Covering and Decals
Time Required to Build:
Extra 260 needs no introduction. Though a little
old, the marketing for the Fliton mini 260 promises it to be a an
airplane to help expand
your flight envelope. I recently was lucky enough to pick one
up at a local swap meet for only $50 so lets put it together to see if
it lives up to the hype.
Name: Fliton mini Extra 260 Price:
$99.95 retail price Wingspan:
42.25 " Wing Area:
335 sq. in. Advertised
Weight: 22 - 24 oz Suggested
Hacker A20:20L, E-flite Park 450, AXI 2212/26 Suggested Battery:
3s 1500-2100mAh Suggested ESC:
25-30A Brushless Radio equipment:
4 Channel + Receiver
1/8" and 1/16"
purchased this from a fellow flyer at a swap meet, I
cannot comment on the original packaging as the box had been opened and
the items had been shifted around. However, I was lucky enough to find
the items in their original wrapping and none of the parts seem to be
Manual and Decals
Hatch and Fuse
The contents of the box reveal a fuselage with a magnetic
and tail assembly both requiring ailerons and elevators to be hinged,
fiberglass cowl, landing gear, wheel pants and parts to complete the
Extra 260. Each part was individually wrapped as shown in the picture.
Nowadays we are used to ARFs being only a several hours of easy to
modest skill assembly. Most manufacturers strive to add features that
simplify the modelers life in terms of assembly ease. The Fliton mini
260 unfortunately does not fall into this category. The control
surfaces are not pre-hinged, the motor box is not assembled and
requires assembly, the elevator comes in two pieces and had a unique
assembly procedure, and the canopy is not already built in to the hatch
and it requires trimming and affixing to the hatch. However it does
promise to be very light and with the proper setup, should fly very
For this review, I choose to use a Park 480 that I had sitting in my
drawer along with a Castle Creations 36A Phoenix brushless ESC. Since I
primarily want to use this as a light 3-D machine, I choose to drive
the ailerons with HS-55s which should provide enough speed and power to
roll at slow speeds and the tail section will be driven by HS-65
carbonite geared servos which should allow for stronger and faster
movement required in high alpha flight. I will use a mixture of 3S
2200mAh batteries that I have in my battery box as suggested by the
manual and with the Park 480 plan to swing a 12x6 EP propeller. With
that out of the way, lets start putting this 260 together and with any
luck be ready for some weekend flying.
Covering & Wings
starts by removing some covering to expose the
slots for the wing to fit the fuselage. Using a sharp hobby knife
remove the covering as described in the manual. There is a total of 5
holes per side that need to be opened up. This is followed by opening a
exit hole in the bottom for air to escape. Lastly the rudder servo bay
and the elevator stab holes are opened up. Note the unique mounting
location for the rudder servo.
Next up is the hinging of the ailerons to the wings. Note the
nice lightening holes on the side of the wings. The wings have anti
rotation pins on both the front and the back. Drive T-pins through the
center of the supplied CA hinges to aid in aligning and slotting the
aileron. Once the aileron is seated, deflect it to what you estimate
your max throw will and wick in a few drops of thin CA. Do
not use kicker on this step allow for the CA to soak in and setup
naturally. Repeat this on the back side and other wing.
Pinning the CA
Thin CA hinges
At this point I used some blenderm tape to seal the gaps and
also provide some additional support for the ailerons. Though I do not
think that sealing the gaps for a model this size is required, it does
not hurt. At this point the wings are ready to receive the servos and
we can move on to the tail and fuselage.
expose the bay for the aileron servos and install your servo of choice
making sure that the gear faces the aileron. I used a HS-55 which fit
without any hassles or need to trip the bay and I did not require any
servo extenders to route the wire in to the fuse. Prepare the horns
that are supplied and determine the mounting location of the horns. I
simply placed the wing in front of my desk lamp to find the location on
the aileron that has the reinforced horn mount location. After mounting
the horns, the screws will protrude on the top side so use a wire
clipper to take the sharp edges off. Repeat the procedure for the other
Clip Sharp Tips
control horns and linkages are not up to the task of
providing a solid link
from the servo tot he surface. The holes in the horns are too
wide to accept the thin linkage that is provided. The free play
here causes the aileron to move up and down quite a bit without any
servo movement which can cause flutter and the loss of the airplane if
not addressed. To address this issue, I simply created a smaller
hole using a T-pin next to the holes that already exist. Drive
the T-pin through the plastic and then force the z-bend of the linkage
in to the newly created hole. This will create a solid link to
ailerons, I did not use the supplied EZ connectors as I am using the
lightweight Dubro micro arms. Instead I choose to simply make another
Z-bend on the servo side.
Next, hinge the
rudder in the same fashion as the wings and
wick in some thin CA while deflecting the rudder. Nothing special here
but pay attention to getting full deflection while maintaining the gap
to a minimum. Blenderm tape can be used here to seal the gap.
The stab has a unique slot to help center it in the tail.
Insert the stab and check from the rear of the plane to see if it is
parallel with the wings. Mine was off quit a bit so I shaved a little
bit of the slot on the bottom right and top left hand side (as seen
from the rear). After I was satisfied with the result, I measured from
the wing tip to the stab and centered the stab. Once it measured and
looked about right, I marked and removed the covering. Finally, I
wicked in some thin CA to set the stab,
Stab Not Level
The elevator halves are supplied as two separate pieces and
Fliton supplies a handy leveler to make sure they are parallel to each
other. However, I did not completely understand why this was designed
this way as most other ARFs supply this either pre-hinged or in a
single piece that can be slid in before the stab. The two pieces must
be epoxied together during the hinging process. One of the inner CA
hinges is used to drive through the connection join but requires some
persuasion with a hobby knife. I removed the covering of the connection
point and hinged the longer part of the two halves. After test fitting
the two halves together, I used 10-minute epoxy to join the two at the
previously removed covering location and pushed in all the hinges. The
supplied levelers are then used to make sure the elevator halves stay
parallel as the epoxy cures.
Set Stab Angle
CA or Epoxy Stab
Ready for glue
Note Location of
As the epoxy on the tail section is curing, I turned the
plane around and started to work on the motor mount.
The motor mount
is supplied in six separate pieces and requires some assembly which is
described in quite some detail in the manual. The first step requires
you to glue the fire wall to the supplied brace. The two pieces fit
together only one way so make sure you test fit them first and make
sure that the marked side faces outwards. The side pieces slide in the
front of the fuse. I test fitted all the pieces and once comfortable
with the fit, removed the hatch and used thin CA to set them.
Slide in Sides
Slide in Bottom
Then the Top
Make sure you do not leave the hatch on as you apply thin CA
or you will glue the hatch to the fuse.
The landing gear
is a straight forward assembly except I had to widen the wheel holes
and thin the sides to fit the axles properly. The axles are
screwed in from the inner side of the landing gear and held in place by
two nuts on the other side. Make sure the outer nut is very tight
and use some locktite or CA to hold it in place or you may loose your
wheel or seize the wheel during taxi and flip the plane on its nose and
break your prop. The wheel pants are screwed in to the landing
gear using a small tapping screw to fasten to a small wood block that
is glued to the inside of the wheel pant. The holes are already
drilled on the landing gear which makes things easier. The
landing gear is fixed to the plane by sliding it to the holes on the
side of the fuselage and using 4 self tapping screw to fix it to the
wood base. I added some CA here to make sure that these wood
screws would not work themselves back out of their holes.
On Its Feet
CA Wood Supports
Screw in Pants
Once the plane is on its feet, the wheel pants can be aligned
for clearance, drilled with a 1/16 bit and screwed in. I also
used a few drops of CA between the wheel pants and the landing gear to
make sure that the wheel pants would not work themselves loose on
The rudder and
elevator servos are installed next. Using the Hitec HS-65 servos,
I had to enlarge the precut holes with a hobby knife. I used 2 6"
extensions to route the servo wires to the front of the fuselage.
The elevator and rudder control horns are installed in the same
fashion as the ailerons. Using a 1/16" drill bit makes things easier
during this process. The supplied linkages were used to connect
the elevator and rudder to the servos however I did have to
create new holes in the horns to make sure that they were tight similar
to the ailerons.
Locate Hard Spot
Cut a Channel
CA and Tape
The model is not supplied with a steerable tail wheel.
The tail section has a block of balsa that is ready to receive a
pre-bent wire. I used a 1/16" drill bit to drill a small hole and
inserted the bent end of the supplied wire. I then cut a small channel
in the balsa block and used some medium CA and kicker to install the
landing skid. I used a small piece of tape to make sure that it would
not pop back off during transport and landings. The final step
involves bending the wire to resemble a landing skid.
Motor and ESC
The motor and
ESC I used for this project was a Park 480 that I had laying in the
drawer to be controlled by a 36A CC ESC. The Park 480 is shipped with a
cross 'X' mounting brace for fire-wall mounting. Using this, I
marked the locations of the holes and drilled them using a pilot 1/16"
drill bit. The kit does not supply hardware to mount the motor so
I dropped by he local hobby shop and picked up a bag of 4-40 bolts and
blind nuts. After making sure the pilot holes I drilled lined up
with the holes, I enlargened the holes and installed the blind nuts.
The motor then screwed right on without any hassles.
Pull in Nuts
Blind Nuts Set
Zip Tie Leads
I choose to locate the ESC under the battery tray, insulated
by a small piece of foam, and fixed it in place by using zip ties.
The canopy has
to be cut and trimmed along the marked lines by using a small scissors
or body reamer and installs to the hatch with the supplied tapping
screws. I added a few drops of CA to make sure that it would not
blow off during violent maneuvers. The metal screws on the bottom
of the hatch can be adjusted in or out to make proper contact with the
magnets. The magnets provide a pretty good connection of the hatch to
the fuse. The cowl is held in by 4-6 of
the supplied self tapping screws and is a simple process as the screws
do not have to line up to any special location on the back.
I choose to use
a 12x6 APC prop and used the 4mm supplied spinner nut to hold it in
place. A small white spinner would make the Extra shine out and
look more scale.
From the supplied decals, I choose to use only four stickers.
These have to be cut and trimmed to size but they are self
adhesive so this was a straight forward process as well.
Being located in Houston
has it's advantages and disadvantages in terms of weather. We can
fly most year round if it is not raining or too windy. We were lucky
enough that the weather was a comfortable 85F and calm with 0-5mph winds for the maiden. After strapping down
a 3S 2200mAh battery and arming the ESC, I set the throttle trim so
that the motor was barely idling. I like to do this on all my
electrics so the motor never stops and it helps on reducing the amount
of force that is exerted on the frame and motor box when advancing
throttle from idle to full. Since there is no steerable tail wheel,
I positioned the plane in the middle of the runway and advanced the
throttle to about mid stick and the Extra started to gain speed. It
was airborne in about six feet. Once airborne, I climbed to a safe
level to trim out the extra for level flight. It required a few
clicks of up elevator and left aileron to fly straight. I rolled
inverted to check the CG and it was started diving and pulling to
the canopy indicating that it was close but slightly nose heavy. After
a few circuits I gained a little altitude and experimented with the
stall characteristics of the Extra. No surprizes there except it liked
to drop its left wing a lot in high alpha.
Harriers are rock solid upright and even better inverted but require
a significant amount of rudder to maintain while inverted. Entering
harriers from flight by performing a wall was not up to my expectations
as the Extra would want to climb out and throw a wing. Rolling harriers
are very easy to do and the rolls are very axial.
Hovering was a mixed feel. When there was no wind, the Extra locks
in perfectly and starts a slow torque roll that is fairly slow and
easy to control. However, with the slightest wind, hovering
requires almost full right rudder to maintain. This may have been
due to the setup of the plane or my ability to control it. On the
video there are a few hovering scenes. You may be able to see a few
where the rudder is barely moving and in a few I have full right rudder
to maintain it.
Inverted flat spins slow down and spin very nicely. I was not
able to do very nice upright flat spins but I cannot usually do that
on smaller planes very easily without inadvertantly snapping. Blenders
are very violent and entering knife edge spins or spins or waterfalls
from blenders are very easy.
Knife edge flight is where this plane shines and it exhibits very
little coupling towards the canopy. Knife edge loops are clean and
manageable with the Park 480 pulling out strong at the bottom.
Bringing in the Extra for a landing I was greeted with an unpleasant
surprize as the plane toppled over and broke the prop as soon as the
wheels touched the ground. However there was no damage to the rest
of the plane. It turns out that I did not properly tighten the second
inner nut of the axle, and when this came loose, it rotated all the
way to the wheel and locked it in place. A quick fix with
a thin hemostat fixed that problem and the Extra was ready for a few
I tried several very slow harrier landings and the landing gear did
not seem to like anything but a gentle drop from a few inches off
the deck. The landing gear mounts inside the fuselage came loose after
a few harrier landings even though I had used CA to lock them in place.
Around the fourth or fifth harrier landing, the right landing gear
snapped at the bend. I guess I will be looking for some stronger replacements
I've always liked the way the Extra series of aircraft fly
and my favorite would have to be the 260 due to the wing position. This
Extra does not disappoint in terms of flying manners. It is a very
light and acrobatic airplane that would make any pattern or 3D flyer
happy with its aggressive flight envelope. I would not recommend this
a first or second model to a beginner due to the complex build and
acrobatic flight envelope. Experienced modelers that love Extra 260s
can make this little model really perform with some slight
modifications. The build quality
is not up to the standards of where the
industry is today with pre-built motor boxes, attached canopies,
pre-hinged surfaces, self aligning tail and stab etc... Having said
that I don't think that it will not be a problem for most modelers to
build and appreciate this model. I would
think that finding spare parts would be however very difficult but I
have not verified this
In summary, I would
rate this plane somewhere between C+ to B- as there are many other
Extra 260s out there
today that are easier builds and better flyers such as my all time
favorite the Precision
Aerobatics Extra 260 (at twice the price) and the
e-flite Extra 260.
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.