Friday, February 8, 2008

Epp Contender

All I can say about this plane is WOW!

MUCH to my chagrin... Jimmie Wade is no longer designing & selling planes. :-( So... DO read on, as you will learn some things. However, you will note that the links are all dead, as his planes are no longer available. MISS YOU JIMMIE!!!

This plane has revolutionized my flying!

It weighs just 6oz & is made entirely of epp and carbon fiber. I'm running an E-flight Park 300 motor with a APC 8 x 3.8 prop (hovers easily at 1/2 throttle), ESC's a Phoenix 10, reciever's a Berg 4L microstamp, the aileron servo is E-flights e75 (heavy at around 9g's, but needed some torque to drive the FOUR huge ailerons!), the rudder and elevators are driven by small 3.7g servo's I bought through (scroll WAY down their home page to find them) for only 9 bucks! How can you go wrong for 9 bucks! The plane is a full out kit (all epp parts already cut, includes all carbon fiber - already cut to length, wheels, etc) from designer Jimmie Wade and can be purchased directly from him at
It has ALL of the benefits of a lightweight flat foamie – without the downsides! The downside mainly being that most flat foamies are made out of depron (the enemy) and are therefore very VERY fragile. This plane is as tough as can be – while at the same time flexible enough to crash & still fly afterward!

Click on “EPP Crash PROOF Videos” in the right column under “Entries by Topic” to see a great video of crashes (more to come I’m sure! ☺) where this exact plane took a bunch of really hard crashes with ZERO damage!

Here’s my story with this plane. I had noticed another plane advertised online that Jimmie Wade had designed, but, being that it was built out of depron (the enemy) I wanted to see if he would sell me plans only – not the plane… as all I’d do with the plane would be to trace the depron (the enemy) parts… throw the depron (the enemy) out… and then build Jimmies design out of Epp. ☺ After several email exchanges – we got together on the phone & much to my surprise – Jimmie was WAY ahead of me!

Something I’ve since learned to expect from him! Jimmy rocks!

Jimmie told me that he was way ahead of me and already designing in epp… and he would send me a prototype within a week. I was headed out on vacation & didn’t get it in time (shipping issue, not Jimmy’s fault). Because of my busy schedule… that plane ended up sitting on my workbench for about 3 months… basically untouched. I had done just a couple assembly steps on my last day of “summer” vacation (I split my vacation time up). That was it.

Three to four months later, having a couple days vacation left… I took off… and finished the plane. That week I took it to a new indoor club north of me (Oswego Armory!) and maiden flighted her.

I landed… hands LITERALLY trembling with excitement! I had NEVER flown so good in all my life!
I was immediately surrounded by guys asking questions about the plane.
FULL DISCLOSURE – I was the only 3D pilot there that night. It was mostly slowflyers – 35 or 40 guys who’d never flown indoors before. I was like superman to them. Several asked if I was competing – or heading to the ETOC. ☺ I was polite… but told em no… I’d never flown that good in my life! It was the plane!

I unplugged the battery, shut the transmitter off & shook out my hands / fingers… I was literally trembling! ☺ I answered every question with a grin… as I explained to the guys that that was her first flight. They were blown away. This plane flew on rails… “right out of the box” so to speak!
I called Jimmy on the way home & apologized to him for having left such a superb plane sitting on my workbench un-built all those months! I did! Honest! Ask him!

Jimmie’s instructions are superb. Don’t question the instructions – just obey them. If you do – you will be rewarded with a plane that flies on rails! It’s an incredible plane!

I’ve been flying on the simulator for a while now (more on that in an upcoming blog) but have been unable to get a depron (the enemy) plane to fly like the simulator showed me I was capable of. Partly… that’s because of building – and Jimmies instructions help you build her right! Another part of it… is the epp. Without the fear of any even minor crash sending me home…. I was / am able to relax… and concentrate on flying. My flying has improved markedly because of this. Obviously, the remaining component is… design. Straight up, the design of this plane is fantastic. From wingloading bla blaa bla details… to proper carbon fiber stiffening at all the right places… this is a wonderfully designed plane!

Oh… and I’m like a real life person with a very VERY full time job don’t forget! ☺ Kinda like a Doctor… but without the high salary (haven’t seen me on tv asking for any money have you! ☺).
I’m on “call” all the time… and do NOT have the luxury of flying / practicing much. But… again, that’s why I started this blog. I KNOW other guys are out there like me… wanting to FLY. They / we DO NOT want to spend our only free hour each week… repairing depron (the enemy) planes! We want to FLY! And when we do… when I do… and I can stay in the air for the whole hour (virtually no repairs necessary) then I can improve my skills!

To me… that’s what its about! I didn’t get into this to become glue champion of the world! I wanted to learn to fly like QuiQue (QuiQue Somenzini) like everyone else does!
Which reminds me… QuiQue… if you are reading this… my NY buddies Devin & Clayton are going to catch you man… they’re awesome!

This is a great plane guys & gals! Order one from Jimmy… you won’t be disappointed! See his site in the left column under “Pastors Visitation List” or click "Jimmy Wade."

Check out the video below or bigger on YouTube. I couldn’t fly like this before Jimmy's plane. I could on the sim… but not for real. Not till Jimmie Wade put the Epp Contender in my hands. Check it out. Oh… and QuiQue… Devin… Clayton… you don’t have to worry about me! ☺ I’m loving this 3D thing… and I AM improving thanks to Jimmy Wades designs… but, you guys rock!
BUT… all three of you really should take a look at Jimmie’s planes! ☺