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Old Oct 23, 2006, 06:40 AM
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Scotland
Joined May 2006
106 Posts
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Sapac/Parkflyers Extra 330

Hi I've just bought an Extra 330 made by Sapac from Ebay and thought I'd
Share my experience with it.

The plane + 4 ch radio gear and 11.1 1500mAh Lipo came in delivered at
~£100, which I think is great value! Hereís some info:

SPECIFICATIONS
●Main wingspan: 960mm
●Fuselage overall length: 897mm
●Main-wing area: 19.33 sq.dm
●Wing loading: 32.07g/sq.dm
●Weight: 620g

The plane is equipped with 9 gram high precision servo's (3) and a 4 channel
micro receiver (range about 3000 feet, compatible with Futaba and other PPM
systems). A brushless motor (B2025 - 4000KV in-runner) mounted in a gearbox with 8:1 ratio. An 18A brushless ESC. Power is supplied by a 11.1V 1500mAh 12C Lipo battery. With the propeller that we supply with this plane (13x6.5) the battery is discharged at around 8C. This setup can provide a thrust of around 1050 gram, around 1.7 times the weight of the plane. Flying time is around 15 minutes (not checked this yet).

ASSEMBLY
First impressions of the kit are that the majority of it is made from very soft foam and I mean very soft! The rudder and tail plane are made from much harder foam with a smooth surface. The fuselage and the wings had moulding marks on which I sanded off where possible, except the top part of the fuselage as its painted red and I didn't want odd looking white spots all over it.

Following the advice in the Artech Cessna thread I covered the plane in clear packing tape, immediately the plane felt much stronger and tougher, for an incredibly small gain in weight. The wing is constructed from foam with a black spar running though it (possibly carbon I don't know), the actual foam is formed like an ice cube tray with hollows, the whole thing is then covered in two tuff stickers top and bottom to provide a smooth surface. (Imagine rapping Clingfilm round the ice-cube tray) Despite being brand new the stickers on the wing were already starting to peel away at the leading edge, so this part of the wing was also covered in packing tape. The manual was in Chinglesh, very bad Chinglesh, apparently the plane is made by "very special person" is this a good thing?

Lucky there are good pictures so you can disregard most of it, however when removing the top part of the fuselage you have to push it back from the cowl not forward like the manual suggests. The Lipo charger supplied is a simple wall cube, which I havenít tested; instead I bought a Prolux charger for £16. (great value) Actual assembly over all was incredibly quick as you'd expect form an ARTF, one thing that worried me was the servos are not fixed into their pockets in the foam, they rely on friction alone to hold them. I was considering gluing them in but I didn't want to make removing them impossible. The actual servos themselves have one annoying problem, in the central neutral position the arm does not sit at right angles to the servo body, the gear protruding from the servo is quite coarse so you can't just remove the arm and re-centre it. This results in unequal travel on the control surfaces, particularly the ailerons. Talking about the ailerons they are hinged using three neat little hinges per aileron, but unfortunately when my plane was being assembled the person whoíd inserted the hinge closest to the fuselage had caused the wing to split open along the grove cut for the hinge. A quick bit of glue sorted it without any problems though.

FLYING
As this is only my second aircraft (my first being a simple 2ch Firebird!) the first flight was rather interesting. I decided to hand launch rather than try my first ever ROG takeoff. The field I fly from consists of lots of soft long grass and slightly rougher small bushes. This means landings are more controlled crashes but the chance of damage is greatly reduced. It was a perfect day with no wind but the light was starting to fade. After smooth launch at full throttle I climbed to get a safety margin and had a quick couple of circuits. I found it flew happily at just half throttle; I then backed off the power pulled up elevator to see its stall characteristics, instead of the speed bleeding off and then the nose dropping like the Firebird the whole wing surface seemed to stall, and the plane sat with a slight nose up attitude and just started to drop out of the sky. Simply returning the throttle to half bought it back to normal flying attitude.

I was thinking this could be due to the COG being too far back, if you look from the leading edge the COG sits almost in the middle of the wing, about 3/8 back. (I would appreciate any input on this matter). But this could be just the fact that this is my first aerobatic aircraft. I found the controls to be very twitchy, but I suppose after the Firebird where you told it to turn and then had to wait until it was ready for anything to happen, anything would be twitchy. I have been practicing with FMS to try and get used to the orientation but I must admit a couple of times I nearly lost it when it was silhouetted against the setting sun and became a black shape. I had been flying for about five minutes so I decided not to chance my luck any further and bring it in for a landing. The landing speed was a lot higher than I thought it was going to be and I did struggle to land it roughly where I wanted to, but it came down and went nose over in the long grass.

A quick check revealed the grass had done its job, so nothing was damaged except a very small nick out of the tail plane where a branch from one of the bushes had caught it (I have since covered the leading edges of these in tape as well to protect them). Once home I put the battery on charge at only 250 mA, (does slow charging help prevent against unbalancing the pack?) after about three hours the pack was charged suggesting that the flight only used 1/3 of the available capacity. In order to help me when flying, Iíve since reduced all the throws on the ailerons and elevators to their minimums, and also dropped both ailerons a couple of degrees to make the symmetrical aerofoil produce more lift at low speeds.

OVERALL
I think this kits great value for money, just to buy the battery here in the uk would cost me ~£38, and a 4 ch transmitter alone is ~£30, so I think I made quite a saving! I know I really should have bought a high wing trainer before this but I couldn't resist the Extra. Hopefully as my experience grows Iíll be able to try some of the aerobatics described at the back of the manual. If anyone wants any more pictures or any other information, please ask.
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Old Nov 02, 2006, 04:42 AM
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Joined Apr 2005
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Hi there,

Nice write up!. I have a couple of questions...

1) are the servo's, reciever and esc standard... ie with standard jr or futaba plugs or are they a specially made system all in one for the plane.

2) is the crystal in the reciever changable? so that I could use my own transmitter.

many thanks

CM
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Old Nov 02, 2006, 07:28 PM
Crash Master
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Indianapolis, IN
Joined Sep 2001
16,632 Posts
This one?
http://cgi.ebay.com/New-4CH-EXTRA-33...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old Nov 03, 2006, 01:46 PM
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I just bought this plane and it will be my second since I just bought a little trainer dual prop jet made by air hogs it may sound crappy but with a 300 foot range and so durable it is almost impossible to break with its rubber foam nose cap. I got 6 flights on it no major wrecks which is kinda cool since i have never flown anything but simulators.
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Old Nov 04, 2006, 05:19 AM
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Scotland
Joined May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biofag
Hi there,

Nice write up!. I have a couple of questions...

1) are the servo's, reciever and esc standard... ie with standard jr or futaba plugs or are they a specially made system all in one for the plane.

2) is the crystal in the reciever changable? so that I could use my own transmitter.

many thanks

CM
Hi, the servos are all standard, as are the plugs attached to them, and you can change the crystal.

Stuart
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Old Nov 04, 2006, 05:22 AM
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Joined May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacmanemi
I just bought this plane and it will be my second since I just bought a little trainer dual prop jet made by air hogs it may sound crappy but with a 300 foot range and so durable it is almost impossible to break with its rubber foam nose cap. I got 6 flights on it no major wrecks which is kinda cool since i have never flown anything but simulators.
This is my second plane as well having learned to fly on a firebird commander, it was a bit of jump between 2 and 4 channel. I would advise you to tape the wings as I have done as it makes it so much stronger. Good luck and happy flying.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 01:37 PM
Planoholic
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Worthing,West Sussex, England
Joined Aug 2004
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Nice review crazyhaggis, Are you still flying the extra?, did you every work out the c of g?

Tristan
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Old Dec 24, 2006, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tris10g
Nice review crazyhaggis, Are you still flying the extra?, did you every work out the c of g?

Tristan
Yeah not getting in much stick time at the moment due to the appalling weather we're having, its been gales and rain the last couple of weeks. Hopefully get a lot more in now its the Christmas holidays.

With regards to the c of g, I found that I could put the speed controller in the battery tray, and then the battery fitted in the space behind the firewall. It makes it more of a pain to change the battery as you have to remove the top half of the fuselage. The batt cooling is also reduced as there is only a little bit of air flow through from the front cowl to this compartment, but the battery is still only luke warm when removed, this may be different come summer. I also had to add about 3mm of up trim to the elevator for level flight.

This makes the plane a lot more stable in flight, and generally easier to handle overall. Santa is bringing me a computer radio so I'm going to up the rates and use expo for landing. As even with the rates set low I find it very twitchy to land. I would really recommend this plane especially considering the price they are going for on ebay.

Merry Christmas
Stuart
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 09:01 AM
Tris10g at work
Joined Mar 2006
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Thanks for reply Stuart. Santa bought me a extra 330l this year and I maidened it yesterday. I added 20grams to the nose to bring the centre of gravity slighty foward. When I flew I too had the elevator up about 3mm. If you need the elevator up for level flight then the cofg is forward and if you need down elevator then the cofg is to the rear. For now it is fine where it is.
I tried to fly on xmas day, set the plane up on my computorised radio when to my flying field and nothing worked. All the control surface glitched when connecting the battery but after that nothing. Took it home and sub'd some componants and found then receiver was faulty. Not sure if its the crystal or the receiver, I will try the original receiver with a new crystal once the model shops are open again, I'm guessing a futaba crystal is correct.
The maiden went well, managed to hover a little, looped, stall turned and did some rolls too. I flew really well and slowed down nicely for a harrier landing.
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tris10g2
Thanks for reply Stuart. Santa bought me a extra 330l this year and I maidened it yesterday. I added 20grams to the nose to bring the centre of gravity slighty foward. When I flew I too had the elevator up about 3mm. If you need the elevator up for level flight then the cofg is forward and if you need down elevator then the cofg is to the rear. For now it is fine where it is.
I tried to fly on xmas day, set the plane up on my computorised radio when to my flying field and nothing worked. All the control surface glitched when connecting the battery but after that nothing. Took it home and sub'd some componants and found then receiver was faulty. Not sure if its the crystal or the receiver, I will try the original receiver with a new crystal once the model shops are open again, I'm guessing a futaba crystal is correct.
The maiden went well, managed to hover a little, looped, stall turned and did some rolls too. I flew really well and slowed down nicely for a harrier landing.

You should try swapping the battery and speed controller locations like I did it saves having to add any extra weight.
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Old Dec 30, 2006, 10:21 AM
The ever learning newbie
Joined Dec 2006
155 Posts
Is it possible to cover...

I have been looking at this plane on Fleabay and seen some very good prices where you get gouged on shipping (IMHO) and some where its a realistic price with free shipping....

Good review btw and I was wondering you stated that the foam itself has been painted could that be a reason the foam feels very soft? Also if its painted could anyone give an opinion on whether you could sand and then cover with some thing along the lines of solar film or light glass?

I have seen these particular kits on Fleabay ranging in price from 99 with 59 dollar shipping to 159 with free shipping...go figure. Does anyone have a link to a hobby shop that may sell these versus Flebay (Ebay).

Thanks in advance,

Ron
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Old Dec 30, 2006, 03:41 PM
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Joined Aug 2004
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Ron, its the same type of foam all the Gws warbirds are constructed from so there is no reason why it couldn't be glassed. I think solar film would be differcult to apply to all the curves on the fuse. The wings have a film covering so no need to cover there. The nose cone is made from a lexan type flexable plastic so should pop back out if crumpled.
The wing loadings seem very light so unless your gonna bolt on a huge engine I don't think its necessary to reinforce the airframe.
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Old Dec 30, 2006, 05:02 PM
The ever learning newbie
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Thanks for the information..
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 06:53 AM
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rab23us, its sold in the US by parkflyers.com, heres the link
http://www.parkflyers.com/html/extra_330l.html
Same plane but bit more than ebay, but you would have some come back if you have any faults. I've had no probs with mine but I've heard of people having faulty RC gear.
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 12:11 PM
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Heres some recent pics, go on you know you want one!
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