The purchase of this plane was prompted by our ownership of a Brison 3.2 engine that we had bought for a Lanier Cap 232. Completion of the Cap was slow due to a lack of free time, and we thought the Cap might be slightly underpowered on the 3.2. The mission of the Edge was to replace our Aeropro Lazer 200, which never flew quite as we had hoped, due mostly to its weight. We were looking for a plane in the 28% size range because it was large enough for a thrill, but not so large that it becomes cumbersome to transport and store. The Wild Hare Edge 540T had just been released, and their larger kits had been well received, so we decided to give their new "small" Edge a try.
The Wild Hare Edge 540T is typical of the newer large scale ARFs available on the market. The construction is generally straight and true, and the covering is done as well as most people can do themselves. Our kit had a slightly warped right elevator, which was an annoyance but does not seem to have any severe side-effects in flight. The wood used for construction was heavy, typical of budget ARFs made overseas, bringing our plane about a pound heavier than its heaviest advertised weight, despite using some of the lighter radio and engine components available. An upgraded wing tube, spinner, and landing gear package brought the final weight to the top of the advertised weight range. The plane has a bit more wing area than other planes in its size range, so the wing loading is similar to offerings from Aeroworks and others.
Construction of the plane was fairly straightforward. The instructions were quite good, with enough pictures and concise, straightforward instructions. I would definitely rate them better than most, although not quite as savvy as offerings from Hobbico or Horizon. The most difficult part of construction was the installation of the Robart hinges, which we chose to install with Polyurethane glue. The method was new to us, but the results were good with the exception of a large gap due to a poorly beveled hinge and slightly misaligned hinge drill holes. However, there seems to be little or no binding, and surfaces readily move through their 90 degree ranges. Radio installation was straightforward, delayed only by the typical pondering about where to put everything to achieve proper balance and control symmetry. The plane balanced just slightly behind the recommended starting point with the receiver battery just ahead of the fuel tank. Our final CG ended up slightly behind this one.
Starting the Brison the first few times proved to be very difficult. I believe that this was due mostly to the engine sitting in storage for over four years. To start it the first few times, we had to richen the engine up quite a bit, only to lean it out again as the engine warmed up. We could not find a setting where the engine would both run well and start. Eventually, we reduced the spark plug gap and reduced the amount of oil in the fuel from 40:1 to 80:1, and the engine began starting easier. Now, each time we take it out, it gets a little easier to start than the time before, and the frequency of carb adjustments is going down exponentially.
Initial tests show that the plane is a good flier, tracking relatively straight with a very smooth control response. Knife edge has a bit of coupling, which was mixed out using the radio. We're still working on dialing in the tracking of the plane, and taking our time before pushing it hard, so a full flight report is probably premature.