Horizon Hobby E-flite V900 BNF Review

The official RCGroups review of the V900 is here. Check it out below.

Splash

Introduction

Wingspan: 35-3/4" (908mm)
Length: 32" (813mm)
Flying Weight: 30-32oz (850-907g)
Motor: E-flite BL 15 1260kv
ESC: E-flite 60A
Prop Size: APC 8x8E
Servos: (4) Spektrum A370 Digital MG
Battery: 3-4S 1800-2200mAH (Not Included)
Available at: Horizon Hobby Or your Local Dealer
Price: PNP - $159.99 / BNF - $179.99

I feel the need, the need for speed! Who doesn't right, the V900 is E-flite's fastest prop driven plane to date. It can easily hits speeds over 100MPH on 3S and 120MPH on 4S. It is made from composite reinforced EPO foam that features an easy to see high contrast trim scheme. The electronics are installed and there's no glue needed for final assembly so the V900 is just as fast off your bench as it is in the air. With AS3X and optional SAFE Select technology, it should be a rock solid performer making it easy for anyone to get their need for speed fulfilled. Let's go ahead and crack open the box and take a closer look.

Video

What's in the Box

When you open the box, you'll find all the parts neatly packaged inside and well protected as you would expect. There's only a few parts inside because the plane is mostly built from the factory. Here's a list of what you get in the box.

  • V900 Wing with 2 Servos Installed
  • V900 Fuselage with 2 Servos, Motor, ESC and Receiver (BNF Only) Installed
  • V900 Horizontal Tail
  • V900 Manual
  • V900 Aluminum Spinner
  • APC 8x8E Prop
  • Hardware and a Bind Plug

Assembly

The final assembly was simple and only took a few minutes to get it flight ready. There's no glue required, but you will need a phillips screwdriver. For the first step, you just slide the horizontal stab into the slot in the fuselage. These parts are keyed, so you need to slide it in from the right side of the fuselage. It will fit snugly into place and then you secure it with a screw. Connect the elevator linked to the control horn and you are ready for the wing.

Before mounting the wing, you need to guide the aileron Y harness through the bottom of the fuse and then set the wing in place on the saddle. It is secured to the fuselage with two screws. Flip the plane over and connect the Y harness to the Ail slot in the receiver. Then you just need to follow the addendum provided to install the prop and spinner and the V900 assembly is complete.

That doesn't mean you are ready to fly yet, READ THE MANUAL to make sure you program your radio correctly. You can bind the plane in one of two ways to enable or disable the SAFE Select switch. Be sure to check the control surface centers, direction and that the AS3X stabilization is working properly before heading to the field.

While there is a fair amount of space under the magnetic hatch, getting your 3 or 4 cell battery in place is a pretty tight fit. There's a Velcro strap to secure the battery, but you may also want to use the included Velcro on the tray and your battery for extra security. I chose not to use that, as space was at a premium. The main strap and the tight fit was enough to keep the battery from moving around.

Flying

Take Offs

You can hand launch the V900 underhanded, but that would be a waste since they included a nice hand hold on the bottom of the wing that makes it easy to hold and launch overhand. The V900 launches surprisingly well. I'm used to performance planes being slightly tricky to hand launch, but not this one. Just power up to half throttle and throw it slightly upwards. It doesn't have to be a hard throw, but you want to get it moving. You'll see in the video how it just goes straight without any dipping of altitude as it gets up on step.

There's not much of a difference in the launch between a 3S or 4S battery, but I did find that on 4S, there was a little more torque effect that would slightly yaw the nose left after the throw. It wasn't dangerous, just the only difference I could see in the launch between the two power setups.

Basics

The V900 flys smoothly and thanks to AS3X it feels like it was riding on rails. I didn't need to touch any of the trims or mess with expo settings. It felt great right off the bat and I even started giggling just moments after the first launch. I could already tell it was going to be a blast to fly.

The roll rate is plenty fast on high rates, and on low rates, the plane was docile and easy to fly. I didn't notice any bad habits or have any scary tip stall moments, it just handled well as I expected it to. The speed range was huge though! Full throttle is crazy fast, more on that below, but you can also pull back to a quarter throttle and cruise around at near park flyer speeds. I was really impressed with the slow flight capabilities.

Aerobatics

It's a 4 channel plane, but it's not really built for aerobatics. That said, you can certainly do some. Rolls are crisp and fast and it does nice point rolls. It Snaprolls ok, but nothing too fantastic with the small rudder. It flys inverted just as solid as upright and it actually has enough rudder to play around with some knife edge flight. My favorite thing to do though is blast across the field at full speed and pull to vertical, climb for a second and then kill the power. The momentum causes the plane to continue climbing for like 5 seconds. It was so fun to do and watch how high you could climb just using the energy.

Since this is E-flite's fastest prop plane to date, you probably want me to talk about how fast it is. The say it is 100MPH on 3S and 120MPH of 4S. I can only take their word for it since I don't own a radar gun, but I can tell you it is FAST! I've flown other speed planes in this category and it certainly feels on par or just a bit faster. Straight line speeds are quick and man does it have a nice smooth sound as it zips by. It is certainly impressive to watch.

Landings

The V900 slows down well and you can flare it out nicely on high rates. You are going to land on the belly, so pick some nice grass out. The manual says to use throttle for the entire descent, but I mostly came in power off which is also good for making sure you don't break the prop on landing.

Flight Time

As far as flight time goes, the manual says to set a timer for 4:00. That would work if you cruise around at partial throttle with limited full throttle passes, but if you like to pour the coals to it like I do, then a 3 minute timer is more appropriate. On 3S after 3 minutes, the battery was down to 37 percent, so it could go a little longer, but on 4S I was down to 15 percent which is a little a lower than I like. It all depends on how you fly, you can certainly achieve a 4 minute flight at low throttle, but that's not how you really want to fly this plane.

Beginners?

I'm torn on this question. In my opinion I would not suggest the V900 for a first time flyer. However, those with little experience can certainly be successful with it. On 3S with SAFE Select On, just about anyone should be able to safely fly and land. What I like about this is that you can be in SAFE mode with low rates on 3S to get the hang of it and then switch to 4S and high rates and have what feels like a completely new airplane without having to actually buy a new airplane. You can go from mild to wild and the technology inside really helps to make it an incredibly versatile airplane.

Photos

Conclusion

If you are looking for a fast, fun, easy to fly sport plane that looks great, then the V900 just might be for you. The speed range is remarkable and the ability to fly on 3S or 4S lipos without having to change a prop makes it nice for those with lots of batteries.

It's a piece of cake to launch, comes with quality gear and up to date technology so you can focus on flying and having fun. I wish I had a little more room in the battery compartment for width and height, but that's a pretty minor thing. The flight time was slightly disappointing too. So far I've had no cooling issues, no structural or component failures and it has just been a pleasure to fly every time.

You can find the BNF Version of the V900 at Horizon Hobby.

You can find the PNP Version of the V900 at Horizon Hobby.

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Thread Tools
Jan 16, 2019, 01:16 PM
Registered User
That's a good review. The main thread for that plane I find almost offputting - I think because, being a SAFE "for everybody" plane, a lot of more newby type guys get it - and have lots of problems. And considering the speed on display in that video, you can see why.

It does look fast.
Jan 16, 2019, 01:29 PM
If it's R/C, I LIKE IT!
Nikolei Zinsli's Avatar
Nice review!

I've flown/raced my friends v900 with my EFXtra and it was a very close race, with what looked to be the v900 being just slightly faster. On that note, my friend has his timer set to 2.5 minutes and is usually full-throttle most of the time. Start there and increase timer as your flying style fits.

Also, not sure what the ESC defaults are on the v900, but I enabled the brake function on my EFXtra to prevent the prop from free-spinning when I'm trying to just soar around. This can also help prevent prop-breakage on landing...if you see the prop isn't horizontal when gliding in, just tap the throttle for a millisecond to move it. Cheers to Eflite for including APC brand props!!
Latest blog entry: 93" AJ Laser 230z
Jan 17, 2019, 09:39 AM
Registered User
parajared's Avatar
I trust Horizon Hobby more than Hobbyking but have always thought that their EFX lineup looked pretty neat. I may go for the V900.
Jan 18, 2019, 12:32 AM
Registered User
Panhead5496's Avatar
Epic! Being a RC truck/boat guy it's amazing to me you can get a 100+ mph RC vehicle for under $200. You would be hard pressed to find a brushless truck under $200 that was decent!

I know I can't fly one but sure do like watching the videos
Jan 18, 2019, 08:57 AM
Registered User
Totally. I used to race 8th scale nitro truggies. I also had some buggies and monster trucks etc. You get a lot more exhilaration for your money with planes than you do with cars. Cars just cost too damn much…

Of course if you crash one of these foam planes at 100 mph, then you have to start all over again… Whereas with the car you can usually replace a few parts.

Still, a decent RC car just costs too much for what it is AFAIC… So I am plenty happy in the world of foam RC airplanes and mini quads..
Jan 18, 2019, 06:46 PM
Registered User
Panhead5496's Avatar
Yep, exactly. To go 100mph with a rc car you will have to likely have $500+ in it, likely way more counting batteries etc.

I've seen some rc cars crashing at 100+ on YouTube, and it's not pretty. It's salvegeable, but going to cost a whole to fix it.

I am slowing building up to some fast planes. Got a trainer a few years ago I wore out flying, and just recently got a Spektrum radio to let me get some BNF models. Hopefully in the spring I'll be able to get some larger planes and work up to this crazy thing
Jan 19, 2019, 03:11 PM
NMPRA 34C
Dave Yost's Avatar
I just don't understand why they do not come with landing gear? HobbyKing did the same thing with the EFX.

1. Many flying sites don't have an acceptable landing surface.
2. These would be great airframes to build a club pylon racing event around, the start time is difficult with hand launching.
3. A certain percentage of the market (my self included) simply won't purchase a powered airplane that needs to be hand launched. At a minimum, it increases risk to the airframe......from a safety stand point, you have an APC prop turning up next to your head (and ears) on an over hand launch. Does it work? sure....but it is a little silly considering the light weight wheel options that are available.

I needed an electric airplane to practice pylon with locally, but taking off smoothly is a big part of NMPRA (AMA rules) Pylon Racing.
I made this landing gear mod to my EFX, then stepped the pack down to 1350 4S, to make up for the weight, set the timer for 2 minutes. It was a rocket!

Faster then an NMPRA stock EF1.

The price point is great.........it could be a feeder into a EF1 (eflite Shoestring) but needs landing gear.
Last edited by Dave Yost; Jan 19, 2019 at 03:36 PM.
Jan 19, 2019, 03:18 PM
Registered User
1.) LG would ruin the looks..
2.) I would think more people don’t have a place to use LG then those who do. Edit - let me rephrase that: there are more places to fly without LG than with. This and the EFX planes are park flyers, moreso than official sanctioned club type planes.
3.) LG would add to the cost.
4.) I don’t think all that many people would be happy with two minutes flight time with a smaller battery…

Maybe they could do a Parkzone type business model, where they could design LG as an extra which people could buy and install if they wanted. But I personally am glad these planes are offered just as they are… And at the price they are.
Jan 19, 2019, 03:34 PM
yank and bank!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Yost
I just don't understand why they do not come with landing gear? HobbyKing did the same thing with the EFX.

1. Many flying sites don't have an acceptable landing surface.
2. These would be great airframes to build a club pylon racing event around, the start time is difficult with hand launching.
3. A certain percentage of the market (my self included) simply won't purchase a powered airplane that needs to be hand launched.
Some of this is only your perception, and some people do not share your opinions or do your kind of rc plane racing.
Jan 19, 2019, 04:21 PM
NMPRA 34C
Dave Yost's Avatar
I am not saying that it's a great sport flier.......I am saying I think they would sell more if landing gear was an option and it would be safer to operate in that configuration. Yes, it is just my opinion/perception. I might buy one and put gear on it. The EFX airframe I had flew so much, wings started to flex.

The EFX was never designed for 4S....this one is. So, I probably would not reduce the size of the pack. I just need two minutes to burn off 10 laps as fast as it would go..... if you just are punching holes in the sky........you might need more.

This airplane is not a park flyer....too fast under the AMA definition...I think

Neat airplane.

Cheers, Dave
Jan 25, 2019, 11:56 AM
Retired
Tony K's Avatar
Really nice flyer, pretty fast, EDF flight times. I like it!
Jan 25, 2019, 12:33 PM
Fully Sending It
Xpress..'s Avatar
Landing gear is not supplied on these models as it would add additional drag and/or weight and/or cost that is completely unnecessary for the intended purpose of this aircraft: speed, and for not a whole lot of coin. If you would like a model aircraft that flies fast and is equipped with landing gear, I might suggest any number of EDF jets out there.
Jan 25, 2019, 01:22 PM
Registered User
I bought a second one. The V900 gets an A from me. Easy launch, tracks straight like an arrow and slows down for an easy landing. Add to that AS3x and SAFE. Wow, just wow. And she’s pretty.
Jan 25, 2019, 07:01 PM
High Dynamic Thrust
stoneenforcer's Avatar
nice bird review. being a fast jet guy, this looks like a fun lil park ripper for me. will pu at my lhs


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