Home RC Airplane Reviews Blitz RC Works F-15 RC Airplane Review
Blitz RC Works F-15 RC Airplane Review Print E-mail
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Monday, 01 August 2011 23:22

History

The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter designed by McDonnell Douglas to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. It is considered among the most successful modern fighters with over 100 aerial combat victories with no losses in dogfights.Following reviews of proposals, the United States Air Force selected McDonnell Douglas' design in 1967 to meet the service's need for a dedicated air superiority fighter. The Eagle first flew in July 1972, and entered service in 1976. The F-15 is expected to be in service with the U.S. Air Force until 2025. The F-15 supports a crew of one and is powered by 2 Pratt & Whitney F100-100 afterburning turbofans. These bad boys launch the plane to maximum speed of Mach 2.5 (1,650 mph) and a rate of climb greater than 50,000 ft/min that's over 9 miles straight up in about a minute. Thrusty~!


Intro

Taking advantage of Banana Hobby’s 4th of July sale I was able to purchase a few airplanes for a great deal. The Blitz RC Works F-15 was one of the planes that caught my eye while I searching the website. After doing some research I didn’t see any full reviews for the jet so I put on my order and within 5 days it was on my doorstep.

Kit Contents

The plane arrived double boxed and in perfect condition. I was very impressed with Banana Hobby’s order and ship time. I ordered the plane on a weekday night and it was shipped out the very next day. Impressive.  Cutting the box open I found all of the parts and accessories wrapped in plastic and taped securely within the box. The kit includes the fuselage, wings, elevators, vertical stabs, nose cone, canopy, manual and a few miscellaneous accessories. There really is not much to the kit since the motor, fan, esc servos and retracts are already installed!

   

Assembly

I began assembling the plane screwing the control horns onto the ailerons and preparing the elevators for installation. The entire elevator moves on the plane so the setup includes a rod that secures into a plate on the elevator with a tab that sticks out for the servo rod to attach to. Once the elevators were finished I scuffed up the bottom of the vertical stabs and glued them to the top of the fuselage using Medium Foam Safe CA. The stabs already make a tight fit so CA should be plenty to keep them secure.

   

Amazingly at this point the assembly of the F-15 was nearly finished! I spent some time scuffing up the edges of the wings where they connect to the fuselage to ensure a solid joining surface. I mixed up a fair amount of 5-minute epoxy and coated the edges of the wings and the grooves that would fit into the fuselage. While holding the wings firmly in place I had my lovely assistant work her way around the edges with a paper towel to clean up any epoxy seeping through the cracks.

   

After the wings were dried I slapped on the nose and canopy using medium CA and the Blitz RC Works F-15 was completely assembled!

Features

The F-15 features a bright red paint job that is accented by white stripes tracing the sleek lines of the jet. The jet comes installed with a 2836kv brushless motor turning a 70mm EDF that produces 564 watts on 35 amps. The plane is backed by a 45 amp speed controller and works perfectly on a 2200mah 4s Lipo battery. The jet comes with mechanical retracts that work well once they are locked in place.


Although I bought the ‘straight’ version the jet is also offered as a thrust vectored aircraft for those that are feeling saucy.

First Flight

The weather was perfect for the first flight and although I thought the 564 watts of power was a little low, I was sure the bird would fly. After several rounds of preflight checks I throttle the jet up and blasted down the runway. The F-15 felt like she had a good amount of ‘get up and go’ until I pulled back on the elevator. She responded immediately given the generous amount of elevator throw but the steep climb certainly killed her air speed and for a few seconds it felt like she was going to drop out of the sky. Fortunately, I was able to keep things going and level her out for steady flight.

The jet flew ok, but she was sensitive to any input which is a result of the large amounts of movement coming from the ailerons and elevators. For future flights I programmed in some expo to soften the movement and avoid any ‘twitchiness’.  For the majority of the flight I kept the jet at ¾ to full throttle. I don’t like flying that wide open, but any slower and she felt like she was sinking.

Once my thumbs were accustomed to the F-15’s limits I settled down and enjoyed the flight. From a small dive blasting across the runway the F-15’s speed was respectable, climb outs on the end of the runway left a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, I pushed and pulled the plane through the air and after 4 minutes set her down to check the battery.

The 4s 2200mah 30C battery was very warm and read about 3.77 per cell, so depending on the aggressiveness of the flying, 4-5 minute flight times are standard.

Flight Characteristics

The F-15 most definitely flies like a jet, just a slower jet. In the barebones, stock setup the control surfaces have more than enough movement so I would highly recommend turning the rates down a notch until the jet can be flown without looking like neurotic, twitchy mess. The Blitz RC Works F-15 needs a fair amount of speed to stay in the air; unfortunately this requires most of the flight to be at wide open throttle. This is a bummer since it never gives the battery a rest and certainly shortens flight times when compared to similar jets that are lighter and more powerful.

The EDF jet rolls with a vengeance and flies inverted nearly hands off (although I wouldn’t try it). It felt like it almost wanted to climb while inverted which suggests the model is a touch tail heavy even though it was flown at the recommended CG.

Given the narrow wingspan the jet has a tendency to tip when entering a stall. Because of this, it is important to remember to try and keep the speed up while in the corners otherwise the plane could violently roll out of the corner and into the ground causing heartache for the unsuspecting pilot.

Takeoffs and Landings

The Blitz RC Works F-15 comes with mechanical retractable landing gear that actually works very well.  The gear isn’t too sloppy and once they are locked out they hold the jet up for the long rollout.

For takeoffs the plane needs a good 30-40 feet to get up to speed and get airborne. Since the power is lacking the jet does much better when lifting off the ground in a flat angle of ascent. Blasting the throttle and yanking back on the sticks is a great way to get off the ground and stall the jet. Keep the elevator steady and let the RC Jet gather speed while climbing. Once the gears are retracted the jet looks sleeker and flies better.

Despite the lack of power and the tipping tendencies, landing the Banana Hobby F-15 is not too difficult as long the throttle is slowly backed off at a steady pace. Make the job easier on yourself by lining the plane up for the approach way in advance so no corrections will have to be made. Remember there is no rudder on the F-15 so if you miss your approach you either need to bank and yank or go around the circuit again.

Dual rates are a good thing to have when attempting to land this jet, reducing the elevator throw will greatly assist in setting the jet down gently and avoiding any porpoising.

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

No, nope, no way. It is not a super-duper advanced model, but with the lack of power it is a handful that can quickly turn into a tragedy and the beginner’s thumbs may have issues with the unforgiving nature of the jet.

Locking the Retracts

If you watch the video below you will notice on the first takeoff and landing that the rear, left gear collapses. At first I figured the servo was weak but then I remembered to check to make sure the gears were actually ‘locking out’. Mechanical retracts have fallen from grace with the invention and wide spread use of electric retracts. Sure the electric retracts are cooler, more scale and require less fuss, but mechanical retracts are still very useful.

 

Mechanical retracts tend to require more work and fuss to get them dialed in, but once they are dialed in they are rock solid like my chiseled physique (ha!). The key is locking them out. The retracts on the F-15 worked fine, they went up and down with great ease until the rear gear kept collapsing.

To fix the issue I disconnected the control rod from the gear and played with it until the gear clicked into place. The gear needed only a 1/8th of an inch adjustment to make it fully lock out. Once it was fully locked I readjusted the control rod to the appropriate length and everything was golden.

One hint to make sure the retracts are locked is to lower them (as if you were going to land) and press against them, if the servos buzz or tremble, it means they are not fully locked out. Readjust them or add more servo throw until you can apply pressure against them (as if you were trying to close them) and the servos don’t buzz at all.

Conclusion

The Blitz RC Works F-15 was a good deal from Banana Hobby but even good deals sometimes have a price. The jet flies ok, but feels very underpowered and on the edge of stalling while in the air. The readings on the watt meter confirm that the EDF does not push as much juice out as other Banana Hobby Jets from Blitz RC Works that are in this class. Regardless, the plane is still very flyable and maneuverable as long as the discerning pilot stays alert on the sticks. The retracts are a nice touch and when they are up the plane looks awesome in the air, but if they were removed it would certainly save weight and improve performance. The jet is an ok buy for someone that doesn’t care for speed or unlimited vertical.

GRADE: C+

Pros

  • Easy Build
  • Solid Retracts
  • Fairly inexpensive price

Neutrals

  • Decals are of the cheaper variety and rub off with little provocation

Cons

  • Underpowered, could use an upgrade in the motor area
  • Might be a little tail heavy out of the box with the recommended CG

 

Media and FLIGHT TIME!

   

 




 
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