Home RC Airplane Reviews Exceed-RC Mig-15 Review
Exceed-RC Mig-15 Review Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 15 June 2011 23:09

History

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 was a jet fighter developed for the USSR by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich. The MiG-15 was one of the first successful swept-wing jet fighters, and it achieved fame in the skies over Korea, where early in the war, it outclassed all straight-winged enemy fighters in daylight. With over 12,000 built the MiG-15 is believed to have been one of the most widely produced jet aircraft ever made. The MiG-15 is often mentioned along with the North American F-86 Sabre in lists of the best fighter aircraft of the Korean War and in comparison with fighters of other eras. The MiG is powered by a Klimov VK-1 turbojet capable of thrusting the jet to a max speed of 668mph.




Intro

After Shaky Thumbs crashed into my Hobby Lobby Mig-15, it sat in pieces near the corner of my basement for many months before I decided to resurrect it. Hitting up several sales at hobby-lobby.com I slowly began piecing together the Mig until it was shiny and new like the day it was born. Unfortunately that was the problem; the jet looked so good I just couldn’t bring myself to fly it again. Hand launching the jet was so difficult I was sure the nose was going to end up just as crunched as the previous model. Before I could even put a scratch on the jet I sold it to a local pilot and used the money to purchase the bigger, more detailed 70mm Mig-15 sold by Exceed-RC.

Check out all the specs on the Exceed-RC Mig-15

Kit Contents

To keep my costs low, I decided on the Kit Version offered by Exceed. The kit comes well packaged with the fuselage, wings, vertical stab, elevators, 2 sets of landing gear, one fixed and the other electric retracts. The kit also comes with the 70mm fan/impeller, velcro and miscellaneous parts needed to build the jet.

   

I already had a motor/fan/esc combo from the Freewing F-16 I destroyed in the ground so I figured I would use those components to power the Mig since they were practically brand new. To complete the kit I added 4 T-Pro 9g metal gear servos and an Orange DSM2 compatible receiver.

   

Assembly

The Mig-15 comes in a very basic kit, fortunately the model is not a complex model (basically a tube with wings attached to it) so assembly would not be too difficult. The fuselage comes in two halves that need to be epoxied together. There are notches and nubs that assist in making sure everything is lined up before the glue dries. I used 5-minute epoxy on the fuselage and pretty much everywhere else on the plane.

   

Before I got too deep in the build I hooked up all the various servos to the RX and made sure they were all centered and going in the correct directions, I didn’t want to glue a servo in the wing only to find out that it was spinning the wrong way. With the fuselage dried and secure, I screwed in the elevator servo and ran the linkages through the tubes that were already pre-installed in the jet.

Moving on to the wings I used gap filling CA to secure the aileron servos to the underside of the wings. The wings have pre-cut grooves in them, allowing easy threading of all servo wires. In addition there is an open ‘spot’ cut out near the inner side of the wing where the servo extension connection can lay should you need one.

While the CA on the aileron servos dried, I moved back towards the rear of the plane and scuffed up the inner edges of the elevators and vertical stabilizer in anticipation of epoxying them into the Mig. With everything all scuffed up, I epoxied in the stabilizer and after it set, the elevators. All of the pieces fit together snugly and I am happy to report there was zero play or slop.

 

I did the same steps with the wings, but made sure the wires for the ailerons servos were in the groove and not getting pinched anywhere in the wing joint.

When all of the epoxy from the wings was dry I flipped the plane over and began installing the EDF unit. Two pieces of wood are laid on the sides of the fuselage and a small dot denotes where the screws should be placed. As luck would have it, the fan unit from the smashed Freewing F-16 was exactly the same fan that came with the Mig. Thank my lucky stars! I figured I would be able to just drop the fan unit in and go. This was not the case. Even though it was the same fan, it did not make a good fit and a foam groove was cut in order for the fan to fit properly. With the fan seated, I doubled up and used two extra screws to secure it to the fuselage.

   

Installing the retracts are as simple as screwing in 4 screws, but I will tell you now to do more than that. The wood panel that the retracts screw into is only glued onto the foam with something as strong as CA. If you have one bouncy landing, everything will pull out of the foam. To save damage and headaches it is advised to epoxy the wood stripes to the foam. They are just not held in tight enough to withstand many landings otherwise. I learned this after the 2nd time they ripped out. Now they are tight like my muscles!

   

Once the retracts were in and the steering servo was hooked up with the supplied wire, the plane was nearly done! The battery tray fits perfectly in the pre-cut groove and has plenty of holes for airflow and the threading of servo wires. I secured the balsa tray to the body with CA and pulled the wires tight towards the receiver. The ESC and receiver are best placed towards the rear of the tray so there is plenty of room for different types of 4S batteries up front.

At this point the Mig was basically done and I celebrated with a frosty beverage.

 

Features

The Exceed RC Mig-15 features scale lines and a contrasting silver-red paint scheme that pops out in the air. The electric retracts are really nice and include working suspension. The body of the plane is wide enough to handle several different types of batteries which is perfect for those pilots trying to break the sound barrier. I started out with a 4S 2200 battery, but found that a 4S 3000-3300 battery fit the plane much better.

   

First Flight

I put the Mig together in record time on a Thursday night and to everyone’s surprise (myself included) it was ready to fly Saturday morning!

After the preflight checks and photo shoot the Mig was ready to shine in the air. I set her on the tarmac, throttled up and watched as she bounced and squirmed until her wheels were rolling at a fast speed. Once the fan starts sucking air at ¾ power the jet tracks down the runway like a locomotive blasting through the desert.

I pulled back on the elevator and the Mig-15 slowly rose from the earth in a gentle, predictable climb. I backed off the throttled once she was high and trimmed her out with only a few clicks of up trim. The plane needed nothing else to fly with authority. Like a shop-vac on “high” she sucked through the air with ease.  The roll rate was solid, but not too fast on the minimum settings, the elevator feels a touch less responsive than other jets, but that is ok since it will keep the pilot from losing speed too fast and pulling the corners too tight.

After a 4 minutes flight I brought the plane down and like many jets she carried a lot of speed in the landing, even with the throttle off before the runway, it took nearly the whole runway to set her down. Fortunately I was able to get her down in one piece and she lived for Flight #2! After a 4-minute flight on the 2200mah battery the cells each read 3.79 which means there is still a good amount of juice left in them. On a larger battery the jet could easily fly around for 6 minutes or so.

Flight Characteristics

The Mig-15 is a solid jet that tracks superbly well through the wind and the air. The plane felt more stable than the smaller 64mm version reviewed on this site. The jet is not a speed demon with the 2800kv 6-bladed setup, but it is enough to spread a smile on my face. The plane rolls quite well and loops are best done a few mistakes high since they take a good amount of sky. While inverted the Mig is very stable, BUT it takes about ¾ up elevator to keep the plane level while inverted. Be aware of that before you smack the ground! During slow flight the plane is mostly stable, but when a stall happens the Mig wants to shake and roll, so keep the throttle up. Be advised that when the landing gear is deployed it creates noticeable drag on the plane causing it to not only lose speed, but altitude…adjust accordingly when making the final approach. With a 2800kv motor and 6-blade fan the Mig pulls 43 amps and 636 watts of power.

Takeoffs and Landings

As stated earlier taking off with the Exceed RC Mig-15 is simple once the plane is up to speed. The first 10-20 feet of runway can feel dicey as the front nose gear is very sensitive to any input. It is easier to blast on the throttle than rolling it forward. The plane needs a good 50 feet or so to get up in the air so plan accordingly.

Landings are a different story. The plane carries a lot of speed when landing and will need a longer strip of runway to land than what was used in takeoff. The best way to land the jet softly is to come in shallow towards the ground and chop the throttle so the plane bleeds off speed. As the jet descends slowly roll back a little up elevator, continue this until the plane touches the ground. The elevator is extremely sensitive while the plane is coasting during the landing sequence so using expo is highly recommended. Even with a perfect landing the plane may bounce around like a ’64 Impala with hydraulics. The landing gear with suspension is nice, but in some cases I have found them to be more bothersome than helpful.

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

No, but this could be for someone that has flown an EDF before. I would class it as “intermediate”.

Love to hate those retracts

One of the reasons I bought the Exceed Mig-15 was because it was a worthy replacement for the Hobby-Lobby Mig I had been flying. I especially liked the Exceed version since it came with retracts which would eliminate the crunched nose and messy hand launches of the previous jet. The retracts work perfectly but I am starting to see the fault with having built in suspension. On more than one occasion I bring the jet down more abruptly than I had planned and the jet bounces and dances around on the suspension until the whole plane comes to a stop. I could live with the ridiculous landings but it is tearing the gear and foam around the gear all to hell! The runway at the field is nice, but it has some bumps and humps in it which causes the plane to go airborne prematurely when taxiing.

Another issue with the suspension is the steerable nose gear. The gear works fine, but the metal rod deep within the retract is susceptible to bending when met with the slightest resistance. In the video I land halfway in the grass and end up nosing over once the front gear hits the grass. That is understandable, I was coming in hot and the gear took the brunt of the impact. What you don’t see in the video is a flight a few days later where the Mig landed on the runway and rolled to the end where it popped over the edge, into the grass. This seemingly innocent landing bent the gear all out of shape. So once again I have to take it apart, stick the rod in the vise grips and straighten everything out. I wonder about the longevity of the gear.

Conclusion

The Exceed RC Mig-15 is a well-built airplane that not only looks and sounds great but it flies great as well. The plane needs a bit of runway to get going, but once it is in the air it feels stable and crisp. The electric retracts are a nice touch despite their issues and since the kit comes with fixed gear; you always have the option to go back to non-retractable gear. It is an excellent upgrade from a 64mm size Mig since it has better flying characteristics and better power to weight ratio. I am very pleased with the performance and handling and the price is just right as well.

GRADE: B+

Pros

  • Well built, strong foam, simple design
  • Easy to build
  • Contrasting colors on the jet makes it easy to see
  • Very stable in wind
  • Easy to fly; Bank and Yank baby!

Neutrals

  • Instruction manual’s pictures are too small to be useful

Cons

  • Electric retracts are really nice, but the suspension on them create bouncy landings
  • Durability of the front gear is bothersome


Media and Flight Time!

   

   

 


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