RCU Review: Aeroworks Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L


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    Contributed by: Burc Simsek | Published: May 2012 | Views: 19991 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Aero-Works Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L ARF

    Burc
    Simsek







    4903 Nome Street
    Denver, Co. 80239
    www.aero-works.net



    Aeroworks is known to have termed the phrase "Quick Build" to describe a high level of prefabrication with their ARF models. A QB descriptor in the title of an Aeroworks ARF indicates that the model will have a good amount of the assembly such as pre-drilled motor mounts, hinged control surfaces, drilled cowling, etc... done right out the box. Staying true to this description, Aeroworks has now introduced its first airframe with the moniker QB-L. The -L indicates that the model will arrive with all of the features of a QB aircraft but in addition, special attention has been paid to making the aircraft as light and strong as possible.

    The first QB-L airframe that has been released by Aeroworks is the ever popular Extra 260 in a 52" wingspan that is targeted specifically for electric power systems. The Extra 260 QB-L carries with it a long list features that sport and 3D pilots desire such as strong but light carbon landing gear, control horns and main tube, air-foiled control surfaces, quick release canopy for quick battery changes, a generous area to accommodate various sizes of batteries and last but no least SFGs in both wingtip and inboard positions. The QB aspect of the Extra 260 includes features such as hinged control surfaces, pre-drilled cowl and a motor mount that is ready to accept a variety of popular power options that is surely to get you out of the garage and in the air as quickly as possible.



    • Quick assembly
    • Outboard and Inboard SFGs
    • Easy access hatch
    • Variety of power options
    • Carbon fiber landing gear, control arms and main tube.



    • None Found



    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    The Extra 260 QB-L is shipped in a modest box.



    The double boxed shipping container did its job well and I was pleased to see every component securely taped down and arrive without any damage.

    Once all of the components have been removed, it is evident that the assembly process of the Extra 260 QB-L will not take too long which is a good thing as I cannot wait to get out to the field and try out those new SFGs.

    The optional inner and outer SFGs were the first thing that grabbed my attention as I was looking over the parts.

    All of the control surfaces are air foiled which should allow for a wider flight envelope and a better looking model in general. The elevator is a single piece assembly which will only require a single servo to actuate.

    Aeroworks
    Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L
    (Click to Rotate Image)

    Price: $249.95 (Accurate as of review date)

    Key Features

    • Complete and Detailed Printed Instruction Manual
    • Air Foiled Tail Section
    • Carbon Landing Gear
    • Carbon Wing Tube
    • Carbon Non-Flex Control Horns
    • Strong and Light Tail Wheel
    • CompleteHigh Quality SAE Hardware Package Included
    • Removable Inner and Outer SFG?s
    • Pre-mounted Canopy with Quick Release Latch
    • Motor Spacers Included to accommodate most Motors
    • Professionally covered in ULTRACOTE?
    • CA Hinges Pre-slotted from factory
    • Large control surfaces double beveled for Maximum Throw
    • Pre Mounted Fiberglass Cowl and Wheel Pants
    • Custom Throw Deflectors Included
    • Extra Ultracote? covering provided for small repairs
    • 6 to 8 Hours assembly Time

    Overview

    Aeroworks is proud to add the new Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L (Quick Build-Light Series) to our growing line of airplanes. Designed with the demanding 3D pilot in mind, this new airplane features many exciting and revolutionary concepts that are sure to make it the hit of your hangar. The Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L is the first in the new QB-L Series and it is sure to impress with its light weight build quality and its impressive airframe strength and longevity. The new QB-L features all of the Quick Build characteristics that Aeroworks has been known for, assembling the new Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L can be done is as little as 6 hours!

    Included with the new Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L is an extensive hardware package that includes Carbon main landing gear, wing tube and the new, non-flex carbon control horns. All of these accessories are designed to be rigid and strong while providing the lightest weight possible for an airplane this size. Ball links have been provided for the smoothest in control surface movement while still allowing for 50+ Degrees of surface deflection on the Ailerons and Rudder with over 60 Degrees of deflection on the elevator! Motor mounting hardware has been provided to aid in mounting most motors and the firewall has been pre-drilled for many popular motor options!

    The airframe itself features a large wing to provide an incredibly low wing loading, perfect for 3D flying! The new wing design also features both outboard and inboard Side Force Generators (SFG's) these SFG?s are pre-mounted and can be removed in seconds if desired. Along with the new wing design are the air foiled tail surfaces that provide great control authority even at low speeds. These extra features make the Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L one of the most responsive 3D airplanes in its class. The Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L extensive build features include; pre-mounted cowling, pre-mounted wheel pants, quick release pre-mounted canopy and a large battery tray that will accommodate 3 cell to 5 cell batteries.

    Aeroworks is excited to introduce our new line of QB-L airplanes starting with the Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L. With 20 years in the industry, you can be assured that Aeroworks will be here to provide you with the amazing product support that we have been known for.

    Specs

    Wingspan: 52 in
    Length: 47 in
    Flying Weight: 52-53 oz (no bat)
    Wing Area: 560 in2
    Radio Requirements: Minimum 4-channel
    Recommended Engine Sizes: Hacker A30-12XL or Torque 2814T/820





    The "Light" aspect of the Extra 260 QB-L will become apparent as you start looking over the fuselage and the perfectly laser cut parts that have an abundance of lightening holes. The canopy is held on with a turn screw that is very easy to remove and attach. The latching mechanism should make sure that the dreaded canopy blow off doe snot occur under violent maneuvers.






    Another nice feature can be found in the horizontal stabilizer where an alignment pin has been installed to make installation and alignment of the tail easier on the modeler. Covering has already been removed from the stabilizer and all that is required is a bit of work to align and CA the assembly in place. The carbon landing gear should help in reducing the overall weight of the Extra 260. The sturdy tail wheel will bolt on to the bottom of the airframe to help absorb the shock from those harrier landings. Only a handful of parts and a few hours of assembly is all that stands between you and the airfield.


    Manual


    Aeroworks has some of the best manuals in the industry and the manual of the Extra 260 QB-L does not deter from this statement. A detailed manual that covers the quick assembly process in a step by step manner is provided inside the box to get the assembly process going. The manual calls out the C.G. point along with the recommended throws on all surfaces. To help setup the control surfaces, three throw meters are included with the ARF which is a nice touch.

    Download the manual


    The assembly process of the Extra 260 QB-L starts in the usual ARF fashion by going over the covering then hinging the ailerons. The CA hinges have already been slotted and inserted for you so all that remains is to make sure that they are centered and set them in place using a few drops of thin CA.

    For the ailerons, I have chosen to use the recommended Hitec HS-65MG servos. I chose to use a 3" extender which eliminates the need for further extenders on the receiver as the lead then becomes long enough to reach the receiver inside the fuselage without any issues.

    The servo is then mounted in place using the hardware provided with the servo.

    The control horns and push rods can then be installed per the manual. The control horns that are supplied with the kit are advertised as being lighter and stiffer carbon arms. They fit perfectly in the pre-slotted area on the aileron and all that is required is to slightly sand the surface and set them in place using medium CA. The push rods utilize ball links on both sides making the connection ultra smooth and slop free.

    Electronics

    Overview

    The original 8FG was already the best 2.4GHz radio value available. Now, for the same cost, the 8FG Super offers six additional channels ? plus new software with menus tailored to Futaba's super-fast CGY750 gyro. Recommended by Bobby Watts, Matt Botos and Kyle Stacy, it's the first radio that really supports flybarless helicopters. And it's perfect for all other applications, too...a smart choice for ANY forward-looking flier.

    Key Features

    • Expanded with 14 total transmitter channels ? 12 proportional and two switched.
    • Included R6208SB receiver's PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) channels support up to 8 standard analog or digital servos ? and it handles up to 18 channels when used with an S.Bus system.
    • Gyro menu supports 3-axis gyros and is perfectly tailored to the CGY750.
    • User menu allows pilots to customize and display frequently used functions.
    • VPP (Variable Pitch Propeller) compatibility can be set to three conditions for throttle and pitch curve.
    • Swash trim can be adjusted from the swash screen.
    • SensorTouch? programming maximizes navigation ease.
    • Numerous factory-defined mixes help you program like a pro.
    • Low latency and cutting-edge 2048 resolution combine for fast, accurate Real-Time Response?.
    • Accepts 32MB to 2GB SD memory cards* ? add as much memory as you want.

    Key Features

    • High sensitivity receiver weighs only .25oz (7g) without case yet is a full range system for all aircraft from giant scale to park flyer applications-no need to buy separate receiver for
      specific aircraft
    • Simple one-touch linking - no plugs to mess with or loose
    • Dual Antenna Diversity allows 2.4GHz FASST Futaba transmitter to select the best reception between the two receiver antennas with no signal loss
    • Rubber grommets installed where antennas exit to eliminate stress and fraying of the two antenna wires
    • One year limited warranty





    The side force generators are installed next. The installation of the inner SFGs require a small section of covering to be removed from both the top and bottom of the wing. The SFGs then simply slide in place. The outer SFGs are held in place using 4-40 bolts and bonded washers.





    With the wings completed, the focus of the assembly shifts to the tail section. The single piece elevator is routed through the opening in the fuselage before the horizontal stabilizer is inserted. The horizontal stabilizer utilizes a locator pin to make sure that the stabilizer is centered in the fuselage. The manual explains the process of aligning the stabilizer in great detail and once the stabilizer has been centered, thin CA is used to set it in place. I also hinged the elevator at this point and made sure that I was getting the advertised 60 degrees of throw before I set it in place using thin CA.





    The tail wheel is then inserted and glued in the pre-drilled and slotted section in the rudder. The rudder is attached to the fuselage using three CA hinges and set in place using a few drops of thin CA. The tail wheel assembly is then affixed to the fuselage using three wood screws.






    For the elevator, I chose to use the HS-82MG that is recommended for the ARF which installs in the pre-cut bay in the tail without any issues. I used a 12" servo extender to reach the receiver and mounted the servo in place. The control horn and push rods can then be installed and the throws checked. The rudder utilizes a pull-pull setup to get weight off the tail. I used another HS-82MG servo inside the fuselage and routed the rudder cable through the openings in the fuselage to make the connections to the control arms. Ball link connectors are used throughout to get a nice and tight connection to the rudder which allows for full deflection in either direction.





    The main landing gear is then installed by attaching the axles to the carbon landing gear. The wheels are held in place using wheel collars on each end and the whole assembly is then attached to the fuselage. The wheel pants simply slide on and are locked in place using the pre-drilled locations using a 4-40 bolt that bolts to a pre-attached lock nut in the wheel pant.


    Power System

    Key Features

    The New A30 V2 series motors are designed for Larger Parkflyers, 3D-Aerobatic, Scale models and Helicopters using 2 to 5 series LiPoly batteries.

    They now feature a new rotor cooling design with an integral cooling system, as well as better stator efficiency design. The A30-12XL V2 is designed for 40 to 60 oz. 3D-Aerobatic and Scale models with 2-3 cell LiPoly batteries. This 14 pole, Outrunner design creates MASSIVE TORQUE, therefore larger direct drive props can be used without the need for a gearbox. This motor features Oversize bearings, Curved Neo-magnets, and a High Efficiency stator design. These motors produce more power with lower current consumption than other popular Outrunner designs!

    Includes back mount, prop adapter and all screws. 3.5mm gold bullet connectors are provided.

    Specs

    Diameter: 1.46"n
    Length: 2.04"
    kV: 700
    Peak Watts: 700W
    Weight: 6.3 oz


    Key Features

    The X-Pro Series of Controllers, are sensorless speed controllers especially designed for the 'Hacker Brushless A-Series' motors and other Brushless motor designs. Special programming options are provided to ensure the best possible power and performance from your motor system.

    Length/Height: 2.95" x 1.1"
    Weight: 1.94 oz
    Output Current: 70A

    For this review, I was supplied with the Hacker A30-12XL a 70A ESC which is one of the recommended power systems that will help keep the overall weight as low as possible.


    One of the unique features of the Extra 260 QB-L is the pre-drilled motor mount locations and the wooden spacers that help in setting the perfect distance of the spinner back plate to the cowling. The Hacker installation required 5 spacers to be utilized. I trimmed the mounting bolts to make sure that there were no sharp edges which could pierce the battery in case of a mishap.

    The ESC is then mounted to the bottom of the motor mount and held in place using double sided tape and Velcro ties. A cooling duct is attached over the ESC to help route air over it and keep it cool.

    The installation of the cowl is very straight forward and utilizes 4-40 bolts and bonded washers. The use of bonded washers through out the assembly is also a big plus when it comes to making sure the bolts stay tight but at the same time do not damage the component that they are holding.





    The cowl being pre-drilled was a nice touch and lined up perfectly giving me a very small gap between the spinner and the front of the cowl. The recommended 13x6.5 prop is can then be installed using the provided white spinner. The C.G. point is conveniently placed right on the wing tube and a handy balancer is provided with the ARF to check overall balance. With the 4S2800mAh flight battery installed mid point in the battery tray, I was able to get perfect balance as recommended in the manual. The Extra came in right around 54 oz without the flight battery which was in the advertised range for this airframe.





    With the assembly nearing completion, I binded my Futaba T8FG to a 617FS receiver and mounted the receiver to the vertical support of the battery tray. Using this location, I was able to connect the aileron leads without having to use additional extenders. The wings are held on using a single bolt on each side. To complete the assembly, a cooling hole is cut in the bottom of the fuselage and the Extra 260 QB-L is ready to be setup and taken out to the field.





    The provided control throw gauges come in very handy when setting up the recommended triple rates in the manual. I was able to achieve all of the recommended rates using the triple rates feature of my Futaba 8FGS without any issues.





    For the maiden flight of the Aeroworks Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L, we headed out to our usual weekend hangout at Scobee field on a calm and comfortable fall day. Having a convenient 52" wingspan, the Extra 260 QB-L is small enough to be transported without having to take the wings off but can be broken down by simply removing the wing bolts and aileron servo leads if desired.

    Once at the field, we double checked the control surface, the C.G. and the throws before heading out to the runway for the maiden flight. Ground handling with the steerable tail wheel did not present any issues and I was pleased with the amount of control the Extra provided on the ground. With a freshly charged 4S2800mAh flight battery, I lined the Extra 260 QB-L in the center of the runway and increased the throttle and watched as the Extra picked up speed and lifted gently off the ground.

    Once airborne, I proceeded to switch to mid rates and gain some altitude and trim the airframe. My immediate reaction to how the Extra 260 QB-L handled was very positive. I felt a strong connection to the airframe and was comfortable enough to try a few low passes without fear of a stall. Rolling the Extra inverted, I was pleased to see the airframe pull through without a drop of the nose which indicated the C.G. was right on spot for my flying style. As I rolled the Extra on its side and attempted a few knife edge passes, I was pleased to find how little coupling the Extra exhibited and was immediately able to notice how much lift and control the SFGs provided. Within a few minutes, I was performing low and slow knife edge passes over the runway in complete confidence that the Extra would pull through without any issues.

    I found that the recommended low rates could be reduced even further to allow for more control in the precision department as I continuously over controlled the elevator and rudder while trying to make precision maneuvers. After reducing the low rates a touch, I was pleased to find the Extra 260 QB-L tracked straight and true through loops, rolls, hammer head turns and various other maneuvers I put it through. I was especially pleased with the Extra 260 QB-L in its capability to flat spin in both the upright and inverted orientations.

    After coming out of an inverted flat spin, I switched to high rates and attempted and elevator to loose some altitude and bring the Extra in low and close over the runway. I was very pleased to see that there was minimal wing rock in the upright orientation and was able to harrier the Extra around with ease and total confidence. To transition to a hover, I had to give a burst of power which brought the nose up vertical and I found that I was over controlling the rudder again as I initially struggled to keep the Extra perfectly still. On later flights, I increased the rudder exponential which helped greatly in achieving easily controllable hovering maneuvers. I also noticed that there was minimal torque induced by the motor while hovering which can be easily countered by the large throws provided by the ailerons.

    Rolling maneuvers were a pleasure to perform with the Extra 260 QB-L. I really like the way an Extra looks while doing rolling harriers and this Extra did not disappoint. Inverted harriers were virtually rock stready and the Hacker A30-12XL provided enough power to rocket the Extra back in the sky in any sign of trouble. On subsequent days where the field was flooded from heavy rains, I particularly enjoyed flying the Extra over the flooded areas as I attempted to dip the rudder in the water.

    When it comes to landings, the Extra provides a nice glide ratio and can come in with power off to settle on the mains without any issues. Flight times with the 4S2800mAh battery were in the 7-8 minute range which was long enough to provide for a mix of precision and 3D flying.

    Check out the video to see her in action!







    Aeroworks Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L ARF

    (Pilots, Stills & Video: Burc Simsek and David Smith)





















    I think that the Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L is a great new addition to the offerings that are available from Aeroworks. The QB-L aspect of the airframe seems to provide a good balance between all up weight and airframe strength as the Extra exhibits a flight characteristic that is floaty when it comes to 3D but carries enough mass to help track through precision maneuvers as well. I think it provides the perfect mix of sport, precision, and 3D which is rare in an airframe of this size. I am usually not a big fan of how SFGs look on an airframe however I think that the size of the provided SFGs are just about right and I can tell that they really do work. One of the more impressive maneuvers that can be performed with the Extra 260 QB-L is small radius flat turns both upright and inverted which are no doubt aided by the SFGs.

    I was very pleased by the looks and the performance provided by the Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L and can easily say that it has earned its place in my hangar for months to come. In the meantime, I look forward to what Aeroworks have up their sleeve with regards to the new QB-L build line.

    Great job Aeroworks...





    4903 Nome Street
    Denver, Co. 80239
    Website: www.aero-works.net


    Incorporated / Hacker Brushless USA
    2122 W. 5th Place, Tempe, AZ
    Phone: 480-726-7519 Fax: 480-682-1215
    Website: www.aero-model.com


    Futaba Corporation of America
    Distributed by: Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Phone: (217) 398-8970
    Website: www.futaba-rc.com


    17260 Westheimer Parkway
    Houston, TX 77082
    Website: www.bcflyers.com


    Comments on RCU Review: Aeroworks Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L

    Posted by: 3dsky on 06/08/2012

    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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