E-flite UMX Night Vapor RTF With AS3X and SAFE Select

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Written by Jay Smith
Updated and upgraded version of a popular slow flyer
As seen in the Spring 2021 issue of Park Pilot


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The Vapor can be flown in larger indoor spaces or outdoors in calm conditions. Jay Smith typically flies in his front yard with the driveway doubling as a runway.


SPECIFICATIONS:
Battery: LiPo (3.7 volts per cell)
Charger: Included
Completion level: RTF
Flying weight: 0-250 grams
Motor: Brushed
Length: 16.5 inches
Weight: 0.9 ounces with battery; 0.7 ounces without battery
Propeller size: 5.9 inches
Wingspan: 14.8 inches
Price: $129.99
Info: horizonhobby.com/e-flite/
Features:
>> Updated and upgraded version of the unique and ever-popular slow flyer that’s fun to fly in more places than ever before
>> Stronger, reinforced airframe to better handle collisions when flying indoors and in low-wind outdoor conditions
>> Fly indoors in large rooms, garages, gyms, or other suitable spaces, or outdoors in calm/light wind conditions
>> Factory-installed LED lights with the ability to change between different color options to fly day and night
>> RTF includes everything needed to fly in one box, so there’s nothing extra to buy or provide

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The RTF version comes with everything required to fly, including the AA batteries for the transmitter!


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The included 1S USB LiPo charger works well to charge the included battery. The light on the charger makes it easy to identify when the battery is charged.


>> The original Night Vapor made its debut a little more than 10 years ago. It wasn’t the first Vapor—just the first one with lights. We were introduced to the very first aircraft to carry the name in 2008. Since that time, this indoor/calm outdoor flyer has been released in a few different variants, one of which even came with an installed FPV camera!
Remarkably, the current iteration of the Night Vapor is available as both BNF (Bind-N-Fly) and RTF (Ready-to-Fly) at the same price as it was upon its original release, but with more technology. The latest version has a stronger, reinforced airframe that includes more durable metal landing gear. It features LED lights that have the ability to change between different color options to easily identify your Vapor when flying with others, and it is outfitted with AS3X (Artificial Stabilization – 3-aXis) and SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) Select stabilization technology.
The wingspan remains the same as the original Night Vapor, but the new offering comes with a 150 mAh battery versus the 70 mAh included in the initial release. The larger battery and upgrades give the Vapor a ready-to-fly weight of 25 grams compared with the 16 grams of its predecessor.
In the past, I have had Vapors that were RTF and some that were BNF. It’s nice to have the option. The RTF version includes a game controller-type transmitter (MLP6DSM). Having everything needed to fly in an easy-to-store-and-transport box is appreciated. The included 1S USB LiPo charger works well to charge the battery, and the light on the charger makes it easy to identify when the battery is charged. Because I have the RTF version, after unpacking the model and the radio, charger, and battery, charging was all that was required. I recommend getting a few extra batteries. Additional 1S 150 mAh LiPo batteries such as the one that comes with the Vapor can be purchased for $4.50 each. Having three or four batteries is perfect to keep you flying for a while. If you have never flown a Vapor, it is important to point out that although it is capable of being flown indoors, you need a large room or space for it to be enjoyable. Something the size of a two-car garage is about right, although I have flown it in my single-car garage. The larger the indoor space, the more enjoyable it is to fly. Smaller spaces might require the Vapor to be flown in a high-alpha, near-stall situation to slow down the flying speed. The Vapor is a lot of fun to fly indoors and is sturdy enough to handle minor altercations with various objects that you might have in your indoor flying space. Taking off and landing on a coffee table, for instance, is a blast! The Vapor is also happy to fly outdoors, but you really need calm conditions for it to be enjoyable given how lightweight it is. I fly mine in my front yard and backyard. It makes for an enjoyable model on calm days, early mornings, or late evenings, and the lights help to extend when you can fly.
If you choose the RTF version, a nice feature of the transmitter is the ability to see telemetry data that shows flight battery voltage via the light on the front of it. Green indicates whether the battery is at or above 3.7 volts, yellow is between 3.3 and 3.7 volts, and red is less than 3.3 volts. The right stick of the RTF version allows you to change the control rates by depressing the stick.
The front and rear LED colors on the Night Vapor are selectable through the transmitter. The default colors are yellow in front and white in the rear. The other available colors are blue, red, green, or purple.
The Night Vapor’s AS3X works behind the scenes to smooth out the effects of wind and turbulence. The optional-use SAFE Select offers pitch and bank angle limits, along with automatic self-leveling. SAFE can be turned on or off at the flick of a switch on the transmitter.
Throughout the years, the Vapor has proven to be an enjoyable indoor/outdoor model for those who are looking to fly in small spaces. The latest version of the Night Vapor includes all of the fun of its predecessors, with a few new features to keep things fresh.

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The bright front and rear LED colors on the Night Vapor are selectable through your transmitter. The default colors are yellow in front and white in the rear. The other available colors are blue, red, green, or purple.


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The battery is attached to the underside of the Vapor. The battery plug is keyed so that it cannot be plugged in the wrong way.

 

By Jay Smith | jays@modelaircraft.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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