|Wing Area:||310 sq. in.|
|Wing Loading:||6.5 oz/sq. ft.|
|Servos:||4 E-flite S60|
|Transmitter:||JR X9303 2.4 GHz|
|Battery:||Impulse Power 3S1P 900 MaH 12C|
|Motor:||KMS Quantum 2208/15|
|ESC:||Castle Creations Thunderbird 36|
|Manufacturer:||Phase 3 Models|
|Available From:||Hobby People|
Phase 3 has brought out a pair of inexpensive, great-performing EPP planes, the Double Time biplane (see Spackles94's review) and this airplane, the very similar, mid-wing Quick Time. With durable carbon-reinforced EPP construction, an actual we-kid-you-not airfoil and full fuse (this is not one of those flippy-floppy flying sheets of foam that you usually get for this price) the Quick Time is an excellent aerobatic or 3D trainer. The EPP is able to withstand many of the inevitable physical insults that come from flying below the birds. Plus, an inexpensive airframe does wonders for your courage. You've heard the saying "Fly it like you hate it." We humbly suggest a corollary: "Fly it like it cost 50 bucks."
Everything came nicely poly-bagged and in perfect shape. You get everything, from the firewall to the tailskid - just add your electronics and power system of choice.
First, the electronics: motor, ESC, battery, 4 sub-micro servos, and of course a receiver. We went with the KMS Quantum 2208/15 motor with an Impulse Power 900 MaH 3-cell battery and the 36 amp Castle Creations Thunderbird ESC. For control we chose a Spektrum AR6100 receiver to listen to our JR X9303 2.4 Ghz transmitter, and 4 E-flite S60 sub-micro servos to waggle the wiggly bits. 2 6" servo extensions are required for the tail. To finish off you'll need a propeller (10 x 4.7 slow-flyer), and building supplies (sandpaper, epoxy, medium and thin CA, Xacto knives - nothing unusual). You don't have to baby EPP (expanded polypropylene) foam - it can handle epoxy and CA, but don't use kicker or you could damage the sprayed-on paint job. The manual calls for z-bends on the control rods, but if you don't have a z-bend tool (You don't have a z-bend tool?? Shame on you!!) we recommend Dubro MiniEZ connectors so you don't have to sweat putting the bends in the right place.
The first step is to install the motor. Note that there are two motor mounting instructions: Step 1A or Step 1B. Choose the instructions that match the type of motor you're using. If you use the KMS 2208/15 or similar, jump to Step 1B.
The KMS motor shaft sticks out the back of the motor about 1/4," and wouldn't clear the vertical brace that goes across the hole in the firewall. We had to remove either the shaft or the brace; we went for the brace, and replaced it with two parallel braces, as the photo shows. It just didn't look strong enough with no brace at all. You really don't want your motor to come off, because if it does, most likely (unless you live in a much kinder reality than we do) it'll do it while you're running it up at full throttle, and might remove some body part you had other plans for.
We cut a couple of grooves in the front of the fuse to accommodate our new brace, but we didn't have to; when we went to glue it in at the required 4 3/4" from the rear of the firewall area the brace cleared the fuselage. As instructed, we used 30-minute epoxy to glue the mount in place, but we were afraid that the weight of the motor would pull the mount down and add unwanted down-thrust. We could have held it in place for 30 minutes, but we'd have missed the Modern Marvels 2-hour special on putty knives, so we used our soldering stand.
The wing slides into an opening in the fuselage, but only after some tweaking. The instructions state to sand the opening until the wing slides easily, and indeed that's what we had to do. (And by the way, it recommends 200-grit sandpaper. Do not use 200-grit unless you are retired, unemployed, divorced, or wish to become so soon; 100-grit took plenty long enough.) We tried to be careful here: the foam drags as the wing slides into the fuse, and it is easy to warp the fuse and end up with a plane that zags when it should zig. It is also possible to warp the wing, and we believe we might have done so while sliding it in. We fought it a bit and perhaps gave up too soon; after flying and finding a significant wing warp, we thought back to this step and wished we had sanded a bit more so the wing would slide in with less resistance.
Gluing on the landing gear, and sticking on the cowl with some hot glue are the only tasks left in finishing the fuselage. Foamies don't usually have a tailskid, and this one should have followed in that tradition. Interestingly, the rudder is actually lower than the lowest point of the tailskid, which while it left the rudder vulnerable to being ripped up by whatever surface we were landing on, it nicely protected the tailskid from damage. We eventually mitigated this problem by sanding the bottom of the rudder with a 50-foot-long piece of 10-grit asphalt. It's fine now.
As with any airplane, you have to make sure the horizontal stabilizer is truly horizontal. Ours was quite low on the right side, and sanding the opening in the fuse didn't fix it. We decided to straighten it by jamming a 6d nail into the crack on the right underside of the horizontal stab, gluing it in place, and filling in the resulting gap with white glue. White glue doesn't shrink or expand, so once it had dried we could remove the nail and the stab was perfectly horizontal.
Attaching the control surfaces requires sanding, or as Spackles94 chose to do on the Double Time, slicing a 45 degree angle into the leading edge of the control surface. Spackles94 was troubled by the fact that sanding the control surfaces left their leading edges slightly rounded rather than a flat 45 degree angle; we were not bothered by this. Which is to say, sanding does leave the edge rounded, and we chose not to be bothered by it.
Aside from that, all you have to do is cut your hinge slots and glue in the hinges. "Oh boy, we get to cut hinge slots!" There's something soul-suckingly, hideously, mind-numbingly tedious about cutting hinge slots. There are 15 hinges on this airplane. That's 30 hinge slots that have to be marked and cut. Yeah, we're whining, but WE DON'T LIKE to cut hinge slots.
Aside from cutting hinge slots until your brains start to drip out your ears, there are a couple of potential gotchas when attaching the control surfaces. The instructions say to use epoxy to attach them, which seems odd. Why not use CA like everyone else? We are careful to follow the directions when building a plane for review, so we couldn't say if CA would have worked successfully, but epoxy works fine and is only a bit more trouble.
And when attaching the ailerons, pay careful attention to the instructions: specifically, put the inside hinge 3/4" from the edge. We breezed past this instruction and put our innermost hinge a good 1 1/2 inches in. We discovered the importance of proper hinge placement once we attached the control horns: pulling the aileron up was no problem, but pushing it down just warped the aileron and pushed it away from the wing more than down. The hinge has to be very close to the control horn, or you will lose a LOT of your aileron throw. We had to retro-fit two additional hinges right near the control horns to solve this problem.
The receiver tucks into the canopy area. For the battery we had a choice: under the cowl for an aerobatic CG, or under the canopy for a more rearward, 3D-capable CG. There's no middle choice. We put ours under the canopy, which is a bit of a tight fit, but it works fine.
There isn't much left to complete the plane. The landing gear attaches very nicely into a bulkhead in the fuse, and the cowl glues on with hot glue.
We live in Southern California, which in recent weeks has undergone an interesting yet rare phenomenon that we believe some folks call "winter." Icy temperatures (dipping into the 40's at night), rain, wind - altogether very inconvenient for flying model airplanes. But we have been able to duck outside between drizzle squalls and get in a couple of very enjoyable flights on the Quick Time.
We chose to hand-launch with the Classic Foamie Underhand TossŪ, and at about 1/2 throttle it climbed out nicely. The balance felt just about right for 3D (perhaps a little tail-heavy for aerobatics.) It took a couple of clicks of down elevator and a troubling amount of left aileron trim (8 clicks) to get it going straight and level. We flew around a bit and brought it home to check if the wing was warped, and it clearly was. 8 clicks of aileron is a problem. It's possible we created this situation by trying to force the wing into the fuse and inducing a warp; in retrospect, we'd have worked on the wing-to-fuse situation until the wing slid in nice and smoothly, and checked for warps before we glued it in place.
The Thuderbird 36 performed well and fits nicely with the theme of this airplane: low cost. While it lacks some of the advanced features of the Phoenix, it still has that same Castle Creations excellent throttle response, which is critical for 3D. It must be an excellent controller, because we had actually finished the review and in a final check-through remembered that we hadn't even mentioned it, and came back to put this in. That's good. An ESC should be like the plumbing in your house: the better it's doing its job the less you have to think about it.
The tail skid isn't steerable, so taking off is an exercise in fire-walling the throttle and yanking it off the ground before the plane heads for any nearby flesh. It takes off in about 5 feet so this isn't really a problem. When we get that kind of takeoff performance from a small, inexpensive airplane like this, it's a kick. Or you can hand-launch, as we chose to do. Landing is a breeze, particularly if there IS a breeze - you can high-alpha it almost to a standstill and drop it on the ground.
This plane is just flat fun to fly - this is what opposable thumbs were meant to do. Inside and outside loops are very quick, and inverted flight takes about 1/4 stick of up when inverted (despite the rearward positioning of the battery). It knife-edges very nicely. Roll rate does leave something to be desired, even though we were able to get about 1 3/4" of throw out of the ailerons. Perhaps it's the warped wing that left us dissatisfied in this area. But all in all, it is a hoot and we are looking forward to many many more fun weekend flying sessions.
This plane can 3D at least to the extent that Quinn's burgeoning skills allow, and no doubt well beyond. It has plenty of rudder and elevator authority for hovering, and power enough to pull out of the hover. It will make a great 3D trainer and we are looking forward to building up our skills to match its capabilities.
Welcome to those readers who habitually skip down to the conclusion to see if they should buy this plane. We're glad you could join us. As those who have been reading along already know, the Phase 3 Quick Time is an inexpensive, easily built, and very durable little airplane. It's responsive and fun, and if you pay strict attention to the critical wing-to-fuselage joint it will make a very respectable addition to your hangar.
(As always), quite an impressive review, Vic and Quinn! And thanks for the links to my Double Time review!
It looks like the one-winged sibling performs really nice. That's really weird about the rudder, though. I thought the self-eroding-on-taxying solution was the right thing to do, though.
I'll have to set up my CG farther back and seeing how it performs. I haven't had the chance to do that, but I may just do so soon and see how it works out. Thanks for reminding me!
Keep up the great work,
Napo (who has yet to devise an evil-enough impromptu landing that will turn the Phase 3 Double Time into thousands of little pieces -- yet he can't seem to break it no matter how hard he tries)
I like it. But the video just shows some simple rolls, and loops.
I'm really interested in getting one, but I'm wanting to know what the 3D performance is like on this. How well it hovers, flies inverted, KE's, waterfalls, blenders, ect.
I've wanted one since it came out like 3 years ago, lol. But I was afraid of getting one because I heard the wing can warp and come unglued sometimes.
Hopefully my tastes are satisfied, then I can get that Acro Master to someone who really wants one. Speaking of which..........
I GOT ONE!!!!!! I'm putting in the equipment as I type this. Unfortunately, I cannot make a trip to the field tomorrow, and I cannot fly the plane, because I'm only about 3/4 of a mile from the field.
Oh and one more thing: will hot glue work, since it's the only glue I have right now?
Yeah, I guess they all have that feature built in. Mine even had that feature. The only thing that bugs me is the hinging. I really hate using those CA hinges that Phase 3 included with some of their planes. I would rather use tape, so I did
I'm about to head out to the field for a test flight. Mine will be setup with 3D controls, so I'll get you peeps a video of 3D flight. I don't think I'll be using the landing gear much, except for the occasional battery run-out, or emergency landing.
As for assembly, it went together like a hot knife through butter. Simple, and easy, except for the hinges, which got a little tricky. This review definately inspired me to get one, and just to let you know: my wing was not warped, nor unglued, nor damaged in the slightest of ways. Infact, the entire plane is nice and squared up (not to brag )
Well, just got back from the field, and I have to say: I'm not very happy
The horizontal and vertical controll surfaces flexed the entire flight, and made any 3D move hard to perform. Rolls were nice and fast, high alfa was a bit of a pain to do, because of the flex, and hovers were a no go zone.
I have, however, stiffened up the plane by using some hot glue, and the extra controll rods I had lying around. I also replaced my tape hinges for hot glue hinges, which were starting to give out because of the paint. The ailerons are still holding well, but might need some hot glue hinges too.
My planes total weight is about 15oz now. Balancing is a beast though. Somehow, I need to move my battery back
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