Thoughts on eflite leader 480 - Page 50 - RC Groups
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Mar 03, 2013, 11:28 AM
Life is a Hobby
Doesn`t take much effort to land properly with this airplane. Never had any problem on landing with prop strikes because the Leader flares so nicely before touchdown. I am an instructor at my club and use my own Leader with a buddy box to put trainees through the course to get their wings. One of the reasons I use the Leader with trainees is because it lands so nicely.

My club field is on a sod farm with short but thick grass which is what caused the initial problem with prop strikes when taxiing. The nose strut is very flexible and springs back and forth as the nose wheel snags in the thick grass while taxiing.

Easy fix. Smaller diameter prop and nose wheel.

Great little sport plane. Balances with an 1800 3S LiPo all the way back against the wing tube. Get 5 to 6 minute flights with the 1800 LiPo depending on speed management.

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Mar 03, 2013, 02:30 PM
Registered User
scottc39's Avatar
Bill i added 2.5 wheels to mine to keep the 10 inch prop out of the grass, the wheels worked for me.
Mar 03, 2013, 03:24 PM
Life is a Hobby
scott.........I have 2.5 wheels on the mains with a 2 incher on the nose using a 9 inch prop. Running the front strut as long as possible. This runs through the thick sod on my club field very well. So much so that I use it as my instructional airplane for new fliers.

Find it easier to instruct with a plane that I know is trimmed out properly. Can`t count the hours I have spent with student airplanes that show up at the field with reversed throws and bad CGs. Guess we all did that when starting out. Easier on me to instruct with my own airplane and a buddy box.

I would highly recommend the Leader as an instructional airplane. No bad habits, big enough to see at a distance, easy to land and light enough to shrug off a hard landing if that should happen.

Mar 11, 2013, 09:30 PM
Central Scrutinizer
cwindram's Avatar
I built a Leader 480 over the winter... great looking plane... I really enjoyed reading the posts on this thread. Looking forward to the maiden as soon as the weather turns dry here in New England - hopefully within a week or so. Any suggestions for the maiden flight would be greatly appreciated!
Mar 12, 2013, 10:38 AM
Life is a Hobby
I have maidened a lot of airplanes in 40 years of R/C and I would say the EFlite Leader was a pleasure. One of the few I have put together that required no trim after takeoff. Set the cg at 90mm and the control surfaces at 0-0, pointed into the breeze, goosed the throttle, up elevator, airborne in 10 feet and enjoying myself. Flares nice just before touchdown. Lands on a dime. Don`t have to control a nose over with the trike gear.

I have just replaced the original 40 amp ESC with a 30 amp. This lets me balance at 90 mm with a 1500 LiPo back against the wing tube. Gives a total weight of 40 oz, middle of specs.

The lighter you can make this airplane the better. The 1500 LiPo should give 5 minutes flight time. We will see.

Snow pretty well melted on Lake Erie but ground still frozen so will be a few weeks yet to get back to my club`s field. Field is closed while soil thawing out to avoid wheel ruts and stuck cars. Sand soil in the area dries quickly once the frost is out of the ground.

I have rebalanced every airplane 29 times and am ready!

Last edited by erie_flyer; Mar 13, 2013 at 06:10 PM.
Mar 12, 2013, 12:25 PM
Registered User

Tail Dragger Leader

AJ Slick 42 carbon gear and carbon wheel pants on the Leader. I think it's gonna look pretty cool.

Mar 12, 2013, 12:56 PM
Life is a Hobby
Great looking mod! Gear forward of the wing like a Pulse XT or Escapade. No problem with nose overs. Do you have a total finished weight?

Reminds me of a mod I did on a Pica Duellist back in the 1990s. Made a taildragger out of it to get rid of the weight of the nose wheel. Put Spring Air retracts in the wing. It was a built-up kit so could put the the mains as close to the wing leading edge as possible. Flew and landed great.
Mar 12, 2013, 01:50 PM
Registered User
Not finished weight yet, I suspect it will be lighter. Will post more pics and weight in the future. The Slick gear are the perfect width for the fuse too.
Last edited by markepilot; Mar 12, 2013 at 02:27 PM.
Mar 18, 2013, 09:46 AM
Registered User
Leader 480 is a blast with the basic setup. Didn't use Power 10 because flight times will be 4minutes. I flew this weekend in a little rain with my Airtronics Radio Gear SD-6G. Never lost a plane do to signal loss. This plane handles and sound so crisp in the air. Landing is a breeze. I'm feeling over confident. I practice circuits around the runway or traffic patterns, mild 3d and some aerobatics. I used E-flite servos for rudder and elevator and used Hitec for my Ailerons. E-flite servos are not bad. Their pretty smooth for this plane. Using Hitec Servos for rudder and elevator throws the geometry off and causes a lot of binding issues. I get 8 to 10minutes on a 3s 2200 30c. If I move to a 3200mah 3s, I can get about 12 to 15 minutes with throttle management.

Leader 480 is the best trainer on the market. Nice Job E-Flite
Last edited by IronEagle38; Apr 01, 2013 at 06:10 PM.
Mar 23, 2013, 10:10 PM
Registered User
"Lighter is Better" - depends on your flying style. Mine is setup with a Suppo 2820/6 1000kv Brushless Motor (Power 15 equiv.) 60 amp ESC 4S2200Mah Lipos, APC 10x7 prop. Weighs 1325 grams. Webocalc gives this setup a stall speed of 20MPH. I time for 5 minute flights, but because this setup is so fricken fast, normal flight averages around 1/2 throttle. I always have plenty of reserve at the end of flight. Great speed and tracks very well, even when landing.
Apr 01, 2013, 03:33 PM
Central Scrutinizer
cwindram's Avatar
Built the Leader back in December and waited all winter to fly it! Had my maiden flight this past Saturday when the winds were calm here in New England for a few hours in the morning. Here's the happy moment when the plane touched down. I'm a fairly new flyer, and this is the first balsa model I've ever flown. Totally stoked. Video by Jmasula. Thanks James!

GOPR0075 (0 min 17 sec)
Last edited by cwindram; Apr 01, 2013 at 03:55 PM. Reason: additions
Apr 01, 2013, 07:58 PM
Registered User
scottc39's Avatar
nice landing
Apr 02, 2013, 08:21 AM
Bay Area Prop Buster
Bluhammer's Avatar
You guys are making me want to take my P10 Leader off the wall and fly her some more, sweet plane!

Apr 03, 2013, 04:18 PM
Catalina 44-33915
Sophisticat's Avatar

Another Leader

Maidened mine today; no trim needed and a beautiful flyer.

I had some issues while assembling; a missing cyano hinge, both forward wing tabs were broken and a 3mm section of balsa missing across the inner fuselage behind the firewall. I emailed HH UK, but didn't receive a reply.

Set-up as recommended by E-flite, except for a 10x6 prop. The Park 480 was fast enough for me! Loops and bunts were impressive, but I need to work on my rolls.
Landing was easy in a 10-12mph crosswind.

I hope to try a 10x10 prop next time and experiment with a AR635 receiver when the basics are sorted.
Apr 04, 2013, 09:47 AM
Registered User

Initial thoughts

Now have four flights on my leader 480. With the Park 480 on 3S 2200 and APC 11x8 it flys nice and has good speed. The Carbon gear are working well and I like the look of it as a taildragger. Might change the Rudder pushrod because I think it is flexing under load but other than that it really flys nice.


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