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Aug 09, 2006, 06:23 AM
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First 25 Flights...Ultra Stick 25E

Since I returned to the sport in January, I've logged hundreds of flights with my Mini Ultra Stick. I really love that little plane, but it's not as good in Pinellas County's famous wind shear as a good 40 sized plane.

I also taught a friend to fly on his 40 sized slimer Ultra Stick. I liked that plane so much that I looked into converting one to electric, but the batteries would have put the plane way over budget. Obviously, I was pretty disappointed, but when I read about the upcoming 25E, I got pretty jazzed.

Since the 25E uses a completely different power system, there was going to be a learning process involved. Now that I've logged 25 flights on my Ultra Stick 25E, I believe I can render a fair assessment of the plane.
In general, I like the plane allot, and that feeling grows every time I fly it.

A little Stick background

The modern day stick can trace it's linage back to Phil Kraft's original .60 sized Ugly Stick design, sometime in the mid-1960s. Kraft was in the radio manufacturing business, and he needed a test vehicle that was, stable, large enough to house the day's huge radios, fast to build and easy to work on. The radios of that time were not the most reliable things, so the plane had to be, errrrrrrrrr...........expendible. The Ugly Stick was so quick and simple to build and maintain that it was the perfect plane for that kind of work. Lord only knows how many of them Kraft and his concern trashed, but I'm sure it was considerable.

I'm also sure though, that Kraft didn't lose even a small percentage compared to the terror, havoc and wanton destruction that the sport flying population has caused with the plane. With so many things going for it, the plane, it's cousins and descendants became, and remain, the favorite aircraft of many, many R/C enthusiasts, which certainly includes me. In the 70s, 80s and 90s it was definitely the aircraft of choice for those who wanted a practical, reliable, easy to maintain, and terrific flying sport plane. Modern AFR technology has made a lot of really complex and attractive planes (The Brio, for example) available to those who previously couldn't or wouldn't go to that kind of effort, but you'll still see lots of fliers who prefer the great flying and carefree practicality of a stick design. From what I can tell, the Ultra Stick line is the latest and most refined evolution of the grand old lady.

Let's get right to the flying......

First follow the instructions and make sure you balance the plane the way they call for. Even inherently stable aircraft can become treacherously deadly if you make them tail heavy enough. With the recommended CG the plane flies just fine, though as I get more accustomed to it I might move the CG back about 1/8th inch at a time until it feels just right. Or, maybe not. The way the manual calls for the CG to be set, it's very close to spot on so I may just leave well enough alone and keep flying it the way it is.

Sport Flying

This is an extremely docile airplane. If you want a nice, gentle airplane you can just fly around, it's not as easy as a full blown trainer, but it's not far off. It floats along pretty good, and you get plenty of warning before she will stall on you. When you slow the plane way down, the sticks get mushier and mushier until you've got next to nothing, and then you're done. This is good because when it gets mushy and doesn't respond as well, you know the limit is creeping up on you. There's no loss of control authority until the plane is ready to fall. You have to move the sticks more to control the plane, but that's the warning it gives you. Allot of really good planes will "talk" to you like this, but the stick does it better than any I've flown. It's not going to sneak up and bite you. If you stall it and stuff it into the ground, it's not because the stick didn't scream at you that it was coming.

There is no tip stall characteristic to worry about. When the plane stops flying the nose will almost always fall straight ahead. It never snaps out of control when you stall it like some of the more aerobatic designs are prone to.

The only thing the Ultra Stick line doesn't do well is right itself. You're going to have to keep the wings level by yourself, but once there the plane tracks very, very well. A little dihedral would solve that, but then the plane would lose some of it's aerobatic qualities. I suppose a sharp young guy could learn basic training on this plane provided he had a good instructor, but it's really not intended to do that kind of work.

Pushing it hard

While you don't have to be a raving lunatic to enjoy this plane, it certainly won't disappoint you if you are. It won't take long for you to get the best out of both the plane and yourself. If you are an intermediate pilot, this plane will make you better. If you are really skilled, she will allow you to do the most stupid things imaginable and get away with them.....most of the time.

If you want to try any of the maneuvers I'm about to describe, get her up there a bit the first few times so you've got some room to recover if it doesn't go the way you plan. I'm confident the plane isn't going to bite you, but it's easy to make a mistake with an unfamiliar plane and you don't want that to happen down on the deck.

I started with the set up recommended in the instruction manual. Generally E Flite's set up-s are dead on, and they were really close to my preferences on this one. Once I had a couple of flights on the plane, I changed the elevator throw to be the same on high and low, and that was the same as E flite's recommended high rate. At high speed that's not too twitchy, and at low speed you need the control authority for pulling out of stall turns and other slow speed stunts low to the ground. For low rate ailerons, I dialed the throw back from the 100 value to 75. I'm assuming the value is in percentage, but ashamedly I admit that I didn't read the Futaba instruction manual.

Like always, I go for all the rudder I can steal on both high and low rates. It's just a personal preference.

Once I got the throws where I liked them it was just a matter of leaning on the plane to see what she had and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Inside and outside snap rolls were really, really good, though not as violent as some 3D planes seem to be capable of. Generally, exceptionally stable planes don't like to snap roll or spin. The way it's been explained to me is that a snap roll is an unstable condition, so you can see why an inherently stable plane wouldn't like to be asked to do that. Still, the plane snaps well enough and it's very controllable. It doesn't snap roll so lazilly that you have to work at it, but it also doesn't snap roll so fast that it's easy to lose track of what it's doing, so I'de say it's about right for a sport plane. Nothing scary about it at all.

I've also found the 25E will snap roll fine with the power pulled back, but it likes a big blast of throttle right when you slam the controls in. You pull the power back and then hammer the throttle right when you go into the snap roll. Then it just digs itself into the snap roll like it's a self tapping screw. It's all very predictable and controllable. Then you let go of the sticks and it stops snapping immediately.

One thing I discovered is that if you jam in the down elevator after about two snaps the plane will loosley tumble sort of nose over tail, which in itself isn't all that spectacular, but the prop cavitates and makes an absolutely tortured sound. The first time I tried it I thought the plane was coming apart. It will certainly catch your attention.

I'm happy enough with the way the plane flat spins. You can probably flatten out something like a Yak 54 or an Edge 540 more, but remember this is a sport plane. It's supposed to be stable first and that keeps the flat spins from getting out of control. At the recommended balance point, the Ultra Stick 25E does a decent enough flat spin. I'm sure moving the CG back would make it even better, but I'm not willing to sacrifice any stability just to make one maneuver better. Most sport planes won't flat spin at all, so I think it's a good plan to compromise the flat spins a little to have a better overall balance.

You get it spinning, ease off the ailerons, and she'll drop into a nice, loose tail spin. When you jam in the down elevator it will flatten right out. If you want to really get goofy, cross the ailerons once it flattens out, and then you can use up and down elevator to either speed up or slow the spin down. When you let go of the sticks she will turn maybe one or two more times (if you balance the plane tail heavy you're on your own), but if you hit reverse rudder it will stop right now. Again, nothing scary here, but it sure makes the pilot look good.

The plane stall turns exceptionally well, but here it also likes a little blip of power to make it come around, just to get a little more air flowing over the rudder. You can do it without the power, but by using the power the plane will turn when it's almost dead stopped, which makes a prettier stall turn. No big deal. Most planes are this way. It's just something you learn to do to get the most out of the plane.

At high speed the plane grooves pretty well, but let's face it, this is a sport plane. It isn't going to fly around like it's on rails the way a pattern plane does. Then again, if you try to fly a pattern plane as aggressively as you can so effortlessly do with an Ultra Stick, you'll need a shovel to dig your motor out of the ground.

At slower speeds it floats along without a worry. If you want to really push it (and who doesn't?), you can bury the elevator, and with a few notchs of power or so, you can drag it around like that. If you do manage to stall the thing really bad, it just falls forward, drops a few feet and starts flying again. Of course if you're quick on the throttle a 750 watt blast of brute, gut-wrenching torque will never let it get that far. But, if you do stall it and don't use the power to pull it out there's no tip stall tendency at all. At that point (assuming you've left yourself some room between the plane and the ground) you've just got to get off the elevator, get some speed, and let it start flying again. I think this stability is a really good trade-off for the plane not being able to chew it's own tail off in a snap roll. When you stall the plane, just add a little power and go right back to flying it around.........or give it a 750 watt blast of brute, gut-wrenching torque and have a giggle.

One thing that caught me out is that this plane is much heavier than a Mini, and if you stall it really, really deep into a hard turn, the plane will mush right out and head for the ground. This is a high speed stall, and it's crazy to push it that hard low to the ground. Most planes will just wig out and snap into the ground when you punish them this hard. With the 25E you never lose just don't have enough of it. This isn't a criticism of the plane, but if you push it that hard you're asking for it. The Mini is so light that it doesn't suffer this as much, but with the 25E, you just have to be more careful when you throw it around that hard. It's not really a shortcoming in the plane's performance. It's just something to watch out for, and if you're moving up to the 25E after flying lightweight planes, it might catch you out.

When I pushed it too hard like this I had full aileron control right until it hit. I just ran out of elevator. Because the plane was still responding, I was able to get the wings level, and the only damage was that the nylon bolts I used to hold the gear on sheared off. Looking back, I was pushing the plane extremely hard and probably asking for trouble.

Which is a common problem I've seen with sticks over the years...and I still fell into the trap. Most pilots who get their first stick get way too confident in the plane way too fast, believe they can't crash it and then do. The Ultra Stick in particular is very confidence inspiring, and if you don't get carried away and think the plane has turned you into superman, you probably won't have any problems like this.

If the plane falls down anywhere in flying characteristics it's knife edge flight, but this is true of every stick I've ever flown except for the ones we used to scratch build especially to get around the problem. With the stab mounted so low on the fuselage and so much of the rudder area above the thrust line, the plane will tuck hard toward the landing gear when you try to knife edge. I believe this phenomenon is called "roll coupling," and a lot more planes than just the Ultra Stick suffer from it. You can get around this with up elevator, but then you have to be careful not to have the plane climb out. It's a difficult balance but really good pilots just fly around it. I can do a decent slow roll with it, but it's nothing like as smooth as a good pattern plane is capable of. Then again, I ain't no Quique, so your mileage could very well vary. Still, it's not horrible. It just doesn't knife edge as well as it does everything else.

Generally it does what you tell it to do and doesn't have any bad habits. It sort of flies just like any of the other terrific Ultra Sticks, only things happen a little slower and smoother than the Mini, and quieter than the fuel jobs. It also handles the wind much, much better that the lighter Mini, probably because it can penetrate well with the extra weight it's carrying.

I'm extremely comfortable with this plane, but because I'm still learning about it, I'm still more comfortable going ballistic with a Mini. I'm sure that will change once the 25E gets a few nicks on it and my confidence in it grows. I like it better every flight.
Last edited by Doc Austin; Jan 17, 2012 at 02:37 PM.
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Aug 09, 2006, 07:16 AM
Team Extreme Flight
Doc Austin's Avatar
Thread OP
The "Kit"

You don't really buy an Ultra Stick "kit." I use the term pretty loosely here because the plane is all but finished. The most aggravating and time consuming part of the entire exercise was unpacking everything because all I really wanted to do was get started. Construction is very similar to the Mini. In fact, I think they must have taken one down to Kinkos and just had it shrunk. The only thing that I could find different in the construction was that the battery tray was a little different in that the leading edge was closer to the firewall than on a mini. This made slipping the speed controller under the tray a little tricky, but read on and you'll see that I found a pretty neat trick for pulling that off.

Like all the E Flite products I've flown, the workmanship is disgustingly nice, almost as good as the best hand built sport planes you'll see at the field. The level of prefabrication is.........well, the thing is just about finished. The color scheme is reminiscent of the Air Force Thunderbirds, and while it's a little outlandish, it's quite a handsome devil. The top and bottom are very different from each other visually, so it's easy to tell which side of the plane you're looking at.

The Ultrakote covering job was well done, though it needed a touch up or two with the heat big deal. How it will hold up under the upcoming blazing Florida summer is something I don't know about yet. I don't really like Ultrakote, but some of that may be because I don't know how to work with it when I am tightening up the little sags you are bound to get in a severe climate like Florida. Everyone else seems to love the stuff, so maybe it's just me. Maybe my technique will improve as I work with it more. Maybe Ultracote just stinks. It's certainly not as easy to work with or as durable as Monokote.


E Flite was obviously listening to us Mini pilots because there are two really important improvements on this plane. First, they have strengthened the area where the landing gear bolts on. The bottom of the fuse in this area is lite plywood, so it's much stronger there than if it were built the way the Mini is. The second improvement is the pre-installed tail wheel. Lots of electrics have useless tail skids and trying to taxi them is it's own adventure, especially in a pit area crowded with other people's expensive airplanes. With the steerable tail wheel the 25E is just like any other good tail dragger and you can drive it right out of the pits, fly it, and drive it right back. This is very nice and something I really missed since flying my old nitro planes. I hope E Flite will put a tail wheel on the next run of all their electric taildraggers.

Other improvements include two magnets holding on the battery hatch, so I don't expect anyone will have a hatch blow off like sometimes happened with the Minis. Also, the control horns are secured with bolts instead of snap locks. I never had a problem with a snap lock, but this is a bigger plane and I feel better that the control horns are more secure.

One nice surprise is the plane is already set up for E Flite's fiberglass floats. The mounting blocks and blind nuts for the rear mount are already in place just behind the radio compartment, and not only is the rear mount included, but it's an exact duplicate of the front dural landing gear, complete with axles. If you don't fly with floats, this will give you a complete spare landing gear! If you price things out, this is a really nice little bonus that adds to the plane's already considerable value.

All the hardware needed was there, and unlike with some ARFs, none of it is junk. I used, and still use, all the E Flite hardware that came with my previous E Flite planes. With one or two exceptions, the 25E wasn't going to be any different in this respect because you gotta go with what you know works, eh?

So far, not much money, but lots of high quality stuff.


In the first photo, you can see the packaging is done almost exactly like a Mini's. Everything thing is done very well, which is what I've come to expect from E Flite.

Begin Rant:

Lately UPS has been a little crazy with tossing things around, and lots of 25Es have been getting trashed in transit. Mostly it's the fuselage that gets it, so I highly suggest you get yours from your LHS and inspect it before you shell out the money. If you do have a problem, Horizon is really good about making things right, but who needs the hassle? Just give it a good look over before you head home.

Now, to be fair, this isn't an E flite problem. The kits I've seen damaged have had holes punched clean through the bottom of the boxes, so it's hardly the manufacturer's fault. UPS is either going to stop trashing planes or they are going to drive their insurance premiums up.

Rant over.


In the second photo you can see that the tail wheel is installed almost exactly like it is on the 40 sized Ultra stick. While this isn't ideal in that it puts any shock load on the rudder itself (instead of having a bracket on the fuse), it is probably the easiest way to mass produce the assembly pre-installed. The big plus is that you don't have to do anything except slide the fin into the slot, exactly like you do with the mini, and forget about it.

It works extremely well and the airplane taxis really nice. I'de forgotten how much I missed taxing my big slimers back and forth. It's also nice to be able to turn the plane around when I land a little long instead of having to go fetch it.
Last edited by Doc Austin; Aug 09, 2006 at 07:52 AM. Reason: Atrocious Spelling
Aug 09, 2006, 09:00 AM
Registered User
r/cdawg's Avatar
Excellent information. Your perspective is similar to mine in that you have an extensive background flying glow powered planes but see the definite advantages with flying by electrons. By the way which outrunner are you using on your 25E?
Aug 09, 2006, 09:32 AM
Registered User
I picked up one of these the day it came in and love it. I've handed the controls to several friends and each comments that it flys like a "real" plane.

After each flight I keep thinking that this is the only plane I need. Now if I could just find the time to sell off the fifty planes hiding in the garage.

I first flew the plane with a Power 25 motor. I have since switched to an AXI 2826/10 because I wanted to use the Power 25 in an Eflite Cub.

The US 25E flys great. The two servo wing works well but I finally broke down and programmed my Futaba 9C for the 4 servo wing. After a few tweaks I was able to get the mixing pretty close. I can now switch to CROW without balloning!

I have also flown on the Eflite floats. The floats work well and I did not have to add any weight. The only issue was the rudder cable was about 2 inches short to be connected as shown in the directions.
Last edited by gwh; Aug 09, 2006 at 11:21 AM.
Aug 09, 2006, 10:00 AM
Registered User
r/cdawg's Avatar

Did you fly it on the floats with the Power 25 or the Axi, and what batteries are you using?
Aug 09, 2006, 11:07 AM
slow but inefficient
Ron Williams's Avatar
Hi Doc -

Nice post. One of the best reviews I've read of a model.
Aug 09, 2006, 11:17 AM
Registered User
I flew with the Axi on the floats. It still flew great even with all of the extra weight.

I am using either a single 3S2P TP 4200PL pack or two Tanic 3s 2220 packs or two Falcon Predator 3S 2500 packs.

With the Axi I am running an APC 11*10 E prop. On the Power 25 I used an APC 12*6 E prop.

My all time favorite plane was a Long John .20 (stick type plane) with an OS 25 FSR. This plane has almost the same dimensions and flys every bit as well!!!
Aug 09, 2006, 02:06 PM
89" Kool Aid drinker.
Smash McCrash's Avatar
Thanks for the review, Doc. These thoughts echo my own. I have about half that many flights on mine, and like it more every flight.

I am running the AXi 2826/10 on mine, after trying a 2820/12. The 2820/12 flew the plane, but the 2826/10 with a 136.5 APC E is the way I want to fly it. I have a US60 that I have converted, and the 25e feels about the same in the air. I am usin 3S TP4000's in the 25, and the balance was very easy to attain. Using the recommended servo's, a JR R700, Phoenix 45, and a UBEC. Weight is about 3-3.5lbs.

Aug 09, 2006, 02:30 PM
Team Extreme Flight
Doc Austin's Avatar
Thread OP
I'm running the E-Flite Power 32 with a Thunder power 3 cell 4200 pack (actually 6 cells wired in series). I'm using the Castle Creations Phoenix 60 speed controller and a 14/8 APC electric prop. This, of course, is getting a little ahead of things as I've got some more info in the can that I just need to proof read, but check back tonight and I'll have a few more installments on my thoughts on the 25E, plus radio installation and other goodies.
Aug 09, 2006, 03:26 PM
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r/cdawg's Avatar
Thanks Doc, just doin' my homework as I'm ready to move up to this size electrically.
Aug 09, 2006, 05:20 PM
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Doc Austin's Avatar
Thread OP
Originally Posted by r/cdawg
Thanks Doc, just doin' my homework as I'm ready to move up to this size electrically.
I think this plane is a pretty good choice. I also sort of suspect that E Flite may surprise us with some pretty cool 25 sized planes in the future.

But how would it build up?

I'm afraid this part of my assessment might be a little disappointing to some, though enlightening for others. There ain't much to do, and none of it's hard.....but I cheated. Through the miracle of the internet, I downloaded the assembly manual and I studied it. When the plane arrived, I was so familiar with everything that it was like I had already built a couple of them (and if you count Minis....). The manual covers just about everything you're going to do.

Speaking of which, here's a link to the manual. Scroll down a bit and you won't have any trouble finding it.

The instruction manual is really thorough, but again, this thing is about as easy to put together as tying your shoe laces, so there isn't much there either. If you've built a Mini you won't even need the instructions because there's even less to do. On the 25E, even the firewall is glued in and the holes are drilled for both the Power 25 and Power 32 motors.

If you want a blow by blow of the construction, it's probably better to download the manual and see for yourself. E Flite manuals will give you a better idea of what's involved in the construction than I can. While I've got my own ideas about how to put an airplane together I stuck faithfully to the manual and everything turned out just right. Actually, by doing so, I learned a few new ways to do things.

The 25E went together really, really nice. Considering this plane is one of the very first 25E production examples, I had expected a glitch or two, but everything went the way the manual said it would. I didn't run into one little thing that didn't fit or go together the way it was supposed to. I kind of lost track of assembly time on the 25E because it goes together so nicely, and again, while I hate to keep comparing it to the Mini, the construction and assembly is very similar, so this was a case of been there, done that for me. In fact, comparing it to the Mini Ultra Stick reveals it's almost the same airplane, only bigger. Since I love everything about my Mini, I find this part terrific.

I probably put six or seven hours into it, but it can certainly be done much quicker, probably as little as two hours for someone really competent. I'm very, very nittpicky about getting every little thing just right, and I check my work over and over and over. Also, I have been looking forward to this plane for so long that I sort of relished the process. And, since I am rather loathe to crash in front of millions on the internet, I put a little extra TLC into this one.

Since I am using the same type of micro receiver I have in my other planes, the radio compartment looks abandoned. There is so much room in there that when I put the wing on I'm sure I have left something out! It's just not right that it isn't all cluttered in there! Since electrics are relatively vibration free, you won't have much maintenance to do, but it's nice you have all that room to do it in. The lite plywood servo tray is already in there and the Hi Tech HS225MG servos I used just dropped right in as if the plane was made for them (though I'm sure it was designed for JR servos). I chose these because my LHS told me these will have way more torque than I'll ever need, and with the metal gears they will be virtually bulletproof.

The 25E comes with the option of flaps or quad flaps. I believe the entire range of E Fflite Ultra Sticks offers this feature. Quad flaps have been discussed over and over, so in the interest of being concise, again consult the E Flite manual if you plan to use these. I opted to go for the full span ailerons, mostly because I like simple airplanes, but also I don't have a radio that is capable of programming quad flaps.

But, this worked out well for me. I prefer the plane to have as few working features as possible because I want as little tinkering, maintenance and weight as I can get away with. That, and I'm busy enough with with just the two control sticks. As noted before, I've owned plenty of the various types and sizes of sticks, and I didn't find the ones equipped with flaps to be any more entertaining. I'm sure the crow feature could be pretty useful, hysterical good fun, in fact, and I'll get around to adding it eventually. All I'll have to do is cut the ailerons where the instructions say, put the servos in and program the radio. It looks like it only takes maybe another half hour to get the quad flaps working, so if you've got a radio that can handle it, why not? I imagine you could pull some pretty stupid stunts with a setup like that, but for now I just want to fly the plane, get used to it and have a blast with it.

A Few Modifications

While I pretty religiously followed E Flite's instructions, I did change one or two things on the plane based on previous experience. I was delighted that the push rods had clevises on one end. For the other end, E Flite provided push rod keepers. I've never had an push rod keeper fail, but I like Z bends. Instead of using the keepers, I pulled out my old Z-bend pliers and now I have Z-bends at the servos, and adjustable clevises at the control surfaces, just like I had in the old nitro days. I'm just comfortable working with it that way. It's a familiarity and peace of mind thing......just a personal quirk.

I read that some guys were having trouble ripping the landing gear mounts out of their 40, 60 and Mini Ultra Sticks (not unbelievable if you watch how some guys fly), so I used an old nitro plane trick and replaced the steel bolts that hold the gear on with nylon bolts. This has not only come in handy over the years in badly executed landings (read: controlled crashes), but it's reduced damage in more severe accidents. There was also a mid air collision I had years ago with a larger plane, and all I had to do was retrieve my landing gear from the other guy's smoking heap of balsa, screw it back on and keep flying. The other guy was not amused.

As previously noted, the Ultra Stick 25E has reinforced landing gear mounts, but I think if you ripped the landing gear mounting gear block out you'de have a hefty repair job ahead of you. The nylon bolts probably won't break unless you bounce the thing in really good, but then they just might save the airplane from much heavier damage. It's worked on my slimers for years, and it's saved the Mini once or twice too .As you can see, I kind of like this little trick and I'm continuing it on the 25E.

The idea of having a simple Velcro strap hold the battery in place scared me a little, but everyone insists that the stuff works just fine. However, to be sure, I put some self-stick velcro on the battery, and then on the battery tray. The battery sticks just fine and the the 25E has two battery straps for locking it down. I think you'de have to plow the plane a brick wall before the battery would move, but then you'de have a lot bigger problems than just the battery sliding around. One thing I learned about sticky sided velcro is that it doesn't adhere to a bare wood surface very well. Wherever you're going to put it, cover the area with a little thin CA. Then the velcro will stick to it just fine. Now, don't glue it down because you may want to peel it up sometime in the future. Let the CA cure and then put the velcro on.

Power System


I have very little knowledge of batteries, so I wanted to choose the simplest installation possible. E flite recommendations are usually spot on, so I went with the 4200ma Li-Poly sport setup I found in the construction manual. I've had no trouble at all from my Thunder Power 2100mah packs (gotten alot of trouble free mileage out of them, actually), so that's the brand I went with. This battery is roughly the same shape as what I'm already using, only bigger, and it fits into the airplane pretty much like what I'm used to looking at. Doing things the way I'm used to doing them gives me a lot of confidence, something I am grateful to have for any new plane. Gotta go with what you know works, eh?

I've seen other guys are using all different configurations, but I chose the 4200 3 cell pack instead of something larger because I wanted to be able to use my current charger. So, any observations I offer up are with this battery pack, and the larger pack would probably yield even more performance. I simply don't know my way around electrics well enough to be making a bunch of decisions, so I had to trust E Flite's judgment. They haven't steered me wrong yet.

Speed Controller

OK, I really don't know much about electrics yet except for the things that have worked well in the past. I really wanted to go with an E Flite speed controller because I've had really good success with them, but as of now, they don't make a 60 amp controller. There is a little yellow piece of paper they have put into the kits with a warning that without the proper speed controller you would need either a separate battery to run the radio, or a separate BEC. I didn't want this plane to be any more complex or heavy than it had to be, so when my friend Jackson said to install a Castle Creations Phoenix 60 amp speed controller and forget about all the extra spaghetti, that seemed like the best route to me.

One nice thing about castle creations controllers is that you can program them on your home PC. I had a problem with getting my Castle Creations link to work, but it was merely a Windows problem. Bernie at Castle Creations wrote me back the same day with links and instructions to the solution, and that fixed the problem right up. Very good customer support. The program is a snap to use, though I don't really know what all the parameters mean. Mostly I used the defaults except I opted for soft cutoff, which is what I am used to from using E flite controllers. Anyway, I was loathe to buy anything but an E Flite controller, because they have been so bullet proof and trouble free (plug it in, forget about it and go fly), but the Castle creations unit is really, really good too.

I programmed the controller to have a soft cut off, meaning that as the battery discharges you get a progressive loss of power towards the end of the charge instead of the motor just shutting off with no warning. This is the way the E Flite controllers are pre-programmed, and what I'm used to. The last thing you want for in front of millions on the internet is any nasty surprises like the motor cutting out when you need it the most.

With the 32 motor, after 12-15 minutes or so I will notice the motor is losing it's horsepower edge, and then I know I've got about two minutes before the power gradually becomes weaker and weaker until it will only run at about 1/4 speed, which is just enough to get her back home.

One really cool thing about the Castle Creations controller is that the brake will buzz when it comes on. Since I don't know what all the parameters mean, I settled for 10% soft brake. Because it's so easy to adjust everything on the PC, I figured I would adjust it 10% at a time until I got it just right, but on the first flight I got a pretty unexpected jolt. When I would dive the plane hard with the power off, the air would turn the prop against the brake, and the buzzer would go off. The faster the prop turned, the louder the buzzer became. With the air going over the plane, the prop turning and the speed controller howling, the whole aircraft lets out an eerie, tortured howl. Not expecting this, the first time it happened I almost dropped the transmitter and started to run from it. Most of the guys at the field are used to it now, but I can almost always catch someone by surprise with it. No one has actually dived beneath a car in blind panic, but it's been close once or twice!


I can't offer an honest assessment on the Power 25 engine because I gave up on it after one flight. With the 12/6 prop the thing was gutless and I was very disappointed with it. I've since learned the prop to use is a 12/8, and I'm in the process of building up another 25E, so I'll try that combo and see how it works. I'm sure I didn't get the best out of the 25 because everyone else seems to like it.

Power 32

I was also disappointed with the Power 32, because it wasn't much better than the Power 25. It was acceptable, but it was nothing special. By chance, I wrote castle creations for advice on programming the speed controller. I mentioned that I was using a 12/6 prop, and Bernie wrote me back with advice to use a 14/7. I could tell right away that I was dealing with a different beast now, and the motor came alive with that prop.

The E Flite Power 32 motor packs a really good wallop. With electrics I've become a little lazy watching my airspeed because there's nothing like a good 750 watt blast of brute, gut-wrenching torque to get it back in an flash. With the Power 32 motor the Ultra Stick 25E just jumps straight up and goes and goes and goes. It will accelerate from a dead stop straight up, so from a power standpoint at least, this plane and engine is capable of 3D, but I ain't no Quiqie. The Power 32 looks to be well built enough that I can expect the same kind of bullet proof workhorse performance that I've gotten out the other E Flite motors I have ruthlessly abused. It's larger than what I'm used seeing, but it really just looks like a big 480, so I find comfort that it resembles something that has served me so well.

The Power 32 has got gobs of low end grunt and the plane accelerates like it's shot out of a cannon. Of all the things I've seen with the new electrics, the insane acceleration is what I've found most impressive. You club the throttle forward and the plane just explodes forward. Sometimes when I really hammer the power on hard I catch myself giggling over how much I enjoy that kind of sick, barbaric rush. It's a guy thing.

Top speed is maybe a little quicker than my Mini, but the plane is so much larger that it's hard to tell if that's an illusion or not. It's not really a bullet, but at full throttle you sure can't afford to nod off. I'de say it's just about right for the kind of flying I like. I suppose with a little hot rodding and voodoo one could get the Power 32 to pull the plane so fast that it would blow apart from the stress, but I'de like to fly it a few times first!

Right now I would say a mini with a 480 on it has more brutal performance, but the 32 is really, really good. Of course, guys running four cells packs or other combinations may be getting better results, but I'm satisfied with the plane the way it is.
Last edited by Doc Austin; Aug 09, 2006 at 05:28 PM.
Aug 09, 2006, 09:23 PM
Registered User
RickC2009's Avatar
Very nice review of the US 25E.
I have been enjoying mine for many weeks too!
I still am amazed how far electrics have come is such a short time.
How are you getting 750 watts? Whats the amps and volts?
With the success of the US25E I just can't wait for the the Funtana 25E or the Brio 25E or the Cap 25E or even better the Ulitmate 25E. I mean come one Eflite where are they? I already have all the gear and a couple of batteries!
Aug 09, 2006, 10:03 PM
Registered User
r/cdawg's Avatar
I'd be partial to a Showtime 25E myself.

Doc, excellent info and I really appreciate how easy your posts are to read. I understand why you need to proof read these before you post.

Keep us posted on how the Power 25 performs on your next US 25E I'd like to know what it's full potential is.
Aug 09, 2006, 10:45 PM
3DHobbyShop disciple
waltj2k's Avatar

This is probably the most outstanding review that I have read. Really good work.

Aug 09, 2006, 11:05 PM
Team Extreme Flight
Doc Austin's Avatar
Thread OP
Radio and Electric Installation

As you can see from the enclosed pictures, I tried really hard to keep everything as neat and clean as possible. In the first photo, notice I have the speed controller underneath the battery tray. The tray goes so far forward, there's not enough room to slide the ESC in that way, so the mystery is just how did I manage to get it in there? In the second photo, you'll see I just slid it through the lower vent in the firewall. It was a pretty tight squeeze, and I had to be careful not to damage the speed controller, but it makes such a neat installation that it was worth the effort. Everything is out of the way, and when I change batteries I'm not fighting a snake's nest of wires.
Last edited by Doc Austin; Aug 09, 2006 at 11:56 PM.

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