RCU Review: Great Planes RC Universe Flatouts Biplane

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    Contributed by: Michael Parsons | Published: March 2006 | Views: 130604 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Article by: Michael Parsons: email me

    Product Type: Flatout Profile ARF
    Manufacturer: Electrifly
    Product: RCUniverse Flatout ARF
    Type: Parkflyer
    Wingloading: 3.7 oz per sq ft.
    Power Plant: RimFire 22-1000 10x3.8 APC
    ESC: Electrifly Silver Series 8a esc
    Servos: Futaba 3110 Micro (3)
    Battery: Electrifly 3S 640mah
    Receiver: FMA M5V2
    Price: $39.99

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    When I was asked if I would like to introduce the latest of the Flatout series, it couldn't have come at a better time. My current front yard flyer is all but in shambles as I tend to work it every evening after work should Mother Nature and the remaining daylight allow.

    I was surprised to see that the latest to be released was not only a Biplane, but branded by none other than our very own RCUniverse. The color scheme is stunning and I knew it would represent well in the air. And if one wing is good, two is twice as nice.

    Now, I call this a product introduction as we can't morally nor can we ethically review our own product. This introduction article will cover some of the build highlights common in our reviews as well as flight video. I however will not be rating it nor providing the debriefings that I usually include. Instead I will let the media included in this article speak for itself. I hope you enjoy!

    With all of the parts being in good order, they are laid out for inventory. The graphics are printed directly to the foam on both sides and no bleed over exists. Everything was neatly printed within the lines.

    The power package that will be outfitting the RCU-Bipe is the RIMFIRE 22-1000 swinging a 10X3.8 APC SF, Electrifly Silver Series ESC and an Electrifly 3S 640 mah pack. The control surfaces will be directed by three Futaba 3110 Micro servos.

    The hinge system was unique to me. The system consists of installing C-clip retainers into pre-cut slots on the control stab. A mating CF rod is glued on the opposing surface and this snaps into the C-clip retainers. This provided an almost frictionless hinge as well as some insane throw rates.

    Authors Tip:

    Ensure you go slow with mating the C-clip's and Carbon rod, as well as the Control rod Z-Bend connectors. If you get into a hurry or force the fit, these can fail (don't ask how I know!). Take your time, follow the expert tips in the manual and all should be well.

    The fuse gets its center strength from a Carbon Rod that is doubled at the front. There are two Servo trays that attach to it as well as two star brackets that hold all four fuse pieces in place and 90 degrees to each other.

    Assembling the fuse is simply a matter of sliding it into the star bracket, ensuring 90 degree angles and securing it with Medium foam safe CA.

    The Tail feathers that we assembled earlier go on as well as the front fuse doublers.

    The Wings are braced with a CF rod at the LE as well as the TE. The TE brace doubles as the hinge system for the ailerons. C-clips are installed in the ailerons in the same fashion as the tail feathers were.

    The bottom wing, cabane struts and top wing are tabbed into each other and secured with CA. Carbon Fiber braces (and lots of them) are used to stiffen up the wing and fuse. I used this step to ensure everything was 90 degrees.

    The Futaba 3110 servos slip nicely in the mounts and the tailwheel is a nice little addition if you are flying off of gym floors.

    The mount included with the kit is predrilled for the RIMFIRE line of motors. Other motor patterns can be drilled into the mount if using anything other than the RIMFIRE. Everything is tucked away per the instruction manual from the ESC to the RX as well as the battery location.

    The last order of business is to give her new shoes. The wheelpants are assembled and attached to the landing gear struts. These struts also double as braces up through the bottom wing and into the fuse itself.

    Electrifly provides a high and low rate template. This can be used to setup up your throws per the instructions as well as ensuring you are getting exactly the amount of throw you need.


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    Check out the Great Planes RC Universe Biplane now in both AeroFlyPro and Realflight G3!
    RCU Bipe RealFlight G3 Simulator | RCU Bipe AeroFlyPro Simulator

    Distributed Exclusively by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021

    3002 N. Apollo Drive, Suite #1
    Champaign, IL 61822

    FMA Direct
    5716A Industry Lane
    Frederick, MD 21704
    Fax: 301.668.7619
    Tech/Service: 301.668.4280

    Comments on RCU Review: Great Planes RC Universe Flatouts Biplane

    Posted by: cjshaker on 02/04/2008
    I'm currently beating my head against an Electrifly FlatOuts RC Universe.com biplane. None of the plastic parts seem to be usable as is. All of the plastic parts I've used so far waste your time drilling them to size, cutting them to size, reaming them to size, etc. The hinge retainer rings have to be drilled out or reamed to fit over the 3mm carbon tube. Hint to others, modify the retainer rings to fit the tube before you cut them loose from the plastic sprue. The instructions tell you to nip off both of the tips on the clip hinges to avoid breakage when snapping them onto the carbon tube. You've got to drill a #59 hole through the plastic z-bend clevis, and a #38 hole through the plastic control horn it is supposed to fit through. I found that the z-bend clevis will not fit through that new #38 hole it is supposed to fit through. It wants to bend or break instead. I keep looking at this kit and wondering why? How much more complicated could they have made the kit? Why didn't they make parts that fit right out of the box? GRrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I've previously made an Aerocat from ModelAero.com, and foamies from GWS. It is easy to bevel foam control surfaces for hinging with blenderm tape. Much easier than dealing with these irritating plastic parts! I have not yet completed construction, and may end up giving the airplane away and working on something else. I've previously purchased another FlatOut airplane, which I've not yet built. It may go away, too... Chris Shaker
    Posted by: cjshaker on 02/05/2008
    Another gripe is that CA glue acts as a solvent for the printed on finish. So, if you get CA glue running across your model, as I did, and then wipe it off, you'll be wiping off your finish as well. Whoever suggested using canopy glue instead of CA glue to install the hinge points had a great idea. Wish I had read that idea before starting mine. I drilled out the hole for the Z bend clevis larger and then when it still didn't fit further reamed it out with an exacto knife until the Z bend clevis went home. It's got some slop, but at least it is together now. I also carved off lots of flashing off the sides of the z bend clevis. The box makes a big deal about this linkage hardware, like its some new wonderful technology for model building. Yeah, right. Another hint to other builders, when you place the central carbon fiber tube reinforcement in the fuselage, ensure that it does not stick out past the end of the fuse, or you'll be cutting it off before you go to glue on the carbon fiber tube for the rudder. Chris Shaker
    Posted by: cjshaker on 02/06/2008
    Use a #31 drill bit to ream out the hinge retainer rings (C3), and they will slide right onto the 3mm carbon tubes with a little pressure. Chris Shaker
    Posted by: RCGlens on 06/13/2008
    How do you land this on grass without the gear coming of?
    Posted by: RCGlens on 06/13/2008
    Posted by: rcwrecker on 04/26/2009
    Take it for what it is. for the price it flys well i agree the plastic parts are a pain but time and patients pays of in the end.
    Posted by: vewright@thepoint.net on 08/27/2009

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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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