Out of the box, there is little assembly required, but you must bind the model to your Spektrum radio and attach the landing gear.
SPECIFICATIONS: Wingspan: 22.12 inches Length: 20.31 inches Weight: 6.8 ounces with an 850 mAh 3S 30C battery Wing area: 83.7 sq. in. Battery: 2S or 3S 850 mAh LiPo Price: $179.99 Info: horizonhobby.com
Features: >> Spektrum receiver with 2.4 GHz DSMX technology >> Completely factory assembled and ready to fly right out of the box >> Strengthened airframe including a carbon-fiber-reinforced fuselage and nose >> Real-time battery voltage telemetry via compatible Spektrum transmitters >> Fits 450 to 850 mAh LiPo batteries for a wide range of performance and flight times
>> It was supposed to die. A Cold War relic that had outlived its usefulness, or so it was thought. The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, aka Warthog, is a combat machine that has turned out to be very hard to replace. Introduced in 1977, it has undergone several modernization upgrades and continues to be the premier ground attack and close-in support aircraft in the U.S. Armed Forces. In that same spirit, E-flite has also upgraded its venerable UMX A-10 to meet more modern “battlefield” conditions. First introduced in 2016, the twin EDF (electric ducted-fan) park flyer proved popular with modelers because of its sprightly performance at the time. But like anything, there is always room for improvement. This is where the updated UMX A-10 comes in. The low-visibility, gray camouflage has been supplanted by the more “earthier” tones of a desert camouflage scheme. Powerwise, the fan size has been increased from 28mm to 30mm in diameter. To go with the larger fans, there are brushless motors and ESCs sized to handle not just 2S, but also 3S LiPo battery packs. To keep everything cool, there are entry and exit cooling vents on the bottom of the fuselage. A bonus for those with telemetry-capable Spektrum radios, the UMX A-10 now transmits telemetry data, including rpm and battery voltage, so there’s no more guessing what the battery level is while you’re flying. There is now an option to remotely enable SAFE mode for extra stabilization and bank angle limiting. Lastly, the nose area of the fuselage is reinforced to better withstand rough landings. The A-10 comes completely assembled in a retail box that doubles as a carrying case with a carrying handle. The surface details are very good, with recessed panel lines and all of the decals applied at the factory. The model is a full, four-channel affair that surprisingly includes working rudders via a cross-linked tail servo. There is also nonretractable landing gear with a steerable nose wheel that can be removed for those who prefer to hand launch and belly land. Binding the model to the transmitter is easy and doesn’t require a bind plug or pushing a button on the receiver. It will automatically enter bind mode if it doesn’t detect the transmitter after 5 seconds. Once bound, it’s a good idea to activate the telemetry on the transmitter. For my flight testing, I used an 850 mAh 3S G2 Smart battery. This is the new Spektrum Smart technology battery that no longer has a separate balance connector. It uses a connector with a dedicated data link that allows it to “talk” to Smart chargers and Smart ESC-equipped models. Also of note is that E-flite has changed the battery connector in this UMX model to an IC2. Although unusual for a UMX model, I think it is a good change because this is a connector that not only allows telemetry from Smart batteries but also handles much higher power levels than the micro connectors that were previously used. The IC2 connector in the A-10 is backward compatible with non-Smart batteries that are equipped with EC2 connectors. The first flights were on a slightly breezy day. Because of those conditions, I elected to hand launch the jet while in SAFE mode, which didn’t go so well. Apparently, I didn’t throw it at a high enough angle, which resulted in a shallow flight into the tall grass. (The model also might not have not been at full power.) The second attempt was at a slightly higher angle and resulted in a nice climbout at full throttle. The first thing that I noticed was the model’s excess power. It will go straight up with nearly unlimited vertical. In fact, it might be unlimited, but I don’t have the eyesight to test it. Level flight is also speedy, and the jet will quickly turn into a little speck in the sky if you are not careful. Fortunately, the desert camouflage scheme is relatively easy to see in flight. The default settings in SAFE mode felt good when backing off the power to cruise around the field. I had no problems flying around at much reduced power levels. It was reasonably maneuverable without being overly sensitive. Although limited in banking and pitching angles, there was still plenty of control authority. If you just want to slowly cruise, the UMX A-10 does that quite well. The long, straight wing enables the model to slow down quite nicely and still maintain good control.
The optional fixed landing gear simply plugs in. The nose wheel is steerable.
The upgraded UMX A-10 now uses a three-cell battery and the new IC2 connector for extra power.
Disabling SAFE mode, where there is only some basic stabilization, allows the freedom to do any type of aerobatics, such as big loops and fairly quick rolls. The rudders are reasonably effective—enough for both coordinated and stall turns. I could even perform rudder-only turns, but don’t expect to do any knife-edge flying. Inverted flight is stable, but you have to keep the speed up—otherwise you will run out of elevator authority to maintain level flight. Regardless, throwing the sticks in the corners nets you a fun little machine for small-field flying. It’s capable of quick turns, with no tendency to tip stall. Even with lots of high-powered maneuvering, I could easily get 5-minute flights. (I even coaxed a 10-minute flight with very careful power management.) I’ve been able to do a wheel-less takeoff by sliding off of short grass. What is effectively version two of the UMX A-10 is a pure delight to fly, with a highly visible paint scheme and extra durability. The power package upgrades are a real kick in the pants and let you easily use brute force power to get out of a bad situation. All in all, it’s an easily transportable model that’s ready to go at any time.
The desert camouflage paint scheme is easy to see in the air.
By Fitz Walker | firstname.lastname@example.org