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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Extreme Flight 48" Edge EXP__Rediscovering The Classic

With so many great EXPs to choose from, it was inevitable one of them would suffer some neglect. The Edge was the second EXP to hit the market, and as such mine have been a little overlooked while I discovered the latest and greatest EXPs. Still, the Edge has always been a classic and the EXP has not suffered against the others in the flying department.
If anything, as I try to improve my post stall (3D) game, the Edges have recently become more of my go-to plane, simply because they are the most stable of the lineup in post stall. The straight leading edge of it's wing nearly eliminates any wing rocking in post stall harrier flight, and elevator manuevers and such. When you don't have to chase the wings keeping them level, 3D becomes much easier. The Edge is often called "The Harrier King," which I think is pretty spot on.
This is why the Edge is widely regarded as the best plane to use for 3D training. Harrier flight is the building block for learning 3D, the cornerstone of the foundation. To work on harrier flight you need a plane that is so solid in harrier that the pilot spends his time learning instead of fighting the plane. The Edge is that plane.
Whenever I help someone get into 3D, I do my best to get them into a 48" Edge EXP, simply because they have more success that way.
The other side of the coin is that the Edge gives up very little in the precision department. I especially like this plane for four point rolls, which doesn't really make sense since the Extra does them a little better. Maybe the Edge just looks good with it's leading edge pointed straight up and down on the KE part of the point rolls. Presentation is everything, and that straight edge presents well in KE flight.
The Edge also does nice snaps and spins, though not quite as neatly as the other EXPs with their triple tapered wings. You give up a little precision to get stability, but the tradeoff still leaves for plenty of both attributes and you have a well rounded package. Mostly I love the Edge because it is so smooth, stable and easy to fly. I especially like the Edge when I want to fly hard and loose because it's stability has saved me more than a few times.
I have written a considerable amount on the Edge EXPs in both 48" and 60" sizes, and you can find all of that on this blog. You might have to dig a little, but I've included set up photos and notes as well as some set up tips.

Edge EXP EPIC from Doc Austin on Vimeo.

Slow motion videos are always fun. Here I took some previous footage and slowed it to 1/2 speed. The footage looks completely different in this speed, and the sunset sky is even more spectacular. This video literally explodes out of your monitor.

Edge EXP Slo Mo Huckola from Doc Austin on Vimeo.
My two current Edges are proving to be solid performers. The first one has an interesting history because it was a perfect build. The plane literally fell together with almost no effort and came out so well I was actually for once pleased with my own work.
That's why I was so furious with myself when I crashed it upside down on the runway and ground off the top of the rudder, SFGs and canopy! Fortunately that was all of the damage and I was able to buy the replacement parts. Instead of replacing the Team Extreme decals, I had some Team America World Police decals made up and you can see that below.

Edge EXP More Cheating from Doc Austin on Vimeo.

Obviously I was pleased to be able to save it, and it still looks like a brand new airplane. This is the plane you see in the videos above.
When I had to opportunity to secure some Hitec HS5070 high voltage servos, I wanted to start with a new platform instead of retrofitting an existing one. Since I only had one Edge at the time, this served the dual purpose of also getting a back up Edge set up.

For this plane I went minimalistic on the graphics because I did not want to clutter up the scheme. I flew the plane for a few weeks with high voltage servos, but needed those servos for an MXS. I have since converted this plane back to standard 6 volt servos and it flies fine. Since I tend to fly the Edges slower and take advantage of it's sterling post stall stability, I will probably continue to fly them on 6 volt servos. I've been flying these servos and power system on all my Edges since 2010, and besides a stripped rudder servo or two, the combination has been bulletproof in everything except a full on crash.
As you can see, I flew the thing really hard with the 7.4 volt servos and the plane was incredibly locked it. I wanted to really hammer it hard and showcase the servo's speed and torque. As a result, this is one of my few videos that I am actually pleased with.

After this flight I did a rethink on my Edges and vowed to fly them more. They may not be the latest and greatest airframe going, but they are every bit as potent as the newer releases.  In it's own way I think the Edge EXP is as complete of an airplane as my beloved 48" Extra EXPs. Their performance bias is just a little bit less toward precision and a little more towards 3D.  Both are good to have, but for hardcore 3D the Edge EXP has few peers. 
It has been an absolutely crazy year for me, so it was good I had these surefooted Edges available to fly while I was not so sure footed myself.  I am almost fully recovered, and grateful to Extreme Flight for giving me the motivation to get off the couch and back in the game. Having something exciting to do really helped me fight through the process of healing

I promise I will be better centered in 2015 and we hope to have our biggest year yet.

This is a slightly older video of my 60" Edge that I never published on the blog. I guess I put it on RGC and forgot about it.
Also of great value to my recovery process was the time I spent with my Twisted Hobbys foamys. I was able to fly these in my front yard well before I could drive to the field to go flying. As a result, I probably flew them too soon because pain killers and flying is a bad mix. I totally trashed a brand new Crak Laser in a handful of weeks, but it was worth it. In a way, that plane got me off the couch and moving around when it would have been just as easy to give up. It sort of saved my life.
I did kind of luck out recently in that a friend was selling his 32" Edge, and it did not have a mark on it. It was built beautifully and flies very, very well. It's a little less agile than the Crak Laser, but it's still really good. I will probably always have at least one twisted plane in the fleet.

I gave the Laser to a friend who put a receiver in it and another friend fixed it up. It's become sort of the community foamy beater, and everyone flies it. Everyone owns a piece of it so everyone gets to hammer it. Combined with what I had already done to it, this plane has survived incredible abuse and still flies well enough to be fun for everyone.
Here is my new Twisted Edge flying at our secret testing location in..... well, that's secret. I'm using this plane to get some stick time  over tall grass and try some new moves. This will transfer over really well when I try it on bigger planes. The mind learns better if you start off slow and easy and then speed things up with more intensity. A foamy is good and slow and easy, with little repercussions for getting it wrong, especially over tall grass.

So, here's a special thank you to twisted Hobbys for marketing such a fun and fine performing product.

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