RCU Review: Hobby Lobby Reflex 3D

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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: April 2006 | Views: 64899 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Reflex 3D

    Review by: Greg Covey


    Firebird EDF
    Distributed exclusively by:

    Hobby Lobby

    5614 Franklin Pike Cr.
    Brentwood, TN 37027

    Ease of Assembly


    Sturdy all-wood design
    Great stock power
    Superb 3D Flying Performance

    Decals too large for easy application

    Reflex 3D Introduction



    The Reflex 3D ARF from Hobby Lobby assembles in 4-6 hours and is an easy build for intermediate level pilots. We'll see just how well it performs with the recommended setup when flown by the 2006 EX Games winner, Devin McGrath.

    The Reflex 3D is an all wood ARF designed by world-class pilot Benoit Paysant-Le Roux that flies like a much larger full fuselage plane. It is solid in all maneuvers, hovers easily, knife edges with little coupling and snaps cleanly. With this airplane, the pilot is in total control as it responds instantly to your inputs. The wing loading is very light making this suitable for both indoor and outdoor flying. With reduced control throws, the plane is easy enough to fly for the novice 3D flyer. With full rates the performance is only limited by the pilots skills. The Reflex builds quickly and the instructions are fully illustrated with step-by-step photos.

    The Reflex uses four channels: Ailerons (2 servos), Elevator, Rudder and Throttle. A radio with end point adjustments and exponential is recommended.


    • Wingspan: 35.5"
    • Length: 33.5"
    • Wingarea: 602 sq. in.
    • Flying weight: 13oz

    Reflex 3D
    The custom box protects the main one-piece wing.
    All the parts come individually or group wrapped in the box.
    I removed the bags from the wings for a better look.


    The entire box is very light and the contents are packed for protection and wrapped in plastic. A step-by-step manual and decal sheet are included. I'm using the recommended AXI 2208/34 motor, 8-amp Jeti ESC, APC 10x3.8 SF prop, and a 3-cell PolyQuest 800mAh pack. The optional Lightenna from E-Flight Products eliminates the unneeded longer and heavy wire antenna on the Hitec Electron 6 receiver.

    The contents are packed for protection or group wrapped in plastic.
    A step-by-step manual and decal sheet are included.
    The Hitec Electron 6 receiver and HS-55 servos provide worry-free 3D performance.

    The assembly begins by cutting away various sections of the covering. The manual spells out where to make the cuts. The one-piece wing center covering is removed after tracing it while installed in the fuselage.
    The wing and tail sections were positioned and then glued in place using thin CA. It is important to double check the incidences at this stage before gluing.
    The control surface fiberglass hinges are secured using a few drops of thin CA on both sides. The motor mount balsa halves and plywood plate were glued in place using medium CA and kicker.

    The plywood control rod guides were glued with medium CA and kicker.


    After installing the servos, it is important to center them using a "live" receiver before mounting the arms. Since I am using an Electron 6 receiver, my servos are set up as followings for my Futaba 9C radio. No "Y" adapter is needed.

                    • Ch. 1 - Aileron 1
                    • Ch. 2 - Elevator
                    • Ch. 3 - Throttle
                    • Ch. 4 - Rudder
                    • Ch. 5 - unused
                    • Ch. 6 - Aileron 2

    The control rods come pre-cut and pre-bent with "Z" bends on one end for the servo arm. At the control surface end, you need to make an "L" bend and cut off the excess length. The rod is secured with shrink tubing and CA.

    Receiver and Antenna:

    The Electron 6 receiver mounts perfectly into the receiver bay on the Reflex. I'm using a "Lightenna" from E-Flight Products to eliminate the long black wire antenna on the receiver and reduce weight. This helps to keep the antenna from whipping around during 3D maneuvers and still retains 90% of the original receiver range. The Lightenna weighs less than 1/2 gram.

    Motor Assembly:

    Before mounting the motor, I soldered a Dean's Ultra connector onto the Jeti ESC and PolyQuest LiPo pack. I decided to use the Kavan HLFK4003 Speed 400 connectors to connect the motor wires to the ESC so that I could reverse the direction, if needed.

    The radial mount set for the AXI 2208/34 motor was installed with a small dab of thread locker on each screw. Note that the center of the plywood motor mounts must be drilled out to clear the AXI motor shaft and collar.

    I used 5-minute epoxy to mount the side pieces for added strength on the motor mount area.

    The APC 10x3.8 SF prop installed using the thicker of the two included spacers.

    The gears mains fit into the fuselage channels and are secured with two supplied tywraps. The wheels are mounted with the supplied collars and a dab of thread locker.


    ESC Mounting and Programming:

    The final steps are to mount the ESC and battery. My pack mounted as shown to obtain a balance 95mm back from the leading edge which was in the middle of the recommended 90mm-100mm range.

    The Jeti Advance PLUS ESC easily programs by setting the jumpers on the programming card and plugging it into the ESC. I set my throttle to logarithmic, hard timing, brake off, Lithium low-cutoff with slow down.

    Ready to Fly

    My Reflex 3D was ready to fly at 12.3oz using the 2.3oz PolyQuest "Twenty" 800mAh pack.

    The power system draws 15amps for about 150 watts of power. That's 200w/lb. !!!



    Test Flying

    The Reflex 3D flew very well, even in the 10-15mph winds. The sturdy balsa design keeps the surfaces from warping so it is a blast to fly in most weather conditions and it has plenty of power for any maneuver. The range of flight is very dynamic as you can tone down the throws with low-rate settings for aerobatic practicing or crank it up for 3D flying as seen in the video.

    2006 E-X Games Champion, Devin McGrath,
    giving the Reflex 3D a full workout.
    CLICK HERE (8.6meg)



    Devin McGrath says, "I have to say this is one of the best flying profile (non foam) planes I have flown yet. I don't have a lot of time on it (two or three flights) and they were all in 10-15 mph winds but it handles the wind great! I am sure it will perform even better in calmer conditions. I would park it right next to the ground knife edge just like a foamy. Inverted and upright harriers were rock solid. Point rolls were crisp and although I didn't do much precision stuff because of the wind I can tell that it will do precise maneuvers as well. You may have to move the battery up a little bit to help out the precision flight characteristics. Over all I would give this plane a 10 out of 10. I can't seam to find any bad flight characteristics that a slight change in CG wouldn't fix entirely. Looks like Hobby Lobby has a winner!"

    Hand Toss


    Dealer Information

    Hobby Lobby
    5614 Franklin Pike Cr.
    Brentwood, TN 37027

    Comments on RCU Review: Hobby Lobby Reflex 3D

    Posted by: SiliconDoc on 07/24/2008
    Thanks for the interesting review, I really liked the antenna placement tip. Now, I'm going to watch the video.
    Page: 1
    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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