• RCM&E review published Jan 2102

Arriving towards the end of 2011, E-flite's Carbon-Z Scimitar certainly looked the part, the racy delta-wing pusher sharing the Carbon-Z Yak 54's modular construction rationale while adding a new dimension in the form of single-axis vectored thrust (VT) across yaw. The power system, an E-flite 32-size outrunner, 4S 30C 3200mAh Li-Po battery and 60-amp ESC delivered plenty of pusher urge and high power mini and micro servos throughout drove the elevons, rudders and VT mechanism. Supplied with fixed gear the machine was designed to accept E-flite's 10-15 size electric retracts.

 

I reviewed the model in RCM&E's January 2012 issue, liked it a lot and still do. It's incredibly (frighteningly) agile aeroplane when the VT is activated yet offers fast and smooth flight for those who prefer to punch big holes in the sky. 

The airframe has proved to be very robust - I've treated it to a few rough landings and expected the fins to suffer but I've yet to break anything. Some paint chips are evident (it's a foamy after all) and I have added some pieces of glass-fibre tape here and there, mainly on the fin undersides, where hangar rash was making itself felt.

The VT servo failed in April and I haven't replaced it. Those fins are easy to move when transporting the model so I'm not sure if perhaps I was to blame but it was disappointing nonetheless. I found that I flew it big and smooth 80% of the time and, with plenty of agility on tap without the VT, didn't bother to fit a new servo and locked-off the mechanism.

This model often surprises those who come across it for the first time simply due to its size so I did worry that the 10-15 size retracts might not be big enough to cope but my worries have proved unfounded and they've managed well - the only piece of maintenance being a twisted leg fixed by tightening a grub screw.

 

Take off and landing remain the tricky bits from the flying perspective. Take offs are far easier on smoother surfaces, the trike gear providing more resistance in long grass. A firm pull on elevator gets the model away although it's important to allow sufficient speed to build before doing so. That forgivving delta wing configuration will help if you pull up too early though so just about all premature lift-offs should be survivable.

At the other end of the flight, the landing needs care as those big elevators are very powerful making it horribly easy to over-do the flare and leave the model 1-2ft off the deck with practically no airspeed at all. Do this and it'll just drop down vertically in an unflattering fashion.

That's the Scimitar, six months finds it still in the fleet, still being flown and enjoyed. I didn't really dig the VT but perhaps that's just me, VT across both yaw and pitch might be a different matter!         

DATAFILE
Name:  Carbon-Z Scimitar
Model type:  Ready-to-fly prop jet
Manufactured by: E-flite
UK distributor: Horizon Hobby UK, Tel. 01279 641097
www.horizonhobby.co.uk
RRP:      £359.99 (BNF), £274.99 (PNP)
Wingspan: 42.5” (1080mm)
Wing area: 3.9sq. ft. (0.4sq. m)
All-up weight: 4 lb 6oz (2kg)
Wing loading: 18oz / sq. ft. (5.5kg / sq. m)
Functions (servos): Elevon (2); rudder (2); vectored thrust (1); nose wheel steering (1); throttle (via ESC); optional retracts.