Horizon Hobby E-flite Timber on Floats - RCGroups Review

The new E-flite Timber has shed its Tundra tires and slipped on a beautiful set of EDO style floats. The leading edge slats and slotted flaps remain in place and will make for some spectacular short takeoffs and landings. Let's take a closer look at this beauty on floats!

Splash

Introduction

E-flite Timber on Floats
Wingspan:61.0 in
Length:40.9 in
Wing Area:559.5 sq in
Weight:50.3 oz
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
Manufacturer:E-flite
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.

Assembly

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.

Float Assembly

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!

Float Installation

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.

Water Rudder Rigging

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.

Wheels to Floats and Floats to Wheels

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.

Completion

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:

  • Ailerons - +/- 35mm High Rates, +/- 22mm Low Rates
  • Elevators - +/- 22mm High Rates, +/- 16mm Low Rates
  • Rudder - +/- 30mm High Rates, +/- 20mm Low Rates
  • Flaps - 35mm Full Flaps, 20mm Half Flaps

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.

Flying

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.

Taking Off and Landing

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.

Aerobatics

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.

Is This For a Beginner?

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.

Flight Photo Gallery

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.

Flight Video

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)

Conclusion

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.

Pluses

  • The EDO Style Floats Look Great
  • Twin Water Rudders for Easy Water Handling
  • STOL Performance on Floats
  • AS3X Stabilization Keeps Things Smooth
  • SAFE Mode for Beginners
  • SAFE Select for Access to Both Modes
  • Leading edge slats and flaps included
  • Ample Power
  • Bright LED Landing, Nav, and Strobe Lights

Minuses

  • Water Rudder Control Lines were not factory adjusted to length.

Thanks

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..
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Mar 17, 2017, 01:08 PM
Registered User
Great video and a great plane. It's on my wish list for sure!!!
Mar 17, 2017, 03:32 PM
Registered User
Bill Glover's Avatar
Maybe just me, but tailwheel plus floats looks so wrong!

I'd have to figure out another way to drive the water rudders
Mar 17, 2017, 09:15 PM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
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.

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Mar 21, 2017, 06:40 PM
Who are these that fly?
UpNup's Avatar
Did you have to waterproof the electronics? I've used CorrosionX with good results.
Mar 21, 2017, 10:54 PM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
I've used CorrosionX for years with great results. I haven't treated any of the components of the Timber though.

McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28


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