RCU Review: E-Flite UMX SBach 342

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    Contributed by: Burc Simsek | Published: October 2011 | Views: 25946 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the E-flite UMX SBach 342 BNF


    Distributed by Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (800) 338-4639

    According to the Horizon Hobby advertisement, the Sbach 342 is the most exciting full-scale aerobatic airplanes to come out of Germany since the first Extra. That is a statement that I believe most in this hobby would agree with whole heartedly.

    The UMX SBach 342 is a great looking rendition of the full scale two seater version, and designed by Mike McConville himself, should be no slouch in the performance department as well. Available in BNF format, the Sbach 342 aims to provide a large model feel in a small ultra micro format. The UMX SBach 342 BNF comes with a 2500Kv brushless motor, a 2S 180mAh LiPo battery and four S2000L long-throw servos pre-installed which should provide for some great performance.
    So lets take a quick look at the new UMX SBach 342 and see how she performs.

    • Great scale looks
    • Side force generators that enhance knife edge flight
    • Great power
    • Excellent performance

    • None

    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    Unless this is your first look at an ultra micro airframe, you should already be familiar with the shipping boxes that they are supplied in which also double as the carrying/storage boxes. The UMX SBach 342 is no different, arriving in a nicely packaged and well decorated carrying box.

    As you open the box, you are immediately greeted with the great looking SBach 342 that is ready to bind and fly right out of the box.  

    Inside the box, there is the 2S180mAh LiPo, a DC charger, and two sets of side force generators. If you are already invested in ultra micro airframes, you will most likely already have a method to supply 12V to the DC charger. If you are looking for an AC adapter, E-flite also provides a 12V AC adapter which can work nicely with the provided Celectra charger.

    UMX Sbach 342 BNF

    Price: $169.99 (BNF)

    Key Features

      • Includes two sets of optional Side Force Generators
      • Magnetic cowl hatch for easy access to the motor and battery compartment
      • Equipped with a 180BL, 2500Kv brushless outrunner motor
      • Includes Spektrum AR6400NBL DSM2 receiver/ESC unit and four AS2000L long-throw servos
      • 2S 180mAh Li-Po battery and DC charger included
      • Features an authentic paint scheme
      • Tailwheel steering


        The Sbach 342 is one of the most exciting full-scale aerobatic designs to come out of Germany since the first Extra. The brainchild of aerodynamic visionary, Horst Streicher, it's the first two-seat monoplane capable of truly holding its own in Unlimited-class competition. E-flite has captured the essence of the 342s incredible performance with this remarkably scale ultra micro that flies extreme aerobatics with the same sense of power and precision you would expect of a larger model.

        Designed by world-class competitor Mike McConville, the E-flite UMX Sbach 342 BNF comes out of the box completely assembled and ready to be bound to any DSMX or DSM2 transmitter.


        Wingspan:17.0 in (432mm)
        Overall Length:16.6 in (422mm)
        Wing Area:65 sq in (4.2 sq dm)
        Weight: 1.95 oz (55g) without battery
        Motor Size:180-size 2500Kv brushless outrunner
        Radio:4-channel with expo and dual rates
        Servos:Four (4) S2000L long-throw servos (installed)
        Wing Loading:4.2 oz/sq ft
        Prop Size:5 x 2.75
        Recommended Battery:2S 7.4V 180mAh Li-Po (included)
        Approx. Flying Duration:6 minutes
        Charger:DC powered 2S LiPo charger (included)
        Minimum Age Recommendation:14 years
        Experience Level:Intermediate

        Included in the box, you will find two sets of side force generators. There are recessed slots on the wing tips for the foam SFGs to slide on and I was able to fly without having to glue them in place which made it convenient when I wanted to remove or change them out.

        One of the first things that strikes your eye about the SBach 342 is the distinctive aggressive front end. The S2000L long-throw servos that control the ailerons are visible from underneath and with short linkages, provide a slop free control to the rather large surfaces. The top of the foam cowling is held in place by magnets (similar to the UMX Beast). Lifting the small hatch reveals the 180 size 2500Kv brushless motor and the battery mount. The whole compartment receives cooling via two functional cooling holes in the front of the cowl.

        The tail section of the SBach 342 looks great and is provided with a steerable tail wheel. As with other ultra micro airframes, it is recommended that adjustments to the control surfaces be made mechanically by making the U-shape wider or narrower. 

        Also note the cooling holes in the bottom of the airframe and the lightening holes in the canopy section. All that remains is to get the SBach 342 in the air is to charge the supplied battery, bind it to a DSM2/DSMX transmitter, adjust the control throws per the manual and we will be ready to go.


        The UMX SBach 342 manual contains information on how to get it ready for its first flight. Recommended control throws and CG locations (29mm rear of leading edge) are documented along with tips to achieve a successful first flight.

        Download the manual 

        My first flight with the UMX SBach 342 landed on a calm day in the opening to the front of my house. After placing the 180mAh battery in the nose compartment and checking the surfaces, I increased the throttle and the Sbach lifted its tail and was airborne within only a few feet. Ground handling does not pose any issues and I was pleased to see that the rudder did not require any trim to taxi straight. Once in the air, I noticed that I had to apply a little down elevator so I decided to land the SBach and adjust the linkage mechanically by closing the U-link a little. After that adjustment, the SBach flew hands off which was very pleasing.

        After performing a few circuits on low rates, I decided to flip it in high rates and see what the SBach was capable of. I immediately noticed that I had too much aileron control so I once again decided to land and add some expo to the aileron channel. After that the fun really began. With high rates, the SBach rolls very axial and can snap on command. In fact, I think the SBach may be the best ultra micro in terms of snap performance.

        While the UMX SBach 342 is not advertised as a 3D airframe, it does harrier quite well, especially with the SFGs attached. I did not notice any wing rock and I was able to fly around in an upright harrier quite comfortably. The power system does have enough pull to keep the SBach 342 in a hover and can yank it out when punched to full throttle but keeping balance in the hover was quite challenging. 

        Where the SBach really shines is when it is flown on the wing. Full throttle performance is exhilarating and knife edge flight probably is its forte. Without the side force generators, the SBach can knife edge quite well but requires speed. With either set attached, the SBach feels like it actually floats on its side. With either of the SFGs, I was able to perform nice, slow and low knife edge passes with only a touch of top rudder. 

        Knife edge loops are possible with the brushless system pulling the SBach with authority through the maneuver but the SBach does loose altitude quickly on the last part of the maneuver making it hard to keep the loop perfectly level. The I particularly enjoyed performing avalanches and spins with the SBach with nice snaps mixed in.

        On the day of the video, we did have slight winds and I am pleased to say that the SBach 342 handled it like a champ. With its air foiled wing and larger size, the SBach seems to handle a little bit of wind without any issues but, as with all ultra micro airframes, I feel that performance and enjoyment that the ultra micros provide are best when the winds are low.

        When it came to landing, the SBach likes to be flown in until the final flare for touch down. Landing on the mains or three point landings are both possible given that a little throttle is maintained all the way until the gear contact the ground.

        Check out the video to see her in action!

        Ultra Micro Extreme Sbach (Pilot: Burc Simsek, Stills & Video: Mugé Simsek)

        The UMX SBach 342 is a great addition to the UMX series of ultra-micro airframes from E-flite. With two sets of SFGs at your disposal, it is hard to resist flying the SBach on its side the whole duration of the battery. The provided 180mAh battery allows for upwards of 6 minutes of mixed throttle flight. Providing a flight envelope that ranges from mild slow maneuvers to wild and fast acrobatics, the SBach 342 certainly definitely aims to please.

        If you like the UMX Beast, you will love the SBach. With great looks and performance to match, the SBach 342 earns the right to wear the UMX badge and is one of the best flying ultra micros that I have flown to date. 

        Distributed by Horizon Hobby, Inc.
        4105 Fieldstone Road
        Champaign, IL 61822
        Phone: (800) 338-4639

        Comments on RCU Review: E-Flite UMX SBach 342

        Posted by: SigMan on 12/26/2012
        no comments..but why E-flight has sold a billion of these. now i have the 3D version and dont see a review anywhere. wats-up ?
        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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