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It was cold and windy but I didn;t let that stop me from getting in the maiden flights on the new Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL!
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Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL ARF

A remarkable plane just got bigger – and better – and slower

Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz

Posted – 11-27-2013


Several months ago my RC flying took a giant step forward when I saw a friend flying an Addiction X and got one for myself. The “X” model was actually the second version of this tremendous plane from Precision Aerobatics. Huge control surfaces combined with a ridiculously light wing loading of 8.18-onces per square foot produced stunning response throughout the flight envelope which exceeded any other plane I had flown. Now Shaun, the design force behind Precision Aerobatics has taken that concept a step further with the release of the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL. It turns out that bigger really can be better.

The Basics

The Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL has a wing span of 59" /1500mm and is 62.40" /1585mm long with a wing area of 1055 sq. in! At this writing Precision Aerobatics has not finalized the exact numbers but we can safely assume the wing loading on the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL will once again be lower than seems possible.

The fuselage is functional in more ways than holding the wings in place. The sides of the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL fuselage are mostly flat and with a surface area not so much less than a surfboard so knife edge flight should be effortless. Precision Aerobatics says that the design of the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL allows it to fly knife edge without having to mix in elevator corrections.

Looking back into the tail section (left) you can see the maze of laser-cut pieces that have been jig-built for accuracy. The motor structure (right) also comes pre-built and ready to be installed on the fuselage. Everything is light but rigid.
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The recommended power system (available at Precision Aerobatics) is their Thrust 50 outrunner brushless motor controlled by a Quantum 70A Pro ESC. The system is powered by either two LiPo 11.1V 2200mAh packs or a single 6S 2,200mAh pack. All Precision Aerobatics planes use the very popular 11.1V 2200mAh packs which make it nice for those of us that are addicted to their stuff. The Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL flies on either a VOX 15x8 or 16x6 prop wooden propellers, both extensively tested on this plane.

I should note that the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL was designed around this motor, including the motor mount structure so putting another motor in this pane might be more trouble than it is worth. I have never felt like I was lacking for power with a Precision Aerobatics plane with their motor in it.

ARF Done Right

Precision Aerobatics uses a construction process called FiberFusion® that combines the absolute accuracy of laser cut ultra-light balsa plywood parts with extensive carbon fiber re-enforcement and lots of engineering know-how to produce a super light but rigid airframe.
All of the major components like the fuselage, wings and control surfaces come pre-built and covered which makes your assembly time way shorter than anticipated. They don’t just stick these assemblies together either. They use specially built jigs to be sure you get a straight, square assembly every time. They include CA-type hinges and all of the hardware and carbon fiber landing gear struts to get you up and ready to fly. They also pre-build the motor structure that you have to epoxy to the fuselage. This structure has the proper motor thrust angles built in so you get a proper flying airplane.

The wings plug onto a carbon fiber tube for strength. Each wing is further located by carbon fiber pins near the leading and trailing edges. The wings are assembled to the fuselage at the factory to insure they have the exact incidence desired to insure proper flying characteristics. Nothing is left to chance.

The Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL comes with carbon fiber control rod hardware that you assemble to fit the carbon fiber control horns. Rudder control is accomplished with a Kevlar string-based pull-pull mechanism. Servo mounts are built into the assemblies so you just trim the covering and fit the servos. I have had to file the openings slightly to fit the servos which I like a bunch better than trying to get servos mounted solidly in an opening that is too big. They even include high-quality twisted wire for extending servo cables to eliminate plug-in extension wires.

Set behind my Addiction X (left) you can see that the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL is larger all around. Stand the wings together (right) and you can see that there is no shortage of wing area!
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I have built several Precision Aerobatics planes and assembly time usually runs into a couple days. Keep in mind that I am constantly stopping to move photography lights and cameras so you might get done sooner but it is worth taking your time to get it right the first time so you can spend more time flying the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL. This plane is a lot of fun to fly so it is worth taking a few extra hours to get it right the first time.

In the Air

I have never had to do much in the way of trimming a new Precision Aerobatics plane and the Addiction XL was no different. A couple click of right aileron and two clicks of down elevator got it right at ¾ throttle. The rest of the trim flight was devoted to seeing how all of the controls responded to see if I needed to tweak my dual rates. Everything felt fine so I left all of the settings alone. You have a good sized Center of Gravity range to work (161.5 to 167mm from the leading edge of the wing) with but I always wind up on the tail-heavy end of that spectrum and the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL is no exception. You really can make the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL fly as you like it with the CG location and dual rates on the control surfaces.

The weather was not cooperating much on the day I maidened the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL but I was able to thrash it some. It really does fly knife edge with ease, almost too easily. There is plenty of rudder authority to do knife edge loops and you can stand it upright with a little too much rudder. All of the controls are super effective and in the hands of a good pilot the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL can do any of the 3D tricks. For the more novice pilot dial down the CG and control surface movement and the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL flies like a trainer with slow-speed control and walking-speed landings. I think the newer pilots get more time to think with the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL than with many of the traditional trainers out there.

Conclusions

Video Tour

The Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL is yet another great plane from these folks that you will enjoy flying regardless of your style. It is great for full-on 3D but just as much fun for general sport flying. Most of us mix in some aspects of 3D into our normal flying and for my money the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL is the plane to have.

The Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL has a base price of just $325.00 (11-27-2013) which is not bad at all for a true built-up wood plane with a fist full of carbon fiber built in. the care and processes used during manufacturing mean that you get a straight, fun flying airplane right out of the box. When I look at what we are paying for foamies and other lesser capable planes the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL again rises to the top of the heap.

To see the Precision Aerobatics Addiction XL product page – Click Here

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