HobbyKing Avios RCGroups Extra 330LX Review

We check out the HobbyKing Avios RCGroups Extra 330LX and put it through its paces at the field. Read on to learn more about this killer looking and flying aerobatic airplane.

Splash

Introduction

Wingspan: 56" (1420mm)
Length: 53" (1350mm)
Flying Weight: 4.28lbs (1940g)
Motor: 4240 600kv Brushless Outrunner
ESC: Aerostar 60A
Prop Size: 14x7 Wood
Servos: (4) 25g Metal Gear
Battery: 4S 2700-4000mAH
Available at: Hobbyking
Price: $319.61

When I first saw Jim Bourke's color scheme for his full size competition Extra 330, I knew it would be an awesome design for an RC model airplane. The colors pop, the scheme is hot, and it should be since it was designed in collaboration with Mirco Pecorari. Then I found out that HobbyKing was going to produce an RC version under the Avios brand and I knew it would be a winner. Avios has been making awesome planes in both quality and flight characteristics for a long time now and it was a perfect fit for the foamy Extra 330LX. HobbyKing sent me one to review and I've been holding on to it waiting for the official public release. Now's the time, so let's dig in and get this review started.

What's in the Box

The plane comes with all the electronics pre-installed and the parts are nicely packed and wrapped for protection during transport. I didn't have a manual at the time of my build and flights, but it has since been released online. Here's a listing of the parts you'll find in the box.

  • Fuselage
  • Wings
  • Horizontal Stab
  • Vertical Stab
  • Side Force Generators
  • Carbon Fiber Spar
  • Wooden Prop
  • Plastic Spinner
  • Landing Gear
  • Tailwheel Assembly
  • Hardware

The nice thing about this plane is that most of work has already been done, like the control surface hinges, servos and power system installation, even the wheels and wheel pants are already installed on the landing gear. Most of assembly requires just a screwdriver, but you'll want a little bit of adhesive for the landing gear cover.

Assembly

This thing is nearly ready to fly and just requires some minor final assembly and radio setup. I started out by screwing the landing gear in place on the bottom of the fuselage. Once the gear was on I attached the foam cover with contact adhesive. Then I installed the two plastic covers with two screws each.

Next I installed the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The horizontal goes on first with a single screw. The stab is tabbed and is self aligning making it super easy to install. The vertical stab is pushed into place and is secured with two screws from the bottom of the fuselage. Once that is done, you can install the tail wheel assembly with two screws and connect the springs to the tailwheel and rudder control horns.

Since the motor and ESC was already installed I went ahead and attached the prop and spinner. You put the spinner hub on first, then the prop, washer, nut and then the spinner top. It all fit perfectly and looks great.

After that I just needed to install the SFG's (side force generators) on the wing tips with two screws each, connect the control linkages for the rudder and elevator, attach the wings, install my receiver and program my radio. The rudder pull pull linkages were already installed and just needed final adjustment to get the correct tension. The hardware used is really nice all around.

The wings don't have any hardware used to attach them to the fuselage which is wonderful! They slide on the carbon tube and lock into place. There is a plastic tab you press to release the wing when ready to disassemble. It really makes putting it together at the field a piece of cake. Note that there is a carbon tube in the box, that at the time without a manual, I had no idea what it was for. Now that the manual is available online, I see that it is an exhaust stack that glues into a hole in the fuselage underneath the nose.

Flying

Basics

With mild control throws, the Extra 330LX is a breeze to fly and very predictable. Take offs are smooth and stable as you would expect with a plane of this size. I wouldn't recommend this as your first aileron airplane, but even low time pilots with aileron experience can handle this beast. However, that's not why you want this plane, you want it to go wild with.

Aerobatics

I've been out of the 3D game for some time, so my skills are little rusty, but I can say this plane can do anything that your thumbs will allow. It rolls fast, snaps great, and spins like a dust devil. I was able to get it to hover, harrier and my favorite rolling harriers. It is a 3D machine, if that's your thing, but you can also dial it back some and do some precision maneuvers as well. The blenders and inverted flat spins look really great as you'll see in the video below. Scale aerobatics are fun and the trim scheme on this place really make it stand out and help with keeping orientation during the flight.

This is all coming from an old out of practice 3D pilot so I'll leave it to the true 3D experts to comment on the intricacies and finer points of how it handles different maneuvers. For me, it was just a blast to have a capable plane to bring me back to my old 3D days.

Landings

I was really surprised with how stable the plane flew and that made landings an easy affair. Just put her down on 3 wheels or 1 if you want to harrier land it, it's totally up to you and your skill set. I didn't have to worry at all about a wing dropping out on approach, it felt solid and locked in all the way to the ground.

Video

Photos

Conclusion

My final thoughts on the HobbyKing Avios RCGroups Extra 330LX are that this is one great 3D scale aerobatic airplane. Avios nailed it on the quality and user experience by making it super easy to put together and fly. The servos are up to the task of high loads with large control throws and the power system has plenty of go juice for unlimited vertical performance. I love the size of the plane and the fact that the wings are so easy to put on and remove. It means that you get a larger plane that is as easy to deal with for travel as a smaller foamy. I'm sure Jim Bourke is proud to see his full size plane's likeness on a scale RC model and it is so cool to have RCGroups and FlyingGiants represented in this way.

You can find the Avios RCGroups Extra 330LX at HobbyKing

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Jan 03, 2018, 11:55 AM
Suspended Account
The color scheme is gorgeous. I especially like the wooden prop. Visually this is a very classy plane. Will this be a good plane for a 3D beginner?
Jan 03, 2018, 03:48 PM
Registered User
tchanter's Avatar
What size battery? How long with that battery?
Jan 03, 2018, 04:19 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
I was using a 4400, but didn't get a chance to test the runtime yet. Too many other things to do for the review to make sure we got photos/video etc. Now the weather is way too cold to fly, but when it warms back up, I'll get some answers on that.
Jan 03, 2018, 04:51 PM
Electrons were young...
Looks nice and appears to fly really well. Unfortunately the price is WAY out there.
Jan 03, 2018, 04:58 PM
Registered User
tchanter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Cole
I was using a 4400, but didn't get a chance to test the runtime yet. Too many other things to do for the review to make sure we got photos/video etc. Now the weather is way too cold to fly, but when it warms back up, I'll get some answers on that.
Thank You - We have the same issue - It's 25 out there!
Jan 03, 2018, 04:59 PM
Registered User
tchanter's Avatar
I have to disagree on the price - just bought one - free shipping no less!
Last edited by tchanter; Jan 03, 2018 at 05:13 PM.
Jan 03, 2018, 05:24 PM
Radioactive Flier
Raylon's Avatar
Ugh....so tempting....I don't want to spend the money but I really want plane, looks fantastic.
Jan 03, 2018, 06:40 PM
StephenHobbyking's Avatar
Hi Jason,

Thank you for the review, this plane took a lot of time to get right and it's well worth it. It's a very nice plane to fly and very forgiving with plenty of power. We have enjoyed flying the Extra, it has been a joy to work on and complete this project.

Regards

Stephen
Avios Brand Manager
Hobbyking
Latest blog entry: Gold
Jan 03, 2018, 06:41 PM
StephenHobbyking's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornfield
The color scheme is gorgeous. I especially like the wooden prop. Visually this is a very classy plane. Will this be a good plane for a 3D beginner?
Thank you.
We are very happy with the completed project.

Stephen
Latest blog entry: Gold
Jan 03, 2018, 06:59 PM
Closed Account
It’s amazing how far these foam ARFs have come in quality, ease of build and flight performance.
Jan 03, 2018, 09:55 PM
Registered User
Looks great. Very impressed.
Jan 04, 2018, 02:41 AM
Registered User
PilotsSummer's Avatar

no sale


This looks like the sort of plane I'd be interested in. Its a nice shape and a good size. I like its transportability with its fast fitting wings.

But I'm not interested in re-buying the electronics every time - I need there to be a version which is less than 100 to which I can fit my existing quality servos and motor etc. Coincidentally re-using electronics would also be good for the planet.

Lesser reason for not buying would be its restricted space for "accessory" gear such as FPV, stabilizers etc. I like a nice big hatch.
Jan 04, 2018, 05:32 AM
Registered User
I am not convinced from the videos, that its good in 3D. But it looks a bit front heavy, and has some wingrock and seems not to like harrier. But it looks great.


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