Home RC Airplane Reviews Parkzone Extra 300 Review
Parkzone Extra 300 Review Print E-mail
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History

The Extra 300 is a two-seat aerobatic monoplane designed in 1987 by Walter Extra, an award-winning German aerobatic pilot.

The Extra 300 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

After pushing the aerobatic limits of my Super Cub, Trojan and P47, I figured it was time to step up to something that was actually made for aerobatic flight. Despite some of the negative things that I heard about the Extra I took the plunge and purchased the Parkzone Extra 300.

Kit Contents

I opted for the Plug n’ Play version so the kit basically comes with just the airplane and everything you need to put it together. The airplane comes with the 950kv motor pre-installed as well as the 4 servos and 30amp ESC.

Assembly

Assembling the Parkzone Extra is a cinch since there is very little to do. The wings slide onto a carbon spar and into the fuselage. After threading the servo wires into the fuselage all that is required is to line up the wing tabs and securing the wings to the fuselage with the provided screws. I love the design of securing the wings into the fuselage, it’s a much stronger design than previous Parkzone planes I have flown in the past. They really nailed it on the Extra. The elevator is a similar setup with a smaller carbon spar that runs through the tail. In classic Parkzone fashion the elevator is secured to the fuselage with tape, but since this a more aerobatic plane I would recommend using some sturdier packing tape, rather than flimsy tape. The landing gear pop into the body and are secured by a goofy setup of wheel struts that screw into the body and clip onto the gear. Not very sturdy, but more on that later.

Features

Besides having the typical features of an airplane (2 wings, propeller and a fuselage) the plane’s feature that really stands out to me is the paint scheme. It is what first drew me to the plane and I love it. I really dig the bright orange and think the bottom checkerboard pattern pops out allowing you to keep orientation with the plane. Orientation is important with a stunt plane such as this.

First Flight

For the first flight I kept everything real low and slow. I programmed in low rates of about 70% and expo of about 25%. I figured I could handle anything the plane threw at me but I wasn’t willing to take the chance. I got home late and the sunlight was quickly fading so I decided to maiden the airplane at a local park instead of my usual spot. The park has more trees and is generally a touch windier than my usual flying spot, but I figured we all only live once so why not go for it. J With the baseball diamond clear I throttle up and took the plane up. I was surprised that the extra took more runway than I thought it would need to get up in the air, but once up it had plenty of power. The plane only needed a few clicks of trim and she was flying well. I did a couple of circuits and could tell even with my lower throws and added expo that the plane was much snappier than the Parkzone Trojan or any other. I flew 6 minutes on the battery and decided I should land with plenty of juice left rather than risk it. I circled lower and much to my delight I was able to grease the landing perfect. It was absolutely beautiful.

Flight Characteristics

The Parkzone Extra flies very stable and precise. The plane rolls and snap rolls with authority and I love it. Knife-edges are a thing of beauty and I am very surprised at the punch of the motor. Inverted flight is just as stable as normal flying which creates many opportunities for photo ops. Loops, harriers and spins this plane can really do it all. With the stock setup the one thing it cannot do is hover. I can usually start it in a hover and hold it there for about a second before it falls out. A bigger prop could possibly open the ability to hover. I found the plane slows down nicely without too much tip-stall or wing rocking. Granted this plane needs to be flown a little faster and doesn’t seem to have the ability to slow down as much as other extras on the market.

Takeoffs and Landings

The Extra powers up nicely and takes to the air with surprisingly a little more throttle than I thought it would. It doesn’t need a 100ft runway, but given the powerful motor it seems to take a big longer to get up than it should. Landings are slightly more challenging than other Parkzone planes. Talking to other people, many have complained about the difficulty of landing the Extra. The plane can be landed perfectly every time just as long as some speed is kept on approach. I believe some are trying to land it too slowly which will cause any plane to stall and meet the grounder earlier (and harder) than expected. Once you become comfortable and proficient in landing you’ll find that you can land the plane much slower than originally thought. At this writing the Extra is my favorite plane to land since I can grease it every time and about 90% of the time I deadstick the landing.

Aerobatics

Flipped Wings and Weak Landing Gear

If you do a search in Google about the Parkzone Extra’s wings you’ll undoubtedly find many forums filled with chatter and bashing towards Parkzone that they screwed up and they won’t listen to their customers and the plane is unsafe to fly..etc..etc. I can tell you that most of this is hyperbole noise. The wings on my plane are just as flat as the next PZ Extra and it flies great. Is it the most bestest amazing spectacular super-happy fun flying extra out there? No it’s not but is it stable and a great flier? You bet! After successfully flying the Extra with the wings installed the correct way I decided to take some people’s advice and try flipping them to see if the plane reacted differently or was more stable. To my surprise the plane felt the same in the air, the only noticeable difference I could feel with the wings flipped is upon landings. I could tell that the plane slowed down better with the wings flipped. So if the Extra feels too hot to handle while landing, trying flying it with the wings flipped.

The biggest issue with the Parkzone Extra is not the wings in my opinion, but the landing gear. Overall the plane is solid, well built and a lot of fun to fly, but the landing gear on the Extra are terrible. Popping them into the fuselage is fine and well but I am not impressed with the plastic fairings that secure the gear into place. They are far too weak and susceptible to breaking. To make matters worse they don’t really do a great job of holding on to the landing gear. This might seem like a minor deal but I think that they could’ve designed something better and more secure. The landing gear is one area of the plane where it feels like Parkzone really cut corners.

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

NO. This plane would be quite a handful to the beginner pilot and no matter how cool it looks I think they would quickly get in to trouble with the fast roll rate and required speed on landings. I met a beginner who was flying the snot out of an Eflite Apprentice, but had smashed his Extra into the ground because it was much faster and responsive than he had anticipated and his thumbs couldn’t keep up. Don’t make his mistake, spend some time on another plane with ailerons and you’ll be ready for this.

Conclusion

The Parkzone Extra is really a great flying plane. It’s the perfect step up from a Parkzone Trojan or for someone that is looking at their first aerobatic airplane. Made with the sturdy Z-foam the Extra can take a beating. The plane is very stable and is surprisingly fast at full throttle slicing through the air with ease. I have had such a blast flying this plane is has become my ol’ standby, replacing my Trojan. The plane is more of a sport plane and not 3D, so those expecting to hover and do other advanced 3D maneuvers should look elsewhere. If you’re looking for something with a little more ‘oomph’ and a solid plane that you can learn aerobatics on without fear of destroying on the first mishap, then the Parkzone Extra is for you.

Rating: B+


Pros

  • Looks Great
  • Wonderful Wing Assembly, very robust
  • Flies inverted like a champ
  • Perfect Step up from a warbird
  • Carbon Spar for the wings and elevator.

Neutrals

  • Wings are flat on one side, may benefit from flipping them upside down

Cons

  • Not a fan of the landing gear. Weak, prone to ripping out on hard landings. Would be better to just CA them into the fuselage





Do you want snap rolls in your future?

Check this link out to buy the Parkzone Extra 300!


 
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