Home RC Airplane Reviews E-flite BAE Hawk RC Airplane Review
E-flite BAE Hawk RC Airplane Review Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 16 August 2011 00:51

History

The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single engine, advanced jet trainer aircraft. It first flew in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk. The Hawk is used by the Royal Air Force, and other air forces, as either a trainer or a low-cost combat aircraft. The Hawk is still in production with over 900 Hawks sold to 18 customers around the world.

The Hawk is a tandem two-seat aircraft and has a low-mounted cantilever monoplane wing and is powered by a non-augmented turbofan engine. The low-positioned one-piece wing was designed to allow a wide landing gear track and to enable easier maintenance access. The wing is fitted with wide-span, double-slotted, trailing-edge flaps for low-speed performance. Integral to the wing is 836 liter (184 imp gal) fuel tank and room for the retractable main landing gear legs. Designed to take a +8/-4 g load, the original requirement was for two stores hard points but it was designed to fit four hard points by Hawker Siddeley.

The fuselage design was led by the need to get a height differential between the two tandem cockpits; this enabled increased visibility for the instructor in the rear seat. Each cockpit is fitted with a Martin-Baker Mk 10B zero-zero rocket assisted ejection seat. The center fuselage has an 823 liter (181 Imp Gal) flexible fuel tank. The two-shaft turbofan Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour engine is fitted in the rear-fuselage with inlets on each side above the forward wing roots. A ram air turbine is fitted just in front of the single fin as well as a gas turbine auxiliary power unit above the engine. The forward retracting landing gear leg is fitted in the nose. The Hawk has a service ceiling of 13, 565 and a thrust to weight ratio of .65.

Intro

I wasn’t looking for the Hawk, but apparently, it was looking for me. A fellow member of the flying field pulled me aside one day and told me he had a cool EDF for sale. I listened with interest, but after a few days had forgotten about the plane. Days later he showed up at the field with the jet in hand and it was sight to behold! The jet was an E-flite BAE Hawk that was brand new, never flown but fully assembled. He had bought the jet from a guy that built it to E-flite’s exact specifications, but never had the courage to fly it. My friend made me an offer I could not refuse so the jet ended up going home in my trunk that night.

After sitting on my shelf for a week and admiring the build quality and sleek lines of the Hawk I began to think that maybe it was too nice and too fast for even me! I decided to squash those thoughts by flying it last weekend.  

Kit Contents

The E-flite Hawk kit comes with all the parts of the plane, but lacks any electronic equipment. The fuselage, canopy, wings, elevator, gear, and miscellaneous accessories are all included in the BAE Hawk kit. The Hawk used for this review was outfitted with the stock motor and fan, Hitec Metal Gear HS65s for the ailerons, elevator and nose steering, a 60 amp Castle Creations ESC and a Spektrum AR6200 satellite receiver. The airplane itself is strong and is made out of fiberglass and balsa. It is a tad on the hefty side, but gives the Hawk more air cutting authority than any foam model.

   

Assembly

The E-flite BAE Hawk I received was 100% assembled and all I needed to do was bind the receiver to my radio, plug a battery in and fly. Looking over the model and the exquisitely detailed manual I can say that assembly is not too difficult. There are not too many steps and nothing too complicated. The Hawk’s build quality is top notch and it feels completely secure and sturdy when everything is together. I would allocate anywhere from 5-10 hours build time for the BAE Hawk. In reality this number could be a lot smaller, but I often find little problems and issues that pop up when building that aren’t covered in the manual. The online manual can be found here:

http://www.e-fliterc.com/ProdInfo/Files/EFL_BAe_Hawk_Low_Res.pdf

Features

The E-flite BAE Hawk features a fiberglass fuselage and strong balsa wings. The entire jet feels thick, heavy and solid. No parts are loose, ill-fitting or misaligned. I really like the design and structure of the plane and in addition it looks great! Using the recommended stock setup the BAE Hawk features a BL 15 3600kv motor that powers the 69mm Delta-V EDF. The setup calls for a 3S battery but it can also handle a 4S battery and if you’re looking for speed, 4S is the way to go. I was told the Hawk is a fast plane but after running the jet through the watt meter I found that the 3S setup pulled 29 amps and 430 watts. It was a little paltry for my tastes, especially since the jet felt heavier than some foamies I have flown that had similar numbers. I dropped in a 4S 2650mah 30C battery and it really woke the Hawk up. At full throttle the jet pulled exactly 60amps and 934 watts! Wow. From that point on I knew the BAE Hawk would be a screamer.

The E-flite Hawk has some nice features, especially related to build quality, but space is definitely tight under the hood. My one grip is that there are not a whole lot of places to mount the receiver, satellite and ESC. If you do choose to mount them in the middle of the fuselage make sure they are secure and won’t be sucked into the fan. I experienced this small mistake last weekend with the Phase 3 F-16, unfortunately I do not think that plane will fly again.

   

First Flight

It was a day of maidens when I brought the Hawk out to the field. The weather was beautiful, but a little windy at times. After completing two successful maidens it was time to take the Hawk up. I pre-flighted the plane and triple checked the CG which fell perfectly at 85mm from the leading edge.

I picked up the BAE Jet and suddenly the entire field fell quiet as all eyes were on me. I hate that. As I walked out towards the runway the only sound I heard was my heart pounding and the blood gushing behind my ears. I couldn’t believe it, I was actually nervous to fly the plane!

I swallowed my nerves, took one last look at the controls, flipped the switch for low throws w/expo (75% throw and 25% expo) and pushed the throttle forward with purpose. The BAE Hawk sprinted towards the end of the runway straight and true like Bob on a bobsled. I pulled back on the elevator and the shiny jet jumped off the runway with authority and climbed with ease. After bringing her up to a safe altitude I proceed to trim the jet out since it wanted to dive. The plane felt like a handful so I called Crazy Thumbs over to assist with the trimming process. It took a few laps to dial the Hawk in but once everything was trimmed, she flew straight like an arrow.

The Hawk was fast and had plenty of power at my fingertips for more speed should I desire it. The vertical climb is stronger than any other jet I have flown and feels darn near unlimited. Even on reduced throws the Hawk is snappy and nimble making the E-flite Hawk look like an oscillating fan when doing aileron rolls.

After 4 minutes of flight time I decided to land the plane to check the battery, heat and make sure everything was working properly. During the first flight I took the plane up high and found that the stall characteristics were ok, but the jet will definitely dip the nose for more speed if a flat stall should occur. I gave myself a good run up and cut the throttle well before entering the landing zone. Even with all the extra space I still over shot the runway and had to call it off and go around again. It was a little scary to call off the landing since the plane was low and slow, but blasting on the throttle gave enough juice to get her back up in the air. On the second approach I started farther out and cut the throttle sooner. This time the plane settled down towards the ground perfectly and I was able to softly bring the jet in before the end of the runway.

Whew! Big sigh of relief.

Flight Characteristics

The BAE Hawk is an excellent flying machine. The jet is fast, responsive and overflowing with power. Given the design and weight of the jet she can handle all of the speed pumped through her and will glide for 100’s of feet even after the power is cut.

The plane needs to be flown the entire time it is up in the air. Speed should be kept up in the corners as there is a slight ‘slipping’ feeling that happens if she turns too slowly. The ailerons and elevators have plenty of throw for tight turns and rolls, and on the stock setup the vertical climbing ability is extremely pleasing.  

Balancing the jet at 85mm makes inverted flying nearly hands off which is nice if you’re looking to show off. The jet also cuts through the wind with little effort. It is a smaller sized jet but the weight of the bird makes it solid in the air.

   

Takeoffs and Landings

Taking off with the E-flite BAE Hawk is simple given how well it tracks on the ground. The steering is not too sensitive and once the plane is blasting down the runway she does not vary from course. The plane can get up in the air in a hurry, but be sure and give yourself at least 40 to 50 feet of clearance to get airborne. Once in the air she climbs up high quickly, leaving the ground far behind.

Landings are much more involved. As mentioned earlier in this review the jet continues to glide for a long time even after the throttle is off. The jet is aerodynamic and can really carry some speed. Because of this be sure and give yourself plenty of landing room. The landing strip at our field is just over 200 feet and I had a very difficult time getting the plane down within that space.  

Cut the throttle early and let the decreasing speed settle the jet towards the ground. At this point in landing the elevator is extremely touchy so avoid pushing or pulling too dramatically or a stall or smash is in your future. With the plane descending pull a small amount of back elevator on the sticks just before the plane touches so the landing is softened.

Amazingly the jet is able to roll and land in the grass. My 2nd landing veered to the side and I landed in the grass with no damage to any gear or wheels. It is nice to see a jet with such strong landing gear.

   

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

No definitely not. The jet is a bank and yank plane since it only has ailerons/elevators which in some ways is ‘easy’ to fly but given the construction material and flight performance it would not be a good thing in the hands of a newbie. On 4S this feels like an intermediate to advanced pilot jet.

Conclusion

The E-flite BAE Hawk was a plane that landed in my lap when I wasn’t even looking for it. Now I am glad it did. The jet MOVES when plugged into a 4S battery and it looks good doing it. The Jet is very well built and I am pleased with the quality of the parts all the way around the Hawk. There is really no way to put retracts into the plane and so it is not as ‘scale’ as other jets out there but the durability and sheer strength of the gear make up for the lack of scale appearance. Fast flybys and unlimited climb outs are the Hawk’s MO and it does them both extremely well. Buy this plane if you’re looking for a quality, fast jet that gives smiles all around.

GRADE: A-

Pros

  • Quality Construction
  • Very Detailed Manual
  • Nice Paint Scheme, pops in the air
  • Fast on 4s, maybe over 100 mph?
  • Handles wind like a mosquito blowing in an ear

Neutrals

  • Little cramped in the battery bay, make sure all wires/escs/receivers are tied down

Cons

  •  none


Media and FLIGHT Time!

   

   

 


 
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