It's winter here on the homestead and spring is still several months away. That means that my RC flying is still several months away too. It's one of the few things I miss when I think back about my flying year around when I lived in central Arizona. That being said, it isn't a total loss since this is the season where I have time to do those projects I didn't have time to do last summer and add a new plane or two to the basement hangar.
In the later part of 2019, Horizon Hobby introduced their EC-1500 Twin motor transport plane. Depending on what article you read, it probably isn't a specific takeoff of a well known full-sized aircraft but rather a compilation of cool stuff from several transports. Regardless of its true origins, I wanted this model after stumbling across it on a RC aircraft forum. As I read the comments about this big plane, I knew I wanted to fly it this coming summer so I dropped an order with Horizon Hobby and waited for it to show up.
The EC-1500 arrived well packaged, a cardboard box packed in a heavy duty cardboard box. There was no shipping damage, no paint scuffing, nothing. Horizon did a good job of making sure the first thing I wouldn't be doing was contacting their customer service department.
The English language section of the supplied instruction manual was 21 pages long. I still have an issue with other 50 plus pages included in the manual covering several other languages. I get it....I know why they bundle them all together into a single manual, but that doesn't mean I like it. The vast majority of the 21 pages provided information for flyers using Spektrum radios. The manual provides guidance for both the PNP and BNF versions of the aircraft. Since I fly FrSky radios, I purchased the PNP version of the EC-1500. A little over 3 pages were actually dedicated to the assembly of the aircraft while 2 pages covered optional equipment such as the optional floats for water flying, etc.
As for assembly, I think I can say that this was the easiest PNP plane I've come across. The two wing assemblies have all of the components installed except for the props/prop adapters (more on that later). Each half of the wing has two metal-geared servos, one for the aileron and the other for the flap surfaces. A 650Kv brushless outrunner motor is already installed in the wing nacelle along with the 40 amp 4S rated ESC. The nacelle's plastic cowling is held in place with 3 very small screws.
And since we are talking about the wings, here are the power connectors that provide the wing with servo signal control and LED lighting power. A multi-pin female connector is mounted in the fuselage which ties all these connections to the aircraft's wiring harness. The wing has the matching male connector. This is the first plane I've had that used connectors and it certainly simplifies wing attachment and removal.
Each wing assembly has three control surfaces on it. The aileron, located at the outer end of the wing, a flap located at the inner portion of the wing, and a middle surface located between the aileron and flap. By using a "joiner" (see circled area in the above photo), you can mate the aileron to the middle surface to give the wing a larger aileron surface or you can mate the middle surface to the flap to give you a larger flap control surface. It is NOT recommended to connect all three control surfaces together as damage can result unless you can program your transmitter to support this and have adequate channels to assign to each servo. I chose to join the aileron to the middle surface to increase my overall aileron surface.
Each wing assembly is attached to the fuselage using two nylon screws. Since the wingspan of the EC-1500 is just over 60 inches, being able to easily remove the wing is important when you are using the family car for transportation to your favorite flying spot.
The EC-1500's vertical tail assembly also has a metal-geared servo installed. Prior to installing the tail assembly, one must connect the servo to the harness in the fuselage. Two metal screws secure the tail assembly to the fuselage. All servo linkages on the aircraft can be adjusted to achieve neutral trim when the transmitter sticks and servos are centered.
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