model airplane, electric rc aircraft, rc airplane, rc aircraft
Tons of cool features make this TT TOC Extra an ace in the hole!
(see more photos below)
Author: Mike Gantt
Having flown many Extras over the years has definitely yielded some findings. The better ones (in my opinion) seem to be lighter, bigger and easier to fly. I remember the first just as I remember the latest, and all of them are special in one way or another. After all, I am talking about my favorite model airplane. The model 260 is well known for now being in the Smithsonian and for being piloted by a hottie named Patty Wagstaff. Her skills were repeatedly unbeaten and earned her the National Aerobatic Champion title three times; needless to say, Mr. Walter Extra had created another incredible design. Those cool cats at Thunder Tiger are now producing the TOC line of aircraft, and they offer a sweet-looking Katana, Yak54 and the Extra 260 in all sizes. For me, 50cc seemed right; it will fit easily in the bed of my pickup (wings off) and is the least costly to outfit. The plane is constructed extremely well and engineered to be as light as possible using great quality balsa and lite-ply. Covered in Oracover (or Ultracote, depending on what you want to call it), the scheme is vibrant and stands out at the field. Aluminum landing gear, wing tube and stab tube are in the giant box as are a prepainted fiberglass cowl, wheel pants and plenty of hardware. If you’ve built an ARF or two, you’ll have no issues completing this one. This model airplane is definitely a high-performance giant-scale machine capable of unlimited aerobatics and 3D flight, so I would recommend it to advanced pilots.
An impressive fact is that all hinging is already done at the factory with the exception of the rudder; the hinges are the plastic knuckle style, and there are two doubled up on both aileron ends. I used the white Gorilla stuff for attaching the rudder because it foams slightly and fills the hinge slots up well. Prior to gluing, adding a bit of lube to the hinge knuckles will keep any stray adhesive at bay. Mounting your 50cc or 60cc engine requires you to calculate your cowl length in relation to your shaft/spinner backplate, and then you will install the plywood firewall. Speaking of backplates, wait until you see the sweet polished spinner that is included with the kit—definitely some sweet bling! Some 90-degree metal braces and 45-degree tri-stock along with the firewall are all adhered with 30-minute epoxy. I added a plastic clevis and some wire to make up my manual choke linkage. Servo selection is important with a giant-scale aerobat, and the guys at Thunder Tiger recommended the Ace DS1313 high-torque digital servos. They have a finned aluminum heat-sink case and are supported with dual ball bearings and metal gears. After I had added some extensions, they went in with some minor wood adjustment. I spent a little more time than expected adding the elevator servos. Located inside the horizontal stabilizers, you must fish the servo’s wire through as you fit it down into the bay and then finally screw the servo in place. A long driver made the process easier to deal with. The landing gear is aluminum and held up flawlessly when I “tested” it. It screws into preinstalled blind nuts, and I used BSI IC LOC thread-lock combined with lock washers on all of my metal fasteners. Large treaded wheels and stout axles fit into perfectly formed and painted fiberglass wheel pants. The included tailwheel is simple and lightweight, and a few screws hold it down. A large fiberglass cowl was also molded and finished to perfection obviously by people who take pride in their work. The canopy is huge and allows almost unlimited access to the plane’s interior. Some canopy glue will keep the windshield on, and I added a few screws for a personal touch. No need to mess with the fuel tank; it arrives installed, plumbed, with an aluminum fuel dot already mounted; how cool is that!
The Thunder Tiger 30% TOC Extra 260 is at the high end of quality when it comes to ARF models. A very high level of factory work means you will spend less time building and more time flying. It is safe to say I spent about 25 hours assembling this airplane. If you have built a giant-scale model before, you will have this one done in no time. It was a pleasure to assemble and is simply gorgeous!
IN THE AIR
An attempt to fly the TOC 260 at our secret desert area was botched by a high level of nature’s turbulence, so we ended up at the PVMAC field better known as Prado airpark. The runway is asphalt with plenty of overrun areas. (A grass field would be fine.) A generous club member offered his Megatron starter, which aided the Revolution R-50s first-ever startup. Once started, it transitioned very well, and I could tell this was going to be one of the best test flights ever! Taxiing the plane was effortless, and as I applied throttle, the plane was up to speed in a second or two; minor rudder corrections were needed, and as I gently pulled back on my elevator, I watched as the 260 seemed to levitate upwards. My landings are often entertainment for fellow fliers, however, I did well this time; the TOC Extra is extremely forgiving on approaches and touchdowns. Even a deadstick landing led to a decent reunion with terra firma. (See video at ModelAirplaneNews.com)
General Flight Performance
After having built and flown all types of aircraft, I have to say that this is probably one of the most stable model airplanes I have flown to date. Even though I had my CG at the aft end of spec, it is still very gentle and feels better than a trainer in the air.
After three “beeps” of up-elevator and two of right aileron, it seemed like I could fly for miles without touching a stick. I used ½ throttle for most of my flights.
You know it! A brand-new engine has its limitations, but I was easily able to torque-roll the Extra. It seems to just sit there and torque with almost no inputs. Snaps on low rates are super quick as are aileron rolls. Rolling harriers are easy to time, and knife-edge pulled to the gear only a hair— probably due to my CG. Any aerobatic maneuver you try will impress the “judges.”
Glide and stall performance
It glides for days! I was up 70 to 100 feet, when I accidentally shut down the power and a calm voice from my spotter told me to not to panic, be patient, and wait. It is always amazing to see a plane of this size (weight) just hang up there and float so slowly! It glided in perfectly with no surprises.
Stepping up from larger park flyers and glow models is easy to do when there are airplanes available such as this TOC Extra 260. It is the perfect transition into a high-end, high-performance, giant-scale aerobat.
Elevator: +4/-4 in. (high); expo: 45%; +2/-2 (low); expo: 40%
Aileron: +3/-3 in. (high); expo: 45%; +2/-2 (low); expo: 40%
Rudder: +5/-5 in. (high); expo: 10%; +3/-3 (low); expo: 0%
Name of plane: 30% TOC Extra 260
Distributor: Ace Hobby/Thunder Tiger
Type: Giant scale
Length: 75 in.
Wingspan: 87 in.
Wing area: 1,411 sq. in.
Weight: 16 lb. 4 oz.
Wing loading: 26.53 oz. sq./ft.
Engine req’d: 50cc gas or electric equivalent
Radio req’d: 6-channel with 6 servos
– Perfect first 50cc aerobat
– Wide, forgiving flight envelope
– Sweet-looking color scheme(s)
– Highly prefabricated
Radio: JR9303 (jrradios.com), Weatronic 2.4FHSS, Weatronic 10-channel Micro Receiver (weatronic-usa.com), (6) Ace RC 1313 digital servos (acehobby.com), (3) A123 Racing 2s1100mAh Li-Ion packs (rclipos.com)
Engine: Revolution R-50 (rc-revolution.com)
Fuel: unleaded pump gas with “Lawnboy” mixed 40:1
Prop: Xoar 22×8 (xoarintl.com)