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Friday, January 13, 2017

Extra SHP___Something For Everyone

Thanks so much to our friends in Russia who read the blog 837 times in just the first 12 days of the month. Thanks you so much for your support.

It's rare than an airframe can take you from easy sport flying, though precision conventional aerobatics and right into hardcore in-your-face Extreme Aerobatics, but the 3DHS Extra SHP is certainly capable of that, and maybe even some more. It's lightweight and easy flying nature makes it the perfect choice as a first wood sport plane and a first 3D plane for moderately experienced sport pilots. From there you can progress as far as your imagination allows, because I don't think anyone can ever really outgrow this plane.

The SHP has many strengths including it's crazy stable and forgiving nature. It's also really agile too so it's the perfect plane for just about everyone. Certainly you will want other planes, but I think any serious (or even not-so-serious) aerobatic pilot  needs to keep an SHP in his stable, simply because it does so many things so well.

As always, nothing is more important than the flying, so let's start there. I hope you can see how the SHP is capable of ease, grace, precision,  and violence all in the same flight. The plane has a remarkable performance envelope. More videos will follow the build and set up information.

Pragmatic Observations
A good plane also has to make good financial sense, and the SHP is really well rounded here. First, it's affordable. If you buy your SHP with the Torque/Airboss power system combo, you save $75 right off the top, and you can put an SHP together for around $402, less receiver and propeller. This price includes the industry standard, solid and reliable Hitec HS65MG servos. For an airplane that can take you as far as an SHP will, that's a solid value.
If you choose the 3s route, the SHP flies really well on cheap 3s 2250-2700 batteries. Personally I like to keep my SHP light so I run a 3s 2250 pack and get a good 5 minutes of hard run time. Less aggressive pilots will get more time from the same pack. The SHP is still light enough that it will do cracking 3D with a 2700 pack, so if you like long flights, go that way. It's still an inexpensive pack. 
Most people stepping into 3D have 3s 2200-2700 packs from their Apprentice, T28 or Visionaires. For them, the SHP is perfect because they won't have to buy batteries.

You can also fly the SHP on 4s and it's simply badass. The SHP is so light that with that kind of power it tracks really well, climbs like a banshee and performs well enough to satisfy even the most experienced pilots.
Easy To Assemble
The SHP also builds really easy so the new guys will have very little trouble assembling and setting one up. The old hands would rather spend more time flying than building, so this is a plus for them too. Also, no matter who you are, it's never fun to put together something that is poorly made and ill fitting, but with 3DHS quality, that's never an issue. I've built a lot of SHPs and all went to gether really well.

The new SHPs come with all ball link hardware, and that takes a lot of work out of getting the setup right. Like with most planes, the hardest part is getting the horizontal stabilizer on straight, and the hinges in properly, but I have outlined my build secrets here. Another most excellent resource is IPSmotors' YouTube channel, which features build videos on this plane. 
I can build an SHP in about 6 hours, but then again, I am slow and methodical, take my time and enjoy the build. I believe the record is something like 55 minutes, but if I tried that everything would be falling off the plane! Mostly it is not important how fast a plane can be assembled. The most important thing is that it is easy to put together straight and set up properly so that it flies right.
That's what counts.
I have flown and helped set up a lot of different SHPs, and even the ones that were initially set up really badly still flew respectably. You can get something a little bit off here or there and it's not going to destroy the way the plane flies. Certainly a dead straight perfectly assembled one is going to fly best, but the worst assembled SHP I every flew was still pretty good.

Easy Transportation And Storage
Here's where the 45-48" class planes really shine. I can put my SHP either in the back seat or the trunk fully assembled. I have a 2000 Nissan Altima, and that was back when those were small cars. If you have a larger car or even an SUV, just toss the thing in there and go fly!

When I get to the field I don't have to do anything except check the battery voltage, plug it in, and go fly. When you are headed out trying to cram in a few flights at the end of the day, or even before work, not having to assemble the plane is a big plus.

Back at home, I can either stand my SHP up against the wall or hang it from the ceiling and it doesn't take up much space either way.

This part is easy. Use the pictures in the manual to show you what your linkages should look like. Use the servos arms as shown in the pictures, and then go to the bottom of the manual and use the throws, rates and expos exactly like the manual says.  Do this and you can never go wrong.

If you want to tinker with it after a few flights, go ahead. But at least initially please use the time proven set up in the manual because we know for sure it works.

The most overriding impression almost everyone gets for the SHP is just how easy, stable and forgiving it is to fly. Perhaps my years of flying the plane has made shaped my flying style to get the most out of it, but I am certainly comfortable with it. I can put the SHP aside for awhile, but when I take it back out I am on it and in the groove instantly. No matter how crossed up I get it, I know exactly what to expect from this plane every time.
Like I say, the SHP is sweet and easy, though agile and aggressive when you ask that from it. This truly is a plane that is something for everyone. I don't believe there is a single qualified pilot out there who would not enjoy this plane. I've been flying the SHP since, I believe 2007 or so, and I never get tired of it. I put it away sometimes and concentrate on other projects, but I always come back to this plane when I just want to have some crazy, easy fun.

I also love the SHP because everything seems to happen a little slower and I can push harder and learn better. Whenever I fly the SHP for a few days I am better when I go back to my other planes. To me that is reason enough to have one, though I have so much fun with mine that I will always have at least one in flying condition at all times.

I flew the SHP for years on 4s batteries and it was a hoot like that. Lately, though, I like the SHP on 3s packs because it keeps the plane light and allows me to run as big as a 14/7 prop. I've found you give up a little too much top speed with that prop and like a 13/6.5 for all around performance.

A huge thanks to Ben Fisher of 3DHS for hooking me up with my original SHP and coaching me in the early days of my 3D experience. That knowledge has taken me a very long way, as has the SHP itself.
 Also thanks to Thunder Power who always makes sure I have the batteries and chargers to get the job done, and to my friends at Hitec RCD who provided the killer HS5070MH servos use in this particular plane, plus other project.
The generous support of these companies make these reports possible, plus they are jolly good companies.
Instead of writing the same things I have so many previous times, I suggest you read my previous articles, listed below: