMX Sbach 342 BNF
|Wing Area:||65 sq. in.|
|Weight:||1.95 oz. (w/o battery), 2.4 oz. (RTF)|
|Wing Loading:||5.32 oz/sq. ft.|
|Cubic Wing Loading:||7.9|
|Servos:||(4)Spektrum AS2000L long throw servos|
|Transmitter:||JR 2.4 GHz X9303|
|Battery:||E-flite 2s 180mah (20C) lipo|
|Motor:||E-flite BL 180 (2500Kv) brushless outrunner|
|Available From:||Horizon Hobby|
It's no secret that over the past couple of years, the Sbach 342 has taken the full-scale aerobatic world by storm. With its smooth flowing lines, large control surfaces and outstanding power-to-weight ratio, itís no wonder so many full-scale aerobatic pilots have switched from flying the more common place Extra, Sukhoi and Edge, to flying and competing with the new age Sbach 342. The Sbach 342 is the first ever certified all-carbon fiber unlimited aerobatic airplane. The Sbach 342 is also the first airplane to be subjected to full occupant crash testing. The full scale Sbach 342 is designed, produced and distributed by XtremeAir. This small company of just 34 employees is led by Harro Moewes (CEO) and Philip Steinbach (Head of design Organization). The Sbach 342 frenzy even caught the attention of RCG's founder, Jim Bourke, who took purchase of a full-scale Sbach 342 a short time back. Jim has been an avid full-scale pilot for years and has even started competing in International Aerobatic Club (IAC) competitions.
As much as we would all love to own a full-scale Sbach 342 (my dream), E-flite has made it possible for everyone to have the experience of flying this awesome new aerobatic airplane in a slightly reduced version. The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 BNF offers all the excitement and aerobatic prowess of its full-scale counterpart in an affordable, easy to transport, ultra-micro size airplane. The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 comes with an authentic pre-painted color scheme, scale bubble canopy, pre-installed high output brushless motor and brushless speed controller, and a powerful 2s lipo battery pack and balancing charger. The only thing left to do is bind, charge... and fly!!!
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 arrived in perfect condition thanks to the well-engineered foam padded housing which offers up a tremendous amount of protection for this little airplane. The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 is protected very nicely with molded foam encasing the entire airplane along with additional foam blocks which essentially lock the airplane into the box. 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.
After carefully removing the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 from its foam housing I found myself just staring at the airplane for a few minutes. I was completely blown away by how scale this little airplane looked compared to its full scale counterpart. The amount of engineering and the whole thought process behind an airplane this small that looks this scale is truly amazing. The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 comes with a completely authentic and scale paint and trim scheme, scale bubble canopy, and a unique wing platform only found on an Sbach 342. As good as the airplane looked on the ground I could not wait to see how it would perform in the air!!
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 BNF contains:
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 BNF requires:
Items used to complete the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 BNF:
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 comes with a very nice and easy to use instruction manual. The manual covers everything you will need to know from charging the included battery, binding to the receiver and transmitter, installing the battery, pre-flite checks, and even how to service or replace parts if needed. The manual also does a great job of thoroughly explaining how to setup the CG and what the recommended dual rates and expo. should be set at.
At first glance the manual looks kind of thick for such a small airplane but I later realized only the first 11 pages were in English while the rest of the manual was written in German, French, and Italian. The manual can also be conveniently downloaded directly off the Horizon Hobby website as well.
The only two items which need to be completed before youíre ready to fly the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 is to charge the battery and bind a DSM2 transmitter to the included Spektrum AR6400NBL receiver unit. The Spektrum AR6400NBL receiver unit is compatible with the following DSM2 transmitters:
What really makes binding to the Spektrum AR6400NBL receiver unit unique is the fact no bind plug is required. Here are the simple steps needed to bind the Spektrum AR6400NBL receiver unit to your transmitter (using a JR X9303 tx):
Once your transmitter is turned back on and the battery is plugged in you should be good to go. Don't forget to program in the recommended dual rates and expo. settings. The manual recommends a starting CG of 29mm measured from the leading edge at the root of the bottom wing. The battery tray in the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 is long enough to allow the CG to be moved forward and aft slightly depending on the pilot's flying style. My personal preference is to place the battery pack as far aft on the battery tray as possible. This gives me a good feel when flying the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 both upright and inverted.
Celectra LED functions under normal operation.
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 comes with a very unique and easy to access battery hatch. In order to access the battery you simply remove the top half of the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 cowl to reveal the battery tray and the 180 sized brushless motor. The hatch cover is held in place by four small but strong magnets, two magnets are located in the battery hatch cover, the other two magnets are located in the bottom half of the cowl. There is also a small foam tab which slides under the front of the canopy which helps to ensure a nice secure fit. The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 also comes with an incredibly scale foam spinner which really compliments the scale outlines of the airplane.
With the top half of the cowl removed you have full access to the E-flite 180 sized (2500 Kv) brushless outrunner and battery tray. The little E-flite 180 brushless motor is mounted to a plastic motor mount on the front of the airplane. The E-flite 180 brushless motor spins an E-flite 5 in. x 2.75 in. electric prop. The power produced by this combination along with an E-flite 2s 180 mah (20C) battery pack is quite impressive and allows for extensive vertical runs and exciting high speed passes!!
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 comes with a very generous sized battery tray. The E-flite 2s 180 mah lipo can be easily moved both forward and aft on the battery tray allowing for easy CG adjustments based on the individual pilots flying style preferences. The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 also has cooling slots pre-cut into the fuselage to help ensure the motor, battery, and electronics stay nice and cool. There is a cooling slot cut in the bottom of the cowl and some cooling exit holes which are located on the bottom of the fuselage.
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 comes with an E-flite 2s 180mah (20C) lipo battery. The battery is charged with the included Celectra 2s 7.4V DC charger. The only thing you need to provide is a power supply unit or lead acid battery to power the Celectra DC charger. The Celectra charger is very easy to operate and does a great job of charging AND balancing the E-flite 2s 180mah battery pack. Flight times on the E-flite 2s 180mah pack will vary depending on your flying style and throttle management, but I have been averaging between 6-8 minutes of flight time with my E-flite UMX Sbach 342.
|Type:||6-channel ultra micro receiver|
|Length: 1.48 in.||(37.6mm)|
|Width: 1.12 in.||(28.6mm)|
|Height: 0.32 in.||(8.0mm)|
|Weight: 0.28 oz.||(7.8g)|
|Voltage Range:||6.4V-8.4V (2-cell LiPo)|
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 comes with a very unique receiver/ESC unit which is unlike any of the prior micro receiver units before it. The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 comes with a Spektrum AR6400NBL, an all in one receiver and speed controller unit that is servoless. That's right there are no built in servos on the Spektrum AR6400NBL!! By not having two servos already mounted to the receiver/ESC board this now allows all four servos to be remotely located anywhere in the airplane allowing greater control and flexibility in the positioning of the servos in the E-flite UMX Sbach 342.
|Application:||Ultra Micro Aircraft|
|Torque:||2.8 oz. of force|
|Length:||.66 in. (16.9mm)|
|Width:||.87 in. (22.0mm)|
|Height:||.33 in. (8.2mm)|
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 has taken full advantage of this new technology as the Spektrum AS2000L rudder and elevator servos are nicely mounted inside the rear portion of the fuselage and the Spektrum AS2000L aileron servos are neatly mounted directly under the wings. E-flite did a fantastic job of routing and securing the servos wires making them almost appear to blend in perfectly with the actual airframe.
The Spektrum AS2000L aileron, elevator, and rudder servos all centered out perfectly after binding the airplane to my JR X9303 2.4 GHz transmitter. The elevator and rudder pushrods are composed of mostly carbon fiber rods with small metal wires heat shrinked to them that connect to the plastic 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 small metal aileron pushrods are setup the exact same way as the elevator and rudder and can be easily accessed and adjusted as needed.
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 also comes with a couple of different size SFG's (side force generators) which can be installed to enhance some of the flight characteristics of the airplane. The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 wings have small built-in grooves which allow the SFG's to easily slide onto the leading edge of each wing. A couple of small drops of foam safe CA and kicker will help ensure the SFG's do not come off in flight and will allow the SFG's to be easily removed when needed.
The SFG's greatly increase the side area of the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 making maneuvers like knife edge and high beta knife edge easier to perform as they can be flown at slower speeds than without the SFG's installed.
|Max. Continuous Discharge:||20C|
|Max. Continuous Current:||3.6A|
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 manual recommends two different dual rate and exponential settings depending on the pilot's flying proficiency and flying style. I found the low rate settings allow the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 to be flown very precisely without the controls feeling to mushy (soft) or overly responsive on the sticks. The high rates settings are more than enough to entertain the average to experienced aerobatic pilot. I actually lowered my high rate aileron settings slightly to better suit my own personal flying style. The ailerons are extremely responsive on the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 and my not so nibble fingers found it difficult to keep up with the fast roll rate using the aileron settings called out in the manual.
I found the expo. settings in the manual to be spot on and allowed me to fly the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 with lots of precision using only small stick movements and allowing plenty of WOW performance when the sticks are thrown to the corners. The manual calls for the starting CG to be 29mm back from the leading edge of the wing measured at the wing root. This CG setup can be obtained by placing the E-flite 2s 180mah battery pack on the front of the battery tray. While this is a great starting CG setting I personally enjoy flying my E-flite UMX Sbach 342 with the battery pack mounted as far aft in the battery tray as possible. The aft battery location really suits my flying style for both precision and aerobatics flying and gives the airplane a more neutral feel when flown inverted.
|Low Rates||High Rates|
|Recommended expo. settings|
|Low Rates||High Rates|
As mentioned earlier transporting the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 to your favorite flying site is absolutely no problem thanks to the convenient traveling box/case which the airplane can be safely stored in while going to and from the field. Field setup is merely a matter of turning on your transmitter and installing your battery pack and youíre ready to take to the skies.
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 has excellent ground handling characteristics thanks to its steerable tailwheel and nice wide main landing gear stance. The stock power package allows the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 to literally leap into the air if aggressive throttle application is used during takeoff. A more scale-like takeoff can be easily accomplished by gradually applying the throttle at which time the airplane will become airborne well before you hit half throttle. Climb outs can be as steep or as gradual as you like, once again thanks to the abundance of power on board the E-flite UMX Sbach 342. I like the more scale looking climb outs myself but must admit I will use the full power climb outs and accents if a few of my fellow club members are looking on (that always gets them talking).
Once at altitude the little E-flite UMX Sbach 342 tracks incredibly well for an airplane that only weighs 2.4 oz. The airplane is easily able to power through 5-7 mph winds while maintaining a nice track across the sky. I felt almost immediately comfortable with the low rate settings on the airplane and the excellent handling qualities of the E-flite UMX Sbach 342. The ailerons, elevator, and rudder are very responsive on low rates but not to the point of being overly sensitive or twitchy. I was able to fly point rolls, hammerheads, loops, and quite a few IMAC style maneuvers very confidently on low rates. The airplane has very gentle stall characteristics with no signs of a wing drop, only a slight drop of the nose. Recovery is simply a matter of applying power and flying out of the stall.
Landing the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 is about as easy as it gets when it comes to landing an ultra-micro airplane. As with most small lightweight airplanes the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 lands best when a small amount a throttle is used right up until the flare. Because the airplane is so light it will not carry as much momentum (inertia) into the landing approach so a little throttle will go a long way into making those picture perfect 3-point landings.
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 was definitely made to excel in performing aerobatic maneuvers. The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 really loves is to fly airshow style aerobatic maneuvers with an occasional blender or two thrown in for good measure. The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 really comes to life when the high rate switch is thrown on. Using the recommended control settings the airplane produces a blistering fast roll rate which was too fast for my fingers to keep up with. After tweeking the high rate aileron setting slightly I began exploring what the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 was truly capable of. The high rate elevator and rudder settings felt just about perfect for me and I was very impressed by how effective and responsive they became especially during tight inside loops (no snap out) and performing hammerheads/stall turns.
One very important thing to keep in mind when flying the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 is it can cover a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. When youíre flying a small airplane you need to be on your toes so the airplane doesn't fly to far away from you causing you to loose orientation. Below is a list of several of the maneuvers I've flown with my E-flite UMX Sbach 342 and how I felt it performed flying each of them.
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 is not intended for beginner pilots. The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 is intended for intermediate pilots who have mastered flying low-wing aileron airplanes.
The E-flite UMX Sbach 342 BNF is truly an awesome little airplane that packs all the fun and aerobatic prowess of its full-scale counterpart into a convenient easy to transport, fly nearly anywhere aerobatic airplane. From the moment I took the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 out of the box to my first flight and beyond the airplane has continued to impress me with its powerful stock power package and excellent in-flight handling and tracking capabilities. This is a small airplane that packs some big time performance and one that is sure to satisfy the need for those pilots looking to expand their piloting skills and abilities.
Nothing is more convenient than opening up a new airplane box that has everything you need to get the airplane in the air fast. The pre-installed speed controller, motor, servos, and included battery pack and balancing charger really compliment the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 and make it possible to have the airplane flight ready in a matter of minutes instead of days or weeks. That means more time to do what I love doing the most.........FLYING!!
For those of you looking to gain additional insight as well see some other member videos, flight reports and comments on the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 there is a terrific thread right here on RCG's you can use to follow all the action:
|New E-flite UMX Sbach 342 Thread|
|Nov 29, 2011, 08:07 PM|
This plane is fun!
Although against the rules, I take off from a 4-foot square set-up table at our club, and then climb vertically for a couple hundred feet.
I'm not really a great aerobatic pilot, but this planes flips and twists and spins.
It needs about 1/2 throttle or more to fly nicely, and needs low throttle to bring it in for a gentle and safe landing in tall weeds.
It does not glide.
It's a very impressive little plane.
|Nov 29, 2011, 11:02 PM|
|Nov 29, 2011, 11:04 PM|
|Nov 30, 2011, 03:03 PM|
Nice review! Love your inverted low ground passes I love my sbach, and has plenty of power! Very fast roll rate, and it flies like it is on rails. I don't fly inverted as low due to my skills and fear of crash lol Thanks for taking the time to review.
|Nov 30, 2011, 05:02 PM|
|Nov 30, 2011, 05:33 PM|
Thanks for the positive feedback. l definitely love flying this greatt little airplane.
|Nov 30, 2011, 05:35 PM|
|Dec 01, 2011, 11:44 AM|
Joined Oct 2010
This is a great review and I absolutely love my Sbach! The only minus or con is that the fuselage has a weak point right behind the large rectangular hole in the bottom of the fuse. The solution is not to crash! Seriously love this one!
You do need to power it in for a landing but I wouldn't necessarily say it is a brick either.
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