Ultimate² BNF Basic with SAFE® Technology Mini-Review
Image Credit: Horizon Hobby
Review by Eric Bradley, Staff Contributor
- Spektrum DX-8
- G-force 40C 2200 3s LiPo battery
- Awesome coloring, easy to see in the sky
- Huge control surfaces
- SAFE and AS3X.... some good points to it?
- Plenty of power, huge flight capability
- Perfect size to keep in the car
- You don't need tools! ( maybe reason for the tape?)
- The wing cabanes were hard to put on, they didn't quite line up and required a bit of wiggling to get aligned right
- Top and bottom wings are held on by a plastic thumb screw that requires 1/4 twist to hold in place. the bottom wing feels loose to me
- AS3X with SAFE..... not so much fun on a 3D capable plane
- Tape holds the horizontal stab in place
You can put the Ultimate² together in about 20-30 minutes, I think I may have taken a little longer fiddling with the cabanes. There are two small wires that insert into the top and base of each side. The wire needs to be inserted just right with the rounded edge so as to engage the plastic mount in the wing surface, right when I thought it was in, the wings would just flop apart. Everything else as far as building was a breeze. I didn't like how you actually have to tape the stabs in place, I would have thought maybe a screw, or a spar or something a little more rigid would have been better. Setting up the model in your radio is breeze, make sure you reset a new model and pay attention to which channels need to be reversed and you'll be in action.
I was able to take it off in short grass and was airborne in no time, I would suggest taking off in the lowest throw setting. I took off in full throws and it lurched off the ground in a hurry. I needed a bit of right aileron trim once off the ground. In the air you can see AS3X helps keeping the nose in one spot, it feels solid and doesn't require a lot of fighting in low wind. Its actually a blast to fly. Knife edges hold straight, I required a bit of up elevator as you give more rudder and throttle but it will hold a straight line. Hovering isn't a problem, I think AS3X really helps out since it doesn't require a ton of input from the pilot to hold position outside of throttle control. I suck at waterfalls but I bet this thing would do it. Inverted flight (when balanced) doesn't require any down elevator to keep it level. Harriers aren't a problem with a little bit of wing rock with a higher nose. Over all it was a blast to fly if you can get over some of the nuances of AS3X. In a turn, you should make sure you give a little rudder or else AS3X will pull you around in a knife edge with the nose high. I almost felt like there were a couple of times when it would actually over correct with the wind. SAFE is a neat feature but make sure you are up high when you use it. I can see getting into trouble with it down low since it tries to put the plane upright in as fast as possible sometimes I would loose altitude depending on the orientation of the plane.
Landing is a breeze, but keep in mind you have extra drag with two wings and make sure you come in with a bit of power or else you will stall. This is a fun plane to toss around, and train with for some 3D. Its rigid and tough construction make it perfect for those trying to get into biplane 3D flying. Totally recommend this one for any one's hangar!