Vortex generators at the wings’ leading edges reenergize the airflow, improving slow-speed
control and reducing tip stalls.
Removing the lower wing and aft hatch provides access to the tail servos and the Aura 8 AFCS.
excellent inverted mannerisms, I kept it
wheels-up and performed some inverted
circles and Figure Eights.
If, like me, you’re a big fan of inverted
flight, don’t fly the Mamba 10 upside
down. It can be addicting. Because
this was a test flight, I rolled it back
to upright and explored some sport
maneuvers such as Hammerheads, loops,
and rolls. If you enjoy the Hammerhead
maneuver (or stall turn), the Mamba 10
might be the perfect airplane. The rudder
authority is incredible.
With this much yaw control,
transitioning into knife-edge flight was a
no-brainer. As someone who has owned
and flown many biplanes, I’m intimately
familiar with the coupling issues biplanes
are known for. Approaching from the
right and rolling the Mamba 10 on its
side, I applied top rudder and waited for
the expected pitch and roll coupling.
The airplane locked into knife-edge flight
without a hint of coupling, and only the
slightest amount of rudder input was
necessary to maintain altitude.
Given these factors, I had no choice
but to finish out the battery transitioning
through knife-edge passes, circles, and
Figure Eights. (The Aura 8 has been
conveniently preprogrammed for the
mixing.) With this level of precision
and absence of coupling, I was able to
perform clean point rolls and slow rolls
without constantly fighting to keep the
Mamba 10 on its centerline.
With a fresh battery (a slightly larger
2,700 mAh 3S battery pack), I explored
the Mamba 10’s 3-D mannerisms.
Starting with the high-speed 3-D mode,
I threw the airplane into Pop-Tops,
blenders, aggressive snaps, and anything
else that came to mind. Although the
Mamba 10 is capable of a wide range
of 3-D maneuvers, with its lower wing
loading and the fact that it’s a biplane, I
would describe its tumbling abilities as
strong, but not extreme.
However, that same low wing loading,
when combined with the Aura 8’s
advanced stabilization makes the Mamba
10 cry out to be flown low and slow.
With confidence-inspiring stability, the
Mamba 10 is a dream to harrier (upright
or inverted) and hover.
Hovering a short-coupled (the
distance between the wing and the tail
section) biplane is usually a task best
left to advanced pilots. The Mamba 10,
however, with its massive rudder and
elevator, plus the Aura 8, could be used
as a hovering trainer.
Not only does the airplane lock into
hovers, but with four huge ailerons—
each controlled by its own dedicated
servo countering the effects of motor
torque (torque roll)—hovering is as
simple as holding in a bit of right aileron.
Of course, should you be a pilot who
has learned to embrace the beauty of the
torque roll, hovering while holding in full
left aileron will result in your Mamba 10
transforming into a spinning top.
Speaking of ailerons, the Mamba 10’s
roll rate is something to see. Rolls are not
only drill fast, but surprisingly axial. One
of my complaints about 3-D-capable
biplanes of this size is that during slow,
high-alpha (the angle of attack) rolling
harriers, the roll rate is often so slow that
the maneuver falls apart.
With the Mamba 10’s extreme roll
authority, I found myself performing
those same rolling harriers at remarkably
slow airspeeds, all the while keeping
a high roll rate. For an advanced pilot
who’s comfortable with all of the various
rolling maneuvers, the Mamba 10 is just
what the doctor ordered.
During bench testing, the Mamba
10’s 120-gram Potenza 1,400 Kv motor
drew roughly 45 amps for a total of 500
watts. With a claimed flying weight of 54
ounces, this results in approximately 150
69 Model Aviation JULY 2017 www.ModelAviation.com sponsored by HOW-TO issue