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Eagle 5 Plug & Fly Hotliner from Asia Pacific Hobby

The Eagle 5 Plug & Fly from Asia Pacific Hobby is a ready-to-fly electric hotliner capable of putting down triple-digit speeds right out of the box. With its strong composite main wing and horizontal stabilizer, the Eagle 5 is able to execute some extremely aggressive turns at terminal velocity, making it a great entry-level ship for F5B competition

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Introduction

Product:Eagle 5 PNF
Retail Price:$489.00
Wing span:66.9" (1700mm)
Length:37.1" (940mm)
Wing area:23.5 dm/sq
Airfoil:MH30
Propeller:Aeronaut 14" x 9"
Spinner:Turbo Precision folder
Motor:MVVS 4.6/840 Sport
ESC:Castle Creations ICE LITE 50 amp
Recommended Battery:3S 2200mAh (4S is possible with limited WOT)
Radio system used:Futaba 10CAP
Available from:Asia Pacific Hobby

The Eagle 5 Plug & Fly from Asia Pacific Hobby is a ready-to-fly electric hotliner capable of putting down triple-digit speeds right out of the box. With its strong composite main wing and horizontal stabilizer, the Eagle 5 is able to execute some extremely aggressive turns at terminal velocity, making it a great entry-level ship for F5B competition.

Hotliner aficionados will note that this popular airframe had been sold by a few companies over the years, but Asia Pacific Hobby has upped the ante by offering it as a Plug & Fly; everything you need to get her in the air is included and installed, minus the transmitter system and LiPo battery. In this review, I will cover the overall quality, assembly steps, and flight performance of the Eagle 5 from the standpoint of a hotliner rookie. Let's take a close look at the Eagle 5.

Kit Contents

The Eagle 5 ships from overseas, and a great deal of care is taken to protect the composite wings and fiberglass fuselage from the rigors of shipping over the pond. All parts are wrapped in bubble wrap and the wing tips are encased in foam and secured with additional bubble wrap.

Asia Pacific Hobby has chosen to equip the Eagle 5 with brand-name electronics: an MVVS motor, Castle Creations esc, Savox servos, and an Aeronaut folding propeller. The only decision left on your part is picking a 3s or 4s battery, and a radio system.

The bright orange fuselage is gel-coated fiberglass with carbon reinforcement. Up front, there are two intake ducts to cool the MVVS brushless inrunner and the rest of the electronics, while a triangular vent behind the main wing expels the hot air.

The Eagle 5's wing is a hollow-molded design that featured a balsa core. Gelcoat fiberglass provides a very smooth finish while carbon fiber reinforcement adds to its rigidity. The ailerons use live hinges that runs its entire length. Three mounting holes are drilled through the center of the wing to attach it to the fuselage; with the wing attached, the three bolts are flush with the aircraft's skin. The MH30 airfoil, a design specifically created for hotliners, makes one of the sweetest sounds in flight as it passes.

Asia Pacific Hobby didn't skimp on the electronics package installed in the Eagle 5. Starting up front, the MVVS 4.6/840 outrunner (it looks like an inrunner, but is actually an outrunner contained inside a metal case) has a working voltage from 8-18 volts, and maximum rated current of 45 amps. It's mated to an Aeronaut 14" x 9" folding prop and an aluminum Turbo spinner. The esc is a Castle Creations ICE LITE 50a with extensive data logging capabilities. You'll need a Castle Link and Windows-based computer to take advantage of the data logging feature. The Eagle 5 includes 3 Savox digital metal-gear SH-02576 MG servos. The servos are wrapped in tape, and epoxied in place. This method of securing the servos works well, with no chance of them coming loose in flight. However, you can remove them easily by peeling the tape away.

It should be noted that the motor/prop/esc combo is setup for a 3s LiPo. In my opinion, a 3s just isn't capable of putting this ship into a speed bracket deemed acceptable for a hotliner. Because I wanted to test the Eagle-5 with only the included items, I chose to add a few more volts to the equation in the form of a 4s LiPo. We will go over the performance characteristics with both packs below, but I want to stress that the esc and motor were operating a little bit above their recommended amps and watts on 4s. If you choose to fly the Eagle-5 on 4s with the included electronics, you are doing so at your own risk.

Assembly & Setup

Don't expect much in the way of assembly with the Eagle 5; the Plug & Fly motto means you need only install your receiver and battery. The Savox servos are setup with their horns in the correct positions, and all servo linkages are at the right lengths. The critical element is setting the receiver and battery to obtain the correct center of gravity (cg). With a 3s or 4s 2200mAh pack, the plane will balance easily without any additional weight needed; there's plenty of room to slide the battery forward or aft. The esc has been attached to the right side of the fuselage with hook-and-loop tape, and a few pieces are included with the Eagle 5 for mounting the battery and receiver.

Attach the horizontal stabilizer/elevator to the top of the vertical stabilizer with the included machine screws. It can be a bit tricky to attach the pushrod clevice to the elevator's control horn because there's very little of the clevice protruding from the inside of the vertical stab. I used a pair of needle-nose plyers to open the clevice and then close it over the horn.

The main wing attaches with three machine screws, but the front screws differ in size from the rear screw. This means two separate hex drivers are required to bolt on the main wing... a negative point, in my opinion. The servo leads are run from the factory and exit from a drilled hole in the center of the wing. You can either use a y-harness or plug each lead into a separate input on your receiver. The y-harness makes assembly in the field easier, but looses the ability to add spoilers/flaps/reflex from the ailerons. I chose to skip the y-harness, as I will be using the ailerons as spoilers during landing. The last step is to attach the folding propellers to the spinner with the included bolts. Use a small dab of thread locker to prevent them from backing out, and don't tighten the bolts too much or it will prevent the prop from folding.

With regards to the Castle ICE LITE esc, it's not setup from the factory with the brake turned on. Therefore, the folding prop will not fold back under any flight conditions. Use a Castle Link to set the brake to near 100%. This setting is required because the big blades, coupled with the high speed of the plane, are difficult to stop without a high brake setting. I set the brake to ramp-up to full instead of instantly going to 100%, to lessen the strain on the motor and esc.

Flying

The hotliner is an exciting niche within the model airplane hobby; not only do you get to break into the 100+ mph range, but you get to turn equally as fast. Being my first hotliner, I'll admit I was a little hesitant to turn hard after making a fast pass. Only after a few flights did I become aware of how much stress the airframe can actually take.

The hand launch is one of the easiest out there; just push the throttle to 1/2 and the Eagle 5 will try to fly right out of your hand. No need to wind back or make a long throw, it has so much thrust that it will literally try to pull out your hand and rocket skyward at half-stick. Once she is on the wing, the Eagle 5 can cruise around at minimal-throttle effortlessly, or transform into a ballistic missile at full throttle. One set of manuevers I found myself repeating involved climing vertically until the plane is a small speck, then rolling inverted and pulling into a near-vertical decent at full throttle. As she picks up momentum, I level out for a high-speed pass (in the 120 mph range) followed by an aileron roll to 90-degrees and generous elevator to round the "invisible" pylon.

The MH30 airfoil, designed specifically for electric-powered pylon racers and F5b powered gliders, produces a very distinct whistling sound that's quite pleasant on the ears. It's hard to hear when the prop is spinning, but once the prop folds and you have your speed up, the wing sings beautifully.

Landing can be a challenge when your plane has an efficient airfoil and very low drag. I setup for landing many times, only to blow right past my target point with enough momentum to carry it into the tree line on the other end of the field. The idea is to enter your base-to-final turn as low as possible without excessive airspeed. Program in as much up-aileron (spoilers) as you can to help dump lift. Drop down into the ground effect and bleed off speed as you very gently apply up elevator. You should flip on the spoilers after you've made your turn to final approach. With some practice, you can drop the Eagle 5 onto the grass and bring her to a stop within 10 feet of touch down. Be wary of any fields without soft grass, because the gelcoat fuselage will get scratched up noticeably on rough surfaces.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Conclusion

The Eagle 5 is a great platform for introducing pilots to hotliners and F5B competition. In it's stock form, it's a very reliable airplane with great performance characteristics. Hand launching is uneventful, flight is predictable throughout it's envelope, but landing requires special attention to fly in at a shallow angle and minumum approach speed. The included electronics package with brand name items from Savox, Castle Creations, and MVVS puts the Eagle 5 in a separate category, away from most ARF aircraft that feature bargain components and no-name electronics.

In closing, I'll reiterate that I was a complete hotliner noob before getting my hands on the Eagle 5. Now I find myself pulling it out of my enclosed trailer first at every local fly-in, and running multiple packs through her throughout the day. If you've been thinking about flying a hotliner, I would definitely give the Asia Pacific Hobby Eagle 5 a try... if the speed and turning performance doesn't convince you, the sound of the wing surely will!

Pluses

  • Very complete, virtually ready to fly aircraft. Requires only a transmitter, receiver, and battery.
  • Composite design is capable of extreme high-g turns.

Minuses

  • The front 2 wing bolts are a different size than the rear bolt (required two hex drivers in the field).
  • The Eagle 5 is setup for 3s LiPo, and is a little limited in top speed with this motor/prop/esc/battery combination. Switching to a 4s makes a huge difference in speed, but slightly over-amps the esc and over-watts the motor. If you choose to try a 4s pack with the included electronics, care should be taken to limit extended wide-open-throttle runs. Additionally, simply reducing the diameter and/or pitch of the blades would also help.

Credits

A big thanks goes out to RCGroups.com member seojeff for his video work. Thanks to Asia Pacific Hobby for supplying the Eagle 5 for review.

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Oct 19, 2012 at 11:06 PM..

Discussion

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Old Oct 21, 2012, 11:48 AM
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chip.greely's Avatar
Carlsbad, Ca
Joined Mar 2007
3,140 Posts
Wilco, Tiger, and now Eagle 5 as Plug and Fly?

Great airframes just keep re-inventing themselves. Will they be offering replacement airframe components, such as wings, fuselages, etc...?
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Old Oct 21, 2012, 12:36 PM
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Matt Gunn's Avatar
United States, OH, Parma
Joined Jul 2009
5,131 Posts
Chip, a replacement wing, fuse, and horizontal stab are available but not shown on the site. You can contact APH for components if needed.
Matt
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Last edited by Matt Gunn; Oct 21, 2012 at 05:00 PM.
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Old Oct 22, 2012, 06:41 AM
Apachobby's Avatar
Joined Jan 2012
20 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by chip.greely View Post
Wilco, Tiger, and now Eagle 5 as Plug and Fly?

Great airframes just keep re-inventing themselves. Will they be offering replacement airframe components, such as wings, fuselages, etc...?
Hi Chip,

We do provide replacement airframe, with servos pre-install. This is for people to is not comfortable on handling composite plane repair. Just email info@apachobby.com.

Vincent Loh
ApacHobby
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Old Oct 22, 2012, 11:59 AM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
bsbauman's Avatar
USA, GA, Atlanta
Joined Nov 2008
14,628 Posts
Thats some fast response time! Great Review Matt, I look forward to seeing it out at the field
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Latest blog entry: Nice Pic
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Old Oct 22, 2012, 02:05 PM
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United States, GA, Atlanta
Joined Aug 2011
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w00t, thanks Matt!
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 06:36 AM
B12
Registered User
Finland
Joined Sep 2010
583 Posts
14x9 has too low pitch for any speed with given low kv motor.

My similar ship (v-max eco from Lindinger in Austria) has Turnigy 3648 850kv motor and 13x11 Cam Carbon prop. About 60 amps with 3s battery. I would get a 13x13 but those don't exist.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Matt Gunn's Avatar
United States, OH, Parma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B12 View Post
14x9 has too low pitch for any speed with given low kv motor.

My similar ship (v-max eco from Lindinger in Austria) has Turnigy 3648 850kv motor and 13x11 Cam Carbon prop. About 60 amps with 3s battery. I would get a 13x13 but those don't exist.
What speeds are you getting with that prop?
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 11:35 AM
B12
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Finland
Joined Sep 2010
583 Posts
I have not clocked it for speed but I jus ran a quickie with eCalc about the Turnigy 3648 / 850kv, 3s battery and cam carbon props

14x9: 64A, 3537g static thrust, 103km/h pitch speed

13x11: 60A, 3564g, 128km/h

By the calculator you get the same thrust, more speed and less amps with 13x11 compared to 14x9
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 04:47 PM
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skyracer068's Avatar
Singapore, Singapore
Joined Jan 2006
357 Posts
Please adjust the price in the introduction of this article. On Asia Pacific Hobbies website, It sells for $699. Not the price of $489 in the introduction of this article.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 05:15 PM
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United States, OH, Parma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyracer068 View Post
Please adjust the price in the introduction of this article. On Asia Pacific Hobbies website, It sells for $699. Not the price of $489 in the introduction of this article.
They will bring the sale back. Ive noticed their pricing is adjusted frequently.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 07:16 PM
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S2000442's Avatar
United States, IL, Chicago
Joined Jul 2012
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When the sale comes back I will order one
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Old Nov 05, 2012, 05:55 PM
Registered User
France, IdF, Paris
Joined Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S2000442 View Post
When the sale comes back I will order one
Same here this puppy looks great.

I might have 2 questions:
-on this video, we can see flaps on the wing:
Eagle 5 Plug & Fly (1 min 0 sec)

Is it a specific version? No mention of flaps in the reviewed version.

-is there different colors?

One last question...
When will it be on sale again?

thanks
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Last edited by speedmasta; Nov 05, 2012 at 06:10 PM.
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Old Nov 06, 2012, 05:56 PM
I think I like vanilla...
grimgrinnin's Avatar
USA, AZ, Surprise
Joined May 2007
836 Posts
I was very interested until I tried to buy it - $810 with shipping? I'll pass.
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Old Nov 06, 2012, 06:44 PM
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United States, IL, Chicago
Joined Jul 2012
164 Posts
Well I cannot seem to get any questions answered by them either through their website or via email.I have sent two requests for info over the past few weeks and have had zero response. If that is customer service then count me out.
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