Home RC Airplane Reviews Dynam Extra 330 3D Review
Dynam Extra 330 3D Review Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 01 June 2011 22:49

History

The Extra 330 is a two-seat aerobatic monoplane designed in 1987 by Walter Extra, an award-winning German aerobatic pilot.

The Extra 330 has a welded steel tube fuselage covered in aluminum and fabric. The mid-set wing has a carbon fiber composite spar and carbon composite skins. A symmetrical airfoil, mounted with a zero angle of incidence, provides equal performance in both upright and inverted flight. The landing gear is fixed tail dragger style with composite main legs and fiberglass wheel pants. The power plant is a fuel-injected Lycoming AEIO-540 which produces 300 horsepower. The top speed is 253 mph with a stall speed of 63 mph. The plane is made for performance and aerobatics and handles both well with a ±10 G rating for one person and ±8 G with two.




Intro

One night while perusing the internets I came across an inexpensive 3D plane. For $99 the plane came in a Ready-To-Fly package that included everything but the AA batteries for the transmitter. After watching the promotional video for the plane I was intrigued and thought the plane deserved a review. Within a week the Dynam Extra 330 was on my door step.

 

Are you feeling spry and wicked? Maybe the Dynam Extra 330 is for you!

Kit Contents

The Extra 330 arrived safely and it was actually better packaged than most Dynam airplanes. As reported in other reviews on this site, Dynam makes good airplanes but their packaging is usually subpar and many of the parts are unprotected and loose in the box.  This was not the case with the Extra, all of the pieces were covered in clear plastic which was a surprising touch from Dynam.

   

The kit contains the wing, fuselage, elevators and rudder with the motor, esc and servos already installed. The kit also included the landing gear, tail wheel, glue, decal sheet, transmitter, battery and charger.


The manual was fairly readable and the pictures were clear, but the manual is barely needed since the plane is nearly 98% put together.

Assembly

After cracking everything open it was easy to see how simple the design was. The Extra has a one-wing design that simply screws into the fuselage. The aileron servos, control horns and control rods were already installed so there was nothing to do with the wing except slap it on the body of the plane.

 

The control horns for the elevator and rudder do need to be installed. I didn’t read the instructions closely enough as it mentions that the horns simply click together. Instead I glued them onto the plane, which I feel is a much more secure way of attaching them. The elevator and rudder glue onto each other as well as gluing and sliding into place on the tail of the fuse.


Pay attention to the tail wheel installation. I did not, and after the tail feathers were securely glued I realized that the tail wheel needed to be attached before locking everything down with CA! Oh well, I was able to Jerry-Rig up my own tail wheel modification once I saw my mistake. Gluing the tail feathers onto the body requires a steady hand and it is a good idea to have a friend or someone that can help clean up any excess glue while you keeping the pieces together.

After the rear of the plane was done I attached the rods from the servos to the elevator and rudder and popped in the landing gear. All that was left was the prop installation.

The Dynam Extra 330 comes with a prop saver and two ‘O’ ring rubber bands to secure the prop to the shaft. This must be a new thing as the instructions showed a motor shaft with the traditional collet and spinner. I would have MUCH preferred the traditional setup. I spent a long time trying to get both O rings around the prop onto the prop saver. The problem was that there was no way in God’s green earth that both would fit. As soon as I thought they were both on securely, one would pop off. Very frustrating, and a needless amount of time was spent on this step. In the end I decided to just go with one O ring and see what would happen, more on that later.

 

After the plane was put together it was time to do my least favorite step of plane building. Installing the decals. I called my lovely assistant aka “Decal Installer” down to lend a hand. Within minutes she was as frustrated as I was with the Dynam decals. They felt as thin as tissue paper and just about as fragile. Just pulling them from the decal sheet would cause them to tear. We managed to get a few on, but decided to skip the large wing decals.

Features

The Dynam Extra 330 is not loaded with features which is ok since it is made to be a barebones 3D plane. I do like the looks of it and enjoy the smaller (less than 40”) size, making it easy to transport. The prop saver could be seen as a feature for some since it will definitely save many props should you happen to smash into the ground during a reverse harrier. The plane is fairly solid and is made out of tough foam.

First Flight

I gave up trying to install the 2nd O ring on the prop saver and for the first flight it was obvious this was a mistake. The flight lasted about 3 seconds before the prop buzzed loose and the plane came down to the ground. Unable to find an alternative while at the field I decided to pack it up and return the next day.


Once home I found screws that were longer and would allow multiple O rings or rubber bands to be attached to the prop saver. With stronger bands attached to the front of the plane I was ready to try it again.

The next flight was much more successful and for the most part went off without a hitch. I did crash into a small tree (as seen in the video) but the plane sustained no damage. Sweet!

Flight Characteristics

This is an aerobatic 3D plane so I expected it to be quick and nimble. The plane is nimble and fairly quick, but perhaps a little too nimble. With the controls set on the lowest settings the plane is very twitchy. The Extra is able to do nearly all of the aerobatic maneuvers but it feels out of balance. Normal and inverted flight is very stable, and the roll rate is snappier than an up tempo Jazz trio. The elevator is extremely touchy and in my opinion has way too much movement in it. The plane will spin out of the sky if more than half of the elevator is used for climbing or loops. With the stock radio, there was no way to turn down the setting. In addition to the touchy elevator the plane has a huge tendency to tip stall at slower speeds.

The Extra is able to hover with very quick hands and the motor has enough power to pull out of the hover, which is an excellent surprise.

Takeoffs and Landings

Takeoffs do not need hardly any runway since the plane has a good power to weight ratio. In fact the plane can probably take off vertically from a hand launch, although I did not try it. To land the plane successfully a little speed should be carried, or if you are good enough you can hover the plane straight down to the ground (not a novice move).

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

No, not at all. The Dynam Extra isn’t very fast; it just has way too much control for a beginner to handle. Someone with aileron experience and quick thumbs could handle this plane.

Wing Design, Prop Saver, CG

When I first pulled the plane out of the box I really liked the looks of it and even though it is very simplistic, I still like the looks. But I have a major gripe with the design of the plane and it is so irritating to me that it severely pulls the grade of the plane down. This little RC airplane is electric powered, and the designers knew that it was going to be electric powered, yet they designed it in such a way that the wing needs to be taken off before and after every flight to install and remove the battery.

Really?

Now I know some planes can be either Gas Powered or Electric Powered and on those planes I don’t mind the annoyance of removing a wing, but in this age of electric flight I find it hard to believe that this is the best design they could come up with. To make matters worse the little nut that the wing screws into, came loose and fell out of the plane the 4th time I used it. So now I have to find a way of securing the nut on the inside of the plane. I am underwhelmed by the design.

As stated earlier I was also not impressed with the prop saver setup. The screws holding the saver to the shaft are too short and therefore it is nearly impossible to secure both O rings onto the shaft. Plus there is a lot of vibration from the whole setup and most likely some power loss, this area needs to be improved. Better props with a ‘normal’ collet would certainly help.

The plane feels tail heavy with the recommended CG; more experimentation is needed to find the sweet spot. Unfortunately, I never did find the sweet spot, although I was able to fly the plane without too much trouble as long as the speed was kept up.

Conclusion

I really wanted to love this plane because I thought it would be the perfect park flyer, throw it in your trunk and go type of plane. It definitely is a park flyer and the size is great for pilots with compact cars, but there are too many little things that pull it down and keep it from being a great airplane. The plane does have a light wing load and the foam survives bumps and crashes fairly well. The decals are ridiculously thin and difficult to put on, but if you’re looking for a plane to do a custom paint job, this one comes bare!  

GRADE: C

Pros

  • Easy Assembly
  • Solid Construction
  • Long Spar in the wing
  • Good Packaging
  • Under $100!
  • Manual is better than most

Neutrals

  • Decals could be made of better material

Cons

  • Wing must be removed before and after every flight to access battery
  • Very touch and tendency to tip stall
  • 72 MHz radio, no way to dial down the throws

 

 Media & Flight Time!

   

   




Hey you with the fast thumbs! Check out the Extra 330!

 
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