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E-flite DHC-2 Beaver 25e Platinum ARF Review

Mike Llewellyn looks at the DHC-2 Beaver 25e ARF by E-flite. This Platinum series model has many scale details, internal linkages and is a fantastic all around model.

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Introduction


Wingspan:68”
Wing Area:~565 sq”
Wing type:Built up - Semi-symmetrical
AUW weight:Advertised – 4.9-6.2lbs Actual - 4lb 13oz
Length:43”
Wing loading:20 oz/sq. ft.
Cube loading:10
Servos:6 Mini
Transmitter:Spektrum DX7
Receiver:Spektrum AR6200
Battery:Thunder Power 4s 3300mA Pro-Lite V2 LiPoly
Motor:Power 32 770Kv Outrunner
ESC:60-Amp Pro Switch-Mode BEC Brushless ESC
US distributor:Horizon Hobby
E-flite DHC-2 Beaver:E-Flite Beaver
ARF Price:$229.99

Horizon continues rolling out impressive models this time with the impressive E-flite Platinum line DHC-2 Beaver. For those who have not seen this impressive line of models I can assure you they are very well built, have true scale lines and they look fantastic.

The E-flite version of the Beaver fits with the tradition and is of high quality. This remarkable ARF is highly prefabricated and was ready to fly in just a short time.

The review package shipped from Horizon Hobby and it arrived in great shape. It is well packaged, double boxed and the contents in the box were very well protected.

Kit Contents

Kit includes:

  • Built fuselage, wing and tail surfaces all covered in genuine UltraCote®
  • Factory hinged and glued flight surfaces
  • Hardware (Push rods, horns, clevis, tires and tail wheel assembly)
  • Decals and markings factory installed
  • Picture assembly guide and text instructions
  • Optional float attachment gear

Kit requires:

  • Power 25 or 32 Motor (32 is recommended for use with optional floats)
  • 3s-4s LiPoly battery
  • 6 Servos (2-Flaps, 2-Ailerons, elevator, and rudder)
  • Receiver
  • 5 channel minimum transmitter

Included for this review:

  • Thunder Power 4s 3300 Pro Lite V2 LiPoly
  • Power 32 Brushless motor
  • 60-Amp Pro Switch-Mode BEC Brushless ESC

Assembly

The Horizon E-flite Beaver required a few evenings of assembly but most of the tough work was done already. I was very impressed with the quality and the scale lines of this ship. They have even added the corrugated control surfaces. The distinctive Beaver shape is replicated down to the last detail. This Platinum series model includes advanced features such as internal horns and fiberglass fairings. The balsa and plywood used was of good quality with many "holes" factory cut for weight savings.

Done by the factory:

  • Surfaces hinged and glued
  • Push rods tubes installed
  • All surfaces covered

The builder needs to:

  • Install the tail surfaces
  • Install the cowl
  • Install radio system
  • Install the undercarriage and tail wheel
  • Install the power system

Wing

The Beaver has pull strings in the wings for both the ailerons and flaps which made pulling those wires an easy task.

The flap assembly is similar to the ailerons, but the linkage is all internal. The flap horn is installed for you, but the servo linkage must be set up. The instructions clearly outline how this is done and will save you grief, so follow those recommendations closely. Flaps are in each wing half and each are actuated by a separate servo.

Make sure you measure flap throw very accurately. Differential throw on these large surfaces will cause unwanted roll input. This scale Beaver uses the trademark large flap surfaces of the full scale version. They are large and very effective.

I joined the wing with the included dihedral brace and 30 minute epoxy. I dry fit it, and parts alignment was perfect.

Fuselage

The fuselage work begins with attaching the undercarriage, which is simply a work of art. The factory has placed the tires on the axles of the aluminum gear legs. Covering those aluminum gear struts are beautiful fiberglass fairings that replicate well the full scale Beaver. This attention to detail really adds to scale realism.

The battery tray will accommodate a long, thin and narrow 4s pack. The Thunder Power 4s 3300 V2 Pro Lite pack fit with ease.

Tail Assembly

The Beaver features internal linkages for all of the tail surfaces including the steerable tail wheel, rudder and elevator. It is a small workspace but well worth the final appearance with no external horns and push rods to mar this scale beauty.

The servos fit the pre-installed trays perfectly with no modification.

The windows all fit perfectly in the factory cutouts and really added to the scale looks of the Beaver. I used few drops of 5 minute epoxy to secure those to the frames.

Power system

The E-flite Beaver was motivated with the monster Power 32 brushless motor. Installation was made easy by the factory installed blind nuts in the firewall. Those blind nuts slide, accommodating either the skinny Power 25 or the larger diameter Power 32 motors. The Power 32 was recommended for float use.

The E-flite 60 amp Pro ESC contains a switch mode BEC. It can easily handle all 6 servos and the receiver even with the 4s input voltage. Very nice.

Battery

For the Beaver I am using the all new Thunder Power Pro Lite V2 4s 3300 battery. This thing is small and light, and it delivers the power needed for the Beaver. It will also accommodate the Thunder Power eXteme 3300 4s pack.

Cowl

The cowl has a factory installed internal attachment ring with holes that are intended to align with blind nuts in the firewall. Attachment is done with a long handle hex driver. Mine were not perfectly aligned with the factory installed blind nuts. I had to re-drill the holes in the cowl mounts so the holes were larger in order to get the screws started. The final result was great - no screws on the outside of the fuselage to attach the cowl. A better engineering solution might have been the use of magnets to attach the cowl. Simple and effective.

Amp draws

The 770KV Power 32 outrunner motor was perfect for use with 4s packs. It produced the following results:

Motor statistics (both motors)
MAS Propeller Amps Watts Voltage
11x7x3 43 655 14.8v

I fly the Beaver with the Master Airscrew 11x7x3 propeller on 4s voltage. I really like the looks of the three blade on the Beaver. The Power 25 is comfortable with 3s packs so if you have those, that might be a better power choice. The Power 32 provides stunning power for this airplane. It would easily be able to handle the added weight of floats if you chose to install those.

Finish

The E-flite Beaver is factory finished in a very attractive covering scheme. It simply looks stunning and is modeled after the scheme of full scale Beaver. It has a very large presence on the ground and in the air. As expected, the Beaver developed the common ARF wrinkles after a few days, but a quick touch up with a covering iron had those gone. I appreciate that is is covered with UltraCote so repairs could be made with covering that is available at the local hobby shop. The paint finish on the fiberglass parts matched perfectly on my model - also highly impressive.

CG

With the 4s 3300 MAh Pro Lite V2 Thunder Power pack all the way forward the Beaver balanced properly. That is welcome for the short nosed Beaver. The heavier Power 32 and the fact the pack goes well past the firewall helped to attain the proper CG.

Rates and transmitter setup

I used my trusted Spektrum DX7 transmitter for this plane. Rates were set as recommended in the manual with ailerons at 13/19mm and the elevator at 16/25mm. Rudder was set to the recommended 32/38mm. I really appreciate when manufacturers spend the necessary time to detail all the control throw rates, including recommended dual rates.

Flaps were set at about 13mm and 35mm down settings. Both flap settings worked well in flight for me with a notable, expected pitch change with flap actuation. Triple check that both flaps deploy evenly. Not doing this will earn you a pile of sticks.

Flying

I set the flight timer to count down from 6 minutes of mixed flying. With mixed flying this gives an audible warning to land well before the 4s 3300mAh battery was depleted.

The large E-flite Beaver is an impressive model with a very large footprint. It has a commanding presence and always draws attention at the field both on the ground and in the air.

Takeoff and Landing

The Beaver takes to the air in a short distance on a grass surface. I use about 15 degrees of down flap on the takeoffs. This allows for a very high lift yet fairly low drag, perfect for takeoffs.

Landings are easy with the large winged lightly loaded Beaver but it does just float along! Considering the full scale counterpart is a lifting workhorse this came as no surprise.

With the flaps engaged, the model exhibits expected pitch change so some elevator mixing solves that. It is critically important to control approach descent with power when using the flaps. It it fatal to slow too much on approach when using flaps, and you must continue to provide power especially when using full flaps. Full flaps created significant drag with the expected slowing as intended.

The ailerons become less responsive when using flaps so use the rudder! The large rudder remained very effective in all flight modes and speeds. The Beaver slows very well to even near walking speed.

Special Flight Characteristics

I found the E-flite Beaver to be a pure pleasure to fly. It likes rudder coordinated turns just as expected with the high aspect ratio wing. Get used to using that "other" stick - your Beaver will thank you, and it will teach you to be a better pilot.

The Beaver is large and commanding in flight. Note the decreased effectiveness of the ailerons when using the flaps. The flaps add a great dimension of realism to the flying. Engage them for the first time in slow flight and with plenty of altitude. They look very realistic in flight and slow the Beaver well.

The plane stalls very predictably for a model with a 20 oz/ft wing loading. When pushed to a stall the model slowed down considerably and then dropped the nose and the right wing. Power application with the strong Power 32 recovers very quickly.

With the powerful larger 32 motor loops only require about 80% power. Stall turns are also a complete blast. Rolls are fine but look a bit funny with the long high aspect ratio wing of the Beaver. Acrobatics are really not the forte of this beauty.

Coordinated turns were really the ticket with the Beaver in flight. The rudder was very effective on the E-flite Beaver. Get used to that rudder stick!

Dawnron1 - Ronnie took these amazing in-flight shots. Highly impressive as usual!

Recommended power system

Power from the large Power 32 motor and 4s Thunder Power battery was simply stunning bringing this beast off the ground in just a few feet! It pulls this near large airplane around with significant authority. The power of this system far exceeds the scale performance of the certainly not skimpy full scale Beaver.

Is this plane for a beginner?

Although not terribly difficult to fly this plane is for the pilot with some time under their belt. The Beaver is well mannered but requires some previous flying experience and coordinated turns.

Flight Video

Downloads

Conclusion

After living and working in Anchorage Alaska as a college kid, I quickly learned to have great respect and admiration for the remarkable full scale DHC-2 Beaver. Many times I saw the Beaver loaded to the gills, and it would gracefully lift all 5,000+ pounds of itself and cargo without a single complaint. The sound of the large radial was just icing on the cake. I used to sit at my desk and watch them land and take off from the water - good times!

The assembly of the E-flite DHC-2 Platinum Beaver was straightforward. I appreciated all of the hard work and the scale details that make this model look so good. Flaps with the internal assembly did take some time to setup, but the end result with hidden controls was worth the effort. The same applied to the tail wheel, rudder and elevator internal linkages; While all of those took some time and patience, the end result added significantly to the scale realism.

The corrugated flight surfaces, fiberglass landing gear fairings and stunning scheme for this Beaver also added to the realism of the model. The attractive covering scheme is very unique and looks stunning.

The Beaver flies extremely well and the large flaps add some great flying fun. The Power 32 motor pulls this near 5lb ship with significant authority. The Power 25 will be plenty for sport flight.

The E-flite DHC-2 Beaver has such a commanding presence. Stall turns and loops are fun - but the most fun for me were the slow speed full flap approaches. This STOL model is just like the full scale - both off the ground and back down in a hurry. I can assure you I am impressed - Recommended.

Pluses:

  • Excellent looks
  • Scale details are very well represented
  • STOL performance
  • Stellar flight performance

Minuses:

  • Cowl holes misaligned
  • Internal linkages may try your patience a bit

The E-flite Beaver will make a great addition to your hangar. Check it out the hobby shop or at Horizon Hobby.

Last edited by Angela H; Apr 21, 2009 at 10:59 AM..

Discussion

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Old Apr 24, 2009, 06:49 AM
Use the 4S Luke
feathermerchant's Avatar
USA, TX, Euless
Joined Aug 2003
9,341 Posts
Great review Mike.
Mike let me fly his Beaver the other day and it is a sweet handling plane. Many scale planes give up good flight characteristics for scale appearence but this one flies really well. It will actually fly some pretty good non-scale aerobatics. It will fly inverted with full flaps for example. With some mixing it would fly KE pretty well.
OK I know some of you are horrified but I can't help myself when it comes to aerobatics.
Full flap approaches require some power or a very steep pitch angle just like the real thing. With practice scale type steep approach/short field landings are possible and very impressive.
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 07:01 AM
Registered User
RollingR6's Avatar
Dothan, AL
Joined Mar 2003
216 Posts
I wonder what size 2 or 4 stroke engine would work well with this model.
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 07:07 AM
Registered User
ducatirdr's Avatar
United States, MA, Sutton
Joined Aug 2006
1,286 Posts
I was in Seattle last week and saw the full scale fly off Lake Washington. Very cool sound and such a slow bird in the air. Made me appreciate my model even more.
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 07:26 AM
KK6MQJ
Bajora's Avatar
Joined Sep 2004
13,581 Posts
Very nice review of a very nice plane Mike! I also was very impressed with E-flites craftmanship on this one. I had the benefit of a real one just a few miles south of me and I even was able to see it take some tourists up for a flight. The pilot shot a really cool short approach! What a cool airplane and the model captures the essence of the real one IMHO. Your photos are excellent ... very nice!!

I hope you don't mind me adding a few photos of mine flying off floats and also photos of a real one?
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 07:30 AM
Timelord
Doctor Who's Avatar
USA, IN, Muncie
Joined Mar 2002
2,411 Posts
Nice pictures Mike & Mike!
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 07:53 AM
Registered User
tupelo's Avatar
Helsinki, Finland
Joined Feb 2008
291 Posts
Last summer I built three of these. All but one had the same problem: The ailerons/flaps were twisted. There were major misalignment issues. As a result when I deployed the flaps the plane started to roll. And it is very difficult to fix the problem because the ailerons and flaps are covered with plastic. I.E. it melts when it is heated.

I got fed up, sold the plane and bought a Hangar 9 Piper Cub Power 46. No flaps but flies straight... A shame because the Beaver really is a good looking bird. The customer service was great though. They sent me a new wing but again with twisted control surfaces...
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 12:51 PM
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pda4you's Avatar
USA, TX, Trophy Club
Joined May 2002
14,466 Posts
Thanks guys - nope Jon your pics are great!

I LOVE this airplane. It is a joy to fly - and goes to the field regularly. The flaps are a kick to play with, and slow flight characteristics are unreal...

Fun airplane and it looks great...

Mike
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 01:02 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,356 Posts
Very nice review Mike and great pictures Jon! I was tempted to buy one but bought the smaller Sundowner instead. Ronnie's review came out first and it sold me. Had this been first I would probably have have bought one of these. Mike
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 02:47 PM
Registered User
Joined Aug 2007
129 Posts
Small point. Why no dummy engine ??
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 02:54 PM
Stress Be Gone
GBR2's Avatar
Snohomish, WA
Joined May 2000
3,373 Posts
I wonder if the twisted control surfaces issue has been corrected. The cowl is just crying out for a dummy engine.
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 04:15 PM
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pda4you's Avatar
USA, TX, Trophy Club
Joined May 2002
14,466 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter davidson
Small point. Why no dummy engine ??
No good reason...... It will get one added - I promise!
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 07:20 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
United States, CA, Los Angeles
Joined Sep 2003
22,797 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by RollingR6
I wonder what size 2 or 4 stroke engine would work well with this model.
There is a fellow on RCU who posted a detailed report about installing Saito 30's in a couple he made. It's a perfect match.
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 10:47 PM
Just Plane Crazy
datazman's Avatar
United States, NY, McGraw
Joined Apr 2004
684 Posts
Mike:
Awesome review. Full of great details. Awesome photos of the build and in flight. The video is appreciated as well.

I had a chance to see the one that was at the 2008 NEAT Fair . I agree that it is well engineered.

Here is one of the photographs I took I thought I would share.

Ta Ta for now.
Paul
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 11:27 PM
Every flight is a maiden!
johnm15141's Avatar
USA, CA, Fairfield
Joined Jul 2007
880 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by datazman
Mike:
snip...
Here is one of the photographs I took I thought I would share.

..snip
That picture shows about where I put the flaps on my Beaver, and what a difference that made! It just crawls in, and sets down gently wherever I choose to set it down. Putting my Flaps on a Y-Cable and attaching a Servo Slo-down module really helped a lot. The transition from clean to dirty wing is nearly transparent. I'm stabilized on the turn to final, which makes adjusting the speed for landing easy. No elevator mix required.

I chose not to use the dummy radial after I saw how great the e-flite 2 inch spiner looks on mine. I can see the green CC 60 Amp ESC label behind the spinner after mounting it the way the e-flite manual says to mount it. Very Cool.

I agree, if you plan to use 3S packs, install a power 25, build it light, you'll get scale flights, but longer durations.

I went with Power 32 on a 4S pack, you can use a 3S pack as long as it has a high C rating, but performance is very scale. Zooms on a 32 with 4S...
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