Flyzone Rapide - RCGroups Review - RC Groups

Flyzone Rapide - RCGroups Review

Rapide; the name conjures up images of smooth lines and plenty of speed. Join us as reiewer Tim King flies the Rapide and discovers if it lives up to it's name!

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan :60 inches
Length:42.5 inches
Weight:2.75 lbs
Receiver:4+ channels
Battery:3s2200
Motor:35-41-950kv
ESC:40A
Typical Flight Duration:5-6 minutes motor run time, 10-12 minutes total
Available From:Tower Hobbies and fine hobby shops everywhere
Price:$219.99

The all new Rapide from Flyzone was designed from the ground up to be fast and affordable. But don't let the price point fool you! It's an extremely durable warmliner constructed of AeroCell foam, and reinforced with carbon fiber and fiberglass.

The Rapide RX-R comes ready to fly, minus the transmitter and receiver, and sports a powerful 35-41-950kV brushless motor, 40 amp esc, and four micro servos installed with control rods set for the maiden flight. Power is tapped from a standard 3s 2200mAh LiPo (not included) and applied to the 13.5" x 7" folding composite propeller. This little speedster requires very little in the way of assembly, making it a painless affair to ready the Rapide for it's first flight.

So join us as reviewer Tim King assembles the Rapide and puts this sport aerobatic plane through it's paces. Let's get started!

Video

Flyzone Rapide - RCGroups Review (4 min 30 sec)

Specs

  • Wingspan: 60"
  • Length: 42.5"
  • Wing Area: 364 sq in
  • Weight: 2.75 lb
  • Wing Loading: 17 oz/sq ft
  • Center of Gravity: 2-1/4 - 3-1/4" from the leading edge of the wing measured at the fuselage
  • Control Throws: Low High
  • Elevator: 1/4" 6 3/8" 9
  • Aileron: 1/2" 17 5/8" 21
  • Rudder: 5/8" 16 7/8" 22
  • Flaps: 1/2 Rate, 1/2" 17 Full Rate, 1" 34

Kit Contents

  • RxR (Receiver Ready) Rapide Performance Glider
  • Brushless Motor,
  • ESC
  • Four Micro Servos
  • Propeller
  • Instruction Manual

Features

  • Construction: AeroCell foam, reinforced with carbon and fiberglass
  • Wing: Two-piece foam, carbon fiber reinforcement, secures to fuselage with M6x55 wing bolt
  • Aileron Control: Dual servo
  • Motor: Brushless 950Kv, 4.6oz
  • ESC: 40A 5V3A BEC output, Star battery connector
  • Servos: Four micro (2-ailerons, 1-rudder, 1-elevator)
  • Propeller: 13.5x7 folding

Also supplied for this review, an Electrifly 3s2200 30C pack

Additional parts I supplied to complete the build:

Radio system (FrSky Horus and an X6r receiver)

Assembly

There isn't a lot to say here, this thing goes together FAST! With pre-hinged surfaces, and pre-installed servos, in 30 minutes, you can go from box to radio programming. All you really have to do is install the full flying stab, bolt up the wing, and install the prop and spinner. The only thing you need to watch is when you install the stab. Be sure to put the spacers on the elevator joiner so you don't experience any binding.

One thing I noted is that depending on you receiver choice, you may need to mount it with Velcro to allow for easier installation and removal of the battery. In order to maintain a low drag profile, the fuselage is narrow. The battery goes in and depending on your preferred CG, will almost butt up against the spar. In my case, it's easier to move the RX to the side to get the battery in place. If I had glued the rx in, it would be tougher to install the battery.

Flying

The Rapide lives up to it's name! The launch was very positive, and even at half throttle, it will jump out of your hand. It climbs aggressively, and control response is positive, if a bit soft (for me) on low rates. High rates feel "just right," though, and really let you get a feel for what this ship is capable of. I found I was most happy with the ailerons on high rate, and the elevator and rudder on mid rates. The manual didn't list a middle rate, but I set mine up so mid rate rudder is 3/4" throw (right in between the suggested low and high) and elevator is 5/16" (again, between the suggested low and high rate.)

The Rapide will knife edge with the rudder on high, so long as you enter it at a decent speed. There isn't a lot of fuselage side area, so you have to take that into account when you start the maneuver.

Where the Rapide really shines is power off! A quick climb to "speck size," shut off the power, and let the fun begin. It carries a good amount of speed, and sounds great as it whistles by. Yep..it whistles! I didn't expect a foam plane to sound like that, and one of the other pilots at the field asked if it was a composite bird after I went zipping by. The whistle comes from ( I think) the cool air inlets in the hard plastic that serves as the motor mount and reinforcement for the nose.

With good energy management, you can easily pull off several loops, rolls, and even a cuban 8 before it's time to hit the throttle and climb out again. Rolls are axial, unless the wind kicks up and knocks you off course, but a little rudder fixes that quickly. Loops can be really big if you want, or you can tighten them up easily. As I mentioned, it will knife edge well, so long as you account for the limited side area.

My review sample didn't come with the optional flap linkage kit, so landings are quick. The Rapide really floats, like you might expect, so you need to plan for that when you set up. Since the ailerons have separate servos, I did set up flaperons, and they helped quite a bit, but having the flaps as they intended would be better, since you can get more throw out of them.. Stalls are always a concern, especially when landing, but the Rapide will fly really slow, and when it does stall, it breaks straight ahead. Quick application of throttle has you flying again.

There are a couple of things to be aware of: you might see some wing flex in a dive, but the manual mentions this and says the Rapide can handle it. The other thing is watch for flutter! The ailerons have a spar in them, but it stops just short of where you can cut the optional flaps free. In a couple of runs, I saw and heard the inboard portion of the ailerons flutter. This plane is capable of some really impressive speeds on the down line, so be aware of that before you roll into a dive from 4-500 feet up!

Conclusion

The Rapide is an awesome plane. I would classify it as a warmliner, and I think it would be a great choice for someone who likes faster planes. It has a pretty wide speed range, and handle very well. It isn't intended to be flown on the throttle the whole time, so that might take some getting used to, but trust me, it's well worth it to learn a new skill. The first time you realize that you can go faster power off than power on, you will be all smiles. I would suggest that you keep a close eye on your battery for the first few flights, until you get a good feel for how much motor run time you safely have. I was getting 5-6 minutes of motor run, but my flights were much longer than that.

While it isn't suitable for beginners, I feel like anyone with some sport plane experience, or a sailplane pilot looking for something to fly when the lift just isn't cooperating, would really enjoy the Rapide. I know I have found it a welcome addition to my hangar!

Pictures

Pluses and Minuses

Pluses

  • The whistle!
  • Uses common batteries
  • Great performance
  • Quick and easy build

Minuses

  • Flap hardware isn't included
  • Wings will flutter under long power off dives
  • Installing the battery may require removing the receiver

I want to thank Hobbico for supply the Rapide for review, Tim "NavionFlyer" Walker for handling the camera duties, and Matt Gunn for his editorial assistance

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Nov 28, 2016 at 06:34 PM..
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Nov 29, 2016, 08:38 AM
Registered User
Bama3Dr's Avatar
Nice review Tim!

- Dustin
Nov 29, 2016, 12:05 PM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
Thanks, Dustin. It's a fun plane to fly
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Dec 02, 2016, 06:33 PM
Crazy Canuck
NEWBEFLYER's Avatar
Doesn't sound like any form of a glider, as Tim stated a warm liner. BRING BACK the Radian (I know there's a BIG wing span ) but the regular Radian was a excellent glider with power to get you up there. Maybe a nice suggestion would be to provide a optional wing that's bigger and will make the Rapide a floating glider ..................but then again with the name alone tells it's a "warm liner" I think it looks OK but not for my type of flying.
The review is great and well done.
Dec 06, 2016, 08:13 PM
Registered User
bstanley72's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWBEFLYER
Doesn't sound like any form of a glider, as Tim stated a warm liner. BRING BACK the Radian (I know there's a BIG wing span ) but the regular Radian was a excellent glider with power to get you up there. Maybe a nice suggestion would be to provide a optional wing that's bigger and will make the Rapide a floating glider ..................but then again with the name alone tells it's a "warm liner" I think it looks OK but not for my type of flying.
The review is great and well done.

Didn't they recently release a new version of the regular Radian?
Dec 07, 2016, 06:36 AM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
The Rapide and the Radian are made by 2 different companies, but yes, the Radian 2.0m is available from Eflite
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Apr 02, 2017, 10:35 PM
Embrace the suck!
Fyathyrio's Avatar
I got my Rapide Wednesday from Tower Hobbies, on sale for ~$140ish, after free shipping and $15 coupon code plus links for flaps. I'm glad I got it on sale as the thing is unfortunately unflyable out of the box. Pulled it out the box today in order to build, and discovered one of the aileron control horns busted off. Additionally, upon closer inspection, I find that the control horns were glued wrong and don't line up with the hinges. Somehow they missed getting the alignment tab into the slot when it was put together, and instead used the spar to align the horn. I also noticed that the clevis on both were tightened to the point that it wouldn't pivot, that's a minor thing to fix, and I will likely go with Dubro links anyway to get something sturdy enough to handle the speeds. Overall not insurmountable issues, but more issues than I would expect from Flyzone.

The elevator has full coverage stickers that seem almost like some sort of shrink film, nice touch...I hope. Also some lengths of ~1mm fiberglass rod glued in here and there for stiffening. Overall looking forward to fixing the issues and throwing this one at the sky.


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