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!
I had this E-flite UMX Turbo Timber arrive last week and I was really excited to give it a go. It’s been a while since I had played with a UMX airframe and I’m always so impressed with how well they fly. In the case of this Turbo Timber, it has some additional features I’d not actually seen in a UMX thus far, most notably the airframe features full navigation lights. Also, being noted as a STOL airplane (similar to the UMX Timber), it features some nice big “Chuck Norris tires” for those unimproved field operations which do the job of impaling the landing area into submission quite well.
The design itself is an evolution of the UMX Timber, but features an updated turbo-prop look as well as a higher power 3400kv motor paired with a 3-blade propeller. The result is a bit better vertical performance if that’s something you’re looking for. For me, it’s a fun STOL aircraft to take on the road for those backyard flying adventures! Plus, with the included flaps and slats, the airplane slows down to a crawl which is quite fun.
Another Jet Hangar Hobbies Scale Masters Champion! I can’t even believe it! 🙂
Scale competition has been a big part of what I enjoy in this hobby. There’s just something about building and flying a model that you’ve created with so much effort to try and simulate and/or replicate a full scale aircraft. For me, it’s so much about flying an airplane that I never in my wildest dreams will have the chance to fly in full scale. That said, competition scale modelling hasn’t been a large focus for me the last couple years. Filming and writing these reviews and tutorials takes quite a bit of time, and I’ve been having a good time flying a number of different models in the process. However, when the Scale Masters Championships came back to California again this year (October 17-20, 2019), being hosted by the Clovis RC club, I got the bug and I knew that I wanted to give it another go. I could only hope to replicate the magic of my 2016 win with my Jet Hangar Mirage IIIRS. Truth be told, following 2016, I was inspired to get my big Mark Frankel Skyray built for the next championships. Well, strangely enough, you actually have to work on a model to get it done! Who knew?! Not to mention Elf labor has gotten so expensive in California these days. So, in the absence of a big Skyray, I wanted to give the championships a try with my Jet Hangar Hobbies A-7 Corsair II and I can’t even believe that I would be reporting a second time that I came out of the event as the “Grand National Champion” finishing 1st place in Expert for 2019!
40 YEARS OF COMPETITION
Organized by the U.S. Scale Masters Association, 2019 marked the 40th annual Championships event. Though the hobby has evolved, the technology has improved and new classes have been added to the competition mix, the goal of the Scale Masters has never changed which has been to highlight the best in RC scale modeling. And those 40 years have seen so many of the best scale modelers compete from the US and around the world. In fact, my dad competed in the very first Scale Masters Continue reading →
E-flite’s Newest Warbird, the P-51D Mustang…and it’s extra Smart!
Ever since taking a ride in Dr Ken Wagner’s ‘Lady Alice’ P-51D Mustang, I’ve been a fan of the of the airplane. Experiencing the airplane first hand in flat is something I will never forget! As an aircraft design, the P-51D Mustang is timeless, it truly is. Being a workhorse in the air war over Europe in WWII, it has cemented itself as arguably one of the greatest fighters of all time. Interestingly, it was one of the first production aircraft to take advantage of laminar flow technology in the wing airfoil design to realize a greater drag reduction in flight. This was quite revolutionary as laminar wing design wasn’t well understood at the time.
Pulling the airframe from the box, you are met with a nice large airframe that has been broken down into only just a few large components. The result is a quick and easy assembly. Assembly starts with the horizontal tail which is a single piece that slips through a slot in the fuselage and then is held in place by three screws. From there, the wing is installed which comes as 3 pieces. The wing center section is held in place with 4 screws and the outer wing panels are split at the flap/aileron intersection andContinue reading →
The F-18 Hornet has been the cornerstone of the Navy fleet for decades, not to mention has been the performance aircraft for the US Navy’s Blue Angels since 1986. So, as an airplane, it’s always been extremely popular. I mean, what’s not to like really? There have been a number of F-18 models through the years and the challenge in making it as an RC model has always been the landing gear. The main gear of the F-18 are so distinctive, it truly is one of the defining features of the airplane, but getting them made well was always a challenge in years past (n recent years there have been some absolutely incredible turbine models that have come to market). Also, if not executed well, it can make ground handling challenging.
When I saw E-flite’s F-18 Hornet and the incredibly scale landing gear on it, I was excited! They got not only the look of the gear correct, but they also got the correct teeter angle which helps place the wheels a bit further away from the fuselage. If they had spent that much attention to detail on the landing gear, I could only hope that the rest of the airplane was just as well thought out. Well, I’m happy to report that this is indeed a very well-engineered and well thought out model that also flies extremely nicely! There are some things to be aware of regarding takeoff (especially on your maiden flight), but with the right setup and awareness, it’s not a problem at all and you’ll have a really nice flying EDF on your hands.
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
The E-flite Hornet arrived nicely packed in a good sized box and includes with it a full complement of external tanks and stores which is nice. E-flite has really simplified the airplane down into the major components for assembly basically requiring only the tails and wings to be added for full assembly. As I hinted to earlier, Continue reading →
As you may recall me mentioning in my UMX Pitts review, that little Pitts just flies absolutely epicly! Well, drooling over E-Flite’s 850mm Pitts Biplane I couldn’t hold off any longer and I ordered one. I knew that if it flew anything like the UMX, it would be an incredible little airplane! Well, the good news is it shares much of the magic flying pretty darn close to the UMX…knife edge passes FTW!
The pitts is such an iconic aerobatic aircraft design that’s unmistakable and this E-Flite airplane captures it perfectly. Plus having flown the UMX one, it’s really fostered a love for the Pitts. It’s such a great looking biplane design.
Assembly of the E-flite Pitts I found pretty enjoyable. Taking the airplane out of the box, one thing became apparent to me pretty quickly and that was that the finish on the airplane was incredible! As I inspected the parts, it really was hard to tell that Continue reading →
The Me 262 is an airplane that I have had a fascination with since I was a kid. To envision the world’s first operational jet fighter and the mark that the airplane made on aviation history certainly made my mind run circles. That’s not to mention, the look of design was not only appealing but also futuristic for the time that it was made! There was so much ingenuity occurring during WWII on both sides this airplane was one of many advances which changed and accelerated aviation in ways that I don’t think we’ll ever see again.
So, needless to say, as a fanboy of the Me 262, I had always liked the looks of the Freewing Me 262. Frankly though, I wasn’t a fan of the original pastel gray paint scheme and having flown one, the power systems worked but left room for improvement. Well, enter the Freewing Me 262 Version 2 with the correct colors and upgraded power systems and I absolutely couldn’t resist picking one up…and I tell you what it was worth the wait as this V2 is a great looking and absolutely wonderful machine to fly!
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
What truly struck me with this V2 airplane was the paint scheme and pulling the airplane from the box, the paint was beautifully applied and the colors were spot on. The paintContinue reading →
Hey guys! We have another full video post this week. My son and I have been playing with the new RealFlight 9 Horizon Hobby Edition and have been having just as much fun with it as we did with RealFlight 8! The nice thing is that the software comes with everything you need including a new Spektrum inspired transmitter that features much more logical and realistic switch positions which really helps in creating a more realistic simulator experience. Having a number of new aircraft including some of the new Horizon Hobby releases, the simulator is packed full of features including full customization, training tools and full multi-player that allow you to fly over the internet with others too.
The best way to show RealFlight 9 is through video, so our review video is below. A good simulator is most certainly a worthy investment, especially if you’re learning. AS I always say, if you crash once in the simulator, it will have paid for itself if you compare to actually crashing an airplane. Also, if you’re flying with SAFE, the sim is the place to get used to flying without it. I do find myself flying a bit less cautiously in the sim, but this is definitely the place to do that and to push your limits to improve your skills.
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 →