The RC Geek Blog is your place to learn about all aspects of the RC hobby. Learn to build, design, drive or fly that RC project you’ve always wanted to build, but have been intimidated to try. This blog is here to help you on your journey and provide tips and tricks as you go! My hope is to inspire builders both experienced and new! So, welcome, please look around, it’s an exciting beginning! I’m currently documenting my latest competition scale RC jet build, a Mark Frankel F4D Skyray, along with some other fun tips and videos. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this front page, click on any of the categories to the right and it will show just posts related to those categories. Please feel free to add comments and/or contact me directly if you have questions, I’m here to help! And don’t forget to check out my YouTube Channel, I post new videos every week!
E-flite’s MkXIV Spitfire, a Timeless Design that Flies Great!
Though the E-Flite Spitfire MkXIV has been out for a few years now, it’s one of those designs that stands the test of time. If I remember correctly, this was one of the earlier 1.2m airplanes to be released from E-flite and there’s a reason why it’s still offered. This comes through E-flite providing a great looking and quality built airframe with great flight characteristics packaged with a versatile power system that provides you with options!
The Griffon-Powered Spitfires such as the MkXIV were never produced in great numbers, especially compared to the Merlin powered variants, but the engine upgrade provided a significant performance increase for the Spitfire airframe. Increased vertical tail area and also a slightly more streamlined forward fuselage were necessary to suit the engine. Based on the MkXIV’s performance, it was in fact the most effective Spitfire against intercepting V1 buzz bombs during the war.
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
The E-Flite Spitfire is a really simple airframe to assemble. It’s mostly just a matter of installing the tails and wings and then setting up the radio. I think the most difficult part assembly was routing and connecting the wires from the wing into the fuselage. I had a Continue reading →
E-Flite’s Phabulously Phantastic Phlying Phantom…wait, was that excessive? 😉
This week we’re looking at the E-Flite’s F-4 Phantom II. The F-4 is an unmistakable airplane and E-flite has put together a really nicely engineered kit here that flies great! Also, it’s another jet with SAFE select, so this adds to the growing number of EDFs with this as an option if that’s something you’re looking for.
The F-4 is an iconic airplane with a colorful history that served for quite a long time with a number of different countries. It was produced for over 20 years and the last US F-4 drone was only just retired back in 2016. Though it wasn’t designed as such, the F-4 could technically be considered the first JSF since it was the first jet fighter to serve in all three branches of the military. It started out with the Navy as the F-4B. Catching the eye of the Air Force they decided to make a few mods and then started flying the F-4C and then later the F-4E of course. Well, the funny thing is, the Navy took note of some of the F-4C mods and incorporated those into what became the F-4J and later the F-4S. Obviously, this is an oversimplification…but the C and J models have a number of similarities.
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
Pulling the airplane from the box, you are met with a nice smooth airframe with a nice low parts count. It’s impressive in fact considering the complexity that could be with the F-4 airframe. As a whole, the is engineered extremely well. The parts count is low and everything aligns so there’s not guess work on the alignment anywhere, most notablyContinue reading →
I have always loved going to the Scale Squadron’s Warbirds & Classics event. Hosted at the OCMA field, it’s such a good time flying at a really picturesque location to fly. I was on vacation for last year’s event and wasn’t able to make it, so I was excited to get back out there again this year. The big news was that a newly paved runway had been installed just in time for the event! Fresh pavement and fresh paint, it was a glorious site to behold. There had also been some recent rains which meant that the surrounding greenery was actually green! (as opposed to the typical SoCal brown that we get…)
Through the weekend, the weather couldn’t have been much better with cool overcast mornings followed by warm and slightly breezy sunny afternoons. As a result there was endless flying from sun up to sun down for those in attendance. It truly doesn’t get much better than that and the new runway was just the icing on the cake! In terms of Continue reading →
This week, we’re looking at the E-Flite 70mm F-16 Thunderbirds Fighting Falcon. This is a really good flying little jet that has an amazingly wide speed range which really makes it fun. E-flite has gone with the Thunderbirds livery on this one which is well represented on the airplane and makes it easy to see in flight which is nice. Also, just like the ViperJet, the airplane has SAFE select as an option if that’s something you’re looking for as an added layer of protection.
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
The E-Flite F-16 Thunderbirds is a pretty simple assembly process. Instead of the tails being fastened on like many other airplanes, they are simply glued in place which is simple and effective. The instructions called out the use of CA for everything, so that’s what I used and have had no issues at all. I did make sure to clean off oversprayContinue reading →
One of the questions I get quite often at events is what kind of batteries do I use in my aircraft. I’ve been flying large EDFs and electric warbirds for a long time and good quality batteries are essential to performance. There are tons of choices out there and so I thought I’d provide a little discussion on the batteries that I currently use and what I go for in terms of C rating. There is most certainly a balance between efficiency and performance due to the extra weight of higher C rated packs and so this is worth discussing along with some of the general practices to use in maintaining battery performance because a well kept battery is a good performing battery.
As we get into this, I want to mention up front that this discussion is all based on personal experience and practical use in the field using all sorts of batteries over the last decade or more. I don’t do any heavy side by side current testing or voltage testing or anything like that. I’m simply relaying what has worked for me and the batteries I’m happy with. At the end of the day, the best batteries and methods are the ones you’re happy with and work for you.
WHAT BATTERIES DO I USE?
First off to answer the question of what batteries I use, for the last 2 years or so I have been exclusively usingContinue reading →
In this article, we’ve got something a little bit different we’re talking about, the new E-Flite V-22 Osprey! With the advent of the quadcopter technology and the miniaturization of it all, it really opens up some great opportunities for a model like this and it’s pretty awesome! A tilt rotor is an extremely difficult challenge to overcome in full scale so imagine what it would take to truly scale that down in miniature. Well, E-flite has leveraged their vast experience in VTOL aircraft and really put something together that is simple and effective right out of the box…not to mention just looks incredibly cool in the air!
The full scale V-22 is a pretty amazing aircraft that really is an incredible technological achievement to come into full scale production. The V-22 did have a few teething problems during development but the aircraft is common place now and I see them flying quite regularly around town since they operate out of Miramar. I can tell you, it’s a unique looking and sounding aircraft to see in the air.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
This is the Bind N Fly version, so in terms of what you get in the box, it’s the aircraft ready to go with the included accessories. All you need is a Spektrum transmitter and a 3s flight battery to get it flight ready. The Osprey is firmly packaged in the box and you’re Continue reading →
During the AMA expo January 2018, it was announced that the show was being moved to the Pomona Fairplex and would also occur in November. Well, needless to say, November arrived before I could blink and it was time to start thinking about the show! This time around, kicking off the new venue, the AMA reached out asking about doing some how-to clinics throughout the weekend. The idea I had was to provide some weathering how-to’s on a couple airplanes through the course of the weekend and then on Sunday afternoon, give those airplanes away. Well, thanks to the AMA and Horizon Hobby, we were able to make that happen and it was a great time. Horizon Hobby donated an E-Flite P-51 and an FMS Yak-130 for me to work on during the weekend which we gave away on Sunday afternoon.
This year, I had a full booth and through the course of the weekend, I was showing weathering techniques on the donated airplanes provided by Horizon Hobby. For one of the clinics, I was able to do a weathering session on the main stage for the purposes of recording video. Below is the end result as well as a few pictures of the finished airplanes. The techniques mentioned in the video kind of run through the gamut of what I like to employ when I’m weathering up an airplane and are applicable to any medium of aircraft foam, glass or otherwise not to mention any size. Additionally, combinationsContinue reading →
Having made it out to the Best in the West Jet Rally the year before last after not attending for a few years, it was an event that I knew I wanted to get back to again this past year. It’s an RC jet pilots dream flying from the 3200+ ft long Elk Hills-Buttonwillow airstrip runway, though even now, I think I’m still cleaning that Buttonwillow dust off my airplanes! I think the airplanes come home heavier than they arrive there’s so much dust that they collect… 😉
In terms of the event it was bigger than ever this year with over 150 registered pilots and the weather was almost perfect once again. Every year is different in the airplanes that you see at the event but one thing is consistent, BIG! Last year featured a good assortment of really nice scale jets which I was really excited to see. Well, 2018 I would say was the year of the Continue reading →