|Wingspan :||60 inches|
|Typical Flight Duration:||5-6 minutes motor run time, 10-12 minutes total|
|Available From:||Tower Hobbies and fine hobby shops everywhere|
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!
|Flyzone Rapide - RCGroups Review (4 min 30 sec)|
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)
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.
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!
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!
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 assistanceLast edited by Matt Gunn; Nov 28, 2016 at 07:34 PM..
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?
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