Multiplex Extra 330SC GB
Fly extreme 3D with this receiver-ready model
Gernot Bruckmann is one of the most experienced guys out there at designing and flying successful 3D airframes, and Multiplex teamed up with him to create this awesome Extra 330SC model, which is actually licensed by Extra Aircraft. Some of the most exciting types of RC flying, 3D maneuvers demand that an airframe be almost indestructible and able to withstand high-g loads, and this new Elapor airframe delivers.
I tested the receiver-ready version of this model, which comes with all hinges installed except the rudder. Hinging the rudder requires that you simply snap it to the vertical stabilizer’s hinge halves. When the two make positive contact, there will be a definite click. Mine fit together flawlessly, and the result is a smooth-operating control surface that can be easily removed if needed. The other hinges are wide, flat plastic CA types with four per aileron and four on the horizontal stabilizer/elevator. The tug test verified that all were glued in well at the factory. Control connections are completed with long servo arms, metal rods, and double plastic control horns, all of which were factory positioned, glued, and ready for final adjustment. Setscrews make setup a breeze. With power on and all controls at neutral, you can quickly and easily position your surfaces by hand and tighten up the screws. Adding a drop of blue thread-locker to the screws doesn’t hurt.
The landing gear looks super cool and is made out of carbon fiber. It arrives as a complete unit with mating undercarriage fairings/cuffs, foam wheels, and plastic wheel pants all preassembled. Two larger-gauge hex-head fasteners anchor it to the fuselage. For the tail gear, a bent wire and a foam tire keep the rudder from dragging on terra firma. All airframe parts fit together with tight tolerances. The wings are two parts, which are reinforced with more carbon fiber. A carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer wing tube keeps the wing halves lined up and from doing the “taco.” It’s probably worth mentioning that each aileron/counterbalance makes up more than a third of each wing! A similar stabilizer tube is also employed, while a plastic screw secures the horizontal tail in place. Rather than using the supplied screw, I glued my stabilizer to the fuselage, as I have no intentions of disassembling this model.
The fuselage has a large hatch, held in place with magnets and a mechanical latch. A tinted “glass” cockpit shows off a preplaced pilot bust and dashboard with flight instruments/gauges at the ready. The factory-applied decal design is stunning; a big thanks goes out to the designer and applicator. For power (thrust for 3D), there is already a motor and speed control installed. Check the supplied propeller for balance, install it, and screw on the supplied spinner. The sample prop was well balanced out of the box.
IN THE AIR
Short grass is good, and a paved runway is ideal. Hardly any room is needed; you could fly this plane in a park baseball diamond. Depending on your flying style or frame of mind, this plane can do a scale takeoff as smooth as silk or you can pull up and go into an “afterburner”-type vertical climbout. The thrust generated by the Permax power system pulls the plane up in a hurry, so hardly any rudder correction is need during the rollout. Landings are almost as easy. Keep the prop turning and wings level while using
small elevator inputs to control the speed and angle of attack. Harrier landings are easy to do, but greasy three-pointers look cool too. A short roll follows touchdown and after the speed bleeds off, planting the tailwheel down with full up-elevator makes for easy taxiing back to the pits.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
Stability: Aircraft designed for aerobatics are not typically designed to be stable; instability is what allows us to do incredible aerobatic maneuvers. That said, when flown in a normal pattern, the plane feels fine and flies like a 3D ship should. Tracking: The size of the model is deceiving as it tracks better than predicted. Perhaps the slightly elongated tail moment and servo torque power aid this endeavor. Aerobatics: This is where the collaboration among one of the best pilots, best aircraft companies, and best model manufacturers really shows itself off. The roll rate spins like a drill, and the rifle rolls are blinding. Any maneuver is possible—dream it and you can do it. Glide and stall performance: Flying poststall in high alpha is more proof of how well this plane is designed. The thick wingtip airfoil keeps wing rock at bay. Glides aren’t like a trainer, but they’re not too steep; the controls will retain their effectiveness, so just keep a little power on to extend your slip.
There was some coupling in knife-edge, and the building instructions give you good mix values to start with. You should also know that the control surfaces are extremely powerful even on low rates. There is an option to increase the throws (outlined in the manual) to a “professionals-only” level and is how the estimated rate of three-plus rolls per second was achieved during the flight tests.
A push-pull rudder system is employed. The tail wheel works well making taxiing an easy task.
Plywood reinforcements and Hitec metal gear servos keep this plane solid in flight.
Carbon-fiber landing gear offers solid ground handling.
Gernot, is that you in there? The included pilot bust is ready for action.
Short and simple, the linkages are easy to set up and adjust.