E-Flite T-34 Mentor EPTS RTF:

What does RTF mean to you?  Well, to me it simply means “Ready to Fly”.  I’d say this offering from E-Flite is more of a JARTF, or “Just About Ready to Fly” ....  I’m not often disappointed in E-Flite’s products, and only in a minor way with this one.

Let’s back up a step or two, the looks of this plane is awesome.  With its red, white and black covering scheme, and it’s very just about scale lines, this is one pretty bird.  Lacking, is a pilot or two.  The canopy area is so big, that E-Flite really should have installed one or two just to make the plane look right in the air.  But, on the runway, you would have to agree it’s a beautiful plane.

On to the assembly ....  Most everything went together really well.  I decided to do away with the NCAA Drop leading edge and install a flap servo.  I can see how these items would do very well for someone learning to fly a low wing, aileron, airplane.  But, for myself I thought the plane looked much better without them, and hoped for more lively flight characteristics.

The building snags hit with the tail.  The rudder bolts through the fuselage, holding itself and the horizontal stabilizer onto the airframe.  Nothing lined up here and some drilling and reaming was needed.  When all was said and down, it took an extra half hour of fiddling to accomplish.  The tail cone does not fit properly, coming in contact with the horizontal stabilizer, so the test flight was flown without it.  I’ll order another, in hopes that between the two I can modify things to make it work as intended.

I did learn a new lesson with this plane, on the first takeoff run it spit the prop and spinner right off.  Now I know, this must be checked right out of the box.  Once again, what does RTF mean to you??  To me it means the prop and spinner have been tightened already.

As it turns out, the included prop, spinner, and prop adaptor do not allow enough threads for the prop to be tightened properly.  See the photo, there’s only about 2 threads sticking out of the prop!  The first flight was without the spinner ...  I’ll search around the shop and see if I can find things to make it work for the next outing.

So, flying the T-34 was ok.  Without the spinner, I would have to guess that it was very slightly tail heavy, as the plane did not feel solid in the air and really reacted differently to varying airspeed.  Power was ok, but not outstanding.  Along the lines of what you would expect from a stock Parkzone warbird.

I’ll stop this review here and revisit again after the bugs are worked out and I get a few more flights on the T-34...

...  Ok, time to revist this review!

I've had more flights on the T-34 and can say it's much better now than the first flight!  I rebalanced the plane, put on an aluminum E-Flite spinner and APC prop.  The plane lands and tracks much better.  It would be an excellent choice for an intermediate pilot, looking for an aileron airplane above the foamie level.  For the money, the combo is hard to beat.  But, be prepared to have some extra time wrapped up in assembly and double checking the work already done for you.  I still have to tackle the tail cone, but I'm sure that should be an easy fix.


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