4. E-flite Carbon-Z Splendor Assembly Log (Updated 9/1/2014)

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(Update: 8/7/2014) – Big box came from Horizon. The Splendor only comes as a BNF Basic so looks like I’ll get the chance to play with the AR635 AS3X receiver.

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Another epic packaging job. Not a dent or missing screw.

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90 percent of this plane is factory assembled. 13 screws and it’s completed. Just insert the main gear, attach the horizontal stabs, connect the elevator pushrod and mount the wings, that’s it!

One thing that can’t be stressed enough is that whenever you are arming the ESC during setup you remove the prop if the plane is not secured.  Never take that chance.  Keep in mind that electrics can be more dangerous than a rattle snake.  At least with a rattler you get a warning before it strikes.

30 minutes later and it’s done. No problems until…..I got to the receiver. Wow what a hit to the head. Hours spent reading the manual, researching Web sites and  YouTube videos, and a call to Horizon support to try to better understand AS3X. After all that research I decided to zero out the gains to turn it off.  But, turning off the AS3X portion of the receiver does not turn off another issue I had, the built-in dual rates.

The dual rates are too limited for the elevator in the Gear down position (low or Sport or General rates) and too extream in the Gear up position (high or 3D rates).  That’s correct, I do mean the Gear switch.   That is the switch used to control the receiver default rates.  Programming the transmitter using the dedicated rate switches does not help because they are also affected by the receiver rates and it all gets rather confusing.

I’ve confirmed with Horizon support that there is no way to adjust the factory preset receiver dual rates, so I see the impending disaster for us less than able multitaskers if the wrong switch is used at the wrong time.  I just don’t want to deal with it.

So out comes the AR635, and in goes a basic AR400.

(Update: 8/8/2014) – Researching the newer AR636 AS3X receiver I find that there is now the ability to use an app to program the receiver.  In this app there is a Dual Rate area where you can adjust the values.  This could solve the issue that I have with the AR635, but Horizon confirmed that the AR635 is not programmable.

(Update: 8/9/2014) – Flew the maiden this morning and had no issues.  Take off needed just a bit of right rudder then up into the air very graciously.  Didn’t need trim adjustments for hands off straight and level flight and was just a bit nose heavy which seems to be by design with both of the Carbon-Z planes I have.

This plane feels great to fly with a locked in confidence that comes with larger and heavier planes. I won’t be using the AS3X technology with this plane. If I do try it, it will be with the Cub.

Here are the power readings I took with my Watt’s Up meter and here is the link to the performance calculations.

Stock APC 14 x 7 prop:

Full Throttle
58 Amps
1,379 Watts

Half Throttle
10 Amps
257 Watts

3/4 Throttle
39 Amps
927 Watts

I’ve only done 6 minute flights with between 48 – 68 percent left in the battery.  Next round I’ll push it to 8 minutes and see how it goes.

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(Update: 9/1/2014) – Very fun plane to fly and aerobatics are nice. It’s fast like a sport plane. Russ from my club took these great flying shots.

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