Kit with hardware
Easy to build with an excellent manual
Superb Flying Performance and great looks
Durable Fiberglass and carbon parts
Magnetic Hatch for easy battery access
Optional tail servo position for alternate power set-ups
Carbon gear mains upgrade
Matched Power Set
rudder exit holes were difficult to find
Pull-Pull rudder tubes extended too long
Reported fit issues with the canopy and rudder hinge alignment so
inspect the model upon purchase
Planes Sequence F3A
Great Planes Sequence
F3A is an Almost-Ready-to-Fly 50" class E-Performance
XLC Series pattern ship. It features a light hand-selected balsa
and plywood frame with a pre-built plywood motor box. The two-piece
wings are connected with a light but tough carbon joiner. The
ailerons are factory-hinged and the rudder uses a pull-pull system
for control authority. The Sequence comes complete with wheels,
canopy, self-aligning wheel pants, pre-built motor box, decals
and a 24-page instruction manual loaded with photos and detailed
steps for a quick assembly.
Wingspan: 50" (1270mm)
Wing Area: 505 sq in (32.6 sq dm)
Wing Loading: 16-17 oz/sq ft (49-52 g/sq dm)
Length: 51.5" (1310mm)
Weight: 3.5 - 3.75 lb (1590 - 1700 g)
Center of Gravity (CG): 4-7/8" (124mm) back from the leading
edge of the wing measured at the fuselage
Balsa and plywood construction with prebuilt plywood motor box
Two piece wing with carbon wing joiner
Pull-pull rudder control system
Dual servo aileron control, factory hinged
Painted fiberglass cowl and wheel pants
Canopy magnetically attaches to fuselage
Covered in six colors of Top Flite MonoKote
Two piece painted fiberglass main landing gear with tailwheel
Foam wheels, main 2.25" (56mm), tailwheel .75" (19mm)
Spinner: 2" (51mm) diameter, white in color (included)
Ready to fly in 4-6 hours
parts come well protected in a custom box. Each section is individually
wrapped in plastic but I removed some of the bags to get better photos
tail has an airfoiled surface that improves both tracking and handling
precision. The covering looked perfect and the brilliant 6-color MonoKote
trim scheme shows an international flair. Bold graphics on the wing
bottom make it easy to orient the Sequence at a glance.
pre-painted fiberglass cowl has air-cooling openings and pre-installed
magnets for easy mounting. Be sure to add the recommended tape strips
on each side of the cowl for added hold security during maneuvers.
fiber and painted fiberglass parts, a prebuilt motor box, and self-aligning
wheel pants all help to reduce work and weight simultaneously. Optional
carbon fiber gear mains (GPMA3378)
are also available for the Sequence F3A. The wing tube joiner is made
from carbon fiber material. It aligns the wing automatically and allows
for the wings to be easily removed for transport to the field.
one-piece canopy is held by powerful magnets and plywood hooks as it
slides into place. Front
and rear guides provide automatic alignment. Removing the canopy provides
easy access to the battery compartment which is roomy enough for 4-cell
Lipo packs. The canopy design gives the Sequence
F3A a very clean and quality appearance!
24-page instruction manual is loaded with photos and detailed steps
for a quick assembly. A large sheet is included with pre-cut decals.
closer look at the fuselage reveals the quality construction techniques
that keep the Sequence light yet strong. When
I lifted the fuselage, I noticed that it weighed almost nothing yet
was incredibly strong! I twisted the fuselage and applied pressure in
many directions but there was no give and no creaking noise. The
E-Performance XLC (Extreme Light Concept) Series truly features advanced
ElectriFly engineering and pre-fabrication.
motor box is pre-installed with blind nuts, providing perfect spacing
for the cowl and spinner backplate without the need for any measuring.
Even the proper thrust angle was already built into the firewall.
key components I'll be using on my G.P. Sequence F3A are as follows:
The assembly begins with the aileron servo installation. The steps
in the manual were straightforward and I found no issues. Fiberglass
plates are supplied to be used when mounting the servos instead
of the grommets and eyelets that come with the servo. The plates
reduce the flex on the servo for greater precision on the control
surfaces. I used Futaba S3150
Slim Digital servos with Hobbico HCAM2100
12" extensions. Strings are installed inside each wing half
to help route the servo control wires.
horizontal stabilizer is glued in place with 30-minute epoxy after
first installing the wings to check the alignment. The manual
has good photos that detail the key alignment measurements needed.
An elevator joiner wire is also installed with the stabilizer.
The stabilizer covering comes pre-cut on the areas to be glued
so there is no chance of weakening the surface with a razor knife.
the glue dries on the stab, the elevators are glued to the joiner
wire with epoxy and the three hinges on each elevator are secured
with thin CA. I installed the elevators when gluing on the stab,
as suggested in the manual, to help create a perfect alignment
between the stab tips and elevators on each side.
landing gear installed without issue per the manual. There is
nothing to align as even the pants have pre-drilled holes and
installed T-nuts. The manual clearly shows which gear leg is left
and which is right. The tail gear assembly was also well designed
and easy to install. A metal tail gear bracket is screwed into
the fuselage and a nylon post is glued into the rudder. The tail
gear assembly is then simply inserted in place.
desired, optional carbon fiber gear mains (GPMA3378)
are also available for the Sequence F3A.
elevator servo is mounted next on the far right side of the tail
mounting servo rails. The position shown is used for proper balancing
when using the recommended power system that I am using. An aft
position is also available to help offset tail ballast when using
a heavier motor or battery pack.
used some silicone lubricant spray to remove the sticky tape reside
from the long elevator pushrod. It had been secured in the box
with tape for shipping. The pushrod is cut to length and the servo
end is bent 90 degrees. Both ends are secured with supplied keepers.
The control horn screws, like in the ailerons, are not visible
from the top side of the model.
pull-pull rudder control system is assembled by mounting the servo
first and then feeding the strings from the inside through the
tubes to the tail. The exit holes must have the covering cut away
and they were not easy to find. It would be an improvement if
the next lot of planes had these areas marked.
important thing to note is that my pull-pull rudder tubes inside
the fuselage extended much longer than the photos in the manual
so you may need to cut them shorter before feeding the strings
through them. This will insure that the crimp doesn't hit the
tube on a full rudder deflection. The rest of the rudder assembly
was per the manual and the control strings tightened up nicely.
note that the Sequence has optional servo mounting for the tail.
Separate elevator and rudder servo bays exist under the covering
beneath the horizontal stabilizer so you can run short linkages
(supplied) to the control surfaces. The additional servo weight
in the tail can be used to offset a heavier motor or battery pack.
motor mounting is pretty straightforward. After first installing
the x-mount and prop adapter that are included with the RimFire
.32 outrunner, the assembly gets screwed onto the motor box using
four 6-32 x 1/2" screws, flat washers, and lock washers.
Locktite is used on all the screws.
of using servo tape to mount the ESC, I used two tie wraps to
secure the ESC and wires. It is a good time to test the motor
direction for counter-clockwise before securing the motor/ESC
leads. The ElectriFly 45A Silver Series ESC has a safe arming
feature that requires you to move the throttle to full up for
a few seconds and back down before it arms the motors. You can
hear the ESC beeps acknowledging your movements during the arming
magnetic cowl does not require any work to install. It simply
snaps into place and is perfectly positioned. A small piece of
clear tape should be used on each side to insure that it will
not shift in flight.
mounted a Spektrum AR6200 dual receiver in the recommended position
just behind the wing tube. This minimizes the number of servo
extensions needed. The battery pack is held in place by hook and
loop material on the bottom as well as a strap around the entire
pack that goes through the mounting tray. The pack can be moved
forward or aft to dial in the preferred CG.
this point, I installed the wings and set all the control throws
per the high and low rates in the manual.
APC 12x6 e-prop must be drilled out with a 5/16" bit before
mounting on the adapter. I had no fit issue with the white spinner
supplied in the kit and the gap to the cowl was perfect.
marked the CG of 124mm on the top side of each wing using blue
masking tape and applied most of the decals. I then used a Great
Planes CG Machine to check the balance and it was dead on with
the pack placement shown.
pack position is consistent with the photo in the manual.
stock build G.P. Sequence was Ready-To-Fly at 62oz (3.9lbs) including
the 8.5oz ElectriFly Power Series Lithium Polymer 2200mAh, 14.8V,
Battery Pack. I measured 600w at 41amps which provides a very
capable 154w/lb power level.
I video taped Team Futaba's, Dan Landis flying his stock GP
Sequence F3A at the 2009 NEAT Fair during the open flying. There
were many other planes in the air so flying a circuit was not
possible. Dan only had one previous flight on it at the time
and no mixes set up.
our maiden flight testing, the weather was sunny but it was a
cool 51 degrees F outside with winds blowing from 10mph to 20mph.
Not great conditions for test flying or trimming but the Sequence
flew well with plenty of power. Team JR's, Devin McGrath, put
the Sequence through a series of maneuvers to test its agility
and power. Flight times were about 10 minutes. Since my canopy
seemed to fit as designed, I used no tape to hold it down.
the first flight, we used the recommended CG and the battery pack
was positioned as previously shown. After a few minutes, we moved
the pack aft about 1/2" but I am not sure how much this changed
the CG. Overall, we were quite pleased with the performance of
the Sequence. I knew that it wouldn't be long before the snow
arrives in upstate NY so I was happy to have an opportunity to
test fly it before Winter. The one modification I plan to incorporate
on my Sequence is to add a carbon fiber blade between the two
piece gear mains per Rusty's photo below. My Sequence will see
many more flights next season. Although I do not compete, I love
to fly aerobatics and plan to use the Sequence to increase my
own piloting skills using this excellent flying model.
Great Planes Sequence F3A is another model in the E-Performance
XLC (Extreme Light Concept) Series that features advanced ElectriFly
engineering and pre-fabrication. It weighs almost nothing yet
is incredibly strong due to hand-selected woods, and lightweight
fiberglass and carbon parts.
Sequence F3A is modestly priced and requires minimal skills to
create a good flying model. Its matched ElectriFly power system
is plug and play so you get all the benefits of reliable electric
flight without the worry of fit or performance. The Sequence can
be flown in a variety of wind conditions and has the potential
to fly with great precision with little set-up effort.
and Modifications by Rusty Dose
Futaba's, Rusty Dose hosted an event at the AMA flying Site
1 in Muncie, Indiana in September and one of the models he brought
was his new Great Planes Sequence F3A. Rusty has reported set-up
details and modifications to his Sequence that go well beyond
my knowledge of pattern flying so I decided to share his report
in this review.
photo on the right shows Rusty (left) with Mark Radcliff, a
4-Time USA F3A Team member. Mark is holding his Phoenix 8 that
he flew in the 1981 World Championships to place 5th.
Rusty used the following components in his Sequence.
Planes Rimfire .32 42-50-800 brushless motor
12 x 6 "E" prop
Planes Silver Series 45 amp speed control
R617FS 2.4 GHZ 7-channel receiver
Futaba S3156 Digital Micro High-Speed servos
flying weight with a 240 gram True R/C 4S 2100mAh LiPo battery
is 3lbs 11oz. Rusty built the model exactly per the manual except
for the following:
Planes 2" Nylon spinner (GPMQ4761)
with aluminum back plate and hole in the front to save 4 grams
and aid cooling. The hole is very easy to use a socket through
after installing the (4) screws, provides cooling due to the
lightened back plate, and, it is AMA legal.
fiber elevator pushrod (MidwestProd #5800 .060 or 1.5mm weighs
.081 grams per inch) replaced metal pushrod with Central Hobbies
NMP 2 mm Dual Axis rod ends on servo and Hayes #131 steel pin
clevis on elevator end attached using slotted Dubro large threaded
coupler #212 slotted with a Dremel cut-off wheel for better
glue adhesion, glued with 45 minute epoxy. Saved 18 grams, no
of the elevator alignment can be seen on the right. Rusty found
the Midwest carbon fiber blade and rod material at a local hobby
shop but it is also available at Tower Hobbies here.
on his experience with (2) piece gear, he added a .070 x .437
(Midwest Products # 5743 1.8mm x 11mm, .770 grams inch) carbon
fiber blade between the outside attachment screws as done for
most F3A models. The two-piece landing gear is very strong,
easily mounted and has a robust enough mounting system/structure.
The problem is that the gear legs tend to pull against each
other or pull each other apart when force is applied.
Rusty Dose and Mark Radcliff
Dave Guerin and Bob Brown pose with the Sequence
Great Planes 2" Nylon spinner
Carbon elevator pushrod
Carbon rod alignment
Carbon blade gear support
carefully aligned the stabilizer with the wing and fuselage.
elevators use a metal wire connecting the (2) elevator halves
and carefully aligned using sharpened carbon fiber rods. Using
45 minute epoxy, careful alignment, heat gun application to
remove slight warp in on stab half, they were very, very close
to perfect (whatever perfect is)."
pilots understand the importance of a proper CG. An improper
CG may cause excessive amounts of mix, typically rudder/elevator
mix. Having said that, I selected the mid-range of the specified
CG per the instruction booklet which just happened to be at
the front edge of the aileron servo mounting tabs. Better said,
with the nose of the model facing you, reach under the wings
placing your fingers 'on' the aileron servo mounting tabs and
the nose slowly dropped towards the nose."
first flight was completed at about 9:30 in the morning with
a slight cross-wind less than 5 miles an hour with the temperature
about 60 degrees. The brand new battery was charged, installed
in the model and the CG was verified.
selected "low" rate for aileron, "mid" rate
for elevator and "low" rate for rudder. (See below
for amount and methodology) I increased the throttle trim until
the prop was just spinning at low throttle with the throttle
taxied out and turned into the wind and set-up for a long and
smooth take-off. After take-off, the model IMMEDIATELY felt
very locked, solid and groovy at a slow to moderate speed. (California
pilots know how slow Dave Snow flies...slow like that).
made a few laps and began the P-09 preliminary sequence for
about (4) maneuvers, a few F-09 manuevers...the knife edge to
knife edge 1 1/2 snap, rolling loop, a few silly things that
seemed within the capability and precision including a CPLR
knife edge circle with (4) snaps alternating inside/outside
@ 90 degrees, suuuupppper slow roll, 8-point, 16-point and a
4-point and landed...about (4) minutes. I was truly surprised.
The model's size made it appear and actually fly "big"
and not feel like a twitchy, crappy little electric airplane
like the dozens I have owned and flown. I rarely used full power,
could draw stuff as large as was appropriate for the size of
the model. The model transitions well adding power or reducing
power. It does not accelerate like a rocket when pointed down
and feels like a low wing loading performance model. Rudder
and pitch inputs in rolls is minimal (assumes you don't let
the nose fall 20 degrees!) control. I prefer a "biased"
set-up...Chip Hyde suggests that a perfectly neutral is bad,
an airplane that has a specific tendency like add elevator when
inverted (my preference) is better."
made after flight with the afore mentioned CG:
I added 8% left/8% right rudder elevator mix.
mix: I added -8% of left aileron with left rudder and
+7% right aileron with right rudder.
Differential: Servo #1 (always left for me) 100% Right
Servo #2 95% Right 100%
1/4: (completion of first flight and end of battery):
take-off, immediately affirmed various mixes, tried the various
rolls and the motor suddenly stopped...I blew it up (the battery)
after about 6 minutes of flight time. My ThunderPower charging
stuff said that the voltage "too low to recover"...a
cell was toast. Ok, I only had one battery.
in the Day, Bob Brown, AMA District III VP, came by and asked
about the model (it was sitting next to my Integral, MK Champion
and Intruder...see RCU "Classic Pattern Tailgate"
thread under classic pattern) and asked if I would like to borrow
his batteries. I said, "absolutely"."
like number 3/4 and 1/4 except I liked it more flying the same
maneuvers. The airplane, very well set-up and trimmed is a very
capable precision machine with potential well beyond my skills."
Guerin, many time NATS CD, USA F3A team manager, builder to
the stars...was the pilot. He couldn't believe how well the
airplane flew so I said...try it for yourself. He smiled, laughed
and smiled the entire flight! We use very different set-up's,
but he has flown my stuff alot and knows this...he loved the
(3) flights I will say that it is a nifty airplane and the unique
size of the fuselage creates a very favorable impression. It
is precise, smooth and very predictable. It is by far the best
sub 51" electric airplane I have flown and this is NOT
what I expected.
am going to build a little crate so I can take the model and
a transmitter compaq flash card to Phoenix in February. I will
use Rusty Fried's transmitter, batteries and charger!"
model followed the instructions for servo arm location and control
surface horn hole. I used 100% ATV/AFR in high rate, 85% AFR
for elevator mid rate and 70% AFR for low rate. I used 100%
ATV/AFR for ailerons high rate and 70% AFR for low rate. Rudder
used 120% ATV for high rate and 70% AFR for low rate. I use
expo on all and no throttle curve."
Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021
Champaign, IL 61826-9021
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.