Horizon Hobby E-flite Valiant 1.3m - RCGroups Review - RC Groups

Horizon Hobby E-flite Valiant 1.3m - RCGroups Review

Horizon's new E-flite Valiant 1.3m airframe is perfect for that float fly-in you have been wanting to attend. Let's hit the water with Mean Joe and check it out!


E-flite Valiant 1.3m

Product:E-flite Valiant 1.3m BNF BASIC
Retail price:$199.99
Float Option:$24.99
Wing Span:53"
Motor:960kv brushless
Battery:1300-3000 3s Lipo ( not included)
Receiver:AR636a AS3X w/SAFE Select
Available from:Horizon Hobby

Based on the much larger Hanger 9 Valiant 30cc ARF, this 1.3m Z-Foam little brother has all the stability you would expect out of a high-wing airframe, with the added features of a full on AS3X 3 -axis gyro system.

With its modern lines and sport aerobatic capabilities, it's sure to become a favorite at you local field or lake. Let's join Mean Joe as he takes a closer look at this great flying little high-wing.

On the Bench

The 1.3m E-flite Valiant arrived at Mean Joe's house in a well packed box with no damage at all. The separate Float Set also arrived safely packaged and ready to install. The float set is an option, but at $25 bucks, for Mean Joe it was a must have.

This being the BNF Basic version, the E-Flite 1.3m Valiant came with all of the electronics pre-installed including the AR636a AS3X w/SAFE SELECT receiver. Couple that with the well-written manual and it took Mean Joe no time at all to get her ready for the water. Everything fit nicely and I had no issues with the assembly at all; you should have no issue getting it going in 20-30 minutes easily.

Flight Review

Once I had the E-flite 1.3m Valiant assembled, it was time to head right to the lake! As I said, for me the float set up was not an option. With its high-wing design and stability, it just has to have the floats.

Now that we are on the water, it's time to get her in the air! With the installed 960kv outrunner and 30a ESC, she has plenty of power to handle the water take offs. The only thing I would suggest adjusting is the throw on the rudder. I wasn't happy with the turning ability, so I went into my DX9 and programmed it out to max throws to increase the on-water steering authority. Once I had those adjustments made, she handled much better while on the water. Other than the rudder and some dual rates, there were no other adjustments to make but a few clicks of trim.

I would like to see Horizon come out with a float set for this range of float planes that has a working water rudder. This would increase the turning abilities while on water quite a bit.

Once off the water the flight performance of the 1.3m Valiant was really very impressive. Even with the added weight of the float set, it flew very smoothly and stable. The AS3X w/ SAFE SELECT technology, again, did a great job of smoothing out each flight, so she flies like a much larger airframe; this plane could literally be used as a trainer for float flying. With the built in SAFE Select modes, a flip of the switch will self right the airframe in the event of a loss of orientation. It's a simple change in the binding procedure to bind in SAFE mode on, or SAFE mode off. If the manual is followed, you should have no issues getting SAFE set up to your liking.

When learning how to take off and land on water it's great to have an airframe with the stability of the Valiant. Many trips in the "boat of shame" will be avoided!

Once I had a few "wings level" laps under my belt, it was time to check out the aerobatic abilities. I quickly found out that with high-rates programmed into my DX9, the E-flite 1.3m Valiant is every bit as capable as its bigger brother. Loops, rolls, stall turns, hammerheads, and knife edge were preformed with more then enough power to accomplish all, with power to spare! I turned over no bad tendencies at all with this airframe, and with the built in SAFE features activated it limits the bank angles so that even the more novice pilots out there should have no problems with handling the Valiant.

Review Video

Horizon Hobby E-flite Valiant 1.3m - RCGroups Review (4 min 19 sec)

In Closing

In closing, the E-flite 1.3m Valiant from Horizon Hobby is a great flying intro in to the world of float-equipped park flyers. With its high-wing and stability features, the 1.3m Valiant should be a very popular airframe for both the novice wanting a great flying float plane, or the more experienced pilot looking to add to their hanger a great looking sport aerobatic airframe with float fly capability.

So if you are in the market for a stable flying float plane with a great look that you can throw in the car and head to the lake with, then the Eflite 1.3m Valiant with floats is the way to go! ~Mean Joe

More Info

For more information on the E-flite 1.3m Valiant and the gear used, check out these links:

E-flite 1.3m Valiant


Float Set


Last edited by Matt Gunn; Aug 01, 2017 at 10:54 AM..
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Jul 20, 2017, 09:19 AM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
Great Review MJV. Gotta luv that AS3X! My Valiant definitely flies like a much bigger plane and the feeling that the plane is "Locked In" is incredible. Horizon has really nailed the fine tuning on the AS3X settings in the Valiant. I thought the Timber 1.5 flew well, but the Valiant takes it to a whole nother level.

I haven't put the floats on my Valiant yet, but it was nice to see that Horizon included the float mounting frames with the kit. The only comment I've heard so far is folks questioning the controllability on the water. Since the recommended floats do not have any water rudders, many have asked about the water handling characteristics. In your video, it looks like the air rudder works just fine in calm conditions, but can you comment on how well the floats work in slightly windier conditions?

Last edited by kingsflyer; Jul 20, 2017 at 10:17 AM.
Jul 20, 2017, 10:18 AM
Sagitta Fanboy
It's worth noting that the Valiant is very efficient, if you're even moderately easy on the throttle you can get very long flight times on even a 1300mAh battery. I regularly see 8-10 minutes from my 1300 packs.
Jul 20, 2017, 10:44 AM
Rampage's Avatar
I still really wish they'd done this one in balsa. It would've been a perfect choice for balsa, especially considering the big one is balsa.

Maybe they'll give us a balsa Valiant 25e? Hope hope hope.
Jul 20, 2017, 11:33 AM
Sagitta Fanboy
Originally Posted by Rampage
I still really wish they'd done this one in balsa. It would've been a perfect choice for balsa, especially considering the big one is balsa.

Maybe they'll give us a balsa Valiant 25e? Hope hope hope.
I like that it's in foam for the size. This is a wee 480-powered ship.

A balsa 25e would be awesome.
Jul 20, 2017, 03:57 PM
Registered User
r/cdawg's Avatar
Nice review and nice flying Joe.

I agree the Valiant is a blast flying with floats as I've been really enjoying flying mine. I too maxed out the control throws in my DX8 and other than switching to the Eflite 11.75 x 7 prop mine is completely stock. I'd say it does ok.

Eflite Valiant 1.3m on floats sunset flight (4 min 52 sec)
Jul 20, 2017, 11:49 PM
Registered User
Hi guys,

I just finished installing floats on my Valiant 1.3 for my club's monthly float fly next Saturday. The Valiant is outstanding on conventional gear, I can't wait to fly it on floats!

I do have one concern, I'm not sure how well the plastic float hardware will hold up if I remove and reinstall the floats every month for the float fly. The Valiant is too good to leave on floats and only be able to fly it that way once a month.
What to do, what to do......
Jul 23, 2017, 04:32 PM
Registered User
Four flights on floats yesterday. The Valiant flys just as well on floats as it does on regular gear. One thing, make sure you use the float struts included with the Valiant kit, not the float struts included with the float kit! The Valiant kit struts have the proper opening for the battery to pass through, and are a little taller.
Jul 28, 2017, 09:26 PM
deltapilot's Avatar
What size wheels come stock on this?
Jul 31, 2017, 10:55 AM
Registered User
Mean Joe Vermillion's Avatar
Originally Posted by deltapilot
What size wheels come stock on this?
I would say 2". Is didn't think to measure them during the review. I will tell you I fly off a grass field and it handles very well on grass.
Latest blog entry: Building Season!
Jul 31, 2017, 09:43 PM
Registered User
I just measured my Valiant 1.3m wheels. They are 2.5 inches in diameter. Some folks on the other thread have used bigger wheels from the Timber without pants on the Valiant. I take off from smooth asphalt and the stock wheels do fine.
Aug 01, 2017, 11:07 PM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
I flew my Valiant on floats this morning and I must say that it had plenty of power. It was still pretty much unlimited vertical even with the floats.

Water handling was my main concern since the floats have no water rudders. Under calm conditions, the air rudder is very effective and the Valiant handled well on the water. However, as the wind picked up, the plane became harder and harder to steer. Even using High Rates on the air rudder, the plane wanted to weather vane and it was hard to steer cross wind and down wind. I will see if I can install some water rudders before I fly the Valiant on floats again.

Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Apr 07, 2018, 05:16 PM
They call me Lipo...
Justwingit's Avatar

Valiant shakedown flight with Chris Puckett!

Now here's a VERY one-of-a-kind video: the Valiant's designer CHRIS PUCKETT performs a shakedown flight on a Valiant he has just assembled for demo purposes at last year's Southeast Electric Flight Festival (SEFF) in Americus Georgia !

Watch as he puts the model through her paces and comments on the development process....very special indeed !
E-flite Valiant 1.3m - SHAKEDOWN FLIGHT with designer CHRIS PUCKETT! SEFF 2017 (7 min 33 sec)

Enjoy this unique look at the Valiant and the one who designed it !!!

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