flying is amongst one of the flying disciplines that requires immense
dedication and practice to perform well. After watching experienced
pattern pilots perform their routine, I have always been amazed at how
graceful, smooth and precise they were able to perform even the most
basic of maneuvers that most take for granted. If are like me and enjoy
all aspects of our hobby, you have probably already tried your hand at
pattern and possibly even priced out a full fledged 2M pattern ship
only to find that it can quickly become cost prohibitive.
Luckily for us, there are many other options out there that will allow
us to enter the majestic world of pattern flying without having to spend a small fortune.
The Super Taiji 40 EP seems to fit this category nicely. At first look,
the Super Taiji seems to be a dedicated pattern plane which is
practically sized and designed to provide the pilot with a precise tool
in which they can enjoy the realm of pattern flying. With a 52"
wingspan, the Super Taiji is large enough to provide a stable and precise airframe while remaining small enough that
it can be easy to transport and setup. Available as an ARF, the
consumer will have to provide the motor, ESC, servos, receiver and
flight pack to get the airframe ready for flight.
When I first saw the Super Taiji 40 EP, I was drawn to its attractive
color scheme, its convenient 50" wingspan and the promise of becoming a
better pilot by having a precise and dedicated pattern plane at my
disposal. So lets see what is involved in putting this ARF together and
take her out to the field to see what it (and myself) are capable of.
individual components of the Super Taiji were wrapped and securely
taped down with the wings and tail on top of the box and the fuselage,
gear and various other components on the bottom.
of the components of the Super Taiji laid out on my work bench, my
first impressions were positive regarding the build quality and the
vibrant color scheme.
Super Taiji EP (40)
40-size electric pattern plane
Detachable battery hatch
Top quality balsa/plywood construction
self-tightening latching system for wings
Hand painted fiberglass cowling
in (1320 mm)
in (1350 mm)
lb (1770 g)
in2 (31.6 dm2)
first thing that will no doubt catch your attention as you look over
the components is the unique wing mounting mechanism. There is a spring
operated latch that holds a small hatch on the top of each wing. The
wing tube has slots on each end where a small wedge shaped plastic
piece is to be inserted to hold the wings in place. I was quite
intrigued by this mechanism and could not wait to get to the assembly
step where these components would be installed. The wings and the
horizontal stabilizers are both held on with carbon fiber tubes and
wood anti rotation pins.
provided landing gear looks rather sleek with their swept back design.
The steerable tail gear is of high quality and should do a good job of
providing a slop free linkage to the rudder. A red spinner and a hand
painted cowl are also provided with the kit. The canopy has been
painted blue from the inside and is held on by a spring loaded latch.
This should make battery changes quick and effortless.
rudder along with the horizontal stab are air foiled. Several small
bags contain the various screws and bolts that will be required in
completing the assembly of the Super Taiji. With a quick bolt together
of the main components, I was rewarded with my first peek of what the
completed Super Taiji would look like and I was quite anxious to start
the seemingly short assembly process to have the airframe ready for the
Super Taiji manual contains a good amount of information that is
illustrated in detail. In some places, verbal descriptions are lacking
but the detailed illustrations are clear enough that anyone that has a
few ARFs under their belt should have no trouble following along and
completing the quick assembly process.
assembly starts by removing the covering in certain areas of the
fuselage where the wing tubes, servo leads and anti-rotation pins will
go through. These locations are clearly marked with stickers.
Certain locations are marked with small holes in the covering that have been applied at the factory with a small pin.
Super Taiji utilizes CA hinges which have been installed but not glued.
There were pieces of string inside the CA hinges which I removed before
I moving on. I assume they were placed when installing them at the
factory to make sure the installation was centered.
great accessory for battery "peace of mind".
and clearly displays the voltage levels of your battery packs.
voltage and remaining capacity are shown on a bar graph and as a
and clearly displays the voltage levels of your battery packs.
check 2-7 cell LiFe, LiPo and Li-Ion packs, as well as 4-7 cell NiCd
and NiMH packs
of each cell of a lithium battery pack can also be displayed
on power supplied by the connected battery.
BEFORE you go just how much battery life you have
applied a couple of drops of thin CA on each hinge to finalize the
hinging process. The aileron servos are housed in plastic hatches on
each side. The hatches contain pre-drilled tabs which fit the SV3031
servos perfectly. Using the string that was already routed in the
hatch, I pulled the servo leads through the wing before moving on to
installing the control linkages.
control horns for the ailerons are installed by drilling two holes and
screwing the horn in place using the provided 18mm screws. The manual
is not very clear if you should drill all the way through or not but a
quick measurement of the aileron showed that the provided screws were
barely long enough to make it though which would make capturing them on
the other side difficult. I shortened the screws a tad and decided to
drill, harden the wood and install them without going all the way
through to the other side. The control link can then be installed using
the provided components. I installed the servo side as close as
possible to the servo and the horn side as far out as possible to get
the best resolution out of the servo.
horizontal stabilizers are installed by sliding them by first sliding
them on the carbon fiber tube, drilling the tube through the stabilizer
and locking them in place with two screws. Since a single elevator
servo is used to control both elevator halves, I tried to make sure
that the control horns were installed in an identical fashion on both
tail wheel is attached using two screws. A small hole is drilled in the
bottom of the rudder to provide the steering linkage.The main gear
installation is quite quick as well. The main axle is bolted to the
gear and the wheels are held in place using two wheel collars on each
wheel pants are attached to the metal plates using plastic rivets.that
expand when a small screw is inserted. The completed assemblies are
then attached to the fuselage using a total of four bolts and the Super
Taiji is up on its feet.
recommended motor for the Super Taiji is the KM374811 which is
specified to provide 450W of power. I decided to use the recommended
motor and motor mount (not included in the ARF) to avoid any
compatibility issues with mounting the cowling and the overall balance
and performance of the airframe. The plastic motor mount fits perfectly
on the fuselage with four bolts. Once I had the motor mounted, I
connected an E-Flite 40A ESC to my R617FS receiver and checked the
rotation of the motor to validate the ESC connections.
mounted the ESC under the battery tray using double sided tape and
secured it in place using two small Velcro straps. After tidying up the
installation, I mounted the cowl to check the spacing between the
spinner backplate and the cowl which turned out to be very little in my
cowl arrives with four holes already drilled out and all that remains
is to position the cowl, drill the fuselage and mount it in place using
prop and spinner are then attached to the motor shaft using a
single nut and two screws. The Super Taiji uses a single elevator servo
for the elevator and supplied in the kit is a very nice connector that
allows you to combine both the push rods for each elevator to a single
connector that is to be attached to the servo horn.
rudder and elevator servos are installed in the fuselage and the
connections made to the elevator and rudder control horns. A small
piece of covering is removed from the bottom of the fuselage to allow
for an cooling exit.
mentioned before, the wings are held in place using a very unique
mounting mechanism. The wing tube is slotted to accept a wedge shaped
plastic piece to be inserted which in turn exerts force towards the
inside of the wing causing the wing to stay tight against the fuselage.
A small spring is used to secure the wedge piece held against a
pre-installed screw in the wing. After bolting the wings on, I mounted
the R617FS receiver in place and taped the antennas to the side of the
fuselage and this short assembly process was essentially completed.
the maiden flight of the Taiji, we headed out to the field on a calm
but overcast day. After installing the recommended 4S3200mAh battery, I
noticed that the airframe balanced a little on the nose heavy side but
seemed close enough that I did not add any weight at that time to correct
for it. The manual recommends a single control rate so I set that to my
second rates, set the high rates to as much as I could get and the low
rates to half of that and the Super Taiji was ready to roll.
getting the field to ourselves, I lined the Super Taiji up against the
wind and applied throttle until I watched the tail lift and the the
airframe take to air and climb with authority. It only required a few
clicks of trim to get the Super Taiji flying hands off level. I
immediately dropped to my second rates control throws to start
experimenting with the flight characteristic of the Super Taiji.
first thing I usually do with an airframe is to check the flight
tracking when inverted. Since the airframe had balanced a little on the
nose heavy side, a nose drop was expected and that is what I found as I
had to apply a good amount of down elevator to maintain level flight.
checking the nose drop on the level is not good enough so I put the
Super Taiji into a 45 degree climb and rolled inverted to find the nose
still dropped drastically. At this point I landed and shifted the
battery as far back as it would go and tried again only to find that it
was still tail heavy. To get the proper CG, I added around 28g of
weight using stick on weights to the tail section and the Taiji really
came to life.
roll rate with the recommended control throws was around one rotation
per second which was very controllable. I noticed that the Super Taiji
really carries speed and likes to be flown fast. With the throttle
fully closed, I pulled a big loop to find that the Super Taiji pulled
through with minimal impact to speed at the top. The climb rate that
the power system provided was sufficient to climb straight up for a few
hundred feet in preparation for your stall turn.
really surprised me was how fast the Super Taiji could fly. On several
occasions, I had the chance to mix it up with two nitro Mustangs
running hot laps and the Taiji could keep up, if not beat both on
straight and level passes. When it came to stall
turns, I did initially observe some pendulum effects after the turn but
but after shifting the CG rearwards, the effects diminished. I was
pleased to find that the Super Taiji can rotate within its wingspan
when stalled out during hammerheads and stall turns.
it came to knife edge flight, I was very pleased to find that the Super
Taiji exhibited very little coupling on the rudder. So much so that
after a few passes, I was comfortable enough to bring the Super Taiji
fast and low over the runway and perform knife edge passes and point
rolls a few feet of the deck. The Super Taiji perform point rolls very
nicely with minimal input required to correct for each
about 7 minutes of flying, I lined the Super Taiji and started my
landing approach. The Super Taiji exhibited a nice glide ratio and
floated well on approach where at first I misjudged how much speed it
was carrying and had a few bouncy touch downs. After getting used to
bleeding off the speed that the Super Taiji carried on approach, I was
able to perform nice three point landings every time.
out the video to
see her in action!
Super Taiji 40 EP (Pilots, Stills & Video: Burc
Super Taiji really impressed me in terms of build quality and flight
performance. While my initial flights were performed under slightly
nose heavy conditions, I was later able to shift the battery back and
add some tail weight and get the Taiji balanced out close to where I
think it flew quite neutral. After only a few flights, I was able to
get a good feeling of how
the Super Taiji likes to be flown and how nicely and precisely it
tracks through the various maneuvers I put it through. I will be
experimenting further with the CG as I practice my sportsman and intermediate sequences. The recommended flight battery
provides a comfortable 8-10 minutes of flight time depending on
throttle usage and should be more than enough to fly most sequences
twice before having to land. Battery changes with the latching canopy
were quick and effortless which made getting back in the air all that
I was very pleased with the Super Taiji and cant wait for my next
opportunity to take it out to the field. I think this will be my main
practice plane for a good while as it
is very convenient to transport and a pleasure to fly.
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.