Cox Models Sky Ranger & Extra 300–Online review

Jun 16, 2011 6 Comments by

Reviewer Mike Gantt notes that this pair of flyers offers “micro fun with a huge side of coolness!” If you’re looking for fly-anywhere, anytime aircraft, you can’t go wrong with one of these micro flyers from Cox. Check out the full online review!

Micro model airplanes are getting better with every release, and when I saw this pair of mini birds, I knew that I better have a second look. The trainer physique of the Cox Sky Ranger was easy to admire but the lines of the Extra 300 had my eyes locked in and wanting a try. The Sky ranger is shaped after a popular general aviation airplane and its foam molded detailing is quite nice. The Extra is as well a cool looking subject and it looks like these two will be tons of fun out in the backyard, local gym or park. Very few parts make up these planes and they are crated up in foam and packaged well in order to preserve their “freshness”. A 2.4 GHz transmitter is included with each, as are 2-cell LiPo flight packs, balancing LiPo chargers, and instruction manuals. Getting these little guys in the air is easy due to the fact that everything needed to complete them is in the box. It appears that these are recommended towards intermediate pilots at 14 years of age or older. I would say that if you can safely fly a model airplane, you could easily fly either of these with ease.

Unique features
Instead of a 1 cell LiPo battery the Cox models include a lightweight 2s pack. The Extra’s is slightly larger on the capacity end and rightfully so. It has more actuators and after all is an aerobat. Both feature power systems which do extremely well here at sea level and I would say are close to providing a 1:1 power to weight ratio. I’m not saying you’re going to be doing 3D, but plenty of stunts are doable as the power systems are well suited to each. When you open the box and plug in the battery (into the included charger) you will have one of these ready to roll out before the charging is complete. An included cross style screwdriver and minimal parts combined with a high level of completion at the factory makes this happen. I was taxiing them around in the living room and noticed that the Sky Ranger could benefit from a nose wheel adjustment. A slight bend had it tracking much better and I felt way more confident about doing the test flight. The sweet looking Extra model has a streerable tailwheel and steers around well in the living room. The all in one avionics system is prewired, preinstalled, and pre ready to go. Actuators and a built in ESC are coupled to a board which has a 2.4 GHz receiver integrated. The small unit is tucked away yet accessible should you need to make any adjustments. Since there is a 2.4 GHz guidance package in these models, it only makes sense that they come with a 2.4 Ghz transmitter. These are comfortable to grip and a digital readout gives you stick position data, battery life, and digital trim buttons allow for fast and easy trim outs. If you like to fly with a Mode 1 transmitter you can easily swap the mode of the radios as they are friendly with sides of the pond. A cool prop adapter allows for impact with forgiveness; they simply pop off and snap back into place if you have a hard landing. An extra prop is included with each of these models airplanes.

Conclusion
A super fast build will have you in the air in no time, and both of these models are just plain cool looking. A joy to fly and admire is one thing, but what about the batteries? Well, I bought a few of the small 2 cell packs for just a few dollars each so I can fly for an hour at a time if I want! You’ll have fun with either of these two, and since they are so resilient, you have fun for quite a while.

IN THE AIR
Fly these from a smooth and flat surface and the rollouts are picture perfect. There was no tendency of either model to exhibit something weird or funny during their test flights. There is a setting on the transmitters which allow for conservative or more aggressive throws and I had no issues flying them in any configuration. My test runway was on the smaller side actually being a heli pad. Even still I was able to navigate these little guys from takeoff to touchdown without any mishaps. (Hopefully our video guy caught this.) They are solid flyers and are obviously well thought out designs. 

General Flight Performance
Stability. As soon as the Sky Ranger took to the air it was obvious that it was going to fly extremely well. I don’t believe I added any trim and was completely comfortable with it immediately. The Extra has a different setup completely and is much more agile with a more agile CG. That said, it was easy to fly and required a few trim steps to have it flying nice and smooth.

Tracking. The two models are really small, really light, and easily affected by breezes. My test flights were benefited from a calm weather situation and they did a nice job of going were I wanted.

Aerobatics. Spins are easy with both; rolls are doable with the aileron control of the Extra. Loops can be tight and repetitive and inverted flight is a cake walk. There is great power here to do plenty of maneuvers.

Glide and stall performance. Both airframes are well designed and fly well with low or no power as long as you keep the nose down a bit. They are easy to fly home safely without any bad habits and when forced to stall they will mush ahead and then fall off a bit. Just power back up and go!

Pilot Debriefing
These are two good examples of the better offerings out there as compared to some other model planes of their size. With their batteries being 2s, you get a little more power and flight times than I have come to know. If you are a beginner, fly the Sky Ranger first and get used to it, then you can unleash the Extra 300 for some more aerobatic performance. If you have a hard landing, either will survive as they are lightweight, the props detach and are simply reattached; regular CA will quickly fix any damages to the airframes right at your flight site.

SPECIFICATIONS
Name of planes: Sky Ranger, Extra 300
Distributor: Cox
Type: RTF electric micro models
Length: 18” (Extra), 15 ¾” (S.R.)
Wingspan: approx.19 ¾ in.
Wing area: approx. 70 Sq in. (Extra) 52 Sq. in. (S.R.)
Weight: 3.35oz. (Extra)  2.35oz. (S.R.)
Wing loading: approx 6.5 oz. sq./ft.
Price: $129

Highlights

-easy and quick to assemble

-excellent flyers

-great looking subjects

-sweet detailing

Gear Used

Radio: included Cox 2.4 transmitter, All in one 2.4 receiver, actuators

Motor: included brushed motor, (ESC attached to all in one board)

Battery: 2 cell LiPos, 250 mAh (Extra), 180 mAh (S.R.)

Prop: included 4 ¼ “ w/ built in “break away” adapter

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About the author

Executive editor About me: I’m a publishing professional who has a passion for aviation and RC, and I love creating issues, books and a website that help RC pilots to enjoy this sport even more. I admire scale aircraft and enjoy the convenience of flying smaller electrics.

6 Responses to “Cox Models Sky Ranger & Extra 300–Online review”

  1. Roger Collins says:

    I don’t understand the sentence “If you fly with a mode 1 transmitter you can easily swap the mode of the radios as they are friendly with sides of the pond”.
    What does Mode 1 mean? What does “sides of the pond” mean?

    • Debra Cleghorn says:

      Most U.S. pilots fly Mode 2 (aileron & elevator on the right; rudder & throttle on left). On Mode 1 radios, throttle is on the right and elevator is on the left. Many European pilots fly with Mode 1 radios, and the “pond” refers to the Atlantic ocean (sides = U.S./Europe). Hope this helps!

  2. Gord Seifert says:

    I can’t tell if your video guy caught anything at all because I can’t find the video!

    As is said on RCGroups: If there isn’t a video it didn’t happen. :-)

  3. Victor says:

    Hi, Can you help me, I have a Cox Extra 300 but I can not bind the radio with the receiver, i followed the instruction and it’s not working yet.

    The day I assembled was in the night so i just verified that the plane were working, but the next day when I tried to fly, the radio and the receiver lost the communication.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Mick says:

    Victor, can you press the stick in and feel it click? (That’s how you would switch to “dual rates”.) Okay, once you know that, Power up plane first.
    Hold both sticks clicked in.
    Power up the transmitter.
    It will scan….
    Release sticks.
    Binding should happen.
    I can’t remember if it beeps, but you should be able to get it with that….

  5. joan acosta says:

    EXTRA 300 Full of defects, hard to fly, very unstable, hard to fix.

    RANGER IS SMOOTH AND GOOD HANDLE

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