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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

60" Edge EXP__The Unfair Advantage

Let's face it: 3D Extreme Aerobatics is very competitive, even if you are not actually in competition. . It's a show-off kind of sport where you fly lower, slower, harder, faster and more on the edge than ever before. Of course, most 3D Extreme Aerobatics pilots are going try everything they can to do all of those things better than the next guy.

We are always searching for the next great battery or servo or airframe, or something, anything, in the pursuit of doing it better .... better than the next guy. We push ourselves trying to develop the skills to be better ....better than the next guy. We destroy airplanes trying to make ourselves better .... better than the next guy. We do everything we can to give ourselves an advantage over the next guy, but the next guy is searching for that elusive advantage too.

How do you get that advantage that the other guy can't overcome? Hard work is one way, and if you get unbeatable that way, it's all fair. You earned it, but how can you do it without all the work and discipline?

You have to have the unfair advantage, and that advantage is the Extreme Flight Edge 60" EXP.

The Extreme Flight 60" Edge is not almost cheating. This plane IS is cheating. It is so smooth, stable and forgiving that it makes the ultimate 3D balsa trainer, but on the other hand, it is extremely capable of every maneuver I know how to do.

The Edge EXP does breathtakingly easy 3D, tumbles like a beast, and performs eye popping precision maneuvers, all while instilling so much confidence in the pilot that the whole thing look pretty much completely effortless.

It goes without saying the someone like Daniel Holman could fly a box of rocks better than I can fly an Edge, but the Edge does give me the advantage over everyone else that is not that far ahead .... an unfair advantage, that is.


Everything I have written on this blog about the 48" Edge EXP is true of the 60" Edge, only the big airplane is a monumental quantum leap better in every single respect. Everything else being equal, a bigger plane will fly better, but in this case it's a totally different world of better.

I've flown one of these before, courtesy of Chris Noble allowing me to borrow his for a day. I fell in love with it right away, but you can't really discover what a plane is all about until you push it hard, and you don't want to treat someone else's plane like that. It was not until I got my own that I came to truly understand how good this plane is.

Part of me actually feels guilty because this plane is so easy to look good with. It has absolutely no bad habits at all except it's probably a bit too easy, which is not a bad thing to have when you are pushing the plane hard on the edge and on the deck.

Is This The Only Plane I Need?
Well, no. Since the Edge is the easiest and most forgiving to fly, all while making you look good, one might think you don't need any other plane, but that's not quite right. The Extra still does better precision better, and the MXS flies more locked in at high speed,while being able to snap, spin and tumble harder and with more violence. Those two are more challenging to master, but where the Edge sets itself completely apart is in how easy it to fly and how forgiving it is of mistakes.
The Edge EXP, especially the 60", is absolutely the best choice for the pilot who wants to learn 3D on an extremely capable airframe, or the accomplished pilot who wants a capable low-stress airplane to knock around with. Personally I love it because I can relax so much with it, all while still flying it pretty hard. I'de imagine after it gets a few dings I'll get so nuts with it that I'll be flying and frothing at the mouth!
We will be getting more video with this plane as soon as we can. I plan to fly this plane a lot and work on some new moves. Those shouldn't be to hard considering I have the unfair advantage on my side.

 Set Up

There isn't anything different here from the 60" Extra and MXS that  I have reviewed earlier on this blog. It's a dual ball link set up with a short, stiff pushrod. This works so well on the other 60" planes that there was no need for Extreme Flight to do anything differently. This is all very proven equipment.

Again, nothing different from the other 60" EXPs. Ball links give you smooth, drag free operation. I like to double nut the bolts that hold them on, and then I put some medium CA on the exposed threads. If you need to get the ball link off, the CA crumbles when you spin the nut off, but otherwise I think it would take a nuclear meltdown to make this set up come apart.

Here I deviated from the manual a bit. I turned the servo around backwards so the distance to the control horn is shorter. This allowed me to spin the ball links onto the pushrods until they were bottomed out, with the maximum possible amount of pushrod threaded into the ball links. There is no way these will ever pull out, probably even in a nuclear meltdown. To get the elevator centered, I needed to snip about 1/4" off one end of the pushrod. While this mod is not necessary, I plan to fly this plane well past extremely hard, so I feel better about having that many threads holding the ball links onto the elevator pushrod. It's just a little bit of unnecessary overkill.

Power system
This is one of the original 4016/500 MK II production units and an Airboss 80. Previously this power system lived in my yellow 60" MXS where it received no mercy for about 300 flights. It still runs like a banshee and delivers way more power than you need for this plane. Still, it's nice to have all that grunt and speed when you need it.

These are the latest Generation 8 Thunder Power 6s 3300 Pro force 70C batteries. These things have so much pop that you could probably arc weld with them. I set my timer at 5;00, and I come down with a nice margin in the pack. Big batteries tend to be a bit expensive, so I want to take care of them by not running them lower than the rated voltage.

Using my Thunder Power TP820CD charger, I can charge one of these packs in about 12 to 16 minutes, and that's at only 20 amps. These packs are capable of being charged at 39.6 amps, so I am only just barely charging them at half what they are capable of taking.

While this picture was taken before I flew the plane for the first time, that's where the battery ended up. I balanced it right where the manual calls for never had to move the battery. I was completely happy with it from the first flight on, and getting better still every time I fly it.

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