RCU Review: E-flite P-40 Warhawk 300

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    Contributed by: Mathew Kirsch | Published: February 2010 | Views: 41628 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon

    Review by: Matt Kirsch Photos: Ed Britton Video: Papa Jeff Ring

    Distributed exclusively by:
    Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    CHAMPAIGN, IL 61822
    Support Phone:
    Sales Phone: (800)338-4639

    Website: www.horizonhobby.com

    Skill Level:
    Moderate (small parts in tight locations)

    Time to Build
    < 1 hour

    Frustration Level:

    Click here for to learn
    "What these rating mean?".

    Quick assembly.
    Excellent scale detail.
    Plenty of power.

    Too fast for indoor flying.
    My first successful foray into model aviation was a Cox P-40 Warhawk control line model, believe it or not. That cantankerous little Babe Bee .049 engine kept my brother and I occupied for hours just trying to get it started. Flying it was an adventure in stamina; the little engine didn't have enough power to support long lines, so the lines were short and the pilot would have to spin like a top just to keep up. Dizziness and disorientation set in quickly. No throttle meant you either had to gut it out for two full minutes, or smack the plane into the ground at full throttle.

    I mastered that little beastie, beating it almost to pieces in the process. Ever since, the P-40 has been my favorite warbird. The P-40 itself needs no introduction, as one of the most famous World War II American Fighters.

    Kit Name: E-flite P-40 Warhawk 300
    Price: $99.99 retail price
    Wingspan: 25.6"
    Wing Area: 108 sq. in.
    Flying Weight as tested: 6.6oz
    Airfoil: Semi-symmetrical
    Motor: Brushless 300 outrunner
    Battery used: 480mAh 2S Thunderpower ProLite V2 20C
    ESC used: EFlite Pro 10A Brushless
    Radio equipment: Spektrum DX6i, AR6110e receiver, S60 servos

    • Hobby Knife
    • Small Phillips screwdriver
    • Foam-safe CA

    The box has a handle on it, making it easy to carry home.
    You could even use the box as a carry case for the completed airplane.
    The display stand is truly "the bomb"... Yeah. It needed to be said.

    Parts count in the kit is extremely low, including a prehinged wing, and a preassembled fuselage complete with motor, propeller, and spinner. Also included is a display stand, spare prop and spinner, along with a small wire tool that looks like something out of an Easter egg coloring kit.

    The display stand is rather creative, using a simulated bomb to disguise the attachment point to the wing, and a socket joint that allows the P-40 to be positioned at a rakish angle on a mantle, dining room table, desktop or shelf.

    A ThunderPower 2S ProLite V2 480mAh LiPoly pack with JST connector provides the go-juice for this project.
    The E-flite 10 Amp Pro brushless ESC is already outfitted with the right connectors.
    Two S60 servos round out the onboard gear.
    It doesn't take a whole lot of additional equipment to finish off the P-40 Warhawk. Two Eflite S60 servos, an Eflite 10 Amp ESC, a ThunderPower 2S 480mAh battery, and a Spektrum AR6110e are recommended to go along with your Spektrum transmitter and LiPoly charger of choice.

    The OEM 300 brushless motor is preinstalled in the fuselage of the P-40, and already has the bullet connectors to fit the Eflite ESC. Using the equipment recommended on the box, it is truly a plug and play affair.

    Spektrum's latest park flyer offering, the AR6110e, is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, with a new 90-degree antenna orientation.
    Spektrum introduced the DX6i transmitter a little over two years ago now, and it has turned the hobby world on its ear. With a street price of just under $200 for transmitter and receiver, it placed full-range 2.4GHz spread spectrum technology in direct competition with 72MHz for the first time.

    The DX6i provides modelers with everything modelers could expect in an entry-level, 6-channel computer radio and more: Airplane and helicopter modes, 10-model memory, programmable mixes, and Spektrum's famous Model Match system, which prevents pilots from taking off with the wrong program loaded in the transmitter.

    Add in affordable receivers like the park flyer AR6110e at $49.99 and the full-range AR500 at $59.99 street price, and the DX6i is a great choice for new pilots looking to upgrade the transmitter that came with their trainer, or sport pilots looking to make the jump to 2.4GHz technology.
    The wing
    Mock retracts and scale panel lines. Impressive detail for such a small plane.
    The ailerons even look like they're fabric-covered.
    This is exactly how the fuselage came out of the box. Even has the same tail number as its big bro.
    They say if you turn a shark on its belly, it goes into a trance-like state.
    Magnetic canopy provides access to the battery well and wing attachment.

    Installing the servos involves using a sharp Xacto knife to make a slot for the servo wires in each bay, pushing each servo into place, and securing them with drops of foam safe CA through the screw holes. Loading the wing servo into its bay is straightforward enough, but the elevator servo does take a slight bit of patience due to its location in the fuselage.

    Quite frankly, the fit of the S60 servos in their sockets is tight enough that I really don't think they're going anywhere with the tiny amount of stress being placed on them by the flying surfaces of the P-40. The thin CA is just extra insurance.

    The instructions are very specific about the lengths of the servo arms, and the arms included with the S-60 servos match the specs perfectly. After centering the servos with my handy servo testing gadget, I popped them on and connected the pushrods.

    The servo wells are sized to snugly hold E-flite S60s.
    What you see is all it took to prep the wing for flight.
    Servo #2 in place. Hooking up the linkage was the hardest part of putting the plane together.
    Since there is no structural work left to perform on the P-40 it's time to finish the radio installation. Simply connect every plug to its appropriate socket, and tuck everything neatly into place.

    Now is also a good time to bind the AR6110e receiver to the Spektrum transmitter, a DX6i in this case. Once the receiver is tucked into place you won't be able to see the amber light to know if the receiver has properly bound. I used a spare receiver pack I keep in the shop for radio testing as a power source for the binding operation.
    All the connections are easy to make at this stage.
    Now's the time to bind transmitter to receiver, when you can still see the blinking light.
    The receiver tucks up into the cowl area with double-sided tape.
    Could it really be this easy? I think all that's left is to join the wing to the fuselage.

    If you noticed earlier, there's an o-ring hanging from the wing. There's a hook on the rear cockpit bulkhead. Remember that tool I thought was from a miniature Easter egg coloring kit? It's not for fishing pigeon eggs out of a cup of colored water...

    Once the wing is positioned on the fuselage, you reach down through the floor of the cockpit with the small end of the tool, snag the o-ring, then stretch it up and over the hook on the cockpit bulkhead. From what I'm told, this is an old rubber-powered free-flight trick, but it's a new one on me, and a very clever way to secure the wing with no visible support.

    The final touch is to slide the 2-cell 480mAh ThunderPower LiPoly pack into the slot in the front of the cockpit, and pop the canopy back into position.
    Here's the hook that holds the wing on.
    Here's the o-ring that attaches to that hook.
    It's a fishing expedition, and the goal is to hook the o-ring.
    The ThunderPower 2S 480mAh pack is a perfect fit.
    This is all you need for a quick lunchtime flight.
    Perched atop the display stand with the wing installation tool and spare parts.
    I had to go back through all the steps just to make sure I didn't miss anything... I didn't, so it must be done!

    The display stand is a cool touch, and makes it easy to pose the plane for the review shots. It's also held up well to transporting the P-40 back and forth to the field, and displaying the P-40 on my dining room table.

    Even though this P-40 weighs just 6.6 ounces with the battery in place, it only has a little better than 1/4 the wing area of the 6.5 ounce E-flite 4-Site, so I knew it was going to be fast. It may be flyable indoors, but it's a whole lot smarter, not to mention easier, to trim out a new plane when you don't have to worry about smacking into a wall after .73 seconds.

    Maiden day was unusual for mid-November in Upstate New York: It was warm. It was sunny. It was calm. If you live in a state north of the Mason-Dixon line, you know days like these don't come along often at this time of year.

    This little P-40 is quite literally a pocket rocket. It took me a couple of tries to get the launch down (another advantage of test flying over grass instead of hardwood, concrete, or simulated turf), but on my second try, we were off to the races!

    It didn't take me long to realize that full power from the OEM 300 brushless motor was simply unnecessary for normal flight. Even at half throttle it still scoots along and covers the 600' length of my club's runway at an impressive clip.

    Really, it flies "larger" than it is. I'd compare the flying qualities to it's .60-size Hangar 9 predecessor. The little one will do everything the big one will, as long as it doesn't require a rudder. Axial rolls may be out, but warbirds are supposed to do VICTORY rolls, and these are another can-do for the 300-size P-40. It usually takes some practice to get the timing down, but I was able to pull a passable victory roll on the first try.

    As I was flying, a slight breeze kicked up, but that didn't seem to phase the P-40 much. The streamlined design cuts right through the wind, and I'd estimate that this little plane will take up to 5MPH winds and still keep its fun-to-fly characteristics. Not bad for 6.6 ounces.

    If you've got your heart set on a rudder, though, adding one is no problem. The scale rudder hinge line is clearly marked on the fin, and there's plenty of room up front for another S-60 servo.

    A week after the maiden, the on-campus flying club at the Rochester Institute of Technology held an indoor event at the RIT Gordon Field House. Covering a flying area the size of a 400m oval track, I figured it would provide plenty of space to fly.

    Check out the maiden E-flite P-40 flight!

    Download and Watch in Windows Media Player here!

    The indoor venue only accentuates the speed of the P-40. This isn't for the faint of heart, and I recommend that only expert pilots, like Devin McGrath, try this. Sure the P-40 will slow down, and seems pretty stable in a slightly nose-high attitude, but we're talking about a speedy warbird here. It just begs to have the spurrs put to it, and Devin certainly made that huge venue look small when he did.

    Check out INDOOR excitement with the E-flite P-40!

    Download and Watch in Windows Media Player here!

    If my desk area at work wasn't being used for equipment storage, that's where the E-flite P-40 Warhawk 300 would be. It's the perfect "executive" plane, decorative yet functional. Keep it on the desk as a conversation starter, then pop it off its clever display stand for a quick trip to the park on those days when it's just too nice to be inside working. You can get out, satisfy your flying urge, and get back before the boss even knows you're gone!

    E-flite, Spektrum
    Distributed exclusively by:
    Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    CHAMPAIGN, IL 61822
    Support Phone: (877)504-0233
    Sales Phone: (800)338-4639
    Website: www.horizonhobby.com
    email: support@horizonhobby.com

    Thunderpower Batteries
    P.O. Box 1247
    625 N. 12th St.
    St. Charles, IL 60174
    Phone: (630) 584-7616
    Web Site: www.thunderpower-batteries.com
    E-mail: info@thunderpower-batteries.com

    Comments on RCU Review: E-flite P-40 Warhawk 300

    Posted by: cobrajocky on 05/05/2010
    Too bad it's not painted remotely like the actual P-40B's that the Tiger's flew!! My father was in the Panda Squadron and I have pictures he took. ALL the P-40s wear in British spec Khaki Green because all the planes were originally part of a sale of 100 to the RAF, but diverted to Burma with GB's blessing. It is pitiful that so many so-called RC scale Tiger's P-40's are totally off base in color and markings. This one is unacceptably wrong.
    Posted by: Flying Fiz on 07/24/2012
    This plane is made by Art-Tech (Shen Zhen Ltd) in China and costs half the price of the E-flite branded version. The original Art-Tech comes with all servos and ESC fitted for $60. HH ordered theirs from Shen Zhen w/out servos and ESC and charge you over a $100 for it. Nice one Horizon Hobby. I know this because I have both versions and they are the same plane. Be smart and buy the fully equiped version from Hobby King for less than half the price of getting the E-Flite in the air.
    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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