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

E-Flite F-16 Thunderbirds 70mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

Thunderbirds, hoooo!

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 overspray Continue reading

From the Bench – Lipo Batteries, C Rating, and Tips for Best Battery Performance

Old batteries available…free of charge… 😉

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 using Continue reading

E-Flite VTOL V-22 Osprey Flight Review

Yes, I love technology…always and forever…

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

From the Bench: RealFlight 8 Horizon Hobby Edition — Review, Game Play, & Fun!

Will a Corsair fly without wings???

Hey guys!  We have a complete video post this week.  My son and I have been playing with the new RealFlight8 Horizon Hobby Edition and have been having so much fun with it!  The software comes with everything you need including the transmitter and is packed full of features.  Having over 150 aircraft to choose from and over 40 flying fields to fly from, it’s pretty easy to spend hours flying anything and everything in RealFlight.  Not to mention there are now multi-player features that allow you to fly over the internet too.

We figured the best way to show the RealFlight game play is through video, so our review video is below.  The scenery is fully interactive and we were certainly having some fun with that.  A simulator is a great tool for pushing your skills forward since you can really push the limits of your abilities and if you crash, you can simply hit the reset button.  Also, if you’re flying with SAFE, the sim is the place to get used to flying without it. As you’ll see, in the process of making this video, we crashed far more than we landed and it was a blast!