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Great Planes Spad XIII ElectriFly Review

This is an ARF Kit from Great Planes MFG. I purchased the kit from Tower Hobbies. The kit comes pre covered with a beutiful coloring scheme designed around the famous Eddie Rickenbacker.  This kit uses micro servos, 25A speed controller and a 950Kv brushless outrunner.  View the Tower Hobbies or Great Planes Product page for more info and specifications. I purchased this kit to fly with some WWI warbird friends and selected this because it held some common components  for my 450 helicopters that I already had.  I already had some TP-90 servos and a 25A Volcano ESC on hand and used those.  I purchased the recommended Rimfire motor (although it was rather expensive for what I would consider I could get an alternative for, I decided not to have to mess with drilling new holes in the firewall for an alternate mount (comes with a 3 point mount instead of the more typical 4 point).  Although the design calls out for a smaller battery, I found that my 1800mAh and 2200mAh 3S packs fit in the battery compartment very easily and gave me very long flight times. As much as 15+ minutes if I took it easy on the throttle and it was a calm day.  So for about $150 (I used a tower hobbies email coupon) and pretty much all spare parts and an Rx I had on hand, I was up and flying in a few hours of building. The airplane looks beutiful in the air especially on a sunny morning.  You need short grass to take off and land on. I don't recommend pavement or you will scuff up the nice covering. This airplane has the tendancy to flip over forwards (ground loop) on takeoff or landing. Given time, you will be able to manage the elevator properly to avoid this.  It is actually better to neutral the elevator once you get going on the ground to get the rudder tracking and take off with more of a scale look than to pull elevator too much.  If you feel you will flip over, drop the throttle to avoid breaking a prop and you will see less if no damage to the plane.  

Although the plane has removable wings, it takes lots of time so plan on leaving this gem assembled. The magnet mounted top hatch is really nice for the battery and makes successive flights a breeze.