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Extra 300SP lives up to its name

By Don Coe
Published: January 14, 2015
Product: The Extra 300SP is Great Planes’ latest addition to its extensive line of aircraft kits and ARFs. In the world of aviation, we’re accustomed to the use of superlatives in aircraft names: the “Ultimate” Biplane, the Cessna “Skymaster,” the Beech “Bonanza” and the Aeronca “Champ,” to name a few. So, is the Extra 300 just another instance of aviation hyperbole?
Not if you ask Walter Extra, the aircraft’s designer and builder. Yes, “Extra” is Walter’s last name. During the 1970s, Extra was a highly successful international aerobatic aircraft competitor. His passion for aviation led him to create the Extra Flugzeugban, or Extra Aviation Company, in 1980.
On the company’s website, Extra shares his personal philosophy for Extra Aviation: “Every time I climb into the cockpit, I want to know that the aircraft I’m flying is the product of the best design and the most innovative engineering available. That’s why I’ve poured my heart, mind and soul into ensuring that each aircraft carrying my name is the very best that it can be.”
The Great Planes Extra 300SP clearly reflects that vision of excellence. With a 50-inch wingspan, the Great Planes version is about 1:6 scale. But this Extra is not intended for scale competition. It was created to be an all-out aerobatic machine.
One look at the internal structure of the fuselage is enough to convince even the most discerning modeler that this aircraft is designed and built with extra care. Each of the joints fits perfectly and is glued with no noticeable excess adhesive.
The model is expertly sheathed in yellow, red, orange and blue Monokote. Great Planes supplies a separate instruction sheet on how to properly tighten the covering. There was not a single sag, wrinkle or loose panel on the review sample. The color match of the Monokote covering to the painted fiberglass cowl and wheel pants is exceptionally close.
Following the well-written, photo-illustrated construction manual, I completed assembly of the Extra quickly. All of the parts fit exceptionally well, even the often finicky joint of the horizontal stabilizer to the fuselage.
Futaba S3150 digital servos fit perfectly in the wing and fuselage cutouts. Great Planes has thoughtfully placed strings in the wing halves to facilitate running the servo leads. The large canopy/hatch fits very well and is held securely by six magnets. A large four-color decal sheet allows the builder to customize the final appearance of the Extra.

Performance: The review aircraft is outfitted with the recommended sport flyer package of a RimFire .32 brushless out-runner motor, a Silver Series 45 Amp ESC, an APC 13" X8E propeller and a three-cell 2200mAh LiPo battery. A Tactic TR625 full-range receiver is paired with a Tactic TTX650 transmitter for airborne control.
Using a single three-position switch, I set the flying surface throws in accordance with the instruction manual. The wings are attached to the fuselage with two nylon set screws. The plane balances perfectly with the ­flight battery installed. Velcro straps hold the battery securely in place.
Ground handling was solid with a short, straight takeoff. With minimal aileron trim adjustment, the Extra was off and running. Even on low rates, handling was spirited but still comfortable. The plane handled all the standard maneuvers with ease.
With the mid and high rates, imagination seems to be the only limit, with dizzying roll rates, waterfalls and flat spins. All in all, the Extra 300S flies as good as it looks.

Marketing: A great product usually makes a good first impression, and the Extra 300SP does not disappoint. The large, full-color kit box grabs attention and a fair amount of shelf space.
This aircraft is for intermediate or higher skilled pilots. Serious modelers will appreciate how well designed and constructed it is for a very reasonable price. As Walter Extra would say, “Extra Aircraft will carry you above and beyond, to the true joy of flying.” So will the Great Planes Extra 300SP.

Product: Extra 300SP
Maker: Great Planes
Scale: 1:6
Stock number: GPMA1188
MSRP: ARF/Motor/Esc combo, $319.98

• Beautifully engineered and built
• Highly visible color scheme
• Excellent flying capabilities
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