Home RC Airplane Reviews E-Flite UMX Hyper Taxi Review
E-Flite UMX Hyper Taxi Review Print E-mail
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Monday, 20 February 2012 22:25

Intro

I wasn’t sure what to think when I saw the Hyper Taxi in the store. I didn’t know if it was a bird, plane or helicopter. I didn’t think much of it until the Hobby Shop owner tried to fly it around. The little craft looked like a handful even with the AS3x technology keeping everything smooth. After watching him hover the plane I knew I had to review the Hyper Taxi and see what it was all about.



Kit Contents

The E-flite Hyper Taxi comes with everything you need to get the craft in the air (except a transmitter). Inside the box was the completely assembled taxi, a 2S 180mah lipo, a DC charger for the lipo and an instruction manual. Feeling confident I chucked the manual aside, grabbed the lipo and plugged it in the charger so I could put the Hyper Taxi in the air. The Taxi was well protected inside the box and everything appeared pristine when I took it out.

   

Assembly

The E-flite Hyper Taxi is 100% assembled and requires no glue, tape, scissors or frustration!


Buy the E-flite Hyper Taxi at RC-Hobbies!

Features

The hyper taxi comes with a unique 4-channel control system that is not unlike an airplane. There are rudder, elevator and ailerons that all move crisply and precisely with the stick movements. Elevator and rudder move independently, but aileron input moves all four surfaces together. Very cool! The Taxi is powered by a 180 size 2500kv brushless motor that is controlled by the new AS3X receiver/ESC/stabilization system. The servos are the standard long-throw linear servos found on the other UMX planes available from E-flite. The paint of the Taxi is a wonderful contrast between light and dark so you can clearly see which end is up and which end is down while you’re flying.

   

   

First Flight

After already warming my thumbs up with several UMX Gee Bee flights I was feeling confident and decided to take the Taxi out for a spin. I plopped the battery on the side of the craft, checked all of the surfaces and throttled up. The Hyper Taxi skidded around the pavement before flipping over into the grass. Ok…more throttle next time. I gathered the Taxi back up, set it down and wound up the throttle.


The results were less than stellar; I will let my video do the talking.

 

Yup, straight up and straight down. The plane was practically destroyed. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.

 

I went home and repaired the plane so that it was even stronger than when I pulled it out of the box. A few days later I tried to fly the Hyper Taxi again with only limited success. It wasn’t until a week later that I finally ‘got it’. For the first few flights I was concentrating solely on hovering the craft. It can definitely hover, but it is easiest to push the nose down and fly it like an airplane right from the get go. Once I made this transition the Hyper Taxi flew like a dream and curiously enough I was even able to hover it better after flying it around like an airplane.

   

After I had a handle on how she flew I was suddenly having a blast with the plane! Loops, 90 degree turns and spins all over the playground. The craft was ridiculously maneuverable, but not in the traditional sense of an airplane. I was able to repeat the process of flying and landing (without smashing it) several more times during the day and each time I gained more and more confidence with the Hyper Taxi.

Flight Characteristics

The Flight Characteristics of the E-flite Hyper Taxi are definitely unique. The craft can be flown like a plane and also hover like a helo. The key is to start by flying it like any ol’ regular 4-channel plane, but be ready for some key differences.

First off, the roll rate of the Hyper Taxi would make a Vitamax blender jealous. Given the design of the craft and 4-ailerons that do your bidding the thing can spin and spin and it is mesmerizing to watch. The rolls are so enticing I nearly rolled the Taxi all the way into the ground as I smiled with glee. So pay attention!

Secondly, the loops are tighter than my great-uncle’s coin purse. The Hyper Taxi as the unique ability to loop and loop and loop right on top of itself. It is a trip to play with and is a move that can either get you in or out of trouble in a hurry.

   

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Hyper Taxi (besides vertical landings and takeoffs) is the rudder control. This craft can turn on a dime and give you $.09 change. It is so much fun to be heading South and with a flight of the stick you’re now heading North. It looks like a fish in the water as it zigs and zags back and forth. Putting all of these characteristics together gives the pilot a craft with very unique and fun aspects to it.

In addition to flying like an airplane the Hyper Taxi has the ability to hover like a choppa. The AS3X certainly helps when trying to hover, but just like a 3D airplane the hovering pilot needs to be on top of the sticks constantly moving and adjusting them so the nose of the plane doesn’t come crashing down like a sledgehammer.

Takeoffs and Landings

The E-flite Hyper Taxi is a VTOL (Vertical Take Off Landing) Craft. She looks like a rocket, takes off like a helicopter, flies like an airplane and you the pilot get to control her however you want.

The easiest way to take off is to throttle up and push down elevator to get the nose of the craft moving in a forward (rather than vertical) manner. Once the Taxi is floating along it should be easy to control if you already know how to fly an airplane.

   

Landings seem to be the trickiest part.

To land the Taxi you can either ditch her in the grass and possibly sustain some damage, or you can return the plane back down to the earth with a vertical landing. Either placing the craft in a hover and then slowly backing off the throttle until she comes to a rest or flying the craft low to the ground and then flipping the nose towards the sky and letting it settle to the ground are the two ways I have found to land the Taxi. Of course the third option is to smash nose-first into the pavement, but after a few landings like that, there will not be much left of the Taxi.

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

No. There is way too much going on with the Taxi and I can only recommend it to someone that has some good flight experience on a 4-channel airplane.

Weak, weak weak….

I’ll preface this section by saying that I know that Ultra-Micro planes are inherently ‘weaker’ than bigger models. The micros have to be lighter/weaker in order to be flyable and the fact that we have so many cool ultra-micro planes coming to the market is a testament to advances in this amazing technology. With that said I think the E-flite Hyper Taxi is too weak. The learning curve of the Taxi is a little steeper than a normal craft and because of this I wish the funky craft was more durable. I feel too many people will soon discover this fact when they go to fly their Hyper Taxi the first time. I’ll be the first to admit that I had a terrible first flight, but I have gotten much better from that point. Unfortunately, the Hyper Taxi seems to by hyper sensitive to any sort of contact heavier than a feather. Yesterday I hovered the plane down to the soft grass after a successful flight. The taxi landed in the grass perfectly, yet I discovered one of the edges of the plane was just about torn off from the ‘impact’. Not acceptable. There needs to be either stronger material or reinforcements built into the nose of the plane, something that will stop the craft from being completely demolished upon a single impact.

Conclusion

The E-flite Hyper Taxi is truly a unique flying craft. It’s not quite a plane, helicopter or rocket but it has elements of all three. The controls take a little getting used to, but once you understand what the Taxi needs you will soon realize you are in complete control. The machine is very responsive and goes wherever you point it; however you manage to get it there. I had some troubles in the beginning with the Taxi, but I now find myself flying it with a grin spread ear-to-ear. My biggest concern is the durability of the craft. The Hyper Taxi is very fragile and after a few mishaps the foam is severely weakened. The good news is that glue and tape hold it together and so far it just keeps on flying! Check out the E-flite Hyper Taxi if you’re looking for a new kind of flying experience.

GRADE: B-

Pros

  • No Assembly
  • Bright, Contrasting colors
  • Crazy controls

Neutrals

  • Battery is a little hard to get in and out of the provided ‘slot’
  • Battery life is a bit on the short side at only 5 minutes

Cons

  • The Hyper Taxi is fragile and will not sustain much in the way of impact or damage


Media and FLIGHT Time!

   

   


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