3D Extra 4Site

Since I’m often asked to compare aircraft to assist in the purchase decision, I’m going to compare the E-Flite Ultra Micro eXtreme (UMX) Extra 300 3D and the E-Flite Ultra Micro (UM) 4-Site. Both are very capable 3D planes that are a lot of fun to fly. I personally am not an advanced 3D pilot, but these planes can fool most people into believing I am. I enjoy flying down at our Town Green, and more often than not I have to pick up all the human jaws when I’m done flying one of these excellent and relatively affordable 3D aircraft.  

Let’s talk about the first one to be released, the 4Site. I bought a 4Site a few weeks after it came out. Right away I was impressed with the level of detail in the decals and even more so with all the carbon fiber rods. This plane has been reinforced in just about every direction possible to provide a very rigid airframe. The control surfaces have a lot of movement for extremely fast rolls and loops. Included are a set of air brakes, like training wheels for those who wish to practice hovering and harriers.  

The 4Site is made from very thin flat foam resulting in a light agile airplane - so thin in fact that looking at it made me worry I was going to break it. Well, fortunately for me it’s not as fragile as it looks. In fact quite the contrary. I’ve crashed mine more times than I can count and I’m still flying on the original air frame. Don’t get me wrong, there is a measurable amount of CA glue holding some parts together. Once I even grabbed the wrong glue and melted some of the foam on the main profile because the adhesive wasn’t safe for foam. Although I have glued my 4Site many times (and crashed it even more) it still flies very well.

The UM Extra 300 is also fragile, but more agile, and more 3D capable. I think it’s important to mention that since I got the 300 Extra my UM 4Site now sits in its box unused, and my Extra lives in my trunk ready to fly at a moment’s notice. The design of the UM 300 is less complex, with even bigger control surfaces. As soon as I took it from the box I got the sense the UM Extra is even more delicate than its predecessor the UM 4Site. Like the 4site the Extra is made from flat foam, however the Extra is a thicker more porous foam with certain parts removed from the design to save weight then covered with a thin plastic film for a smooth finish. The Extra lacks all the complex rigging of the 4Site. I imagine the simpler design would make repairs less intimidating, although I have yet to glue anything on my Extra.  

As I said, my Extra lives in the trunk of my car because it is a very easy plane to fly and always a pleasure. It’s almost like the plane wants to hover, loop, and roll. The day I saw the promotional video for the Extra I knew I had to have one, and I have not been disappointed. Seeing how small an area this plane could fly in was very impressive to me. Although it feels more fragile however I have yet to glue anything - and yes I have crashed it. I’m not sure if the construction is more durable than the 4-Site, or whether my crashes have just not been as harsh; either way it remains glue-less.  

Getting to the decision of which ultra micro is the right one for you mostly comes down to personal preference but let me try and help: if your budget is tight or you’re stepping up from a UM Sukhoi or a UM T-28 you might want to consider the 4Site. At the time of this writing the 4Site is available for about $80 without a radio, a considerable savings off the $140 price tag on the Bind and Fly (BNF) version of the Extra 300. If you already have 3D experience or the price difference is not a problem, I would advise you to buy the UMX 300 Extra because the Extra will roll faster, loop tighter, and hover easier than the 4Site. Both are very adequate planes for advanced flying. In conclusion, the 300 is a more acrobatic airplane, but the 4Site is cheaper and quite 3D capable - both will bring you or your recipient hours of fun.