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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Extreme Flight 48" Edge EXP___A Righteous Build

It's been awhile since I've had an Edge. Seems like they have been out of stock every time I have the urge and the funding. The new Yak and the red/white/blue 64" MXS have taken up the time and dollars lately, plus I've had one or two expensive mishaps. With the summer lull in new releases this allows me a month or so to catch up before the 60" Laser gets here. Time to build another Edge EXP.

The Edge EXP is my harrier machine. With the straight leading edge of it's wing, the Edge EXP is the most stable plane and forgiving plane that I have piloted in high alpha 3D flight. Many times I've said when it comes to 3D, the Edge EXP is so good that it's like cheating.

The Edge's wing provides so much roll stability that harrier flight is very, very stable. Since harrier flight is the building block of all 3D flight, I like to recommend the Edge for newer 3D pilots.  It's also a great plane for experienced 3D pilots because that same stability allows you to push the plane extremely hard with a high degree of confidence.

The Build
What build?  Another project goes bonkers when I open the box and forget to start photographing. Honestly, I meant to do it. I had the camera sitting on the bench the whole time, but became so engrossed in enjoying the process that I simply forgot.

One corner of the shipping box was crinkled, so I wanted to check it for damage ASAP. I wasn't going to start on it until tomorrow, but I wanted to make sure there was no damage. From there, I dry fit a few pieces together, intending to do nothing more than admire it, but it sort of fell together before I was ready for it to be done. I bought this plane hoping to spread the build out over a few sessions, take my time and enjoy it, but I got into a groove and blasted it out in about six hours.

I think this is the cleanest build I have ever done. The last few projects have been on self-imposed deadline because I got the first examples and wanted to get the photos and video up for Extreme Flight.  For the Edge there was no timeline or pressure of any sort other than to enjoy it.

It was nice that any time I started to struggle I could just set it down, get a drink of water and not worry if I got it done or not. Patience has been a hard thing for me to learn, but it really pays off on something like this. Stop, collect yourself, go back and do it right. Nothing actually went wrong, but sometimes you need to break your focus, organize your bench and catch your breath.

The build went real easy for a few reasons. First, the covering on this particular example was dead perfect. I had to seal a few edges down, but I don't think I spent more than 20 minutes on that. Usually I am very obsessive about getting all the covering perfect, but this plane came out of the box in most excellent shape.

That, and I was extremely prepared for this build. The pushrods are all the same length on the 48s (with the exception of the MXS rudder pushrod). I have some spare hardware, so I had those already made up with the ball links screwed on and servos arms secured. I heat shrunk the servo connectors ahead of time and had the landing gear with wheels and pants ready to bolt on. I also ground the flat spot on the tail wheel wire and got the whole assembly set up. I scuffed up the control horns where the glue joint would be so those were ready to go too.

There are certain things that take time to get perfect, but are so extremely important that it's worth the time. For example, I pop the little round brass pieces in and out of the ball links a few time until they will spin very freely. This gets any potential drag or binding out of them, and then I take great pains to secure them to the servo arms and control horns as tightly as possible without inducing any more drag. The whole idea is to get the ball links bolted on tightly without any friction or drag, and to get it perfect takes a little time.

 I like to do this kind of work ahead of time because I get into a groove with my building and I hate to have to stop and assemble something piddly and time consuming.  I got as much done ahead of time as I could, so once the lid came off the box, the only hard part was getting the tail on straight (always what I fret about the most) and from there it sort of built itself.

Being June in Florida the heat is miserable, but last night it rained a lot, and coupled with having an electric fan, it was actually nice conditions to be out in the garage with the door open. Every so often I would walk outside long enough to get my hair wet, enjoy the breeze, and cool off a little, so I thoroughly enjoyed the entire evening. I had a series of "Tool" albums in the Bose wave radio changer so I was rockin' out and chillin' at the same time.

It was Zen and the art of ARFing, I suppose

As you can see, we got a really clean build and I am very satisfied with it. Normally my standards are much higher than my ability, but this one time I am going to allow myself to be mildly pleased with my work. I deliberately kept the decals to a minimum because I have always loved this scheme so much.

The Edge was my first EXP and I especially love this version. This is the airplane that got me to try the EXP series and I fell in love with it on the initial roll out. This scheme looks so beautiful, especially in the air.

There's really not much new to say because I've already covered the Edge pretty extensively in other blog reports. The Edge EXP remains the gold standard for 3D stability and general over all huckability.

Like my other Edge EXPs, this one took a single notch of down trim, and then she was dialed in. That was the entire trim process. My friend Sir Oliver had his cell phone camera ready, so once again I find myself shooting a video of a maiden and trying to make it entertaining! Since all the EXPs (and especially the Edge) are so predictable, all I had to was fly it out hands-off and see what it did. After one notch, I knew exactly what I had and just flew it.


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