E-flite UMX B-17G Flying Fortress BNF Review

Review by Nicholas Turner, Staff Contributor

Equipment Used:

- Spektrum DX8

- Electron Pro 300mAh 1S lipo

Pros:

- Micro quad motor B-17 bomber

- Scale details; panel lines, guns,

windows, greenhouse, and color

scheme

- Guns poking out everywhere

- Removable wheels for choice of

retracted or extended

Cons:

- Guns break off easily

- Tail heavy out of the box

- Does not handle much winds well

- Brushed motors

- No bomb doors

- Not a lot of power for winds over 5mph

Summary:

I do not own this aircraft, but have two flying buddies who do. Both reported tail heavy out of the box. They solved the tail heavy issue differently. One put 1/4 ounce of weight in the nose; the other is using a 600mAh lipo. In order to use the larger lipo he had to buy the appropriate adapter. I got to see both of these fly on the same day. No difference in flying characteristics, obviously the larger pack gives more flight time. Unfortunately one friend had a cell go bad in his DX7s TX pack. He wanted to use the packs up, so he let me bind and fly. I threw my Flyzone micro P-38 up with one of the B-17s and did a little formation flying. The two together   looked awesome, as the P-38 is faster and larger; I was zooming around like a fighter going through bombing formation after the bogies.  Binding was as easy as HH makes it, plug in the plane, turn on TX pressing the bind button. Once found, let off the bind button and let it finish. I did not have to reverse any controls and I didn't set up any rates, left it be 100% and no expo.

 

I performed my control check, everything was good, gave some throttle and my friend gave me it a gentle toss and the B-17 was airborne. Being it is a bomber I flew in a bomber mentality: gentle coordinated turns and slow-ish flying. To my surprise she is a gentle giant to fly. She’s not fast, nor twitchy. The AS3X definitely keeps the plane solid. Being a bomber I flew her in circuits, no aerobatics, as I like to fly as scale as possible. The coordinated turns helps keep her turning without banking too much. Being not my plane and not the airframe’s first flight I didn’t try to stall her. During my ten minutes of flight with the plane, using two different batteries, I found no ill tendencies and felt relaxed flying the plane. However, I did have an occasional gust of 5mph blow her around and heading into the wind she didn’t have a ton of power to power through the headwind. She glides fairly well on landing.

 

Conclusion:

If you are a pilot that likes to fly scale, this is a nice addition to the hangar. Once the CG is properly set she will perform well. Flying scale circuits this plane has a commanding presence in the air. For a low wind day she’s great for just sitting back and getting a quick relaxing flight in. Is this plane for a beginner; no. Warbirds are bad for beginners in general because of their stall characteristics. I’d recommend this plane for an intermediate flyer, especially with as tail heavy out of the box it comes. After my two flights the novelty of the bomber wore off and left me saying “fun to fly at fly-ins, but probably wouldn’t be a main plane.” I think the true fun would be having multiple of these flying formation with some micro P-51s flying escort. Again, surprisingly relaxing and enjoyable to fly.