|E-flite Timber on Floats|
|Wing Area:||559.5 sq in|
|Wing Loading:||7.45 oz/sq ft|
|Servos:||(6) 9g Micro|
|Radio:||Minimum 6 Channel DSMX/DSM2|
|Battery:||2200 to 3200 mAh 3S LiPo|
|Motor:||10 BL Outrunner 1300 kV|
|Prop:||12x4 2- blade|
|Transmitter:||Spektrum Dx18 G2 & DX6e|
|Available From:||Horizon Hobby through your local hobby shop|
|Street Price:||$249.99 BNF Basic, $219.99 PNP|
This is the continuation of the Horizon Hobby E-flite Timber 1.5m BNF - RCGroups Review. The first part of the Review covered the general assembly details for the plane and the flight evaluation of the Timber on those great big Tundra tires.
Like I stated in the first part of the Review, I live on a lake and the primary reason for getting the Timber was to be able to fly it in my "front yard" on floats. I first saw the Timber flying at SEFF 2016 and it flew so well on the floats, I knew I had to have a Timber in my hangar. The fact that E-flite included the floats with the kit just made the deal that much sweeter.
I've been waiting a long time to get this Timber out on the water, so it's time to shed those Tundra tires and mount up those great looking EDO style floats.
The 21-page illustrated Instruction Manual details the brief assembly process for the RTF and BNF versions and it gives important programming instructions for the various Spektrum transmitters that will bind to the system. The manual also contains important information on arming and operating the SAFE Select receiver system in the Timber.
The assembly process for the floats began on page 8 of the manual. The first order of business was sorting out the float struts and determining which strut was made for the front of the floats and which strut was made for the rear. The strut with the most bend was the front strut.
Removing the four float plates exposed the slots for the float struts and the horizontal cross members. First the cross members were slipped into their holes in the floats and then the struts were inserted into their grooved slots. The cross members had a small hole near each end that had to be lined up with the plate mounting screw hole in each float. Once the cross member holes were properly aligned, the float plates could be secured to the floats. The diagonal support members were mounted to the inner holes on the rear mounting plates. The included screw heads were easily stripped out, so I used some lip balm to help lubricate the screw threads before I screwed them into the plate.
The assembly process was now complete, so I took a few seconds to admire the finished product. I especially liked the hard point inserts on the keel of each float as well as the twin spring loaded rudders.
These EDO style floats looked spectacular!
The next step was mounting the float assembly to the fuselage. The rear mounting slot was covered by a bracket and secured with two screws. Once the bracket was removed, the rear struts could be inserted into the slot and the bracket remounted.
The front strut was inserted in a matching slot in the fuselage, but it was retained by the diagonal cross member rather than a bracket. The wheel suspension spring mounting bolts were reused to attach the diagonal braces.
The water rudders were activated by a pair of lines connected to the pull-pull horn on the air rudder. The horn had swivel attachment points with set screws to hold the metal pins at the end of each of the control lines. I used a drop of thread locking compound on each set screw and set the pins to extend half way through the swivels. Once the set screws were properly tightened, it was time to center the air rudder and adjust each control line to properly center each water rudder. The provided control lines were far too short, so I had to unwind some of the line from each of the water rudder control horns. Luckily there was plenty of extra line length on each control line. Once the water rudders were centered, I used the excess line length to wrap through the water rudder holes to firmly secure the rudders in place.
Once the control lines were adjusted, the process of swapping from wheels to floats and back again would be very easy. I estimated that it would take about 5 minutes to remove the wheels and install the floats and adjust the water rudders. Removing the floats and installing the wheels would only take about 3 minutes. However, if this Timber flies as good as it looks on floats, I might as well just sell the Tundra tires, because they are never going back on the fuselage.
The completed Timber weighed 3 lbs 10 ounces, with the 2200 mAh battery, RTF. The plane balanced 65mm back from the leading edge of the wing with the battery installed all the way forward in the battery compartment.
I left the control surface throws set to the recommended throws:
The motor pulled 35.3 Amps and indicated 403 Watts static power at WOT. The power level calculated out to 117 Watts per pound. This Timber on floats should have plenty of power.
The E-flite Timber is advertised as a STOL plane with AS3X stabilization and SAFE Select capabilities. It should take off and land on the water in a short distance, fly rock steady, and self level and limit travel to help beginners learn to fly. Let's see if this Timber lives up to the hype when we attach the floats.
Slow takeoffs and landings are the heart and soul of a STOL airplane and the float equipped Timber still excels at both. The extra drag and weight of the floats slowed the plane down slightly and the increased wing loading required a little more power on landings. However, the takeoffs with full flaps still occurred in less than 2 feet and the water landings slid to a stop in less than 8 feet. The Timber on floats still had good power. I wouldn't hover, but it was plenty lively. I still had to throttle back and push the stick forward to level off after full power takeoffs with full flaps. The slotted slats worked great and the added weight of the floats was barely noticeable. The Timber was easy to taxi on the water and the dual water rudders held the plane on course even when taxied cross wind. The spray rails on each float worked very well and kept the water spray off of the prop at all power settings.
In AS3X mode, I found that the Timber on floats was still a very capable sport model. It was able to easily perform all the typical sport model aerobatic maneuvers. Rolls, loops, inverted flight, stall turns, snap rolls, and figure eights were all easily accomplished. With the STOL strips in place, inverted flight took a lot of down elevator, but there was enough travel left to perform outside loops. The AS3X and the extra drag of the floats limited the spins a bit, but that wasn't all bad.
Absolutely! The SAFE technology was developed specifically to help beginners learn to fly. In SAFE mode, the Timber will self level and limit attitude changes to prevent unintended loops or inverted flight. With a SAFE Select switch enabled, the Timber can be flown in normal AS3X mode and switched into SAFE mode as needed. This is a great aid to help beginners transition as their skills increase and can even be used as a "Panic" button to help recover if the beginner becomes disoriented.
The E-flite Timber looked magnificent on its floats in the early morning Texas sunshine. The winds were calm and the water was like glass as Jesse Webb slipped behind the lens of the Nikon for the still shots. Here are some pictures from the first flights of the E-flite Timber on its beautiful floats.
Jesse Webb switched over to the Camcorder for the flight video and he commented that the float equipped Timber sure looked nice through the viewfinder.
|E-flite Timber on Floats - RCGroups Video Review (9 min 19 sec)|
This new E-flite Timber on floats is spectacular! The floats look wonderful and the water performance is superb. AS3X stabilization makes it an easy flying sport model and SAFE technology makes it perfect for Beginner pilots. SAFE Select allows the pilot to choose between AS3X stabilization and SAFE modes with the simple flip of a switch. The Timber's leading edge slats and the slotted flaps allow this plane to fly at amazingly SLOW speeds even with the added drag and weight of the floats. With just a little practice, takeoffs and landings can be accomplished in some amazingly short distances on the water. The E-flite 10 motor gives the Timber spritely performance even with the floats attached. The E-flite Timber is just the plane I was looking for to fly off the lake in my front yard. This Timber should give me lots of STOL touch and goes and many hours of relaxed float flying fun for many years to come.
I'd like to thank Horizon Hobby and E-flite for providing the Timber for this review. Thanks to Jesse Webb for helping with the photos and video, and thanks to Matt Gunn for his editing assistance.Last edited by Matt Gunn; Mar 17, 2017 at 10:48 AM..
The Timber flies so well with the floats, you may just want to take a pair of side cutters to the tail wheel to solve that problem.
Of course you could also just grind off the whole tail wheel assembly from the rudder and put servos in each float.
I think I may leave my tail wheel in place just in case I ever want to reinstall the Tundra Tires.
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