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Sprite Thermal-e 2m with wing bags

 (8 reviews)

Price: $822.52

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The Vladimir's Models Sprite Thermal-e is a very efficient fully molded 2m electric glider intended mainly for competitive and sport thermal soaring. The advanced design by Dr Mark Drela gives excellent performance as a highly competitive electric 2m thermal soarer. With its high strength and reasonably spacious pod the Sprite Thermal-e can be used with powerful electric power systems that require beefy batteries. Alternatively the Sprite Thermal-e low weight also allows smaller powertrains to be used, to maximise its thermal soaring capabilities.

Like other VM models the Sprite is optionally available with servo frames with bearings and internal IDS linkages ready fitted. This simplifies installing the RC massively. Whether these have been fitted or not is indicated with text like Aileron and Flap IDS fitted for MKS 6100 below the colour in the Available Options area below the price. The number refers to the servo family, in this case MKS DS6100 or MKS HV6100 servos. Other servos will generally not work as the servo splines are incompatible between KST, MKS, Futaba, Hitec, etc.

The Sprite Thermal-e's low drag gives it an excellent speed range makes it equally at home in calm and windy conditions, and makes hotliner style aerobatics a pleasure. With the power off its well-balanced controls and soaring optimised wing give it an outstanding thermal soaring capability and make it particularly attractive to expert flyers who are looking for 3m performance in a conveniently compact 2m package.

The Sprite Thermal-e version has a polyhedral wing with an EDA of 5 degrees, making it very easy to thermal, even at the limits of visibility. The AG40/41/42/43 section hollow moulded wings have carbon spars and large ailerons and flaps, extending the speed range at the low and high speed ends of the polar.

The attractive Kevlar fuselage and removable carbon canopy hatch are highly streamlined producing an extremely low drag and sleek pod, with fast convenient access to the flight battery. The molded-in wing pylon reduces interference drag and the long high modulus carbon tail boom and conventional cruciform tail ensure excellent handling. The molded tail assembly holds the superbly engineered all flying tail mount, with room for the elevator and rudder servos. The model is easily transported with its two-piece wings and removable tail.

In addition to the exceptional design the other outstanding characteristic of the Sprite is the very, very, very complete build done at the factory, with the following items already fitted to perfection: canopy, tailboom, and tailplane mount. The only work required is gluing in the fin and fitting the RC and powertrain.

These are available in glass or spread carbon layup. The spread carbon Sprite Hot-e models are very strong and light. The models now come with wing bags so there is no need to order these separately.

See these RCGroups building and flying and flight and powertrain discussions.

To see more great photos and read an in-depth independent report we recommend you download the QEFI Sprite Thermal Electric Review by Martin Bell.

Sprite Thermal Electric Specification
Wing span 2.0m 79 in
Wing area 36.5dm2 565 sq in
Length 1.32m 52 in
Typical flying weight 900g 31.7 oz
Wing loading 25g/dm2 8.1 oz/sq ft
Aspect ratio 11.0
Wing airfoil AG40/41/42/43
Tail airfoil NT12-NT14
Dihedral angle 6.5º
Spinner size 38mm
Centre of Gravity 92-104mm from wing leading edge
Tailplane neutral 51.5mm from top of the boom to the centre of the leading edge
Controls Elevator, rudder, flaps, ailerons

Sprite Thermal Electric Typical Weights
Fuselage 155g 5.5 oz
Wing (SC layup) 392g 13.8 oz
Hoz tail 25g 0.9 oz
Vert tail 12g 0.4 oz
Accessories 41g 1.5 oz
Total structure 625g 22.0 oz

Recommended Servos
Elevator & rudder (9mm) Blue Bird BMS-101DMG, Ripmax SD100, KST X06, KST X08N, Blue Bird BMS-A10S, MKS DS65K, MKS DS75K-N
Flap (13mm) KST X10 Mini, KST DS135MG, MKS DS6100, Ripmax SD150, KST X08, KST X10 Mini, Blue Bird BMS-115HV, Blue Bird BMS-125WV, Blue Bird BMS-M15V
Aileron (12mm) KST X10 Mini, KST DS135MG, MKS DS6100, Ripmax SD150, KST X08, Blue Bird BMS-115HV, Blue Bird BMS-125WV, Blue Bird BMS-M15V

Powertrain Recommendations
XPower F2915/12 XLight 3S 800mAh LiPo, 10x5 prop
Powerline Micro 1010 3S 800mAh LiPo, 12x8 prop
Powerline Micro 1015 3S 800mAh LiPo, 15x8 prop
AXI 2217/16 V2 Long 3S 800mAh LiPo, 10x5 prop
Mega 16/15/4 geared 4.4:1 3S 800mAh LiPo, 16x8 prop
Mega 16/15/4 direct drive, 2S 1000mAh LiPo, 7x4 prop
Mega 16/15/5 direct drive, 2S 1000mAh LiPo, 8x4 prop
Dualsky XM2826CA-10 45g outrunner 3S 800mAh LiPo, 10x7 prop (19A, 5.0 m/s)

Recommended Control Throws & Mixes
See the Setup Template for Blaster-Sprite-Supra-Vladimir.pdf file (link below).

Reviews 8  

 Review by:

This my second Sprite thermal e they fly like a much larger model I am looking forward to flying the carbon version I recemend this model. Will fly in windy conditions with ease!!!

 Review by:

Sprite Thermal-e

Beautiful work of art and the wings lovely work manship 10 out of 10

 Review by:

Sprite, a work of art

I received the Spread Carbon Sprite Thermal last week. It arrived in perfect condition.
Among my flying friends I am known for being pinicity and striving for perfection. I have to say this model's quality is perfection. It is sooo beautiful in both design and quality. It is also extremely light. How I will ever throw this work of art off a cliff , will be difficult!! :). I have yet to build and fly but can see it is something very special and slippery. Absolutely delighted.

 Review by:

Just had my first flight with the Sprite. Absolutely brilliant! As most of my models are cobbled together from balsa and ply, this represented a big change for me in terms of expense and performance and I was more nervous than usual before a first flight. I needn't have worried, from the moment it left my hand the model flew as straight as an arrow. The control deflections suggested in the instructions are spot on with no adjustments being necessary. I did need a fair bit of elevator trim, caused no doubt by my conservatively forward CG and possibly less than 100% accurate setting of the AMT (my fault). The initial climb was very fast and once in gliding mode it settled into a very flat and fairly fast glide. In zero lift conditions it stayed aloft for over 16 minutes with two motor runs totalling less than twenty seconds. I can't wait to try it on a more thermally day.

As for the construction, it was very quick to put together - most of the assembly time being spent soldering servo cables and connectors. The fit of the parts is absolutely stunning throughout and the model goes together very well indeed. Having read Martin Bell's account of fitting the tail servos I was a bit worried that it might be a struggle but it really wasn't - just take your time and the servos fit in with no trouble at all. Top marks for a great model, worth every penny of the price tag! As someone once said, you will remember the sweetness of the quality long after you have forgotten the bitterness of the price!

The set up I used is a Mega 16/25/4 inrunner turning a 9 x 5 folding prop with a 60 amp ESC (huge overkill but it was all I had to hand, I may replace it with something smaller) 3s 1600 Mah lipo, Hyperion DS09 tail servos and MKS wing servos. Multiplex 7 channel M Link RX.

 Review by:


As usual the plane arrived in a carton box off exelent quality so there was no dammage at all. Herewith the setup of the Sprite Thermal E

Motor : AXI GOLD 2212/26
Servos : Tail 2x Vigor £VS 12M
Eleron : 2 x Turnigy 555 MG
Brakes : 2x Turnigy 555 MG
Batt : 2200 3 cells

I will keep the CG at 10 cm, I do not need additional weight.

Happy landings


 Review by:

I have just finished the Sprite which I purchased earlier this year. This is just a short note to tell you that having now flown it I am very pleased with this little aeroplane. The performance is rather better than I expected. The handling is very good and utterly predictable. The settings provided in the instructions are very close to my ideal - I have made very minor changes to elevator and differential settings. The motor / prop combination (Hacker A20-6L, 4.4:1 gearbox on a 15 x 10 prop) gives a climb akin to a "rat up a drainpipe". I calculate it to be in the order of 3200 ft/min.
Have just returned from another session with the Sprite comprising of three flights. The duration of these flights was 31 min, 38 min and 37 min. The total motor run time was 32 seconds. This little model thermals beautifully and can be landed back into the hand. The Sprite makes my flying look really good.

You have one very satisfied customer.

Thanks, Brian

 Review by:

Sprite Thermal-e

After reading Martin Bellís review of the Sprite Thermal E in Q&EFI I just had to have one. A few hundred pounds later and I had one. I was immediately impressed by the quality of the moulding. It is first class and the whole structure is incredibly light and so rigid.

I immediately set about installing the R/C gear using Hyperion HP-DS09AMD digital servos and my trusty Futaba 2.4 Gig 10C. The motor is a direct drive Mega 16/25/6 with a 10 x 6 prop. With a light motor and servos in the fin I was disappointed to find the C.G. was too far forward even with the 2200 3S Lipo shoved almost under the wing. I really didnít want to add ballast so, after some thought, I cut over 2" off the nose! This brought the C.G. exactly into the middle of the allowable range. The only other problem was the neutral setting for the all-flying tail. An exchange of emails with Neil and Vladimir established that the it should be set parallel with the bottom of the fuselage tail boom.

Now all I had to do was wait for the worst winter in recent history to fade away and I was off to the nearest big hill. On the first flight, despite setting the all-flying tail to Vlad's instructions, the model was seriously over elevated, even full down trim was insufficient to fix it. A quick landing and some Sub Trim put that right and I was then able to enjoy a beautiful R/C glider with immaculate handling and an excellent speed range. On a blue day with virtually no hill lift but blue thermals it proved to be good at showing when it is in lift and is very easy to circle.

The C.G. felt right and this was confirmed by the dive test when it carried on without deviation when I removed my thumb from the elevator stick. The acceleration was quite impressive too for such a light model. A few runs of the motor gave a climb angle of about 40 degrees - more that enough for me in my post comp. era.

The landings were just fine although I hadn't set up full crow braking - only the flaps being used - it really needs the full monty as the braking effect of the flaps alone was rather poor even with almost 90į of deflection.

Is it worth all that money? - you bet!!


 Review by:

Sprite-e 2m Review

Looking for a follow-on model to my lightweight 2m Pulsar I came across an article in QEFI (September 2009) by Martin Bell describing the 2m all-moulded Sprite-e. This sounded just the job for next seasonís eSoaring! Martin wrote enthusiastically about the modelís quality, design and flying capabilities; it came from Vladimirís Ukranian stable and was available from Neil at Hyperflight. All plus points in my book Ė so I ordered one in white and red. Martin was definitely correct - the model quality is absolutely superb. All the small components are included so you can start building immediately using the enclosed instructions along with Martinís helpful QEFI article.

Up front I used one of the Hacker A20-6XL geared outrunners on a 14 x 10 folder with a TP Pro-lite 3S 2100mAh lipo via a Jeti Spin 44 controller. A very neat cranked 38mm Hyperflight spinner completed the installation up the sharp end after some trimming to fit the Aeronaut blades. Hyperion Atlas digital DS09AMD servos are used for rudder, elevator and ailerons, with the slightly thicker DS095FMDs for flaps. Getting the aileron and flap linkages set up correctly was definitely the most involved part of the build for me as this was my first moulded model with a 4-servo wing. Confidence was boosted by the RC Groups Sprite thread ( In conjunction with an offset servo neutral I managed to obtain around 75-80 degrees of down flap. Just what the doctor ordered!

To make life more complicated I treated myself to a new Futaba 8FG 2.4GHz transmitter to control this wonderful beast, spending many a long dark winter evening trying to get to grips with all the new programming features. The templates supplied for the Spriteís camber settings along with Martinís notes were very helpful at this point. Eventually confusion receded and the snow melted about the same time. So off to the flying field wearing my best brown trousers!

Fortunately the maiden flight was something of an anti-climax. A CG at 93mm aft of the wing LE (requiring 15gm of tail weight) saw the Sprite climb away nicely transitioning to a fairly fast glide after cutting the motor. Switching into thermal mode slowed it down nicely, exhibiting well-controlled tighter and flatter turns, allowing me to follow two buzzards that appeared as if by magic at that point. Flicking into reflex mode produced a significantly increased speed to cover the sky much better than my Pulsar ever did. Deploying flaps brought the speed right down for a relatively easily-controlled nose-down descent back to earth for high-fives all round.

A couple of weekís flying has enabled me to explore the trims and mixes to learn more about the capabilities of this wonderful model. Moving the CG back a few mms has given a better balance for thermal hunting and Iím starting to seriously enjoy the qualities of the Sprite. No excuses now for turning in a poor competition performance!


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