Horizon/E-flite UMX Gee Bee R-2 BNF Basic Review

This good-looking Gee Bee R2 not only has the lines of a golden age racer, it's also a great flyer right out of the box!

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A Gee Bee Anyone Can Fly!

E-flite UMX Gee Bee R-2 BNF Basic with AS3X and SAFE Select
Wingspan:20.1 in (510mm)
Length:13.9 in (352mm)
Weight:3.7oz (105g)
Servos:Micro (installed)
Battery:200-280mAh 2S 7.4V Li-Po
Motor:180-size 3600Kv brushless outrunner
Transmitter:Spektrum Dx9
Manufacturer:Horizon Hobby/E-flite
Street Price:$129.99

I love a Gee Bee. From my earliest days of RC I have always wanted a Gee Bee and almost had my hands on few but never actually owned one. At one point in time, all I did was fly the Gee Bee in RealFlight to prepare for the day that I would have one of my own. When I was offered the UMX Gee Bee from E-flite I jumped at the chance! Gee Bees are pretty notoriously tricky planes to fly so the question was how would a very small version do in the air? Read on to find out!

Horizon/E-flite UMX Gee Bee R-2 BNF Basic Review - RCGroups (8 min 28 sec)

Features

Fully-Assembled - In my video, I show what you get when you open the box. I knew what to expect but the UMX Gee Bee is just so cool looking I was still laughing with delight when I saw it in the box. All you need to do is bind to your transmitter, charge your batteries and you are ready to rock!!

The Power System - The next question was how do I get to the internals? There is basically a "hood" that acts as a hatch and is held on by magnets. It is very simple to take on and off. There is a battery platform there so finding your CG is a snap. The Gee Bee is powered by a 3600Kv brushless motor. I am running 2S 7.4V 200280mAh LiPo batteries. You will get around 4 minutes on a pack.

Amazing Scale Detail - This plane looks so nice you could feature one an office shelf! From what looks like stretched covering, to flying wires, wheel pants, and a pilot, the little Gee Bee looks great.

Getting Ready to Fly

Big news...there isn't much you need to do to get this bird in the air! Charge your lipos and then get your Spektrum transmitter of choice. I used my DX9 for this one.

I did find the Horizon suggested SPM file for the UMX Gee Bee and will provide the SPM file link : UMX Gee Bee SPM File

Load that SPM file on your SD card and use it for your UMX Gee Bee model. Bind your controller, verify that all your surfaces are moving the right way and you should be good to go!

A Note on the Box

The box that the UMX Gee Bee ships in can be used to carry the model as well. I would highly suggest this since this model is so small. One big note of caution I would give is to keep the foam tissue-like material that ships with the plane. Use these on the top and bottom to protect the red paint. I packed up from the field and did not use the top piece. The paint did not come off but the foam from the holder adhered to the paint. Just something to be aware of.

Flying

Our first day of flying was in very light wind. It was a perfect day for flying the little Gee Bee. I started out in SAFE. The Gee Bee gently rose up off the ground and was flying in a slow and stable manner. You can see this in the video. The SAFE keeps your roll rate limited but man oh man was the Gee Bee smooth.

The second round of flying was done is amazingly windy conditions! It was so windy that the box (with the Gee Bee in it) started blowing across the picnic table...that's windy! Jason was with me and I said, "Man I think it's too windy to fly this little guy." He pointed out the that is exactly what AS3X was for so I plugged in the battery and took off!

I flew the Gee Bee in unlimited mode on this day and while the wind was tricky on take-off once I was in the air things seemed fine! You can also see this in our video. What a sweetheart this little golden age plane is. Jason also took a turn on this sticks and in that overly windy weather, he proceeded to do inverted passes, rolls and more. I was pretty amazed at how sporty a little plane like this can bee (get it).

SAFE Select

The Bind-N-Fly Basic model has a 6-channel 2.4GHz DSMX receiver featuring AS3X (Artificial Stabilization 3-aXis). This helps smooth out the effects of wind and turbulence and makes the little UMX Gee Bee fly like a much larger aircraft. My first flight was with SAFE on and I have to say I was immediately struck by by how smooth and slow it was able to fly. It immediately put a smile on my face!

With SAFE Select features enabled, you get:

  • Pitch and Bank Angle Limits
  • These keep the aircraft from rolling or pitching upside down. They also prevent excessive climb or dive angles during takeoff and landing.
  • Automatic Self-Leveling
  • The airplane instantly returns to and holds level flight when the sticks are released and in the center position. Its also helpful if you ever want to hand launch the airplane.
  • No Programming Required
  • SAFE Select technology is factory set and automatically assigned to a switch so the assistance it provides can be easily turned on and off.

This is great for a newbie or a veteran RC pilot!

Photos

Conclusion

I have always wanted a 60 size Gee Bee so while I wanted to UMX version I didn't think it would be as fun as the big one of my dreams. I am happy to say that I found it to be a ton of fun! It just looks so good in the box and in the air. With it's scale good looks I think it is going to have to live in my office somewhere when not in the air. The flying was beyond my expectations. From docile to sporty, it can do it all. The fact that it not only flew in windy weather but that it flew so well was really mind-blowing. Big kudos to the Horizon team for another great bird that gets me excited to go to the field. No build time, a factory SPM file to load up, and a plane that a beginner or advanced pilot would enjoy. It's a Homerun!

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Oct 11, 2018, 11:50 AM
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What a great looking little plane. Perfect to bring when camping
Oct 11, 2018, 02:32 PM
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rcnutrc's Avatar
I wanted to get this one but I managed to buy an older version which was brand new, I will fly that one first to see how difficult it is to fly w/o the Safe. I suppose if I crash that one then it is time toi buy the new version, lol.... Always loved this plane.
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Oct 11, 2018, 04:13 PM
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richard hanson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcnutrc
I wanted to get this one but I managed to buy an older version which was brand new, I will fly that one first to see how difficult it is to fly w/o the Safe. I suppose if I crash that one then it is time toi buy the new version, lol.... Always loved this plane.
Wish I had it
The original was great
No safe but the as3x worked extremely well


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