Landing is Inevitable

Monday, March 05, 2007

Successful Maiden of the Extreme Flight Extra 300

This has been a very good weekend. Manchester United had won a difficult game against Liverpool eventhough they clearly were second best and I manage to successfully maiden my Extreme Flight Extra 300 (EF EXtra 300). I think this is the first plane I ever maidened on my own. It had very predictable flight characteristics and was a breeze to fly. It felt like I was flying a foamie. And it lands so sweet. Three point landings are such a pleasure to view, and gratifying when managed to be pulled off by the flier.

Today's flights were mainly to find the sweet CG spot. I still need a few more flights to find it then I will be going to start on the intensive trimming regime. I got this Peter Goldsmith guide on how to trim precision aerobatic planes and I'm gonna try it out.

Just some frank reviews of the EF Extra 300;

Generally the plane is a looker. It's nicely covered and the overall quality is not bad. I've not much experience with other planes to compare it to for now on this aspect. This plane has very docile flight characteristics on low rates and is a blast to fly on high rates. I have increased the throws on all control surfaces after today's round of flights to give it that extra manuevarabilty and control.

Ok, let's get on with the gripes I hav with this plane. Firstly, I'm not impressed by some of the hardware included with this ARF. Starting from the top, the spinner cap was way off balanced and impossible to rectify. It caused so much vibration at half throttle, that I dare not even go any higher than that. The canopy is rather flimsy. Before the first flight there was already a crack on the front part of the canopy. The EZ links connectors are not that good either. The tightening screws on all of them have very weird sizes. For the aileron connectors I actuslly had to use my pen knife to tighten them as my smallest screw driver (which is very small by the way) was way to big to fit. Next problem is the general quality of the wood used on the plane. Some parts are so soft I dare not even sneeze when handling them. I CAed most of the wood frame and motor mount of the plane to give it that extra rigidity with the advice from the shop owner who sold it off to me. The landing gear itself is not too bad but the wheel, axles and the wheel pants are far from perfect. I think I'll have to add ball bearings to my wheels so that it would track straight.

I'm not saying that this plane is bad or anything of that sort. In fact far from it. It's just that I think my overall experience with this plane would have been much better if these small details were sorted out. But for now, I'm very happy with this plane and I hope that it will last me through the second stage of my aerobatic learning process.

Signing off,


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