Horizon Hobby/E-flite X-Vert Review

RCGroups takes the X-vert to the field and shows you how it flies! A VTOL that is easy to fly and tons of fun. Take this little aircraft anywhere - indoors or out - for multirotor or wing flying!


The X-Vert VTOL - Crazy Fun!

Thanks to the mind of David Payne and the Horizon/E-flite team, we have a killer new style of aircraft to enjoy! I have flown a VTOL or two in the past but never one that was this easy to fly and this much fun right out of the box! I was excited to have been invited to the release of the X-Vert and be one of the first civilians (non Horizon employee) to fly one! I had fun with it at the Horizon facility but Jason Cole and I had even more fun at our home field here in TN. Here is my report on how it goes together and flies.

The X-Vert can take off and land vertically like a multirotor. The hard work is done for you via the SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology built into the X-Vert. VTOL aircraft traditionally are not easy to transition, but I'm happy to report the X-Vert can transition with almost no inputs. Hit the switch and off it goes. You can check this out in our video.

Horizon/E-flite X-vert Review - RCGroups.com (19 min 45 sec)

Simplicity and Durability

The X-Vert is a tail-sitter design and the stabilization technology allows it to fly like an airplane or a multirotor using only differential thrust and its elevons. I asked about the size and was told it is at its current weight and size to stay durable. It's light enough to take a good hit and heavy enough to still fly in wind. I found that out when I flew it in some crazy winds at Eli Field. I'm talking about wind that makes the wind sock stick straight out!

Multiple Ways to Fly...Easily

With onboard AS3X tech, flying the X-Vert in multirotor mode is super easy. It's so stable I flew it in a conference room. It's the kind of aircraft that you can put in front of you and fly it wherever you want. You can see me do it in the RCG X-Vert video.

Multirotor to Wing (with the flip of a switch)

The flight controller automatically transitions the aircraft using SAFE technology to stabilize everything so you can relax and have fun. You can see in the video that we literally flip the switch without our fingers on the sticks and the X-Vert flies away effortlessly. That was not the case in the early VTOL days!!

Flight Modes

Multirotor Stability Mode

This mode allows you to take off and land vertically like a multirotor aircraft. It's also great for indoor flight. In this mode the aircraft's tail remains pointed at the ground while the flight controller uses a combination of differential thrust and elevons to control pitch, bank and rotation. Pitch and bank angles are limited, and SAFE technology will work to keep the model in a stable hover whenever you release the sticks.

Airplane Stability Mode

This is a great airplane mode for the beginner. Even if you're a stick banger, the X-vert is controllable. I would, and have, trusted pilots with any degree of RC experience to fly the X-Vert in this mode. The SAFE technology limits pitch and bank angles so new pilots can experience airplane flight without accidentally rolling upside down or losing control. It will also return the wings to level whenever the sticks are released.

Just make sure you have enough area to turn since banking is limited.

Airplane Acro Mode with AS3X - SUPER FUN

If you want to rip up the sky, this is your mode. I call it 3rd gear! There are no angle limits or self-leveling. The large elevons will allow you to perform incredibly tight turns, super fast bullet rolls, and other crazy aerobatic maneuvers. The forward thrust of two brushless motors create tons of speed and power to spare. Jason Cole was really enjoying the differential thrust of the motors for yaw control to perform wild spinning and tumbling maneuvers.

Horizon has really tweaked the AS3X technology and it makes this little plane fly like a big one. I never noticed it feeling like a gyro. I just noticed that the X-Vert flies great!

Trim Schemes

I'm pretty picky about trim schemes but there are plenty to choose from and you can mix and match. I'm loving the red/black scheme.


There is an FPV component to this unit but it wasn't available when our units were sent out. I'm exited to give an update when that does come out.

Key Features

  • Multirotor versatility and sport plane agility
  • Takes off and lands vertically in small areas
  • Fly slow or fast and perform aerobatics in airplane mode
  • Can be hand launched and belly-landed like a conventional wing
  • Simple tail-sitter design and SAFE technology makes VTOL flying easy
  • Stability and Acro modes that provide a wide range of flight performance
  • Accepts the patent-pending, servo-driven FPV camera mount (sold separately)
  • 280-size brushless motors compatible with 2S 450-800mAh LiPo batteries
  • Outstanding speed and climb performance
  • Lightweight and extremely durable EPO airframe
  • Colorful decal sheet with multiple trim scheme options
  • Ready to fly within minutes of opening the box
  • Propeller guards and vertical fins that are easy to install or remove
  • RTF includes a pre-programmed Spektrum DXe transmitter - no setup required
  • RTF includes a 2S 7.4V 800mAh LiPo battery, DC balancing charger and AC adapter

Needed to Complete Basic Version

For the RTF version, nothing! Everything you need is included in the box. For the BNF Basic version a full-range, 6+ channel transmitter equipped with Spektrum DSMX/DSM2 technology, a 450-800mAh 2S 7.4V LiPo battery and a compatible charger are required.

Final Thoughts

I'm lucky because I was able to fly the X-Vert moments after I saw it. Some folks on the internet were leary of it's capabilities, but I can tell you that everyone that has flown it has not only liked it but understood why there was so much hoopla! In our video Jason Cole admits he was not sure what to think of the X-Vert and after our day at the field he was sold. It's his new bird to carry to events like "The Bruce" and fly after hours.

I was handed one of the prototypes to fly by my old friend, and designer, David Payne. "Are you sure?" was my reply. I was amazed at how simple something this complicated was to fly. In MR mode it is super easy. It does get a little tricky if you get it turned around but you get the hang of it pretty quick. The transition to forward flight is pretty amazing. It just works for you. Once you are in forward flight any beginner could fly it in mode 2. When you "shift to 3rd" things get really interesting!! It has a hyper-fast roll rate and those two powerful motors allow you to do all kinds of interesting things!

The X-Vert is pure fun and no stress. I'm excited to get the FPV unit installed and try that out as well. That's a lot of cool in one package!

Learn More

Head over to Horizon to learn more about the X-Vert and secure one for yourself!!

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Aug 23, 2017, 06:07 PM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
I'll admit, I was skeptical when I saw the reveal, but I ended up buying one and I LOVE it. It's a great departure from the norm, and small enough to take anywhere. After more flights than I can count, I have really developed a fondness for this thing. It's earned a permanent place in my truck for every trip to the field!

I also am looking forward to adding FPV to mine.
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Aug 24, 2017, 10:59 AM
Forward ever, backward never!
Brainstorm's Avatar
Jim T.: Thanks for your exhaustive review of the X-Vert! On release, it sounded like a cool idea, and was very tempting. However, I was really waiting for a 3rd party review.

Originally Posted by IFLYOS
I'll admit, I was skeptical when I saw the reveal, but I ended up buying one and I LOVE it. It's a great departure from the norm, and small enough to take anywhere. After more flights than I can count, I have really developed a fondness for this thing. It's earned a permanent place in my truck for every trip to the field!
Sounds like a ringing endorsement, IFLYOS. There's nothing like real-life feedback from an actual user.
Aug 24, 2017, 11:22 AM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
Thread OP
I'm an actual user too! HA!
Aug 24, 2017, 11:46 AM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
Originally Posted by Jim T. Graham
I'm an actual user too! HA!
As real as they get!
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Aug 24, 2017, 11:57 AM
Forward ever, backward never!
Brainstorm's Avatar
Originally Posted by Jim T. Graham
I'm an actual user too! HA!
LOL! Guess I think of you and Jason as sophisticated professional users, as opposed to common amateur hobbyists.

Jason and the guitar guy are users, too. That makes a total of four (4) positive user reports.
Aug 25, 2017, 07:25 AM
Registered User
ducatirdr's Avatar
I would like to see a follow up on your X-Vert review. How about reviewing the FPV/servo set up and installation. Having the FPV camera tilt 90 for drone to wing mode is such a unique option. I'm curious how hard it is to install and fly FPV using that setup.
Aug 25, 2017, 07:45 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
We're hoping to get the FPV sets, but they weren't available when the planes were sent to us.
Aug 25, 2017, 04:09 PM
Banned in Britain
Colt SAA's Avatar
How high will this thing go?
Aug 26, 2017, 09:34 AM
Registered User
ducatirdr's Avatar
Originally Posted by Colt SAA
How high will this thing go?
I've specked mine out. It doesn't take that much height to get it there as the thing is pretty small and at a distance hard to see orientation. Best if you keep it close. BTW I use a Turnigy Graphene 950mAh 2S 65C LiPo Pack w/ JST-SYP-2P. It is a tight fit but it flies just fine with plenty of power. I probably get 7 minutes or more out of a battery but I don't fly wide open all the time.
Sep 10, 2017, 11:56 PM
Registered User
XtremeWingRC's Avatar
Neat as hell! I gotta get one. Finally something that is smooth when transitioning.
Been waiting for years for something like this.
Sep 11, 2017, 01:41 AM
Cool stuff that flies.
That's cool! feels the pricing is bit high.. but it deferentially enters to my wish list
May 15, 2019, 02:29 PM
Registered User
Excuse the post to an old thread - but FliteTest has these (BNF version) on sale now for about $44. Shipping is a bit high IMHO, but $63 delivered is still a bargain. As an experienced r/c fixed wing and helicopter pilot, it felt a bit strange to fly. It takes some different piloting techniques to go through the mode transition(s), but it really does fly well. Doesn't seem like this aircraft really caught on well, though, as I'd never heard of it until a friend mentioned it to me at the 1/3 of list price.
Aug 10, 2019, 07:13 PM
Registered User

Horizon X-Vert donít waste your money

I had an X-Vert that I purchased recently direct from Horizon Europe. The first time I flew it after following all the pre flight checks. On take of all seemed fine the all of a sudden it went out of control and started to fly off. I frantically moved all the controls to try and get it back. I regained some control but not to stop it flying into a tree. The second flight after carrying out checks again was all ok at first then on the return circuit it went out of control and this time it was further away and I could not bring it back and it got further and further away. I spent two hours trying to find it but no luck it was gone. I was reading through some reviews and there have been other incidents the same. In fact Merchant RC replaced on with same problem because Horizon did not want to know. That is the same with me they accused me of making it up. Well I now have no plane and Iím not going to buy another on.

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