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Perfect match for E-flite® Park 480 1020Kv motor (EFLM1505)
Easy-access magnetic canopy hatch
Two-piece wing with aluminum wing tube
Factory-painted fiberglass cowl
Wire landing gear
Needed To Complete
- 4+ Channel Transmitter and Receiver - Electric Motor and ESC - 4 Sub-Micro Servos - 11.1V 3S Li-Po Battery Pack (1800-2200mAh) - Li-Po compatible battery charger - Propeller
The nimble Leader 480 park flyer is the fun-to-fly sport plane that is ideal for anyone interested in precision aerobatics. Its light wing loading will put any intermediate pilot at ease when flying on the slow side of the envelope. But for those who really want to wring it out, the Leader’s symmetrical airfoil and classic pattern plane lines allow it to fly precision aerobatics with the best of them. Assembly is so simple, it could easily be flight-ready in a single evening. Plus, it's small enough to put in the backseat or trunk of a car and fly most anywhere park flyers are allowed. Shown with optional 1/9 Civilian Pilot (EFLA156) and optional 1.75-Inch aluminum spinner (EFLSP175) - sold separately
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5.0 star rating
What a fun model.
Review by Myth1 on 7 Mar 2015review stating What a fun model.
I decided to upgrade from my Foamie PZ T28 (which I still love BTW), and went w the E Flite Leader 480. The model arrived packed perfectly, and all parts and hardware were there. This is my first Balsa plane, so I didn't kno what to expect as far as assembly was concerned. I've never installed my own servos, motor, esc, pushrods etc before. So if ur a novice pilot looking to upgrade, this build could be a bit difficult if u don't have the tools. There's glueing, measuring, drilling, and sanding involved with this build. The rudder servo that also controls the nose wheel is tricky and takes some bending and adjusting to fit correctly into the servo arm. Also installing the motor and esc took some time to get right. There's no instruction on how to install the battery strap ( I'm sure it's easy, but like I said this is my first balsa build. Anyways, once the build was completed (took me about 7 or 8 hours total), the plane looked fantastic. The maiden flight was flawless ( very little trimming needed). She took off easily, and landed like a feather w the tri landing gear. She has some speed too. I'm running a Turnigy 3536 w/a 4s pack. I'm very satisfied w this model. Recommend to all those looking to upgrade from a foam model. ALso, spring for the Aluminum Prop spinner for the extra 17 bucks. Can't wait to fly her again !
Review by Xxx4cb on 11 Jul 2013review stating Honest Flyer
Never tire of Cuban-8s in a 50' box! 22 flights on my first 480 w/P10 motor & 4S power. Building a 2nd with nylon pinned hinges and digital servos. I'll have 2 operational versions of the same plane, hope Horizon doesn't discontinue this model. Niggly, picky complaints : The gear is bendable 2.3mm wire that limits landing weight to 3lb, 2.5lb is rated gross w/battery. Calls for "delicate" landings! Fortunately, At 3lbs with 50% flaperons & 9 clicks of up elevator mixed in, it will slow float over 3" pavement cracks to set down on the smooth. 2nd complaint, the steering linkage is going to bind the rudder servo. Fixed that on 1st plane with a 5th steering servo mixed to rudder channel and a complicated 2 horn linkage on 2nd plane. Observation : Like all pattern planes the 480 is sensitive to CG balance. Nice running thread about the 480 on RCGroups.
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Review by Chris K. on 9 Oct 2017review stating Great low wing plane
I fitted my Leader with a Tacon 10, APC 12x6 and 3s battery. I also removed the decals and added my own to make it a little different from all the others. I really like this plane and it is a great pattern plane with a lot of extra power on my setup.
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Review by Kjb1943 on 4 Jan 2019review stating Not my first one.
Great windy day flyer! Also Great for practicing touch and goes.. I've notice the Quality of the plane is not as good as in the past, but for the price, I still love it... I used a E-flite 15 motor with a 60 amp ESC and use a 4000/4s 40c battery with a 10 x 7 or a 11 x 7 prop.. Timer set for 5 mins. I also use the E-flite spinner. Looks great..
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5.0 star rating
Maiden flight review
Review by Luvmy L. on 20 Jan 2015review stating Maiden flight review
Just can’t say enough on how pleased I am with the E-Flite Leader 480. I’ve been flying for 8 years. I am a solid 8 year fan of the HZ Super Cub and PZ F-27C Stryker; my standard arsenal even to this day. I also flew a donated Hanger 9 P-51 Mustang 40 scale converted to an electric set-up using a Scorpion 40-20.8 motor on a 4s batt for several years in the past. It was a 7-8 lb. fully loaded. Coming off just my cub and Stryker experience, I quickly found that the P-51 was a little more than what my flying field and nerves could handle at the time. But it did give me excellent rudder turning experience. The Leader 480 is my first experience with a balsa build kit. The 480 is a perfect choice in speed and smooth handling between the docile Cub and faster Stryker. I wanted the extra weight and more stable feel of a 2-2.5 lb. pattern plane for basic aerobatics (not 3-D) and just all-around fun. I certainly found it. I just flew the 480’s maiden and 3 subsequent flights this past weekend. Absolutely perfect. Excellent flight characteristics, no cg or trim adjustments needed and no complaints.
I have read and watched all of the reviews and videos on the 480 prior to buying it. After flying it, I find the positive reviews to be true and the negative review points were most probably due to a lack of flying experience and the desire to “jack things up” beyond the recommended settings. First, go by the book. Take your time on the build and don’t get ahead of yourself. The step-by-step instructions are excellent. However, the manual does not illustrate or explain an aileron set-up. This sounds basic but for those without aileron experience this could be helpful. If you only have one aileron port in your receiver you will need to purchase a reversing Y harness for the single aileron port or a single reversing servo in order to raise or lower the ailerons in reverse directions. Basically, ailerons are used for turning (duh) and rolls. When looking from the back of the plane, a right turn is left aileron down and right aileron up and opposite for a left turn. A down elevator creates more up-lift under the wing in order to create the turn or roll. TIP: after your build, be sure to check the aileron, elevator and rudder directional movement in your pre-flight check.
The Leader 480 was packaged well. Coming out of the box, all components were in excellent condition. I did however have to glue down the canopy to the balsa framing with thin CA as it was separated along the sides and front. No big deal, but I’m sure the canopy would have torn loose during flight at some point. TIP: make sure the canopy hatch is locked in on the rear and snapped down on the magnets in front prior to launch. Do a “test pull-up” on the front before launch. I had mine pop off in one flight. I cut the flight short and swung her around for a smooth landing. No damage. That’s where the 480’s smooth, well balanced flight characteristics come into play.
In regards to the build, go by the book. In regards to the motor and avionics, go by E-flite’s recommendations. I put in the E-Flite Park 480 motor (an excellent choice) with digital sub micro receivers as suggested, along with a 35 amp speed control and 3 cell 2200mah 30c battery on just a 6 minute timer set. I’m sure I can get 7-7 ½ mins. later on. I went from the recommended 12x7e prop to an 11x6e for a little more ground clearance and a little less thrust for its maiden flight. Any higher thrust props than an 11x6 and I would suggest the recommended 40 amp speed control. TIP: Be sure to check prop balance. The recommended cg points are spot on. I marked the cg points on the top side of the wing. There were remarks in previous reviews about being too nose or tail heavy or having to slide the battery all the way back to the wing spar in order to balance. This was more likely due to the change in the weight of other motor choices as compared to the weight of the recommended Park 480. Even adding the optional EFLASP175 chrome spinner can throw the balance off. Do a cg finger test or stand balance only after your motor, spinner, battery, prop and canopy hatch has been installed. Start with the batt in a mid-position and move it forward or backwards in ¼” increments to achieve balance and then mark the point on the battery tray. In the “sweet” spot the nose should dip slightly down for the proper balance. Be sure to Velcro the battery to the tray and use the Velcro tie down strap to prevent a cg shift while in flight.
The landing gear, despite previous complaints, works fine for short grass take-offs and landings and is more than strong enough. The 480 can easily fly without using rudder throughout an entire flight. I use a touch of rudder only for steering on take-offs. After some experience you can apply a touch of in-flight rudder with aileron to achieve smooth, horizon-level turns. She’s quite easy to land. It can grease in beautifully. Just slowly throttle back while entering the final turn of your approach to bleed off some air speed. Turn in while around 20-30 degrees high off the horizon. This will preclude having to bleed off excessive air speed from a high approach and will prevent a too-fast “hot” landing. After the turn and the direction to the landing point is good, keep your wings level using your elevators only. Continue to slowly throttle back while working a little up elevator. Let gravity take over and use a touch of up elevator attitude a foot or so off the deck, cut the prop and she’ll land herself. As she slows down on the turf, pull elevator all the way back to pull up the nose and prevent a prop strike nose over. After touch downs on pavement, in order to shorten the roll out, slowly push the elevator forward to keep the nose on the pavement. A down elevator on roll out acts as an air brake. Slowly is the key.
I definitely suggest using expo and dual rates on ailerons, elevator and rudder to control twitch and maintain a smooth feel. Use low rates for the maiden flight to experience the plane’s flight characteristics first. My rates are set as: Ailerons: 35% expo. DR high 100%, low 62% Elevator: 30% expo, DR high 100%, low 65% Rudder: 30% expo, DR high 100%, low 60%
The Leader 480 flew excellent on low rates only for the entire first flight. I have all surface controls set to the inside full throw points on all control horns. It’s best to have it if you need it. The nose wheel is set to the straight position. Very little nose gear turning is needed on grass or dirt take-offs. A little more would be needed on pavement. Aileron, elevator and rudder is all set to neutral flush trim positions. For the maiden flight, I went 3 clicks up from neutral on the elevator trim for a little added insurance. I left it there for all subsequent flights. Taking off from a baseball dirt infield, the 480 lifted off with a smooth ascent after a 20 ft. take-off with no problem. No pop-up take offs. Very scale. Just ease back on the elevator while slowly powering up and use a touch of rudder for take-off direction control. Let off rudder completely when in the air. I then got the same predictable results bumping up to high rates on the subsequent flights.
In summary, the 11x6e prop gave it speed but not an uncontrollable blistering Stryker speed. Turns were smooth and very controllable on low or high rates. Landing is simple. So simple in fact, I see no reason to buy extra props as stated in a previous review. It has more than enough power with its current set-up and is easily capable of handling more down the road. The current set-up provides near unlimited vertical. The plane offers smooth and precise aerobatic abilities and its color scheme provides excellent visual orientation. It also handles very well in a 10-15mph wind.
My set-up: Spektrum DX7 Tx Spektrum AR400 Rx FMS digital sub micro servos FMS 35amp speed control E-Flite 3s 2200mah 30c battery 11x6e apc prop
Follow the build process by the book and use my set-up suggestions for a successful first flight. The Leader 480 fits like a glove and is a pleasure to fly. While not a blistering speed rocket in its current set-up, she’s smooth, nimble, responsive and a blast to fly. So who could ask for anything more? At any rate, she has gained my full respect and has become the flagship of my arsenal. She’ll be up in the skies several more times this weekend.
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