Aerobatic & 3D

Aerobatics and 3D

Up Wipa Firecat Extra 3.25 Arrow 3D Indoor Champion Extra 300S

The Hangar 9 Sundowner 36 is a fast sport scale model that is perfect for high-speed aerobatics and club racing. Based on the Sundowner Formula 1, this speedy performer has a scaled-down aggressive racer body design that is at home equally as a sport flyer or as a serious racer. Designed to be powered by an electric (EP) or glow (GP) power system, this plane delivers racer styling at a lower cost to you.

The model is constructed of lightweight balsa and plywood with carbon fiber reinforcements for added strength and durability. The low parts count makes this ARF exceptionally easy to assemble, and with a two piece wing, easy to disassemble for transport. The one piece fiberglass cowl has hidden cowl screws, adding to its great looks. The internals are easily accessed through the removable canopy, which is held securely in place with tabs and magnets.

The Sundowner 36 can be powered for sport utilizing the E-flite Power 32 or Power 25 motors or the Evolution .40NX glow engine. The Sundowner 36 always makes it look like it's tearing through the sky. Because of its smooth flight characteristics and precise, sport handling, even intermediate pilots will feel comfortable behind the sticks. Unlike other racers that may be difficult to fly, the Sundowner 36's streamlined design makes this racer smooth, precise and ready-to-roll.

For my complete review of the Hangar 9 Sundowner 36 on RCU, go here.

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The Great Planes Sequence F3A is an Almost-Ready-to-Fly 50" class E-Performance XLC Series pattern ship. It features a light hand-selected balsa and plywood frame with a pre-built plywood motor box. The two-piece wings are connected with a light but tough carbon joiner. The ailerons are factory-hinged and the rudder uses a pull-pull system for control authority. The Sequence comes complete with wheels, canopy, self-aligning wheel pants, pre-built motor box, decals and a 24-page instruction manual loaded with photos and detailed steps for a quick assembly.

For my complete review of the Great Planes Sequence F3A on RCU, go here.

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E-flite has expertly re-created the rugged good looks and flight behavior of the full-scale Stearman PT-17 with this easy-to-assemble 15-size model that is a joy to fly. It comes out of the box constructed of balsa and light plywood and covered in an authentic early-WWII UltraCoteŽ trim scheme. Other scale touches include a painted fiberglass cowl, painted fiberglass landing gear fairings, and a great-looking 9-cylinder dummy radial engine. Assembly is remarkably simple thanks to the plug-in wings and bolt-on interplane struts. E-flite's even included specially designed jigs that allow you to keep the upper and lower wing halves connected for easier transport and storage.

In the air, the Stearman PT-17 15e's flat-bottom airfoils and light wing loading translate into exceptionally scale-like flight characteristics that everyone from intermediate to advanced pilots will instantly fall in love with. Originally used as a primary trainer for the U.S. Army Air Corps in the days leading up to WWII, the Stearman PT-17 had numerous post-war roles from crop duster to air show star, making it one of the most recognizable biplanes among the general public to this day.

For my complete review of the E-Flite Stearman PT-17 on RCU, go here.

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Great Planes has introduced a new E-Performance XLC (Extreme Light Concept) Series that features advanced ElectriFly engineering and pre-fabrication. The new Edge 540T is the first model in the E-Performance Series. This 50" class electric-powered scale model is slightly smaller than traditional .40-size glow-powered models but boasts many sophisticated features that discriminating pilots look for in an aerobatic ARF. The Edge 540T is the new pinnacle in mid-sized electric aerobats!

It wasn't until I lifted the fuselage that I noticed something very different. It weighed almost nothing yet was incredibly strong! I then saw the carbon bars infused with the balsa and light plywood. I had only seen this type of construction once before and immediately knew this new design was something special. I twisted the fuselage and applied pressure in many directions but there was no give and no creaking noise.

Not only was the one-piece canopy held by powerful magnets but so was the light-weight fiberglass cowl. This gave the Edge 540T a very clean and quality appearance!

For my complete review of the Great Planes Edge 540T on RCU, go here.

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E-flite introduces the first Platinum Series twin motor sport plane, the Deuces Wild 25e2 ARF. This plane showcases the power, level of detail, quality of construction, and sport flying fun of E-flite. Unlike other twin-powered planes on the market, this one is not intimidating, it is easier-to-fly and exhibits gentle flight characteristics.

The lightweight, sturdy airframe is constructed of balsa and plywood and covered with genuine UltraCoteŽ. The bolt-on tail assembly and three-piece, plug-in wing are all removable to allow easy transportation. With the Deuces Wild, you have options. You can use the included fixed landing gear or install the optional Robart retracts with pneumatic up, spring down operation. The model is complete with the strut wires pre-bent for ease of optional landing gear installation.

For my complete review of the E-flite Deuces Wild 25e2 ARF on RCU, go here.

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The E-flite Enticement F3P ARF is a flat foam profile monoplane with precision and aerobatic flight characteristics. Constructed of genuine 3mm Depron foam, this attractive, easy-to-assemble flat foam model adds the stability and strength that other models are lacking. The Enticement utilizes high-quality construction and manufacturing techniques.

For my complete review of the E-flite Enticement on RCU, go here.

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Cox Models has a new line called "Wings" which, among other designs, has a licensed Christen EagleŽ ARF. Molded in EPS foam and colorfully decorated in the classic Eagle colors, this exciting aerobatic model comes almost ready to fly, with the brushless outrunner motor and brushless ESC pre-installed. Further, the ARF kit also includes a 3-cell 1800mAh LiPo pack! The model comes complete with servo installation hardware, extra prop and only requires 3 sub-micro servos with approximately 17 oz.-in. of torque and a 4-channel radio system.

For my complete review on the COX Christen Eagle, go here.

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Fliton Inspire Mini 3D ARF

Like it's big brother, the new Inspire Mini from Fliton is lightweight while offering a very robust and solid construction. A two-piece removable main wing, joined with a carbon wing tube conveniently aids in transportation and durability.

The Inspire Mini offers high aerobatic and unlimited 3D performance with excellent slow speed stability. Takeoffs are also smooth and the plane floats in for landings. The build itself is very fast and straightforward, as a true 95% pre-built ARF should be.

The Inspire Mini is equipped with many additional great features such as a large removable top hatch, pre-cut & painted fiberglass cowl, carbon wing tube, carbon elevator & rudder pushrods, pre-slotted servo mounts, a 3" Velcro strip, an easyUP motor mount assembly, and, upgraded wheels. A new instruction manual format provides easy assembly and suggestions for support products.

For my complete conversion review on the Fliton Inspire Mini, go here.

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DMZ Decathlon EP-400 ARF

The DMZ Decathlon EP-400 is one of several models available from IMEX Model Company. Although different models (and maybe colors) are available in the EP-400 series, I will focus my review on the Decathlon. The model includes a geared Speed 370 motor and prop so all you need to complete the assembly is the following:

bullet4-channel Radio w/3 Sub-micro Servos bullet10-15amp ESC (Electronic Speed Control) bullet2-cell LiPo Pack or 6-7 cell NiCd/NiMH pack

For my complete conversion review on the DMZ Decathlon EP-400, go here.

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E-flite J3 Cub 25 ARF

The E-flite J-3 Cub 25 ARF from Horizon Hobby has great scale appearance and performance which include scale ailerons. The ARF model is built from quality balsa and light ply construction making for a sturdy, lightweight airframe that handles incredibly well in most any flying situation. The firewall is set up for use with an outrunner motor, such as E-flite?s Power 25, making a perfect power match for the airframe. Optional floats add a new dimension to the scale flying experience, and the one-piece wing allows for easy transportation to and from virtually any flying field, pond or lake. The model can be flown with either a 10-cell NiCd/NiMH pack or 3-cell Lithium pack.

For my complete conversion review on the J3 Cub 25, go here.

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The Reflex 3D ARF from Hobby Lobby assembles in 4-6 hours and is an easy build for intermediate level pilots. We'll see just how well it performs with the recommended setup when flown by the 2006 EX Games winner, Devin McGrath.

The Reflex 3D is an all wood ARF designed by world-class pilot Benoit Paysant-Le Roux that flies like a much larger full fuselage plane. It is solid in all maneuvers, hovers easily, knife edges with little coupling and snaps cleanly. With this airplane, the pilot is in total control as it responds instantly to your inputs. The wing loading is very light making this suitable for both indoor and outdoor flying. With reduced control throws, the plane is easy enough to fly for the novice 3D flyer. With full rates the performance is only limited by the pilots skills. The Reflex builds quickly and the instructions are fully illustrated with step-by-step photos.

The Reflex uses four channels: Ailerons (2 servos), Elevator, Rudder and Throttle. A radio with end point adjustments and exponential is recommended.

Click here for my entire review on RC Universe.

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Since the E-Flite Mini Edge 540 is based on the popular Hangar 9 33% Edge 540 ARF designed by Mike McConville, you can now sharpen your flying skills with a smaller 37" span version at your local park or in an open field just down the street. Torque rolls, hovers, tumbles and snaps are all possible with the Mini Edge 540's lightweight balsa and light-ply construction that provides better, more delicate flight.

An adjustable micro pull-pull set for the rudder provides precise control and the mid-wing design also optimizes 3D performance. Team the included gearbox and propeller with E-flite Park 400 brushless motors for extreme 3D performance. The Mini Edge 540 includes a great looking lightweight fiberglass cowl and wheel pants. The landing gear are carbon fiber and the plane is finished in a colorful UltraCote scheme. Spare parts can also be purchased from Horizon Hobby.

Click here for my entire review on RC Universe.

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The Fliton ICON 312 is a 95% pre-built covered-balsa design meant for 3D flying. It is built lighter than previous models and comes with pre-painted cowl, canopy, and wheel pants. The ICON 312 is produced with carefully selected high quality AAA balsa and covered with Oracover from Germany.

Click here for my entire review on RC Universe.

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The new Fun World EP design from World Models is a scaled down version of their Fun World 3D plane that is meant for a 350 watt electric power system. I have been looking a long time for an ARF version of the popular E3D by Gary Wright and the Fun World EP is a very close comparison. The Fun World EP has a 2" longer wingspan and 100 sq. in. more wing area for a similar flying weight.

Click here for my entire review on RC Universe.

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The new Razor 3-D ARF is an amazing aircraft that will enable you to experience the thrill of super 3-D flying! You can easily perform 4-Point Rolls, loops, harriers, waterfalls, blenders, and flat spins. The Razor 3-D does it all magnificently. The all wood, jig-built airframe allows for easy and accurate construction. The fiberglass cowl, painted fiberglass wheel pants, and swept aluminum landing gear, adds style and strength to the design. The Razor 3D features oversize control surfaces, an airfoiled tail group, and split elevator bell-crank system for maximum flight performance.

Click here for my entire review on RC Universe.

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Fliton Flubber 3D

Specifications
  Wingspan:  35" (889mm)
  Length:  34" (863mm)
  Weight RTF:  16 - 20 ounces
  Wing area:  255 square inches
  Motor:  Speed 300 geared

Introduction

The new Fliton Flubber 3D plane is a film-covered, balsa ARF that flies either 3D or pattern-style aerobatic maneuvers depending upon the installed power system. The Flubber 3D comes pre-built in three different base color schemes; Transparent, Red, and Orange and the design allows you to customize the finished look by painting the included clear plastic fuselage top, canopy, and wheel pants. Additional detailing can be added with the supplied sticker sheet so the overall look is only limited by your imagination.

Click here for my entire review on RC Universe.

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T3D Cap from eDogFight.com

The T3D CAP™ is a 3D trainer model for intermediate to advance skill level pilots. The wing and fuselage are made from EPS foam to achieve the lightest weight possible. The T3D comes with a motor and prop. It uses a standard Lite Stik power system on a 2-cell LiPoly pack. All up it weighs about 5oz so it has sufficient power to hover in place. 

Click here for my entire review on the E-Zone.

Wingspan: 27.5"
 Length: 27.2"
Wing area: 158 sq. in.
Weight: 5 oz
Wing Loading: 3.7 oz/sq. ft.
Motor: GWS DX-A (supplied)
 Prop: GWS 10x4.7 prop (supplied)
ESC: GWS ICS-50 2-amp ESC
Radio: 4 channel with GWS Pico R4/PH receiver
Available From: eDogFight.com

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Kyosho "Flash" EP M-36

My "Flash" uses a Lemans AP36 motor, 9x6 prop, unknown gearbox ratio, and an 8-cell 1900SCR pack, RTF at 48oz.  My pride ship is the mysterious Kyosho Flash. An original IC kit from Yoshioka that Kyosho re-sized for electric flight. It is now discontinued. My "Flash" uses a stock setup with one extra 8th cell added. This semi-symmetrical, low wing pattern ship really moves fast and is incredibly stabile in both normal and inverted flight. A very nice size ship for electric pattern flying! I consider it a "design before its time".

The original 47" span Yoshioka Flash S can still be seen here in Japan for 15,000 Yen (about $120 US). I only wish they had on-line ordering! ;)

Specifications:

  • Kyosho Flash EP Sport Plane
  • Wingspan = 47"
  • Wing Area = 347 sq. in.
  • Wing Loading = 17 oz/sq. ft.
  • Length = 34"
  • RTF @ 48oz. (3.0 lbs.)
  • Kyosho Endoplasma motor with 2.5:1 gearbox
  • ESC Castle Creations Pegasus 35
  • Kyosho 9x6 Nylon prop
  • 28 amps @ 10000 RPMs with 8-cells of 1900SCR
  • 250 watts of pure thrills
  • Alternate packs used are:
  •      8-cells of CP2400SCR
  •    10-cells of CP1700SCR (same size but 40amps and xxxxx RPMs!)

Modifications from Stock:

  • added an 8th cell
  • replaced the AP36 motor with a Kyosho Endoplasma
  • moved the CG back 1/2"
  • increased the rudder size by 20%

My Kyosho Flash motor has been upgraded to Plettenberg Freestyle XL direct drive brushless motor. Read my complete review here.

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Akro "Champion" from Hobby Lobby

Imagine a 4-channel, full house, symmetrical wing design in a 10-12oz package! This is the new Akro "Champion" design from Hobby Lobby. It is made in Slovakia (formerly CZ Republic) and was designed by a world class free-flight champion. For $100, you get a fully built and covered in Litespan sport plane with a motor, gearbox, and prop. This plane flies like a true acrobat and is very hard to take your eye off of...during or even after flight.

I have 2 Champions that are built differently. Below is my stock body Champion with various power systems I have tried. I also have another Champion that I initially tried to fly indoors but ended up with unexpected results. Read all about my "Indoor Champion Saga" here or on the E-Zone here.

Champion_thumb.jpg (15881 bytes) HL_ChampionTop_thumb.JPG (4553 bytes) HL_ChampionSide_thumb.JPG (5437 bytes)

Stock Specifications:

  • Akro "Champion" Full-House Street Flyer
  • Wingspan = 28.5"
  • Wing Area = 218 sq. in.
  • Length = 27.5"
  • RTF @ 11.5oz
  • stock MIG280 motor with 3.0:1 gearbox
  • ESC Great Planes C-10
  • stock 9x7 Nylon prop
  • x.x amps @ xxxx RPMs with 8-cells of 720mAh NiMH

Modified 280BB Specifications:

  • RTF @ 13oz.
  • Speed 280BB motor with 3.5:1 MJ gearbox
  • ESC Great Planes C-20 ESC
  • APC 8x6 prop
  • 9.5 amps @  5600 RPMs with 8-cells of 800mAh NiMH 5/4AAA
  • added a tiny 1/2" tailwheel to the rudder bottom for great ground tracking

Modified Astro Flight 010 Specifications:

  • AF 801G Geared Brushless 010 motor
  • RTF @ 13oz.
  • 3.3:1 AF Superbox
  • ESC Astro Flight Sensorless Variable Control for 010, 0-6 amps
  • APC 9x4.5 prop
  • 63 watts
  • 5.3 amps @  6800 RPMs with 10-cells of 720mAh NiMH

Specifications with Model Motors' Aerix Mini-7 Brushless Motor:

  • AC 1215/16 Speed 280-size brushless motor
  • RTF @ 13oz.
  • 3.46:1 MJ gearbox MJ8009
  • Jeti JES 18-3P Sensorless brushless ESC for up to 18 amps
  • APC 9x6 e-prop or 9x6 slowflyer prop
  • 9.5 amps @  5200 RPMs
  • 8-cells of 800mAh 5/4AAA NiMH

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Kavan "Mad Dog"

Click for a larger image of my Kavan Mad-Dog When Hobby Lobby had their Kavan Mad-Dog blowout sale for $50, I just had to try one! There was very little information on this German one-piece foamie design. A few reports did not look promising. It was a heavy design for a 36" wingspan.

I decided to put plenty of power and speed into this ship because I knew it was heavy and was not going to be a slow flyer. I gave it several good attempts but it was simply too heavy to be a good flyer on a direct drive Speed 600 setup. I de-commissioned it and eventually sold it to an R/Cer that used it with a glow engine .

Specifications:

bulletKavan Mad-Dog Foam Combat Plane bulletWingspan = 36" bulletWing Area = 330 sq. in. bulletLength = 32" bulletRTF @ 56oz. (3.5 lbs.) bulletVelkom 24/10 Dual Ball-bearing Ferrite motor bulletESC Castle Creations Pegasus 35 bulletGraupner 7x5 Super Nylon prop bullet30 amps @ 14600RPM with 8-cells of 1900SCR <----estimated

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Hacker "Arrow 3D" Sport Plane

This is my new pattern ship from Europe. The Hacker Arrow 3D.

Arrow3Dtop_thumb.JPG (4994 bytes) Arrow3Dcontrols_thumb.JPG (4969 bytes) Arrow3Dangled_thumb.JPG (4607 bytes)

Arrow3Dbunny_thumb.JPG (4714 bytes) Arrow3Dprofile_thumb.JPG (4629 bytes)

A good pilot always checks out the gear...

Specifications:

bulletHacker Arrow 3D Super Aerobatic airplane bulletWingspan = 57.1" (1450mm) bulletWing Area = ??? sq. in. bulletLength = 55" (1400mm) bulletRTF @ 120 oz. (7.5 lbs.) on 16-cells bullet(Zero-cell weight is 87oz.) bulletAstro Flight 625G Cobalt motor bulletESC Jeti 450 bulletAPC 12x8 e-prop bullet500 watts at 31 amps @ xxxxx RPM with 16-cells of 1900SCR

Click here for my Arrow 3D page.

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Wattage "Extra 330L" Sport Plane

Specifications:

  • Wingspan: 32"
  • Wing Area: 200 sq. in.
  • Length: 30"
  • Flying Weight: RTF @ 28oz. (24oz stock)
  • Motors used: geared Speed 480 motor
  • Prop: 8x6.5
  • Cells: 8-cell CP1300SCR NiCd pack
  • Speed Control: Jeti JES25
  • Radio and gear: GWS R4-P micro receiver and 3 HS-55 sub-Micro servos
  • Manufacturer: Wattage

Below is the current setup that I am most happy with on my Wattage Extra 330L. It has a great combination of power and lighter airframe. This little 32" scale model has proven to be a difficult size to obtain good power and a reasonable wingloading. I feel that the power system below is a good combination of both.

  • Mega 16/15/7 direct drive brushless motor
  • AeroNaut 10x7 black carbon prop
  • RTF @ 24.5oz
  • 8 HE cells, 15amps, 6100 RPMs, 100 W, 6.0oz pack
  • 8 CP1300 cells, 19amps, 7000 RPMs, 175 W, 10.6oz pack

Click here for my old review on the E-Zone.

Click here for my rather long thread that covers the steps that lead to my current favorite setup above.

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Wattage "Crazy Max" 3D Sport Plane

Specifications:

Wingspan: 35"
Wing Area: 284 sq. in.
Length: 26"
Flying Weight: 13.0oz.
Motor used: Speed 370 motor with gearbox and prop (included)
Prop: 7.5x5 prop (included)
Cells: 8-cell 800mAh NiMH pack
Speed Control: Wattage IC-15A
Radio and gear: GWS R4-P micro receiver and 3 or 4 HS-55 sub-Micro servos
Manufacturer: Wattage
Available From: Hobby People

Click here for my review on the E-Zone.

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JR Models' Tiger Diablo

1/2 Scale F3A Pattern Plane

 

The Tiger Diablo is one nice looking pattern plane! In fact, it is a true 1/2 scale F3A design. On my first test flight, the horizontal stabilizer wobbled and required a modification. Although I wasn't able to give it a true workout, it flew impressively true at slower speeds. It showed no bad habits even when flying just above the stall speed. It looked like it flew on rails!

The geared Speed 480 plane launched with plenty of authority and landed gently in the grass. I have already fixed the horizontal stabilizer by routing carbon fishing line (Fireline) around the tail through tiny tubes.

For a more detailed report that includes my step-by-step assembly instructions, look for my review in the May 2003 issue of Quiet Flyer magazine.

I needed to secure the tail with fishing line and tubing to eliminate flutter on the horizontal stabilizer. I also taped the bottom side of the ailerons to reduce wind flow through the gap. After several test flights, I added an HLHS150 spinner from Hobby Lobby for a better finished look.

The Tiger Diablo is a beautiful flyer and a great looking plane!

Here are some pictures showing my component layout scheme.

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Potensky Cobra and Eagle

Click here for my review of both models on the E-Zone.

Eagle Hop-Up

My Eagle now uses a GWS EPS-300C (CS) 5.33:1 geared Speed 300 motor and a GWS 11x8 prop on a 3-cell Lithium pack. After burning out several 6v Speed 300 motors, I switched to a 280BB motor that provides even more power and can handle the abuse of hovering. To keep the current draw at about 10amps maximum, I switched to an 11x4.7 prop.

More Eagle Hop-Ups

I replaced my Hitec 555 receiver with an M5 from FMA Direct. The M5 is a full strength receiver (dual conversion) that is about the size of a GWS R4-P receiver but half the weight of a 555 receiver. (0.30 oz vs. 0.75oz)

The M5 fits better in the Eagle or the Cobra than the Hitec 555 and it reduces weight for lower current hovering.

I decided to try a Razor brushless motor from Bishop Power Products. It is the RZ-400 model. 

When comparing the size and weight of my RZ-400 to some popular brushed motors that it can replace, you can see that there will be a big performance increase from the added power and reduced weight.

bulletSpeed 400 motor = 2.6oz bulletSpeed 300 motor = 1.7oz bulletSpeed 280 motor = 1.4oz bulletRazor 400 motor = 1.0oz

My application uses a Potensky Eagle with a GWS EPS-300C (CS) 5.33:1 gearbox, a GWS 10x8 prop, and a 3-cell Lithium pack like the Kokam 1500HD.

The pinion gear pressed onto the motor shaft. Alternatively, you can lightly tap it onto the shaft using a hammer and adjustable wrench opened just wide enough for the motor shaft. It is always best to support the opposite end of the shaft on a metal surface to absorb the taps.

The Razor motor simply fit in the same holes with the screws that came with the motor. It doesn't fit in the plastic housing of the gearbox but it can be shimmed with 4 small plywood pieces to support the body.

The RZ-400 can draw up to about 10amps. It can hover at half throttle now which is about 5-6amps. It seems a perfect fit for my 3-cell, Kokam 1500HD packs.