Horizon Hobby E-flite EC-1500 RCGroups Review

Take a look at the E-flite EC-1500 build and multiple flights at the field. This big beast has plenty of power and lots of things that may surprise you!

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E-flite EC-1500 RCGroups Review

Wingspan: 60.1" (1524mm)
Length: 46.9" (1190mm)
Flying Weight: 89.8 - 98.7oz (2545 - 2800g)
Motor: 2 15 brushless outrunner, 650Kv
Prop: 10x8E
ESC: 2 40A Brushless ESC
Receiver: Spektrum AR636 AS3X with SAFE
Battery: 3S or 4S 3200–6400mAh
Available From: Horizon Hobby
Price at time of review: $399.99

When I saw the EC-1500 from E-flite I was intrigued. This thing looks like a scale model but upon closer inspection, you will see this twin-engine cargo plane goes beyond scale. I always try to imagine the folks at Horizon putting their heads together on the next design and I think they really pulled out all the stops on this one!

While you can fly this cargo transport plane in a very scale-like manner, you can also fly the teeth off this plane (as shown in our video). Part of that is due to the ability to run a 3S or 4S lipo with no modifications. You can go 3S with SAFE Select on and have a very docile plane on your hands. You can also shift gears to a 4S lipo and get ballistic! Those massive 5-blade counter-rotating props really push the air and allow this cargo plane to jump off the ground and even hang on the prop!

From grass to paved runways, to snow (with included skis), and even water (with the purchase of floats), you can pretty much take-off and land the EC-1500 from anywhere. Another thing to mention is flight time. You should be be able to get 8 minutes of mixed flying out of the 4S 5,000 lipo that was used in this review. That is a lot of versatility for such a big bird!

EC-1500 Features

  • Can use a 3S or 4S lipo
  • Factory-installed Spektrum 6-channel 2.4GHz receiver with DSMX
  • Can fit a lipo as large as a 6400 mAh
  • Remote control cargo door
  • This big bird can fly scale-like or 3D maneuvers
  • Can be flown from almost any surface, land, water or snow
  • Many configuration options for the flaps
  • Steerable nose wheel
  • Precise ball-link equipped linkages
  • Pocket or CA hinges on all control surfaces
  • AS3X for the smooth flight you expect from Horizon
  • SAFE tech for super easy flying
  • LED landing, navigation, and simulated strobe lights
  • EPO airframe
  • Magnetically secured nose cone can be removed for easy installation of GoPro
  • Separate FPV camera mounting position on top of the top hatch
  • Thumbscrews to secure the wings
  • Almost fully factory-assembled for extremely fast and easy final assembly without glue

Video

EC-1500 Flight Review - RCGroups.com (9 min 58 sec)

Power System

The EC-1500 is powered by two 650Kv brushless outrunner motors coupled with two 40A Brushless ESCs that are installed. You can run a 3S 3200–6400mAh LiPo battery. You also have the option to use a 4S battery for tons of power and unlimited vertical capability without the need for any modifications or upgrades. This 4S upgrade has been showing up on many recent Horizon planes and really opens up the flight envelope.

AS3X

One of the great things about a plane from Horizon is how easy it is to bind-and-fly. These days almost no trim is needed after binding. Now I would suggest you look at all your surfaces and make sure everything is right but I suspect the team at Horizon works hard to make sure most everything is right as soon as you bind.

The EC-1500 features the Spektrum 2.4GHz DSMX with AS3X (Artificial Stabilization–3–aXis). This helps to smooth out the effects of wind and turbulence and I think it is the secret sauce that makes all the Horizon planes I have fly great. It makes your plane fly "BIG" and since the EC-1500 is already big it makes things just that much smoother.

A plane this big might make a new pilot a little nervous. That is where SAFE Select flight envelope protection technology comes in. No programming is required. Simply change up the binding sequence as directed in the manual to take advantage of the extra benefit.

SAFE Select gives you all of these advantages:

  • Pitch and Bank Angle Limits
  • Automatic Self-Leveling (great for take-offs and landings)
  • Easy Switch Assignment- No Programming Required

If you don't want to enable the SAFE Select features, just bind the receiver normally and it will function like a standard AS3X receiver.

Special Features

The EC-1500 is chock full of cool features. Here is a photo tour of my favorites.

Build Photo Walk-through

I have built many Horizon planes and this was one of the easiest. This is illustrated with my photos. While this is a big plane, the wings can be taken off with thumb-screws. With that said we test fit it in Jason's smaller car and it loaded in fine without the need to remove anything.

The Fuse

Wings

Rudder

Elevator

Installing the Props

Be sure to follow the instructions on installing the props. You want to make sure they are installed the correct way since they are counter-rotating. Jason Merkel also went into good detail on how to make sure these big, dense props are installed properly. The reason you need to be critical on this is so that they will not fly off during flight (which would be bad).

I'm going to include a link to Jason's video and set it to start when he goes over this topic. This is a great video in general.

Ready-to-Fly!

The build on this really is super easy. There is an included sticker sheet to make your EC-1500 more scale-like but I thought it looked great as is. Breaking the plane down is just as easy but I found that for most vehicles the wings could stay on, even on a plane as big as this one!

The Rear Cargo Door

The cargo door is such a cool feature to have on the EC-1500. The servo-controlled cargo door has a 2.5 x 4.2 inch opening and almost 140 cubic inches of cargo bay volume (cargo bay is 2.5 x 4.2 x 12.7 inches / 65 x 107 x 323 mm). You can go into your servo adjustments to get the door to close perfectly and open all the way...or some of the way, whatever works best for your application.

Flying Thoughts

The EC-1500 is fun to fly with all the power it could ever need, especially on 4S. Flying this counter-rotating twin is a different RC experience and the "WOW" factor is big. I don't like planes that fly "heavy." I'm happy to report that the EC-1500 does not fly heavy but feels very nimble. Maybe it's the 4S lipo that does the trick but it felt quick and light in the air. For such a big plane I was surprised at how easy it is to fly. The ailerons are responsive. The roll-rate is fast but not super fast. We had the stock aileron/flap configuration connected. This can be changed to your liking. Having the AS3X and SAFE built-in is great for newer pilots. For experienced pilots that want "more" from their plane, the EC-1500 is capable of spins, extended inverted flight and more! Landings are a lot of fun too. I found that adding the flaps was necessary for me to get it to really "stick" on the landing. The EC-1500 has a broad flight envelope and can be fun for newer to experienced pilots!

Watch our flight video to get a good idea of how the EC-1500 flies - from mild to wild!

Field Photos

Learn More

For more info head over to Horizon Hobby!

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Last edited by Jim T. Graham; Jan 14, 2020 at 03:11 PM..
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Jan 30, 2020, 10:19 PM
Registered User
Would it be possible to refrain from using subjective statements such as "plenty of power?"

How do you decide what is "plenty" for people? Plenty for one might be considered "marginal" or even "inadequate" to some people.

Could you use more objective terms like "unlimited vertical," "2:1 thrust to weigh ratio," or thrust in terms of force?

I think that most if not all manufacturers claim that their plane has plenty of power so the term is almost meaningless to me. It almost sounds condescending to be frank. "It's more than enough....for YOU."
Jan 30, 2020, 11:17 PM
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
Thread OP
Oh, it has plenty of power...trust me!
Jan 30, 2020, 11:29 PM
Registered User
dalecheek1's Avatar
All one has to do is watch the vids to see GOBS OF POWER.....LOL
Jan 30, 2020, 11:30 PM
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
Thread OP
My first RC boss, Jim Martin of Hobby Lobby, would not like me saying this but I would venture to say that it has "tons" of power!
Jan 31, 2020, 09:45 AM
Registered User
Clive66's Avatar
After over 50 flights with my EC-1500, I would say "tons of power", is a pretty good description.
GOBS OF POWER pretty much covers it to.
Jan 31, 2020, 11:39 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
I have a friend who really likes sauces at fast food places. He said he would ask for a "handful, a lot, a bunch," etc and would never get enough. Once he started using "buttload," he would get enough.

I would venture to say it has a buttload of power.
Jan 31, 2020, 02:09 PM
Registered User
dalecheek1's Avatar
LOL I think that would depend who's butt you are talking about.
Feb 01, 2020, 04:37 AM
Registered User
codys's Avatar
Thanks for the review Jim. I have never flown an electric twin, but now I think this will be my first!! Do you and or Jason plan on attending SEFF this year?
Feb 01, 2020, 10:17 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
We won’t be at SEFF, but are planning for Joe Nall as usual.
Feb 05, 2020, 11:26 PM
Registered User
WVrailfan's Avatar
This is a great flying plane. As a matter of fact, I have two. One I repainted and detailed as an Italian Air Force C-27J, which I think this plane resembles a lot;-) The other I am still flying in the factory applied scheme, with some minor modifications.

Flying with a four cell battery it has way more power than needed for any kind of scale flight. On the other hand, there are some pretty cool videos of Italian C-27J Spartans doing some neat stuff at air shows, so maybe aerobatics are not that far fetched for this plane.

I'm not a big aerobatic flyer, I prefer scale like planes and flying. E-Flite has taken some liberties with some aspects of the plane to greatly enhance the flight envelope. However, from a couple of feet and in the air, I am very pleased with the appearance of the model.

And, if I ever decide I want to learn to hover a plane or knife edge from one end of my field to the other, I already have a plane capable!

By the way, for anyone wanting to have their plane look more like a Spartan, Callie Graphics has the windscreen decals to help make it happen.

JB
Feb 13, 2020, 07:51 AM
www.gunnphotoservices.com
Matt Gunn's Avatar
These buttloads of comments are great!
Latest blog entry: www.gunnphotoservices.com
Feb 13, 2020, 04:23 PM
CR5
CR5
Registered User
Nice review and flying but I would have rather seen it go into the already running EC-1500 thread.
Now I have another thread to chase


I don't care what or how someone describes the power.
On 4 cells mine definitely has enough for my type of flying which is mild aerobatics with long steep climbs after a quick takeoff mixed with lower throttle scaleish flying to drop parachute men.
I've flown it once on 3S and it flew but I had to be very careful as it didn't feel like I would have enough power to get out of trouble if I did something dumb.
Last edited by CR5; Feb 13, 2020 at 04:30 PM.
Mar 02, 2020, 09:15 PM
Registered User

Tow plane/ piggyback


Just curious if anyone has used the ec 1500 as a tow plane for glider launching. I plan on attempting with a dpr rare bird and then possibly a bot. Also considering a piggyback set up... Any thoughts or input would be appreciated! This Will be an all new adventure for me.
Last edited by Flawless513; Mar 02, 2020 at 09:18 PM. Reason: Mispell
Mar 18, 2020, 06:05 PM
Official Boat Bum
Eddie P's Avatar
Love it!


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