RCU Review: E-Flite Eratix 3D 25e


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    Contributed by: Steve Herlacher | Published: November 2007 | Views: 43959 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon

    Review by: Steve H.

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    Manufacturer Info
    E-flite
    Distributed exclusively by:
    Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    CHAMPAIGN, IL 61822
    Support Phone:
    (877)504-0233
    Sales Phone: (800)338-4639

    Website: www.horizonhobby.com
    Also available at your local Hobby Store


    Video

    See the E-flite Eratix in action!
    CLICK HERE


    Hits
    Packaging
    Covering scheme
    Ease of Build

    Fly's Awesome!


    Misses
     
     Motor had to be spaced out or different prop adapter needed, not mentioned.


    Introduction
    E-flight introduces another plane sized just right for their popular Power 25 and 32 series outrunner motors. The Eflite Eratix is sure to make use of those 3d thumbs and can do it all!

    The bright covering scheme is awesome and with the lightweight airframe and symmetrical airfoil I knew I had to have one as soon as I saw it.



    Specifications


    Kit Name: E-flite Eratix 3D 25e ARF
    Price: $149.99 retail price
    Wingspan: 54 in (1370mm)
    Wing Area:  695 sq in (44.9 sq dm)

    Length: 53 in (1350mm)
    Flying Weight: 3.75-4 lb (1.7-1.8 kg)
    Motor used:  Eflite Power 32 outrunner
    Battery used: 4s 14.8 volt 3300mah Thunder Power Li-Po
    ESC used:   E-Flite 60 amp Pro switch mode Brushless ESC with BEC
    Radio: DX7 Spektrum with AR-7000 receiver

    Servos:4 JR DS3421 Digital Mini metal geared

     



    Assembly
     
    Kit contents
    Wheel mounted
    Wheel Pans
    The Eratix arrived without a scratch, and after going over it with a covering iron I was ready to assemble it. The assembly is very straight forward and can be done in just a couple of nights.

    The manual is somewhat backwards to how I am used to assembling an ARF, it starts with the landing gear and then the motor and works its way to the tail surfaces and wings last.

    I kind of jumped around a bit, but did start off with the landing gear which was bolted to the bottom of the fuse with Locktite on the bolts so they couldn't come out. The wheel pants were supposed to be installed next but I did not do them at that time. The reason I chose to wait is since there was no tailwheel on the rear of the fuse, the wheel pants did not sit at the correct angle they should when the plane is finished. I tried putting them on before adding the tailwheel and after the tailwheel was installed the wheelpants were angled upwards and looked funny. I suggest you wait until you have the tailwheel installed before mounting the pants.

    Drill holes for the CA to wick in better
    Pins to keep hinges centered
    Control horn installed
    I chose to do the wings next. I drilled tiny holes in the hinge slots so the thin CA could wick in better and I hinged the ailerons first. The included control horns are exactly like the type used on Giant scale models and only take a few minutes to install they are so easy to work with.

    The holes in the surface are pre-drilled and all I did was slide the bolt in place, add the washer and thread on the retaining nut making sure to use Locktite on them as well. The plastic control horn was threaded on the end and thats it! No messing around with trying to line up screws thru the surface for a plastic horn or poking holes thru the covering when your screwdriver slips.

    I used the JR DS3421 Digital mini servo on all of the surfaces. This is a great servo with plenty of torque for any 3d maneuver you can throw at the Eratix and metal gears so they won't strip.

    The servos fit perfectly in the stock holes for the ailerons. The control rods were pre-made, all I had to do was thread a clevis on the use the snap keeper on the L bend end. The manual says they have had less slop in the control linkage by installing them with the L bend at the control surface opposite of the picture below, I changed mine and noticed it was a tiny bit tighter so I did the rest of the linkages that way too.

    I moved on to installing the tail surfaces next. The Horizontal stab was slid in place and the main wings were slid in place on the Aluminum wing joiner so I could line them up with each other. After getting them even sideways and level, I removed the covering from it with a hot soldering iron so I didn't score the balsa and create a weak point.

    Servos used
    Servo mounted with
    control horn
    Covering "cut" with
    soldering iron
    Notice the Wax paper to keep the Epoxy off the stab
    Gaps in the balsa
    Tailwheel setup glued in place
    The Horizontal was then lined back up and I used thin CA per the manual to glue it to the fuse, make sure to wick it in very good top and bottom. The Joiner for the elevator halves is glued in with Epoxy and the CA hinges were installed. Make sure you slide the joiner in before gluing the stab or you won't be able to get it in there without cutting some balsa. The manual forgets to tell you to install the Vertical stab, but there is a addendum that explains it, basically it is glued in with thin CA after making sure it is square.

    The Vertical stab had some large gaps near the bottom when installed that I filled in with some scrap Balsa. The tailwheel assembly was then glue in the slot with 5 minute Epoxy. After that dried I used some more 5 minute Epoxy on the part that gets inserted into the rudder, and hinged the rudder with CA hinges.

    The control horns were installed in the Elevator and Rudder just like they were in the Ailerons, simple installation and very positive control comes with these kind of control horns.

    I also sealed the hinge gaps with hinge tape to give better control response and help avoid flutter.

     

    Elevator horn
    Rudder horn
    Control surface sealed with hinge tape
    Elevator servo
    Rudder servo
    Hole for servo wire, hard to see clear covering over large openings
    The Rudder and Elevator servos were installed in the fuse, again a perfect fit for the openings. The pre-made control rods were the correct length and took no time to install. The inside of the Fuse at rear of the battery compartment is covered with clear covering and a hole is provided for the tail servo wires to come thru. I assume this is to block the air and force it to exit the provided cooling slot down below it.

    The hatch seems backwards to me, it has pegs in the back and a magnet in the front to hold it on but seemed to work well. This makes battery changing very easy. The wings slid on the Aluminum wingtube and 2 4-40 screws held them in place thru the tabs into blind nuts. This makes installing the wings a snap, and is a lot easier to install the bolts downward than trying to get them in sideways to the root rib like on other planes.

    Rear of Hatch
    Front of Hatch
    Wing retaining tabs/bolts
    Notice the sliding blind nuts
    Power system used
    Closeup of the ESC notice the nice large heatsink
    I mounted the motor last, even though it is one of the first things to do in the manual. The firewall has blind nuts which can slide in and out depending on what motor you use in it. This is a very neat option that I have never seen before on any ARF. I used the Power 32 outrunner and 60 amp Pro ESC from E-flite and bolted the motor to the mount and the mount to the firewall using Locktite on all the bolts.

    There area couple different setups listed in the manual and I used the high power precision aerobatic setup.

    The included plastic spinner would not fit down flush with the prop adapter that comes with the motor. I reamed out the spinner but. I then realized I could not use the included prop adapter as it was too short and the cowl would not push on far enough.  I would have either had to extend the motor out a tiny bit or use a longer prop adapter, since I had the motor mounted already I decided to use the different adapter I had in my parts box. If you plan on using the adapter that comes with the Power 32 motor space out your motor mount 1/4".

    Motor mounted
     Spinner would not fit down tight against prop adapter
    Spinner and APC 13x6.5 E prop installed
     The Spektrum radio system used
    Receiver mounting
     Battery mounting
    The Eratix was guided by the Spektrum DX7 radio system and AR 7000 receiver for glitch free operation. This was my first plane using this system and I was very impressed, the plane feels more responsive in the air and is a breeze to setup. The receiver is mounted like normal and the second tiny one was mounted to the side of the fuse with velcro.

    The Thunder Power 3300mah battery fits perfectly in the tray and I mounted the ESC underneath the tray with Velcro, it is in the air stream so it gets great cooling there. I used velcro on the pack and a Velcro strap around it to hold it in place.

    That's all there is too it, the model was now completed. Told you it wouldn't take long! The decals are already applied but I made the Spektrum one myself so that's not included with the Kit.

     

     

    Flight Report
    The recommended CG on my model was right in the middle of the 3 1/4" to 4" back from the leading edge specified in the manual, perfect for the test flights.

    The Control rates were setup per the manual as follows.

    • Ailerons low rate 1" up and down
    • Ailerons high rate 3" up and down
    •  
    • Elevator low rate 1 " up and down
    • Elevator high rate 3 1/2" up and down
    •  
    • Rudder low rate 2" left and right
    • Rudder high rate 4 1/2" left and right

    The Eratix did not take much runway at all before it was airborne and climbing straight up. After a few circuits around the field I felt the low rates were too low for me so I flew around on high rates the rest of the flight, that is how comfortable I was with this plane right from the start. I used 35% Expo in the DX7 radio and it felt perfect.

    The first few flights were done with a 13x6.5 APC E-prop but I did not like the way the plane hovered, the prop would loose its grip and seem to "cavitate" in the air and the plane would sink. I switched to a 14x7 prop and it pulled 60 amps at full throttle which was the speed controls limit, I knew I wouldn't be at full throttle much anyway.

    The 14x7 was a perfect match as it would hover just fine and would rocket out of a hover.

    The Eratix will knife edge with hardly any rudder input and a knife edge loop is one of its best maneuvers. They can be done very big or small and it has no tendency to snap out at the bottom of it. About half throttle is all that is really needed to do them as it is so overpowered.

    Hovering is no problem and it seems to just hang there, Torque rolls were very slow and I could not get it to spin around very quick, using some aileron to get them started seemed to help but they were still pretty slow.

    Upright Harriers had a little bit of wing rock in the video, but I moved my CG back to the 4" mark which made them lock in better, of course inverted is better than upright. A little bit of spoileron mixing also helped with the wing rock but isn't absolutely needed.

    Blenders were very good but would not flatten out at the bottom with the middle CG range, again moving it back helped them to flatten out at the bottom. A little power is needed to get the down line moving fast enough as the plane is so light and takes too long to build up any speed without power.

    With the thick airfoil the Eratix is a floater and will almost fly at a fast walking pace without tip stalling, inverted or upright doesn't make a difference. It can handle some wind but it is not as fun to fly as on a calm day. Its so light it can be blown around a bit. It is not a fast plane and is not designed to be a fast plane.

    With the 3300 mah pack I get about 8-10 minutes of flight time, after landing I noticed the motor was running a little hot at 140 degrees so I opened up the bottom of the cowl to allow more airflow. Balsa wood baffles inside the openings could also be made so the air blows directly over the motor.

    The E-flite 60 amp Pro really works as advertised and there is no need for a separate BEC or receiver pack which saves weight. The recommended setup is a perfect match for the airframe and there is no need to deviate from it like there can be on some other models.



    See the E-flite Eratix in action!
    CLICK HERE




     
    Strike a pose

     
     
     
     
     
     


    Summary
    This high quality ARF files even nicer than it looks. The stability could make this plane a great 3D trainer for anyone new to the realm of 3D flight or the seasoned pro as it will do anything you ask of it on high rates. The Power 32 motor and 60 amp Pro ESC are a perfect power system for it. I suggest you use some good servos like I did in mine as the 3421's are very precise and have great holding power, which is very noticeable when doing 3D maneuvers.

    I really think this may be one of the very best 3d planes I have flown as I can't think of anything that it absolutely won't do. I have already ordered a spare airframe as I know I may get too close to the ground eventually and I wanted a spare. It looks great and flies great, what more could you want?



    Manufacturer Information
    E-flite
    Distributed exclusively by:
    Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    CHAMPAIGN, IL 61822
    Support Phone: (877)504-0233
    Sales Phone: (800)338-4639
    Website: www.horizonhobby.com
    email: support@horizonhobby.com


    Thunderpower Batteries
    P.O. Box 1247
    625 N. 12th St.
    St. Charles, IL 60174
    Phone: (630) 584-7616
    Web Site: www.thunderpower-batteries.com
    E-mail: info@thunderpower-batteries.com
    product used: Thunderpower 4s 3300mah 


     

    Comments on RCU Review: E-Flite Eratix 3D 25e

    Posted by: ekotil on 10/21/2008
    I agree with all of your flying assessments. It truly is a remarkable 3D plane! good review and 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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