RCU Review: E-flite Carbon-Z Scimita BNF

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    Contributed by: Burc Simsek | Published: July 2012 | Views: 24830 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the E-flite Carbon-Z Scimitar


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

    If you like flying wing designs and are a fan of the Stryker series of airplanes from Horizon Hobby, E-flite might just have your ticket for your next airframe. The Scimitar is the latest release from E-flite that features Carbon-Z technology and promises heart pounding excitement and flight performance.

    Designed by Q.Q. Somenzini, the Scimitar arrives with a long list of notable features such as the Carbon-Z construction, dual rudders, single axis thrust vectoring, and retractable gear. Being a huge fan of the Stryker series of airplanes and having done a recent article on the F-27Q, when the chance to review to the Scimitar came up, I knew that this was one airframe I definitely had to try. So lets unbox a BNF Scimitar, put it together and take it out to the field to see what it is capable of.

    • It's a bigger Stryker with retracts!
    • Dual rudders
    • Optional electric retracts
    • Carbon-Z structure
    • Replaceable components
    • Magnetic canopy
    • Thrust vectoring

    • None

    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    The Carbon-Z Scimitar arrives in a nicely decorated box. We will be looking at the BNF version which includes the 4S3200mAh battery, an AR600 receiver and a charger.

    E-flite always does a great job of packaging their products and the Scimitar is no different. All of the components are securely held down in various compartments and I was glad to see that there was no damage from shipping. 

    With all of the components removed, you can see that the assembly will not take a long time complete as there are only a handful of parts.

    Carbon-Z Scimitar

    Price: $399.99 (BNF) - $319.99 (PNP)

    Key Features

    • Dual rudder and vectored-thrust control on the yaw axis
    • Exceptionally strong and lightweight Carbon-Z structure
    • Digital high-speed servos installed
    • Single screw access to the electronic equipment
    • Effective front and side cooling inlets with interior venting
    • High-quality socket-head hardware throughout
    • Distinctive color scheme for superior visibility
    • Ready to accept optional E-flite electric retracts (EFLG110)
    • All components, including the nose and control surfaces, are easily replaceable


    The E-flite Carbon-Z Scimitar is true satisfaction for the RC pilot who desires flight performance and adrenaline pounding excitement previously thought impossible from a conventional aircraft platform. The fantasy-scale Carbon-Z Scimitar, designed by world aerobatic champion Quique Somenzini, bursts open the performance envelope with an evolutionary tailless swept wing. At the heart of the advanced Carbon-Z Scimitar is a specially tuned Q-Power system harnessed inside a revolutionary single-axis, vectored-thrust propeller system. In combination with the precision of carbon rod hinged elevons and twin rudders, a refreshing level of maneuverability can be explored after less than an evening?s worth of assembly time.


    Wingspan: 42.6 in (1080mm)
    Overall Length: 35 in (889mm)
    Flying Weight: 4.4 lb (2.0 kg)
    Motor Size: 32-size 1010Kv brushless outrunner (installed)
    ESC:60-Amp Pro SB Brushless with BEC (installed)
    Prop Size: 10x8
    Recommended Battery: 4S 14.8V 30C 3200mAh (included)
    Experience Level: Intermediate
    Recommended Environment: Outdoor
    Assembly Time: Less than 1 Hour

    I have to start by saying that E-flite did a terrific job with the Scimitar. There are so many little things here and there that add to the overall quality of the Scimitar that it is hard to list them all. As you open the magnetically sealed battery hatch/canopy, you will see that there are three battery ties that are already installed for you. E-flite has gone the extra step to add small pieces of Velcro to the sides of the battery hatch so that you can keep the ties open as you install the battery. There is ample space in the compartment to slide the battery forwards and backwards to adjust the overall C.G. of the Scimitar.

    Removing the Turtle deck and the motor enclosure, you can see the AR600 receiver, the 60A ESC and the single-axis thrust vectoring mechanism. I am particularly excited about the thrust vectoring on this model as one of my favorite maneuvers on the Stryker is the boomerang which I hope the Scimitar will be able to perform equally well if not better given the TV capability.

    As you flip the fuselage over, you can see that there is a large fin on the bottom which is meant to protect the large propeller from hitting the ground. There is a small plastic tip on the protector which is also a nice touch. The Scimitar arrives with fixed landing gear and the steering servo for the nose gear is visible on the bottom of the fuselage. The included 10x8 propeller arrives with 'ears' on the sides of the hub which are meant to help in balancing the hub of the propeller in what is called vertical balancing.

    The single-axis thrust vectoring is achieved with the use of a single servo that is located behind the motor mount. If you opt to fly without the TV, you can either disable the mix from your transmitter or remove the servo and lock the motor in place using a provided plastic vectored thrust locking connector. I will most likely enable the TV as I want to see what the Scimitar is capable of doing with it.

    The Scimitar is a Carbon-Z airframe meaning it employs wood and carbon reinforcement structures inside of the wing. The wings arrive with the servos pre-attached and connected using the low friction carbon rod hinges which are similar to the Carbon-Z Yak. There are two carbon wing tubes provided that will attach the massive wings to the fuselage. The vertical fins also arrive with the rudder servos ready to go out of the box. I was pleased to see that the rudder hinge line is almost perpendicular to the fuselage which should help in reducing coupling from the rudder. A set of fixed gear are provided with the Scimitar.

    The only other items in the box is a small set of parts, a spare push rod for the steering linkage and the 4S3200mAh battery and charger. For this review, I have also been provided with the 10-15 E-flite electric retracts which should help push the performance and looks of the Scimitar over the top. To utilize the electric retracts, an optional nose strut and steering linkage is required.


    The Carbon-Z manual is written and illustrated in a very detailed manner as we have come to expect from E-flite. It contains illustrations and details on assembling the Scimitar, setting up the vectoring and control surfaces. Additional information is available on servicing the Scimitar which is a nice touch.

    Download the manual

    The assembly starts with the installation of the optional electric retracts. The optional nose gear strut is installed on the nose gear retract and bolted to the fuselage using four screws. I took the extra time to file flat spots on the strut and axle to make sure that the wheel would not come loose during taxi and flight. The steering linkage is then made to the pre-installed servo and the actuation of the retract can be checked.

    To install the main gear, the plastic covering which hides the retract bays is removed and discarded and the main gear can be positioned on the fuselage to measure how much of the axle has to be cut. Using a rotating tool, I cut the excess off the main gear struts and installed them in their respective locations using the hardware provided with the Scimitar. 

    The vertical stabilizers and the wings are attached to the fuselage by sliding them on the carbon wing tubes. The connections for the servos are made and all of the servo wires can be safely tucked in the structure making for a clean overall installation. 

    The installation of the wing and stabilizers is completed by installing several screws. The manual explains how the propeller should be balanced horizontally by sanding the tips of the blades and vertically by sanding the ears of the propeller. My propeller was very close to balance out of the box and did not need much sanding to achieve perfect balance.

    After balancing the propeller and attaching it to the airframe, I proceeded to set the control throws as recommended in the manual, checked the C.G. which seemed to be a touch close on the tail heavy side and set the Scimitar on the bench and started to wait for the weekend in hopes of good flying weather.

    For the maiden flight of the Carbon-Z Scimitar, we headed out to Tom Bass field in Houston on a slightly overcast and windy day. Transporting the Scimitar was not a big problem in the back of my SUV and with no field assembly, it did not take much time before we had installed the main flight pack and was on the field ready to roll out.

    Once on the runway, I noticed that the Scimitar seemed to bounce its nose on the runway as I was taxiing around which made me think I could be on the tail heavy side as I had noticed before. Before take off, I moved the battery a little to shift the C.G forward after which I noticed that this effect was less pronounced. After lining up with the runway, I applied throttle and noticed that the 32 size motor was making a good amount of power as it plunged the Scimitar forward with authority and it did not take much runway before the Scimitar rotated and was airborne. The manual recommends that you apply right aileron trim on the Scimitar to compensate for the torque the motor generates which I neglected to do on my first flight however I did not really notice a major roll tendency from the Scimitar on take off or during climb out.

    Once in the air, I pulled up the gear and trimmed out the Scimitar to achieve level flight . After a few high passes, I felt comfortable enough to start bringing the Scimitar in for some low passes. The Scimitar did not have any bad flight tendencies that jumped out as I tried to slow it down for some photo opportunities. On successive passes, I opened up the Scimitar for some high speed passes down the runway. When flying at speed, the Scimitar is rock solid and can perform some very nice slow rolls when commanded to do so with the help of the rudders. The rudders were quite effective in holding knife edge flight and seemed to exhibit a little less coupling than what I was used to with the F-27Q Stryker.

    After experimenting with the sport capabilities of the Scimitar, I decided to engage the thrust vectoring and see what the Scimitar was capable of. I took the Scimitar up high and entered a blender and cornered the sticks expecting to see a crazy fast boomerang but was disappointed when the Scimitar would spin and tumble but just would not enter the maneuver. After several unsuccessful attempts, I turned the thrust vectoring off and attempted the boomerang again and found success. Similar to the F-27Q Stryker, the Scimitar can perform the inverted boomerang by simply cornering both sticks to the bottom left when spinning inverted. What surprised me was the Scimitars capability to perform the upright boomerang much easier that I could ever perform it with the F-27Q Stryker by simply snapping out of a vertical climb and holding in bottom left throttle and top right aileron stick inputs. Similar to the F-27Q Stryker, the Scimitar does not need any throttle at all to perform these maneuvers but I noticed that it does need more recovery time at the bottom due to its larger size and weight. In fact, I crashed my first Scimitar when I could not recover from an inverted boomerang in time so it may be best to start your recovery a few mistakes high until you get a feel for just how much space is required.

    When it came to landing the Scimitar on the short runway at Tom Bass, I had a few unsuccessful passes where the Scimitar came in too hot and bounced on the runway a few times before settling in. On later days when we flew out of Scobee park in Houston that houses a longer runway, I was able to fly the Scimitar in with some speed and settle in on the mains and even keep the nose up for a few feet before finally settling in for a very nice and graceful landing.

    Check out the video to see her in action!

    Carbon-Z Scimitar (Pilots, Stills & Video: Burc Simsek and David Smith)

    I think that the Carbon-Z Scimitar is going to make a great addition to the E-flite line up. If you like delta wings and are a fan of the Stryker series of airplanes but are looking for the next step, the Carbon-Z Scimitar may just be your ticket. Offering the same great handling and aerobatic capability as the F-27Q Stryker, the Scimitar will take it to the next level by taking your flying experience to a larger airframe, adding retracts and thrust vectoring. When it came to the thrust vectoring capability of the Scimitar, I was a little disappointed in my initial failed attempts of what I imagined I would be able to do with the Scimitar with the thrust vectoring enabled. It is most likely that I will have to learn how to use the thrust vectoring in ongoing experiments with the Scimitar but that is something that I look forward to.

    Distributed by Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822 

    Distributed by Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822 

    ZAP and Pacer Adhesives
    Distributed by Frank Tiano Ent.

    3607 Ventura Drive E.
    Lakeland, Florida 33811
    Phone 863-607-6611


    17260 Westheimer Parkway
    Houston, TX 77082


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    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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