Horizon Hobby E-flite Night Timber X RCGroups Review

Horizon's newest addition to the Timber line, The Night Timber X features STOL capabilities in a night flying package!

Horizon Hobby Night Timber X


Wingspan: 1200mm (47.5 inches)
Length: 1055mm (41.5 inches)
Flying Weight: 57-60 ounces
Receiver: Spektrum AR637TA (installed)
Battery: 3 or 4s 2200
Motor: 900kv 10BL (installed)
ESC:Avian smart 60A
Available From: Horizon Hobby

There's no denying that Horizon has a hit on its hands with the Timber line. STOL or "Bush" style aircraft offer modelers a chance to replicate some of the most daring flying in civilian aviation today, and the Night Timber X is a great way to join in on the fun.

This attractive model can be flown from just about anywhere. A choice of 3s or 4s power means it's suitable for beginners and more experienced pilots.

What's in the Box

  • (1) E-flite® Night Timber® X 1.2M
  • (1) Spektrum™ Avian™ 60A Brushless Smart ESC (installed)
  • (1) Brushless Outrunner Motor (installed)
  • (6) High-Torque, Metal-Geared Servos (installed)
  • (1) Spektrum™ AR637TA 6-Channel Receiver (installed)
  • (1) Set of Optional-Use Leading Edge Slats
  • (1) 13x4 propeller
  • (1) Product Manual


Talk about easy, in less than an hour, I had my Night Timber X together and sitting on the gear.

The landing gear go on first, followed by the horizontal stabilizer, but before installing the stabilizer, you need to decide what your goals are for the Timber X; do you want more 3D capability, or do you want a more traditional flight experience? If you want 3D, then you will install the heavy steel joiner, and if you want traditional, you will install the lightweight carbon fiber joiner. No need to fret over your choice though, it's easy to swap them around at a later date.

Once this is done, you can set the plane up on its gear and install the wings. You will want to pay close attention to the many servo and lighting connections and make sure you match them up properly. Thankfully the connections are well labeled.

Radio Setup

If you like options, you have plenty to choose from. You can set the Night Timber X up with or without SAFE Select, depending on how you bind it. It's a simple process which involves either leaving in or removing the bind plug in the receiver before starting the bind process on the radio. The manual covers it thoroughly, and I suggest you read it before beginning your radio setup. If you choose to enable Safe Select, you can assign a switch to turn it on and off, which is handy for when you want to let a less experienced pilot take the sticks.

You also have the option to use the flaps along with the ailerons for increased roll control, again, the manual goes over all of this in great detail. You will need two servo extensions to make use of this feature.

Finally, if you choose to, you can enable thrust reversing, which will be really handy if you add the optional floats to your Night Timber. The included Avian 60 amp smart ESC makes use of channel 7 (aux2 on your radio) to activate reverse thrust. Your throttle stick responds normally, which minimizes any pilot confusion. This would be handy for backing away from some muck in the lake, or even to shorten the rollout when you are landing on wheels. Keep in mind, when using the reverse thrust feature, you draw a lot more current than normal, due to propeller drag from being spun the wrong way.

If you have a newer Spektrum radio, you can always download the model setup files from Spektum which will save you some time


Horizon Hobby E-flite Night Timber X RCGroups Review Test Flight Footage (3 min 7 sec)

The Night Timber can be what you want it to be; do you want a relaxing touch and go Sunday afternoon plane? Check. Do you want some thing that can handle the wind? Check. Do you want an aerobatic plane? Also check.

On 3s and with the carbon fiber horizontal joiner, you get a well mannered plane that is perfect for someone learning the finer art of taildraggers. In this configuration, I would also say it's a great second plane, or even a trainer with the appropriate help. You have plenty of power on tap for sport flying, and a light feel on the sticks. With SAFE Select engaged, you don't have to worry about over controlling. I was very pleased with how the plane felt in this configuration, enough so that I let my son, who has way more multirotor than fixed wing time, take a turn. He enjoyed himself saying "It is quicker to turn than my glider, but not so scary like your fast planes."

With one notch of flaps, and SAFE Select turned on, a take-off was as simple as going full throttle and letting it lift off on it's own. Without flaps, you only needed a little elevator to get in the air. As we have come to expect from the SAFE Select system, you can bang the sticks around and the plane limits the bank and pitch angles to keep you out of trouble.

Without SAFE Select, takeoffs were still quite easy, especially with flaps. It just needed a short ground roll and you were away climbing at a comfortable angle and gaining altitude at a reasonable pace. AS3X dampened out most all of the wind turbulence and it made for a stable plane. Shooting touch and gos are where the 3s/carbon joiner really shines in my opinion. You can set up a nice long approach and drop in on the mains easily before powering up for another trip around the pattern.

On 4s with the steel joiner, watch out! The reward CG shift makes for a very capable aerobatic plane that will hover easily and beg you to test your own limits. Take offs with flaps is truly a STOL affair, just nail the throttle and pull back, and you are rewarded with a rapid climb out.

In this configuration, the plane is capable of way more than I am, yet it wasn't too much to handle. It will tumble with ease, and recover from any attitude I was able to get it into without so much as breaking a sweat.

Landing is a treat as well. Just put in full flaps, keep a little power on and you can kiss the ground gently with a very short rollout, making you look like a STOL pro.

The configuration which I have come to like best is the carbon joiner with a 4s pack. One the day we were finally able to get some useable video, the wind was steady at 15mph with gusts to 20. (It was also cold..a high of 36!) Not ideal conditions, but the sky looked the best it had in quite a while. Of course, the wind couldn't be down the runway either, so it was a great test of both the plane and my ability to deal with a crosswind..with frozen fingers!

I had the carbon joiner installed and had a 4s packs ready to go. Normally in those conditions, I would have been hesitant to fly, but the Night Timber took it all in stride. The takeoff was uneventful and while I could see the effects of the wind by the crab angle of the plane, I couldn't "feel" them. AS3X worked quite well, dampening out all but the largest gusts and made the Night Timber feel solid in those conditions.

While my loops weren't perfect, I wasn't blown way off course, either. Wingovers looked good too with little course deviation due to wind. Rolls were pleasing and can be as fast or as slow as you want. On landing, I didn't use flaps, instead choosing to crab the plane in. I did have a bit of a tense moment right before touchdown, I felt a gust of wind and was about to apply power, but again, AS3X dampened it out and the only thing that happened was a bit of a course change.

Although weather and scheduling difficulties prevented me from getting any video at night, rest assured that the Night Timber X shows up great in the sky. The strobes and navigation lights, along with the landing lights and internal illumination provide exactly what you need to fly comfortably after the sun goes down. The level of illumination is great and the landing lights do a great job of lighting up the terrain when you are coming in. I feel like the Night Timber X would make a great "first" night flyer, based on its flight characteristics and the included lighting.


I am very impressed with the versatility of the Night Timber X and I cannot wait to put some more time on it. It is a versatile plane, capable of filling multiple roles while only taking up one spot in your hangar. It's easy to carry in the back seat of a car (It even fits in my wife's Mini Cooper!) and it puts a smile on my face when I fly it. In addition to that, it's very adaptable to different skill levels and flying conditions, making it a great value. If you are looking for a plane for a "go-to" model, I strongly suggest you take a look at the Night Timber X. You might just find your new favorite plane!

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Last edited by Jason Cole; Feb 01, 2021 at 07:07 PM..
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