winter months in Houston are relatively mild in terms of temperature
however with hotter weather comes the wind. The Extra 300
manual recommends that the airframe be flown outdoors in conditions
with less than 5mph wind which is usually a rare event during these
months here so it was a waiting game to find the right opportunity to
fly the Extra 300. Luckily the weather cooperated and on a sunny and
calm day I had the chance to fly the Extra and take some pictures
against a perfectly blue sky.
of the first things that you will notice as you power on the Extra and
check for the surface movements is that they move only a relatively
small amount, even on high rates. This causes the Extra to have a
little less than desirable ground handling characteristics. But that is
not a problem as the Extra 300 can easily be hand launched and can take
to air in only a couple of feet when rolling off the ground.
in the air I had to apply a good amount of down trim to get the little
Extra 300 to fly straight and also noticed that the Extra likes to be
flow with a good amount of throttle. The Extra does not have a very
long glide curve and when you back off the throttle, you have to be
careful to watch for a potential tip or wing stall. However flying at
mid throttle settings, the Extra is a pleasure to fly around and it does
zip around quite well.
limited throw on the rudder and the power available from the motor does
limit its flight envelope a little as I found I could not do any knife
edge or snaps. However, I
was surprised to
see how agile the Extra 300 is when flown aggressively. It can do nice
loops and rolls and looks beautiful as it performs them. Inverted flight
requires a good amount of down elevator to be applied but the Extra can
do outside loops just as well as inside loops.
provided battery allows you to fly the Extra 300 for about 8-10 minutes
but you have to pay attention to your time and land before the
battery gives out as when it does, it does so completely causing the
Extra to drop out of the air.
of the biggest things that surprised me about the Extra 300 was its
durability. During a break from the rain when the weather was perfectly
calm, I took the Extra out to the small clearing in front of my house. This area
is a small opening and is surrounded by trees and while filming its flight, I ended up crashing in
the trees (and ground) a little bit more than usual. However
every time I struck something, the Extra seemed to bounce back and
begged for more. The SafeProp design allows the prop to simply fly off
the airframe saving it from damage and the FlexFoamTM that the Extra is
made of was very durable and did not suffer any damage from the
numerous times I crashed in the ground or got it caught in the trees.
Just check out the video where I left in some of the less than
memorable times to give an idea of what you might expect when you
inevitably dumb thumb the Extra into the ground. In every event, I
was able to simply snap the prop back and and toss the Extra back in
the air with no damage.
Check out the video to
see her in action!