Horizon Hobby UMX Habu 180 DF BNF Basic

UMX Habu with AS3X Technology by E-flite

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Horizon Hobby UMX Habu 180 DF BNF Basic with AS3X Technology by E-flite
Length:17.5 in (444mm)
Wingspan:14.6 in (372mm)
Weight:2.65 oz (75.5 g)
Wing Area:54.0 sq. in. (3.50 sq. dm.)
Servos:(4) 2.3-gram performance linear long throw servos (installed)
Transmitter:Spektrum DX-18 used
Receiver and ESC:E-flite® AS6410NBL 6Ch AS3X Receiver with BL ESC
Battery:7.4V 2S 200mAh 25C+ Li-Po (required)
Motor:E-flite® BL180m Ducted Fan Motor, 11750Kv
Fan Unit:E-flite® 28mm Delta-V® 180m EDF system
Manufacturer:E-Flite
Available From:Horizon Hobby
Price:$124.99

The Habu line of edf jets has been an incredible success for Horizon Hobby (Parkzone and E-flite). All versions of the Habu (up until this point) have flown incredibly well ... and how would I know? I have reviewed all of them for RCGroups.

ParkZone Habu EDF BNF Review

Horizon Hobby ParkZone Habu 2 EDF BNF Basic Review

Horizon Hobby E-flite Habu 32 DF ARF Review

It came as no surprise to me that Horizon Hobby and E-flite would introduce a UMX version of the Habu given the success of their other UMX aircraft, their first UMX jet (the MiG 15), and the other Habu airframes. I was very interested in reviewing the UMX Habu 180 DF BNF Basic with AS3X Technology to see how it compared to its big brothers. If it turned out to be anything like them I knew I would be in for a great looking and flying UMX jet aircraft that could be flown at smaller fields, parks, or an indoor facility.

Kit Contents

There are not many parts in the kit box mainly because the ultra micro airframe is completely built! The servos, receiver with ESC, and power system are factory installed in the airframe.

Kit Contents include:

  • UMX Habu Airframe, Factory assembled.
  • Instruction manual

Assembly

First Impressions

The UMX Habu 180 looks just like its bigger brothers (Well, not quite the Habu 32) but on a smaller scale. Actually, I like the look of the finish on the UMX Habu 180 better than its larger foam brothers, although the foam on the UMX Habu 180 is less resilient. The painted finish and decals are applied great on the top of the airframe but I would rather have seen decals on the bottom of the airframe (instead of the black painted stripes) to match the look of the decals on the top of the plane. All of the control surfaces are hinged, and there is easy access to mechanically change the trim for the elevator, rudder, and ailerons. Speaking of ailerons, there is a separate servo for each aileron with a short and direct linkage. A definite advantage when looking for precise flight controls. The included fan system is the same system that has proven to be fairly powerful and reliable in the UMX MiG 15.

Overall, I was impressed with the UMX Habu 180. It is a great value at $124.99.

UMX Habu 180 up close

Instruction manual

You might be tempted to skip the instruction manual since the airframe comes completely built but I would recommend against that. There is still some valuable information included along with the recommended control throw settings and C.G.

Click here for assembly manual.

Binding and Control Centering

The battery needs to be plugged into the UMX Habu before the binding process can begin. I bound the UMX Habu to my Spektrum DX18 transmitter using the process outlined in the manual (included in the picture below). The manual recommends mechanically centering the flight control surfaces before the initial flight. After binding, my UMX Habu needed no centering of the control surfaces, a first for any of my UMX airframes. Normally, I would use a pair of pliers to adjust the metal loop section of the control rods as needed.

Arming the ESC (after binding as described in the manual) and preparing for flight requires you to:

  • Lower the throttle setting on the transmitter to zero throttle.
  • Connect the flight battery to the esc.
  • Keep the plane immobile for about 5 seconds while the AS3x system initializes correctly.
  • Increase the throttle slightly one time to activate the AS3X system. NOTE: The first time the AS3X system is activated it might catch you off guard. It makes a lot of noise depending on how much you move the airframe.
  • You are now ready for flight.

Completion

Flying

Taking Off and Landing

The UMX Habu takes off from pavement easily. In fact, it provides one of the easiest most stress free take off sequences of any airframe in my edf fleet ... Followed closely by my UMX MiG 15! You can either smoothly apply power while gradually adding elevator until liftoff, or you can go to full throttle immediately, apply some elevator, and be off of the ground in about 10 feet on pavement. As of yet, I have not had the opportunity to try to rotate from grass but I would guess that takeoffs on only the smoothest grass would be possible. With help from the the AS3X System and its wide gear stance, the UMX Habu tracks well on the ground during the takeoff sequence.

Many modelers get stressed when it comes to hand launching an airplane, but there's no need to worry about hand launching the UMX Habu! Just run up the fan and give the UMX Habu a firm toss with a slight incline. The UMX Habu always flies out of my hand with authority and the AS3X system helps to smooth it out quickly after launch. I have tried half throttle and full throttle launches and both have proven to be very reliable. Having said that, I prefer to just run it up to full throttle and launch because it provides for almost no "dip" after release. The UMX Habu is one of, if not, the easiest jet I have launched by hand.

Landing the UMX Habu on pavement is fairly easy but because the UMX Habu is so stable at slow speeds, it is not always easy to tell when it is going to stall ... so be careful not to get it too slow while landing. I recommend practicing slow flight at higher altitudes before the first landing. When the UMX Habu does stall it is almost always straight forward and is easy to recover from ... as long as you have enough altitude. To get the smoothest landings, I use a low throttle setting all the way to touch down (while slowly backing out of the elevator) and then execute a final flair.

Landing the UMX Habu in the grass (without the landing gear) is easier than landing with the landing gear on pavement. The landing technique for the grass is the same as pavement except when landing in grass I try to cut the power right before touch down to avoid sucking anything into the fan. My best grass landings happened when I added just a bit more elevator right before touch down and executed a slight stall. If you can master this, it provides for hassle free landings.

Basics

With help from the AS3X system, The UMX Habu flies incredibly smooth for an ultra micro. It tracks well from light to fairly windy conditions. The fact that I felt completely at ease with this airframe about 60 seconds into the first flight is a testament to its positive control input and feel on all flight controls. I have flown it in gusts up to 19 mph (see the video in this review) and was amazed at how well it flew in those conditions. On the low control throws, the UMX Habu is very docile but still needs the attention of the pilot during flight, it is not a trainer. There might be some confusion about AS3X and what it exactly provides for an airframe. AS3X does smooth out the flight characteristics of an airframe but it is not a training system that levels the airframe or locks it into a particular heading.

Although the control surfaces obviously have less throw on low rates, the UMX Habu still remains positive in flight response while providing smooth flight. The rudder is effective in helping to coordinate turns and alignment during landing on low rate but can get sensitive during landing on high rate. Low rates are great for smooth relaxed flying but where the UMX Habu really shines is on the high rate settings. All of the controls become much crisper and the flight response is much more nimble. I prefer to fly the UMX Habu on the high rate settings. The power system on the UMX Habu is respectable for an ultra micro jet. While the UMX Habu is not overpowered, there is plenty of power for basic to intermediate aerobatics.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The UMX Habu performs basic four channel jet aerobatics easily. Although the power system provides for adequate micro jet performance, it doesn't allow for prolonged vertical climbs so maneuvers must be kept "to scale" to avoid things like falling out of the top if attempting a large loop.

On high rates, rolls are very axial and are easily performed with little to no down elevator needed to keep level during this maneuver. The UMX Habu is very nimble on high rates. On low rates, the rolls are slower and require a little down elevator to keep the airframe from dropping while inverted. One of my favorite maneuvers with the UMX Habu is the four point roll which the UMX Habu performs well as long as I don't try to hold the knife edges too long. The AS3X helps to smooth out the transitions from each side of the knife edge during the roll. This is the point where many pilots, including myself, sometimes have a problem with a smooth transition from rudder to elevator.

Inverted flight with the UMX Habu is easily accomplished and it only takes a small amount of down elevator to remain level. The UMX Habu is only slightly less stable when inverted so I often find myself flying inverted for prolonged periods of time. This airframe is very versatile and responds well to many different flight attitudes.

The UMX Habu will easily loop from level flight as long as I don't try to make them too large. The UMX Habu will hold a knife edge fairly long but it will not hold knife edge indefinitely. The UMX Habu performs stall turns easily. Upon release of the rudder for the down line the UMX Habu has very little tail shimmy due to the AS3X system helping to smooth it out. The UMX Habu will perform a fairly decent snap on high rates and comes out of the snap rather quickly. The UMX Habu will easily perform other basic aerobatics in pitch and roll such as Cuban eights, Immelman turns, half Cuban eights and variations on those themes.

To gear or not to gear, there is NO question!

To say that the UMX Habu flies differently without the landing gear on would be an understatement. It flies much better without the landing gear on. First off, it is faster, especially when coming out of dives. It is also more nimble without the gear on. It powers through maneuvers much easier and hold its line better. It also penetrates wind better and is overall more stable with the gear off. Yes, it is cool to be able to take off and land on the wheels but the positives in flight without the gear outweigh those advantages. I already have over 50 flights on my UMX Habu and only 5 of those flights included the landing gear.

Is This For a Beginner?

I would not recommend the UMX Habu for a true beginner. It is rather small, very nimble, and fairly quick for its size. If it is not kept in fairly close it can get small fast. Although it does have AS3X to smooth out its flight, it does not have any self correcting tendencies. A modeler who has mastered a basic trainer should be able to handle basic flight with the UMX Habu.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

UMX Habu 180 DF in heavy wind (4 min 9 sec)

UMX Habu 180 DF (2 min 57 sec)

Conclusion

When the UMX Habu 180 DF BNF basic was announced I was immediately interested. I have the UMX MiG 15 and it has proven to be a great flier in a small package. I am very impressed with my UMX MiG 15 so I was hoping for the same thing with the UMX Habu. Not surprisingly, the UMX Habu has proven to be a great flier. It actually flies somewhat similar to the UMX MiG 15 ... only a little faster and a little more nimble. The addition of AS3X makes the UMX Habu a completely stable platform in the hands of a modeler beyond the beginning stages to the point that it is actually fun to fly in heavy winds. With the addition of the E-flite UMX Habu 180 DF BNF Basic, Horizon hobby continues to lead the way with great flying ultra micro aircraft.

Pluses:

  • Flight characteristics. This airframe is very nimble and the AS3X® system makes flight stable even in fairly windy conditions.
  • Fit and finish. Decals and paint applied well on top of airframe.
  • Completely built as provided.
  • Respectable power with the included system. Great micro jet performance.
  • Clear canopy with micro pilot and cockpit.
  • Landing gear can be easily removed and re-attached.
  • Kit box is also storage and transportation box.
  • Great value

Neutral:

  • A little bit longer flight time would be nice. I average just under 4 minutes with my style of flying.
  • Having an enclosed battery compartment would be nice, instead of just a hole in the bottom of the airframe.
  • A little more power would be nice.
  • I would rather have seen the black painted stripes on the bottom of the airframe be decals in order to match the look of the top of the airframe.

Minuses:

  • Given the fact that there can be some limitations when bringing an ultra micro airframe to market, I am finding it hard to find any "misses". It seems that E-Flite pretty much nailed their design objective.

Special Thanks

Thanks to Kevin Cox for the in-flight photos and to Cheryl Petrilla and Chris Fry for their video services.

Last edited by Angela H; Jul 31, 2014 at 03:58 PM..
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Jul 31, 2014, 11:34 PM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
Very good review Kevin. I got my Habu at SEFF this year and have been tearing up the sky with it ever since. I did several demo flights with it at our July 4th Club Event. Everyone was amazed how stable it was, even in the wind.

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Aug 01, 2014, 10:33 AM
Registered User
kevin's Avatar
Thread OP
thanks! I have a bunch more flights on it now. I actually enjoy flying it in the wind, as seen in the first video
Aug 01, 2014, 12:25 PM
Registered User
wparsons's Avatar
I've had mine for about a year now, and it's still an awesome addition to my hanger!
Aug 01, 2014, 05:28 PM
Registered User
Kevin Cox's Avatar
Nice! After seeing you fly it I purchased my own.
Aug 05, 2014, 01:02 PM
Registered User
Very good review indeed. Complete in every aspect. Question. Can you mix flapoerons since there are two aileron servos. Or does the as3x limit this pissibility?. Not that I would ever need them but ut would be nice to play around with mixes
Aug 05, 2014, 10:20 PM
Zen in the art of foam
djacob7's Avatar
Amazing little plane!
In the vid it took off with wheels and landed without them. What gives?
Aug 06, 2014, 01:22 AM
Registered User
I absolutely love this jet. I wish they'd be just a LITTLE less expensive... say... $99.

Also, offering different colors would be cool...
Aug 06, 2014, 05:34 AM
Registered User
kevin's Avatar
Thread OP
You must have skipped ahead in the videos. Each video has a gear and no gear flight, and a landing with gear about half way through each.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djacob7
Amazing little plane!
In the vid it took off with wheels and landed without them. What gives?
Aug 06, 2014, 08:21 PM
Registered User
Dadawada's Avatar
I'm getting ready to be on my third; the first was lost in an inverted limbo contest at the field (I won!), the 2nd was given away as a gift after letting a new flyer family member fly it, and the third will be picked up this weekend.

I fly with a 300mHa battery which actually increases flight times and makes it balance better in my opinion.

The black and yellow strips on the bottom are a must in my opinion. Only way to tell which way is up many times.

The nose is the weakest link. If you fly in grass and the grass like at our flying field gets a little high some times that long snout will catch like the end of dart on landing and eventually get softened up. I found that using a brush and painting on some foam safe CA really helped keep the nose straight and stiffened up.

I did not find the rudder effective enough to knife edge but will try and increase the travel and attempt again.
Last edited by Dadawada; Aug 06, 2014 at 08:27 PM.
Aug 07, 2014, 12:47 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by pavlis
Very good review indeed. Complete in every aspect. Question. Can you mix flapoerons since there are two aileron servos. Or does the as3x limit this pissibility?. Not that I would ever need them but ut would be nice to play around with mixes
let's see ... anyone?
Aug 10, 2014, 12:40 AM
Registered User
Dadawada's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pavlis
let's see ... anyone?
I don't know about flapperons, but I do know they don't like elevons. Couldn't get my AS3X receiver to work on a delta wing until I read in the manual it couldn't be done.
Aug 10, 2014, 03:19 AM
Registered User
I also know the ar635 won't accept two ailerons...
Jul 11, 2015, 03:12 PM
Registered User
Can't wait for the F-16 version out this summer. Personally I think this yellow flies better than the Navy orange version.

UMX Habu 180 & announcing UMX F-16 AS3X (8 min 14 sec)
Sep 06, 2015, 01:50 AM
Alexander

Habu 180


I'm thinking about getting this plane... The local hobbie store has it on sale for $110 ( I know I should be in their buying it) but I just have a couple questions... What's the estimated top speed? Is it as fast as the UMX beast?(which I currently have, and love), and does the EDF make a big difference over normal prop planes?btw I'm not a newbie pilot... I've been flying for about 3 years and deciding which road to take, 3D or high speed such as jets. I wanna try them both and decide. Thanks for listening.


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