RCU Review: E-Flite Tribute EP 3D Profile

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    Contributed by: Michael Parsons | Published: February 2005 | Views: 39697 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    E-flite Tribute

    Review by: Michael "Atlantaeflyer" Parsons- email me

    Distributed exclusively by:
    Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    CHAMPAIGN, IL 61822
    Support Phone:
    Sales Phone: (800)338-4639

    Website: www.horizonhobby.com

    Tribute Video
    CLICK HERE to Watch

    Ease of Assembly
    Aerobatic ability

    Ease of Build

    Landing gear
    Servo mounting method

    E-flight introduces the second in an exciting line of electric powered 3D profile planes. The Tribute (another George Hicks design) was designed to appease the desires of the ever growing group of 3D crazy ( I mean crazed) pilots. It is quick and simple to assemble and has the ability to fly just about anywhere.

    Kit Name: E-flite Tribute
    Price: $44.99 retail price
    Wingspan: 37 "
    Wing Area: 374.6 sq. in.
    Flying Weight as tested: 14
    Airfoil: Flat Plate
    Motor: E-flite 370-4100: 6.6:1
    Battery used: 3s 1320 Thunderpower
    ESC used: Phoenix 10
    Radio equipment: JR 8103, GWS 6N RX, (4) GWS pico servos

    • Square
    • Hobby Knife
    • Ruler
    • Small Phillips screwdriver
    • 1/16" drill bit
    • Pliers
    • Sewing Needle (optional)
    • Foam-safe CA
    • 6-minute epoxy
    • Silicon glue
    • Clear Tape
    • T-Pins

    Parkflyer 370 and CC-10

    The box arrived with out a scratch. The contents were in perfect condition and in individual plastic bags. An E-FLITE Park 370 4100KV (ELFM1000) and 3s 1320 Thunderpower (THP13203S) lithium polymer battery is the recommended hop up from the stock power setup and is what we are using for this RCU review.

    The included 370 motor setup is to be used with a 2 cell lithium and will provide adequate power to fly the airplane, although 3D performance will be somewhat limited.

    The included 12X6 prop pulls about 16 amps, which is above the recommendations for the Phoenix 10 ESC and the battery pack. I prefer not to have to watch the left stick as long as performance doesn't suffer. I chose to prop down to a 10X8 prop. The amps sat at 8.5 and the thrust measured at 18oz. Better than 1:1 but not enough for my test. Next I tried an 11X8, Perfect. It gave me 10 amps WOT and 23 oz of thrust. That's more of what I was looking for.

    Decals sheets

    Decals complete
    The high quality water slide vinyl decals that are provided with the kit are flawless. The bright colors and Stars and Stripes theme carries nicely over the plane. To apply the water slide vinyl decals, first use a little water to wet the surface of the area where the decals are to be applied (some builders use Windex). Once the area is saturated, simply peel and slide the vinyl decal into place. Once you are satisfied with the placement, use a credit card or similar to slowly press the liquid out. Be sure to allow the vinyl decal to dry fully.
    Measure for center
    Securing the Stab
    Applying hinge tape

    The horizontal stab requires you to hinge one side of the elevator with the provided clear tape. Before doing this, you need to measure to find the center of the stab. After finding the center of the stab, I measured 3mm out from the center line in each direction, as this is the thickness of the fuse. Next you need to slide the stab into the slot and once you are satisfied with the alignment, apply a bead of *foam safe CA to the top and bottom. Ensure that the stab is level. Once this is complete, apply the included clear tape hinges to the second half of the elevator.

    *Important note: Ensure that your CA is foam-safe! Using standard CA will eat the foam beyond repair.

    Landing gear sewn in
    Wheel pants and wheels
    Tail skid

    The Formosa fuse already has the landing gear block recessed into it and holes pre-drilled to accept the landing gear. The metal wire gear is inserted into the appropriate hole and secured to the block with thread and CA. Drill evenly spaced holes above the landing gear block and thread the string in and around each gear leg on both top and bottom of the block. Line up the gear and soak with Gap filling foam safe CA. Do not use kicker on this step and allow for the CA to soak in and setup naturally. **

    The wheel and wheel pants are simply pressed on and retained with a little CA and a press on hub. The tail skid is installed by drilling two small holes in the foam at the rear of the fuse, applying some CA and pressing it into place.

    **Note: A sewing needle can be utilized to ease the installation of the landing gear.. Be careful to not pull on the thread too hard as it will rip the foam.

    Making the cut
    Servo's mounted
    Servos arm and control rod
    Horizon recommends the JR241 (JRPS241) servos with extended arms. This is to allow for the extra distance needed once you secure the servos to the fuse using the double sticky tape. If you are using what you have in your inventory, your servo arms may not be long enough. If not, simply cut a square in the same location that will allow you to drop your servo in and rest the ears against the fuse. Use a little goop or hot glue to hold it in place. I was fortunate enough that my servo arms reached fine with my setup.
    Gluing the wing
    Aileron Servo installed
    RX installed and wired
    Motor stick
    Motor installed

    The wing is measured for center exactly like the horizontal stab and then slid into the fuse. Using a square I ensured it was both centered and aligned to the stab and then ran a bead of foam safe CA on both sides of the wing/fuse both top and bottom. Again, do not use accelerator here as you want the CA to seep into all areas for the strongest bond.

    The aileron servos are attached to the underside of the wing via a sticky back tape and using the provided ez-links to secure the pushrods. You will need to cut a small hole in the fuse to pass the wire for the opposing aileron through. Our control surfaces are now complete.

    The motor stick is a block of hardwood with a hole drilled through the center. This is epoxied to the CF tube that runs through the center of the fuse. The hole is drilled true to the center so there is no need to worry about having a thrust line issue. Once this is installed, slide the motor and GB on the stick and secure with the provided screw.

    I balance the Tribute with the TP 1320 pack sitting just ahead of the landing gear plate. I increased the throttle with the nose pointed up and away and just let go. It required no trim as it flew out of my hand.

    After a couple of circuits around, I pulled it into a hover. It was perfectly stable and easy to hold with little input. A little right aileron halted any tendencies to torque roll. Next I put the Tribute into a harrier which it held nicely with the slight headwind.

    Flat spins are very nice with the CG moved to the rearward location. I was having some trouble maintaining knife edge as it induced coupling in the 5 mph wind. I contribute this to the flex in the wings. It was creating dihedral and the plane was trying to self correct (I had a chance to try it with a zero headwind later and it held Knife edge nice and slow).

    Upon landing, the gear spread apart. Subsequent flights have caused it to do the same thing. I would recommend the use a reinforcement joint between the gear wire to keep it from spreading.

    Overall a very fun flight.

    See the E-flite Tribute in action!

    Strike a pose

    E-flight has another winner on their hands. This high quality profile ARF files every bit as nice as it looks. The stability makes this plane a great trainer for anyone new to the realm of 3D flight.

    If you are a seasoned pilot looking for a plane to maintain those thumbs or a pilot interested in learning to do a little 3D flying in your backyard, the Tribute would be a great choice.

    Distributed exclusively by:
    Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    CHAMPAIGN, IL 61822
    Support Phone: (877)504-0233
    Sales Phone: (800)338-4639
    Website: www.horizonhobby.com
    email: support@horizonhobby.com

    Thunderpower Batteries
    P.O. Box 1247
    625 N. 12th St.
    St. Charles, IL 60174
    Phone: (630) 584-7616
    Web Site: www.thunderpower-batteries.com
    E-mail: info@thunderpower-batteries.com
    product used: Thunderpower 3s 1320

    Castle Creations
    402 E. Pendleton Ave.,
    Wellsville, KS 66092
    Phone: (785) 883-4519
    Web Site: www.castlecreations.com
    E-mail: info@castlecreations.com
    product used: Phoenix 10

    Comments on RCU Review: E-Flite Tribute EP 3D Profile

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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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