E-Flite Mini Showtime 4D Build Review

Last weekend the inevitable happened – I crashed my Brio 10. Though overall the plane flew quite nicely, its bad tendency to snap with elevator input finally got the best of me and it went into the ground. I had about 30 flights on it, and no matter how docile I was with it, it always felt like it had a mind of its own. Though repairable, I decided to pull all the electronics out and drop it into a new plane. And what better plane than the E-Flite Mini Showtime 4D. It’s a direct fit for the Park 480 1020 kv motor, S75 servos, 40A ESC, and 3S TP 2200 V2 battery. What sold me on this plane was a single sentence of a review over at RCGroups.com where they stated that the plane had “no tendency to snap out” no matter how much elevator input they gave it, and above all things, that’s what I wanted. Not to mention the super-large wind area as compared to mt Brio 10. This plane is more geared for 3D and not so much of a pattern flyer like the Brio 10 was. It should be able to stay afloat at much lower air speeds and hopefully won’t be dropping a wing every time I bank around a turn at half throttle.

The build went together with only a few minor hiccups. The major two issues I had were the lack of necessary parts to complete the plane. They shorted me two of the CF rods for the rear stab as well as the little 1/2″ spacer for the spinner. I managed to fabricate a spacer (out of an old 5×5 prop) to get the spinner to work properly and I stole a couple of CF rods from my Great Planes Extra. But still, no one likes having to fabricate their own parts with a Dremel or steal parts from other kits to get a new plane up and running. This seems to be common complaint with E-Flite planes on these very two issues. You think they would have figured it out by now? Maybe I got an older kit? Either way, E-Flite should fix the problem. (I never did get the spinner to work on my Brio for the same reason).

Other than that, the plane was a lot of fun to put together and was accomplished in just a few hours over a 2 day period. The other reason I picked this plane is it just looks so stinking awesome. I love the color scheme, much cooler than the Extra 260 (which was the other plane I debated). The clear undercoat really adds to the planes looks too. It’s got a massive rudder that sits out far behind the elevator and has a steerable tailwheel so taxing around should be a breeze.

While setting up my radio and getting all the control surfaces adjusted, I noticed my S75 servo on the elevator was clicking at max deflection. I turned down the EPA a bit as it was just barely on the edge of pushing the elevator beyond its physical max deflection capability. I think I am going to replace just that one servo with a Hitec HS-65HB servo mainly because I did kind of a crappy job installing the elevator into the stab and it’s pretty stiff going up and down. The servo appears to be having a harder time moving it. I shouldn’t have glued those hinges so tight, but oh well, not much I can do about it now. I think the S75 may work fine, and for the rudder and ailerons they should be fine. Those hinges all worked out really well and move super smoothly and freely. Just that stinking elevator I made too tight. So an HS-65HB has 25 in.oz. of torque which only weighs 4.1 grams more should do the trick. I could use the tail weight anyway, since it’s nose heavy right now. CG is about 3.75″ instead of the recommended 4.5″. I really worry about the elevator servo more than the others, because if that one fails, I’m pretty sure the plane would be toast, but any of the others go, I feel like I could still bring it down in one piece. So if I have to have one servo not fail for sure, it’s the elevator. And $25 seems like a small investment to make on what could potentially be a fatal first flight.

For the prop I’m starting out with an APC 12x6E and we’ll see how she flies and go from there. I know I’m looking for something that will allow the plane to fly a little slower than the 11x7E I was flying with my Brio 10. After running some static tests I can say that little Park 480 motor can move some air! Swinging a massive 12″ prop it has no problems just cranking it out. I really need to get a power meter to see what kind of power I’m really getting, but I’ll just stick with the recommended prop settings for now and hope for the best.

Here’s a few pics of the build. Maiden will probably come next week. Until then…oh and one other thing, Happy Father’s Day!

Here’s a few pics on the battery tray mod I had to do to get the CG just right:
RC Groups Page 41
RC Groups Page 42

About Dan

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9 Responses to E-Flite Mini Showtime 4D Build Review

  1. Don says:

    Dude, that plane is my favorite…I just bought it 3 weeks ago and still have yet to put it together…I can’t wait…i’ve flown other planes (extra 260, 300, edge 540, funtana X)…this plane is a ROCK in the air, and yes the elevator is just great…awesome control…can’t wait to put it together and stop flying my friend’s lol

  2. yves says:

    It sems like a great plane, the price have increase to
    159.99(was 119.99) want to buy one anny way.
    By the way, you should check your data about the “HS65HB”
    the weight is actualy 11.2 grams. (3 grams more X 4)

    Tanks for the comments about the missing parts…useful

  3. yves says:

    Found out something that might be useful,
    Go to http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4841

    Seems to be problems with the E-FLITE s75 servos
    I believe that the hitec HS-55HB is a good substitute

  4. Noddy says:

    I just picked one up today. I’m dissapointed, perhaps I have a Friday afternoon kit. I have several parts missing, not the usual small parts. I’m missing the cowl, the SFG’s and the horizontal stab. Oh well, when I arrived home I inspected the kit and discovered the missing parts, straight onto the phone and called the hobby store. They have ordered a replacement kit which I will collect in the coming week. On first appearance however the construction looks outstanding, superior to my Seagull Extra 300 ep.

  5. Noddy says:

    Ok, I got my replacement today, going together very smoothly so far, but I’m unsure whether or not to get a better quality spinner because the kit one is junk, or to leave it off all together and just leave the 480 turned aluminium prop nut which to be fair doesn’t look out of place as it is.

  6. Dan says:

    Sorry to hear about the missing parts. Did you get the right-sized spacer to make the stock spinner work? I don’t mind the stock spinner, it works fine and completes the look of the kit. I ran my Brio with just the aluminum nut and it looked fine, never worried about getting a spinner. So it’s up to you, obviously you don’t need the spinner, but it does look a bit better with it. So when is the maiden?

  7. Noddy says:

    I made the spinner work by making a spacer from an old Dubro item. It does look better with it fitted. All the gear went in today then I had to collect wifey from work so that stopped play. In the morning I’ll bind the RX to the TX program the esc and touch wood the maiden will be tomorrow afternoon (weather permitting here in the U.K.).

  8. Noddy says:

    Maidened it today as previously posted. What an anticlimax. I set rates for the first flight as per the manual and they made for a very controllable model although not what I would call responsive. High rates were set at “as much as you can get”. I very quickly tired of the tame model and went to max deflection where it really came alive. All I can say is absolutley fantastic, I’m very happy with the model. Superb.


  9. Ahmad says:

    Anyone knows why HobbyKing is removing this great paoplur plane from the online shop? The PNF version (which i own) is? no more to be seen, there are just a few ARF versions left to buy and soon they will be gone too! What is going on???

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