Horizon Hobby E-flite Delta Ray One RTF with SAFE Technology


Written by Kyle Jaracz
This pusher might be perfect for your first flights!
As seen in the Spring 2019 issue of
Park Pilot


Specifications:

Type: Foam RTF
Weight: 4.25 to 4.75 ounces
Length: 16.6 inches
Wingspan: 19.7 inches
Material: EPO foam
Motor: 180 brushless 3,000 Kv
Battery: 280 mAh 2S LiPo
Price: RTF $139.99; BNF $109.99
Info: horizonhobby.com

Features:

>> Brushless 2S powerplant provides respectable power
>> Completely assembled and ready to fly
>> Easy to maintain your orientation
>> SAFE Select enables beginners to experience success
>> Optional SAFE Plus GPS allows the greenest of pilots to successfully fly
>> AS3X adds stability and enables flight in less-than-ideal conditions

The Delta Ray One is an attractive option for beginner pilots that pairs accessible performance and ease of use. After becoming familiar with the aircraft, the manufacturer’s claim of “The One Anyone Can Learn to Fly” pans out. With a bit of patience and tutelage, “anyone” could certainly learn to fly this aircraft.

Unboxing only takes a moment because the aircraft is completely built and ready to fly. There is no assembly required, and the box contains everything you need. This includes a manual, 2S 280 mAh LiPo flight battery, and four AA batteries to place into the transmitter.



Everything you need to get into the air is included.


The included 2S wall charger does a fine job of topping off your flight battery, although it takes slightly longer to accomplish the task than would a full-fledged charger.

The controller is fairly basic and sufficient for the task. The transmitter is great for learning the basics of flight, and I completed all of my flights with the equipment provided.

As an all-in-one kit to dip your toes into the world of RC aviation, this is perfectly acceptable and up to the task at hand. In fact, my kids prefer this transmitter to others because its smaller size fits their hands better.

No spare parts are included, so if you are just starting out, I recommend purchasing at least a spare propeller and spinner. Because it is a pusher aircraft, the propeller and spinner are less likely to be damaged in a crash; however, it doesn’t hurt to have a spare, and all are available from horizonhobby.com.

You can also never have enough batteries, so pick up a few of them as well. Along with all of these items, be certain to bring along a few simple tools and spare AA batteries to the field with you when you fly.

Another item that will come in handy is some foam-safe glue. For field repairs, bSi Super Gold (bsi-inc.com) would work nicely. For more in-depth, at-home repairs, I recommend Foam-Tac (foam-tac.com). Adhesive and some spare parts will ensure that you can stay out as long as you like instead of heading home early to order spare parts.

Takeoffs are simple. My preference is the traditional wing-swing launch. This is achieved by simply holding the transmitter in your off hand, applying 1/2 to 2/3 throttle, holding the wingtip, then tossing and releasing the wing into the wind.



The folding propeller is a nice touch and aids in durability.


Most of my flying was done without using SAFE mode but, for a beginner, the SAFE mode will allow you to progress more swiftly in your flying. AS3X is always enabled, which allows the aircraft to make minute adjustments to the flight path without requiring your input. This allows you to fly in moderate or gusty wind with confidence.

I flew many of my flights in less-than-ideal conditions, but the Delta Ray performed admirably. Inverted flight was easy, with no perceived tendency to drop the nose. Aileron rolls, barrel rolls, and loops were all easy to perform. The 2S battery provides enough power and is a perfect choice for beginners.

One thing I noticed with the supplied transmitter—specifically the gimbals—was a tendency to inadvertently add aileron to my elevator inputs. This likely was not helped by the subzero outdoor temperatures. Having less-tactile feedback on the sticks adds some difficulty.

The aircraft stands out well against both gray and blue sky. Orientation was easily maintained, as long as I kept the aircraft relatively close and initiated turns before it got too far away or high. The AS3X really helps to mitigate any surprises. When forcing a stall, the aircraft simply drops the nose forward to regain momentum. Just keep in mind that when landing, the speed decreases and control will also degrade.



Take a look at those preapplied decals. Red isn’t usually Kyle’s preference, but this scheme looks sharp and helps the model stand out in the air.


The rubber nose cone is incredibly forgiving and is a nice touch. I was also impressed with the addition of a folding propeller. This helps ease the need for having a spare propeller. The folding propeller design should protect the components from excessive damage on landings.

Despite the manufacturer’s clear label that the airplane is for ages 14 and up, I took my boys (ages 9 and 6) out to get their impressions of the Delta Ray One. They had a lot of fun, but the wind was such that I needed to lend a hand in case they had difficulties.

I used this as an opportunity to teach them how to hand launch for each other. This resulted in some less-than-gentle tosses into the ground. After five or six of these, the aforementioned Foam-Tac adhesive was required to reattach the nose. The next day, it was ready to go again with no visible scars.

This is a great model to start out with and you’ll have a lot of fun with it! You can multiply your chances for success and fun by having good people beside you as you learn to fly. As you advance, you can turn off the SAFE technology and further your skillset using the same aircraft. The E-Flite Delta Ray One RTF is a great option to get you or someone you know into the air.






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