RCU Review: Electrifly Sopwith Camel Electric ARF


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    Contributed by: Ken Isaac | Published: March 2009 | Views: 52754 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Electrifly Sopwith Camel - RCU Review

    Review by: Ken Isaac (RCKen) | Email me

    Ken Isaac
    { RCKen }
    Email me

    About the Author



    Distributed Exclusively in the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    www.electrifly.com
    www.greatplanes.com



    • High quality construction
    • Very complete kit
    • Detailed and complete instruction manual
    • Control sufaces are pre-hinged
    • Magnetic mounting for cowl and cockpit hatch speed access to insides of the plane
    • Easy to assemble
    • High "Fun" Factor

    • Covering loose and wrinkled
    • Pre-applied insignia melted
    • Landing gear rod fell out and was lost


    Skill Level:
    Low to Moderate

    Time Required to Build:
    5-10 Hours

    Frustration Level:
    Low



    Click here to learn
    "What these rating mean"

    Probably one of the fastest growing parts of this hobby is electric powered planes, and among those would be Park Flyer type planes. Electrifly is providing a large selection of these Park Flyers on the market today, and with such a large selection there is a plane to suit just about any type of flying a pilot may want to do. One of their newest releases is the Sopwith Camel EP ARF. The Sopwith Camel was Britain's front-line fighter during World War I.

    When I was growing up I absolutely loved the Peanuts comic strip. I think I had almost every book of these comics. And one of my favorite parts of the Peanuts was Snoopy when he was playing the World War I Flying Ace. I loved how he sat up on his doghouse with his leather cap and goggles "flying" over the battlefields of Europe looking for the Red Baron. And of course his "plane" was the Sopwith Camel! Now when I was a young kid I probably wouldn't have recognized a Sopwith Camel if it fell on me, but I did know that was the plane that Snoopy flew! As far as I was concerned back then the only plane used to shoot down the Red Baron was a Sopwith Camel. Ahhh, to be young again! Fast forward a few decades and now I have the chance to fly a Sopwith Camel, so of course I jumped on it. Wouldn't Snoopy be proud of me?

    So, let's dig in and see what this plane has to offer.......



    Electrifly Sopwith Camel Electric ARF

    Specifications
    Price: $99.98
    Wingspan:
    35.5" (900mm)
    Wing Area:
    389 sq. in (25.1 sq dm)
    Weight:
    21.1 -26.3 oz (595 - 745 g)
    Wing Loading:
    7.8 -9.7 oz sq ft (24 - 30 g/sq dm)
    Length:
    25" (630 mm)
    Airfoil:
    Flat bottom

    Features

    • Construction: Laser cut balsa and plywood

    • Wings: One piece each bi-wing configuration with painted cabanes and interplane struts

    • Covering: Factory applied

    • Battery Compartment: Accessible under magnetic cover at front of fuselage

    • Cowling: Vacuum formed plastic, radiator design

    • Landing Gear: Pre-bent and factory painted in Red

    • Wheels: Two 3" (76mm) diameter lightweight foam tires

    • Aileron Control: Dual servo on bottom wing

    • Pilot Bust: Two-piece painted

    • Hardware: Complete package designed for light weight and precise control response

    • Building Time: Ready to fly in several hours

    • Warranty: Great Planes Model Manufacturing Company guarantees this kit free from defects in both materials and workmanship at the date of purchase.

    Includes

    • Sopwith Camel WWI Park Flyer Sport Scale Airplane with pre-bent landing gear

    • Scale wheels

    • Wing struts

    • Wood servo tray

    • Scale machine gun and pilot

    • Hardware package

    • Photo-illustrated instructions

    • Decals

    • Vacuum formed radial engine

    Items Required to Complete

    Battery & Charger

    Radio System

    Actual Flying Weight: 27 oz (1 lbs 11 oz).
    Motor Used: Great Planes Rimfire 28-30-950 Out-Runner Brushless
    Speed Control Used: Great Planes Silver Series 25A Brushless ESC 5V/2A BEC
    Battery Used: Great Planes ElectriFly LiPo 11.1V 1500mAh 15C BP Srs
    Prop Used: Great Planes 10x4.5 Power Flow Slo-Flyer Elec Prop
    Radio Used: Futaba T9CAP
    Receiver Used: Futaba R148DF 8-Channel
    Channels Used: 4 total - Ailerons, elevator, throttle, and rudder.
    Servos Used: Futaba S3114 Micro Servos, 4 ea. 2 ea. ailerons, 1 ea. elevator, and 1 ea rudder.

    Unpacking The Box

    The Electrifly Sopwith Camel EP ARF arrived on my doorstep in a glossy coated cardboard box measuring 38" x 7-1/2" x 7-1/2". The side panels of the box well document the plane and do a great job of explaining the features of the plane. The side panels also list all of the "extras" that are required to get the plane in the air. The front of the box displays the AMA Park Pilot Logo, which means that the plane weighs less than 2 pounds and flies under 60 mph.

    Opening the box reveals the major components of the plane sealed into plastic bags. All of the components bags are taped together and then taped to the box. This is done to prevent the parts from shifting and getting damaged during shipping. The cowl and dummy radial engine are packed in foam to protect them from damage. All of the smaller parts for the plane are contained in a separate cardboard box.

    Wings, fuselage, horizontal & vertical stabilizer, and the instruction manual are all in plastic bags to protect them during shipment. All of the smaller parts are contained in sealed plastic bags and are separated by the assembly they belong to. While not contained in the box I have included a shot above of everything that is required to complete and fly the Sopwith Camel. This includes the motor, ESC, receiver, banana plugs, battery, props, servos, and servo extensions. All of these items must be purchased separately. The part numbers for all of these items are listed above in the specifications section.


    The Manual

    Great Planes has a great reputation for putting out some of the best instruction manuals, and the manual for the Sopwith Camel is no exception. The manual is 24 pages which are printed in black and white. Included with the manual is a small paper which is an addendum to the manual to correct a mistake. The first several pages list all the items, tools, and materials you will need to complete the plane. Also included is a listing of the major components included.

    The manual describes each step in detail and contains pictures for each step. Each step is explained in detail and there should be no problems in understanding what needs to be done. Page 16 contains the step affected by the addendum included with the plane.

    I found that in cases like this it's better to change the step in the manual so that I don't "forget" about the changes when I am assembling the plane. In this case I stapled the change directly below the affected step.

    There are two things about the manual that I would like to comment on.

    • While the major components of the plane are listed in the "Kit Contents" section there is no listing for all the smaller parts and pieces included with the plane. As there are several types of small pieces and screws, a printout identifying each part would help the builder to ensure that they have the proper part when assembling the plane.

    • The second item I noticed while putting the plane together was the pilot figure and machine guns. Nowhere in the manual does it instruct the builder to install these parts. Rather, they just "appear" in the instructions during the step of putting the windshield on. While this is a minor issue, it was a bit surprising to see something like this, as Great Planes manuals are usually very complete and leave nothing out. It's a very easy step for the builder to glue the affected parts in using medium CA.

    An online version of the manual can be found here: Electrifly Sopwith Camel ARF



    Removing Wrinkles From Covering

    The Sopwith Camel is covered with Monokote. As with most ARF's the covering will need to be tightened up, as wrinkles will more than likely develop during shipping. To remove the wrinkles a bit of special care needs to be followed. The manual recommends avoiding using a heat gun to stretch the covering on the plane. This is because of the small size of the wings. Using a heat gun can cause the covering to pull and warp the thinner sections such as the wings and the tail surfaces. Because of this they recommend using a covering iron only to remove the wrinkles from the covering.

    Before starting to shrink the covering it's a good idea to first use a trim iron (or a regular covering iron) and seal down all the edges of the covering. This is done to avoid the seams pulling away as the covering shrinks while removing the wrinkles. Use a regular covering iron to remove the wrinkles and tighten the covering on the structures of the plane. This can take a bit, as the covering iron doesn't put out the amount of heat that a heat gun will, so be patient as you shrink the covering. My Sopwith had a lot more wrinkles in it than most of the Hobbico products I have seen. While not a bad thing, I mention it because it took a lot of time for me to get all the wrinkles worked out with the covering iron, almost 2 hours worth of work.

    Once all the wrinkles have been worked out I used the covering iron with a hot sock on it to seal the covering down to the wood structure. This will help keep the covering tight as the plane is used.

    The plane comes with the insignia pre-installed on the fuselage and wings, which turned out to be a huge problem. As I was shrinking the covering on the fuselage I moved it over the section that had the insignia on it which caused the edges of the insignia to "melt" and pull back (see picture above). The first thing I thought was that I had my iron too hot so I double checked it, and it was at the correct temperature for Monokote. The one insignia was pretty much shot so I thought I would try to find a work around on the insignia on the other side of the fuselage. I reduced the temperature on the iron and made my movements over the insignia quick so as to not build up too much heat. Unfortunately this did not help, as the temperatures that would not damage the insignia was too cool to shrink the covering. So that didn't work.

    There was no way to fix the damaged insignia. Now I know that when the plane is in the air flying past it would probably be impossible to see the damaged insignia, but I would know it was there and needed to fix it. Luckily the colors on the insignia are pretty close to colors of Monokote I had on hand in my "bits and pieces" box. It took me approximately 10 minutes to cut new insignia out of Monokote and apply them to the sides of the fuselage.

    As you can see in the picture above, the new insignia are close enough to the old ones that nobody should notice. Because of this I was stumped as to how I was going to shrink the covering on the wings. A little bit of investigation revealed that the larger insignia are applied with adhesive. I was able to peel the insignia away from the wing, shrink the covering, and then reapply the insignia to the wings. I would highly recommend that anybody putting this plane together do this in order to not damage the insignia.

    One other issue I found with the insignia was on the aileron gaps. The insignia was cut at the aileron gap. However they only slit the material once and did not remove the material from the entire gap. Because of this the decal interfered with the movement of the aileron. Using a hobby knife to cut away the decal from the other side of the gap corrected this issue.


    Tail Section

    The assembly of the plane starts by mounting the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The Sopwith comes out of the box with all of the control surfaces pre-hinged. However it's a good idea to give a little tug on each control surface to ensure that the hinges are properly secured in place.

    Temporarily mount the bottom wing in place using the 3 x 20mm screws and 3mm washers. Now place the horizontal stabilizer in place on the fuselage. The instructions call for holding it in place and then to look at the stabilizer to see if it is parallel to the wing. However I found it a bit cumbersome to hold the plane and get a good look at the position of the stabilizer. I used several small strips of painters tape to hold the stabilizer in place on the fuselage. With it in place, look at the position of the stabilizer from the rear of the plane and check to see if the stabilizer is parallel with the bottom wing. As you can see in the above picture the stabilizer was a bit high on the left side. If the stabilizer isn't correct sand down the side of the fuselage to level it out. Be careful as you sand as the wood here is soft and it's easy to take too much material at a time. Do a little bit at a time and recheck to see if the stabilizer is parallel with the wing.

    Next we need to check that the stabilizer is square with the fuselage. Start by marking the middle of the cross-brace in the cockpit area and place a T-pin here. Next locate the vertical stabilizer so that the middle of it is centered on the fuselage, and stick a pin in to hold the horizontal stabilizer in place. Tie a loop in a long piece of non-elastic string (sewing thread words well) and hook it to the pin in the cockpit. Place a piece of tape on the string with a mark on it. Now slide this so that the mark is on the gap between the stab and elevator. Swing the string to the other side of the stab and check to see if the mark is at the same gap location. Pivot the stab on the pin until this mark is the same on both sides of the stab.

    With the stabilizer centered on the fuselage hold it in position and turn it over. Use thin CA to glue the horizontal stabilizer in place on the fuselage. Although the control surfaces are pre-installed the rudder has one hinge that will need to be glued in place. Place the rudder and vertical stabilizer in place on the horizontal stabilizer, ensuring that the hinge at the bottom of the rudder is in the hinge slot in the fuselage. Use a square to ensure that the vertical stabilizer is sitting square and use CA to glue it in place. Use thin CA on the bottom rudder hinge to secure it to the fuselage.


    Elevater & Rudder Hook Up

    Two long wire pushrods are used for the elevator and rudder controls. Work a fiberglass control horn on to the Z-bend of the pushrod and then slide the pushrod into the guide tube located in the side of the fuselage. Place the control horn into the slot located in the control surface. To secure the control horn use a few drops of thin CA followed by medium CA to secure the horn in place. Repeat this installation for the elevator pushrod.

    Temporarily connect the rudder and elevator servos to the radio and center the servo arms on the servo so that they are perpendicular to the servo body. Using a #56 (.046" [1.2mm]) drill to enlarge the outermost hole in the servo arm. Mount a screw-lock pushrod connector to each servo arm.

    The instructions call for using CA to secure the servos in place. However I chose to use screws to hold the servos in. The servo installation is pretty standard. Mark the servo mount holes, drill a pilot hole, use a mounting screw to cut the threads in the mounting hole, and use thin CA to harden the threads in the wood. After the CA has dried mount each servo in place in the servo tray. NOTE: This needs to be done prior to installing the servo tray in the plane.

    Place the servo tray into position in the fuselage. Use thin CA to glue the servo tray in place. To install the pushrods to the servo arms the servos need to be connected to the receiver once again. Also, center the control surface so that it is in the neutral position. I use two hobby sticks (a.k.a. popsicle sticks) and two small clamps to keep the control surface centered for this. Now insert the pushrod through the screw-lock pushrod connector (you may have to remove the servo arm in order to accomplish this). When you are satisfied with the position of the pushrod tighten the screw-lock connector. Place a small drop of threadlock on the screw prior to tightening it.


    Mounting the ESC and Receiver

    The ESC and receiver is mounted on a tray located inside the fuselage below the cockpit. The tray worked into place inside the fuselage and then glued into place using medium CA. Once the tray is in place I used adhesive backed Velcro to mount the ESC and receiver in place. There is a tube in place in the fuselage to run the receiver antenna to the back of the fuselage, with the excess wire left hanging out of the back of the plane.

    I would like to make one note here. The manual recommends using a mini receiver (Futaba R114F 4-channel mini receiver) in this plane, and I highly recommend doing this. I did not have one of these receivers available and instead I used a standard 8-channel receiver. This receiver barely fits in place in this plane.


    Mount The Motor

    The Rimfire motor comes with a metal mounting plate installed on it. This needs to be removed and replaced with the fiberglass mounting plate provided in the plane kit. The 3 3.5mm female bullet adapters need to be installed on the 3 motor wires. The motor is then mounted in place on the motor mount of the fuselage. It is mounted by using 3 x 20mm Phillips screws (apply a drop of threadlock to each screw). The screws are placed through the fiberglass mount and then a 1/2" tube and a 3mm washer are placed on the screw, which is then screwed into the pre-installed blind nuts.

    Connect the three wires of the motor to the three wires from the ESC. The wires are not labeled and it does not matter which wires are connected to each other. However, if the motor runs backwards you will need to switch any two of the wires from the motor to the ESC.


    Install the Dummy Engine

    A dummy radial engine is provided to help provide some scale looks to the Sopwith Camel. The instructions call for cutting away the ring from two of the cylinders of the dummy engine. However this was already cut away on the engine provided in the kit. Each cylinder needs to be prepared to install pushrods for a scale look. Use a #60 (.040"[1mm]) to drill holes in the dummy radial engine, 2 holes per cylinder, with matching holes at the bottom of each cylinder. A pushrod wire is inserted in place for each cylinder.

    To secure the pushrods in place turn the dummy engine over and place a small drop of medium CA at the exposed end of each pushrod. Once all of the pushrods are in place work the dummy engine into the ABS plastic cowl. Ensure the dummy engine is properly placed, with the cut out portion of the engine aligned with the cutout in the cowl, and secure in place with medium CA.

    The cowl for the Sopwith is held in place on the fuselage by magnets that are installed in the fuselage and the cowl. So it's a simple matter of securing and removing the cowl.


    Inspection Plate and Cockpit Hatch

    An "inspection plate" is provided for some scale detail. One inspection plate needs to be installed on each side of the fuselage behind the cowl. These are glued in place using several drops of medium CA.

    The cockpit hatch for the Sopwith is held in place with magnets similar to the cowl. Test fit the hatch in place to ensure that it fits cleanly and securely. The fit can be adjusted by shaving a bit of wood off of the backside of the hatch.

    The manual does not provide instructions to install the pilot figure and the scale machine guns, but rather they just "appear" in the next step of the manual. But these parts are easy to install by using medium CA. The windscreen is installed in place by placing several small drops of medium CA on the hatch and placing the windscreen on those drops.


    Install the Battery Tray

    A strap to secure the battery in place is made from the supplied Velcro material, which is then fed through the battery tray. In addition, a small piece of adhesive backed Velcro is placed on the battery tray to help secure the battery while it is in place in the plane. The tray is secured in the plane with two #2 x 3/8" flat head screws. Mount the battery in the plane and test fit the cockpit hatch to ensure that it fits properly and that the magnets secure it in place.


    Mount the Aileron Servos

    As with the elevator and rudder servos the instructions call for mounting the aileron servos with CA. However I chose to install them with screws as well. The aileron mounts needs to be built on the underside of each servo hatch, which is installed in each side of the lower wing. To position the servo mounting blocks place a thin piece of cardboard (I used manila folders) between the servo and the servo hatch as well as each servo mounting block. Mark the location of the mounting blocks as well as the location of each servo mounting screw. Use medium CA to glue each servo block in place. Drill the servo mounting holes, cut threads in each hole with the mounting screws, and then use thin CA to harden the threads in the mounting holes. Connect each servo to the receiver and center the servo arms in the same manner as the rudder and elevator servos. Mount each servo on the servo hatch using mounting screws.

    Connect a servo extension wire to each servo and use the installed pull string to pull each servo wire through the wing and out the hole in the middle of the wing. Mount the aileron hatch in place using four #2 x 3/8" Phillips screws. Install a small aileron pushrod in each servo by working the Z-bend into the servo arm.

    Install a second pushrod on the fiberglass control horn. Slide a piece of small heat shrink tubing over the pushrod from the aileron servo and then place pushrod from the control arm inside of the heat shrink. Glue the control horn in place in the aileron in the same way that the rudder and elevator horns were installed. To finish the installation secure the aileron in the center position using hobby sticks and clamps as we did on the tail surfaces. Connect the aileron servo to the receiver, turn on the radio, and center the aileron servo. Use a heat source (such as a heat gun) to shrink the heat shrink over the two aileron pushrods to secure them together. Wick thin CA down inside of the heat shrink to ensure that the two pushrods are secured.

    Install the aileron pushrod tabs into each aileron and secure using thin CA.


    Mounting the Wings

    The upper wing is secured to the plane by four metal cabane struts. Make sure that the struts you use are for the cabanes and not the landing gear mounts, as they all look similar. As the cabane struts are mounted and the wing is put in place do not apply CA to the struts until the wings are mounted and you are sure the struts are in the proper position. The manual shows how each strut needs to be placed, so pay attention as there is a front and rear strut. Place the upper wing on your work area upside down and place the cabane struts in the recesses on the wing. Use #2 x 1/4" screw to secure the top wing to the cabane struts. Connect the aileron servo wires to the dual servo extension and then secure the bottom wing in place using two 3 x 20mm screws and 3mm washers.

    There are 3 different wing strut mounting tabs so refer to the instructions for the proper placement of these tabs. Once the tabs are in place secure them with thin CA. 4 interplane struts are used to secure the outer portions of the wings. Once everything is properly positioned the cabane struts are glued in place using thin CA.


    Assembling The Landing Gear

    The front and rear landing gear struts are secured to the bottom of the fuselage and the bottom of the wing using six #2 x 3/8" flat-head Phillips screws. The wheels are mounted in place with a 2 x 35mm bolt and two 3mm bolts. The bolts are placed through the front landing gear strut and a nut is installed, and then through the rear landing gear strut with another nut applied to hold it in place. Use a drop of threadlock on each nut to secure it in place. Make sure that the wheel rolls freely when tightening the bolts. The wheel cross tube is placed between the wheels by sliding the axle both into each end of the tube.


    Aileron Connecting Pushrods and Propeller Installation

    Place the Z-bend of each half of the aileron pushrod into the pushrod tabs on each aileron. Place a piece of heat shrink on the pushrods. Center the aileron and use a heat source to shrink the heat shrink around the aileron pushrods, and then wick thin CA into the heat shrink to ensure the pushrods are secure.

    The prop is mounted using the propeller washer and nut provided with the motor. Tighten the nut with a 8mm (5/16") wrench. Install the aluminum propeller cone and tighten using a piece of wire through the hole in the cone.


    Balancing and Control Throws

    The Sopwith Camel should initially be balanced with the CG 2-7/8" back from the leading edge of the top wing. Once the plane has been initially flown the location of the CG can be moved to suit the flying style of the pilot. I used a Great Planes CG Machine  to balance the plane. I needed to add 2-1/4 ounces of weight to the nose of the plane in order to get the plane to balance level. The weight can be attached directly to the motor mount at the front of the plane.

    The control throws should be set to the rates indicated below. A deflection gage shown in the pictures makes it easier to check the throws of the control surfaces. However it's not absolutely necessary. The throws can be checked using a ruler; the method for this is described in the instruction manual.

    Control Throws:
    Aileron: High Rate: 5/8" (16mm) 19 degrees Up & down
    Low Rate: 3/8" (10mm) 16 degrees Up & down
    Elevator: High Rate: 1/2" (13mm) 15 degrees Up & down
    Low Rate: 5/16" (8mm) 10 degrees Up & down
    Rudder: High Rate: 1" (32mm) 22 degrees Left to Right
    Low Rate: 5/8" (25.4mm) 14 degrees Left to Right


    I've been flying for quite some time now, and have done more than a few reviews, so normally taking a plane out for a maiden flight is no big deal for me. But for some reason I was really excited to get the Sopwith out to the field and fly it. Unfortunately I had to let it sit, as all I could do was look and wait for weather that I could fly the plane in. Finally we got decent weather late one afternoon, so I grabbed the plane, my cameras, and my son and headed out to the field.

    After getting the Photo Shoot pictures taken I got the plane ready to fly. I put the battery in the plane and did a quick check of the controls to ensure that they were set properly, and after a range check of the radio I armed the ESC and it was ready to fly. I eased the throttle forward a bit to get it rolling and then I opened it up. The plane was off the ground in about 5 feet. I brought the plane around and leveled it out so that I could check the trim of the plane. At about half throttle the plane required two clicks of up elevator to bring it back to hands free operation.

    With the plane trimmed it was time to find out what she could do. Immediately I discovered that at full throttle the plane was very responsive and really fun to fly, but wasn't scale in any way, shape, or form. However, bringing the throttle back to about half would result in more scale-like flight. I also discovered that by switching the plane to low rates it would fly more scale-like as it was maneuvered around the sky. Rolling the plane while on high rates results in a near axial roll that required very little input from the elevator. However switching to low rates required up elevator to keep the plane level as it tracked through the roll. Loops were easily performed and it was very easy to make large graceful loops with the plane. Taking the plane up a bit I tried put the plane into a stall. The plane "mushed" a bit and stalled straight forward. After flying it around a bit I lined up for a landing. As I brought it into the runway one thing became quickly clear, landing for this plane is very realistic. By this I mean that the plane really needs to be flown down to the runway. Trying to "float" the plane into a landing made for a hard bounce on the runway. As I landed it on the runway I let it taxi out to a stop and one other thing became evident. Ground handling. With the short front end on the plane I found that if I didn't in elevator to keep the tail on the ground it would nose over very easily.

    On my second take off I had a small problem. I got a bit squirrelly on the runway and ended up taking off on the rough side of the runway. Somewhere in this the landing gear spread apart and the landing gear cross tube came off of the plane and was lost. I didn't find this out until I brought it back in for a second landing. With this cross tube missing the wheels had a habit of turning in and causing the plane to be very difficult to handle on the ground. Unfortunately the still shots for this review were taken after the cross tube fell off, so if you see it missing in the pictures this is why.

    The Li-po battery that I was using was the larger 1500 MaH size, and with this I was able to get 12 minutes flying time. However, I didn't stop because the battery was dead. I had to stop when I broke a prop and didn't have a spare at the field. I think I could easily squeeze another 3-4 minutes of flying time out of the batteries. I wish that I hadn't broken the prop as I was having just too much fun flying the plane.

    As I got a bit more comfortable I found that this was really a fun plane to toss around the sky. Take offs were accomplished in about 5' as the plane just seemed to leap off the ground. Although I was flying at our "large plane" field, I tried to keep the plane in as small of a space as I could so I could get a feel for how small of a space the plane could be flown in. After flying it I would feel very comfortable flying the plane in the space of a baseball, football, or soccer field or at the local park. Just a word of caution: if flying at any place other than a regular flying field make sure your radio won't interfere with any planes being flown nearby.

    I had wanted to head home and pick up the spare prop for this plane, but unfortunately we were running out of daylight. So I didn't get the chance to fly again that day. One thing is for sure, I can't wait for the weather to get nice enough to fly again. I want to spend more time flying the Sopwith Camel. Snoopy would be proud of me!!



    Electrifly Sopwith Camel
    Flight Video
    Small File - 7.4 MB
    Click Here


    Electrifly Sopwith Camel
    Flight Video
    LargeFile - 18.4 MB
    Click Here

    Overall I really liked the Electrifly Sopwith Camel ARF. It has opened up a new type of flying that I wasn't able to do before. Instead of loading up and heading to the field I can grab this plane and head for the school yard down the street and get in a quick flight or two. I'm honestly excited about being able to do this. One thing was foremost in my mind as I flew this plane for this review, and that was the fact that I was having way too much fun flying the Sopwith Camel.

    As I wrap up here there are a couple of items I would like to make note of.

    • I don't know if there is a better way to do the landing gear cross tube so that it doesn't get lost if the wheels spread apart, maybe a little bit of thread lock would help "glue" it in place but still allow it to be removed for wheel maintenance. I could not find the one that I lost at the field and had make a new tube from aluminum tubing.

    • Pre-applied insignia. Ultimately I think the solution here would be for the insignia to be shipped on a seperate sheet and applied by the modeler after the covering has been shrunk. But until then the modeler needs to pay caution when shrinking the covering. The best option I found was to remove the insignia from the plane and then replace it once the covering was tight.

    • I would like to have seen all of the smaller parts listed in the Kit Contents section of the manual to help identify all parts in the plane.

    • A couple of small steps missing from the manual. While this is only a minor issue it is a bit out of character for Great Planes (Electrifly) as their manuals are some of the best in the business.

    The Sopwith Camel overall construction was high quality. The advertised assembly time is 6-8 hours. It took me a bit longer than this because of the extra time needed to remove the wrinkles from the covering. However, a modeler with average skills should have no problems getting the Sopwith together in 2-3 evenings of work. The high level of construction means that no special tools or skills are needed to get this plane together. With a well documented manual and a well engineered plane the "Frustration Level" of putting this plane together will stay at a low level as this plane is a joy to put together.

    Electrifly has done a great job in putting together such a high quality plane and keeping the price very affordable. The Sopwith Camel looks good in the air and flies more like a sport plane than a WWI fighter. It's just plain fun to fly. For those who are looking for a smaller electric park flyer that is something just a bit different, I highly recommend that they take a look at the Sopwith Camel.

    Overall I would say that Electifly has a hit with this plane.


    Electrifly Sopwith Camel Electric ARF

    Distributed Exclusively in the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    www.electrifly.com
    www.greatplanes.com
    Distributed Exclusively in the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    http://2.4gigahertz.com

    www.greatplanes.com
    Products used: 9TCAP Radio, R148DF 8-Channel receiver, S3114 Micro Servos
    Zap Adhesives
    Frank Tiano Enterprises
    3607 Ventura Drive E.
    Lakeland, Florida 33811
    Phone: (863)607-6611
    Website: http://www.franktiano.com
    Products Used: Thin & Medium CA, Z-42 Thread Locker

    Comments on RCU Review: Electrifly Sopwith Camel Electric ARF

    Posted by: max-nix on 03/31/2009
    Excellent review, very professional!
    Posted by: lotech on 03/31/2009
    I really enjoyed this review! I would like to add that I had very good results on the landing gear spacer by using medium ca in a line across the top of the threads of the screw (not alot). It still was easy to get apart later for a wheel replacement and stayed in place through many,many not so nice landings with my Great Planes SE-5 !
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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