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  1. #1
    Mark Dennis's Avatar
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    52" Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L Review

    The official RCU review for the new 52" Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L has been posted!

    It can be seen in its entirety here:

    RC Universe Review

    For more information or to order your own 52" Freestyle Extra 260 visit our website at:

    52" Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L
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  2. #2
    lomcevac540T's Avatar
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    RE: 52

    Sure looks nice. I might have to get one to match my 30cc Freestyle!
    P-40 Brotherhood #70
    To fly is heavenly, to torque roll is devine!

  3. #3

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    RE: 52

    Yeah, I wish I'd seen this one BEFORE ordering an E-Flite Pulse 25 as a first foray into electrics.

    This QB Extra is exactly the type of model (aerobatic with split wings, etc.) I've been flying for the past few years.

    However, all the goodies (motor, ESC, batteries) I ordered with the Pulse should drop right in. Unless I find the electric experience totally unsat, I suspect I'll be getting one of these before too long.

    .

  4. #4

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    Got one. Since the Pulse flies great, I decided to keep it "operational" and ordered a Hacker A30 and ESC along with the kit.

    This thing is primo quality. Its like an itty-bitty 50cc aerobat. The attention to detail paid in the packaging bodes well for the rest of the pieces/parts; the fuselage is cradled fore and aft, with plenty of "air" around it, everything is taped down and bagged, and of course it was double boxed. It would take a determined UPS monkey to trash this one.

    The NitroPlanes/HobbyKing crowd would probably sneer at the price; let them eat cake!

    I am really looking forward to the assembly/flying.

    .

  5. #5
    lomcevac540T's Avatar
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    Keep us informed when you get it flying. I am very interested..
    P-40 Brotherhood #70
    To fly is heavenly, to torque roll is devine!

  6. #6

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    Will do. I believe there is at least one "build thread" already, so if no one has any objections I'll just confine my observations to this thread.

    The more I look at it, the more impressed I am. Even the manual is professionally executed; fully the equal of the H9 manuals, which are the best in the industry, IMO.

    I've got a couple of projects to tie up loose ends on, but I should get started on this next week.

    .

  7. #7
    lomcevac540T's Avatar
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    I was very impressed with my 30cc Freestyle, I don't expect this one to disappoint.
    P-40 Brotherhood #70
    To fly is heavenly, to torque roll is devine!

  8. #8

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    All loose ends tied up this afternoon. I'll have another detailed read of the book tonight, then begin work tomorrow evening, hopefully. Its looks like a straight-forward split wing ARF aerobat "build"... but with no blasted four-stroke throttle linkage to wrestle with.

    .

  9. #9

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    Finally got started. First thing is to tighten/reshrink the covering. Don't be tempted to skip this part; the kit has come halfway around the world, via the ocean, and has been subjected to widely varying temperature/humidity conditions.

    The covering job is up to the superlative standards of the rest of the kit, but I just spent an hour snugging up the fuselage alone. Pay particular attention to the edges where the covering is attached to the wood and color separations; do that FIRST. This supposedly (and appears to be) UltraCote, so 350 degrees is a good temperature to use. I use an "iron sock to minimize scratching the material; if you do don't forget to kick the thermostat on your iron up a bit to compensate for the cloth barrier. If your iron doesn't have a thermostat, its SWAG time...

  10. #10

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    Okay, the forum is responding slow again, so I'll keep this in short bites so I don't lose much if it goes down- again.

    Also pay close attention to the turtle deck, and where the vertical fin joins same. Lots of compound curves in those areas. I had to go back over this area a couple of times to get all the wrinkles out; go slowly and use moderate pressure on the sheeted portions (here is where the iron sock pays dividends). Use a gliding motion over the open areas, just barely contacting the film. The important thing here is to keep the iron moving. You can tell when your temperature is right by the slight darkening of the material's color as the iron passes over it.

    All this is Covering 101, so if you already know it please don't think I'm trying to show off... there may be some covering noobs here who can benefit.

    While you're doing the fuselage and have the iron out, don't forget to open up the air cooling hole in the fuse bottom as shown on page 20/step 2-3-4 of the manual.

    .

  11. #11

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    LOTS of wrinkles in the wings; especially in the sheeted area between the spar and LE. Some are obvious; some not so. I guarantee you that, once the model has sat in the sun for a bit, the not-so-obvious ones will come back to haunt you if you don't "get them" now. Again, do the joints, edges, and seams first, then slowly go back over the entire surface. I have found it best to go from root to tip, because...

    On these lightly-built/small models, it is easy to induce a warp- especially on the control surfaces (ailerons, elevator, rudder)- if you get too aggressive with the heat and/or pressure. In fact, my kit's left aileron was warped out of the box, but I managed to straighten it with the iron and some judicious twisting. Take your time on the wings; a warp here will cause you much trimming grief when flying the airplane.

    And don't be surprised if your plane develops wrinkles anyway. It happens fairly frequently, especially if the model sits in hot sun for any length of time. The beauty of UltraCote (aside from it being tons easier to work around corners and curves) is that you can re-tighten it many times will no ill effects. I had my first H9 27% Extra 260 for almost seven years and hundreds of flights. I had to snug up the covering a half-dozen times over that period before I finally killed it, being stupid down low. #2 is a year old now, and could use a bit of attention. But I've got e-projects galore to do, so it will have to wait...

    MonoKote, OTOH, is a one-shot deal. Once its shrunk, its shrunk. Granted, the "old" formula was more durable than UltraCote, but you had to be a Faye Stilley to get a real smooth job, especially in the corners and using overlapping colors. I have heard many complaints regarding the "new" formula. Dunno what's up with that, but I settled on UltraCote many years ago. Its just easier to work with.

    On to the tail feathers...

    .

  12. #12

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    The horizontal stabilizer is fully-sheeted; lots of those not-so-obvious wrinkles lurking there. Take your time.

    My elevator had a slight twist; IOW, the trailing edges did not line up. Uncorrected, this will cause all sorts of grief when trimming the plane out (basically, you won't be able to). Its no drama on a model with split elevators and one servo per side; just tweak the linkage and nudge the sub-trim if you must. On a model with a one-piece elevator like this one, utilizing one servo...

    Fortunately, it is easy to correct if you are CAREFUL. Figure out which way (and what side) you need to twist to straighten it, support the side you aren't twisting, apply TWICE as much twist as you think it needs, and apply heat to the opposite (supported) side while maintaining the twist. Remove the heat, maintain the twist until the covering cools, then check it. Might take you two or three attempts, but trust me, its worth the effort.

    This one has a wood joiner, and is actually a LOT easier to correct than one with a wire joiner. I've had to do this on some bottom-tier ARFs that used a wire joiner, and it was a significant rectal discomfort to accomplish without trashing the balsa elevator. This one was, relatively speaking, a piece of cake.

    Okay, break time. Yeah, the twisted elevator and bowed aileron were a couple of 'Aw, crap!' moments, but easily fixed with a bit of patience.

    Maybe that's why they call it modeling...

    I'm going to say something here, at the risk of annoying some folks. I'm new to this electric gig, and it seems that quite a few e-guys are into the foamie planes, be they a profile 3D job or "scale" warbird, etc. I have done three foamies since beginning e-power (scale warbird, a profile 3D'er, and a motor glider) and I have been tremendously underwhelmed with all three. There simply is NO precision there.

    Okay, maybe I was expecting too much. Or perhaps it is unfamiliarity with the material. But my first e-plane was an H9 Pulse 25, and it is an excellent balsa sport model. It flies just as I would expect it to; i.e., good. This AeroWorks Extra is a cut (or two) above that one, in terms of build quality and overall kit quality. What a relief it is to deal with, after those miserable foam things.

    Okay, done with all of that. Flay me if you will... I don't care!

    I'll be back here when I have something to "report"...

    .

  13. #13

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    Unforseen demands on my time have negated any work on this model. Finally got a free moment, so...

    I have nothing against HiTec servos, but I prefer to use OEM radio gear. I ordered the appropriate Futaba servos, but the micros for the ailerons were too "long" in the mounting axis and wouldn't come close to fitting in the supplied trays. Okay, no biggee, I ordered the called-for HS65MG servos. They arrived yesterday, and surprise... they wouldn't fit either. I had to do quite a bit of CAREFUL file work to get them in. This airplane is lightly built, and you cannot go banging around in there like you can on the bigger birds.

    Annoying... but, as they say... onward and upward. They're in now. I was fresh out of 3" servo lead extensions, so I used 6" instead. I'll take up the extra length and secure with itty-bitty nylon ties. Next is to attach the ailerons and get the linkages zeroed and fitted; I find that easier to do with the wings off of the model. I use a regular receiver battery/switch to power the receiver when doing this.

    .

  14. #14

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    Well... the "awsh^ts" are starting to pile up.

    I spent almost the entire day yesterday getting the horizontal stab in place. Number one, the technique used is a MAJOR pain in the kiester, since the elevator is constantly in the way. No way to avoid it, though, because of the "one-piece elevator" design. I understand why it was done that way. But the cut-out in the fuselage wasn't even close to the proper size OR shape. Hopefully, the photo below will adequately show the balsa shims I had to put in there to give some glueing surface, as well as ensure the stab remained straight and at ninety degrees; and how I had to make extensive use of epoxy/micro ballon mixture to fill all the large gaps. If this was a glow-powered bird, I would have stopped right there due to not trusting the integrity of the joints back there. Since the vibration level will be much lower with e-power, I try it... but you can bet your pension I'll be keeping a close eye on it.

    Then, this morning, I attach the elevator... and discover that it was not built symmetrically and binds on one side of the fuselage/vertical fin. The photos tell it more simply than I can write it. The easiest way to fix THIS screw-up is to trim off a bit of the end of the elevator, and re-cover with some UltraCote from my scrap box. No biggee, in terms of what to do. But it will take an hour or two that could be better used.

    Hey, my fault for not checking prior to glueing. More properly, my fault for still having confidence in the kit integrity and not looking very closely at EVERYTHING. Oh, BTW, the elevator warp returned. There's no way to neutralize the elevator now, as the counterbalances on each end are not in alignment. So I can forget about any precision with this airplane. And its not as simple as asking for a new, straight part; once the horizontal satb is in, there is NO way to install the one-piece elevator, without splitting it and re-attaching the halves once mounted. I could do that, but it falls under the heading of "having to re-do things that weren't done right to begin with"... and I've already had to do too much of that already with the servos and horizontal stab.

    Yeah, I'm unhappy. There is simply no excuse for these sort of gremlins at this price point. I know better than to expect perfection. But I could have bought a bamboo-and-shelf-paper HK Special for a third of the money if I had wanted to deal with these kinds of issues.

    Okay, enough griping. Unless I come across another major faux pas in the "build", I'll spare you guys from any more blow-by-blows and just talk about the flying... if and when I get it airborne.

    .

  15. #15

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    Oops, forgot the photos...

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  16. #16

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    Lots of distractions and side forays later, its ready to maiden. To be honest, the twisted elevator and other issues pretty much caused me to lose interest; I went ahead and finished the thing because I got tired of looking at the half-done fuselage sitting in the rack.

    Dunno, it might fly great; that would be nice. We'll see. But not for at least another week.

    Sorry for the odd photos, but I had already put it up before I realized I hadn't taken any proper shots… and I was too lazy to get it down again.
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  17. #17

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    Maiden flights later today. Combination of weather and family has been conspiring against me. Finally… no distractions, and a gorgeous day.

    Hope springs eternal, but I'm not holding my breath… that twisted elevator really concerns me.

    .

  18. #18

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    Sadly, my concerns were well-founded. The model is untrimmable; period. I can get it to fly wings level with aileron trim, but it either dives or climbs; one click of up elevator, it climbs. One click down from there, it dives. Gradually, to be sure, but there nonetheless. And that is with the trim rate at lowest (least sensitive) resolution on the 12Z. And when you start manuevering, it drifts and corkscrews like a cheap foamie; i.e., with a mind of its own.

    Man, how aggravating. The model is solid, and if the frigging elevator wasn't twisted, I bet I'd be a real happy camper. But I realize now that the twist is in the square piece of wood that joins the two halves. If I had realized that before installing it, I could have fixed. As it is, I tried to fix it using the incorrect method. That's why it (the fix) only lasted long enough to get in on the model, then the twist came back.

    All I can say is, if you get one, better be DAMN sure the elevator is straight. And be warned; the elevator on this model is very powerful. I almost dumped it on the first take-off because it began porpoising like crazy as I fed in too much up, it shot almost straight up, put in too much down , it dived, you get the picture; and that was with 60% exponential. I dialled the expo up to 90% on the second flight, and it was very well-behaved after that; aside from the twist-induced issues, that is.

    If you look closely at the second photo, you can see what the problem is. I MIGHT be able to fix that without tearing up the back end, but to be honest I simply am done with this model. I paid top dollar for top quality. If I wanted to do that sort of surgery, I'd have gotten a kit.

    Nuts, I forgot and hit quick reply.

    Photos in next post.

    .

  19. #19

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    Here you go.
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  20. #20
    lomcevac540T's Avatar
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    sounds like the model is extremely tail heavy. Might try moving the cg and give it another try.
    P-40 Brotherhood #70
    To fly is heavenly, to torque roll is devine!

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by lomcevac540T View Post
    sounds like the model is extremely tail heavy.
    Nope. It passes the in-flight CG test with ease. If the CG was too far back, the tail would drop regardless of the elevator trim setting. That is not the case. The model is flyable; it just won't fly with any precision.

    A simple CG-finder tool is included with the kit, and it seems to work just fine. No, what's wrong with this particular example is the twisted elevator.

    .

  22. #22

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    Well, I fixed it; for real, this time… I think.

    The more I thought about it (and the longer I looked at it hanging on the wall), the bigger the case of red-***** I got. So I decided to give it the old college try.

    Basically, I cut a section out of the square piece of joiner, perhaps 3/32" long (that's all the space I had), trued up each elevator half and secured them in place, then fitted a "plug" to rejoin the halves. The biggest issue was not gouging the vertical fin and/or fuselage side with my tools while cutting the section out. I taped everything, but it was still slow going.

    The joiner stick is some sort of quasi-hardwood; I fabricated the plug from hard balsa, and secured it with CA. It seems to be solid enough, but I definitely cannot beat on the airplane now for fear of overstressing the joint. That's no biggee, I didn't plan on much 3F anyway.

    Hopefully the weather will cooperate tomorrow or Thursday, and I'll try her again.

    .

  23. #23

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    Sorry that I'm a little late to the party, with just over 200 flights on my 52" 260 (which sadly had it last flight due to the battery connection to the receiver recently) I absolutely love this plane. Excellent flying plane, use this to get me back into RC after taking about a 4 year break with my last plane being a 33% Cap 232. With over 200 recorded flights on this airframe, the plane flies the same as brand new, great control response even at slow speeds and high alpha maneuvers and the only problems I ever had was the tail wheel collar came off on a landing and finally the lead connecting the battery to the RX came unplugged in flight.
    Will admit, did make a few mistakes with it being my first electric plane in 5 years, with being use to flying at a mile above sea level and always needing/wanting a bigger the recommended engine, so I put a larger, E-Flight power 46 making it somewhat nose heavy which was great for the first handful of flights. To help give it some of the aerobatics back, I made a new battery box that let me move the battery back past the wing spar to make it a bit more tail heavy. Even with the CG up to an inch back from the wing spar, it was a little touchy on landings but still felt completely in control all the time in flight. Here's a link to some in-flight footage taken from the 260, even tried to use it as an aerial photography setup for another Extra hovering off the edge of the runway - http://youtu.be/nak-HID9EJo

    LSP, sorry to hear that you've had some bad luck with the build of your Extra, I can vouch for the strength of the complete stock airframe, even after a straight nose in from probably 400 feet at quarter throttle, the outer fuselage is almost completely intact and only broke out the center bulkheads that connected to the sides of the firewall, the elevator on mine is still square as can be except for one corner where I heated the covering too much and just very slightly tweaked the back corner and melted a hole in the covering. If you'd like, might be some extra effort since the hinges are glued already, I'll gladly send you my elevator and horizontal stab setup, maybe help get some of your confidence back into it without the modified spar connecting the elevator halves.

  24. #24

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    I appreciate the offer, but I had to use a lot of epoxy and micro balloons to secure the horizontal stab due to the poor fit, and I'd basically have to tear up the rear end to get it out and use your parts. That's more effort than I'm willing to expend. But thanks anyway.

    Still haven't had an opportunity to test my "fix"; between rain/freezing temps/wind/rain, the weather has been bad here for the past six days.

    I THINK my "fix" will hold, as long as I don't thrash the model too much; the big question is, will it fly straight now?

    .

  25. #25

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    Finally got a break in the weather. Nice warm day, very little wind.

    The airplane is still a bit squirrelly, but its MUCH better. It will make a great windy day model; since these small & light planes get tossed around so much by moderate wind, I'll never notice the lack of absolute precision.

    So all that effort wasn't a total waste.

    .


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