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Hyperion Sniper 3D ARF Review (with floats)

In this review, PJ Horne takes you up close, and personal with the 3D EPP aerobat, the Hyperion Sniper 3D ARF!

Splash

Introduction

If you are looking for a great flying 3D plane that presents as well on the ground, as it does in the air, then look no further! The Hyperion Sniper 3D is the plane for you! Made of EPP, this bad boy can take a lickin' and keep on tickin! You will have the Sniper ARF from box to field (or lake) in just hours!


Wingspan:39" (1000mm)
Wing Area:365 sq. in. (23.5dm)
Weight (As suggested):13.9-15.7oz. (395-445g)
Weight (As weighed w/ Batt):15.6oz.
Length:39" (1000mm)
Wing Loading:6.534 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:3x HS-55
Transmitter:Futaba
Receiver:VamPowerPro RS610
Battery:VamPowerBatts 25C 3s(11.1v) 850mah
Motor:Hyperion Z2213-24
ESC:Hyperion Titan 20A
Manufacturer:Hyperion
Available From:Quiet RC Flying
Retail Price:$69.95

Kit Contents

When I received the Sniper, it was double boxed, and well protected. When I first opened the box, I was very impressed with the design of the airplane. Some of the hardware did look questionable though - thin aluminum rods, wooden wheels, and a rudder hinge system like I have never seen before.

Kit Contains:

  • Airframe
  • Control horns
  • Tape for elevator hinge
  • Push-rods
  • Rudder hinge
  • Composite aileron arm (must be screwed to actual servo arm)
  • Motor mount
  • Instruction manual
  • Wooden wheels
  • Landing gear

Kit Requires:

  • Hyperion Z2213-24
  • Hyperion 18-20 AMP ESC
  • Three 7g-10g servos
  • Two 6'' servo extensions (for elevator/rudder)
  • Receiver
  • 3s 800mAh-1000mAh Li-Po battery
  • CA glue, or UHU Creative (UHU Por)
  • X-acto knife
  • Prop

Assembly

The assembly was fairly easy, and it took about an evening’s worth of work to complete. Any one who has built a foam ARF before can easily complete it, though in the manual some of the measurements were mis-printed, and the instructions were a little confusing.

Wing

The ailerons come pre-hinged, so it only took a matter of minutes to assemble. I would suggest buying a CF rod for the wing, as the aluminum rod bends very easily. If you choose to use the supplied rods, be very careful when sanding them down - the wing is airfoiled!

Fuselage

The fuse was a very easy build, and since it is not like 6mm/3mm depron foam, it is very easy to get the wing/fuse strait.

Tail

The supplied tape for the elevator worked great! I would suggest using the elevator control horn as a guide to show you where to place the strip of wood on the elevator. The elevator is the only part on the airplane that is made from depron (6mm).

Motor and ESC

The Z2213-24 came with the connector already soldered on, and it screwed right on to the supplied motor mount. This was my first time using a Hyperion motor or ESC, and I was highly impressed. The Z2213-20 is the motor that comes with the power package, but I chose to buy the Z2213-24 instead.

Floats

I was very impressed with the floats. I excpected them to be made from multiple layers of depron, but the are made from an actual block of foam. There are plastic tubes which go through the float that the landing gears go in, but they bent/broke before I even flew with the floats, so I got some brass tube from my LHS, and it worked perfectly.

The rubber bands that come with the floats to hold on the landing gear work great.

Completion

To finish up the Sniper I had to...

Make sure you do not make the battery slot too big! Start with a very small slot and work out. If you get it just right, there will be no need for velcro, and the slot will hold the battery in tight by itself.

The supplied wheels are made of wood, so I changed mine out to foam wheels.

Control Throws

Sniper 3D ARF Control Throws:
Low Rates UpLow Rates Down 3D Rates Up 3D Rates Down
Elevator 50deg 50deg 25deg 25deg
Aileron 40deg 40deg 20deg 20deg
Low Rates Left Low Rates Right 3D Rates Left 3D Rates Right
Rudder 50deg 50deg 25deg 25deg

Flying

I had my 3s 850mAh battery all the way against the motor mount, and it was still a tad tail heavy, so I added a spinner to it, and the CG came out perfect for 3D. I tested 10x4.7, and 10x3.8 APC props, and I liked the 10x3.8 prop (the one used in the video), the best.

This plane handles wind better than any plane I have flown!

Basics

Basic flying is easy with this plane, but the rudder, and elevator are sensitive. If you are just doing basic flying you may want to tone them down a bit.

Taking Off and Landing

You have many options for taking off and landing with this plane. You can hand launch (just add throttle, and let her go!), take off from the ground, and then you can hover it and catch it, or land it on the ground. All can be done with ease!

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

This is one of the best flying planes out there. Knowing how durable it is encourages you to bring it down lower!. I find knife edge, hovers, and harriers are what the Sniper does best. It will harrier upright, inverted, and even knife edge!

This plane has earned its name - Sniper 3D! The Sniper excels at hovers, harriers, and KE. Rolling manuevers and snap rolls are good too. This plane took everything I could throw at it! One thing it does not do is flat spins.

The roll rate is not very fast for 3D flying, so I plan on changing mine to 2 aileron servos to get more throw and speed on the ailerons.

The Sniper is also good at precision flying. Just make sure you tone down the tail surfaces.




ManeuverGrade Notes
Snaps A Very easy, not too fast though
Parachute B Takes a little practice to get the hang of
High Alpha upright Flight A+ Very easy
High Alpha Inverted A+ Very easy
High Alpha Rolling B Needs more roll rate
High Alpha Knife Edge B+ These are not really easy to do, but it will do them
Knife-edge-to-knife-edge turns B- Due to low roll rate these are hard to do
Blenders C Like flat spins, the Sniper just does not do this very well
HoverA+ Hovers are easy with this plane
Flying Flat-Spin C Flat spins are something the Sniper 3D just does not do
Torque Roll B+ Torque rolls are relatively easy to do

Is This For a Beginner?

While the Sniper 3D is not what I would recommend for a first plane, it would be a great second or third plane. Being made from EPP, it can take a good bit of abuse. It would be a great 3D trainer!

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Now time for the eye candy!

Downloads

This was my first time flying with floats, but it was easy to take off, and land on water. 3D flying is not as good with the floats on though.

Downloads

Conclusion

If you do not have one of these in your hangar already, you should get one! I can't get over how durable this thing is. It will last alot longer than any depron plane will, and the cost is about the same as a good depron foamy.

Pluses

  • Ailerons are pre-hinged
  • Great flying plane
  • Easy to switch from LG to floats
  • Super durable
  • Floats are very good quality

Minuses:

  • Hardware quality could use an upgrade
  • Plastic tubes on floats bend easily
Last edited by Angela H; Nov 17, 2007 at 12:18 PM..

Discussion

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Old Nov 17, 2007, 09:29 AM
There is no place like Hodges!
edge5foamy's Avatar
United States, GA, Byron
Joined Mar 2007
3,549 Posts
Hi guys! I did change mine to two ailerons servos(HS-55s), and I would highly suggest doing so on yours! The roll rate is perfect now.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 09:38 AM
No Guts, No Glory
flyin C's Avatar
Simi Valley, CA
Joined Feb 2007
2,024 Posts
GREAT review Edge5foamy!
A few planes similar to the Sniper have been produced recently, I guess these EPP 3D planes like this are great flying planes. Excellent pics and the video was very clear.
I am getting the Flash soon as my first 3D plane. The nice thing about the Sniper and Flash is they are EPP and VERY tough.
I plan on using that Hyperion motor on mine along with a TB 18 esc, how do you like yours? I am ordering it from Bishop Power products because it includes all the mounting hardware.

Great job
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 10:28 AM
Registered User
Joined Dec 2006
155 Posts
great review! I have the Super Zoom and it's my favorite plane right now.

That little wooden block the landing gear plugs into can crack under strain or sharp landings. I wrapped mine with few turns of kevlar thread and brushed on a little CA and it's much stronger now.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 10:38 AM
Registered User
Cracow, Poland
Joined Nov 2003
651 Posts
What is the difference between Hyperion Sniper 3D and Hacker Super Zoom 4D:
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/superzoom.htm ?
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 10:44 AM
There is no place like Hodges!
edge5foamy's Avatar
United States, GA, Byron
Joined Mar 2007
3,549 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Szymon Bartus
What is the difference between Hyperion Sniper 3D and Hacker Super Zoom 4D:
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/superzoom.htm ?

From what I have been told the ONLY difference is the price, and paint scheme!
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 10:53 AM
KK6MQJ
Bajora's Avatar
Joined Sep 2004
13,701 Posts
Very nice review PJ! I enjoyed reading it and browsing the photos.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 11:01 AM
VBARRRR
brian94066's Avatar
USA, CA, San Bruno
Joined Jul 2007
2,502 Posts
i saw the sniper flew 2 sundays ago at my field, and i even got to take a try at it, it seems very stable, but it's not a 3D plane, more like a sport aerobatic plane, tried a blender and flat spins but nothing
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 11:44 AM
All electric, all the time!
QuietRCFly's Avatar
USA, WA, Bellevue
Joined Aug 2005
1,430 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Szymon Bartus
What is the difference between Hyperion Sniper 3D and Hacker Super Zoom 4D:
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/superzoom.htm ?
It is the same plane. Hyperion licensed this design for the same plane. They are all made at the same factory.

Chris

Quiet RC Flying
www.quietrcflying.com
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 11:46 AM
All electric, all the time!
QuietRCFly's Avatar
USA, WA, Bellevue
Joined Aug 2005
1,430 Posts
One other note, the plane requires a 18-20 AMP ESC, not the 12 AMP as stated.

Chris

Quiet RC Flying
www.quietrcflying.com
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 12:06 PM
There is no place like Hodges!
edge5foamy's Avatar
United States, GA, Byron
Joined Mar 2007
3,549 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuietRCFly
One other note, the plane requires a 18-20 AMP ESC, not the 12 AMP as stated.

Chris

Quiet RC Flying
www.quietrcflying.com

Yeah, sorry about that typo. I sent a message to the editor to change it, but no reply yet.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 12:10 PM
VBARRRR
brian94066's Avatar
USA, CA, San Bruno
Joined Jul 2007
2,502 Posts
any reason why the low rates are 50 degrees and the 3D rates are 25?
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Last edited by brian94066; Nov 17, 2007 at 08:29 PM.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 12:15 PM
There is no place like Hodges!
edge5foamy's Avatar
United States, GA, Byron
Joined Mar 2007
3,549 Posts
The 3D rates are on high rates.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 03:44 PM
The Eh Team
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Joined Aug 2000
954 Posts
I've flown one of these for the last season and I have a lot of fun with it. I concur that it handles wind relatively well, particularly when loaded with a bigger battery pack, but it performs 3d better when using smaller battery packs. If you use a higher pitch prop its roll rate doesn't seem so slow. I throw this plane in the car almost every time I go flying because I can put so many different packs on it, it seems I can always fly (use anywhere from 900mAh to 2100mAh 3S batt, and I've got somewhere around 8 or 9 of these on hand typically).
I took the LG off, I fly from a grass field and the gear just gets in the way. There's no need to ROG anyway.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 07:47 PM
War Eagle!
Spackles94's Avatar
Birmingham, Alabama
Joined Feb 2007
7,876 Posts
Fantastic review! I especially liked the videos -- nice editing!

I've been contemplating whether to buy a Super Zoom for a while -- but I'm glad to hear there's an equally-good alternative, and at a better price. And the combo price for the power system is not bad either!

Again, great job!
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