RCU Review: Seagull Edge 540 .60


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    Contributed by: Mike Buzzeo | Published: May 2006 | Views: 104654 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon

    Review by: Mike Buzzeo (MinnFlyer) Email Me




    Seagull Models
    Distributed through
    Horizon Hobby

    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    www.seagullmodels.com www.horizonhobby.com



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    Seagull Decathlon ARF
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    Poor:
    Acceptable:
    Good:
    Excellent:
    Outstanding:

    Packaging:
    Construction:
    Hardware:
    Manual:
    Ease of Assembly:
    Completeness of Kit:
    Covering Quality:
    Takeoff:
    Landing:
    Basic Flight:
    Advanced Flight:
    Stall Characteristics:

    • Excellent Construction Engineering
    • Quality Covering (Oracover/Ultracote)
    • Plug-In Wings
    • Quality Hardware - All Screws Matched With Their Mating Washers/Nuts
    • Preinstalled Throttle Pushrod
    • Carbon Pushrods for Elevators, Rudder and Ailerons
    • Spinner Included
    • Fiberglass Cowl, and Wheel Pants

    • None

    Working on what have become some of the world's most innovative aircraft designs, Bill Zivko came up with a design for a composite wing which became a revolution in flying. After a very impressive career in aviation, Bill realized that it was time to take his composite wing design and build a completely new plane around it. And the Edge 540 was born.

    Around the wing, a "Laser" was the basic model for the Fuselage, but it had been completely redesigned to correct a few known problems. The Edge 540 is now the crowning achievement in Bill's exemplary career. At least, to aerobatic fliers it is!

    Airshow veteran Chandy Clanton
    has some fun in her Edge 540

    About 2 years ago I was introduced to Seagull Models. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to review several of the airplanes in their line. My overall impression was that they put out a good product at a very good price. About the only thing I could say that was less than impressive is that their wood was ok, but not the best I've ever seen, and while their engineering was very good, it was not as good as some of the newer "State Of The Art" construction.

    That has all changed.

    The Edge 540 marks the second airplane I have seen in Seagull's new line, and I gotta tell ya, I'm impressed! Their latest offerings use very good quality, laser-cut balsa and ply, and the engineering is top notch - and all this at an affordable price!



    Name: Seagull Model Edge 540 ARF

    Price: $174.99

    Wingspan:
    68.2 in. (173.2 cm)

    Wing area: 753 sq. in. (48.6 dm2)

    Length: 60.6 in. (254 cm)

    Weight per Mfg: Total: 8.4 - 8.8 lbs. (3.8 - 4 kg)

    Actual Flying Weight: Total: 8.5 lbs. (dry)

    Skill level: Advanced

    Radio Used:
    JR 6102 Transmitter

    JR R700 7 Channel FM Slimline Rx

    (6) JR DS811 Servos - Elevator (2), Aileron (2), Rudder, Throttle


    Channels Used: 5 total - Elevator(2), Aileron, Rudder, Throttle

    Prop Used: APC 16x4w

    Required to Complete:

    • 6-channel Computer Radio with 6 servos
    • "Y" Cord
    • 24" Extension (3)
    • 12" Extension (2)
    • CA glue
    • 30-Min epoxy
    • Thread Locking Compound
    • Fuel Tubing
    • 90 - 125 class 4-Stroke, or 60 - 100 class 2-Stroke Engine, and Propeller
    • Standard building tools

    First impressions are always important, and the Edge 540 gives a great first impression. All of the parts are individually wrapped, Control Surfaces are taped in place with CA Hinges ready for gluing, and the Zip-Lock Parts Bag is stuffed with some very nice hardware.


    Once everything was unwrapped, I immediately removed the Canopy to get a look at the "Guts" of the construction. I was VERY pleased to see a State-of-the-Art framework that used quality, laser-cut parts. Overall, very impressive!

    Other features include a Fiberglass Cowl and Wheel Pants, Aluminum Landing Gear, Carbon Pushrods, a Spinner, and a sheet of very attractive Graphics.


    Manual

    Overall the Manual was very good. One thing I did find a little bothersome was the omission of a "Y" Cord and Extensions under "Items needed to complete". But aside from that, the pictures and text were very clear.

    Also worth mentioning is that my Manual listed the CG as "100mm back from the LE at the Fuse" but when comparing it to the On-Line version, it said "100 - 120mm". I originally balanced at 120mm, but found the plane to be almost too tail-heavy to fly. So the Manual's 100mm mark is a much better starting point.


    Step 1 is to glue the Hinges in place. I had to disagree however with the instructions saying to glue the bottom hinge of the Rudder in place now, when the Rudder doesn't get attached till much later, so I skipped the CA there until the Rudder was installed.


    AILERON SERVOS


    I used JR DS811's all around. They fit perfectly into the Pre-assembled Wing Servo Mounts, but I did have to open the slots a bit for free movement of the Servo Arm. With the addition of a 6" extension, the lead is fed through the wing (No string provided). Once installed, the job of attaching the Control Horn is all that remains.

    Seagull provides some very nice Carbon Pushrods for all of the Control Surfaces.


    ENGINE MOUNT

    The Engine Mount is a Fiberglass type of composite material, and bolts to the Firewall in a slanted pattern. This allows the Muffler to protrude from the bottom of the cowl as opposed to the side. This is especially nice for those of you who are planning to use a 2-Stroke Engine.


    TANK INSTALLATION

    A 3-Line Tank is included, and setup couldn't be simpler. Once installed, the Tank is held in place with a piece of scrap glued to the Fuse sides.


    ENGINE AND MUFFLER

    I had to grind a little material off of one Engine Mount post in order to get the Saito 100 to sit back to the specified dimension, but otherwise, there were no problems with mounting. Once in place, the mount holes were marked, the mount was removed, and the holes were drilled.

    The Mount was reinstalled, and the Saito 100 was bolted in place (With thread locking compound).

    The Throttle Pushrod came with a "Z" bend, which I cut off. After a little creative bending, I attached it to the Throttle Lever by means of a quick connector.

    ENGINE SPOTLIGHT
    Saito 100

    1.00 Power in a .91 Size!

    The FA-91 is one of the most popular selling engines in Saito's extensive line of four-strokes. The .91 fits perfectly into most airplanes designed for .60-size two-strokes offering the ability to swing larger diameter props with more thrust than the two-stroke. Many pilots simply prefer the powerful sound of a four-stroke. Now Saito? is offering a new engine that offers even more power than the .91 but that's similar in size and weight.

    Saito's new FA-100 will turn an APC 14 x 8 prop 300 to 700 rpm more than either the Saito .91 or O.S. .91. At only 19.2 ounces (less muffler), it weighs nearly 2 ounces less than the O.S as well! The Saito FA-100 is not just a punched out .91. It features a newly tooled case that shares the mounting dimensions of the O.S. 91. This allows it to be used with the many after-market engine mounts already available to fit this engine.

    • Bore: 29.0 mm
    • Stroke: 26.0 mm
    • Displacement: 1.05 cu. in. (17.1cc)
    • Practical RPM Range: 15% Fuel, 2,100-9,300
    • Weight: 19.4 oz. (550g)

    The Saito 100 will use a wide range of fuels. It is suggested to break them in with a fuel containing 20% oil, which I did, but then I switched to 15% Cool Power, and with the APC 16x4 prop, this engine provided more than adequate power!


    LANDING GEAR

    The Main Gear Axles need to be cut to size. A Dremel-type tool makes this job a breeze. It's a little tricky getting the wheel assembly inside the Pant, but it's very possible.

    Once the Gear is mounted, the cowl can be cut out for the Engine and Muffler.


    TAIL SECTION

    Once again, JR DS811's were used in the Tail - 2 for Elevator, and 1 for Rudder. This arrangement requires not only 3 long extensions, but you will also need either a Computer Radio (Which the Manual suggests) or a reversing "Y" Cord.

    You could also use opposite ends of the Elevator Servo Arms if you're not overly picky.

    Now it's time to add the Tail Feathers. No big surprises here - Line it up, mark it, remove the covering and epoxy it in place. A Filler Block is then added behind the Stab, and the Fin gets the same treatment (Except now I added CA to that bottom hinge!).

    Once again, carbon pushrods are used for the rear control surfaces. Seagull provides Carbon Rods that are close to size, but need a bit of trimming. They are then CA'd into the threaded end pieces so the Clevises can be attached.

    Now the Tail Strut attachment points are installed into the pre-drilled holes, Brackets are mounted to the underside of the Fuse, and it's all connected with rods and clevises. All in all, a pretty simple arrangement.

    With the addition of the Tail Wheel, assembly is complete, but one thing I'll point out is that I have noticed with all of the Seagull Models that I have seen, the Tail Wheel Bracket tapers at the rear so much that it is impossible to get the rear screw in place. This is easily overcome by drilling a screw hole just forward of the original location.


    FINISHING

    The Aluminum Wing Tube is inserted into the Fuse, and the Wings slide on and bolt into place with 1/4" Nylon bolts. After applying the supplied graphics, and with the addition of a DuBro Kwik Switch & Charging Jack and a DuBro "Fill It" for fueling, the Edge was ready!




    Maiden Flight

    You couldn't have asked for a better day for a Maiden Flight. It was sunny, warm and dead calm. And it was a good thing! I had balanced the Edge 540 at 120mm behind the LE as recommended by the On-Line Manual because I felt it would take a lot of lead to get it to balance at the written Manual's 100mm mark. As soon as it was airborne, I knew this was a mistake. Fortunately, it was not unmanageable, and I brought it back safely.

    Back at home, I added another 3oz of lead in the nose (to the 2.5oz that I had already put there), and programmed 30% Expo into the JR 6102.

    Soon I was back at the field and took her up again. The added weight and Expo did the trick. Now she was flying GREAT! The Edge 540 was very light and agile, extremely maneuverable, and very forgiving with no bad habits. And while the Saito 100 was plenty of power, those of you with 110's or 120's will be happy to know that the extra weight will only mean less lead in the nose. And the extra power will be icing on the cake.

    After a few more flights, I turned the sticks over to Josh Moen so I could shoot some video footage.

    Seagull Edge 540 ARF
    Windows Media Player Format

     border=  border=  border=
    High Resolution
    7.4m
    Med Resolution
    3.1m
    Low Resolution
    631k

    Seagull has once again impressed me. The quality of the workmanship, material and parts is very good, and the price is unbelievable. It flies very well with a Saito 100, but it's strong enough to take upwards of a 125 4-Stroke.

    All in all, it's a terrific plane at a great price, and it looks great too. In fact, my brother went to put something in the back of my car the day I had the Edge 540 in there, and as soon as he returned, he said he loved it and he wanted to get one. He asked, "So what do they get for it, 3 or 4 hundred dollars?" When I told him it was $175.00 he immediately picked up the phone and ordered one!


    Seagull Models
    Distributed through
    Horizon Hobby

    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    www.seagullmodels.com www.horizonhobby.com

    JR Radios
    4105 Fieldstone Road, Champaign, IL 61822
    Website: www.jrradios.com
    Product: JR 6102 Transmitter

    Support Phone: (877) 504-0233
    Sales Phone: (800) 338-4639

    Saito Engines
    Distributed through Horizon Hobbies
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    Website: www.saitoengines.com

    APC Props
    Distributed by:
    Landing Products
    1222 Harter; Woodland, CA, 95776
    Website: www.apcprop.com
    Email: apcprop@aol.com

    Du-Bro
    Everything For The R/C Hobbyist
    Phone: 1-800-848-9411
    Website: www.dubro.com
    Comments on RCU Review: Seagull Edge 540 .60

    Posted by: erec11 on 05/08/2008
    That is a very nice plane i will try to build it with an 26cc petrol engine, lets see if the airframe is that good!!!
    Posted by: rcmaster12 on 06/28/2008
    Hey, I am looking at this plane, is it capable of 3-D?
    Posted by: MinnFlyer on 06/28/2008
    Yes, In fact, I believe the video shows it doing some rolling harriers
    Posted by: AeroSeth79 on 07/22/2008
    This is an amazing airplane. I had the earlier version of it and used an OS 120. It's great for aerobatics and smooth flight.
    Posted by: hmorad on 11/14/2009
    amazing airplane but i had an unfortunate crash due to interference. got it repaired and all but the thing is, i need site where i can find color schemes for this aircraft in order to cover the plane after i repaired it
    Posted by: albsurfer on 01/31/2010
    I need a home for my TH .75, I think I just found one sturdy enough to take the abuse, and at a reasonable price.
    Posted by: djpiazzo on 03/31/2010
    First thanks for such a spectacular review. I will use your site as the instructions as they are wonderful. I am so glad to hear so many people praising the plane. I just bought it and its still sitting on the bench in its box. I have concerns about the landing gear structural integrity as I am 2 years in the sport and do not always make feather touch landings... should I reinforce it? sigpilot
    Posted by: Fade2Black1 on 07/08/2010
    Not impressed at all with this airframe. Its nice to know that Seagull took my advise in an email I sent to them regarding the Carbon Fiber Flying wires. Oddly enough, I had to move my Saito 125 5mm forward, custom carbon rods for flying wires, aluminum horns, carbon pushrods, a pull pull setup on the rudder, AA size 6v pack in the nose and 5+oz of weight in the nose to balace correctly. The reviewer did state 120mm which I found unreasonable like he did. this plane balances at 90mm. I would assume they also lightened the taila bit, which makes me wonder how much streangth it lost in the tail section.
    Posted by: MinnFlyer on 07/08/2010
    This review was published 4 years ago. From what I understand, it has been through at least one major update since then
    Posted by: bret191 on 10/14/2010
    Plane needs a 90 2 stroke or better to fly correctly so plan for the 8.5 LBS and drag. Fun to fly, smooth landings very stable, but week and bad designed landing gear.
    Page: 1 2 >
    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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