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

E-flite EC-1500 Twin 1.5m Cargo Assembly & Flight Review

EC-1500 OPERATION TANK DROP!

The aerobatic cargo plane has been kind of a thing lately and upon seeing the E-flite EC-1500 twin 1.5m Cargo, it most definitely looked like a fun airplane.  Being fully aerobatic with reconfigurable ailerons and flaps to suit the desired performance and aircraft response along with an operational cargo door, there was no question I would have fun with one in the hangar!  And, I KNEW that I had to drop something…the only question was what would it be?! 😉

Though the model isn’t painted in a scale paint scheme out of the box, the model itself is actually inspired by the C-27 Spartan which has served in the US military and Coast Guard as well as many other forces around the world.  Truth be told, I wasn’t too aware of the C-27 Spartan as an aircraft, but I quickly learned through watching videos of the full scale online that it was an impressive beast.  It’s is the only cargo aircraft I’ve actually seen execute a legitimate knife edge and it’s pretty awesome to behold!  So, as it turns out, those epic knife edge passes with this airplane are indeed scale! 😉  Oh, and you’ve probably noticed the C-27 Spartan livery on the model…I couldn’t handle it, I had to make it a true C-27 and I love it!

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

The EC-1500 assembly was a very simple process as the parts count is very low being broken down into only the large components.  The vertical tail is attached first and is held in place by two screws.  From there, the horizontal tails slide into place over a carbon tube spar and snap into place.  I found the snap lock on the tails a really unique features as I’d not seen this before on previous models.  Also, there is an elevator torque rod with plastic paddles which slip into each base of the elevators resulting in a hidden elevator pushrod setup.  Next, the wings are placed onto the fuselage over the main wing spar and held in place via four nylon bolts.  The wing features hard mounted connectors, so no need to keep track of servo connectors or wires at all.  Lastly, to wrap it all up, the props are placed on each of the motors.

With the airplane together and on the bench, it’s a pretty cool model to behold.  It’s a good size and the cargo bay door is awesome!  I can’t say Continue reading

E-flite Sukhoi SU-30 twin 70mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

The Iconic SU-30…It’s a Flanker-C, see?!

When talking about modern Russian fighter jets, the Sukhoi SU-27 Flanker family of aircraft are truly unmistakable.  Designed as an air superiority multi-role fighter, it is an extremely capable jet with extremely impressive maneuverability (especially when paired with multi-axis thrust vectoring).  The SU-30 represents a powerful evolution within the Flanker family adding further capability into the design including the addition of a second crew member for multi-mission capability, upgraded avionics and additional operational endurance and range.

So, after seeing the E-flite SU-30 twin 70mm EDF  at the last AMA West trade show, it was only a matter of time before one would enter the hangar as it was undoubtedly a sweet ride!  The SU-30 kit itself is one of the nicest EDF foam jets that I have seen to date being of a great size and featuring robust scale landing gear, a scale speed brake and a finish that could make most modelers drool.  Flying the airplane further confirmed just how nice this airplane truly is as it looks incredible in the air and flies extremely well.

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

Immediately upon arrival, you start to get a sense of the size of E-flite SU-30 and it’s packaged in quite a large box.  The model is broken down into all of the major assemblies and so assembly itself is quite simple (the airframe is assembled with only 10 screws!).  Once unpacked, assembly begins with attachment of the vertical tails followed by the horizontal tail pivot rods and tails.  From there the wings are installed followed by the ventral fins and then it’s on to the radio setup.  In short, assembly was quick and simple!

With the airplane assembled and on its gear, you are struck with the unmistakable Sukhoi shape of the SU-30.  The outline of the model looks great and the paint, fit, and finish is excellent…not to mention that it is a nice large airframe taking Continue reading

E-Flite P-39 Airacobra 1.2m Assembly & Flight Review

Airacobra Kai Never Dies!

The P-39 Airacobra is one of those well-proportioned and unique warbirds that, for whatever reason, you really don’t see very often at the field.  With the mid fuselage engine placement and long prop shaft design of the full size aircraft, the result is a nicely streamlined airplane.  So, I was excited to see E-flite announce their P-39 Airacobra 1.2m as it’s a great platform for a fantastic flying model and provides something you don’t otherwise see very often.  Plus, if you crash the airplane like we did…then hey, you get to refinish it and make it look even better! 😉

As a WWII fighter, over 9,500 Airacobras were built during its production from 1940-1944 marking it as one of the most successful aircraft built by Bell Aircraft.  The unique engine configuration allowed for the integration of a 37mm cannon in the nose which shot through the center of the spinner and needless to say packed quite the punch.  Though requisitioned by the US Army Air Force and operated by numerous countries, the airplane found its greatest success and use in the Soviet Red Air Force during WWII as its performance and armament suited their needs well.  In fact, five of the top ten highest scoring Soviet aces logged the majority of their victories in the P-39 Airacobra.

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

I was excited for the E-flite P-39 Airacobra 1.2m as I really liked the looks of the airplane.  It arrived well packed and was an extremely simple assembly having only the major components to put together.  It starts with placing the tails and then bolting the one piece wing onto the fuselage.  I did find that the wing bolts were a little stiff to screw in in some cases, so be sure to check that the wing is fully seated and secure before flying.  Also, the kit includes a centerline tank which adds a little schmaltz giving it a neat look.  Note that the airplane does have hard mounted connectors in the wing, so be sure to double check through the hatch area that the are all fully seated well.

With the airplane assembled and on the bench, it really looks great and represents Continue reading

From the Bench — Warbird Weathering Techniques with the E-flite P-39 Airacobra

Back from the ashes, Refinishing and Weathering the E-flite P-39 Airacobra!

To this point, I realize that many of the weathering techniques I’ve shown, or at least the subject aircraft, have been jets.  I do love my jets and the techniques I’ve shown are extensible to warbirds as well, but there are a couple distinct differences that are worth talking about.  Most notably, paint chipping is not something that you see often on modern jets based on their maintenance and the fact that regularly accessed panels are regularly touched up.  Also, piston engine exhaust staining is another one since, obviously, jets don’t have piston engines.  So, when my E-flite P-39 Airacobra wound up crashed upside down in the weeds at our field, it was a great opportunity for a refinish as well as a great subject for showing some of these additional techniques.

 

A Quick Note about the Refinish

One thing that’s worth mentioning is that a crashed airframe is sometimes the perfect opportunity for a refinish.  It’s a bit of a process, but using a crashed airframe is a great way to practice and learn some of these techniques if you’ve never tried them.  In terms of the refinish itself, it was accomplished utilizing the techniques that we’ve shown  here on this site and on my YouTube channel (thercgeek.com/kitbashing).  Note that I did not strip the paint on this one, I simply did all of the prep work over the stock paint.

After the crash, I had put the airplane aside for a time and when the AMA West Expo came around for its final time, I thought it would be a great chance to use the model as a subject for showing foam repair and refinishing techniques at the show.  With the help of my friends at the show, through the course of the 3 days, we had the Continue reading

E-flite A-10 Thunderbolt II Twin 64mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

Brrrrrrrt!  …oh, excuse me…

The A-10 Thunderbolt II is one of those uniquely identifiable aircraft; it truly is unmistakable.  It was built for a purpose and it has served that purpose exceptionally well for decades.  Though not as prevalent now as they once were, the airplane is still due to remain in USAF service for at least a few more years it appears.  Interestingly, the aircraft retirement has been announced and subsequently postponed multiple times as there just isn’t a direct replacement for the airplane that’s currently in service.  A testament to just how good and effective the airplane is at what it does in the ground attack support role.

So, seeing the new E-flite A-10 Thunderbolt II twin 64mm EDF and the features it includes, I was excited at the opportunity to try out the airplane.  The airplane is a great transportable size, but still features retracts and oleos as well as a full complement of external stores which I was really happy to see.  After flying the airplane I was blown away as the airplane had incredible performance with a wide speed envelope feeling much bigger in the air than it was.  It was extremely fun!

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

Assembly of the “Hog” is an easy prospect as the airplane is broken down into the major tail and wing sub-assemblies.  The process begins with gluing the horizontal tail in place followed by the vertical tails all using medium CA.  It’s important to test fit these parts first the ensure the servo wires are cleared away so the tails fully seat in place.  Also, there are Continue reading

E-flite F-15 Eagle 64mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

E-flite’s 64mm “SAFE” Aggressor with so much more Eagle!

The F-15 Eagle has been the example of “air superiority” for decades.  Having first flown in 1972, the airplane even now is still an incredible machine with extreme capability that is still in production (due to end in 2022).  Interestingly enough, the F-15 in model form is one of the most forgiving jets out there.  Many an RC jet pilot have cut their teeth on various sized and powered F-15s throughout the last couple decades.  So, it makes sense that E-flite would introduce an F-15 Eagle to their growing 64mm size EDF range featuring SAFE.  The airplane features fixed gear even for pavement operations, but is easy enough to chuck around without the gear when desired.

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

The E-flite F-15 Eagle is packed neatly and compactly in the box and is very simple to assemble.  It starts with the wings being fastened in place, the optional fixed gear installed (if desired) and is finished up with the horizontal and vertical tails being glued on and the pushrods connected.  The removable fixed gear are a nice to have since I fly mostly from pavement, I can avoid scraping up the airplane (and hand launching all together since I’m terrible at it).

The airplane all together on the bench really looks good in the 65th Aggressor Squadron splinter camouflage paint scheme (Blue Splinter FTW!).  The paint Continue reading

UMX Adventures – E-flite UMX Turbo Timber Flight Review

Fly it like you STOL it, micro bush planes FTW!

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.

 

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

The beauty of these UMX airframes is that they come out of the box Continue reading