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 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

Force RC P-51 Mustang Assembly & Flight Review

Oh, Sonny Boy, the sky, the sky is calling…

The P-51 truly is unmistakable in it’s design and, needless to say, is quite popular in the RC warbird circles.  Well, this week, we’re featuring the Force RC P-51 Mustang available from Horizon Hobby.  This is a kit that’s been available for some time and at 1100 mm wingspan, is just a cute little model.  The airplane carries the moniker of “Sonny Boy” with green and yellow checkboards on the nose which is pretty unique and different compared to the typical red and yellow checkers you see represented.

Doing a little research, I found that the full sized “Sonny Boy” was actually flown by Lt. Ted E. Hoffman as a part of the 343rd Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group during World War II from 1944-1945.  Lt Hoffman scored four air victories in the airplane in fact, though they’re not actually represented on the model.  Even so, I found it a great tribute to a notable airplane and pilot from WWII!

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

Tearing into the kit, there’s primarily just 4 main pieces in assembling the airplane.  The first item is to get the receiver installed into the fuselage and start connecting all of the servos to it.  I wanted to try out one of the new antenna-less spektrum receivers, so picked up an AR620 which fit about perfectly into the cutout in the fuselage and worked fantastically!  Continue reading

From the Bench – Quick and Simple Foam Warbird Painting

To Paint or not to Paint…

If you saw my E-Flite T-6 Texan review last time, then you saw the results of the repaint that was done on that airplane.  I thought it would be worth doing a separate video and article on what was done since it was just a quick and dirty spray can paint job that I did through the course of a weekend with all of the painting done over the stock paint with minimal prep.  This is worth discussing because sometimes we just don’t want to go to the extent of filling panel lines, or sealing up the airframe with polycrylic or anything like that.  Sometimes, we just want to do something quickly, but still get good results.  The difficulty always is, however, that stock paint just loves to lift up off of that EPO foam.  Thankfully, with the right tools, we can avoid that.

It’s interesting how something like this, though not entirely difficult, is all that’s needed to really refresh a model and make it stand out.  As I mentioned in my review, I have really enjoyed flying this AT-6, but following the repaint, I absolutely fell in love with the model even more!

 

PAINTING TOOLS & PAINT

First things first, let’s talk about what we need.  What we’re doing here is literally just applying a new paint job over an existing stock paint job.  There’s no paint stripping involved, so it’s important that we use very low tack tapes for masking.  I had heard Continue reading

E-flite 1.5m AT-6 Texan Assembly & Flight Review

North American’s Pilot Maker, E-Flite Edition!

The AT-6 Texan is such a classic looking airplane and it’s one that I’ve always had a soft spot for.  You regularly see them at airshows and the airplane sound is unmistakable as it maneuvers since the propeller quite literally beats the air into submission as it flies.  So, I was excited to see the E-flite AT-6 Texan come online as it looked to be one of the nicest and scale looking Texans out  there in recent memory.  So, I was excited for the chance the review the airplane!  In short, this is a great flying airplane that I’ve really fallen in love with I have to say.

In the process of this review, I liked the airplane so much, I decided to do a quick repaint on the airframe into something a little more colorful.  We will touch on that here somewhat, but I will be posting a separate video and article on that process soon.

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY

E-Flite AT-6 comes in a large long box and I found was nicely pacakaged.  The wing is a single piece in there which is really nice and the reason for the long box.  It’s almost comedic comparing how short the fuselage is compared to the wingspan.  Based on the single piece wing, what you end up with then is an extremely simplified assembly that basically requires attaching the stabilizers with a couple screws and then attaching the wing.  That is about the extent of the Continue reading

Top Gun 2018 – 30th Annual RC Scale Model Competition

THE BEST OF THE BEST IN RC SCALE

The Top Gun Invitational scale model competition is an event that I’ve been wanting to witness for a long time.  In fact, it’s an event I hope to compete in some year (once I have the right airplane!).  Many of the airplanes and pilots competing there represent some of the best in the world, so it’s hard not to want to try my hand in that setting.  So, every year when the event comes around, it just happens to get mentioned in my house.  So, when it was mentioned this year and met with a, “do you want to go?!”  I quickly responded, “YES!”  It wasn’t a trip to compete, and that was completely fine with me as I just wanted to witness the competition and the caliber of airplanes that are brought.  Plus, you know, it would be a scouting mission for next time… 😉

Held at Paradise Field in Lakeland, Florida, this year was the 30th annual for the competition and some of the models there were nothing short of spectacular.  Individuals and teams from all over the world came to fight for the title and represented themselves well.  For me, it was a trip to capture media and understand the competition and just take it all in.  To be able to witness some of the Continue reading

From the Bench – Flyday with Bob Forbes, F7F Tigercat Fire Bomber Pilot

FLIGHT OF THE FIRECAT

You never know who you will meet in this hobby.  Though, you’re not likely to meet a celebrity, what you do get are opportunities to meet the amazing men and women who flew the iron that we so passionately model.  Model aviation truly is a gateway into full scale aviation and for many, has been a vehicle that has influenced so many careers.  This was the case for me and I know has been for so many others.  It’s something that is extensible to anyone willing to try and really fosters a community atmosphere for those who participate.  For me, flying scale gives me a chance to fly airplanes that I would otherwise never have the opportunities to fly in some form while also allow me to appreciate fully the beauty in the design.  It is also a way to celebrate the amazing aviation history and achievements of those who have risked their lives countless times throughout that history.

 

An Unexpected Visit

So, about two months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman by the name of Bob Forbes as he was looking for a little help in getting an airplane flown that he had commissioned.  Little did I know was that Bob was a retired Fire Bomber pilot who flew for TBM Inc. which was the company that owned and operated a fleet of F7F Tigercat Fire Bombers (along with C-2 Trackers and other aircraft).  I should point out that with every Tigercat that’s careened my workbench I have long drooled over the paint schemes of these Fire Bombers countless times as I absolutely love them!

Bob arrived at my house on a Sunday afternoon for me to take a look at the airplane that he had someone build for him.  As he pulled the airplane from his truck, I started to understand.  Bob had a FlightLineRC F7F Tigercat refinish commissioned by Bob Vanderveen in Ramona and he was looking for some help getting it flown.  As we Continue reading

Warbirds & Classics 2017 RC Airshow

It’s hard to believe that the year is half over already!  It feels like since the US Scale Master’s Championships last year until now, I haven’t done all that much flying.  At least certainly not as much as I could hope for.  Between my kids getting into competitive travel sports added to having limited accessibility to our flying field here where I fly my large airplanes, it’s been a little difficult just getting to the field.  So when the Scale Squadron’s Warbirds & Classics event peeked around the corner, needless to say I was excited!  It was going to be 2 straight days of RC airplane goodness and some much needed flying!  Leading up to the event, I had been focusing my spare time in the shop trying to get our little kfir kit bash project finished up for the event and this was her debut outing!

Between the Scale Squadron’s hospitality, the picturesque back drop of OCMA’s Black Starr canyon flying site, and the incredible assortment of airplanes, this event is a must go for me.  I look forward to it every year and there’s always a ton of flying to be had.  Plus, it’s a chance to spend a weekend flying with my dad which I cherish deeply.  The beauty of the event is that there’s a great assortment of airplanes, but there’s never an issue with the flight line backing up causing much of a line.  Anytime anyone wants a flight, it usually happens straight away.

The event took place Saturday June 9 thru Sunday June 11.  I was there Friday and Saturday with my A-7 Corsair II, ASM Tigercat, and newly finished Kfir.  Through those two days, I Continue reading