ElectriFly has done it again! They just introduced their newest design, the FlyLite ARF. This new plane offers a high wing, very light wing loading, and great flight characteristics, while being extremely easy to assemble. The FlyLite ARF can be easily flown outside in calm conditions, but is also right at home in a large gymnasium.
The all foam airframe consists of two different types of foam. The wings and tail feathers are made of Pro Formance foam, while the Fuselage is made of AeroCell foam, making it very light and durable. It was originally designed for indoor flight training, but all experience levels will have a ball flying the FlyLite ARF!
I don't know about you, but I'm excited to get the box open and see what's inside!
LiPo Battery pack (ElectriFly Competition BP300 7.4V 300 mAH used)
Small Needle-Nosed Pliers, Hobby Knife, and a #0 magnetized (if possible) Phillips Screwdriver
The FlyLite comes packed in a nice, colorful box with plenty of pictures. Also listed are all the required equipment and ElectriFly's recommendations for optimal flight performance. Packaging is very secure and keeps all pieces free from damage in shipping. The FlyLite has a low parts count, and getting it in the air should take very little time!
Some of the features that stood out were the painted wooden firewall, balsa servo tray and the steerable foam tail wheel. One of the neatest assembly features (and one that isn't really visible)is the set of magnets that hold the vertical stabilizer in the fuselage!
is very straight forward and the manual is great. It has
plenty of pictures, along with clear instructions for each
step of the building process.
start by removing the battery hatch, which is held in place
with a lip at the front and a magnet at the rear. The magnet
does a great job of holding the latch in place and is very
secure. Installing the landing gear is as easy as sliding
it into the bottom of the fuselage and the wheels are pre-installed.
Use the included hook-and-loop tape to secure the battery
to the tray under the battery hatch.
the ESC is next on the list and consists of
sliding the motor wires in through the large
vent hole in the bottm of the fuse and out
through the lower firewall hole. The battery
wire on the ESC runs through the open interior
of the fuselage to the back of the battery
tray and the Receiver wire is routed up by
the servo tray. Attach the three wires to
the outrunner motor and screw the motor to
the firewall using the screws provided with
the motor. This is where a small magnetic
screwdriver is a great tool to have! If you
don't have one, you can simply tip the fusealge
up so the firewall is vertical and place the
screws in the hole and then tighten them.
the servo arms to the configuration as shown
in the first illustration and then attach
the EZ-link to the arm. Attach the arms to
the servos and install them in the tray, making
sure to use a drop of foam safe CA for added
'bite' in the mounting screw holes. The receiver
gets mounted to a sidewall inside the fuselage,
wherever it is convenient for access to all
the push rods to the pre-installed horns on
the control surfaces. The rudder push rod
has a slight bend in it, making identification
easy. Slide the horizontal stabilizer/ elevator
assembly into the pre-cut slot, making sure
to get the push rod in the guide tube, and
then the EZ-link inside the fuselage on the
servo arm. The same process is used for the
vertical stabilizer/ rudder assembly, the
only difference being that the vertical stabilizer
has a magnet at the base that locks it in
place in the fuselage. I tried to pull the
vertical stabilizer back out of its slot,
and I couldn't get it to move without fear
of breaking something- that magnet is VERY
strong and does a great job holding the tail
together and in perfect alignment.
the tail wheel pin into the tube in the rudder,
and you now have a steerable tail wheel! I
really liked the foam tail wheel with the
plastic hub- this makes for great ground handling
(or should I say 'floor handling').
has included a wing doubler with the FlyLite
for flying the plane outdoors. If you plan
to fly your FlyLite indoors only, you can
leave the doubler off further saving weight.
I chose to install the doubler as I do not
have access to an indoor flying site. The
doubler has double-sided tape on the bottom
side and sticks very well to the wing. Be
careful if you choose to install it as you
have only one chance to get it right!
FlyLite also comes with a template (and a
spare) on the back cover of the instruction
manual. Cut one of the templates out, fold
it on the dotted line, and then mark the four
corners of the balance range.
you plan to fly outdoors as I do, apply the
wing strengthener tape included with the FlyLite.
The tape runs right through the CG marks done
in the previous step.
sure you check the CG- I had to move the battery
pack as far forward in the fuselage as possible,
and mine balanced right in the middle of the
balance range. After you've balanced the FlyLite,
it's ready to fly.
take this little bird out into the sunlight
for a few quick pictures, and then see how
was a cold, crisp afternoon on a calm December
day for the maiden flight of the FlyLite ARF,
and it couldn't have been better- especially
for central Minnesota in winter! The wind
was non-existent when the FlyLite took off
from the infield of a local ballpark, and
it was off the ground in just a few feet.
After takeoff, I had to pull the throttle
back to keep the plane from climbing like
a homesick angel. With the under-cambered
wing, any speed that is added turns into incredible
amounts of lift!
flying is what the FlyLite does best. At one-quarter
throttle, this plane seems to just hang in
the air as if being held there by a string!
The FlyLite flies so slow it is easy to see
why Great Planes designed it as an indoor
aerobatics are also within the capabilities
of this indoor/ outdoor flyer, but with the
three channel set-up, the aerobatics are limited
to loops, stall turns, and spirited barrel
the time came for landing, I couldn't believe
how easy it was! Simply set up in the direction
you want to land and pull the throttle back.
The FlyLite virtually landed itself!
out the video to see her in action!
FlyLite EP ARF
Download the Video (24meg) CLICK HERE
to flying the Great Planes FlyLite, my experience
with slow flyers was limited to a GWS Slowstick.
Even though the Slow stick is just what it
sounds like, I really like the FlyLite because
it LOOKS like a real airplane, flies SLOWER,
and you can pick one up for around $60.00!
I am happy I had the opportunity to review
this slow flying airplane. I just wish I had
a place to fly it indoors so I could enjoy
it all the time!
There's a Silver Series
ESC for almost any airplane and brushless
Compatible with LiPo, NiCd and NiMH
batteries for maximum versatility.
Ready to use with leads and Deans® Ultra
Plug® Connector, gold-plated bullet plugs for
motor and universal radio connectors already
No set-up. Detects starting voltage
at hook-up ? and sets the low-voltage cutoff
Superbly smooth, precise and responsive
throughout the throttle range. Transition from
instant full-power thrust to all-power off in
the same heartbeat and enjoy longer flights
and cooler operation in the long haul.
BECs deliver true rated current and
the extra amps that digital servos ? or extra-servo
setups ? require. (Except SS-45D & SS-60)
Brake/No Brake operation. Stop folding
props cold ? or let fixed props freewheel.
Protect pilot, plane and ESC with Safe
Start programming, and automatic heat and current
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.