13-Apr-24 - 07:27 PM

Product Reviews - Review Text 12

Written by Hayden Daley - 04 March, 2020.
Welcome to this edition of the Thermal Circle in this edition the new Spektrum IX 20 radio the Plus X F3J model the Simitri F5J and the Pike Prestige F3J and F5J sailplanes. Model Flight has landed a new Spektrum shipment and Hyperion Australia is also carrying new stock.

Available from:

Spektrum IX 20

The Spektrum™ iX20 Smart transmitter integrates the power of touch and voice interface capabilities with broad connectivity for control that goes beyond the luxury of its smooth Hall-effect gimbals and the feel of a perfectly balanced ergonomic platform.The Spektrum™ iX20 Smart transmitter integrates the power of touch and voice interface capabilities with broad connectivity for control that goes beyond the luxury of its smooth Hall-effect gimbals and the feel of a perfectly balanced ergonomic platform.

  • 20 fully proportional channels
  • 720p HD high-resolution color, 5-inch Android touchscreen interface
  • Superb ergonomics by Mirco Pecorari and Aircraft Studio Design
  • Hall-effect sensing, quad-bearing gimbals
  • Speech-to-text interface
  • Text-to-speech voice alerts—type it and iX20 will say it
  • Intuitive Spektrum AirWare™ Touch programming app
  • Bluetooth connectivity with compatible devices
  • Smart Telemetry compatibility, including Smart battery and Smart ESC support with multiple screens and warnings
  • Integrated Wi-Fi connectivity for internet access
  • Camera included for taking model images or photos/videos
  • Easy access to updates, apps and online content
  • Capacitive-touch (on/off) switching technology
  • On-the-Fly trim capability lets you fine tune special mixes in flight
  • Accepts G2 AirWare firmware model setups
  • Dual 2.4GHz antennas deliver industry-leading diversity and reliability
  • Compatible with long-range Crossfire technology and the CRSF protocol
  • Highcapacity 10,500mAh LiIon battery pack
  • 11ms frame rate with compatible receivers
  • Voice alerts over speaker, headphones or Bluetooth
  • Convenient MicroUSB charging and connectivity
  • 250model internal memory, plus SD card storage support
  • BuiltIn telemetry support
  • Wireless trainer link
  • Optional orange side and rear grips included

Product Information The Spektrum™ iX20 smart radio is our most powerful, feature packed 20-channel air transmitter to date and host to a wide array of innovations and upgrades over its DX20 counterpart and iX12 sibling. Most apparent is the giant, 5-inch, 720p color touch-display with leading-edge Android technology. But when you delve into the details you see that the iX20 is more than just our next intelligent transmitter. The iX20 has a style and finish crafted by Mirco Pecorari and AircraftStudioDesign, whose specific RC pilot expertise and unique experience combine ergonomics and comfort for a feel that’s beyond compare. Super-smooth, long lasting Hall-effect gimbals deliver advanced precision that adds maintenance-free peace of mind. And when it comes to upgrades, the Spektrum AirWare™ App has exciting new features as well as a more refined and user-friendly interface. New speech-to-text functionality makes it easier than ever to set up custom telemetry warnings, reports and more. Just talk to the iX20, and it will listen. The iX20 offers the best of Spektrum Smart Technology with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and voice recognition connectivity along with third-party app availability, capacitive-touch switch sensing and third-party module support via the integrated serial communication port. It’s compatible with Smart telemetry, supporting Smart batteries and Smart ESCs with multiple screens and warnings. The iX20 stands solid but can grow and adapt in the fast-paced world of smart technology. The iX20 is the flagship transmitter that will ensure Spektrum remains the leader in radio control.

What's in the box?

  • Transmitter
  • Optional Orange Side and Rear Grips
  • Sticker Sheet
  • iX20 Neck Strap
  • Instruction Manual
  • Li-Ion Transmitter Battery
  • Magnetic USB Cable and Magnetic Adapter
  • Custom iX20 Carrying Case
  • 2 Sets of Gimbal Stick Ends
  • Quickstart Guide

Designed and ergonomically engineered by Mirco Pecorari from AircraftStudioDesign, the iX20 has been optimized to fit a wide range of pilot needs. Its Hall-effect sensor gimbals offer long-lasting precision with an ultra-smooth feel that’s conveniently adjustable from the front of the transmitter. The result is a sense of style, comfort and functionality that perfectly complements the reliability, speed and precision of Spektrum™ DSMX® technology.

Key iX20 Ergonomic Features:

  • Hall-effect sensor, quad-bearing gimbals
  • Convenient front-access gimbal adjustment
  • Adjustable stick length and tension
  • Easy-grip slide levers with firm-centre detent plus spring tension adjustment accessible from the front of the transmitter
  • Contoured, non-slip rubber grips
  • User-adjustable mode configurations (1, 2, 3 or 4)
  • User-adjustable switch assignments with touch sensing
  • Pushbutton power switch with sleep mode

Simply Talk to It

Just talk to the iX20 and it will listen. New speech-to-text functionality, made possible by Android, allows you to access and setup custom telemetry warnings, reports and more through its voice recognition software. The giant 5-inch, full-color, easy-to-read touchscreen interface cold-boots (from OFF) in less than 30 seconds and wakes from sleep in one second or less. Its processing speed is approximately 250% faster than that of the iX12. The state-of-the-art touchscreen technology provides information in crisp, clear detail and allows you to make precise changes quickly and easily. You literally “tap” into the iX20’s programming, and model setting changes take effect instantly. Because this is a fully functional Android interface, it will work with an evolving list of apps from the Google Play store.

Convenient Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB Connectivity

When connected to Wi-Fi, the iX20 transmitter gets even smarter. Spektrum™ AirWare™ Touch app update alerts are automatic, plus you can download model setups and add third-party apps. The iX20 can connect with just about any Bluetooth device. This means you can use wireless earbuds or even your phone’s earpiece for voice alerts. Music, voice alerts and more are heard privately with outstanding clarity. A micro USB port allows you to charge the internal Li-Ion battery with an ordinary USB-to-Micro USB cable. It can also be used to connect flight controllers, recognize accessory devices and provide a convenient link to your PC or laptop.

High-Resolution Colour Display

Huge and easy to read, the 5-inch, Android-powered touchscreen offers a high-resolution 720p HD color interface with the power to graph expo curves and the like with greater accuracy and view new telemetry gauges in a way that won’t leave you second-guessing.

Stay Connected Through Smart Technology

The iX20 is the ultimate tool for making sure your prized aircraft and equipment stay in perfect condition. It offers built-in telemetry compatibility that can give you real-time information on critical data like battery voltage, motor temperature and more. The transmitter is compatible with installations using telemetry-enabled receivers and sensors, and it supports those using the innovative, all-in-one telemetry of Spektrum™ Smart Batteries, ESCs and receivers with multiple screens and warnings. The iX20 takes raw, real-time telemetry data and makes it far easier to view graphically with gauges that put vital information into a context that’s clear and precise. Using the voice alert system, you can program the iX20 to tell you when specific telemetry values reach or exceed limits you define. You can also have it call out a sequence of telemetry values on demand with the flip of a switch.Customizable telemetry dashboard pages and custom gauge panels allow you to set what data you want to see and organize it as you choose, with adjustable cell sizing and auto text-size adjustment. Go further with the iX20 when you explore what the integrated auxiliary serial port has to offer. It’s a next-level link that lets you accessorize the iX20 transmitter with an alternate RF system, such as the TBS Crossfire CRSF protocol technology, and still enjoy extremely low latency performance.

20 Channels

Maybe you’re the proud owner of the most feature-packed model on the planet, maybe not. Use just four channels or all 20. The iX20 intuitive programming uses simple language and logic to help you easily set up and operate any aircraft type, and to custom-tune and add features whenever you like. With its X-Plus™ channel expansion capability, the iX20 also allows you to add up to eight additional channels with an X-Plus Channel Expansion Module (SPMXP8000 – sold separately). Just plug the module into a compatible receiver, bind it to the iX20, and then assign the extra channels to any functions you want.

Menu Setup

The iX20 allows you to customize menus based on particular receiver features, adding or removing items that are or are not relevant. Just go into the receiver list drop-down menu and use the on/off buttons to turn items on or off (and to select channel count if the receiver you want is not listed).

My List

The iX20 “My List” provides you with your own custom menu list, accessible on the bottom left of the home dashboard. There you can select the menu items you want and reorganize the list however you wish. Enjoy quick access to the features you use the most! Long-time Spektrum™ users will feel right at home the first time they pick up the iX20. That’s because its Spektrum AirWare™ Touch app program is built on the same Spektrum AirWare firmware used today. The giant, color touchscreen interface simply makes menu navigation and setting changes even easier than they were before.

Forward Programming

Forward Programming is a Spektrum technology that enables you to configure smart receivers and related products wirelessly and directly from the transmitter. It’s simple. Forward Programming uses the existing bi-directional communication link between a transmitter and receiver to do the same sophisticated programming that once required a cable, Bluetooth dongle, PC or a mobile phone. Plus, Forward Programming uses intuitive Spektrum AirWare™ firmware language so it’s simple to use.

24 Program Mixes

The iX20 has the most program mixes ever offered in a Spektrum radio. In each mix, a curve is available for each position. For example, if you assign a mix to flight modes, you may have up to 10 flight modes; you’ll also have up to ten different curves for total flexibility. Having a curve for every position provides much more flexibility and power for complex mixing, and can reduce the number of program mixes it takes to achieve a desired setup. Keep tabs on important information without ever taking your eyes off what you are flying. The iX20 programmable voice alert system can call out what flight mode you have chosen or report telemetry info automatically or on demand. If an alarm goes off, you won't have to look at the display to see what's happening. The iX20 can tell you. Create any voice alert by just typing in the words. In addition to a built-in speaker, the iX20 has a headphone jack that allows you to monitor voice alerts using earbuds so you don't bother other pilots. You can also use Bluetooth to connect with wireless earbuds or your phone’s ear piece.

On-The-Fly Fine Tuning

Easily fine tune programmed features while flying without awkwardly having to access a specific menu or land just to tweak an adjustment. On-The-Fly (OTF) lets you adjust mixes and other programmed values conveniently “on the fly” by simply using one of the four auxiliary trim controls (not the primary trim controls) you select.

Innovative Touch Switching

Turn timers on or off, or activate programmed voice alerts with just your touch. An industry first, the iX20 uses capacitive-touch technology so that any of the ten toggle switches, the I-switch button, or gimbal sticks react to the soft touch of a finger and without interrupting the programmed mechanical movements also assigned.

Sharable Model Files

The iX20’s enormous internal memory — large enough to hold 250 models — means you’ll rarely, if ever, need to juggle models between the transmitter memory and SD card or Bluetooth memory devices. Nevertheless, transferring model programs is simple and seamless with the iX20 and other Spektrum brand radios. You can easily share models between “G2” systems and iX-series radios via SD card or Bluetooth. Note: The iX20 can import SPM and iSPM file types, but can export only iSPM type files.

Diversity Antenna System

Having multiple antennas built-in assures RF performance regardless of how the iX20 transmitter is oriented while you fly. In addition to the visible antenna, another is designed into the transmitter front case. It’s a proven effective system that enhances signal reception while reducing polarization.

Built-In Camera

A camera is built into the iX20 transmitter and can be used to take still photos and videos. The lens is located in the rear center of the transmitter. It’s easy to capture images of your own aircraft and add them to the Model Details menu.The enormous capacity of the iX20's internal memory means you will rarely, if ever, need to juggle models between transmitter memory, SD card or Bluetooth memory devices.

Wireless Trainer Link

The exclusive functionality of the Spektrum™ wireless trainer link gives iX20 users the ability to link up wirelessly with other Spektrum transmitters. It’s hassle-free. Once bound to another transmitter or component, ModelMatch™ technology will allow the iX20 to re-link without going through the bind process all over again. The Spektrum™ iX20 smart radio is an intelligent, full 20-channel transmitter matched with a powerful combination of features, innovations and next-level connectivity. It was designed to meet the present and future needs of pro pilots who want top-class features, easy programmability, and the capabilities required to fly high-performance aircraft. While the iX20 may be the most advanced intelligent transmitter available with an Android 7 touch-screen interface, that doesn’t mean it’s hard to use. Its giant, full-colour touch screen makes working with state-of-the-art technology comfortable and exciting. All-new Spektrum AirWare™ firmware has been streamlined and enhanced to deliver an overall faster experience, while its huge 10,500mAh battery keeps you powered and ready.

Available from:

Plus X F5J and F3J Plus X- the World best F5J wing from Joe Wurts:

  • The best thermaling and penetration performance combined in one wing;
  • 6 servos give the best combination of aileron and flapperon differential for the highest climb performance during circling in thermals;
  • Wide flap has extremely smooth airfoil in all flight mode;
  • Extremely possibility for brake due 6 servos wing;
  • Plus X/5 has five short parts wing for easy traveling with luggage limit size box;
  • Plus X light- strong version with FAI limits weight;
Plus X – unique easy-taped-assembly two part fuselage
  • Two short parts of the fuselage for easy traveling;
  • Easy and reliable ballasting fuselage;
  • VM famous snap fixed system for carbon canopy;
  • Unique light weight and strength due Carboline preform for the boom and pod;
  • Easy mounting system for servos, inside the tail boom;
  • Carbon pushrods for tail servos is installed already;
  • The ability to trim the nose (on 54mm) to diameter of 38mm to get the right CG with a heavy motor;
Plus X – extremely low drag, high efficient and light tail
  • High aspect ratio fin with unique efficient thin airfoils from Joe Wurts;
  • Extremely rigid and light elevator and rudder control system;
  • Easy mounting fin and stabilizer;
  • Amazing high strength and light weight of the tail.

Length 1764 mm (69.4")
Wing span 3973 mm (156.41")
Wing area 77.2 sq dm
Wing airfoils original by Joe Wurts
Wing aspect ratio 20.4 %
Horizontal stabilizer area 7.98 sq dm
Horizontal stabilizer aspect ratio 7.76
Vertical stabilizer area 5.15 sq dm
Vertical stabilizer aspect ratio 3.17
Control surfaces ailerons, flapperons, flaps, elevator, rudder

Available from:

PLUS X wing

Plus X – the World best F5J wing from Joe Wurts:

  • The best thermaling and penetration performance combined in one wing;
  • 6 servos give the best combination of aileron and flapperon differential for the highest climb performance during circling in thermals;
  • Wide flap has extremely smooth airfoil in all flight mode;
  • Extremely possibility for brake due 6 servos wing;
  • Plus X/5 has five short parts wing for easy traveling with luggage limit size box;
  • Plus X light- strong version with FAI limits weight;
  • Wing mounted receiver with one wire connection due SBus/ XBus hub in the fuselage;
  • 8 channel receiver possibility due Y-cable for flaps.

Available from:

Available from:

Simitri F3J Information The Simitri F3J is the newest addition from the maker of the Euphoria. They had honed their skills on the Euphoria, making it one of the best flying models and values out there! Simitri is a step above the quality of many of the models we have seen. The fit and finish are A quality, and the execution of carbon line spread tow, and the composite is top shelf. The wing is carbon line fabric, with a new spar technology that is very strong, and very lite. The polyhedral wing circles excellent with the trilerons, launches well and will hang with the best of the best! The wing linkage has LDS installed, ready to install servos of your choice, we like the MKS 6110's and 6130s in the flaps. The Rohacell CNC tails are flawless and very light. They can be removed for transport, and with the 3pc wing, this model is great for breaking down well. The fuse pod is kevlar 2.4 friendly too Features

  • New platform gives better penetration and tighter circles
  • Extreme power in the elevator
  • Harder pings off launch
  • Precise turnovers
  • Lower-positioned nose helps in the landings
  • Shape, airfoils, tail and fuse cross-section means better strength and lower drag
  • Lighter fuses and wings
  • New materials improve circling at low speeds
  • Moulds and building techniques make parts lighter, stronger and with better finish
  • Ailerons at the end of the tip give you an even more agile model
  • Stronger stiffness and resistance with high pressure production technology
  • Wing, fuselage, rudder and elevator are full carbon

Available from:

Pike Prestige

First of all thanks to Philip Kolb for constructing an exceptional model in the F5J world. He was not influenced by various fads in the F5J world and used all his knowledge, experience and best available software to construct the amazing PRESTIGE 2PK.To this we added the full rohacell core to the design, the whole model is made in heated aluminum molds to a very high temperature. This technology creates a light, strong and stable platform for years of flying.It is worth mentioning a few properties we have found very nice after flying this model for a while.

In circling the model as expected did not have a need for extreme dihedral joiners since the aerodynamic design and airfoil changes does that work in a better way than increasing dihedral. It was first produced with 6 degree tip joiners and then we added an 8 degree alternative. It has also been flown a lot with 5 degree joiners with good success in low altitude thermalling at EC F3J 2019. There should be no need for extreme joiners though this is again a personal preference. Circling camber can be extreme (5-8 degrees) while still maintaining speed during because of a new tail design that keeps the energy better (less drag). This means high bank angle is possible and yet still keep the high lift in a tight thermal.The large and newly designed rudder makes it possible to yank the model into any thermal you find.

As you will find described in the designer Philip Kolb’s writeup the penetration in all camber settings is very good because of the new tail design. Now you can change camber at any point without losing flying energy like we see in many airfoils. The model now just speeds up to the desired speed/camber setting and keeps that for a trip over the whole airfield thru lift and sink. Night and early morning testing have shown sink values as good as 0,35-0,4m/s in distance mode (1mm up along the whole trailing edge and measured by altimeter). That means search mode for thermals is very efficient and a fantastic glide ratio. Flying in full camber in the same conditions gives values in the range of 0,25-0,3m/s but less area is covered. Landing the Prestige 2PK is easier than ever. No aileron setup is needed (aileron goes to neutral when brakes applied). Only flaps and elevator compensation. Still the model slows down to a crawl and pushing over is easy as the new elevator keeps the energy well even with full flaps applied. The rudder is also better and bigger and with the new high dihedral middle and aerodynamic airfoil changes it corresponds well to rudder input and is not as much affected by sidewind as earlier models. Though it should be said that the lightest layup has very light tips and heavier tips (inertia) might be preferred if the landing area have lots of sidewind and/or turbulence.The nose is removable. It is made longer than needed and can be shortened ( max. 100 mm) according to engine weight and lipo. Install equipment and shorten nose to fit preferred CG. The original nose has a diameter of 32 mm. It is designed to fit cheap and reliable outrunners for lighter versions. Very soon we will produce a nose cone with slimmer diameter of 30 mm.The servos and receiver are located in the fuselage under the center wing therefore there is enough space in the front for the motor, controller and lipo. Battery size from very small and up to 2300mah can be used as much care is taken to a very thin but almost square fuse in the front area. The complete wire harness is built into the center panel and the central connector is ready installed. Wire harness for fuselage is also delivered ready made.Servo compartments in wing are laminated on all sides with carbon fabric, so a very strong box has been created in which the IDS system can be mounted. We recommend to install IDS for KST X10 mini, JRDS 181 or 189 for flaps and MKS 6110HV in the tips. For fuselage are suitable servos size like MKS 6110 HVIn the future will also produce a V tail versionAlthough it is a new model a few pilots had it before WCH F5J 2019 and only had the chance to test for a short time.So in the biggest F5J competitions of all times the pre contest 4th WCH World F5J Challenge only 3 pilots flew with the Prestige 2 PK. All 3 was pilots were in Flyoff out of 190 pilots. Robert Bonafede won the 4th World Challenge and finished 3rd at the World Championship that followed.Other pilots with the Prestige 2PK achieved a lot of podium positions in a lot of other F5J competitions. We wish everyone who purchases Prestige 2PK many great experiences and sporting successes.

Available from:

Thats all from the Thermal Circle

Happy safe and successful soaring!!!

Hayden Daley 2019

Click on any banner ad to transfer to the website

Text-based competition soaring information website established 2007