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Fliton's Edge 540 Freestyle ARF Review

Steve Herlacher has a ball with this great looking, great flying aerobatic ARF!

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Introduction


Wingspan:58.26"
Wing Area:37.26sq dm2
Weight:111 oz. with battery ready to fly.
Length:55.27"
Servos:Hitec
Transmitter:Futaba 14MZ
Receiver:Futaba R148DF
Battery:2 Tanic 3s1P 3650 packs in series for 6s
Motor:Axi 4130/16
ESC:Jeti Advance 77 Opto
Manufacturer:Fliton
Available From:Fliton

Fliton has been leading the way with their lightly built aircraft for Electric or glow. The Extra 330 freestyle is a very nice flying plane and when I saw they had an Edge 540 freestyle coming out I knew I had to have one.

Kit Contents

Assembly

The instructions are mostly pictures but show plenty of information on how to assemble the Edge. I will go over some of the less described steps since anyone flying this type of plane would know how to do the simple ones.

Wing

The wing is a 2 piece design with an included Carbon wingtube that weighs almost nothing!

Be sure to check your servo mounting blocks inside of the wing, mine were completely loose and didn't seem to have ever been glued. A little CA and they were fixed.

I installed the aluminum control horns into the hardpoints, making sure I used 2 that were oriented the same for each aileron. The included control rods have a small bolt that screws into the horn, I had to drill the horn out for this to fit. The screw strips out easily and was a challenge to get installed, a small flat bladed screwdriver in the phillips screw seemed to work the best.

Fuselage

Tail

The instructions said to use a single servo under the canopy with a wooden stick and a Y pushrod at the elevator end. I tried to install it this way...I could not get the Y pushrods out at the rear of the fuse very easily and that setup was asking for a lot of flexibilty in the control system. The instructions also mentioned that 2 elevator servos can be used and mounted in the rear of the fuse, but they gave no measurements on where to cut the holes for them. I decided to do them that way as it is a more positive setup.

Motor Installation

The motor mounting was very simple! There is an X marked on the firewall and it lined up with the X mount the Axi uses, so I just had to drill the 4 holes and put the blind nuts in. To space the motor out correctly I used 2-1/4" spacers behind the radial mount. I found them at the local hardware store but Hobby Lobby also sells them in different sizes.

  • The radio system gets its power from the main pack by using a <a href=UBEC. This is how it is wired up. " /> The radio system gets its power from the main pack by using a UBEC. This is how it is wired up.

Battery tray

The battery tray was pretty simple. I used a piece of 1/8" balsa laminated on each side with 1/6"ply which makes a very strong lightweight tray. I sanded down the front of the firewall on the inside so the tray would fit level and then glued it in with Epoxy. Very easy to make.

Completion

My all up weight with the packs in place came to 111oz which is a touch under 7 pounds.

Flying

I mounted the wings to the fuse with the included carbon fiber wingtube, and then secured it in place using the rubber bands over the wooden hooks that are built into the wings. There is not much force pulling outwards on the wings so they will hold just fine, but I will be sure to keep an eye on the hooks since they are wood and could be bumped when the wings aren't attached to the fuse and cause them to crack.

The manual states the CG is 3.66-4.05 inch behind the leading edge, that put it on the wingtube for the most part and that is exactly where mine balanced at with the packs pushed as far forward as they would go. I set the control throws per the manual but I found them to be too conservative and the high rates were not enough for 3d flight so I adjusted them.

The Maiden flight was on a breezy day but nothing the Edge couldn't handle. After assembling it, taking pictures, doing a wattmeter test, and range checking it was time to fly.

The takeoff roll was only about 20 feet before it became airborne, but at these power levels that was no surprise! Only a tiny bit of rudder correction was required to keep it straight down the runway. After takeoff I pulled back on the stick and went straight up like I was flying a hotliner!

The Edge didn't need any trim and flew perfect, I rolled inverted and I only needed a touch of elevator to hold it there so the CG was perfect. I did a few basic rolls and spins to get a feel for it and then decided to land since I didn't want to push the packs too hard for the first few flights.

The first flight was about 7 minutes and I put about 1800mah back into the pack when I charged it. 10 minute flights should be possible but I usually don't fly that long. The packs and the motor were barely above the 77 degrees it was outside so they seem to be a perfect match.

I got 2 more flights in that day and the Edge seemed to do almost everything I could ask it to. Hovering is easy with the large prop and it likes to torqueroll around pretty quickly which looks great. Knife edge flight only required a touch of elevator as it wanted to pull to the gear, knife edge loops would be no problem if I didn't chicken out at the bottom. :) Aileron roll rate was a blur when on high rates, I used my low rate setting most of the time.

Takeoff and landing the Edge is just as simple as any other sport type plane and there is really nothing to it. I did not notice any tendency to tip stall or any other nasty habits, just chop the throttle and let it settle in. After about 3 flights I noticed the edge of my landing gear had some white showing, they delaminated very slightly on normal landings. I am not sure if I just got a bad set or? I still flew with the gear and I think they will hold as long as no hard landings happen. Later that day when I got home I used some thin CA to help hold them together but my experience is when a Fiberglass or carbon gear delaminates its only a matter of time until it breaks the rest of the way.

Here is my 3D Report card on the Edge 540 Freestyle

ManeuverGradeComments
Hovering A+No problem with all that thrust
Upright Spins B+Could not get them to flatten out as good as inverted
Torque rolls A+One of the Edge's best maneuvers
Knife edge AKnife edge was very good, Has very minor coupling to the gear.
spinsAFlattened out nicely
Harrier AOnly very minor wing rock
High alpha knife edge BIt did nicely, but needed too much speed to be really called high alpha
Inverted flight AIt flew inverted just as good as it did upright
Blender AThe Edge does a very good blender
Elevator B+Only had very minor wing rock and could be brought down to the ground if wanted.
Waterfall B-I could not get these to tighten up
Stall turns A+No problem
Wall AIt does this pretty good, just have to keep on the sticks a little bit to stop it from snapping out.
Rolling circles A+No problem with these, just dont try them on high aileron rates(!)
Rolling harrier A+Again no problem but don't try them on aileron high rates(!)
Aileron Rolls A+Aileron rolls were very axial!
Point rolls A+Very crisp and stopped exactly when the sticks were centered.
Snap rolls A-Needed alot of speed to execute cleanly.

Is This For a Beginner?

The Edge 540 Freestyle is definitely not a beginners plane, maybe a 3rd or 4th plane after basic maneuvers are mastered.

Flight Video

Downloads

Conclusion

Fliton has another winner on their hands with the Edge 540 Freestyle. It is light and built strong in all the right places, and will do almost everything you throw at it. With the Axi motor and the Tanic packs there is unlimited power for any 3D maneuver you would want to try.

Discussion

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Old Jun 11, 2006, 02:18 PM
Recruiter - 60 Amp Club
Ed Lyerly's Avatar
Rutherfordton, North Carolina, United States
Joined Apr 2001
5,941 Posts
Good work steve ! Excellent model and power to weight ratio . Nice flying too .
Thanks for sharing.
Ed
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Old Jun 11, 2006, 03:50 PM
blucor basher's Avatar
United States, PA, Lancaster
Joined Jun 2003
24,141 Posts
Nice review, thanks for being honest about the flaws. For discussion purposes, I've made list of them here:

unglued wing servo mounts
broken motor cage tabs
unusable elevator pushrods
no instructions for alternate servo mount
included screws strip
landing gear delaminates prematurely

Did I miss any?
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Old Jun 11, 2006, 07:32 PM
Registered User
Zebulon, NC
Joined Aug 2000
5,086 Posts
Thanks for the compliments.
The minor issues are common to pretty much every ARF I have done so its nothing out of the ordinary. I had an early production model and I think the ones now sold have the firewall braced like I did in the review. The instructions show how to make the Y pushrod for the elevators but just mention the dual servo setup can be used. I tried the Y pushrod but I personally have never been too good with getting them to work properly, so I used the alternative method. It doesn't mean they are unusable.

As for the gear it is possible I had a weak set but I am sure if there is a problem Fliton will correct it, it sure does look nicer than any other gear I have had as its painted to a nice glossy finish. It has also held up so far for the past 2 weeks but I have not had any hard landings.
The motor tabs were not broken on mine, something must have got mixed up in the editing, I will have that fixed. The glue joint was broken loose, not the wood tabs.
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Old Jun 11, 2006, 11:33 PM
Dizzying Heights
SargeNZ's Avatar
New Zealand, Southland, Invercargill
Joined Feb 2003
1,063 Posts
Excellent review Steve! My 540 freestyle maidened only yesterday morning! I encountered the easily stripping screws during construction, but persevered with the split elevator pushrods.

Both the motor cage/firewal and the Firewall/fuse sides had 15mm triangle balsa stock glued in for reinforcement. The aileron servo mounts were solid.

Setup is as follows:

Hyperion Z4025/12
Hyperion litestorm 3700 5S
Hyperion Titan 80 BEC with BEC disabled
SBEC
Futaba S3004's all around.

Only had one flight so far but it was everything I hoped that it would be for my first big conversion. Big planes DO fly better!!
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Old Jun 12, 2006, 10:47 AM
Registered User
alabaster alabama
Joined Jun 2005
94 Posts
nice review. \

where can one purcahse this arf? Their web site has no such function.
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Old Jun 12, 2006, 11:08 AM
Registered User
Zebulon, NC
Joined Aug 2000
5,086 Posts
Atlanta hobby has them in stock.

http://www.atlantahobby.com/shopexd.asp?id=6105
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Old Jun 12, 2006, 07:35 PM
North Central Positronics
badbill's Avatar
USA, GA, Centerville
Joined Dec 2002
3,323 Posts
Hodges Hobbies has them in stock and will beat any advertised price. 866-924-9505

Bill Davenport
AMA 28141
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Old Jun 15, 2006, 06:38 PM
Registered User
Alamo, CA
Joined Feb 2006
112 Posts
Another video demonstrating the flight performance of this fine aircraft.

Greg (gmilo)

http://media.putfile.com/Fliton-Edge...eestyle-Rippin
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Old Jun 15, 2006, 08:02 PM
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Ed Lyerly's Avatar
Rutherfordton, North Carolina, United States
Joined Apr 2001
5,941 Posts
Greg,
VERY impressive flying !! Thanks for sharing the video and your setup.
Ed
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Old Jun 16, 2006, 11:20 AM
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renosportflyer's Avatar
Reno, Nevada
Joined May 2004
370 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by blucor basher
Nice review, thanks for being honest about the flaws. For discussion purposes, I've made list of them here:

unglued wing servo mounts
broken motor cage tabs
unusable elevator pushrods
no instructions for alternate servo mount
included screws strip
landing gear delaminates prematurely

Did I miss any?
I just finished putting mine together. Thanks for the review and video Steve! A little honesty in these reviews really does make them more useful. I've built a couple of planes from kits and many ARFs. I am not a "hardware snob"---I have used the supplied stuff on pretty much everything I have ever built. I have to say I was dissappointed that for the price of this ARF I was not able to assemble it without spending a substantial amount more on new hardware, etc.

I would add to that list:

Cowl did not fit onto the fuse...it was too small!
Manual is worse than worthless...it is misleading in places.
Motor mount box needs substantial reinforcment for glow
Frustrating!: supplied elevator setup is unusable...and I did try to use it.
Covering is not oracover or monokote...something else that wrinkles
ALL the included hardware, axles, and fuel tank were discarded in the end
No supplied way to attach wheel pants securely

Steve
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Old Feb 24, 2008, 02:33 PM
mike
cabot arkansas
Joined Feb 2008
9 Posts
filton edge 540 freestyle

the wings use the rubber band to hole the wings in the fus.how do u convert them to use wing bolts instead of the rubber band
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