E-flite F-16 Falcon 80mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

The 80mm Falcon Cometh!

There’s something about F-16’s and how they fly that I really like.  To me it blends the traditional flying on the wing type jet with the more flying on the thrust type delta wing configuration.  To me, it means you get something that flies quickly, maneuvers really well yet has the slow speed characteristics of the delta being able to hit the high alpha.

So, when I learned about the E-Flite F-16 Falcon 80mm EDF I was quite excited, especially seeing all of the added details in the design.  I knew that if it flew anything like the E-flite 70mm Thunderbird, it would be a blast…and I think it’s safe to say that it has exceeded my expectations!

 

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

The E-Flite F-16 80mm is a very complete kit that includes all metal scale landing gear, full lights, and external weapons/stores and assembles very quickly.  Also, all of the servo attachments have hard mounted connectors, so there’s no loose wires to have to contend with either.  The assembly process starts with installing the horizontal tails.  They have a pre-installed shaft that slides into the fuselage and is then held in place by a screw on each side (servo attachment is a traditional Continue reading

E-flite DRACO 2.0m Smart BNF Assembly & Flight Review

Mike Patey’s Monster Wilga…DRACO!  Fly it like you STOL it!

The E-flite DRACO 2.0m is probably one of the most anticipated models to come to market in recent time.  Announced in 2019, there have been many a rumbling of its pending release since then.  Well, E-flite’s DRACO is here and it is one of the nicest executed models E-flite has made to date…it is incredible!  Every detail is characterized, the shape is perfect (Horizon Hobby actually 3D scanned DRACO to make the model from), and this big red beast makes for some fun STOL operations, especially with a bit of head wind.

If you’re unfamiliar with DRACO as an airplane, it literally was one of a kind.  It was the master mind of Mikey Patey who took a Wilga 2000 and completely modified and rebuilt the airframe to the extent that very little of the original Wilga remained.  He added wing area, modified the airfoil while also adding a fixed slat, installed a full glass cockpit, and at the front installed a PT6A 680Hp turbo-prop engine with full reverse thrust (I believe he also added chord to the control surfaces).  In short, the airplane was a beast of a STOL aircraft and in fact, Mike Patey won the 2018 High Sierra STOL Drag competition with it.  Unfortunately, the aircraft was totaled in Sept 2019 in a high crosswind takeoff incident.  Be sure to check out Mike’s YouTube channel as he documented the build there and is currently building a highly modified carbon cub called Scrappy!

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

The E-flite DRACO 2.0m is an impressively large airplane that is been broken down into only just a few large components which means that despite the large size, assembly is quick and easy.  Assembly starts with installation of the shock absorbing landing gear via 4 screws which have plastic fairings over a carbon strut and feature the dual shocks of the full size.  From there, the tail wheel Continue reading

E-flite Focke-Wulf Fw-190A 1.5m Smart Assembly & Flight Review

E-flite’s Extra Smart Butcherbird!

When I think of the axis aircraft from WWII, Kurt Tank’s FW-190 designs are the first that always come to mind.  The iconic airplane was the backbone of the Luftwaffe (alongside the Bf-109) and the number of variants that existed really spawn the imagination of what was and what might have been.  Performance with the twin row BMW radial engine powered FW-190A tended to suffer at higher altitudes, so follow-on variants featuring a longer nose housing a turbosupercharged V12 filled that gap and are the designs that I personally find especially intriguing.

So, seeing E-flite’s FW-190A 1.5m announcement, I was very excited to see the model come to market as the shape combined with beautiful scale landing gear looked to be spot on!  That’s not to mention that the 1.5m wingspan really makes for a good sized, yet still manageable for transport kind of model.  Though the paint scheme out of the box is representative of the replica operated by the Planes of Fame museum in Chino, CA, it’s ripe for a repaint as I can imagine what it would look like with a wartime scheme all dirtied up like a warfighter!

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

The E-flite FW-190A 1.5m is a nice large airframe that is been broken down into only just a few large components which means that assembly is quick and easy.  Assembly starts with the horizontal tail which is a left and a right piece that slips over a carbon spar and each are held in place with a machine screw each underneath.   The wing center section is held in Continue reading

Flight Review — Legend Hobby 86″ A-1 Skyraider S.E.A. Camo

Droppin’ off a load and watching it explode…in my Spad…

Well, we’ve talked through the assembly and painting and weathering, at last, it’s time to talk through flying the Legend Hobby A-1 Skyraider.  You’ve probably figured out by now that I love how this beast flies!  It has incredible presence and with the new paint and bomb drops, it presents much like the real thing in the air.  It has been extremely fun and frankly I would fly the airplane every weekend if I could and I can’t wait to get it out to some events (if they happen this year).

A LITTLE HISTORY

The A-1 Skyraider was first conceived in June 1944 to meet a US Navy request for a new carrier-based, single-seat, long-range, high performance dive/torpedo bomber.  Designed around the Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone engine used in the B-29 Superfortress, the result was one of the world’s largest and most powerful single-engine/single-seat combat aircraft capable of carrying weapon loads greater than that of the Boeing B-17.  Coming too late for WWII, the Skyraider served from the late 1940s into the early 1980’s worldwide proving instrumental in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.  Being among the first aircraft to perform strikes in North Vietnam in 1964, Skyraiders proved essential in close-support missions over South Vietnam due to their long loiter times, large bomb load capability and ability to perform accurate strikes when needed.  Being a piston driven attack aircraft in the jet age, the A-1 Skyraider became a flying anachronism and was affectionately nicknamed the “Spad” after the WWI French biplane.

 

WHAT’S IN THE MODEL

One quick note about the model itself if you’ve not seen my Assembly Review or my Painting & Weathering tutorial.  This particular model started as a Legend Hobby Southeast Asia camouflage A-1 Skyraider ARF.  Coming in at 86″ wingspan, the airplane has great presence both on the ground and in the air.  I opted for a large 12s electric setup to keep the scale integrity of the cowl which flies the Continue reading

Assembly Review – Legend Hobby 86″ A-1 Skyraider S.E.A. Camo ARF

Cruisin’ into town and looking all around…in my Spad…

Having grown up in the hobby, there are certain models that I recall seeing as a kid that have inspired a fascination for that aircraft well into adulthood.  One such aircraft for me is the A-1 Skyraider.  Having seen two immaculate representations with folding wings at the US Scale Masters in the late 80s/early 90s (built by Diego Lopez & Gene Barton), it started a long fascination with the Skyraider for me.  There was something about the airplane that I just liked and having since seen the full scale Skyraider fly, they are an impressive beast!  Being a piston driven attack aircraft in the jet age, the Skyraider was a flying anachronism and was affectionately nicknamed the “Spad” after the WWI French biplane.

So, needless to say I was very excited to see the Legend Hobby A-1 Skyraider came to market!  At 1/7 scale sporting an 86” wingspan, it offers a very nice sized ARF with an accurate scale outline.  It also includes some really nice details through a fully detailed cockpit and an assortment of external tanks and rockets.  A Skyraider isn’t a Skyraider without external stores afterall!  Additionally, each of the three external tanks pylons come setup to accept E-flite payload releases which means the external tanks can be made droppable very simply.  So, with a little 3D printing the sky’s the limit as to what this model can and will carry!  More on that to come as for this article, we’re talking through the assembly of the model.  I have a full repaint planned which we’ll talk through next where I’ll touch on the stores mods I made and then we’ll finish it up with a full flight review…but, spoiler alert, this model flies incredible! (see my first flights video at the bottom of this article)

 

ABOUT THE MODEL

The Legend Hobby Skyraider kit comes available in multiple color schemes (US Navy Gray/White, US Navy Blue, AF Camo) without any markings applied or as an ARC.  Of course, markings are included, but coming as a blank canvas, this also allows for full customization and there are so many great color schemes for the Skyraider to choose from!  This particular model is the Southeast Asia camouflage ARF and was dressed in the kit supplied markings for the initial flights.  Having a very unique and characteristic shark mouth, the model represents Skyraider BuNo 137628 which was assigned to the 22nd Special Operations Squadron (SOS), 56th Special Operations Wing (SOW) that flew from Operating Location Alpha-Alpha (OL-AA) at Da Nang, South Vietnam.

In the process of assembling the Skyraider, I decided to go with Hitec digital D645 servos for all of the primary surfaces and analog HS-645MGs for the remainder.  Continue reading

Freewing MiG-29 Twin 80mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

Greetings Comrades, We’re Gettin’ Miggy with it!

When one thinks of the late generation Russian fighters, the SU-27 is at the top of many lists.  However, for me, the MiG-29 is the one that has fascinated me more.  I think because it was a relatively new fighter in Russian service when I was a kid which created a certain ere of mystery surrounding it.  Plus, as a design, it has a nice look that I’ve also kind of liked.

So, seeing the new Freewing MiG-29 come to market in its ever so unique Slovak digital camouflage trim scheme, I was very intrigued.  Given the large size and the scale features, it looked like an extremely nice airplane and I’m happy to report it lives up the expectations!  The airplane looks and flies great and has a great scale presence in the air that’s so distinctive.

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

Not surprisingly, the Freewing MiG-29 came in quite a large box which was packed well and efficiently.  Unboxing the model, you truly start to get a sense of the size as well as the quality of the finish (it’s quite smooth).  Everything is broken down into the major components, so assembly was quick and painless.  Note that for receiver, I’m using a Spektrum AR8010T 8 channel receiver.

The assembly of the MiG-29 starts with gluing the separate nose piece in place along with the 4 plastic clips along the seam.  I used foam tac to do that which worked great.  There is also a forward wood plate that gets screwed into place that provides a Continue reading

Flightline RC Ta 152H 1300mm Wingspan Assembly & Flight Review (w/Weathering Tips!)

The Ta 152H, Kurt Tank’s high-altitude fighter-interceptor!

The Ta 152H as a design is an extremely unique looking aircraft and is one that I have always been fascinated with.  So, when I saw the FlightLineRC Ta152H 1300mm, I was excited to see it!  So, I finally picked one up late last year for a rainy day and the model really captures the unique lines of the airplane well with accurate colors and paint in a really nice flying airframe.

Of the German Focke-Wulf designs from WWII, I have always liked the looks of the long nose 190s, especially the D9.  There were so many evolutions of the design including the very capable high altitude Ta 152H, which featured a lengthened fuselage and rudder, high aspect ratio wing and pressurized cockpit.  Being one of the fastest propeller driven aircraft of the war and capable of intercepting the high altitude B-29 bomber, it ultimately came too late to make an appreciable impact as only about 25 or so were built.

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

The FlightLineRC Ta 152H was well packed and assembled quite simply only requiring just a few steps and a few fasteners.  The long wing comes in two pieces, which is glued together first over the wing spar.  Once joined, the plastic mounting joiners were glued as well and the wing was then mounted to the fuselage.  From there the tails were installed and fastened into place and those were the primary assembly steps.  The kit does include a number of detail parts which are a nice touch and include the wing pitot tube and guns along with the lower wing antenna and fuselage foot step.

With the airplane assembled, it really looks fantastic and characterizes the shape of the Ta 152H beautifully.  The finish is quite smooth and the stock paint work is Continue reading

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

Blue Angels FTW!

One of my favorite jets from last year was the E-flite F-18 Hornet.  The way that airplane flies I just fell in love with (that’s not to mention the gorgeously scale landing gear 😉 ).  At the time, I even considered repainting it into a Blue Angel color scheme, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out about the E-flite F-18 Blue Angels!

Please note that I did a full review of the original E-flite F-18 Hornet offering last year.  We will cover some of the same items here that we did in the previous review, but this being a Blue Angels, I did some small modifications here that are worth talking through.  Those include some paint work on the exhaust nozzles along with the removal of any weapons on the airframe.  It’s a Blue Angel which means, she should be as slick as possible!

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

This incarnation of the E-flite F-18 features the same components and assembly as its previous counterpart.  It’s a very easy assembly starting with the installation of the vertical tails followed by the horizontal tails and finished up with the installation of the wings.  The kit features a selection of tail numbers (I chose #7 of course!) and so I cut a couple blue pieces from the spares to cover up any screw holes along the airframe.  All together, the airplane looks fantastic and I love the Blue Angels colors personally.  Oh, and I would be remiss not to mention my favorite feature of the scale landing gear, they’re sick!

One thing to note regarding the horizontal tail installation, the control horn in the stabilizer engages Continue reading