E-flite/horizon Hobby UMX Timber
Perfect plane to keep in your car to fly anytime, anywhere
Perfect plane to keep in your car to fly anytime, anywhere
With gyro stabilization becoming more popular, refined ultra-micro aircraft are becoming more commonplace. Without a doubt, one of the companies driving this trend is E-flite. Its small, all-foam UMX models get better with every release, and the UMX Timber is no exception. The Timber’s airframe is constructed out of molded foam, and sports miscellaneous plastic and metal parts, such as wire landing gear and control horns. There is also a set of optional leading-edge slats for enhanced short takeoff and landing (STOL) performance.
Everything you need, with the exception of the flight battery and transmitter, is included in the box of the BNF Basic version. The plane comes assembled and ready for flight. All you’ll need to do is charge and install your battery, configure your radio per the included guide, bind, and fly. I lovingly refer to the E-flite UMX planes as “planes in a box” because when you are done flying, the plane goes back into its original box for storage until you’re ready for your next outing.
This model is intended for intermediate pilots and above. Anyone will have a good time with this plane due to its great flight characteristics and wide flight envelope. The built-in AS3X SAFE Select system makes this a perfect candidate for first-time RC pilots, and more experienced and demanding pilots can, of course, turn it off to unleash the full performance of the aircraft.
All surfaces are prehinged and ready for flight out of the box. The hinges appear to be the standard for these foam models, which are pressed in as a part of the molding process. There is also reinforcement installed in key areas, like the flaps, that have a large range of motion and could be susceptible to splitting. The Timber’s flaps come installed as well, and the prebent wire landing gear also comes installed. There is an optional set of floats available, and the install process looks as if it can be completed in five minutes or less. E-flite did a great job of planning ahead and simplifying this plane to make it more enjoyable to own and fly.
I looked over the entire airframe and noticed that the areas that need a little bit of rigidity or “bite” to attach servos are all made out of molded ABS plastic and perfectly blended into the foam body. All the foam components are molded to shape, and no fitting or cutting of any kind is required. The Timber’s decals look great, and when you pull the plane out of the box, it looks exactly like the one pictured on the box.
I assume that all the hardware on the UMX Timber is metric in thread, but honestly, I could own this plane for years and probably never find out. To get this plane ready for flight requires absolutely no tools, and day-
to-day operation should be no different.
I made no modifications at all to the Timber. I did, however, have to make one small repair. While plugging or unplugging the flight battery, I managed to prove that I do not have the lightest touch and somehow managed to break the side of the fuselage (the piece of foam was lost on the initial flights). The fix was easy, though: I cut a small piece of 3mm Depron foam to shape, and glued it in place with some foam-safe CA. The fuselage is, once again, whole and the fun can continue.
IN THE AIR
This plane is about as versatile as you can get when it comes to where it can be flown. From a small indoor area to a grass park to a full-on RC club field, you should not have an issue. The wheels are large for the size of the model, so you should be able to fly from most reasonable surfaces. If you do find yourself on a surface too rough for takeoff, the UMX Timber is more than stable and predictable enough to be handlaunched and light enough to be landed on the rough terrain or be caught.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
Stability: With the AS3X Safe-enabled receiver, stability is the name of the UMX Timber’s game. With SAFE engaged, you will have a hard time getting into trouble. From its self-righting feature to the fact that it will not allow you to over-roll or pull, the UMX Timber almost flies itself. Tracking: This plane is small and light, so tracking will be one of the first things that suffers. The AS3X system does a great job of counteracting light breezes and thermal activity, but you will still need to fly the UMX Timber to keep it going exactly where you want it to go. Aerobatics: Aerobatics is something that really surprised me with the UMX Timber. This plane has plenty of control authority and power to perform some impressive aerobatics. Slow rolls, point rolls, big loops, stall turns, and even hovering are all possible and easier to perform than one might think. I was very happy with the overall performance. Glide and stall performance: Due to its light weight, the UMX Timber does not penetrate or carry momentum well. If there is a slight breeze, a little bit of power is sometimes required to make the landing zone. That being said, the stall point is almost at 0mph of airspeed, so the stall performance is exceptional. So if you find yourself out of juice, do your best to make the field and then slow the plane down as much as possible for touchdown. Even if you are off-field, the UMX Timber is so light that you will probably escape all damage.
For a high-wing sport plane, the UMX Timber does everything well. My best advice is to go pick one up and see what all the hype is about. You really can’t go wrong.
The included brushless motor/prop combination provides plenty of power.
Because it’s so small, this is a great plane for leaving in the car for an impromptu flying session.
The hatch is attached with magnets and is easily removed for
The foam spinner and prop are a durable combination.
Left: The tundra tires make flying from rough surfaces a breeze. Right: access to all the electronics.