I have been putting the majority of my flights lately on my E-Flite Timber. It’s a rare trip to the field where I don’t run 4 or 5 batteries through it and some days I may do 10… especially on days when I just want to relax and not spend a lot of time assembling or hauling out the larger/more complicated stuff.
The airplane is just fun if you enjoy STOL and just slow relaxed flight as well as being a fair platform for basic loops, rolls, and other basic aerobatic maneuvers. Since I added the multi-connex (see this article for details on those) to make it a two plug operation to connect the wing, getting it up and running is quick and easy.
Here is a video compilation of Timber flights to give you an idea of the flight envelope. This includes looking forward/backward and out over the starboard wing over the course of several flights.
I have read thousands of posts outlining all the things that are “wrong” with the Timber and warning of dire consequences if you don’t “fix” the aircraft immediately upon assembling it. For the most part, in my experience (we have 5 of these at our club right now) if you simply follow directions and assemble the plane according to directions it will fly wonderfully! Even the battery tray favored by some, I find to be unnecessary and possibly even inconvenient/limiting as the battery compartment isn’t overly large to start with and this just uses up more room! Loved that same concept in my Carbon Cub but not for me on this one.
There are a very few things that I would recommend doing to make things easier or avoid issues…
- The only critical issue I’d be concerned with is to check the prop balance. Most will never have an issue if they don’t do this but I’m sure there are some that the prop is so badly out of balance that the airplane will destroy itself due to vibration. If you run the motor and hear a lot of vibration noises… balance the prop.
- Do something (lots of choices) to make taking the wings on and off a bit easier like the connectors I mentioned earlier. Some folks keep the wires attached and build holders that allow for easy transport in that mode. Some don’t mind the wires as is.
- I did a wax job on my plane using floor wax. This is excellent for keeping the plane clean and protecting the finish. Not a necessity but helps with longevity. I have an article on this here.
- Take the screws for the float pull-pull connections and hide them somewhere as soon as you find them. They have a habit of disappearing, especially if stored on the airplane when not being used!
- Finally, I did not even try using the floats with the standard rudder linkage. I had a similar setup on a previous plane and found both the “fishing line” pull system and the spring return to be problematic at best. I removed one rudder and rigged the other for pull-pull using standard pull-pull braided cable just as I did on the previous plane. If you want to read about that modification on the other plane you can find it here.
That’s about it.
I fly mine without the optional slats right now… though I may add them later and really wish they were removable (sigh). Reports vary widely but on a good 2200mah 3S, I average about 6 minute flights with 30-40% left in the battery at landing. You can burn up a battery in 4 minutes on lots of throttle or you can coax it closer to 8 minutes if you are gentle… I’m measuring time spent above 20% throttle so actual flight time is usually a couple minutes longer.
In closing, this is quickly becoming my go to flyer for quick and easy flight. It has a fairly wide flight envelope, is easy to assemble and transport and with the lights and floats, very versatile. It may take the place of my Parkzone T28 as my “gotta have one” foamy. Get one soon!
I will do another article soon on the SAFE and AS3X modes of this airplane and its included receiver. For now I wouldn’t let that get in the way if you are interested in this airplane. It won’t hurt you and it may be just what you’ve been looking for. If you want to put your own receiver in it or turn all that off, that is possible as well and the plane flies well without it too!