RCU Review: E-Flite BAe Hawk 15


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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: August 2009 | Views: 67091 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    E-flite BAe Hawk 15 DF ARF

    E-flite BAe Hawk 15 DF ARF
    Review by: Greg Covey
    Flying Photos: Papa Jeff Ring
    Video Pilot: Lynn Bowerman

    E-flite Models
    Distributed Exclusively in the U.S.A. by:


    Horizon Hobby, Inc
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Ph: (800) 338-4639
    Toll Free: (800) 338-4639
    Fax: (217) 352-6799
    www.horizonhobby.com


    Complete Kit with hardware
    High Quality Construction with a great looking finish
    Superb Flying Performance
    No Painting or Decals Needed
    Molded Fiberglass Fuselage
    Concealed elevator linkages
    Optional Upgrades Available
    Detailed Manual Instructions

    Motor Mount Runner
    Installed Wrong


    Skill Level:
    Good



    Time Required to Build:
    10-15 Hours



    Frustration Level:
    No Problem



    Degree of Difficulty Explanation
    E-flite BAe Hawk 15 DF ARF

    E-flite’s BAe Hawk 15 DF ARF is a sport scale version of the trainer and light combat aircraft for use by the British Royal Air Force. This R/C model is constructed of fiberglass and balsa, the fuselage is beautifully prefinished with scale details. The British Aerospace (BAe) Hawk boasts the rare and very visible Central Flying School airshow trim scheme from 1987 in red, white and blue.

    This exciting R/C model was designed around E-flite’s Delta V-15 (69mm) fan unit and matched BL 15 DF brushless motor. Pilots can use a 3-cell LiPo battery pack or utilize a 4-cell LiPo battery pack for increased vertical performance. The built-in fan mounts make installing the fan easy—just drop in the fan unit and tighten four screws. The removable front hatch also allows easy access to the radio equipment and battery. The entire trim scheme is pre-painted, pre-trimmed, the wings are covered in UltraCote and all the decals have already been applied. Created for the advanced sport scale pilot, the BAe Hawk 15 DF ARF easily lives up to its reputation of being a stable flying jet.

    Key Features:

    • Molded fiberglass fuselage and built-up balsa wing construction
    • Pre-finished scale trim scheme of Central Flying School RAF BAe Hawk
    • Designed to fit the E-flite® Delta-V 15 EDF unit and BL15 DF Brushless Motor
    • Built-in fan mounts
    • Pre-assembled quick access cockpit hatch
    • Removable landing gear
    • Concealed elevator linkages
    • Optional pilot figures sold separately

    Specifications:

    • Wingspan:33.3 in (845mm)
    • Overall Length:35.4 in (900mm)
    • Wing Area:206 sq in (13.2 sq dm)
    • Flying Weight:43–46 oz (1219–1304 g)
    • Motor Size:15 DF brushless motor
    • Radio:4+ channels
    • Servos:Sub Micro (3 required, 4 with nose gear steering)
    • Speed Control :60-amp brushless
    • Recommended Battery:3S 11.1V 3000-3300mAh Li-Po
    • Landing Gear:Optional use, included
    ARF Contents :

     

    There are very few parts in the Hawk box so it looks to be a quick build. All the parts were sealed in plastic and well protected for shipment. The 36-page manual is loaded with clear photos and instructions to help insure a successful build.

    What impressed me the most here was the quality of the fiberglass fuselage and sheeted wing covering. It was flawless! The detailing on this EDF model is fantastic!

    Fuselage:

    A closer look at the fuselage reveals an easily removed hatch for access to all radio equipment and battery. A side access hatch allows easy removal of motor and fan unit. The pre-painted vertical fin gives added details in appearance without using decals.

    The BAe Hawk’s high-quality fiberglass fuselage provides strength and durability while the painted finish resists dents and dings. Note the "cheater" holes on the fuselage bottom to allow more air into the ducted fan for increased thrust on take-offs. This allows the Hawk to retain a very scale look!

    Power System :

    The recommended components for the EDF power system are as follows. I will also be testing the BAe Hawk with a 4s ThunderPower 30C 3300mAh LiPo pack.

     

    Assembly:

    The assembly starts by attaching the center body fairing to the motor and then the motor to the DF unit. Note the longer length of the BL 15 ducted fan motor wires to make the installation easier. The center body fairing helps reduce drag.

    The factory-balanced 5-blade rotor is installed after first pressing the collet adapter onto the motor shaft. It is then secured in place by the aluminum spinner. I used an L-wrench (or hex wrench) to help tighten it properly.

    The overall design of this 70mm EDF unit is the best I have seen to date. The longer motor wires, balanced rotor, pre-soldered motor connectors, and center body fairing, are all excellent design details by E-flite.

    After the EDF unit has been assembled, a hole is cut in the thrust tube to allow the motor wires and center body fairing to exit.

    DF Mounting:

    I ran into my first issue when installing the EDF unit into the fuselage. I could not get the DF unit to properly align in the pre-mounted fan intake. It appeared that my bottom plywood runner was pre-glued in the wrong spot. Since the plywood runner was securely glued in place, my fix here was to place the top mounting flange on the opposite side. It was then held in place with a screw, washers, nut, and some Loctite.

    The important part of this assembly is to be sure that the DF unit sits flush into the pre-mounted fan intake.

    Aileron Servos:

    The aileron servos installed in the wing halves without issue. The S-75 servos are held in place by a well-designed mount and the pre-run string provided for easy routing of the servo control cable. The control rods, horns, and keepers were all supplied. A plastic cover is then trimmed to size and secured with the supplied tape. The top side of the wing does not show any holes from the control horn.

    Wing:

    The E-flite BAe Hawk's wing design was impressive and showed their dedication to quality. The seams between the wing halves and the fuselage were perfect!

    The wing halves are reinforced by two carbon tubes. You simply sand the paint off the wing area on the fuselage and brush everything with 20-minute epoxy before pressing it in place.

    Tail:


    The BAe Hawk comes with a plywood jig that is first CA'ed together and then used to hold the stabilizer halves at the proper anhedral angle when gluing them together with 5-minute epoxy. The stabilizer assembly is then properly positioned in place, measured, and marked. The top and bottom side covering is removed where it resides inside the fuselage. The stabilizer is then CA'ed in place from the tail opening.

    Elevator:

    The elevator installation starts with gluing the pre-bent control wires into the elevator halves using 5-minute epoxy. The two elevator halves are then CA'ed to the stabilizer via pre-cut hinge material pieces.

    The elevator control and linkage is designed to provide a clean look on the outside of the Hawk. The control horns and keepers installed with minimal effort.

    Landing Gear:

    The landing gear installed easily but I noticed some minor issues. The kit came with 2mm x 8mm machine screws for the wheel collars instead of shorter Allen head screws so they stick out a bit. The flat spots on the gear metal rods where all facing downward so I just went with it. Typically, I install my wheel collars with the screw facing aft to minimize any grass snagging and provide a cleaner look from the front view.

    These minor issues can be easily fixed, if desired, by obtaining some 2mm x 4mm set screws and using a Dremel tool to create a new flat spot.

    Servo Mounting:

    The elevator and steering servos were installed at the same time using the same technique with pushrod connectors. The two smaller elevator half control rods are controlled by a single servo as is the larger steering control rod. The manual provides exact details for which servo arm and hole to use.

    ESC and Receiver Mounting:

    The E-flite 60-amp Pro Brushless ESC and Spektrum AR6200 receivers were installed per the manual without issue. Note that all the loose wires are wrapped to keep them from flapping in the air flow. It is important to secure the wires in a way that still allows the ESC and receivers to be removed from the hook-n-loop material, if needed.

    Not shown in the photos are the motor/ESC wires that I secured to the carbon tubes inside the fuselage.

    Optional Pilots:

    On a model this nice, adding pilots should be an option that you don't leave out. Fortunately, Horizon offers their ParkZone T-28 Pilot that can be cut down to fit inside the Hawk canopy. The canopy is held in place using supplied eye ring screws, a rubber band, and a hook made from cut-off control rod.

    I added some black sticky-back covering to block the holes in the canopy bottom. My BAe Hawk is starting to look almost complete!

    Thrust Tube:

    The thrust tube is installed through the tail opening and then taped in place along the DF and at the tail. I also added some Zap-A-Dap-A-Goo II (or plumbers Goop) to the area around the center body fairing to keep the air from escaping around the cutout.

    Once the thrust tube is installed, the rear hatch is taped in place on all four sides.

     

    Accessories:

    The last step of assembly is to glue on the accessories using canopy glue. I used Pacer Formula 560 which dries fast, clear, and flexible.

    The wing tip plates mate with a hole in the wing leading edge for easy alignment. The air intake scoops must be trimmed first and then positioned by eye. Masking tape holds the accessories in place while the glue dries.

    Batteries and Balancing:

    The 3-cell E-flite 3200mAh pack and 4-cell ThunderPower Pro Power 30C 3300mAh pack are shown in their positions to obtain the balance recommended in the manual. For less than a 3oz weight penalty, and some additional cost, you can more than double your power by using a 4-cell pack. This upgrade should really make the BAe Hawk perform well.

    Since the E-flite 60-amp Pro Brushless ESC has a fail-safe switch design, I find it easiest on these smaller models to simply cut off the switch and get it out of the way. I cut one wire slightly shorter and then cover the ends with a small piece of shrink tubing.

    I measured the power level of each pack as follows. The E-flite 60-amp Pro Brushless ESC can handle 75-amps peak so it will still be within specs on your high-speed passes at full throttle.

    • 3-cell pack, 360 watts, 36 amps
    • 4-cell pack, 900 watts, 64 amps


    Optional Setup Approved by Horizon

    Reflexed Ailerons

    Although not in the manual, Horizon has approved using reflexed ailerons to aid in landing the BAe Hawk. Reflexing is the process of deflecting a portion of an airfoil's tailing edge upward which alters the aerodynamic properties by reducing lift. By adding 1.5mm to 2mm of up on both ailerons from the neutral position, the airfoil generates less lift and drag for the same angle of attack, which has the opposite effect of flaps. The reflexed ailerons allow the BAe Hawk to settle into an easy descent without approaching a stall speed.

    Spektrum DX6i Mixing

    To accomplish adding reflexed ailerons on my BAe Hawk using the Spektrum DX6i transmitter, I needed two mixes along with plugging the second aileron servo into the flap channel. In this manner, the FLAP switch is used as normal for landing but adds reflex instead of flap.

    Mix 1: AILE -> FLAP ACT, RATE D +100% U +100%, SW ON TRIM ACT

    Mix 2: FLAP -> AILE ACT, RATE L -100% R -100%, SW FLAP TRIM INH

    The Sub-Trims control the aileron centering and are approximately +82 for AILE and +100 for FLAP. The FLAP setting then uses a 0 offset for NORM and about +17 for LAND to achieve a 2mm reflex position.

    Author Note: When test flying the E-flite BAe Hawk, we did not find it necessary to use reflexed ailerons when landing.

     

    Ready-To-Fly:

    My E-flite BAe Hawk was Ready-To-Fly at 35oz without battery. Using the 10oz 3-cell LiPo pack, it weighed 45oz (2.8lbs). Using the 13oz 4-cell pack, it weighed 48oz (3lbs).

     

    Test Flying

    We tested the E-flite BAe Hawk off a pavement runway and really liked its performance on the 4-cell Thunderpower 30C 3300mAh pack. Take-offs were powerful and the Hawk flew very well at only half throttle. Full throttle passes were a real blast of speed! We did not need any reflex turned on for landings and found that the Hawk could slow fly very well within its limits.

    The ailerons were extremely responsive so we dialed in plenty of exponential. The elevators were a bit docile so we removed the exponential from that setting. The Hawk has great performance on a good 4-cell pack and still lands predictably with the added 3oz weight over a 3-cell pack. Although a 3-cell pack should still work for intermediate flyers, by keeping it lighter, do not expect it to have great top end speed.

    Download and Watch in Windows Media Player here (22MB)!

     

    Summary

    The E-flite BAe Hawk 15 DF ARF is perfectly matched for the E-flite Delta V-15 (69mm) fan unit. Although a 3-cell pack should still work for intermediate flyers, I recommend good 4-cell pack like the Thunderpower 30C 3300mAh pack to really bring out the performance of this beautiful fiberglass model.

    The BAe Hawk 15 DF ARF did live up to its reputation of being a stable flying jet and could even take off from grass using the 4-cell Lipo pack. The usual limitations exist when you don't have a rudder. You must not take-off crosswind and you need to set up your landing approach well in advance. This model requires seasoned intermediate to advanced flying skills for a successful experience.

    Overall, this is an excellent fiberglass EDF design by E-flite. Those pilots savvy enough to step up from a foamy will not only love the Hawk's appearance but get a real rush from its performance!

    E-flite AT-6 Texan




    E-flite Models
    Distributed Exclusively in the U.S.A. by:
    Horizon Hobby, Inc
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Ph: (800) 338-4639
    Toll Free: (800) 338-4639
    Fax: (217) 352-6799
    Website: www.horizonhobby.com


    ZAP Glues On-line at Frank Tiano Enterprises
    Pacer Z-42 Thread Locker
    5-minute Z-poxy
    Pacer POLY ZAP(tm)

     

    Comments on RCU Review: E-Flite BAe Hawk 15

    Posted by: retiredVTT on 08/26/2009
    ..is there something wrong with the formating of this article..Seems to hacked off on the right side of the screen.. Bill
    Posted by: retiredVTT on 08/26/2009

    Posted by: cobrajocky on 08/26/2009
    The video experience would have been a whole lot better without the narration of the obvious. Put the plane equip specs in a rolling leader at the beginning or end instead and keep quiet so we can enjoy the sound of the DF plane and the 4 stroke warming up.
    Posted by: jakyying on 09/18/2009

    Posted by: arniejet on 12/22/2009
    With respect to the Miss item in the review. I ran into this same problem initially. My guess is the motor mount runner was installed correctly, the sticker on the fan shroud should be facing towards the inside. Reason being, the mount on the fan is slightly off center. Flip the motor around 180 degrees on the fan mount so the e-flight sticker is on the inside and it should fit like a glove.
    Posted by: badflyboy on 02/15/2010
    the format is fixed now Greg. I was able to read it properly now. Thanks for the fix. Great review.
    Posted by: iceman0 on 04/25/2010
    I really love this plane. My third day out with it the radio/battery tray collapsed and caused the elevator to go out. I landed it with just a dent on the nose. I contacted horizon with the problem and at first they said just use epoxy to fix it. Ill see what happens.
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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