As the only biplane in its class with four aileron servos, the Aura 8-equipped Mamba 10 can utilize
the remarkable Crow speed-brake function.
The combination of the Aura
8, low wing loading, massive
control surfaces, and ample
power results in hovering
mannerisms rarely seen in
biplanes of this size.
watts per pound. Although economical
for 3-D (particularly when compared
with the 200 to 250 watts per pound
found in higher-end dedicated 3-D
machines), it is in the ballpark for foam
3-D/aerobatic airplanes in this class.
Watts per pound is one thing, but
what we care about is thrust. The
combination of the Mamba 10’s
1,400 Kv motor and its lower-pitched
propeller results in a fast spool-up rate
and respectable vertical performance.
Although not rocketlike, the Mamba 10
has sufficient thrust to get off the deck
in a hurry.
I had never utilized the Crow feature
on anything other than a sailplane, so
I was eager to try out this advanced
programming feature on a park-flyer-size
biplane. With Crow, it felt like at least
a 40% reduction in airspeed. Crow-enabled downlines felt nothing like
the usual knee-shaking experience of
watching your beloved airplane plummet
I found myself incorporating downlines
into my flight patterns with increasing
regularity. Likewise, flipping on Crow
before landing has an effect that reminds
me of a fighter plane catching the wire
during a carrier landing. You’re moving,
and then you’re not.
During subsequent flights with the
Mamba 10, I found myself conflicted
between wanting to spend the entire
flight enjoying the airplane’s stable low-and-slow characteristics or its precise
higher-speed mannerisms. With the
Mamba 10’s ability to transition cleanly
between stable post-stall, tumbling, and
higher-speed precision maneuvers, pilots
can begin choreographing routines, as
opposed to stumbling around without a
That’s not to say the Mamba 10
doesn’t make a good throw-it-into-the-backseat-for-a-quick-flight-at-the-park airplane, just that its stability and
precision can inspire confidence for pilots
looking to take their progress a little
Along with all of the positive things I
have to say about the Mamba 10, there
is one unavoidable negative: flight times.
Although the Mamba 10 is touted as
being able to use the widely owned
2,200 mAh 3S LiPo battery, 4 minutes
of aggressive flying feels like only a small
serving of your favorite dish.
There’s an easy fix, however. Either
upgrade to a Flex Innovations 4S power
system and subsequent 2,200 mAh 4S
battery pack or simply use a larger 3S
battery pack (up to 3, 100 mAh) and
pilots can increase their flight times to
5 minutes. This would be nearly the
industry standard for an airplane in this
During initial testing, using a 9-ounce
2,700 mAh 3S battery pack provided 5
minutes of mixed-throttle flight while
sacrificing little, if any, of the Mamba 10’s
floaty, post-stall performance.
Building on the success of the 70cc
Giant Scale Mamba, Quique and his
team have created a park-flyer-size
biplane that celebrates the marriage
of modern technology and expert
engineering. Take a lightweight, stiff
airframe, design it for light wing loading,
throw in some fine tuning with vortex
generators, run the whole system through
an advanced flight control system such as
the Aura 8, and what you end up with is
a truly multidimensional airplane.
Is it 3-D capable? You bet. Stable
and precise? No doubt about it. A
comfortable sport flier? Of course.
Durable, repairable, can go from
unboxing to flyable in an hour and able
to fly with a commonly owned 2,200
mAh 3S LiPo battery pack? Yes, indeed.
With the Mamba 10 Super PNP
biplane, Flex Innovations has released an
Flex Innovations/Premier Aircraft
70 Model Aviation JULY 2017 www.ModelAviation.com