E-flite P-51D Mustang 1.5m with Smart Technology Assembly & Flight Review

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.

So, when the opportunity came up to experience E-flite’s new P-51D Mustang 1.5m with Smart technology I was elated!  Having another good sized mustang in my hangar since my Lady Alice has been long overdue I think.  Plus, being packed full of scale features along with Spektrum RC’s Smart technology (new offering for a BnF), I was eager to see what it was all about.

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

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 and Continue reading

E-flite F-18 Hornet 80mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

E-flite’s Legacy Bug…Is it swarm in here?

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

E-Flite Pitts S-1S (850mm) Assembly & Flight Review

E-flite’s 850mm Pitts, the Knife Edge Beast!

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.

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY

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

Freewing Me 262 Schwalbe Assembly & Flight Review

Schwalbe there for you!

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 paint Continue reading

From the Bench: RealFlight 9 RC Flight Simulator — Review, Customization & Crashes!

Customization & Crashes = Good Times!

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 Spitfire MkXIV Assembly & Flight Review

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 F-4 Phantom II Assembly & Flight Review

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 notably Continue reading

Warbirds & Classics RC Airshow 2019

Tale of the Brand New RUNWAY!

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