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Horizon Hobby E-flite F-27 Evolution Review

Join me as I build, bind, and fly the F-27 Evolution. We start out with some LOS sport flying and then we get serious with a 4s pack for some hyper-sonic FPV flights!

Splash

I'm sure some of you out there have flown the Stryker of days past. The mods to that wing seemed to be endless. When Horizon called and asked who would want to review the new F-27 Evolution I knew it was going to be me. I offhandedly commented that I would need to figure out how to get an FPV camera on it. That's when I found out that E-flite thought of that already and had an optional nose piece with a camera and 150mw video transmitter built right in!

I took a trip to Horizon last year and sat in Matt Andren's office as they brought in prototypes for me to check out. I actually held the F-27 prototype that day. This newest rendition of the Stryker has some new tricks up its sleeve. Most notably is the power system on 4s. This thing had Jason Cole laughing with glee. He said being in the goggles was like flying a fighter jet! The build is amazingly easy and takedown is simple and requires no tools. Pop the FPV nose cone on and you have a backseat plane that you can take anywhere and fly sport, fast or in the goggles.

When you see the FPV video with 3s and 4s options you might be blown away. On 3s the Evolution can attain speeds of 85 MPH but when you drop in a 4s you can get her up to 105 MPH and in the goggles that feels like 300 MPH!!

This wing can be flown very mild or very wild (as shown in the video). The rolls are super fast, it can high alpha, and do elevators. The EPO foam is tough and the plastic skid plates are there in case you land on asphalt.

E-flite F-27 Evolution RCGroups.com - Review (26 min 39 sec)

Specs

  • Approximate Assembly Time: Less than 1 Hour
  • Flying Weight: 28.0-29.0 oz (800-825g)
  • Length: 24.1 in (612mm)
  • Material: EPO
  • Motor Size: 10-Size Brushless Outrunner (installed)
  • Recommended Motor Battery: 1800-2200mAh 4S or 2200-2500mAh 3S Li-Po Flight Battery with EC3 Connector (sold separately)
  • Wing Area: 373 sq in (24.1 sq dm)
  • Wingspan: 37.1 in (943mm)
  • Price : $179.99

Launch

Launching this could not be much easier. With the AS3X SAFE Select engaged you can throw this wing with confidence. Jason and I both would throw the F27 and then power up after it was out of our hand. As soon as it was away we would switch off the SAFE feature. We also launched without SAFE and that went fine as well. You could do this in the goggles or throw in SAFE and pull your goggles down.

3s Vs 4s

Do you like to cruise around in the sky? Are you going for a mellow, serene feeling while in the sky? Then a 3s pack is for you with this plane. Anything from a 1400 to 2200 will work.

Are you an adrenaline junky with a need for serious speed? Slap a 4s in the Evolution and hold on!! Whether LOS (line of sight) or flying FPV, this wing SCREAMS on 4s.

The FPV Nose Cone

Is it the golden age of FPV? It is for me. As soon as I saw this I was thinking about how I would get my FPV cam on it. Of course, the Horizon team had already worked that out.

The FPV Nose: F-27 Evolution (EFL5608) features a 150mW video transmitter. I don't have any info on the camera. It does have a wide FOV (as seen in the video above). While it isn't a super high TVL it certainly does this job. It's just so easy to add this on and get in the air. Watch this video and see what you think. For my needs it suites the Evolution perfectly.

Full Line of Parts and Accesories

I wanted to point out that you can purchase just about anything for this wing if you need a replacement. From the motor, to fuse. to wings, they have it here.

Flying Photos

Handy Downloads

You can download the SPM file here to use on your Spektrum radio.

Here is a link to the PDF.

Final Thoughts

I'm always on the hunt for something to recommend to pilots that ask me what they should get. The F-27 Evolution really checks off a lot of boxes. The box it ships in is obviously designed to also be used as a carrier. I can tell you that is a big plus from experience. Putting this wing together is a literal "snap." Taking it apart is just as easy.

With the AS3X onboard it is easy to fly for a beginner and sport pilot. Add a 4s cell and it is a shot of adrenaline for an expert pilot. If Jason Cole wants it, you know it must fly great. Add to that the optional FPV nose cone and now you have a super easy to fly FPV platform. Once again, you can FPV nice and slow or feel like a jet pilot.

Finally, and this is a big one, the price is well within the sweet spot of a "have to buy" airplane. I think E-flite has hit a home run with this one and they should be flying off the shelves. I'm betting you will see a slew of these at Joe Nall.

If you think that you might want one I would tell you to just go ahead and hit that buy button.

Jason Cole on the F-27 Evolution

"Man, that was AWESOME!" That's what I said after flying the F-27 via FPV. You saw it at the end of Jim's video where I go "a rippin and a tearin" for a few hot laps around our field. I've flown quite a few FPV wings over the years and even compete with racing wings, but this was different. I was so locked into the plane on the first flight that it surprised me. I remember the launch and then I remember pushing the throttle to the max and was blown away at how fast the ground started to move below me. It was an adrenaline rush! I'm not sure what the speed was, but it was moving along, likely around 100MPH or faster, but the best part was how controllable it was. I could bob and weave around the ball field light poles, I could roll as fast or as slow as I wanted and I could tuck in next to the tree line. You point it at something and you're there in a hurry.

I loved how responsive it was. A few times I came really close to the light poles, but a quick move on the sticks and the plane instantly darted out of the way. It wasn't an "oh crap!" move either, it was more of a fighter jet flying through a canon kind of feeling. It was awesome!! After I landed, I was smiling big and couldn't stop talking about how much fun that just was. It makes me want to buy one and that was just the first flight! I had all the feels again watching the DVR footage back and it still makes me smile. As far as high-speed FPV goes, the F-27 gets two thumbs up from me.

Learn More

Head over to the Horizon site for pricing and more info on this great wing.

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Thread Tools
May 11, 2018, 10:25 AM
Registered User
excellent review and sweet flying!!
I second the Velcro addition for the battery had one shift aft on me once, saved the plane but it was a challenge to fly

C
May 12, 2018, 08:48 AM
Registered User
I lost my new F-27 in a massive thermal. I completely lost sight of it, it went so high. I should have reacted with a little more urgency, but I was confident, or should I say overconfident. I looked everywhere in the area, but no luck. I just can't explain how I could have lost sight of it. I ordered a new one, but the battery special is no longer in effect.
May 12, 2018, 05:18 PM
Rabid Rabbir
PookaHat's Avatar
2 questions:
How does this compare to the Opterra in flight and FPV?
Why does this review qualify for a "sticky"
May 13, 2018, 12:49 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
I flew mine yesterday for the first time , very nice flying plane ..... most surprised by how well it glides with no power !
May 16, 2018, 09:41 AM
"Mongo like beans"
maddmatter's Avatar
I think this is my next victim.....er airplane
May 16, 2018, 12:13 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmatter
I think this is my next victim.....er airplane
If you get the BNF with SAFE Select , the SAFE can help reduce the chances of the Evolution becoming a "victim" ....
May 16, 2018, 01:39 PM
"Mongo like beans"
maddmatter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by balsa or carbon
If you get the BNF with SAFE Select , the SAFE can help reduce the chances of the Evolution becoming a "victim" ....
Well I hope so, I love my slow planes, the Timber and Maule, now time to try a little speed demon! I like the pusher plane idea. Wish it had a folding prop, guess I can add one.

I will skip the folding prop idea, too many rip ems for that I guess!
Last edited by maddmatter; May 16, 2018 at 01:47 PM.
May 16, 2018, 05:14 PM
Registered User
While flying with SAFE on don't turn it off while you're actively deflecting the aileron or elevator.
May 16, 2018, 06:29 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmatter
Well I hope so, I love my slow planes, the Timber and Maule, now time to try a little speed demon! I like the pusher plane idea. Wish it had a folding prop, guess I can add one.

I will skip the folding prop idea, too many rip ems for that I guess!
Folding prop is not necessary if you kill the throttle and land on grass .
May 17, 2018, 03:21 AM
slats move, slots don't
AndyHK's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by balsa or carbon
Folding prop is not necessary if you kill the throttle and land on grass .
Exactly.
May 20, 2018, 08:54 AM
Rabid Rabbir
PookaHat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmatter
Well I hope so, I love my slow planes, the Timber and Maule, now time to try a little speed demon! I like the pusher plane idea. Wish it had a folding prop, guess I can add one.

I will skip the folding prop idea, too many rip ems for that I guess!
The Opterra 1.2 has a folding prop.
While the F-27 and the Opterra look different, they have similar characteristics.

LIVE Q&A - E-Flite Opterra 1.2m (25 min 57 sec)
Jun 02, 2018, 02:13 PM
Registered User
I have just assembled my F-27 Evolution and it looks awesome. I loved the F-27Q, wish parts were still made. Any, I got the Plug and Play version. A couple of questions.
1) Is Safe mode still there if I use a different receiver than the expensive Spectrum 6 channel receiver?
2) Why does the instructions say to use a 6 channel receiver but the hook up instructions say use Throttle, Elevator, and Aileron channels and 4-6 are not needed?
3) If I am not planning on using A3SX or Safe, can I use a Spectrum AR400 4 channel receiver?


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