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F3F Planes

Skorpion Acacia III Elita Aris Eclipse 3 Freestyler
Pike Brio X21 Viking* Pike WR* Sting* Tragi 702*
Estrella* V Ultra Pico Acacia* Masterpiece Wizard Cobra
Ellipse 2V Ellipse 3
*denotes full review

 

Skorpion

I like the Skorpion. Irrespective of the rather nice way it's fast and agile, any plane with a two piece tail using a pull for up linkage is fine by me.

It has a real natural pace about it and pings around corners. There's a flick waiting to catch the unwary but a sensible set up cures that. There's more, including my set up, here.

Acacia III
kw0o0861_thm.jpg (9238 bytes) Ah, remember the original Acacia? Well things move on. Now you get a two piece wing and tail, neat fuselage and an overall general improvement in build quality.

I've flown it and was pleasantly surprised, but it would be more interesting to set one up myself and really let rip. There are more photos and a mini review by Ian Mason here.

Elita

Hmm, now here's an interesting plane. Wave technology makes for a torsionally tough, although sometimes 'spar bulged', wing. The x tail seems happier than the V. Early versions of the fuz tended to break behind the wing and the leading edge is a bit delicate. Oh yes, it's ugly as a baboon's ass.

But... you can't get away from the fact that it's Muller quality, it's damn fast, it's loved by its owners and it keeps creeping in to the winners spot. Definitely an interesting plane... Euromodell can get you one.

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Aris

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The Aris is beautifully engineered. The wing is proven technology and the neat two piece tail is wave technology. The fuz is quite a work of art both externally and internally with a hint of wave technology.

In the air it more than holds its own. Indeed, the Aris gets a big thumbs up. There are a couple in the UK now, so it'll be interesting to see how they get on this summer. It might be wise to get you name on a list asap - Europe or USA.

 

Eclipse 3

More soon

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Freestyler

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More soon

 

Pike Brio

The latest addition to the Samba range. I used the prototype to win the 2002 UK F3F League by the largest margin for years. Samba have done an amazing job of getting the 7.5% wing stiff and light. Super strong, fuz ballast, 2 piece tail, gorgeous looks and it's an absolute dream to fly - words just can't do it justice. Go and blag a go on one and see for yourself. More info about the prototype is here. A review of the production version will follow soon.

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Viking

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The Viking in the photograph is my very own. It is the latest F3F machine from Vaclav Vojtisek's workshop.

The key characteristics are a two piece, mid-mounted wing, a one piece V tail, a new Herrig wing section and a nicely balanced planform.

Read my review for the full story...

 

X21

The 3.2m X21 is made by Jiri Tuma in the Czech Republic and uses a modified MH32 section. It's very easy to thermal - gaining height without making an arse of yourself by tip-stalling out of a turn should not be an issue. Speed seemed fine, although without a course, a stopwatch and consistent conditions this is somewhat subjective. What really impressed me though was the grip available in the turns.            

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Pike WR

This is a great plane. Of course I would say that - I had a hand in the design, used it to win the UK F3F League and broke the F3F record with if.

It is fast, agile, well mannered, tough and practical. Not a lot else to say really! 

Lots of Pike information is available here.

 

Acacia

The Acacia is a fast plane that's capable of wining F3F competitions. Acacias groove superbly and have a rare natural pace about them.
The downside is the famous Acacia flick but using a conservative elevator/snapflap/CG set-up will tame her.
A great plane and excellent value for money. Read the QFI review?

Acacia

 

Masterpiece

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The MP is stunningly quick in all conditions but I never really enjoyed flying mine. I didn't keep it long; reasons for selling included colour, spares, fun and I was the only one who had one in the UK so  it was like cheating really. 3-view and tech info here.

 

Sting

The Sting is a purpose designed F3F machine. The designer and builder, Vaclav Vojtisek, has done a fantastic job and the Sting gains admirers wherever it goes. It will only take one or two more competition wins for this plane to really catch on. A full review is here, courtesy of QFI.  

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Wizard Compact II

Click for more photos!

Still relatively new, the Wizard Compact II is quickly finding its feet. Build quality is high and it does seem to have a natural pace and agility. The all moving (independently) V tail is technically interesting.

See the X tail here.

 

Cobra

Seems to be doing OK at F3B (:-) I have a lot of respect for the Cobra and Simon Thornton campaigned it very effectively in the UK F3F League.They have done some excellent times, I can think of 3 x 33's that I've seen but I am not convinced they handle really lumpy, poor air as well as others. This is merely an observation as I have not spent much time with one but I have studied many flights. It tells a tale that only Simon uses one in the UK league.

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Tragi 702

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The Tragi 702 is one of the latest evolutions of the Estonian Tragi series. Cosmetically the finish is as good as you'll find anywhere. The Tragi is a solid flyer and a lot faster than it looks.
Definitely worth a closer look - here's the QFI review.
 

V Ultra Pico

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Made in Germany, the Pico was designed, I believe, with windy weather F3B work in mind. It has turned out to be a great tool for light to moderate F3F days. At only 2.38 metres it lacks the mass of most F3F models making it extremely manoeuvrable. A great exponent of this is Britain's Dave Woods who can make the model really sparkle.
Greg Dakin used his Pico to attain an excellent second place and FTD of 35.xx at the 1999 Welsh Open. When conditions get blustery or cocked from one side the Pico's lack of inertia shows up and the bigger models have a marked advantage. The design is functional and it's an absolute joy to launch.

 

Ellipse 2V

Dated and maybe not top dog anymore but I would not bet against anyone winning with one. They remain a superbly effective package and if anything is better then it's not by much. It held the F3F record for a while of 32.97 seconds set by Jan Hansen of Denmark at VR98 in Wales.
Quality as you would expect is superb. Rumours of a new F3F spec Ellipse are currently doing the rounds (Jan 02).

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Ellipse 3

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Stunning quality airframe and I do not say this lightly, it is perfection. It's the type of quality that makes you want to own one irrespective of how it flies. Speaking of which it does fly very well indeed but IMHO it is not a match for the E2V on an F3F course. Several UK F3F pilots have tried the E3 but none have persevered. Personally I wouldn't mind owning one just to fondle it.

 

Estrella

From the same stable as the V Ultra Pico, the Estrella is an interesting prospect and is currently doing very well in F3B. Dave Woods has been flying one in F3F. The 3,150 mm wing is made using carbon "socks" as spars and is very rigid. The fuselage is very minimalist and can suffer in less than perfect landings. You can read the text of the QFI 52 review by Team Haley here.

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