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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 together 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 ever 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 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 my friends at Hitec RCD who provided the killer HS5070MH servos use in this particular plane, plus other project.

And of course, thanks to The Boss at Extreme Flight.
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:


Monday, January 9, 2017

48" Demonstrator__Rebooted, Dialed In, And Rockin'

Recently 3DHS did a total reboot of their wildly popular 48" Edge 540, by adding the dazzling
Demonstrator printed color scheme and significant carbon fiber reinforcement and carbon landing gear. The entire plane was rethought, redone, and reimagined, which is sort of the definition of a reboot.

You can read all of the specifics in great detail in 3DHS 48" Edge Demonstrator__A Nice Plane Turned Badass , and this article is merely a follow up with additional set up info and flying observations.

This was originally a really nice little plane built with the beginner in mind. It had wire landing gear and was just about nearly indestructible. We had one in my club go through about 50 propellers and 10 sets of wheels because it took so much abuse, and all the guy who owned it ever had to do was bend the gear back into place. That was one ratty looking plane with patches and epoxy smeared all over it, but it still flew great.

A lot of guys got their start with this plane, and most of the pilots who have moved on to other planes still hang on to their Edge simply because it's always nice to have something to fall back on that's so easy and reassuring to fly. I still keep an SHP in the fleet to this day for that reason, though I think I'm always going to need a Demonstrator too..

The original 48" Edge was designed to fly with either 3s 2700-3000mah or 4s 2200-2700mah packs. The larger capacity 3s packs balance the plane nicely, give you really good run time, and allow you run as large as a 14" prop. This is superb for either 3D training or nice, easy, relaxed sport 3D. The smaller capacity 4s packs keep the plane light and deliver blistering performance for the more experienced pilot. You could also fly it on low rates and do pure sport flying, so as you can see, this plane has something for just about everyone. It can be almost anything you want it to be.

Cool Again
Sadly even the best airplanes fall out of favor because there is always the latest and greatest coming out next week. However, the latest and greatest isn't always for everyone, especially if that means giving up something as trusty as these planes always have been. What the 48" Edge really needed was to be cool again, and the Demonstrator has redefined what a cool 48" plane can be.

The dazzling Demonstrator scheme was just the start. The inside of the plane is full of carbon fiber, mostly where you can actually see it and show it off to your envious flying buddies. It not only
looks cool, but makes the plane stronger, tighter, and fly better for longer. The motorbox is now so much stiffer that the transfer of energy to the propeller is much more efficient, which in effect gives you more power.

That and with the carbon landing gear I feel like this has become a much more serious airplane. It hasn't of course, because it's still just crazy fun and easy to fly, but now it's so upgraded I enjoy showing it off to people and pointing out the nuances in the graphics and the carbon reinforcement. Before it was a nice beginner plane, but now it's a nice beginner plane that the more seasoned pilots will enjoy because looks so serious.

Essentially, the airframe has been made to be the best it can be with what we now know. Who knows? Another five years and we could see another reboot, but for now, this plane is satisfying enough.

I've flown a few of these in the past on 3s and they were great, so I assumed it's a 3s plane. This is actually a 4s 2200-2700 plane that's light enough to fly on larger 3s 2700-3000 packs, kind of like the SHP. I decided on 3s for this project because that's all I know, and also because the SHP is the same size and weight and it's magic on 3s 2250 packs.

Early on I found out a 3s 2250 55C Lightning pack is a little light for this plane, and I needed 1 ounce of ballast bolted on the bottom of the motorbox to get the CG where I wanted it. I flew it first tail heavy and I can attest the ballast made the plane fly a lot better but not any heavier. This plane is still really light. I may pick up some 4s 2700 packs and turn that ballast into more run time. I'm getting a real solid 5 minutes now, so I could probably get six easy with a 3s 2700.

Running this plane on 3s offers some solid advantages. First is 3s packs are lighter than 4s packs. I kind gave some of that up with the ballast but it's still way lighter than running a 4s 2700 pack. The other advantage is the ability to run a 13/6.5 or 14/7 prop. This gives you a bigger cone of thrust over the control surfaces when you are in a stalled or near stalled condition, which really improves 3D performance. Less voltage is less power, so the plane is slower and this gives me more time to set up and execute my moves cleanly. Less power is also a lot easier to fly because the power band is wider and not as spikey. You get smooth, progressive throttle control and the plane is not always trying to accelerate away. It's kind of like the difference between driving  Corvette or a Volkswagen on a slick road. it's much easier to control the lower powered car.

In rough, all around terms, 3s and the big prop makes the plane much easier and gentle to fly. It's better for learning that flying a fire breathing monster. And also, even he experienced guys still love to have something really easy to fly  when they just want to relax, and it's both of these in this configuration. Like this, the Demonstrator is so easy to fly I can favorably compare it to the SHP, which is really saying something, and considerable praise..

We do plan to do a 4s report, but maybe not with this particular Demonstrator. This one is working so well I don't want to change anything, so I just might build another one for 4s power and Hitec's new 5070MG servo. The specs suggest they will be a much better servo for this plane, and since they are six volts you run them straight off the Airboss 45"s onboard BEC. No extra messing around soldering up a BEC and having extra wires clogging up your neat power system installation.

For this report I am going to concentrate on the maneuvers that the newer pilots need a little help with. While this plane is considerably capable, it's still a good platform for the newer 3D pilots to sharpen up on.

Part of me is still not sure whether this or the SHP is the best plane to start with, though because of it's great harrier manners, I am leaning toward the Edge.  I think the SHP might be a little bit more forgiving of errors, but the Edge is easier for someone new to learn harrier on, and that's the maneuver you want to start with,
First, it's an Edge, which means as long as it wears the Big X or 3DHS logo, it's automatically going to be a harrier monster. As a crucial skill in 3D, having a plane that harriers so well and forgives mistakes so freely is a big plus for the new guys. It's also a nice trait to for the experienced guys to have on hand when they are pushing the plane hard on the deck.

It was hard to cram everything into a five minute video, but there's enough harrier and elevator work in there to show you how stable the Edge is with the nose way up in the air. I'm probably starting to get a little too brave with it, but the plane just feels that good to fly.

Initially I had my CG too far back, but the plane still flew harrier with no wing rock or surprise tendencies. It really should have flown badly, but instead it merely just wasn't as good as it could be. Once I dialed that in, the plane reacted exactly like I was expecting and harrier is now so locked in that it's simply instinctual to haul the nose up and drive it around on the rudder with very, very little aileron correction. Superb and easy harrier manners all the way around.

Harrier Turns
The Edge likes to have the nose pulled up, then slightly banked into the turn, and rudder applied to initiate the turn. A little opposite aileron helps the inside wing from dipping, and some power added to keep the nose up and air flowing over the controls. From there it's a matter of juggling all four and I made it sound a lot more difficult than it really is. With the Edge, after a day of harrier practice, even a new 3D pilot can drive it up and down the runway with the nose up for a whole pack.

I picked up harrier turns almost before I learned straight line harrier because I had practiced stall turns so much in my pattern days. Having a good stall turn going comes in really handy when learning harrier turns because most of the skills are the same. The angle is just different. If you are a sport pilot coming into 3D, make sure you have good stall turn in your bag of tricks because it will come in handy.

As you can see in the videos from this and the earlier article, the Edge does a nice gentle harrier turn, or if you want to manhandle it, you can spin it right around on the rudder with a sharp blast of power.

As always, especially when learning a new move, cut yourself a break and use a bit more altitude than seems necessary, because it just might be.

Elevator Maneuvers
Elevators are a really good first maneuver to learn for new 3D pilots, and the Edge simply loves to do them. You do an elevator by gently stalling the plane (because you don't want to begin the maneuver out of control), and, locking in about 7/8 full elevator stick and steer it with the rudder. Stay off the ailerons as much as you can and it will drop straight down like a brick falling down an elevator shaft, though certainly not as fast. Like I say, you can actually control the speed of the descent with a little throttle.

It's much the same as with turning elevator maneuvers, though there are a lot of planes you simply don't want to try it with because they can bite you and the Edge won't. I use a turning elevator to burn altitude when I am setting up a slow speed maneuver on the down low, and with the Edge it's easy to do even when you are turning the plane. Just hold the nose up and turn it on the rudder and control the speed of descent with the throttle, holding a little opposite aileron to keep the wings level.
Having this plane be so flexible and forgiving in this attitude allows you to adjust your speed, altitude and placement with almost instinctual ease. Of course, by instinctual I mean provided you have a little experience and a decent elevator and harrier going for you.

Snaps and Spins
Low rates: Compared to the EXPs I am used to flying, this Edge has a short tail moment, which is the distance between the wing and tail. This makes the plane respond better to elevator and rudder inputs and why you only need 45 degrees of elevator to do 3D with this plane.

The Edge does nice, clean snaps and recovers instantly, as soon as you center the sticks. The only hard part of snapping this plane is getting the timing right, so it does a full rotation and stops where you want it. You learn that just by flying it and snapping it.

Low rate and high rate snaps are different though, and this is true of every 3D plane I have flown. On low rates you hammer the elevator and hold it, then after 1/4 second delay go full rudder and ailerons either right or left, depending on which way you want to go. You will have to play with timing so you release and have the plane come out straight and level, but it's not that hard. Bang, release.

If you are starting to really get brave hold the snap roll control in and the plane will drop into a nice controlled spin. When you let off the sticks, she will stop, so you add power, level the nose and wings, and simply fly out. If you are learning, be careful you don't get hypnotized by how cool it is and watch it spin all that way to the ground, and we've all done it.

Now, don't even try this until you have a good grip on your snaps and basic spins: You can also center the ailerons and the spin will flatten out a little, then ease off the elevator and it will go really flat. Then you can speed the spin up with down elevator, or slow it down with up elevator. When you come out of this spin you may get one or two more rotations than you bargained for, but this can be arrested instantly with a little opposite rudder.

High Rates: High rate snaps are a little different though. If you use full elevator deflection it's too much and the plane will just wallow through it. I think maybe the elevator is so much drag that it acts more like a parachute than a control surface. On high rates I still use full rudder and ailerons, but I back the elevator off to about 1/2 stick movement and that seems to do the trick. Oddly, outside snaps are best with everything fully deflected, and I have no explanation for that, but it's the same on every plane I own.

I accidentally discovered a really cool spin that uses right, right (or left., left) and down elevator. It comes down pretty fast and spinning hard, but the moment you release it stops dead in it's tracks and then you pull up, power up and fly away. It will scare you the first few times, but it comes out so easily that soon you'll be fearless with it.

Knife Edge Spin
For some reason I can't explain, Edges always see to be the easiest planes to Knife Edge (KE) Spin. Other planes can be finicky about control input, control timing and entry, but both the 3DHS and Extreme Flight Edges drop right in from any altitude if you get the sticks right. I use full left rudder, full down elevator and about 1/8 to 1/4 left aileron and about 20% power. You can even pulse the throttle if you like, or once you get started just peg the throttle and let it growl. I like to reduce the power as low as I can get away with and that seems to wind it up really good too, plus it sounds and looks prettier.

You can do this from almost any attitude, though I have found the most efficient entry is from an outside snap of some sort because from there you just carry the momentum into the KE spin. My favorite is to enter from a pop top, hold the rudder in and add 1/8th aileron, and then it just keeps spinning right into it. The only hard part is the timing is crucial if you want it to look clean. If you miss it, just put the KE stick movement in and it will go in by itself after it thrashes around a bit.

KE spins are really hard on the airframe and it burns power almost as quickly as a dead short. For this reason I like to enter them really low and pull her out after one or two revolutions. It's still a KE spin, but it saves wear and tear,and energy I can use for other maneuvers.

Mostly it's all timing, which you can't teach. You can only get that with stick time, but that's not so bad because we all really want to be out there flying anyway.

Now We are going to kind of split hairs because an upright tumble is just a snap roll at high speed and full snap roll controls. Like I say, for a clean snap you don't use all of the elevator travel, but for a violent tumble, let it rip. You'll see several of those in the video because I use them as a turn around maneuver. I've just figured the timing out and know how to make it stop and fly out the opposite direction it went in. This is the kind of thing you learn simply by doing it enough until you get it right, and then repeat as necessary.

Triple taper wings are generally considered to be more precise in rolling and snapping maneuvers, though the 3DHS and EXP Edges have closed that gap considerably. These Edges are really good at big sky maneuvering.

Mostly I like to use my low rate for any precision work. The plane is just too agile on high rates, though that doesn't seem to matter to people like Jase. For the rest of us though, a good low rate is absolutely essential.  I use the set up from the manual, though dial my low ailerons back to three rolls in five seconds. That way I come across the field and peg the ailerons over, and then use tiny inputs of up, down, up, down, etc to keep the plane from dropping. Being able to peg the ailerons and forget about it just leaves me one less thing to get wrong and takes a considerable workload off the pilot. The three rolls in five seconds is a good speed because it's fast enough that the plane doesn't drop really badly, but it's slow enough that a sport pilot can keep up with it. You'll see one or two of those in the video too.

Point and slow rolls you just have to work on, and the Edge is really good here. It seems like you need a little more rudder in knife edge during the points, but it's all in adapting to the individual airframe. Once you get yourself dialed into the plane, you forget about it.

The Edge is just sweet and easy all the way around. I am flying it on 3s for now so I could compare it to my SHP, and it stacks up quite well. In a lot of ways they are almost the same plane, though the SHP is Better at precision and the Edge harriers better. The two seem to fly about the same as far as being light on their wings, and if there is a difference it's too close for me to tell.

This is making me rethink my belief that SHP is the best first 3D plane. Right now I am thinking either one of these would be impossible choices to beat. The plane does what you tell it to do and it stays where you put it. There are no bad habits or surprises and it's solid and reassuring to fly. It will make you confident, which is exactly what the new 3D pilot needs, and something veterans really appreciate too.

I really like it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

3DHS 48" Edge Demonstrator__A Nice Plane Turned Badass

Probably all of us have flown 3DHS' wonderful 48" Edge with the wire landing gear. It was the perfect plane for the newer pilot because you could repeatedly bash the crap out of it, bend the gear back into place and go bash it again and again and again.

While this was a nice feature, it wasn't even the best feature. The best feature is the things just flew good. I built of few of these for friends, and as a result, got to test and sort them out before I handed them over. Of course, I never hammered them like they were my own, but I was confident enough in them that I could fly them hard enough to tell I liked them.

This has always been one of those "must have" type of plans that I never got around to building, mostly because the EXPs were coming so fast, and then with the merger I became re-engrossed with the 3DHS Extra SHP, which I still fly often.

In fact, the SHP makes this plane even more interesting because I already have the batteries. I've got a bunch of HS65MG laying around, so it just, as always, makes the most sense to use what you've got on the shelf. Just about everyone has what they need to put one of these together.

Nice Birthday Surprise
I didn't even know when the Demonstrators were supposed to come out, so I was a bit surprised when mine showed two days before my birthday. Not only was I lucky enough to get one of the first ones off the truck, my kit box had the extreme honor of wearing the Champ's autograph!

Carbon Goodies
Let's be very clear about one thing: This isn't the same candy bar with a new wrapper, even if it is a pretty cool wrapper. Nearly everything on this plane is an upgrade. This is what the plane would have been to begin with if 3DHS had not been so diligent about keeping the cost down to $150. This plane now costs about $30 more, but it's almost like $100 worth of upgrade. Everything that was not absolute top grade has been replaced with absolute top grade. This is a very righteous airframe and an exceptional value.

The most obvious upgrade is the carbon landing gear and 3DHS' carbon rod reinforced landing gear block assembly. The 3DHS carbon gear is a little thicker than an EXP landing gear and will take a bit more abuse. You will have to work hard to break this gear.

Also provided is a nice Ultrakoted balsa plate to go over where the landing gear mounts. This hides the landing gear bolts and gives a cleaner appearance (as well as cleaner aerodynamics) and also a more scale appearance. It makes it look more like a plane and less like a model. Instead of gluing the block in place, I chose to drill the block and gear, and secure the block with a long self tapping screw. That way I can remove it periodically check the bolts for tightness.

Inside the landing gear area is supported by carbon laminate bulkheads and carbon rods. As many horrible bad landings as I have made with my SHP, plus some outright crashes I still have not been able to pull one of these assemblies apart. I've tried over and over to get a good picture of this assembly, but it's all under the battery tray and defies photography.

The original 48" Edge was a pretty stout little plane, so I am not so sure all the carbon found on the demonstrator is strictly necessary. It does make for some pretty righteous bling though and it looks great. The face of the firewall is covered in carbon, as are the battery tray, motorbox sides and top. The carbon runs all the way back to the rearward edge of the motorbox sides. so to this is probably the strongest 48" class size motorbox we have ever seen. Somehow I don't see motorbox kits for this plane being a big seller simply because to break the box you would probably have to kill the entire airplane.
Special mention to the carbon reinforcement of the canopy rear where the hatch pin seats. In the past the wood in this hole could wallow out a little and make the fit sloppy, but no more. Also worth noting is that you don't even need to hold the latch handle back to seat the canopy. You just slide the front of the canopy under the cowl until the front retention pin seats, and then press down on the rear of the canopy. Then it snaps into place with a satisfying click.
More carbon can be found in critical high stress areas such as the anti rotation pins in the wing, and the holes they plug into. Previous models used wood dowels, and wood reinforcement around the holes in the fuselage. After a lot of really hard use you could get wear in those areas and the wing to fuselage fit could become a little sloppy. Replacing that wood with carbon keeps everything a nice, tight, precise fit, which will give you a better and more precise flying, longer lasting airframe. 

Wheel Pants
It was also nice of Aron to give us a single color wheel pant. For years that's been where I traditionally put a Thunder Power decals, but the multi colored pants on my 52" Extra and 44" Slick were so nice I did not want to detract from the design. So, solid color works fine this time.

Another righteous upgrade on the 48" Demonstrator are it's Side Force Generators (SFG)s. Generally one of the purposes of SFGs is to minimize or eliminate wing rock. A good Edge is impervious to wing rock anyway, so on the surface of it this might seem unnecessary. However, you can get wing rock in an Edge if your harrier skills are sloppy, so for the newer pilots, it's hard to imagine a better learning tool than an Edge equipped with SFGs. Harrier is such an important skill that you want to give them the most stable harrier platform you can, and this plane is it.
The kit comes equipped with 3DHS' neat little thumbscrews for attaching the SFGs. I never plan to take the wing off of mine or remove the SFGs, but this will be a nice touch for people with smaller cars who have to break the plane down for transport.
These SFGs also provide a lot of side lift in knife edge maneuvers. You can get the same sort of effect by moving the canopy way forward, but instead 3DHS kept the scale appearance of the aircraft and improved it's knife edge abilities with these neat little SFGs.
The previous 48" Edge flew just fine with no SFGs, so those who want to go with the pure scale appearance can simply leave them off and suffer no ill effects at all.
Printed Covering
Well, KM has done it again. What a beautiful graphics package! Well done, Aron.
New for this size plane is 3DHS' exclusive printed covering. I am not sure how the process works but my understanding is that the design is printed on the Ultrakote, applied to the plane, and then shot with a coat of clear paint. This protects the printing and also adds a nice, lustrous shine to the plane.
Of special note is that you can't really appreciate the intricate subtleties of the printing until you actually hold one of these planes in your hands. I tried to convey this in the pictures, but even with a good camera you can't do the plane justice. I noticed much the same thing with the 42" Slick. The detail and subtle shifts of color tone make for a very interesting look. The way the carbon pattern fades in and out of the flames is amazing. I'm betting 3DHS graphics guru Aron Bates drove himself a little crazy getting this one so perfect. The whole presentation is very slick.

My kit was one of the first off the truck, before the manuals were ready, so I had to guess where to put the cooling opening. There's a nice balsa sheet area around where you see the cut out, so that was my best guess. If this is different from what you see in the manual, please follow the manual.

Aileron Set Up
Sport flyers might think this set up looks wrong because the pushrod is not at a straight angle. The reason we set the pushrod this way is because in 3D we run so much throw that you want the pushrod as straight as you can get it at maximum throw. Bolting it to what appears to be the wrong side of the control horn actually gives you perfect geometry at full deflection.

In a major upgrade 3DHS is now supplying double ball link hardware. Ball links give you smoother, drag free operation, as well as eliminating any slop or looseness in the pushrod system. They are also much easier to set up that the old swivel connectors, You just bolt them on and you're done. I love this upgrade.
Elevator Set Up
Again, it's just a simple dual ball link set up. If you follow the manual, it's really hard, if not impossible to go wrong. The kit comes with hardened allen head bolts and lock nuts, so again it's just a simple bolt together operation.
I used the standard arm that comes with the servo and pegged my end points. This gives me slightly less than bevel to bevel deflection, so it's plenty of throw with no danger of the servo binding. Like the rest of my set up, this comes straight out of the manual. The entire plane is extremely well thought out.

You want your pushrods to be as straight as you can get them, so to achieve this for the elevator. I bolted the ball link to the inside of control horn. The alignment is absolutely perfect, which assures smooth operation and good centering of the control surface.

Ruder Set Up
I'm going to cheat a little here and point you to the picture above because it also gives you a good view of the pull/pull rudder cables. The slots in the fuselage come precut, so it's a simple matter to tuck the loose covering into the slot with a trim iron.

Pull/pull systems are not difficult to set up or maintain. You just need to know a few tricks, and you'll learn those on your own after you do a few of them yourself. The only thing that makes me crazy on pull/pull installations is that's it's not easy to do a clean looking installation. You've got the crimp piece and the wire loop and the extra wire hanging out, and to me I just cringe when I see work like that.

I think I've come up with a decent enough looking solution though. First, I slide the crimp piece very close to the threaded adjuster piece, and I pull the slack wire so tight that the loop you would normally see flattens out against the crimp piece. I crimp, run a little thin CA onto the crimp piece, and once the glue sets up I cover the whole thing with some heat shrink tubing.

It's not perfect, but it looks so much better than having everything exposed that I an reasonably happy with it. I am probably going to always have one of these planes, so I will work on making something even cleaner looking. I have a little bit of OCD on things like this, which always drives me to trying to do things better.

Here's what the cables look like hooked to the servo. You use that standard Hitec HS65MG servo arm that comes with the servo. Again, I got the crimp pieces as close as I could to the connector pieces, got the loop wire as tight as I could and heat shrunk the entire thing to make a neater looking package.

Radio Installation
OK, I admit this part made me a little crazy, but it was expressly my fault. I'm really obsessive about a neat radio installation and while this one came out good, I will continue to tinker with it until I get it pristine enough to quell my OCD, at least a little.

OK, I cheated and reused the picture from the rudder section, but it give you a good view of what you can expect when you put the radio in. The kit comes with a balsa plate you simply glue down on the lower stringers and it makes a nice base for mounting the receiver.

Power System
By now most readers know what's coming next. Of course, it was going to be a Torque and an Airboss.

But of course.

I started my association with Extreme Flight in 2008 representing the Torque and Airboss brands. That's 9 years of absolutely dead solid perfect reliability, so even if something else was recommended, and Torque and Airboss was still going to go into this plane. In this case it's my favorite of all of them, the venerable, versatile and bulletproof Torque 2814. I have flown this motor on 3, 4 and even 5 cells and it's always had great power, smooth running, perfect reliability and it's very own distinct turbine like sound. On 3s it just sounds like a sewing machine, on 4s it's like a turbine engine with the governor taken off and the throttle jammed open. On 5s it lets out a blood curling howl that's frightening to watch.

For those of you who are replacing their older beloved wire geared 48" Edges, or even SHPs, your Omega 130G will bolt right in and work just fine. The Omega 103 will work too, but you might find it to be a little underwhelming.

Worth mentioning is that if you buy the Torque/Airboss power system with your kit as a combo, you save about $70. That drops the price to where the motor is essentially almost free, or to the point the entire power system is very competitively priced with "budget" power systems that won't be nearly as good. If you already have a power system, that's good too, but if you need one for this plane, there's no better way to go than the Torque/Airboss power system combo.

I wanted to mount the ESC on the bottom of the motorbox, but I could not get the deans plug to come out where I wanted it. I may play around with it later, but for now it was essential to get the article finished and get some video in the can and on the net.

As such, I simply mounted it on the side of the motorbox and the deans plug comes into the battery compartment where it is out of the way for battery change out, but perfectly positioned to plug it into the battery.

Battery Placement
It's a little early to say since as of this writing I have not flown the plane. Where you see the battery now puts the CG right on the front of the wing tube, which is traditionally when I like all of my Edges to be. I will adjust fore or aft depending on what it needs, but I am better this is where it's going to live.

As with all my projects, nothing but Thunder Power batteries will do. I still have all my older 3s 2250 Lightning 55C packs, but I did pick up one of the new Elite 55C series batteries because I really need to be flying Thunder Power's latest. I'll be shooting video with this pack, but otherwise I am going to fly my Lightning packs because even after two years of hard use in my SHP, they are still nice and square, have low internal resistance, and give me five minutes of hard flight time.

The wind was so gusty it probably wasn't a good idea to go flying, but I was really looking forward to flying this plane, so I took a shot at it.
Let's get the excuses out of the way first. I built the plane when I was sick, and I missed a few crucial details. I probably should have waited, but I already did that and lost two weeks when the 52" Extra came out, and I wasn't going to let The Boss down again like that.
First, I ended up way too tail heavy, but the plane still flew very reasonable well. This made precision maneuvers a bit difficult, but I can tell it's going to be a terrific plane once I get it dialed in.
I also forgot to jack the end points on one of my ailerons, so one was set at 100% and the other at 140%. I knew what I had done wrong the very first time I rolled the plane, but we were running out of daylight a just kept shooting. I know fixing that it is going to make a totally different plane out of it.

Not that it was bad. In fact, it was exceptionally good considering how badly I had missed the set up. She was sweet and gentle, and very surprisingly, predictable. You might notice the pop tops look pretty lame, but that's a classic sign of too tail heavy. The plane just won't rotate on it's yaw axis like it should. The other ones I have flow pop top like a roulette wheel, so I have every confidence getting the CG right will fix that.
There's not much to say after one flight with a bad set up other than the plane is so good that you just about can't screw it up badly enough to make it fly poorly. This makes it a perfect plane for the new guys who are still learning, or the old dogs who don't pay attention when they are building.
In all, I'm really encouraged by how well it flew in spite of my mistakes, and I've got them all fixed now. We are hoping to shoot some more tomorrow if the weather isn't worse than today. It's supposed to be yukky all the rest of the week, so that could be our last chance for awhile.
EDIT: It turns out I was waaay tail heavy on the first day and that threw everything off so badly it was hard to make a good judgment about any of the plane's characteristics.The big surprise is that it didn't absolutely and totally destroy the plane's good flying qualities. It just wasn't nearly as good as it could be, but we fixed that.

I ended up bolting 1 ounce of flat mag wheel weight to the bottom of the motorbox and that absolutely did the trick and transformed the plane. Now, I can fly it instead of it flying me.

I also replaced the elevator servo because the gears didn't sound very good in the one I had in the plane. Now it operates much more smoothly and doesn't sound like a handful of thumbtacks in a garbage disposal!

With both ailerons now getting full throw, the elevator operating smoothly and the CG at neutral, now I've got a sweet little plane that I can push hard right on the deck. Because it's an Edge, it forgives a lot of sloppy flying, and a few times in the video you can clearly see some sloppy flying.
That's the thing about edges though. If you fly it badly you still probably won't wreck it, or at least you can save it more often than other planes.

I pushed as hard as I could in this video. We had a dead 20mph wind at our backs, but my camera guy Coleman says "This is show business. Suck it up and go." And that's what we did.