|Wing Area:||2003 sq. in.|
|Weight:||450 oz. 28 lbs 2 oz.|
|Wing Loading:||32.35 oz/sq. ft.|
|Servos:||JR 8611s and JR 8711 on rudder|
|Transmitter:||JR XP9303 w/ Spektrum Air Module System|
|Battery:||(2) Expert 6 Volt 2700 mAh|
|Engine:||3W 100 w/ TOC conversion.|
|Available From:||Horizon Hobby|
When Hangar 9 introduced this model, Jonathan got a strong urge to replace his well used H9 33% Edge. We were both surprised by the completeness of this plane; all that was left to do was to prove that this is the best plane we have assembled and flown, a tall order as we both love the 33% Edge.
Each wing panel weighed in at one pound 13 ounces. The ailerons were not only hinged but also sealed! Two JR 8611 servos were installed in each panel, and it required one 24” extension for the outboard servo. The servos fit the pre-selected location without any difficulty. JR servo arms had to be purchased for the servos, but the remaining (high quality) aileron hardware was supplied.
A JR MatchBox was used on each wing panel so the digital servos would work together and not cause a high drain on the flight pack.
The cowl comes already secured with 4-40 bolts as does the canopy hatch. The rudder had to be installed, and if I had to assemble this plane again, I would save this for the near end of assembly as it kept getting in the way. But then again my workroom isn’t all that big, and this is one BIG (also spelled L-O-N-G) bird!
The hinge pin consists of a long wire that has to be threaded into the preinstalled hinges, half of which are in the rudder, the other half in the vertical stabilizer. All went well until there was maybe 3” to go, and the wire bent. A slightly thinner wire was used as the replacement, and even that required some convincing to thread to the top of the rudder hinge.
The majority of the time spent getting the Extra 260 assembled was spent on mounting the engine. Aluminum stand-offs were supplied and would line everything up correctly (and easily) if the engine was a DA 100 (which ours wasn’t), so some stand-offs were made of hard wood.
The instruction book indicates that the modeler is to measure 3/8” to the left of the embossed crosshairs to align the engine, but this isn’t true. Just use the crosshairs to determine your engine’s mounting holes.
Once the engine was mounted, the canister mufflers were mounted. We used canisters from 3W, and by following the directions specifically designed for canister installation, it proved easy. There are also directions (and supplementary parts) for the installation of stock mufflers.
The canisters required a portion of the bottom covering to be removed to provide an exit for airflow as they have been known to become warm in flight. Since the bottom of the fuselage is blue, the exit hole is barely noticeable.
The mounting of the tailwheel assembly was very easily accomplished. All that was required was the drilling of two holes for the mounting screws and connecting the shock absorbing springs to the rudder.
The main gear, on the other hand, required some physical contortions in order to get the mounting bolt into the pre-drilled holes AND secured with a locking nut. The bolt comes down from the top, penetrates the plywood mount, passes through the metal landing gear and then gets the nut! You can see those holes all nicely lined up, but they are some 6+” inside the fuselage and the nuts were dropped many times. Finally, one of those telescoping magnets was used to insert the bolts, and then the short Allen wrench was gently positioned in place and the nut(s) tightened.
We felt that the landing gear is a little on the small side for this 28-30 pound model, so some 3/16” axles from DuBro replaced the 5/32” ones supplied and a slightly larger wheel was added. The hole for the new wheels had to be enlarged to fit the new axles. Something is a bit too tight as the wheels squeak at times, but it does sound neat on landings.
The horizontal stabilizers align with each other with a fiberglass tube and are held tightly to the fuselage with a 4-40 x 1⁄2” bolt. The servo that drives the elevator is mounted inside the stabilizer, and only the servo arm is exposed. A single JR 8611 servo drives each separate elevator. A MatchBox was used to synchronize the movement of the elevators. In our case, they were mounted as one of the last steps due to working space.
Six JR 8611 servos were used on the elevators and ailerons, one JR 8711 was used for the rudder (man is that one POWERFUL servo!) and a standard JR 537 servo was used on the throttle. Also used were two Cermark heavy duty DSC Super Switches and a 1400 mAh battery for the ignition system. 1.5" servo arms (P/N JRPA236) were used on all servos.
Our first flights were completed satisfactorily with our trusty Channel 45 JR PCM receiver. During one of the second day of flights we received a “hit”, and the engine responded by going to its pre-configured idle setting. Steve Miller was flying it at the time and just about had a heart attack because he was coming down the backside of a 1⁄2 reverse Cuban Eight when it happened. The next day we flew 4 flights, and while packing up someone came and told us that earlier that day 2 guys were shot down and both were on Channel 45!
It just so happened that a Spektrum Air Module System was available. So without thinking too hard, the PCM receiver was removed and the AR9000 receiver was easily installed. The JR XP9303 transmitter was quickly modified to a 2.4GHz using the supplied module and antenna. We were using a single 2700mAh battery but decided it would be safer to use two of them, so the second battery was merely plugged into an open port on the 9-channel receiver. The voltage drain on a model of this size can be quite significant, especially when all the servos are digital, so it is best to err on the safe side. There was a significant improvement in the control of the airplane with the 2.4 GHz system over the 72MHz, but more on that later.
All the parts finally came together the first day at the field. In fact, up to that point the wings had not been mounted to the fuselage! A small portion of the cowl had to be removed to clear the exhaust pipes, and a hole was drilled so the choke pushrod could be extended below the cowl. A beautiful 4.5” spinner from Tru-Turn and a 27-10 3W prop finished the noisy end. The pilot was epoxied in place, and #2 x 1⁄2 Button Head screws from Micro-Fasteners were used to secure the large tinted canopy.
The JR 9303 setup gave me 35% exponential on low rates and 55% on high rates for the elevator and ailerons. We decided to leave the rudder at full 125% deflection at all times with 35% exponential. This setup is strictly my personal preference, and it gave the Extra that particular feel that fits my flying style best.
After completing our pre-flight check, we tested the Extra’s ground control. The Extra’s authoritative rudder-tailwheel setup allowed for precise ground control for taxiing. After performing several passes on the ground, I rechecked the direction of all flight control surfaces. Once the plane passed my final inspection, throttle was advanced to half. The Extra tracked straight as an arrow on the paved runway for about 35 feet before gently climbing into the sky.
Two clicks of down trim and two clicks of right aileron trim were required for straight and level flight. Once properly trimmed, the Extra’s inverted flight was tested. Only 10% down elevator was required to keep the plane tracking at the same altitude. Early vertical and 45 degree uplines were very confident and crisp. Only four or five minutes into the maiden flight, I experienced a command over the plane that I did not generally enjoy until logging 10 or 15 flights on a new airframe. The scale lines of the plane and its colorful paint scheme really jumped out at me. However, after doing a few fast point rolls, it became apparent that the color pattern on the bottom of the wing panels closely resembles the top.
The Extra was not pitch sensitive by any means when setup at both the recommended low and high rates. Loops and turns had a very soft, yet confident feel. Even the basic circle-flying of my first few passes during the maiden looked crisp and effortless. When full elevator deflection input was given during horizontal flight, the Extra’s nose would snap up with no wing dipping tendencies. I quickly came to the realization that this plane was making me look like a lot better pilot than I am.
As a reminder, we balanced the plane on the forward most part of the recommended CG range. Since the Extra was responding very predictably, I decided to test our CG. After climbing to a positive 45-degree upline, I rolled inverted. As expected, once down elevator input was released, the Extra gently began to pull out of the upline. This CG gave the Extra a very nimble, yet predictable feel.
Vertical performance with the 3W-100 setup with the 3W canister mufflers combined to produce unlimited power. If full throttle was applied at level horizontal flight for any more than a few seconds, the Extra would begin to approach unsafe airspeeds. This served as a great reminder to all who were watching the importance of throttle management with a plane this size. With our setup and comparable 100cc engines, full throttle should be applied with caution and only during vertical uplines. Multiple vertical snaps were easily achieved when paired with the 3W 27x10 wood prop.
On the recommended low rates, aileron rolls were axial and required no rudder input. On high rates, rolls were very fast and axial. The Extra did not show any tendency to “barrel” left or right when performing multiple rolls. For specific flight characteristics, I broke down the Extra’s flight performance into the following categories that are based on my first 12 flights.
With the new JR 8711 servo bossing around the Extra’s rudder, knife-edge flight was easily achieved at all speeds. Rudder authority with the 8711 and two 6.0-volt flight packs was confident to say the least. Coupling was no issue at all. We had the magic combination of CG, thrust and rudder authority with our setup as no rudder-aileron and/or rudder-elevator mixing was needed. Knife-edge loops and circles were also easily performed with no surprises or bad tendencies. The Extra will go coast-to-coast all day; either at standard or high-alpha knife-edge.
Stalls were predictable and resulted in a mushy drop of the Extra’s nose. Stall spins were equally as predictable and impressive. From level flight, the Extra could easily fly out of a stall with only a boost of throttle regardless of whether elevator input was released when adding throttle. The same results were seen when stalls were initiated from an inverted attitude. In instances where I would keep full elevator deflection and not add any throttle, the Extra would simply transition from a stall into the 3D Elevator maneuver.
Flat spins and knife-edge spins were well within the Extra’s flight envelope. Comparable to most airframes, inverted flat spins were much tighter and flatter than upright ones. Knife-edge spins were a thrill to watch and perform. Recovery from both types of spins provides the pilot with many options. When rudder and aileron input were released, the Extra would stop spinning on a dime. From flat spins, the recovery it really favored was to remove all input except elevator, and gently add throttle. This provided for very predictable altitudes to fly out of, and was also a great transition between maneuvers because you are already locked in a harrier attitude.
After the maiden flight was under my belt, I flew various pattern and IMAC maneuvers. Figures from basic to unlimited are well within the Extra’s capabilities. Given the authoritative rudder and 8711 servo, stall turns are easily performed. Slow rolls are another area where the Extra really excels. Even for rolling turns, the Extra flies as if it were on rails; it is very forgiving to my occasionally slow inputs.
Snaps required very little elevator-rudder input to properly stall the airframe. The Extra would lose very little ground speed when snapping on low rates. If high rate inputs were held for longer than a momentary bump, a 3D snap would easily result.
Point rolls required very little top rudder to keep from losing any altitude. Four and Eight point rolls produced very high scores (well, at least in my mind) time and time again.
Round, square, and octagon loop maneuvers were easily performed as well. It took virtually no time to become familiar with the elevator authority on both high and low rates. Crisp and distinct loop lines that precision judges demand are no problem.
After experiencing a frequency hit on our 72 MHz JR 9303 radio, we installed a spectrum module and jumped on the 2.4 Ghz bandwagon. Switching from the 72mhz radio to the Spektrum 2.4 Ghz system adds a more responsive feel to the Extra, especially during precision sequences.
Flying various precision sequences confirms my belief that this plane is only limited by the pilot guiding it. While I was cruising between maneuvers on the Advanced 2006 IMAC sequence, I swear I could see the Extra 260 yawn at me from boredom. I gave in and began exploring whether or not the Extra was a 3D beast. Keep in mind that you are likely to experience different results with other power, CG and radio combinations.
The Extra hovers and holds altitude at 1/3 power. On high rates, the control authority was perfect for quick input corrections. Recovery was predictable and the 3W-100 and canister muffler combination provided more than enough power to allow the Extra to shoot vertically out of a hover.
Torque Rolling requires a bit more work, but only on the entry. With our CG, I really had to keep bumping up elevator or goose the throttle to get the Extra locked-in and perfectly vertical. However, once perfectly vertical, minimal inputs were required to keep the Extra dancing around and around and around. You will likely experience easier entries into torque rolls with a more aft CG.
Both upright and inverted harriers are stable and solid. Despite the attitude of entry, the Extra does not show a tendency to drop a wing or snap like many less fortunate airframes. Once stalled, the authoritative rudder was more than enough to steer around in harrier. With the 3W-100, just a few clicks of throttle above idle allowed sufficient prop-blast over the surfaces for nimble handing.
Rolling harriers were equally solid. On the recommended high rates, the roll rate was fast enough to get away with adding only top rudder and down elevator once every 360 degrees. The Extra is equally up to the task of slow rolling harriers with the ailerons on low rates. It only took a few rolling harrier attempts before I was confident in performing them at lower altitudes.
Like harriers, entry and execution was solid and predictable. No surprises with wing drops, nose dips, or any other problems. The recommended high rates are more than capable of providing commanding 3D deflection.
The Extra’s ability to tumble easily is no surprise given its power to weight ratio and monster control surfaces. The Extra will tumble nose over nose with little altitude loss if throttle was modulated properly. Aileron and rudder corrections are only required when my timing with the throttle is off, and I get out of rhythm.
The Extra’s tendencies on landing approaches are comparable to a trainer given its generous wing area. At a low idle throttle setting, the Extra gently begins to lose altitude. Light up elevator pressure an instant before touchdown produces a greaser landing every time. Crosswind landings are also uneventful due to the Extra’s authoritative rudder. Finally, harrier landings are equally as gentle given the Extra’s soft post-stall handling.
For the beginner in IMAC! Given the Extra’s nimble flight characteristics and size, I would not recommend it to beginning pilots. However, for accomplished pilots looking for that next step from sport flying or 50cc gas, the Extra provides the answer. Experienced pilots will also find that the Extra is easily a competition-ready performer regardless of class.
The Extra 260 from Hangar 9 offers aerobatic pilots a very attractive option in today’s competitive Almost-Ready-to-Fly market. When the Extra’s top-notch flight characteristics are paired with its speedy assembly time, it is hard to deny.
It only took a few minutes of stick time to realize that the difference between ordinary flying and extraordinary flying is that little “extra”... the Hangar 9 Extra 260, that is!
Every pilot who touched the sticks indicated a 'this one I have to have' comment. Does that tell you something? It should - we feel this is the best flying giant scale plane Hangar 9 has ever released.
Very informative article,great pictures etc. This is a plane thats like a million dollar home or exotic sports car to me,i could probally never afford one but enjoy reading about them and learning what justifys there cost and what makes them better or higher performance than things of less grandure or in this case smaller rc aircraft that are much more affordable. What i enjoy most about reading online articles over print articles is.... especially here is theres Q&A with the author on there opinions of a product as well as actually seeing how well it works etc in the videos and feed back in the forums from people actually flying them,pros,cons etc. Theres also the ability to add to the article if something may have been overlooked or not expierenced that some may have learned after spending considerable time flying a product etc. Ive seen large scale planes like this fly a few times... its a sight to behold if youve only flown park size planes etc and bigger does fly better... costs a lot more but does fly better. Id really like to see a video included with the article,especially when its a product of this cost and nature,im sure many would especially if there researching on this type of plane or plan on purchasing this particlular plane. I hope i dont sound critical.. id just really enjoy seeing the plane fly and what its capable of,especially the 3D manuevers discussed in the article.. sounds like that 3w has tons of power. I dont have any expierence with flying this type of plane but is it common for gasoline powered planes in the 100cc size to hover at 1/3rd throttle,thats like an over powered foamy .
I'm sorry there isn't a video - well we 'had' one that got 'removed' from a friend's computer (long story - and with a sad ending and that is why it took so long to post this review, we tried everything to capture our video, but no luck).
My son is the pilot and if I can get him back out here, we will shoot another video - and NO, it hasn't even had a rough landing! Of course I'm not flying it - it's his plane
I don't think H9 has plans for this aircraft. In fact I don't know of any 'kit' available right now but you could check with AeroWorks as they have produced kits in the past.
I submitted a video of my son flying this bird - hope they can add it to this review!!!
PS Ed I'm right now in Huntsville AL and am moving him to Mobile, AL
Pretty poor video....but I tried
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