RCU Review: Fliton Flubber - EP


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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: November 2003 | Views: 45639 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon

    Review by: Greg Covey



    4790 Irvine Blvd.
    Suite 105-299
    Irvine, CA 92620

    (P) 888.473.0856
    (F) 888.473.0856


    See the Flubber in action!

    Windows Media Player

    Video#1

    Video#2
    Video#3


    Packaging:
    Construction:
    Hardware:
    Manual:
    Ease of Assembly:
    Completeness of Kit:
    Covering:
    Basic Aerobatics:
    Stall Char.:
    Hovering:
    3D:

    • Excellent quality
    • Superb flying characteristics
    • Custom appointments
    • Strong film-covered balsa frame

    • Weak landing gear
    • Thin plastic wheel pants

    The new Fliton Flubber 3D plane is a film-covered, balsa ARF that flies either 3D or pattern-style aerobatic maneuvers depending upon the installed power system. The Flubber 3D comes pre-built in three different base color schemes; Transparent, Red, or Orange and the design allows you to customize the finished look by painting the included clear plastic fuselage top, canopy, and wheel pants. Additional detailing can be added with the supplied sticker sheet so the overall look is limited only by your imagination.

    Kit Name: Flubber
    Manufacturer: Fliton USA
    Price: $146 w/motor, $135 w/o motor
    Wingspan: 35" (889mm)
    Length: 34" (863mm)
    Weight RTF: 16 - 20 ounces
    Wing area: 255 square inches
    Motor: Speed 300 geared

    REQUIRES FOR COMPLETION:

    • 4-channel Radio
    • 4 micro servos like HS-55, PTC-888, or PS-20
    • 10-15amp ESC
    • 7-8 cell KAN1050, HECELL, or 3-cell Kokam Lithium pack

    WHAT I USED:

    • FMA M5 5-Channel FM Dual Conversion Sub-micro Receiver
    • 2 FMA PS-20 mini Sub-micro Servos
    • 2 Hitec HS-55 Sub-micro Servos
    • Jeti 110 11-amp ESC
    • Kokam 3-cell, 1500HD Lithium battery pack


    The Flubber features a pre-built and film-covered fuselage, wing, tail set, and control surfaces. It comes with a custom fiberglass cowl, custom plastic fuselage top, canopy, and wheel pants. My model also included a geared Speed 300 power system, the GWS EPS-300C (CS) 5.33:1, and GWS 10x8 prop. Ultra-light foam wheels and a complete hardware kit are also included along with a professional 12 page instruction manual.

    To keep things light on my Flubber, I selected some of the latest technology components like the FMA PS-20 sub-micro servos for my rudder and elevator control. These tiny servos weigh only 0.2oz each and provide 12.5 oz./in. torque at 4.8v. The Hitec HS-55 servos were a bit heavier at 0.28oz but also provide a bit more torque at 16 oz./in. They fit perfectly into the wing servo bays for controlling the ailerons. The "full strength" M5 sub-micro receiver weighs a mere 0.3oz while delivering the highest reliability in dual-conversion FM reception available today.


    All parts are pre-assembled
    and covered

    A decal sheet and instruction booklet compliment the
    complete kit

    I used Hitec and High-Tech components to reduce weight while maintaining performance

    The 4oz Kokam 1500HD pack delivers 12amps continuous current
    Although the 8-cell, 6.5oz, KAN1050 NiMH pack and the 8-cell, 6.0oz, HECELL NiMH pack worked very well in the Flubber, I was able to drop over 2oz in weight and increase my flight duration by 50% using a 3-cell, 4oz, Kokam 1500HD Lithium Polymer pack. My all up weight Ready-To-Fly (RTF) was only 18.3oz!
    I chose to spray paint the inside of the clear plastic parts with Testors Enamel Spray Paint. The Gloss Red (#1203) matched my Flubber film covering perfectly! I choose Flat White (#1258) to match the white fiberglass cowl and Gloss Black (#1247) to contrast the canopy from the fuselage.

    I spray painted the clear plastic parts to compliment the overall color scheme
    The instruction booklet comes with excellent diagrams but the text step descriptions are brief and require some previous building experience. I easily mounted the two servos in the wing and attached the ailerons with 3M Blenderm tape. The Blenderm surgical supply tape stretches a bit and makes a great hinge. Optionally, you can add a small gap between the aileron leading edge and the wing trailing edge when using clear cellophane tape.

    I connected my control rods using a "Z"-bend at the servo arm and an "L"-bend at the aileron control horn. I used the middle hole on the servo arm and the outer hole on the control horn.

    The control surfaces are taped onto the stabilizers. You simply need to ensure that there is sufficient swing for 3D maneuvers. I typically check for about a 45° swing in either direction. I used "Z"-bends on the control horns and Dubro (#845) Mini E/Z connectors on the servo arms. The PS-20 sub-micro servos required a small balsa wedge to help hold them in place.

    I've found the Dubro Mini E/Z Connectors to work great for connecting the rudder and elevator linkage. They make it very easy to center the servo arm and adjust the control surface. A second package could also be used for the aileron linkages.

    The ailerons are mounted so that a 45° throw is obtained in both directions

    The film covering is removed on the surfaces to be glued.

    Dubro Mini E/Z Connectors (#845) made rudder and elevator connections easy

    The stock Speed 300 GWS EPS-300C power system simply presses onto the stick and is secured with a tiny screw.


    A Speed 280BB motor fits in the same 5.33:1 GWS EPS-300C gearbox
    Final Assembly:

    My M5 receiver and ESC easily fit in many places. I choose to hold my receiver with a foam wedge and the ESC is free to move about in the air for better cooling.

    The wing bolts in place in the rear and uses a pin on the leading edge. It makes a solid connection and does not need to be removed to swap battery packs. This was a nice design consideration by Fliton.

    There is plenty of room inside for the receiver and ESC.


    The wing stays bolted
    in place when removing
    the battery pack.

    Battery Placement:

    I kept the battery holder plastic clear on my review to show off my attachment scheme and where my 4oz Kokam pack was placed for balance.

    Both the battery pack and tray cover are held in place by Velcro strips. Swapping packs is easy without removing the wing. The cowl can be held in place with tape, but, since it is a balsa and plywood frame, you can optionally attach the cowl with 4 tiny screws for a better look.


    My finished plane weighed 14.3oz without the battery.
    My 3-cell Kokam 1500HD pack weighs 4oz so I am RTF at 18.3oz.

    The Flubber looked awesome! After I test fly it stock, I will try some alternate power systems like the Speed 280BB and Razor motors. I was excited to give it a test fly!
    Here are some suggestions for adding more power to your Flubber 3D.

    • Razor 400 motor with stock EPS-300C (5.33:1) gearbox and GWS 10x8 prop
    • Razor 2500 and GWS Gearbox. (5.33:1)
    • Hacker B20 15L w/ 4-1 gearbox

    I patiently waited for a chance to put the maiden voyage on my Flubber at lunchtime during the workweek. Although windy, a sunny day finally arrived and it was about 60 degrees. The 15mph wind was more than I like to test fly an 18oz plane in but it often pushes the limits of the design and forces me to fly it using greater focus.

    The Flubber flew great! I found no surprises in the power system and got one surprise in flight.

    I was surprised at just how true it flew inverted. The plane was solid in either upright or inverted flight without any elevator offset. I attributed this characteristic to a combination of good wing and stabilizer incidences and the fact that the tail was constructed from thin but stiff covered balsa.

    I was not surprised with the power system. It had enough power for good aerobatics but not for good 3D maneuvers. The geared GWS Speed 300 motor on an 18oz plane is at its limit so it makes for a great value power system overall but lacks the power for high-end 3D performance. Since most folks don't fly 3D maneuvers anyway, the EPS-300C power system is an excellent starting choice.

    I've decided that the Speed 280 BB motor would not work well in the reverse direction of rotation needed for the GWS EPS-300C gearbox. A Razor 400 brushless motor has proven to work extremely well in the exact same stock gearbox ratio (5.33:1) and prop size. In fact, I have one in another model that easily swapped into my Flubber.

    My friends all commented on the fantastic looks of my Fliton Flubber. It is indeed a great looker that I want to keep in one piece. This meant that my hover practice and wild aerobatic maneuvers would be done 3 mistakes high.

    Since it was a weekday at work, I had no parking lot to land in and used the open field of mowed grass across the street. The wheel pants took some damage trying to land in grass in the high winds...no surprise here. I can easily repair the damage and I will also recommend adding a small piece of plywood to both sides of the plastic pant. Currently, only one side gets reinforced with a larger piece of plywood.

    The control surfaces provide excellent response and I even had to reduce the throws a bit on my elevator and ailerons. On high rates, the Flubber rolls faster than any other plane I have flown! It will also stop rolling immediately when controlled by the pilot. This allows for performing crisp 4 or 6 point rolls.

    The 15 minute flight was plenty long using the 4oz, 3-cell, Kokam 1500HD pack. Alternatively, the equal weight 8-cell, 720mAh, AAA, NiMH pack or 8-cell, 5/4AAA, 800mAh, NiMH pack would also provide a reasonably long 7 minute flight. Of course, these times will vary with conditions and flying style.

    The Flubber looks great on the ground or in the air! I really liked the 3-cell Kokam 1500HD packs because they fit well in the plane and provided long flights.

    On my second session of flight testing the Flubber, the weather was as good as it gets and I became very impressed with the flight characteristics! The Flubber flies like a mini pattern ship on rails. It flies straight where you point it and remains true on every maneuver.

    The film-covered balsa design makes it track rock solid in flight. The special wing tip design also adds stability but doesn't detract from the roll rate. The elevator, aileron, and rudder controls are all very responsive.
    You can perform crisp multi-point rolls, snap rolls, and cuban-8s. The Flubber needs little to no elevator correction for inverted flying. Standard aerobatic maneuvers are easily done using the GWS EPS-300C power system.

    Again, the power is lacking for any real 3D stuff but the crisp control response tells me that this design should compensate for fast 3D position changes very nicely! It should have no problem handling more power or even a bit more weight.

    The wheel pants got broken up again in the long grass. They are really meant for hard surfaces. I repaired them before the video was shot but plan to replace them with a stronger pant.

    Slow flying the Flubber was not a problem within reasonable limits. It was still very responsive and I have not damaged my model in 10 flights other than the wheel pants.

    Overall, I am impressed with the Fliton Flubber design and the quality of construction. It is an impressive high-end balsa covered 3D parkflyer for intermediate to advanced pilots. The landing gear is a bit weak and the wheel pant material a bit thin.

    The key to good performance using a GWS EPS-300C/350C power system is to keep the flying weight light with a wise choice of supporting components. I also used a 3-cell Kokam Lithium Polymer pack on the stock setup with good throttle management. You simply use full power very sparingly until the pack voltage has dropped during flight.

    Other, more expensive motors like the Speed 280BB and Razor brushless are much more robust. They can handle additional abuse without much effect on longevity. The Speed 280BB works great on gearboxes that keep it running in the forward direction but nothing compares to the power and efficiency of the Razor 400 brushless motor. It is an obvious power boost!

    The Flubber looks great on the ground and in the air. The wide dynamic flying range of this model will keep you happy whether performing relaxed loops and circles around the field, precision aerobatic circuits, or wild 3D maneuvers with crazy roll rates!


    4790 Irvine Blvd.
    Suite 105-299
    Irvine, CA 92620
    (P) 888.473.0856
    (F) 888.473.0856

    http://www.fliton.com



    Clay's Hobbies

    6019 Columbus Pike
    Lewis Center, Ohio 43035
    Info@clayshobbies.com
    http://www.clayshobbies.com/



    FMA Direct/Kokam USA

    5716A Industry Lane
    Frederick, MD 21704
    (P) 800.343.2934
    https://www.fmadirect.com/site/home.htm



    Hobby-Lobby Int.
    5614 Franklin Pike Circle
    Brentwood, TN 37027

    (P) 615-373-1444
    sales@hobby-lobby.com

    http://www.hobby-lobby.com/



    Du-Bro Products, Inc.
    P.O. Box 815, 480 Bonner Rd.
    Wauconda, IL 60084
    Phone: 800-848-9411 Fax: 847-526-1604
    rc@dubro.com
    http://www.dubro.com/

    Comments on RCU Review: Fliton Flubber - EP

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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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