Great Planes Factor 3D ARF

By Geoff Barber Simple design, spectacular performance. Abridged review and flight video. Featured in the Summer 2014 Park Pilot.


Type: Sport/3-D ARF Skill level: Intermediate pilots Minimum flying area: Large park or club field Wingspan: 38 inches Weight: 28-32 ounces. Length: 41.5 inches Price: $119.99 Info:


• Colorful trim scheme • Compact size • Quick assembly • Park Pilot Program eligible • Large magnetic canopy/battery hatch for easy access • Removable wing panels

Abridged Review

Are you looking for a great all-around electric airframe that can perform sport-style aerobatics as well as 3-D? If so, look no further! The new Factor 3D ARF from Great Planes can perform any maneuver imaginable. From basic loops and rolls, to Harriers, waterfalls, and torque rolls, the Factor can do it all! Before I touched a single piece of the model, I read through the assembly manual. This was really helpful once I started the actual assembly process. With the manual read, I installed a Futaba 3156 micro servo in each wing panel, followed by the aileron control horn and pushrod. An alignment pin was glued into each root rib, near the trailing edge (TE). I attached the RimFire .10 brushless outrunner motor to the firewall, and secured the ESC to the bottom of the battery tray. The ESC is held in place with a piece of the included adhesive-backed Velcro. Another short section of Velcro holds the receiver to the clear covering that makes up the ‘floor’ inside the fuselage. Decals were applied, and I secured the 3S 2,200 mAh LiPo to the battery tray to check the center of gravity (CG). I ended up adding 1 ounce of lead weight to the firewall to balance the Factor at the recommended 41/4 inches back from the leading edge (LE) of the wing where it meets the fuselage. That may seem like a lot of extra weight for this airplane, but the Factor didn’t know it was there when pulling out of a hover. With the airplane balanced, all that remained was to set the control throws. My Futaba 7C doesn’t offer me the option of three settings for control throws, so I set the two positions for low and 3-D.

Flight Video

Promotional Video

Let me begin by saying that there are two ways to fly this airplane: mild and wild. With the controls set on low and 25% exponential, the Factor is pretty docile, though I wouldn’t in any way recommend this airplane for a beginner. Everything about flying the Factor is smooth and responsive—like a good sport airplane should be! Takeoffs and landings are easy and require no special talent, and flying is fun! Flip the switch to 3-D rates, and the Factor becomes a different airplane—I mean that in a good way! I set the exponential to 60% on my Futaba 7C per the manual, so the Factor was still pretty docile with small movements of the sticks. But when I was really banging the sticks, the airplane came alive! In conclusion, I really like the Great Planes Factor 3D ARF. It went together easily without running into problems, can be flown using economically priced equipment, and it flew great! I like that this airplane also fits into the Park Pilot Program. It’s just one of many reasons why every intermediate and expert pilot should have his or her own Factor 3D ARF! Whether you’re looking for a great, new sport airplane or a 3-D machine, the Factor 3D ARF will fit the bill. The Factor can handle all types of aerobatic flying, but really excels in the 3-D arena. Read the entire review in the Summer 2014 issue of Park Pilot. Geoff Barber



Futaba 7C you can have three settings of control throws you just use the switch at the right side which have three positions and that is all.

I am an intermediate sport pilot and a beginning 3D pilot and am really looking forward to flying this airplane.

Shot you a request. Good article. But I would really like your opinion on an alternate servo. Those servos are pricy and I just finished one plane and working on a conversion of a 60 4 star... so funds are tight. Plus I just got out of jail. Partied to hard. Now they want money.

Would I be able to use A Rimfire 400, HS45HB servos, Electrifly SS-25 Brushless ESC on
the Factor 3D? These are parts that I have!
thank you for your time!

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