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Great Planes Escapade Mx GP/EP ARF

The Escapade Mx GP/EP ARF is an all new sport model from Great Planes. It combines classic mid-wing platform that builds fast, and it flies even faster. It is a real eye-catcher at the field with an eye-catching scheme and you have an option to choose between glow and electric power.

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Introduction


Wingspan:52" 1320mm
Wing Area:449 sq in 29 sq dm
Wing type:up Balsa/Ply semi-symmetrical
AUW weight:Advertised 88oz 2490g Actual 89oz 2521g RTF
Length:45" 1145mm
Wing loading:~28.5oz/sq ft
Cube loading:16.16
Transmitter:Futaba 7c 2.4GHz
Servos:Standard
Battery:FlightPower 4s 3350mAh 30c LiPo
Motor:Rimfire .46
ESC:Silver Series 60 AMP HV OPTO
US distributor:Tower Hobbies
Available: Escapade Mx
ARF Price:$139.99

Great Planes has added a new offering to the Escapade lineup of sport planes the Mx mid-wing version. This ARF can be glow or electric powered. It arrived in true ARF completion being very quick to assemble and in the air quickly.

With the popularity of the Escapade lineup there is no doubt the mid-wing Escapade Mx will suit the intermediate sport pilot. The Escapade Mx has a factory applied Monokote finish that is durable and extremely attractive. Included are stick-on markings to add even more style.

This review will feature the electric version of the Great Planes Escapade Mx. The powerful .46 Rimfire motor and medium sized 4s pack get this in the air in a hurry. It has proven itself to be quick and able to handle the wind.

Kit Contents

The review package shipped from Hobbico and it arrived in perfect condition. It was exceptionally well packaged, double-boxed and the contents in the box were isolated and protected from shifting during shipment.

Complete hardware is included for both glow and electric setups.

As expected with Hobbico products, the there is an excellent, plain English, pictorial manual with complete step by step instructions Escapade Mx Manual.

Kit includes:

  • Pre-built ARF completion level model
  • Tail feathers attach with bolts - no glue needed!
  • Factory hinged surfaces
  • All hardware included (Pushrods, EZ type connectors and horns)
  • Horns and hinges installed
  • Stick-on type markings
  • Clear well-written picture assembly guide

Kit requires:

  • 4-5 Standard Servos
  • Propeller
  • 4s Battery Pack
  • 2 - 6" servo extensions
  • .46-55 CU or .52-.70 2 or 4 stroke Motor
  • .46 - .55 Rimfire Brushless motor (or equivalent)

Included for this review:

Assembly

The Great Planes Escapade Mx is at ARF completion level nearly ready to fly out of the box. Assembly has you add the tail feathers, servos and power equipment and you are ready to go. Control horns are factory installed and hinging is done for you as well.

Wing

The wing comes as two piece with dual servos for the ailerons. Factory installed horns were a nice touch and the short direct links to the ailerons are easy to setup. My model had a rough ride and one of the aileron hinges was pulled from the wing. Check that yours are securely glued.

Fuselage

The landing gear is added to the model. This setup is made easy with the pre-formed dural aluminum landing gear and simple tail wheel assembly. I was impressed with the large 3" (76mm) wheels. They make the model rough grass ready!

Tail Feathers

The tail assembly could not be quicker. The factory has installed two long bolts that secure the entire assembly.

With the rudder attached we move on to the tail wheel assembly. The provided gear was very light duty for a plane of this weight. I found that ground control was somewhat limited by the light wire that attaches to the rudder. While it provides a nice servo strain relief ground control suffers.

The servo installation for rudder and elevator is completely standard. Included were solid wire pushrods and all connecting hardware. Simply screw on the clevis, fit in the pushrod tube and mark for the 90 degree servo-end bend.

The Escapade Mx also comes with a large magnet secured hatch. The hatch gives access to the entire system area including the battery, servos and receiver.

Motor and ESC

The motor and ESC are now user installed on the Escapade Mx.

The RimFire .46 motor bolts right on using the motor-supplied "X" mount.

With this done there is one more small task on the Escapade Mx. The manual shows the cowl/cover attaching using a small supplied square stick and two wood screws. I rarely deviate from manual recommendations on reviews but in this case I saw a much more efficient way. I simply used clear tape to secure the cowl cover. It saves steps and has worked brilliantly!

The black spinner was included with the Escapade Mx but I found in use it was way out of balance. So much so that I discarded it and am now using a large Dubro spinner style nut.

Power system

The Great Planes Escapade Mx allows you to select all the power equipment. They recommend the RimFire .46 Brushless motor and 60 AMP Opto ESC. This provides abundant power for the Mx.

Amp draws

The RimFire brushless motor has a fairly high 800kV. This makes it ideal to use with 4s 3000-4000 mAh LiPo packs. The stock motor is veryand powerful. It produced the following results:

Motor statistics on 4s
APCe Amps Watts Voltage
11x7 38 595 15.7v

The RimFire .46 motor is simply loafing with the 11x7 propeller but this was the recommended prop. To my surprise it performed very well with just over 108w/lb. In fact it really didn't lack any zing at all.

Obviously the propeller size can easily increase for much more power if desired. I have settled on the 11x8 prop for a bit more top end speed and it keeps my flight times to around 5 minutes with the 3350 4s FlightPower pack. This slight increase keeps the power system well within specifications but provides a bit more overall speed.

Battery

The FlightPower Eon-X 3350mAh 4S 14.8V 30C LiPo pack was included for this review. It is light yet powerful and is a good match for the Escapade Mx.

The ESC and battery both come terminated in authentic Dean's connectors.

ESC

The Silver Series 60 AMP High Voltage ESC was used in this model. This is a large, finned HV model with no BEC. Separate power for the receiver and servos must be used. I choose the 2s LiFe 1100 mAh pack from Hobbico. This works well and provides the servos with 6+ volts for snappy strong performance.

Finish

The Escapade Mx is covered with genuine Top Flight MonoKote covering and is a very attractive scheme. You can make yours unique as you get to choose placement of the attractive markings.

Pre-Flight

Some ground shots of the attractive Great Planes Escapade Mx. This is a great mid-wing design and unique shape really give this model a fantastic look!

CG

The CG was easy to obtain with the recommended 4s pack in the tray area. The battery space is tight due to the mid-wing tube. So measure before you try to stuff larger packs. I found the most aft CG recommendation to be perfect for my liking.

Rates and transmitter setup

The Futaba 7c FAAST transmitter was used to control this plane. Rates were set as recommended in the manual per the chart below:

Control Throws
Low RatesHigh Rates
Elevator
19mm 23mm
Aileron
8mm 13mm
Rudder
30mm 44mm

These are the rates from the manual and I found them to be spot on for sport flight and aerobatics. The Escapade Mx is very smooth and precise. With the smaller wing area and rather portly weight I was expecting a plane that would laugh at the wind and snap like a wild beast, I was not disappointed!

The Escapade Mx is really like a fine sports car. The maiden was on a day with 12+mph winds and it did not even flinch. This plane makes a perfect windy day flier.

Exponential rates were not recommended so I set those at 30% for the primary flight controls. I found that to be spot on for sport flying.

The flight timer was set to count down from 5 minutes giving an audible warning to land before the battery was depleted. The FlitePower 4s 3250 mAh pack was really loafing with the 11x7 propeller. A bit more load was welcome with the 11x8 prop. The Escapade Mx moves out with this setup. I was very happy with the overall speed and performance of the Mx.

Flying

The Escapade Mx needs a good amount of rudder input on the ground. The tail-wheel steering arm is very light duty for Escapade. The 5.5lb weight makes it easy for the model to overcome the thin wire than attaches to the rudder and enables steering. For low speed taxi that is a bit of an issue but once power is applied the very powerful rudder quickly takes over anyway. Some may choose a stronger setup but candidly I am still using the stock assembly.

The takeoff roll of the Escapade Mx is brief - even with the 11x7 propeller. It gets to speed quickly and lifts off with a small elevator rotation. My next surprise was the fact the model is docile yet very precise. It did not suffer due to higher ~28in/oz wing loading. In fact it was not a factor in normal flight at all. I was pleasantly surprised by how solid and stable this model was to fly. It is not, in any way, a beginner model however.

In flight pics come from me while Tom my flying buddy did an excellent job of flying the model for pics.

Landings were a piece of cake with the Escapade Mx. It retains energy so allow plenty of glide slope as the model maintains airspeed on approach. Again a good stiff breeze helps and in fact this plane will become a go-to on windy outings.

The Escapade Mx moves quickly so you will need a club sized field for flight. This is not a parkflier model in any sense. It is totally predictable and does not exhibit any bad behavior right until the stall. It then just drops the nose with no drama. The higher wing loading does have stall at a higher speeds.

Special Flight Characteristics

The Escapade Mx is capable of any sport aerobatics you can dream up. Loops require full power entry with my smallish 11" propellers however. Rolls are fast as expected with any mid-wing design.

The Escapade rolls are almost perfectly axial and the turns are quick and precise. No amount of up elevator caused any strange behavior as can be the case with some higher wing loadings. When slowed and forced it will snap. In fact this is a shining achievement of the Escapade Mx. With the lighter wing loadings pure stalls and resulting snaps can actually be tough. This model snaps like a caged beast. It recovers when power is added and stick neutralized. It is likely to be a favorite maneuver with the Escapade Mx!

I have not managed to find the high wind limit to this model. Frankly, it is essentially unaffected by wind.

I am having a good deal of fun with the Escapade Mx. It is behaved and manages adverse and wind conditions with ease.

Is this plane for a beginner?

The Flyzone Escapade Mx is intended for pilots with at least intermediate flight skills and time with heavier models. The Mx is at home with power on and you need to have comfort with quicker planes.

Flight Video

RCGroups Review Great Planes Escapade MX (3 min 3 sec)

Conclusion

The Great Planes Escapade Mx has been a low-cost enjoyable sport model that is attractive and goes together in a hurry. This comes in ARF completion level and is balsa ply construction. It is strong, very durable and can be used with glow or electric power systems. The Escapade Mx is a looker on the ground and in the air. I am especially fond of the mid-wing placement and the unique look that gives.

The Escapade Mx is completely assembled and it will have you in the air in a hurry. You attach the tail feathers and install radio and power equipment. These tasks plus a few short setup steps on your preferred transmitter and you are ready to fly.

The included spinner on my model was very out of balance. So much so that I didn't use it.

The Escapade Mx when fully assembled will tip the scales at 5.5 lbs (~2500g). For a model this size that is a bit portly. In fact the wing loading is at 28 in/oz with the fairly small wing of the Escapade Mx. Most sport models of this size have a low 20's number. That said, this gives the Mx a unique quality of being able to handle just about any wind conditions. It also snaps and spins very well!

The Escapade Mx will accelerate quickly with the recommended RimFire .46 power systems and 4s packs. It climbs well and is a very capable acrobatic ship. I am using the 11x8 APCe propeller with excellent speed results too. It is precise and best when flown at speed.

This model will likely become a favorite when winds are less than ideal. It simply laughs at wind levels that will keep other lighter models grounded. Ground handling is good but the supplied tail-wheel assembly has a wire to rudder connection that is a bit light. It was overpowered by the weight of the model but the powerful rudder takes over steering in a hurry anyway. Candidly I have not replaced the stock assembly so it is functional.

The Escapade Mx CG was easy to attain but the flight pack compartment is somewhat small due to the wing tube. Keep this in mind if you wish to use larger packs. I found the rear-most CG recommendation a good starting point for flight. No expo is recommended and I am using about 30% on my system with good results.

The Great Planes Escapade Mx ARF is an excellent sport model. Quick assembly will have you in the air in short order. The mid-wing placement is dead sexy too! Need a new sport model that laughs at the wind, this is it!

Hits:

  • Magnet secured battery hatch
  • Quick assembly
  • Complete hardware package
  • Detailed instruction manual
  • Flight performance in wind
  • Attractive mid-wing design
  • Rugged

Misses:

  • Diet is in order
  • Spinner was so far out of balance it was unusable
  • Light wire on tail wheel led to light steering response at low speed
Last edited by Angela H; Dec 10, 2013 at 03:34 PM..

Discussion

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Old Dec 10, 2013, 04:40 PM
SC1
Registered User
United States, LA, Zachary
Joined Jul 2003
311 Posts
Unique mid-wing location??? Guess they never heard of the Somethin' Extra. Or "regular" Extras. Or the Edge.

GP ARFs are usually over-built. They are quite durable, but heavy. I believe the reviewer made mention of this?

I saw the larger version of this airplane, with a .90 two stroke, fly a couple of week-ends ago. Nice enough, but so… ordinary.

Like this one. And the squared-off front end is rather cheesy, IMO.

I've flown glow and gasoline models since 1987. I just got into electrics this year, and haven't cranked but one "slimer" since. It seems to me that the models I have seen which are designed for "dual power" (wet, or electric) are simply carrying more weight (in terms of construction "beef") than is needed for e-power.

I have a couple of .46/.50 size glow ARF kits (H9 Katana and Saratoga) that I have considered assembling as electric models. But right now I'm having a ball with the smaller ones.

Dunno, this one might be a good "transition" model for a glow pilot looking to get into electrics. I used the H9 Pulse 25e for my transition bird, and have been delighted with it. But the fact that this Escapade needs a 46 motor, and the Pulse gets by with a 32, with the same wing span, tells me the former is a lead sled. I get 8-9 minutes of flying time out of the same size battery the reviewer used, with well over 20% remaining. From the remarks, I gather this one flew less than five minutes.

I'm sure the Escapade is a quality model. But I think there are much better choices in this size range.

.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 04:46 PM
SC1
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Xxx
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Last edited by SC1; Dec 10, 2013 at 04:47 PM. Reason: double post
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC1 View Post
Unique mid-wing location??? Guess they never heard of the Somethin' Extra. Or "regular" Extras. Or the Edge.
Yes perhaps unique is not the best word. But it is uncommon for for sport models. Yes I know of the Sig SE and even had one for a time, as I did the Kavalier another wonderful mid-wing sport model. The Saratoga was another but it is discontinued now. There are others as well but it is not common.

The Extra, Edge, Slick are are scale models, not sport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC1 View Post
They are quite durable, but heavy. I believe the reviewer made mention of this?
Yep just a few lines above this post I talk about the weight in "Misses" and the summary.

You are acting as if weight is all bad, I disagree. In fact the first flights on the is model were in 15+MPH winds and the Escapade Mx was unafected. It is super nice to have a windy day sport model - that is still fun to fly. Lightly loaded models just don't behave well in the wind (for the most part).

So - not all bad - again as I point out in the review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC1 View Post
I saw the larger version of this airplane, with a .90 two stroke, fly a couple of week-ends ago. Nice enough, but so… ordinary.

Like this one. And the squared-off front end is rather cheesy, IMO.
Certainly - not every plane is for every person. I really like the looks of this mid-wing design. The covering sceme is great and I think it looks great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC1 View Post
But the fact that this Escapade needs a 46 motor, and the Pulse gets by with a 32, with the same wing span, tells me the former is a lead sled.
In fact in the Escapade Mx there are several who are VERY happy with .32 sized motors in this model. It saves some weight too and they are having excellent power results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC1 View Post
From the remarks, I gather this one flew less than five minutes.
I set the timer for 5 mins but that is very conservative. I tend to fly this at full throttle as I like the higher inertia aerobatic and speed that gives me.

It certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I like it.

Mike
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:39 AM
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United States, TX, Kingsland
Joined Sep 2005
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Very nice review Mike. Two thumbs up to Tom for the flying in the windy video.

I have flown the socks off my "standard" low wing Escapade for quite a while now and I love the design. So far my only complaint has been the light duty tail wheel assembly. As you pointed out, it may need some attention down the line but should work fine initially. The mid-wing Escapade MX is now at the top of my "to buy" list. My credit card is already sagging, but this should be under the tree for ME this year!

McD
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 09:19 AM
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You will love it Mike....
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 10:20 AM
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United States, WA, Wenatchee
Joined Aug 2010
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This looks like a nice airplane and I will have to get one soon.

It uses the same tail wheel set up the escapade uses. I have found that on take off if you hit the throttle fairly fast. Then the tail picks up off the ground quickly and it makes the plane easier to keep pointed down the run way.
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 02:29 PM View Post
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 03:25 PM
SC1
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United States, LA, Zachary
Joined Jul 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pda4you View Post
The Saratoga was another but it is discontinued now.
The Saratoga has a shoulder wing; got one in the box on the floor of the shop, with a set of floats.

Okay, you're right; a little extra weight isn't all bad, and in fact the "over-built" aspect of most GP ARFs makes them last a lot longer than comparable glow ARF models.

But I still see it as a potential handicap for e-power.

My last sentence conveys the point I was trying to make. I certainly was not criticizing the theme and form of the review. If you got that impression, apologies.

.
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 03:38 PM
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Totally get where you are coming from. It is certainly rugged and the weight reflects that.

No issues, life is good man!

Mike
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Old Jan 01, 2014, 06:58 AM
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Joined Nov 2012
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Thanks for the review! I'm looking for a plane this size that handles the wind, looks like I found it.
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Old Jan 01, 2014, 11:02 AM
dbc
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United States, FL, Brooksville
Joined Apr 2008
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I actually enjoy flying this plane in the wind. That's usually when I take it out.

When it's "too windy to fly" is when the MX really shines. At speed it's amazingly stable in stiff wind. It's bounced around a bit at slower landing approaches but I've never felt I was on the edge of losing control.

I may ultimately regret it, but so far I really enjoy the MX in the wind! It's the only plane in my hanger I can say that about.
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Old Jan 25, 2014, 05:29 PM
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United States, FL, Jacksonville
Joined Jul 2011
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Hey Mike, how does this plane compare to the sig somethin extra? I have a sig to build but was debating on getting this one today but I did not want to get it if it flies similar to the sig. Do you think that this would be a good additional purchase. I currently fly the Kavalier. Oh, and do you think it will fly well with an OS46axii or should I get the OS55? I am mainly a sport flyer. Thanks!

Ken
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Old Jan 25, 2014, 08:31 PM
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Hey Ken - I replied to your PM. As I said - very different from the Sig SE.
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Old Apr 12, 2014, 04:14 PM
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Great Planes Escapade - 46 or 55 Engine

Which Engine is best for the Great Planes Escapade ? i am thinking about getting one an i am not sure of engine choice.. Let me know what you think guys..
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