In this generation of instant gratification, the X-Vert easily fits the bill and does
the trick. Deciding on which decals to use and where to add them is the hardest
part of assembly. It only takes about five or so minutes to have the plane out
of the box and ready to fly. A fully charged 450mAh battery offers about four
to five minutes of flying time, while an 800mAh pack gave me seven to eight
aircraft, so whether you are in multirotor mode
or airplane mode, your view will adjust for you in
flight, allowing you to focus on flying. Should you
ever have a hard landing or push the limit a little
too far, repairs are easy. EPO foam fixes quickly
with some CA, and there is a complete list of
replacement parts available.
IN THE AIR
Here is where I typically tell you about how
far an airplane rolls out or how much space is
needed for a takeo; and landing. In the case of
the X-Vert, along with its VTOL option on your
side, you only need a 2-foot-square area to
operate from. ;e model was tested in a small
living room, at a club field, from grass, and from
pavement. While in multirotor mode, the aircraft
simply lifts o; e;ortlessly and holds its place
well, almost hovering itself. Punch-out power
is excellent, and this translates to a quick top
speed when you transition to airplane mode.
Transitioning is done automatically as mentioned,
and three flight modes will also help you in the
air. Stability mode can be used during multirotor
and airplane operations, and keeps you out of
trouble. An AS3X Acro mode available during
airplane flight allows some incredible stunts and
more intense flight maneuvering. While a vertical
landing can be achieved from a hover, a hand
catch or belly landing can also be performed.
Be advised that wind will have some e;ect on
the plane while in a hover, as the majority of the
model’s area will be exposed like a sail.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
Stability: ;e preprogrammed stability mode
features the SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight
Envelope) protocol and makes the X-Vert
inherently stable. In a nutshell, the pitch and
bank angles are limited, so you can’t over
control the aircraft while in SAFE mode. In Acro
mode, you lose the stability aid and can then
explore the plane’s maneuver possibilities.
Tracking: Be sure to zero out your trims on
the transmitter end and utilize mechanical
adjustments to center your control surfaces.
When you get them close, only a click or two of
trim should be needed and the plane will stay
on track just fine.
Aerobatics: When you first watch the online
video of the X-Vert, you will wonder how some
of the maneuvers were performed. ;rust
vectoring; excellent power output; and large,
strong control surfaces allow for some real
excitement and lots of fun in the air.
Glide and stall performance: With a super-sleek
design and just a hair over 120 square inches
of wing area, the glide slope is steeper than a
trainer but not at all uncomfortable.
Minimal time is needed to get your X-Vert
flying. Transmitter setups are outlined in
the instruction manual, and the factory
programming provided is outstanding.
The VTOL Realm
Throughout history, designers have been
trying to perfect a full-size aircraft that can
take off and land vertically—with mixed results.
Many ideas have come and gone within this
aircraft genre, and VTOL has been traced
back as far as the times of Leonardo da Vinci.
Helicopters have had obvious success and
an advantage over airplanes for a while but
have demonstrated their limitations as well.
Vertical takeoffs and landings are, of course,
within a heli’s capabilities, but their top speed
and range are not exactly stellar. In addition,
helicopters do not glide well, especially if
power is lost. Having an airplane that doesn’t
require a runway to take off yet can fly for
considerable distances at high speed must
have sounded quite appealing to the military.
The Lockheed XFV and the Convair XFY Pogo
come to mind as airplanes we didn’t see
much of after their test flights. More time,
technology and progress led to the Harrier
jet family, of which the AV-8B (Harrier II) can
reach a top speed of 673mph and has a range
of 1,400 miles. And yes, it is fully VTOL-capable.
The F-35B and V- 22 Osprey are also obvious
examples of successful VTOL airplanes that
are not only currently active military aircraft
but also often seen at airshows. I’m not sure
how the pilots of those aircraft get their
helmets on as I’m sure they know that they
have some of the best “jobs” in the world.