I've been a fan of ultra-micro RC airplanes since they first became available several years ago. At first, it was just about the cool factor of flying an itty-bitty model, even if it couldn't do much. But ultra-micros have advanced dramatically in recent years. They are now powerful, practical, and versatile flying machines with features that rival or surpass larger models. The subject of this review, the UMX Timber, is a prime example.
About the UMX Timber
The UMX Timber ($130) is a Bind-N-Fly model with a 27.6" (700mm) wingspan and a flying weight of only 4.3 ounces (121g). It comes with everything except a compatible radio transmitter, flight battery, and charger. Other than bolting on the landing gear and setting up your radio, all of the pre-flight tasks are done for you.
Like all of E-flite's other UMX models, the Timber is made of molded foam components. It is adorned with a mixture of paint and stickers. I'm not a fan of the stickers. While I like the color scheme, the stickers have a glossier sheen than the foam and are wrinkled in numerous areas. There is definitely some headroom for cosmetic improvement.
This model has a variety of bright LED lights installed in the wings and fuselage. They emulate the navigation lights found on full-scale airplanes. The lights are somewhat crude, with exposed wires and circuit boards. Their inclusion seems to be an afterthought. I'm sure some flyers like the lights. I wouldn't mind if they were omitted.
One of the most noticeable and unusual aspects of the UMX Timber is the pair of cartoonish tires slung underneath. The tires seem a bit less awkward if you're familiar with the rugged full-scale airplanes made famous by Alaskan bush pilots. Those aircraft have similarly-oversized tires that let them take off and land on very rough ground. The UMX Timber's tires serve the same purpose. Whereas most micro-sized models require a paved runway or a hand launch, the UMX Timber is much less picky. I've been flying off of a grass runway with no problem. None of my other micros can do that.