Edge 540 is very easy to transport and setup at the field due to its
plug in wings. The hatch is easily removed and two servo connections
and wing bolts are all that is required to be assembled before flight.
The flight battery is easily installed in the generous nose area but
trying to push it further in the nose presents a small challenge to
strap it in since the cowl is right over the area where you would want
to place a strap.
all of the typical field preparation and checking out of the way, the
Edge 540 was ready for its first flight. With a fully charged flight
pack, we took the Edge out to the runway, lined her up and advanced the
throttle to bring the tail up and take to the skies for its first
flight. Roll out and take off did not pose anything out of the ordinary
and it was noted that the steerable tail gear was pretty solid for the
brief time that it was actually making contact with the ground.
in the air, we trimmed out the airframe and started to experiment with
its flight envelope. At full throttle, the Edge 540 and the recommended
power system really pulls this airframe around which is fitting for its
racer nature. The color scheme is very visible and it was easy to
differentiate top from bottom when the airframe was at a distance from
us. The pitch was right on during various different passes at varying
throttle settings which is a sign of a good airframe.
a few more passes, we rolled the Edge on its side and noted that knife
edge flight was a breeze. There was minimal coupling from the rudder
which was easy to fly out with minimal inputs from the ailerons and
elevator. Attempting a knife edge loop though was where the coupling
was more exaggerated and we had difficulty keeping the airframe in a
perfect knife edge throughout the maneuver.
stall turns, point rolls were all easily performed and did not present
anything out of the ordinary. The Edge 540 performs a very nice
Avalanche with the wings leveling out pretty well after the snap on
the top of the loop most of the time.
it was time to slow the airframe down for some high alpha, we were
immediately greeted by an unwelcome wing rock. For the most part, it
was easy to compensate for however when we were trying to steer around
in high alpha using the rudder, the airframe felt a bit too ready to
tip stall. Quick burst of power from the powerful motor would easily
bring the nose up during these situations but over all it could be
described as a bit mushy and I believe this is an artifact of the
narrow wings and the speed of the servos that were used. I think the
recommended servos are a bit on the slow side, and that coupled with
large amounts of exponential on the control surfaces made 3D flight not
the nose up vertical and attempting some hovering and torque rolling,
the effect of the slower servos were more noticeable. This was most
apparent on the rudder servo. On later flights, I changed the rudder
servo out for a faster, more powerful servo and it was significantly
better for controlling the rudder during hovering. In general, the Edge
540 is 3D capable but seems to be happier flying fast and precise.
Shifting the CG back helped in this manner but this made the airframe
more sensitive to rudder coupling. Overall, not a big deal as this
airframe is really a racer anyway.
it came down to landing, the Edge 540 exhibited a very predictable and
controllable glide ratio as all that was required to land it perfectly
every time was to simply line her up with the runway, cut the throttle
and watch her glide in for a smooth landing.