Great Planes Extra 300S 60 Kit .61-.90, 64" Review

Review by Nicholas Turner, Staff Contributor

Equipment Used:

- Saito .91 four stroke

- 13x6 or 13x8 APC prop

- 4x Standard Futaba Servos

- 1x higher torque Hitec servo

- Futaba 6ch 72MHz RX and TX

- Spektrum AR6200 with Spektrum DX6i and Spektrum DX8 TX

Pros:

- Straight forward build

- Easily customizable

- Great flying plane

- Option to build wing w/ or w/o dihedral

- No bad tendencies in the air

- Goes where you point it

- Option for single elevator servo or dual elevator servos

- Dual Aileron servos

Cons:

- Not designed for electric system

- Sport scale

- Plastic cowl and wheel pants cracked and broke easily

- Single piece wing hinders use of small cars and storing in small spaces

Summary:

I received this kit as a Christmas present for Christmas 2000. Due to a very tough semester load in high school that spring and fall, building of the kit took about a year. My dad guided and assisted me through-out the build since I was a teenager and this was only my second kit build, the first having been a homemade kit of a Big Stick 40 for the Boy Scout Aviation Merit Badge (Dad saves all his kits and die cuts, so he cut all the pieces using these plans and die cuts). Being the build happened so many years ago and was a long period of time, I can’t get into the details and specifics. But what I do remember is everything fit together very well, as expected and normal for Hobbico brand/sub brands. I don’t recall any issues fitting anything together. Since I had plowed a .40 sized House of Balsa Extra 300 into the ground and resorted to flying my Big Stick, Dad convinced me to build the wing with the dihedral. Great choice at the time to move up in skill level in the planes, but now being more advanced, I wish I had a more scale flat wing. I could take the time and build a whole new wing from the plans and die cuts of the kit, but it’s not a priority. At the time, I was still flying 72MHz where the antenna had to exit the fuselage; we went with the single elevator servo option to prevent the antenna from getting wrapped around a server. A higher grade Hitec servo was selected for use for the two elevator halves. The instructions are clear on how to attach the push rods for the two elevator halves, this has held up for all these years. I covered the plane in Monokote, stuck to a white base and opted for red and orange lightning bolts on the wing and fuselage with pink bars on the bottom. This color scheme is easily seen in the air. We also opted to use fiberglass wheel pants and cowl. I sadly don't remember who we bought them from.

 

My dad had me build this plane right. She is a dream to fly. The dihedral makes it a bit more forgiving than a more scale Extra model. She goes where you point her. I did not build her for 3D, as this kit is not designed for 3D. With the dihedral she floats on landing. Being a sport scale aerobatic model, the flying envelope is wide open. Aileron rolls are axial, snap rolls are crisp, and loops are as round as you make them. Cuban eights, hammer heads, split s, Immelmann, and tail slides are all performed easily and flawlessly once you master the maneuver. With the proper modifications this kit could be made into a 3D plane, but it’s not designed for it.

 

Conclusion

Great flying plane when built square and correctly. This plane makes a great third aircraft, or even a second aircraft if having experience on something like the ParkZone parkflyer T-28 if built with the dihedral option. Thirteen years later the Great Planes Extra 300 is one of my favorites to fly and gets lots of compliments at the field, many who are shocked to find out how old the plane is. Since it’s not a complex airframe with odd angles, curves, etc… I wouldn’t discourage a first time balsa builder from trying to build this kit. If you want a sport scale Extra 300 and the chance to get dirty in balsa dust, epoxy and CA, you can pick this kit up at Tower Hobbies for $149.98 USD (at the time of this review). If you do so and take your time building the plane, you’ll be grinning ear to ear each time you fly.