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Written by Jay Smith
Horizon Hobby E-flite Timber X 1.2m BNF Basic with AS3X and SAFE Select
Review
As seen in the December 2019 issue of Model Aviation.

THE E-FLITE Timber, both the standard and ultramicro versions, proved to be great Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) aircraft that are beginner friendly and enjoyable to fly. The new X designation likely stands for extreme because E-flite has incorporated a new wing design featuring oversize ailerons and flaps, plus an enlarged rudder and elevator and more powerful 3S- and 4S-compatible power system, to deliver a 3D-capable Timber.

Assembly

As with other E-flite EPO foam aircraft, the Timber X is expertly packaged and requires little time and no glue (if the slats are not attached) to achieve flight-ready status. Before beginning assembly, I read through the manual, checked the product page on the Horizon Hobby website for any addendums to the manual (there was one), and downloaded the transmitter setup file.

The addendum involves the advanced BNF setup for the transmitter for those who want to use the flaps to work in conjunction with the ailerons to provide full-span ailerons. It is important to note that the Timber X transmitter setup file has not been updated to match the addendum at the time of this review. If that continues to be the case, you will need to compare your transmitter settings with those in the addendum, specifically where it involves the rate setting. Horizon Hobby provides two setup files; this only affects the advanced BNF setup.

During the assembly process, two decisions need to be made. One involves selecting one of the two included stabilizer joiners—either the lightweight composite joiner or the 1-ounce heavier steel joiner. For tame flying and maximum stability in general flight, use the lightweight joiner to keep the center of gravity (CG) at the front of the recommended CG range. For maximum performance and stability in high-alpha maneuvers, use the steel joiner to shift the CG to the rear of the recommended CG range.

The second is deciding whether or not to install the wing slats for improved slow-flight performance. The slats require being glued in place, so they are not easily removed if attached. I opted to land somewhere in the middle by using the lighter joiner and without wing slats. This likely allows for the best combination of STOL and aerobatic capabilities.

the author prefers half flaps for takeoff and landings
The author prefers half flaps for takeoff and landings. The Timber can fly at an amazingly slow speed with the flaps deployed.

the timber x comes out of the box with little
The Timber X comes out of the box with little to do to achieve flight-ready status. No glue is required unless the LE slats are used.

On high rates, the Timber is fully capable of knife-edge flight, knife-edge loops, high-alpha maneuvers, and just about anything you can throw at it.

If you opt for the advanced BNF setup for full-span ailerons, you will have to source two servo extensions because they are not provided. The included Y harness is then moved to another point on the receiver. I used two 6-inch Spektrum extensions (SPMA3001) that I had on hand.

I was happy to see that the propeller does not come preinstalled on the model. It is safer to bind and set up the model with the propeller removed. Having it arrive that way likely means that more people will install the propeller after assembly.

Flying

The large wheels and shock-absorbing landing gear allow for flight operations from less-than-perfect flying locations. Pavement, grass, and packed dirt are no problem for the Timber X.

Given this aircraft’s STOL capabilities, you will not likely be surprised to learn that it can be off the ground in a few feet if desired.

The flaps set at 50% and 100% are quite effective. The combination of a slight delay and a touch of down-elevator keeps the aircraft from ballooning when the flaps are deployed.

the battery compartment doesnt leave much room
The battery compartment doesn’t leave much room for fingers and can make securely fastening the battery straps a challenge. The author is considering adding Velcro for further security.

In the air, the Timber benefits from coordinated turns using rudder and ailerons. It is also capable of turning using only the large rudder when given a little up-elevator.

On the 3S setup, the Timber is capable of unlimited vertical climbs. It is almost like driving up a mountain; it will get you there, just not in a hurry. If you prefer a more spirited climbout or want to exit a hover with authority, the 4S system is the way to go.

the large wheels and shock absorbing
The large wheels and shock-absorbing landing gear allow for flight operations from less-than-perfect flying locations.

a lot of wiring is hidden under the wing
A lot of wiring is hidden under the wing. If you opt for the advanced BNF setup for full-span ailerons, you will have to source two servo extensions.

The low-rate setting for the aircraft provides a comfortable flight experience for those who are looking for an aerobatic sport aircraft that is capable of flying from a variety of surfaces. It also works great for slow flight and aerobatic maneuvers such as a Cuban 8, Split S, and Immelmann.

On high rates, the Timber becomes a more responsive aerobatic aircraft and is fully capable of knife-edge flight, knifeedge loops, high-alpha maneuvers, and just about anything you can throw at it.

Pilots looking for an amazingly fast roll rate using the advanced BNF setup, which allows the flaps to work in conjunction with the ailerons to provide full-span ailerons, will smile broadly the first time the P-Mix is enabled and a roll is performed.

When it is time to land, the Timber X handles like a trainer. I prefer half flaps, and the model is capable of extremely slow, stable flight in that configuration.

Similar to other AS3X-enabled aircraft, the Timber X benefits from the subtle inputs and corrections that the stabilization provides and aids pilots of all skill levels. SAFE Select is also included in the receiver for those who are looking for an additional helping hand.

Conclusion

It’s nice to have choices out of the box for configuring the aircraft to match the intended flying style with the included leading edge (LE) slats and two stabilizer joiners.

The E-flite Timber X carries the STOL capabilities of the original aircraft while incorporating a new wing design, oversize control surfaces, metal-geared servos, and a 3S- and 4S-compatible power system to provide a versatile aircraft that pilots of varying skill levels and flying styles can appreciate.



the timber x colorful green
The Timber X’s colorful green, white, and gray scheme is easy to see in the air.

SOURCES:

Spektrum

(800) 338-4639

www.horizonhobby.com

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