I did the maiden flight of my new E-flite Brio 10 this evening. I wasn’t planning on flying it today, since I just barely finished it this afternoon, but the weather was all too perfect to pass up, the winds were almost non-existent, and the packs were charged and ready to go. I talked the wife and kids to come along too, just in case I crashed the thing, I didn’t want it to be all for an audience of one. Besides, they’ve had to put up with me being away in the garage for the past 2 days, so I figure the least I could do is share in the joy that is the maiden flight of a new plane. So we all piled in the Tahoe and drove off to a previously determined area I scouted out during the week where I hadn’t flown before. This was going to be exciting. New scenery, a new plane and loved ones cheering me on.
I checked everything out before flying, just like you’re suppose to. Aside from simply being completely meticulous about the entire assembly of the plane, I went through all the other check lists in my head before taking to flight. I threw together a rudimentary CG checker with some glasses and a couple of triangle blocks from the kids toy bin (later that night I built a much nicer one). It looked to be about 105mm from the leading edge, dead center from the recommended 100-110mm. My Brio 10 came in around 30 oz. +/- 1 oz. due to my crappy scale. Which actually isn’t bad at all considering the massive TP eXtreme battery pack sitting in there. All the control surfaces checked out, up and down, left and right as they should. I set up the throws, the low and high rates, and made sure everything inside the canopy was nice and secure – receiver was Velcro’d down as well as the battery. I put a small piece of tape on the canopy just in case it flew off, although I got the updated version with the two neodymium magnets and it’s on there super tight, I don’t see how it could fly off mid-flight, but just in case, I threw on a piece of tape to be sure. Everything was set, I felt pretty sure I was ready for flight.
We drove out to an undeveloped area near my house, where that same huge wash runs through for miles and miles. Except out here there was a nice paved road at least a 1/4 mile long that makes a sudden and abrupt end in a pile of dirt right at the edge of the wash. A perfect runway, though not as wide as I would like, it was smooth and would do the job nicely. I’d just have to line up perfectly on the landing. I set the plane down, facing into what little breeze there was, flipped on my radio and attached the battery. I threw the sticks around a bit and gave the throttle a little nudge. This was it. The moment of truth. Would she fly or would she crash and burn?
Happily I can say that she most definitely flew and she flew like a dream. I often have read people say, “It’s a great plane, it goes where you point it.” And that’s exactly how I felt flying the Brio 10. It quite literally goes where you point it. I did nothing fancy on this first flight but a few rolls, one of the hugest, widest, longest loops I’ve done, a little bit of inverted flight, some climbing rolls, and a couple of low flybys so the kids could see it cruise by super fast. And oh boy is this thing fast. It’s definitely a sport plane as apposed to being a 3D-only plane. Just the sound of the prop and the way the wind hustles over the airframe was amazing to say the least. I managed to remain calm throughout most of the flight, though it was cold and I was super nervous that I was going to do something wrong, or a linkage or servo was just going to break, and then down she would go. I flew around for about 5 minutes or so and then decided to bring her down. Though I was anxious to keep flying, I really just wanted to get the maiden flight out of the way. Tomorrow I’ll take it to the park and really see what she can do. I never even hit the high-rates either. I stayed on low-rates the whole time and she flew like an absolute dream. It only took a click or two on the ailerons and three clicks on the elevator to fly perfectly level and straight. Before I took off the elevator was already a couple clicks up just in case. After landing it, all the control surfaces appeared to be completely flush with their respective stabilizer/wing surfaces, so thankfully I can presume I at least put the thing together correctly, at least the parts I had control over anyway. After all this is an ARF, almost the entire plane comes pre-built. But what an amazing plane. Just a joy to fly. My landing was garbage though, I think the left wing actually scraped the ground and then I rolled into the curb. Funny thing about planes you forget when you’re still pretty new to the hobby; planes don’t have brakes and the ailerons don’t turn the plane on the ground. Fortunately it was just a light bump and the wing and plane are fine.
I can’t say enough good things about the maiden flight of the E-flite Brio 10. It was simply awesome. I can’t wait till tomorrow when I can get her in the air again and really begin to see what this plane can do. For someone who has only been flying for about a year (actually, exactly one year ago this week I got my first plane, the Super Cub) this plane works out great as a fourth plane and flies exactly as you would expect it to. It’s stable, it’s predictable, that Park 480 motor has power to pull it straight up and like they say, it goes where you point it. I gotta say, I really love this plane, and I hope to have many more successful flights with it in the coming months. I’ll be sure to post any relative information I discover as well as hopefully get some video soon. I’m no 3D pro by any stretch of the imagination but for doing sport-type aerobatics and high-speed flybys, this plane is the best.