I picked up the e-Flite Beast UMX Bind-n-Fly Biplane model way back in the early Winter before it started snowing.
The Beast UMX (Ultra-Micro eXtreme) by e-Flite is intended to be a 3D capable mini model of the large scale radio control Beast, which itself is a mini model of the full scale ‘The Beast’ which is based on a modified Pitts 12 Biplane. So its a model of a model of a real plane. The Beast UMX doesn’t quite keep up the appearance of the full scale Beast, and not too much of the 100cc Beast model biplane but they have done quite a bit for a plane which is made out of thin and light foam and it’s a great little plane.
eFlite Beast UMX Packaging and Included Accessories
The Beast UMX has a 14.7 inch wingspan and is about 15 inches long as well. The plane is propelled by a 180 size 2300kv brushless outrunner and a 5×2.75 inch prop. The power system is supplied by a 2s 7.2 volt 120mAh 20c Lithium-Polymer battery pack which mounts inside the cowl of the airplane. One battery is included with the kit as is the small 12 volt powered battery charger. Everything that comes with the plane fits inside of the nice eFlite packaging which is standard with their smaller park and indoor flyers. The plane is held securely and there are positions in the foam for the charger and up to three batteries.
eFlite Beast UMX Radio Setup and Controls
The Beast was easy to setup with my Futaba 9CHP with Spektrum model and everything went as planned there. The directions are very straight forward on the binding process and if you’ve bound other planes which use the AR6400 receivers you’ll have no trouble at all. I set the plane up for the max control throws and I programmed in a lot of exponential to soften the control throws around the center of the sticks. Below you can see the AR6400 / AR6400BL receiver with the built in brushless motor controller through the canopy window. The Ar6400 sits right over the lower wing. The ESC, rudder and elevator servos are built right into the AR6400BL and the aileron servos are externally mounted on the wings. The upper and lower ailerons are connected by fine carbon linkage rods.
The linkage from the AR6400 run through the fuse via thin carbon rods which are connected to metal endpoints with heat shrink tubing and glue. Note: If you wreck the plane, before going up again check the tail linkages and aileron linkages to make sure they control horns have not slid up the pushrod as shown below. I noticed this and it concerned me a bit because it happens so easily if you even just press on the surface, but I’ve not had any problems with it in my first 5 flights.
eFlite Beast UMX First Flight Preperation
To get ready for flight all you have to do is charge up the battery and take the front cowl off to install it. The front cowl is held on with a notch in the back of the cowl and two strong magnets which is more than suitable for this size aircraft. Turn on your previously bound radio and connect the battery to the battery connector. Battery placement is up to you. Slight adjustments of the batteries location can greatly adjust the models center of gravity. I found for a tail heavy setup the leading edge of the battery pack should be in line with the leading edge of the foam battery platform closest to the 2400kv brushless motor. If you want the plane to be a bit more stable then the battery, on my model, was a couple of centimeters forward of the leading edge of the foam battery platform.
My First Flight on the eFlite Beast UMX
I was hoping to get a couple of flights in before the weather got really bad but unfortunately the day I tried it in a parking lot the wind was terrible and I wrecked the plane into the pavement. That was no fun. Fortunately the Beast UMX is incredibly repairable and all you really need is some foam safe CA (cyanoacrylate / modeling super glue) and accelerator to carry out many repairs. The first flight/crash damaged the wings and actually tore them. I was able to separate the torn halves carefully and coat them in glue then push them back together to fix the wing. The carbon fiber support wires which give the wing strength also pulled their mounting points off of the wing and those were easy to repair as well. The photos below show the repaired wing and mounting point.
Most Recent Flights on the eFlite Beast UMX
So we fast forward to last weekend. I had the Beast UMX back together and ready to fly and Ollie had just gotten his backup helicopter assembled so we went out flying.
Despite the high winds, relative to the size of the plane, The Beast flew pretty well but I had forgotten to take the video camera or still camera with me. Last night I went out to the field with Bryn and the cameras and he shot some video of me flying the biplane. The wind wasn’t much better as you can see in the videos further down the page. I had the plane set for the high control throws with very high exponential to keep things smoother near the center of the sticks and I still had a hard time keeping it in the air as the wind would push me down, knock me around and cause the model to weather-vane. Even so I had a lot of fun. My first recorded flight is just below.
At the end of the above flight I crashed the biplane. I was lucky enough to find some sticky foam in the truck and I used that to fix the damage which was a broken wing strut and a broke cross-bracing support. If I had remembered the foam safe CA glue I could have used that to repair the plane instead.
I fixed things up with the tape and was back up and flying in no time and wrestling with the Beast UMX in high winds, funfun!
My Summary of the E-Flite Beast UMX
I really enjoy this little biplane and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it even more once I’m able to fly it on a calm day. Hopefully by then I’ll have flown so much in adverse conditions that I will look like a professional pilot.
- The plane is all ready to go, you just need to bind your radio, set the control throws and then fly
- The Beast biplane is super portable, you can take it almost anywhere with you and there’s a lot of options for flying fields
- Great structural bracing throughout
- Flights are about 3-5 minutes each depending on how you fly
- Parts are relatively cheap to order
- Many parts are very small to work on if you need to replace a wing, etc.
- Only one battery included with the plane. It should be two for more fun and value
If you’ve flown the eFlite Beast UMX or have any questions I may be able to answer please let me know by using the comment form below. All comments are held for moderation to keep foul language and abusive comments out of the blog, but otherwise positive and negative comments will be let through.