E-Flite X-VERT VTOL BNF Basic Review
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Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- Stock X-Vert BNF Basic
- Glacier 2s800mah batteries
- Fun as HELL!
- Not a Hyper Taxi!
- Easy to fly in multirotor and plane modes
- Several decals schemes included
- Flies well fast and slow
- Transitions are smooth and uneventful!
- Priced well for a brushless plane this size
- Can be flown in relatively small area
- Rudder control (with motors)
- Recommended 10% expo not enough
Okay, let's be honest...when Horizon Hobby started hyping the X-Vert, we all braced ourselves, especially those of us who remember the hype surrounding the much maligned Hyper Taxi and the over-hyped QQ version of the DX18. I must say I was especially put off by the presence of RCG and Flitetest at the announcement of the X-Vert. Flitetest is part of the reason I started my site. Not for good reasons either. When FT and others like AroundTuit were reviewing RC stuff, they never really said anything negative about a product. I bought a few planes they recommended and was hugely disappointed that they were not up to snuff and weren't even close to how these guys had described the products. Don't get me wrong, FT does TONS for the hobby (more than I can ever do) and I respect that, but their hype machine makes me suspicious. I knew I wasn't alone in some of my gut reactions during the live online announcement, it was funny to see all the angry emojis flying across the screen. To say I was skeptical about the X-Vert is an understatement. When they announced the price however, I decided I would buy it and review it to answer everyone's big question, Is the X-Vert the Hyper Taxi II or is it the Hyper Taxi Redemption?
Unboxing and Assembly:
I usually order my stuff online to use a coupon code or something, but for the X-Vert, I purchased it at my local shop, Hobby Hangar in Chantilly, VA. As they all remembered the Hyper Taxi, they all told me to be sure and report my thoughts and impressions of the X-Vert. A couple weeks ago, I got a call to come pick it up.
Unboxing is pretty straight forward, the plane is mostly intact, minus the landing fins and the prop-guards. The plastic parts feel flimsy at first, but you'll find they are way more durable than they feel. The plane itself comes all white, but with a bag of decals to do I think 4 different design schemes. I liked the Air Force version the best, so I went with that. There is a range of battery sizes you can use, but I already had a few 2s800mah that I use on my Torrent. I found the plane balances best with this battery pushed almost all the way back to the esc/fc in the battery bay. Please be sure to balance yours properly before flying
I followed the exact set-up listed in the manual, though I added a mid-rate of 85% and increased my expo to 35% on high rates, 25% on mid-rates and 15% on low-rates. I like expo, particularly on flying wings. I feel it provides smoother flight all-around, so give yourself a few rate options so you can switch them if you don't like one or the other on your first flights. After a few flights, you'll know how you want to fly this plane.
The first video below shows my actual first flight. It is just in multirotor mode the entire time. I hadn't adjusted rates or expo in this flight and was flying in high-rates the whole time. The manual says you can program dual rates for the different modes, but I am not aware of how to achieve this so my rates are the same for both multirotor mode and plane mode. I have seen some guys in youtube videos and forums saying this mode is only good for take-off and landing, but I beg to differ. I actually had a pretty good time in this mode just buzzing around the parking lot. I was so tempted to hit the plane mode switch, but didn't know what to expect... and the last thing I wanted to do was crash it on my first flight. In this mode, I would cap the wind speed at about 6-8mph, otherwise you'll really have to fight the wind as it pushes the whole surface of the vertical oriented plane. in
The second video below shows my second flight, and first plane mode flight. After owning the Convergence VTOL, I wasn't sure what to expect from the X-Vert in terms of the transition process and flight characteristics. I do know the Convergence scared the bejesus out of me every time I transitioned from one mode to the other. So as you see in the video, I flew off the picnic table, got about 20 feet in the air and hit the switch. Wow! Smooth as butter! There was a slight nose-dip at first, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't applying enough throttle at that moment. As I found in this first flight and in all my flights since then, the X-Vert is an absolute hoot to fly. It's no speed demon, but it does well for it's size. It slows down surprisingly well also. You almost have to be powered off to get the X-Vert to stall. Though it doesn't have rudders, by changing the speeds of the motors, the left stick actually gives you rudder control. I found it very useful particularly when making slower, tighter turns. Even though I have flown it quite a bit, I haven't tried any crazy moves yet. You will find the roll rate on high-rates to be pretty nutty! Your X-Vert will roll like a corkscrew! Be careful in high rates as the plane is pretty easy to lose orientation on if you are not careful on your rolls. Landing is just as easy as taking off. Pick your spot, hover over to it, lower throttle all the way down to the surface, keep your throttle stick down and the motors will disarm.
I have to chalk the X-Vert up as a big W in Horizon Hobby's win column. I am definitely eating crow on this one as the X-Vert is most definitely a Hyper Taxi REDEMPTION! I really love this plane and it has become one of my favorite, fly anywhere planes. You can easily fly it in a decent sized gym, small park or your neighborhood if you have enough room. The batteries are pretty inexpensive so you can have a nice little stack of them for several flights. After flying for 7 minutes, my batteries are well within the safe zone for lipos. So there you have my honest opinion on this plane. I want to reiterate that I was ready to tear this apart and tell you not to buy it, but here I am giving it my official stamp of approval. It's a fun, innovative, and terrific all around flyer and a pretty nice price. Plus you have Horizon's legendary customer service behind it. I will update this review to include an FPV segment, once I acquire all of the necessary parts to do so. For FPV, it uses the camera/vtx combo used in the Torrent, and also a servo and camera mount that change orientation (with a servo) when the X-Vert transitions from mode to mode. So still be cautious of hype when you see it, but always know you can rely on me to give it to you straight in my reviews.
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