RCU Review: Electrifly Reactor 3D

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    Contributed by: Michael Parsons | Published: December 2006 | Views: 65869 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Electrifly Reactor

    Great Planes Model Distributors

    P.O. Box 9021

    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Telephone Contact: 217-398-8970 (Option 1)
    Website: www.greatplanes.com



    Ease of build




    Hello all, I am back again to review Electrifly's latest release. The Reactor as it has been named is an Almost Ready to Fly EP aircraft. At first blush it has some features that really stand out. For instance the cowl is held on not with screws, but with magnets. Also, provisions have been made to facilitate either a geared inrunner or the ever so popular outrunner.

    The Reactor has a 41" wingspan and 384
    squares of wing area. While the wings are not removable this is still a nice size to throw in your trunk and fly at a moments notice as I so often do.

    I will be powering the Reactor with the recommended setup from Electrifly which is the Rimfire 35-30-950kV, Silver Series 25a ESC and Electrifly 3S 1250. And for Servo's I will be using the Futaba 3110 micros.

    Street Price: $99.99

    • Wingspan: 41 inches
    • Weight: 26.5 (as tested )
    • Length: 42 inches
    • Wing Area: 384 sq in
    • Power Plant: Rimfire 35-30-950 (as tested)
    • Battery: Electrifly 3S 1250
    • ESC: Electrifly Silver Series 25a
    • Prop: 11x3.8 APC SF
    • Servos: (4) Futaba 3110 micros

    Putting it all together

    The construction of the Reactor is flawless. Every glue joint is well done and the covering has not a wrinkle in it.

    Test fitting the wings into the fuse, I am both curious and concerned. Ill cover that more below.

    Intriguing however is the cowl mounting. I have heard of modelers using magnets to hold their cowls on, but have never explored this method. Looks like Ill have the experience under my belt after this!

    From just reading the manual and trial fitting parts, I could tell that he wings were going to be the most time consuming. I have to be honest that this part of the build concerned me so much that it took three days before I applied the first bit of epoxy. It was really silly now that I think about it, but a mistake here is detrimental. The initial steps of the wing preparation were easy enough. Hinging the ailerons and mounting the servo's were done in no time at all.

    The quick links provided in the kit are very nice. They allow the carbon tube to be adjusted from either end with the turn of a screw. Very ingenious.

    With that out of the way and 72 hours to think about it, on to the wings I go. Electrifly provides two ply wing jigs that are intended to keep the wings level while the wing joiners are glued. The idea is to weight the fuse down, slide the wings into the fuse and then prop up the wing tips on the jigs. Sounds easy right? Well in reality it is, but I kept psyching myself out. I recommend also adding a small amount of weight to the wings as well to keep them centered on the jig. A couple of times (after the 30 minute epoxy was applied ) the jigs would slip out from under the wings causing them to fall. A little weight on the wings solved this problem.

    With that completed (whew!), there are two balsa sandwich doublers that add security to the wing joiner.

    The Elevator is comprised of two halves that are joined with a U rod. The halves were off just a hair, but by gently twisting the rod in the opposite direction the problem was solved. I recommend this be done before gluing in the elevator halves as the pressure from twisting could split the balsa. Just twist and fit, repeat and rinse.

    Look at that throw! Both the rudder and elevator have more than enough. That should swing the tail around nicely.

    The Reactor uses a skid in place of a tail wheel. I don't see a problem with this as the huge rudder will dictate which way I want it to go, but since the skid is simply balsa and covering some reinforcement is in order. I thought about laminating a CF strip on the skid, but instead decided on some strapping tape. I can't have the grass messing up the covering after all!

    The gear is single piece aluminum. The holes are predrilled and no surprise that they aligned with the mounting holes perfectly. Check out the battery hatch in the third photo above. It is retained with a front lip and a magnet at the back. It is a sweet setup.

    As mentioned earlier, the Reactor comes with two different motor mount. The pictorial shows the outrunner mount for the RimFire. Assembly is a snap and tabs perfectly in to the firewall. The firewall kit includes a ply X mount. This bolts to the motor and then lines up perfectly to the blind nuts pre-installed to the motor mount.

    The cowl mounting is interesting. Following the instructions I used the plastic wrapping the fuse was packed in, cut a slit and slid it over the fuse. Then the cowl former is put into place. With epoxy spread evenly around the inside of the cowl, it is slid over the former and allowed to set. No muss, no fuss. From there the Cowl is slid into place until the magnets lock and then attach the prop and spinner.

    First Impressions:

    Wow...Wow and more Wow. From the second that the Reactor left the runway, I could tell we had a winner. The huge oversized ailerons really give the Reactor excellent authority both in forward flight and high alpha stall. The thin 9% airfoil allows this plane to slice through the air with ease, while maintaining incredibly stable high alpha maneuvers.

    I was instantly impressed with the fact that no trims were needed for hands off flight. The Reactor glides through the air gracefully, but can easily be flown out of the envelope when the massive control surfaces strut their stuff.

    In flight Performance:

    Only once did I end up using low rates. I found the Reactor responded to all attitudes of flight flawlessly while maintaining the switch on High rates. Transitioning from 3D to pattern was effortless thanks to the long tail moment and special airfoil.

    Stalls are predictable and result in the nose dropping which makes recovery quick with additional throttle and neutralizing the elevator. Tip stalls are non existent no matter the airspeed or AOA.

    The recommended power setup is right on the money. It provides plenty of power to accelerate out of a hover and get the plane out of any sticky situation. I used the electrifly 10x4.5 SF prop for a few flights which worked well, then tried an 11x3.8 APC slowfly prop. The vertical increased even more and at the cost of only a few more amps over the 10x4.5. The flight times didn't change dramatically either as they are still a solid 7 minutes on a fully charged 3S 1250mah pack.

    Landing the Reactor is truly a non event. By simply lining it up with the runway and slowly decreasing throttle, the plane settles in for a three point landing. However, my favorite has to be harrier landings. They look great and the high AOA that this plane is capable of handle it with ease.

    The Reactor from Electrifly earns high marks for both it's good looks and excellent flight characteristics. There is no hiding the fact that I had reservations about the wing attachment method, but with patience and following the manufacturers directions, it was a non issue. The rest of the build is as easy as it gets and is well thought out.

    The Rimfire 35-30-950 is a great match for this airframe and allows the plane to slide effortlessly through the air. While I wouldn't recommend it for the beginner, I will say add it to your list of wants if you have four channel experience under your belt.

    Electrifly earns a job well done and an A+ from this reviewer.

    distributed exclusively by:

    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021; Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Telephone Contact: 217-398-8970 (Option 1)
    Website: www.greatplanes.com

    ZAP Glues On-line at Frank Tiano Enterprises
    Website: http://www.franktiano.com/

    Comments on RCU Review: Electrifly Reactor 3D

    Posted by: albsurfer on 03/12/2010
    Good info. I'm not an electric flyer, but have been considering an aerobat or two. I don't want foamies, so this ARF is appealing. I still need to learn more abut the types/sizes of motors and batts. The video shows that this electric is a serious flyer.
    Posted by: TTTM9876 on 06/21/2011
    Landing gear is WEAK, avoid the grass...
    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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