RCU Review: Great Planes Seawind EP ARF

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    Contributed by: Mike Buzzeo | Published: September 2007 | Views: 103889 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of Great Planes Seawind EP

    Review by: Mike Buzzeo (MinnFlyer) Email Me

    Great Planes
    Model Manufacturing Company

    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021

    Window Media Player
    Seawind EP

    • Fast, Easy Assembly
    • Clearly Written Manual
    • Pre-installed Pushrods and Wire Harness
    • Excellent Flight Chacteristics

    • None

    I won't say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but it sure doesn't come easy. Up until now, I have really resisted the new trend toward electric flight, but when I heard about the new Great Planes Seawind EP I figured it was finally time to get up to speed (At least somewhat anyway). Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing the Great Planes Seawind (Glow Powered Version) and I thoroughly enjoy flying it.

    The Seawind is probably the prettiest looking seaplane around, so it seems like a natural choice for an electric. And the glow-powered version flies so well, that I'm just hoping this one will be as good!

    Seawind EP from Great Planes

    The Seawind EP is all foam construction with a plastic canopy and cowl. The canopy is held in place with rare-earth magnets, which makes for really easy access to the battery and servos.

    All in all, this looks like it's going to be a fun project. Let's dive in!

    Name: Great Planes Seawind EP ARF

    Price: $99.99

    Wingspan: 39.5" (1005mm)

    Wing Area: 234 sq in (15.1 sq dm)

    Length: 33.5" (845mm)

    Flying Weight (advertised): 24 - 26oz (680 - 735g)

    Flying Weight: (actual) 25.7oz

    Motor: 28-30-950 Brushless Out-runner

    ESC: SS-25 for Brushless motors

    Battery: 11.1V 910-1500mAh LiPo
    Radio Used:Futaba 6EX - (3) S3114 Servos.

    Channels Used: 4 total - Elevator, Aileron, Rudder, Throttle

    Items Needed To Complete

    • 4 Channel Radio (Minimum) w/ 3 Three Micro Size Servos
    • 6" Servo Extension
    • Electric Motor: 28-30-950 Brushless Out-runner
    • ESC: SS-25 for Brushless motors
    • Battery: 11.1V 910-1500mAh LiPo
    • Battery Charger: LiPo compatible
    • 30-min Epoxy
    • Various Standard Shop Tools

    The Seawind EP comes in a very attractive box that's loaded with nice pictures. The cardboard former that was designed to hold the tail in place had pulled its staples loose. There were two staples on the one side, but only one prong on one of the staples actually took hold, so the cardboard had bent a bit allowing for a good amount of free movement of the fuselage. But there were no signs of damage, and I should add that the packaging was well designed. This looked like just a fluke on the one I got - Which just goes to show that the merchandise we reviewers get is not 'hand picked'.

    Aside from the basic parts, Great Planes includes two foam stands. One is a regular stand to hold the plane off its hull, and the other is for balancing your Seawind after assembly.


    The manual is right up there with the usual quality expected from Great Planes. Good pictures, good instructions and well written.


    Motor installation starts by removing the mount that is provided with the motor. The Seawind EP is set up so the motor just bolts right in with three screws, which are supplied.

    Next, the taper-lock collar and the prop are added.

    For cowl mounting, they suggest sticking a pin into the foam ½" behind the center of the 3 mounting blocks. Now the cowl can be slid into place, and by re-measuring from the pins, you can easily find where to drill the holes for the mounting screws.

    Then the foam spinner is attached with a dot of glue so it can be removed later if need be.


    Now the stab and top fin are epoxied in place. Once the epoxy has set, you can hook up the pre-installed pushrods.


    After securing the two micro servos to the radio tray, you have the option of adding the ESC, and then the tray is epoxied in place. In my case, I decided to attach the ESC in the alternate mounting position.

    Note: If you plan to fly the Seawind EP from water, you need to waterproof your ESC and Receiver!

    The battery is secured into the nose by a strip of Velcro and there is enough room to slide it forward and aft if it is needed for balancing.

    I installed the Rx near the rear of the radio compartment, and the fuselage work was complete.


    All that is needed for the wing assembly is to mount the servo (After digging a small hole for the servo wire) and hooking up the pushrods. All control surfaces and horns are pre-installed.

    The wingtips are now glued in place and once dry, the wing can be screwed to the fuse.

    I had a minor problem with the wing mounting screw not protruding far enough from the bottom of the wing, but I just screwed it into a piece of scrap 1/8" plywood and as I tightened the screw it eventually seated itself far enough to make contact with the mount in the body.

    At first, the wing mounting screw was not protruding far enough from the bottom of the wing to contact the plate that it screws into, so I just screwed it into a piece of scrap 1/8" plywood and as I tightened the screw it eventually seated itself far enough to make contact with the mount in the body.


    Great Planes provides a neat little stand specially designed for balancing the Seawind EP. Just glue it together and set the plane on it inverted. I found that I had to add ¾ oz to get the CG right.

    That's it! Time to charge up the battery and get this thing wet.

    The first time out with the Seawind EP I flew it off our grass field. The power train provided more than enough thrust to propel it through the grass fast enough for takeoff. A few days later, after a big rain, the grass was much longer and damp enough to cause a lot of drag, but the Seawind still got airborne (although I sometimes had to give it a little push to get started).

    Later I tried it on water. It scoots along nicely, and the water rudder is effective. When powered up, the Seawind EP lifts off the water as nicely as any seaplane I've flown.

    It did take on some water, so for subsequent flights I sealed the entire wing and hatch area with tape.

    Once in the air, this thing really shines! Loops, Rolls, Immelmans, Hammer Heads, Cuban Eights, etc. You name it, it does it. And it's fast too! Full-power fly-bys are amazing, yet you can power back and just float around easily. Its slow-speed characteristics are great!

    About the only thing you need to watch out for is if you're flying slowly and zip the throttle up quickly, it has a tendency to pitch down due to the high position of the engine, but aside from that, not bad habits were noticed.

    Check out the video to see her in action!

    Great Planes Seawind EP
    Video (7.3meg)


    Great Planes Seawind EP
    Deluxe Video (15.9meg)

    Chalk up another winner for Great Planes! The Seawind EP is a quick building electric seaplane that flies as well as it looks.

    Due to the small size, it can be flown just about anywhere. I even took off from my front yard and flew it around the neighborhood one day. If you fly from a big lake, you really need a day with little or no chop, but if the water is fairly calm, you're good to go, so it's great for small lakes and ponds. And if you're flying from land, it will hand-launch, or takeoff from grass.

    Like all seaplanes, remember to waterproof all of your electronics.

    I'm really having a blast flying the Seawind EP. It's large enough to fly well and be easily seen, yet small enough to fit in the front seat of most cars, and it's quick build time gets you from box to air in very little time.

    Great Planes
    Model Manufacturing Company

    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Website: www.greatplanes.com

    Distributed by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021; Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Website: www.electrifly.com

    Futaba Corporation of America
    Distributed by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021; Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Website: www.futaba-rc.com

    Comments on RCU Review: Great Planes Seawind EP ARF

    Posted by: Snoopy on 02/12/2008

    Posted by: DEROID on 04/29/2008
    how experienced do you have to be to fly this plane?
    Posted by: MinnFlyer on 04/29/2008
    It's not for beginners, but if you've been flying intermediate planes for a season or two and you're comfortable with them, you should easily be able to handle the Seawind EP
    Posted by: webdr on 07/21/2009
    what batttery did you use, the 910 or 1500? what were average flying times?
    Posted by: MinnFlyer on 07/22/2009
    I used a 1500 and I was getting flying times of 12 - 15 minutes of mostly full power.
    Posted by: lippucci on 07/12/2012
    Ever try a 2200 battery with a 30a esc? & 480 outrunner?
    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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