Durafly EFXTRA build, flight & FPV! Review

In just a few weeks Durafly is set to release the long awaited 2.0 version of the popular EFX Racer, the EFXTRA.
Personally I really enjoyed flying the EFX Racer, I had a lot of fun wit hit, especially in group flights.
In the end I donated the EFX to my brother who lost his fleet in a Lipo fire at home, not knowing that they wouldn’t be restocked.

Will this upgraded racer deliver on it's promise of giving you that bit of extra? Let's have a look!

IMG_2991-edit.jpg


Specs:
Durafly changed the NTM setup for a 3536 1780 KV Brushless outrunner and the 60 amp Brushless Aerostar ESC. The old 2200 NTM motor had some heat issues, this lower KV motor wil spin bigger props at lower RPM, which should eliminate the heat issues while producing less sound.
Some liked the screaming sound of the first version of this pocketrocket, while others got noise complaints…
You get two props: an 8x6 for high discharge 3s batteries (2200 – 2600) and a 7x6.5 for 4s batteries between 1800 and 2400 mAh.
Those really wanting to push the limits could considder installing a 5,5x6,5 prop, changing the ESC to an 80A one and going for the 6s rocketship.

For this review I’ll just stick to what’s supplied in the box.

beterrr.jpg

The EFXTRA has a wingspan of 975 mm (38.4”) and a length of 760mm (29.9”)
The plane is constructed out of EPO foam reïnforced with multiple carbon rods in the fuselage and wings.
It weighs in around 920g depending on the battery used. 

When comparing the looks of this EFXTRA with those of it’s predecessor it’s quite clear that this isn’t a brand new design, but rather the “mid life update” version.
The basic shape of fuselage, wings and control surfaces has stayed the same, but improvements were made in different areas of the plane.

Assembly:
This plane is built for speed, and that actually starts with the assembly.
The build is super simple and self explanatory.  
Once you open the box the racing scheme starts screaming for airtime at you.

IMG_2941-edit-(2).jpg          IMG_2944-edit-(1).jpg



The foam, paintjob and stickering are perfect, I really couldn’t find any imperfections in the foam or finish.
One of the winglets was actually missing and was later recovered from the bottom of the box.
Nothing a bit of contact glue can’t fix. 

IMG_2975-edit.jpg          IMG_2947-edit.jpg


The fuselage is reïnforced with carbon rods from front to back and has a very rigid feel.
When holding the wing up to the light you can clearly see that there is more reïnforcement than in the old EFX, with one long spar and 2 more spars in the wing, and carbon spars in the ailerons as well.

IMG_2980-edit-(2).jpg


Assembly really is only a matter of putting the pieces together, tightening 2 screws, installing 2 control rods, plugging the servo leads into the receiver, programming your TX, attaching the prop and you’re good to go

Tail assembly:
The horizontal stabiliser fits like a glove, and it really is just a matter of sliding both halves into place untill you feel them click into their locked position.
The control rods are already installed. You could choose (like I did) to move the ball link as close to the control surfaces as you can to get more throw, just remember to dial in some expo before your maiden flight if you do.
If you don’t have one yet, I would highly recomend getting a pair of ball-link-pliers, I always found it a challenge to fix a bal link with normal pliers, that 5€ investment has long payed off!

IMG_3035-edit.jpg          IMG_2951-edit.jpg


Wing attachment
The wing fits perfectly, and attaches with 2 simple bolts.
Out of the box there is a Y lead already connected to the servo leads.
I usually like to plug each aileron into a seperate channel, unfortunately the servo-leads are just a bit too short to get them into position properly.
Instead of lengthening them I decided to just go with the Y-lead for once, maybe I’ll still change that later because in flight i noticed that rolls could be cleaned up a bit with aileron differential.
I put some heatshrink around the leadconnectors, so I don’t have to worry about one of them coming loose in flight.
The EFXTRA has the fool-proof rods with a clip-on on the servo side and a bal link on the control surface side. Installing those really is self explanatory.
As I went for maximum throws on all surfaces and because I knew from experience that an EFX really doesn’t need a lt of control input at high speed I dialled in about 60% expo on all surfaces for the maiden.

IMG_2949-edit.jpg          IMG_2950-edit.jpg


IMG_2960-edit.jpg          IMG_3045-edit.jpg

 

 


Connecting the receiver:
The receiver fits in between the elevator and rudder servo in the fuselage, nice and snug.
Inside there is more room for the battery than in the old EFX, with a 4S 1800 mAh Graphene battery I still have quite a bit of room to spare.
The battery hatch is kept in place with a strong magnet, you’ll never loose that in flight (I’m sure Mr Murphy will accept the challenge, but he’ll have to give it his al…)!

IMG_3047-edit-(1).jpg          IMG_3046-edit.jpg


After this I fired up the radio, connected the receiver, added a new model and set the right channels, adjusted the control rods to the correct lengths (I'm not a huge fan of subtrim and because of the Y-connector on the ailerons those had to be set mechanically anyway).
Because of the big throws I was looking for I also threw in a decent amount of expo on ailerons and elevator especially.

Finally, like I do for every electric model, I programmed a throtle cut switch.
I would advise you to do the same (and I have some scars on one of my arms to prove my point...)


Propellor & Spinner
You’ll have these installed in 20 seconds, nothing to report there, other than that the aluminium spinner in my opinion really completes the EFXTRA’s stunning looks. It looks that much more aggressive than the old blue plastic spinner, very nice touch indeed!

IMG_3043-edit.jpg


FPV Canopy
The FPV canopy comes prepainted in the colour of your EFXTRA.
You do need to sand away some paint for the pieces to fit, the advantage is that your glue will have more grip (I used simple CA glue).
The plastic part that wil protect and shield your equipment is quite thin, and as I was concerned that it would break around the supplied screws I attached that with contact glue.
The supplied magnets are very strong, no need to worry about your FPV canopy coming off (I tested high negative G manoeuvres with the FPV canopy on the plane so you don’t gave to, the canopy stayed in place!)


My impressions during the assembly:
It’s clear that some thought has gone into the changes that were made to the original design.
Like the EFX Racer the design and quality is excellent, the foam feels really solid, the bottom is well protected with multiple skids for landing.
Some things that stand out in a positive way are the bigger battery compartiment, the new power-setup and the bigger magnets used for closing the hatch / FPV canopy!
The clipped wings are slowly growing on me from an aesthetics standpoint, after the assembly I was obviously anxious to see how they would perform, so I rushed to the field!

IMG_3162-edit.jpg


Flying
Why walk if you can run I thought, so I maidened the EFXTRA with the 4s setup.
Take-off with an underhand toss at about 70% throttle went perfect and before I knew it I was making fast screaming low passes over the field.

IMG_3183-edit.jpg          IMG_3369-edit.jpg


The EFXTRA doesn’t disappoint. It has gotten just a bit faster and as soon as you have it trimmed out it feels like a guided missile. On rails!
 I would recommend using expo, because the rollrate is quite quick, and certainly in those high speed dives you will want to be able to make tiny corrections.
I feel like I have just a bit more control over this new version, it is able to fly in sustained knife-edge, and point rolls look fantastic at top speed.
The stall is gentle and controleable, and allthough the EFXTRA has less wing than EFX 1.0 it still has a phenomenal glide, and is really easy to control at low speeds as well.
Do take a look at the Flight Review Video for more info about the flying and for instructions for hands down the coolest move you can do with this plane, your friends at your local flying site will be amazed!


FPV Flying          
After only about 4 LOS flights I decided to change the hatch for the FPV-pod and fly the EFXTRA from inside the canopy.
Now I got some FPV experience with racequads and with slower models like the Bixler and the Tundra, but hadn’t flown a fixed wing speedmodel yet.

Holy guacamoly with hotsauce on top!
Just watch this FPV video and watch my reactions during FPV flight 2.


A new dimension to the hobby just opened up for me.
FPV’ing this machine is just an absolute blast. The sensation you get when you put on your goggles at those speeds is sensational.

 

IMG_3427-edit.jpg


My conclusion:

I am having an absolute blast flying the EFXTRA.
The quality is great, and those improvements do pay off.
The plane is a bit faster yet less noisy, rollrate has improved and overall handling feels rocksolid as well.

Now it’s impossible to make a complete conclusion withpout knowing the price. After all, there are some competitors on the market (Dogfighters, Radjets, Funjets, what have you not) so price has to be factored in when making the choice.
Now I looked up what I payed for my EFX back in august 2015. Back then I payed 147 USD which converts to about 137 €.
So let’s say the EFXTRA will propably cost anywhere between 150 and 200 USD in todays market.

In my mind this plane in that pricerange is well worth it.
After all, for that price you have a racer (including electronics, esc, motor, slopecone and FPV canopy) that looks and performs the part.

From the reactions to the youtube video’s and on multiple forums I’ve noticed many of you are eager to get your hands on one of these, so I’m excited to see what you guys think once the EFXTRA arrives in the HK warehouses in februari!

IMG_3416-edit.jpg


If you think I missed something or want to know more about a specific aspect of the aircraft then leave a comment below. Don't be shy!


 

120
About the Author
Tomsky Profile
"Don't make me come down there" - God.