E-flite Viper 70mm EDF Jet PNP Review
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Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- Viper PNP
- HobbyStar 6s3500mah battery
- Gens Ace 6s4000mah battery
- Spektrum 6 channel antennaless receiver
- Spektrum DX9
- Looks amazing!
- Retracts preinstalled
- Preinstalled flaps
- Can fly fast and relatively slow
- Can fly off of grass
- Smooth, quiet fan
- Gear struts could be beefier
- Lands kinda fast
I have always been attracted to EDFs, but I always felt that the EDF jets from reputable companies were too expensive and the planes from less known companies weren't well made. Because of that, the only EDF I had owned until recently, was the Electrifly Syncro. It was a hoot to fly, but it looked silly and had very little speed. When I saw the Viper and it's pricepoint, I figured now was the time to get a "real" EDF. I think the E-Flite Viper is a rebrand as I see the same thing from a few other companies, but I trust what Horizon decides to sell even if it is a rebrand. When I went to place my order, the BNF was out of stock so having gotten a few new antennaless receivers, I went with the PNP. BTW, if you want to see my video review (it's long) it is embedded below.
Unboxing and Setup:
My Viper arrived safe and sound and packaged really well. Putting it together took less than half an hour and balancing it and programming it took maybe another half hour. The only thing I really had to wait for was decent weather. My AMA field was flooded so I had to go to a local football field, which for me is far from ideal.
As far as radio setup goes, I went with high rate of 100% with 45 expo, mid rate of 80% with 35 expo, and low rates of 60% with 25 expo. I did this on all surfaces both when I flew it with stock link placement and with advanced link placement. Also, with the 4000mah battery, I moved it back a little to achieve the recommended CG, and with the 3500mah battery, I slide it all the way forward in the compartment to get proper balance.
My big mission for this review was to answer the question I had been asked several times... will it fly off of grass? The field I found was lumpy as crap. As you'll see in the videos, it is so lumpy that my take offs and landings are less than beautiful and on one, I managed to bend the front strut a little bit. It was easy to bend back though. I will say, I think with grass remotely smoother than the field I tested in, you will be more than fine.
As for flight with this sweet ass Viper, it felt smooth and natural. It looks fast even when you are flying slow. One thing I will strongly recommend is that you not even bother flying it with the links in stock position. It flies like a J3 Cub that way, even on high rates. I would definitely say move the links first, then program a few different rates to see what you like best. I personally like everything on 100% with the 45 or even 50 expo. It allows you to make way tighter rolls and tighter banked turns. I didn't find that the flaps in medium position had much impact on flight or slowing the plane down. With full flaps though, it slowed down nicely. When landing, remember that you'll need to come down with some throttle, otherwise you may stall and bounce your new sexy little Viper, or worse, damage it.
As far as battery selection, I was impressed that my 3500mah Hobbystar battery got better flight times than the 4000mah Gens Ace battery. I think the case here is that the Gens Ace battery is so fat and heavy. So for that, I am going to strongly recommend the Hobbystar battery. It is available from RCJuice.com. I will put the direct link below the video with the link to the plane. The plane flies and lands lighter with the Hobbystar battery also.
Whether or not Horizon Hobby designed this plane is not important to me. Who ever designed it did a terrific job on making a nice, smooth as butter, quiet EDF jet at an affordable price. It is a great flyer, and looks awesome in the sky. Would I recommend it to a beginner? Heck no. Not even with AS3X and Safe. It is too fast and it does not bleed off speed the way a high winger does. I would definitely recommend it to a person that is comfortable on the sticks and has flown several types of planes including fast planes. I wouldn't want any of you diving right into EDFs and killing it the first day out. If you find you want to fly in the stock settings, please give yourself a ton of room to do so, as the turning radius is pretty large on the stock link placement. All that said, I love this plane and I look forward to flying the bejesus out of it in future. Sorry if this write-up is on the shorter side, but I did a long ass video you can watch below. It does have time stamps in the description so don't feel like you have to watch all 45 minutes of it.
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Product Link to Viper:
Product Link to Battery: