"Stop making excuses. Start making memories."
- Interchangeable wingtips: The FT Freedom Fox comes with two sets of wing setups, allowing you to achieve maximum STOL performance or sportier high-speed flight performance.
- Functional Nav Lights: A proper set of navigation lights is critical to keep the backcountry fun going late into the evening.
- Functional bush wheels: A set of huge soft wheels are critical when you are touching down in the most unforgiving landing zones.
- Steerable tail wheel: When it comes to back country flying, being able to maneuver on the ground is just as important as being able to maneuver through the sky.
- Fully articulating landing gear: The key ingredients to a good bush plane are slow flight capabilities and a beefy landing gear. The FT Freedom Fox has them both!
- Powerful 1250kv motor
- 30 Amp ESC with 40 Amp Burst 2-3S LiPo
- All servos and linkages preinstalled
- Easy to Assemble, no glue or tape required
STOL Wingspan: 1250mm
Speedster Wingspan: 1100MM
Flying Weight: 1156g
- 30A ESC
- Servos and linkages
Needed to complete:
- (1+) Battery: 3S 11.1V LiPo 2200mAh with XT60 connector
- (1) 2.4GHZ Radio System (Radio & Receiver)
- Misc. Building Supplies.
This product was added to our catalog on August 19, 2020
compared to the Freedom Fox. The Kitfox has me on my toes but I like a challenge. I love Flite Test and I thoroughly enjoy Trent's channel. Amain Hobby in Chico Ca ROCKS! Update 10/20...Definitely start by installing the Aura stabilizer. You wont regret it and its nearly a necessity to get familiar with this plane. Safe got me comfortable with it and now I dont need it. The more I fly it the more I like it. Im running a 2200mah 3s all the way forward and added a litte more nose weight. Plenty of power and my motor and esc never get too hot to touch. Ive only flown it off dirt, had a few rough landings so the tires are getting beat up, and I've had to do some creative repairs to the gear. Its a fun plane, and looks and handles as good on the ground as in the air. Sorry my 1st impression of this kit was so harsh, I should have taken more time with the setup and reciever. Careful with those flaperons. Another thing, just like Trent, you will want to take the wind into consideration. Anything other than a light breeze just keep it on the ground and fly on a better day.
Something defective and the plane was very unstable. Be careful if you fly and have a large open space. I lost mine to a tree but FT has stepped up with a refund. Will be glad to buy at later date when they determine flaws and get through china cheap parts.
First flight it instantly rolled right and straight into the ground. Checked her out again and found the CG correct and all control surfaces were good. Plane held up good and no damage. Remaining flights took off ok and started scale climb outs. Landings were way too tricky for a STOL aircraft. This design is off or if this is how the real plane flies Trent is in trouble. Last flight instantly nose high then stall. Recovered but very unstable so attempted to land. Seems like the elevator broke loose but wont be able to tell as the plane is 100 feet up in a tree and never coming down. First plane ever lost into a tree in 40 years and it makes me a little salty.
I wont ever give horizon hobby grief again. After this experience their planes are way more advanced and quality is top notch compared to this SKYARTEC clone with a paint job. However said paint job was awful quality and wing ribs were peeling off out of the box. I had such high hopes squashed in seconds.
Trent I would seriously oversee QC on this one moving forward!
Update: got her out of the tree, upon further inspection the speed control and motor wires were melted together. Could explain sporadic controls and motor. The elevator also separated as I expected. I wont give up and will order another plane in the coming months as I can sense there were some manufacturing defects and poor QC with the first batch.
Still don't think it is even close to being worth $249 but that remains to be seen.
Brian Phillips or RC Saylors need to do an unbiased review on this as I so believe they can provide some insight on whats really happening with this plane. I have a feeling all of these 5 star review are FT friends and family.
Good luck out there and fly safe!
First impressions -great looking model. assembled easily and all parts fit. first flight-remember this is a SCALE model.
Ensure you have airspeed before lifting off. T/O was great and minimum trim required. Landings, maintain some power till touchdown. handles grass well, thick 3" at my field. May flip over on landing if not enough flair. Fun to fly.
Landing gear has weak spot. Bungees have failed on mine after the eleven flight and bunches of T&Gs. The bungees do not return to their retracted positions, which has model setting at an angle, not level left to right and no cushion on landings. Landing on hard surfaces, dirt, pavement, expedite this condition as bungees extend to their max extension if you land to slow and bounce it on landing while learning the model's characteristics, even a little bounce. This happens even thought the touchdown does not appear to be ruff. Also the RED struts popped off their upper attachment point if landing too hard. Easy to reattach. Recommend stronger springs inside bungees. Will attempt to repair or mod bungees to be stronger.
For as small as the motor and ESC are they produce over 300 watts with the 10-4.5 prop provided. Would be nice to have more so you can flight closer to 1/2 throttle at cruise. This motor weighs 2.3oz, really light for the power produced. Cruise flight required aprox 2/3-3/4 throttle. WILL CLIMB almost vertical at full power. I'm at 900'agl. After flight the motor is too hot to keep your finger on it. Six minutes on 2200 3s 30c with aprox 15%-20% left and quite warm. 35C 30%-40% did better. RECOMMEND A 350-400 WATT 1250kv-1400KV MOTOR TO ALLOW FOR COOLER RUNNING. A motor/ESC capable of 3s and 4s batteries also.
Fuselage needs and air exit for motor cooling, there are none present.
thanks for your time
Assembly was simple and could probably be done in just minutes, not counting radio setup. I installed a 7 channel Lemon Stabilizer Plus receiver and used a Spektrum 3S 2200 battery positioned roughly ¾ inch behind the motor mount. The center of gravity - measured at 44mm per the manual - was perfect with the battery in that position. I used the 'long' wingtips for the flight. I also programmed flaperons into my DX9.
Some of the reviews I've read mention sluggishness, a tendency to stall, and instability. I can only comment on my own experiences. I found the Freedom Fox to be an easy flier, stable and predictable. That being said, it does have its own flight characteristics. Of course, I have seven high-wing, 'bush-style' planes and no two of them fly exactly alike.
It was windy for the maiden flight and the plane needed more throttle than I expected heading into the wind. Rolls require elevator input or you lose quite a bit of altitude. Loops were clean and easy. Even without flaps, landing was fairly easy, though as I mentioned it was gusty so the maiden landing was rather 'bouncy'.
My particular plane - and others I've read – came with damage to the rudder/light caused by the fuselage shifting inside the packaging. The paint finish, especially the blue, is somewhat spotty and inconsistent. However, I must say, the overall impression you get of this model is very positive. All my flying buddies commented on the striking appearance of the Freedom Fox.
Because of the damage on mine, I mixed up a batch of touch-up paint. As it turns out the match was almost perfect. The match was so close that I decided to paint the rudder and elevator servos, pushrods, and control horns. As you can see in the picture showing the planes inside my car, the servos 'almost' disappear.
I have mixed thoughts on the landing gear. I fly off grass fields The gear seem sturdy and worked very well on the maiden and subsequent flights that day. However, the pivot points are plastic and the main support wire is rather thin. Time will tell how well the gear will hold up.
The price of the kit is high considering it does not include a receiver. Inexpensive but reliable receivers like the Lemon I used are available though.
As with any other R/C plane I've ever purchased, there are both good and bad aspect to the Flite Test Freedom Fox. I think Josh and the guys at Flite Test did a good job overall. It's not perfect, but I'm glad I bought it. It's certainly an impressive looking plane!
Uses the ubiquitous 3S 2200 battery
Large Battery hatch
Interchangeable wing tips
Expensive for Plug-N-Play
Inconsistent paint finish
Plastic landing gear
Packaging needs revision to avoid damage
The tail beacon was smashed to the side and some minor paint and foam damage on the rudder from shipping.
Packaging was also missing screws for the spinner.
I was able to get the plane together in less than an hour and have it air born. Flys very nice but will take a little while to figure out landings. You definitely have to keep the power in right up to touchdown. Looking forward to trying some aerobatics with it soon.
My plane arrived undamaged aside from the LED on the rudder being bent over 90º. I was able to straighten it and reinforce it with a bit of blue tape. More robust packaging would help prevent these issues.
Assembly was easy, however the finish on the plane is not particularly durable and requires very delicate handling not to scuff it and reveal the white foam underneath. The instructions were fine, although I was left scratching my head when the instructions said to use the hook side of the velcro on the fuselage side of the battery compartment, rather than the "fuzzy fuselage" directive of every other FT plane I've ever built. Small thing, but an unexpected deviation that, if followed, would mean none of my existing batteries would be able to install into the FF.
Speaking of the battery compartment, the instructions want you to attach the velcro to the uneven surface of the motor mount. This makes no sense. For velcro to have any chance of sticking in the long term (let alone holding the battery in place) it needs to stick down to something flat, and ideally smooth. I ended up cutting a piece of foam board (because FliteTest) and hot gluing it into the battery compartment to make a flat surface for the battery to sit on. This meant that I had to also cut clearance into the battery hatch to get it to shut. Not a huge deal, but it's the sort of thing that FT should have known better given how much experience they have with electric aircraft.
The landing gear is a little fussy to install, and the snap-in cross bracing requires a lot more force to get them to seat than I expected. You have to push really hard to get them to snap into place properly. It was also clear from the start that these cross struts will not be long for this world. The plastic snap joint starts to deform and discolor from the first install, and with any subsequent popping loose (which they're designed to do in "hard" landings) that joint is going to break its little ears off and fail entirely after only a few times popping loose. Without individual replacement parts, I assume the whole landing gear would need to be replaced at that point. More on landing gear in a moment.
The mushy bush wheels are terrific, but be aware that they are soft enough that they'll develop flat spots if the plane sits on its gear for extended periods of time. These flat spots seem to bounce back okay, but be aware. They work great in park-height grass and rough surfaces.
The magnets on the battery hatch are too aggressive and it's easy to beat up the hatch just trying to get it off the airplane. Consider having magnets on the hatch, but just small buttons of steel on the fuselage to dial this back.
Lastly for small issues, for a plane designed for STOL via flapperons, neither the manual nor the setup video tell you how much flapperon to program in. Flying with flaps/flapperons is a little tricky to begin with, especially for less experienced RC pilots, and this lack of guidance is a critical omission. An entire FliteTest video on how to fly with flaps/flapperons would be a great educational resource. For example, flaps allow you to dive without gaining airspeed, which is something you learn in GA ground school, but the average RC pilot isn't going to know that. On the FF, I tend to dive in for landing with full flaps, then dial them back out for actual flare and landing. This tends to give me my smoothest results so far, but I had to figure this out via trial and error.
Center of Gravity (CG):
DO NOT FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDED CG LOCATION!!!
The CG as indicated in the manual is way too tail heavy. As others have noted in their reviews, the plane can be fatally unstable at the recommended CG. Put your battery as far forward as you can for your first flights.
For my first flight, I balanced the plane slightly nose heavy at the recommended CG location and it took every ounce of my 25+ years of RC experience to get the plane back on the ground in one piece. I moved the battery (Gens Ace 3S 2200 mAh) all the way forward and the plane flew much better. Subsequent flights have been stable and the flight manners of the plane are really quite nice when you fly the wing.
Fragile landing gear:
While the landing gear looks great, and the articulation gives one lots of confidence that the FF will soak up less than buttery landings, the reality isn't so rugged. Even smooth and gentle landings can pop the cross braces loose, further weakening that plastic joint that's not too beefy in the first place. Worse than that, however, after only a couple of flights the plastic plate on the underside of the fuselage that accepts the wire end of the landing gear assembly popped loose from the foam and my FF looked like a wounded duck as it taxied around the field leaned over to one side. This was easy enough to hot glue back into place and now the gear is functional again, but for a STOL plane and a would-be bush plane, the delicate landing gear is a big miss.
As indicated in the launch video, the FF has a somewhat anemic roll rate, but it's still plenty to have fun with. Yet what it lacks is aerobatic roll rate it more than makes up for with its ability to snap roll. Holy cramoly can this plane tumble if you want it to! It's spectacular to watch, but can be difficult to recover from. Spin recovery takes 2-3 more rotations than expected, and if you don't have the altitude for that, you're gonna auger in. This inherent instability is fun, but it means that any high speed stall situation is going to require careful and quick inputs to recover from. Other reviews mention high speed stalls on takeoff and the plane violently rolling right, and I'd wager those experiences are tied to the plane's inherent lack of spin stability, as well as pilots not letting the plane gain sufficient airspeed before pitching up hard. This is fine for advanced pilots who are mindful of their airspeed, but those who are used to more arcade-style flight characteristics are going to get themselves into some aerodynamic trouble if they don't keep their airspeed up. I've been lucky so far, but a couple of near-crashes from delayed spin recovery has me a little paranoid on final approach that a little inside rudder is going to spin stall me into the ground — just like a real airplane — just like what happened to Trent's buddy Nikk in his Kitfox. I personally kinda like that challenge and that realism, but it's something people need to be aware of.
This simply isn't a beginner airplane, no matter what flight controller you put on it.
IT'S NOT ALL BAD THOUGH:
While the FT FF has some significant issues, I wouldn't consider them fatal, nor would I discourage someone from buying one with the proper expectations, especially once improvements are made. Josh and the FT team have some work to do to correct future versions of the plane and they'd do well to send some upgraded components out to existing owners. Frankly, I'm surprised that the FF isn't running a C-pack Flite Test radial motor and high quality ESC like what comes in the C pack. Eat your own dog food guys!
WHAT I LOVE:
• The plane looks amazing, both in the air and on the ground. Just having it on the wall in my shop is a delight.
• Flown with airspeed and care, it's a really fun machine to fly and as I get better and better at doing touch-and-gos, I'm really enjoying the flight experience, stability nuances notwithstanding.
• While the plane has its shortcomings, I can see what FT and TP are trying to do here and it's a worthy vision. Get the details right and we'll have a really special airplane.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TEAM FLITE TEST:
• Don't panic! You'll get through this. Product development is hard. Setbacks are inevitable. Don't lose track of the long term view amidst these early difficulties.
• Put together a C-pack conversion kit and send that out to folks who are having issues, or at least offer it as an at-cost upgrade. This way people can have high quality servos, ESC, and motor. (and obviously upgrade these components in future FF models. I know you guys like to be cost conscious, but cheap gets expensive real quick when the quality isn't there.)
• Source and sell color matched touch up paint pens for the inevitable hangar rash that any foam plane like this is going to have. Consider including them in the box.
• Give more specific guidance on flapperon settings (add this to the product page on the website) and produce a video all about flying with flaps that applies to not just the FF, but any flap-equipped RC plane
Also, when I took the wing off after 1 flight, a lot of the black paint on the fuselage, front and back, came off. Overall, the finish is not very good. The finish is very easily scratched. For a plane at this price, it should be better.
Overall, the plane flies pretty good.
The Good....Easy assembly, all parts fit well. Servo installation and linkage well done! Long wing/Short wing advantages yet to be tried out, but can’t wait. So far, I love this airplane!
Only serious criticism is packaging....Must protect aircraft better for shipment!
It would be nice to include manufacturers' paint codes so the blue, red, and black could be touched-up when needed. It is a very good looking plane and it would be nice to keep it that way. The black covering does peel easily but a black sharpie does a pretty good job touching-up.
Landing gear is holding up well landing on un-maintained dirt road (rocks, washboard, divots) in spite of the plastic accessory parts. Tougher than they look I guess!
The rudder servo does not re-center well. Before you trim the aileron, try a "bump" of rudder correction. It may center better afterwards. I was huntin' trim all over the place until I figured that out.
Enjoy the flyn'!
UPDATE; AMAIN Hobby customer service was very responsive and helpful. I chose not to own this plane.
I can save a lot people some time...530-894-0797 is the number to who you actually bought this from. Its not Flite test.
Steps I took:
- used a 2200mah Venom Fly 3s battery positioned all the way forward.
- I let the plane take off on its own and kept the power on while turning. I almost never let the off power until I am trying to bring it down for a landing. I was flying at 30%-50% most of the time. 5 mins flight only used 500mah.
- I am using flaps set at -20 and -40 on a DX6 and tweaking from there. Seems like I could use more but it does come around corners a bit slow.
- I took all of the suggestions to the field that Trent and FT have. Fly the wing. Keep some power in it.
- landings are fast for now until I get used to the stall point.
Here is why I took off stars:
Color match is bad. Blue on the tail, main wing and wing tips are all different. Black decals that make up the windows are flaking off. I am of the opinion of others. The price is not right for the quality issues. I don't feel like I can fly this to scale. STOL is something I don't think I will try, at least the landing part.
Lastly. I sure am liking the fact that I felt like I was watching Trent fly around my park. I and others agree it is one good looking plane in the air. The lights were awesome as it was getting dark on my first flight.
Thank you all at Flite Test and Trent Palmer and also all at Kitfox!!!
Hopefully one day I will be bless enough to have my own real Kitfox and pilot license