ElectriFly Super Sportster: Online Review!

Jul 12, 2011 4 Comments by

This online article comes to us from first-time reviewer Tom Kitt. Tom is in high school, yet he’s already an accomplished aerobatic pilot and an active member of his club in Sarasota, Florida. Now on to Tom’s premiere review!

There comes a point in every RC pilot’s flying career when they have to answer the all important question, “What plane do I buy next?”  If you are a novice RC pilot, this decision is made even harder due to your limited amount of experience. The Great Planes ElectriFly Super Sportster Rx-R makes that decision easy. For new pilots who are finding their high wing trainer a little too easy, or even for intermediate and advanced pilots who want an easy to fly sport plane for Sunday mornings, the ElectriFly Super Sportster proves to be an excellent choice.  The Super Sportster sports a semi-symmetrical airfoil, all foam construction, easy assembly, and the proven flight characteristics of a sport plane almost three decades in the making.

Made completely from Aerocell foam, this 40 inch wingspan receiver ready sport ship is relatively inexpensive, and comes with nearly everything to complete assembly and get you flying in a matter of hours. All servos are pre-installed, the motor is already mounted, the aileron and rudder linkages are setup, the ESC is pre-mounted in the fuselage, the cowl is cut, the hot air exit hole on the bottom of the fuselage is pre-cut, and the landing gear and hardware are included; everything except a receiver, transmitter, 3-cell LiPo battery, and LiPo battery charger is included.  The detailed instruction manual and ease of assembly truly makes this plane an easy build.

 Unique Features
The control surfaces come pre-hinged. The Aerocell foam bevels and thins out to provide a durable hinge on all control surfaces. The ailerons feature dual servos for accuracy and reliability, and the elevator and rudder servos are conveniently mounted in the fuselage right under the canopy for easy access. Also, the landing gear is incredibly easy to install. The gear legs simply get pushed into the pre-installed gear blocks, eliminating the hassle of tiny screws and drill bits. The wheels are made of lightweight foam and are already attached to the landing gear struts. The cowl comes pre-installed and the decal that is already applied lines up perfectly with the stripes on the fuselage. It is made of durable plastic, is form fitted to the fuselage, and attaches easily with Scotch tape. Also, the air intake and exhaust holes are pre-cut from the factory. The Super Sportster comes with an attractive color scheme and small ElectriFly decals are included in the kit.

The included hardware is metric, and I found that they easily fit to my set of Stanley Jewelers metric screwdrivers. You can pick up these Jewelers screwdrivers at most hardware stores, and also online. The horizontal stabilizer is self aligning and is very easy to install. A joiner for the elevator halves is included, and carbon rods align the stab halves. The included four Phillips head screws secure the surface to the fuselage. The wings slide together on a carbon wing tube, and are attached to the fuselage with a single nylon bolt.

I only had to make a few minor adjustments to the airframe.  The first adjustment, which was recommended in the manual, was to make relief slots in the radio compartment of the fuselage for the battery leads. Depending on what battery you use, these relief slots may not be necessary, but were easy to make. Also, I had to make a few adjustments to the front of the fuselage to make the cowling align properly with the spinner back plate. I just used a razor blade to cut back a few millimeters of foam on the underside of the fuse so the cowling could tilt down just a tad for proper alignment. The brushless outrunner motor was pre-installed and required no modification.

Conclusion
The Super Sportster was a very easy build, and took about an hour before it was time to charge the battery and go fly. No glue was needed during the entire build. All screws and hardware needed to complete final assembly were included and neatly packaged. The screws had their own sectioned off corner in the hardware bags so they don’t fall out when you cut the main contents out. If you follow the instruction manual, you won’t have any problems.

 

In the Air
Due to the Super Sportster’s two inch wheels and light weight, it may be hard to taxi on a field with long grass. I recommend using either a short grass field, or a paved or other smooth surface runway. I flew mine down at the local ball field and the first to second base line made a great runway! Also, the landing gear has a nice wide stance on the ground, and is very easy to taxi. This plane can also be hand launched, and with the right amount of practice, only requires a short distance to land. However for your first few flights fly in an open area to provide room for error and to increase your comfort level… that’s what I did.

Don’t forget to check your Center of Gravity (CG) before your first flight. Mine balanced out perfectly on the book’s recommendations and required no further adjustment after flight testing. Control throws for your first few flights are best set up per the book’s instructions. After the initial test flights, I felt the need to max out my control throws using my radio’s endpoint adjust (travel adjust) and dual rate features. For the novice pilot, dual rates are a great idea to find the perfect amount of control throw for your personal setup (low rates being the book’s recommendations, and high being your experimental rates).

STABILITY: This plane is very stable. It glides through each maneuver quite nicely, and landing is very easy. In low wind conditions, it’s very smooth and easy to fly.

TRACKING: The Super Sportster tracks very well, and is incredibly straight and true. You point left… it goes left. You point right… it goes right. It goes where you point it with minimal deviation.

AEROBATICS: The Super Sportster can perform most if not all sport maneuvers like loops, rolls, spins, stall turns, and inverted flight. With an “up-there” altitude and the right amount of skill this plane will even knife edge!

GLIDE & STALL PERFORMANCE: The Super Sportster even flies well with the power off.  The glide ratio is very good (distance traveled forward relative to distance traveled downward). It is very stable at low speeds, and when it does stall, the nose simply drops and recovery is a breeze.

 Pilot Debriefing: The ElectriFly Super Sportster Rx-R was a very quick and easy build, and is quick and easy in the air. It flies fast or slow, performs sport maneuvers flawlessly, and is easy to land. Whether I take it down to the park, or up to the flying field, it’s always a lot of fun!

Highlights

  • Handles well at both high and low speeds
  • Retro looks make for a cool looking airplane with an attractive color scheme
  • Easy takeoff and landing characteristics
  • Performs sport aerobatics very well

Gear Used:

Radio:  Futaba 7C

Receiver:  Futaba R617FS 7 channel

Motor/ESC: Supplied Brushless Outrunner & 18 Amp ESC

Battery: Super Tiger 11.1volt 3S 1250 mAh 15C Discharge LiPo

Prop:  Supplied 9×6 Power Flow Slo-Flyer Electric Prop

Specifications
Model: Great Planes ElectriFly Super Sportster EP Rx-R
Manufacturer: Great Planes
Type: Sport-Good second plane
Wingspan: 40 inches
Wing Area: 267 square inches
Length: 32.5 inches
Weight: 20-22 ounces
Wing Loading: 10.8-11.5 oz/ft sq
Radio Required: 4 channel minimum
Power Required: Included Brushless Outrunner
Price: $129.99

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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.

4 Responses to “ElectriFly Super Sportster: Online Review!”

  1. Gerry Yarrish says:

    nice job! FLight shot looks pretty good too!

  2. Dan 5.0 says:

    NIce work Tom

  3. Skylor says:

    Nice job Tommy can’t wait to see it at mcrc

  4. High Nitro says:

    Nice article Tom. Your writing is as good as your flying skills, which are off the charts. Check out the videos at http://www.manateerc.com

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