High Quality Construction with a great looking finish
Excellent Flying Performance with stock Power System
Three Versions Available
Great detailing and added features
Air up / Spring down retract system
Speed Brakes and Flaps
Airfoil-shaped vertical fin and rudder
Pavement or Hand-launch
Illustrations and text are too small
Initial Kits Required Product Alert for rigid air Lines and Weak
Group International has released the F-86 Sabre in a 70mm
Almost-Ready-to-Fly (ARF) Electric Ducted Fan (EDF) jet airplane.
It is available in three striking scale color schemes and is made
from tough, yet lightweight EPO Foam. These jets come pre-painted
with all graphics pre-applied making the time from bench to flight
line very minimal.
powerful 70mm Ducted Fan and 2836kv Brushless outrunner motor
provide plenty of thrust for scale fighting action. Major features
include working flaps, scale airbrakes, pneumatic / spring retractable
landing gear, and scale external fuel tanks. All servos are pre-installed,
as is the 45-amp ESC with a 5-amp external BEC. Simply install
your own 6-channel receiver, 4S 3200mah LiPo battery, and you
are ready to fly!
70mm Ducted Fan (Included)
Powerful 2836kv Brushless outrunner motor (Included)
45-amp ESC with 5-amp external BEC (Included)
All micro servos are pre-installed
Air Retracts, struts, and rubber wheels (Included)
Scale external fuel tanks
All decals pre-applied
Age Rating: 14+
Wingspan: 43.4" (110.3cm)
Length: 42.7" (108.5cm)
Flying Weight: 52.9oz. / 1.5kg
Motor: 2836kv Brushless Outrunner
Fan: 70mm EDF
Radio System: 6-channel minimum (Not Included)
Battery: 4S 3200mAh-4500mAh LiPO (Not Included)
The F-86 parts were well secured in the box by custom compartments.
Each plane part or group of pieces was sealed in plastic. The wings
each had the metal air retracts installed as well as the servos and
control surface hinges. All the parts were pre-painted and ready to
the red servo is reversed for the opposite flap and the metal struts
come with pre-assembled rubber (not foam) wheels. A set of servo extensions
and a painted pilot figure were even included!
14-page manual has a very condensed set of instructions but the photos
and text look clear. The multi-step QC sheet shows a good commitment
to quality and consistency by Venom.
shown are the two plastic gray wing fences that I decided not to use.
The wing fences were used on later F-86 full-scale jets.
A closer look at the Venom F-86 fuselage reveals that it is loaded with
extras. The tail servos are already installed for the rudder and elevators.
The cockpit hatch is held in place by four strong magnets and a front
tab to keep it from coming off in flight. The retract control servo
and linkage are pre-installed as is the battery bay and holding strap.
A nose wheel steering servo is also installed.
motor, ducted fan and ESC are already mounted. The air lines and tank
are all in place and need only be connected to the main retracts.
the thrust tube is already in place!
Group International is providing updated parts to those customers
who are not satisfied with the landing gear alloy struts and
the harder air lines. Please contact them for a free replacement
by calling 1-800-705-0620 or e-mail Customer
updated landing gear struts are now simple light weight wire
parts. The air lines are softer and clear. These parts will
be available by September 1st. Future production of the Venom
F-86-70 will include these updates.
assembly starts by gluing the wing halves together and routing
the servo extensions for the ailerons and flaps. The manual is
sketchy here so you need to take a look at what is trying to be
accomplished. I found it easier to first glue the wing halves
together, using the supplied glue, and then route the servo extensions.
Notice that the extensions should end up on the same side where
it can be fed through the channel inside the fuselage wall.
screwing the wing in place, you need to also route the air lines
and attach the ends to the cylinders on the retract mains. Note
that the servo extensions use one channel on the wing bottom and
the air line to the opposite side uses the other channel. I added
some small washers to the long screws before securing the wing
to buffer the metal screw head on the pre-attached wooden washers.
The wing seated perfectly when all the extensions and air lines
were properly in the channels.
air up / spring down retracts required a little work for proper
operation. Since there was some binding on the retracts, I sprayed
them with a light coat of silicone lubricant and worked them up
and down until they could spring freely. I also needed to cut
away some of the foam on one of the wheel wells to keep the retracted
wheel from sticking. A slight cut was also done on the nose wheel
bay to eliminate the wheel from hitting the foam when retracting.
also discovered a leak in the main fill valve. After several attempts
to determine where the leak came from, I gave up and replaced
it with a Robart fill valve which matched all my other planes
anyway. By connecting the servo to the gear channel on a live
receiver, you can slowly dial in the correct positions on your
transmitter for up and down so that no air escapes. To monitor
the air pressure, I simply leave the Robart pump connected and
watch for a change in pressure. I left the pump connected overnight
and saw little change in the morning so I knew my air system was
intact. The retracts seem to operate flawlessly with 60lbs to
100lbs of pressure.
using a Spektrum AR7000 dual receiver on my F-86. I tested all
the servos, except for the vertical stab, for proper operation.
I got big kick out of my first functional set of air brakes!
strut wires on the mains had a nice flat spot to tighten the set
screw. The nose wheel strut is different so the steering cables
will need to be hooked up before it is ready to go.
vertical stabilizer has the rudder servo pre-mounted so all you
need to do is plug it in and test it before gluing the fin in
place. I used the supplied glue and hooked up the linkage to the
second outer most holes on both the servo arm and control horn.
The servo arm holes needed to be opened up a bit to accept the
Z-bend on the control rod.
replaced the stock battery connector with a Dean's Ultra which
allowed me to use some pre-enjoyed ThunderPower 4s eXtreme V2
and Pro Power 3300mAh packs.
Wheel and Steering:
manual was very poor on the nose steering assembly but with
a little common sense it can be made to work well. In general,
you always want the steering servo arm parallel to the control
arm so by cutting the servo arm ends shorter, you can mount
it sideways to the control arm.
nose strut already had a flat spot in the rod so the control
arm doesn't end up perfectly parallel to the servo arm. When
tightening the set screw on the strut, allow the wheel to be
able to spin freely without pulling out. I used the second hole
from the inside on the servo arm and the steering came out just
the nose wheel is retracted, the steering wires get loose and
stay out of the way. Note that the control arm wants to be mounted
one way so that it can nestle into the plywood cutout when retracted.
horizontal stabs were glued in place using the supplied glue.
The control horns hooked up easily with the only issue being
the need to drill out the servo arm holes a bit to accept the
Z-bend. I used the second hole from the outside on both the
servo arm and the control horn.
this time, I connected the aileron and flap linkages as well.
The fuel tanks were glued into the wing seats using the supplied
glue. The wing seats provided easy alignment for the tanks.
All linkages were connected to the second hole from the outside
except for the flap control horns, which used the outer most
pilot and canopy were the last steps of the assembly. I glued
the pilot in place using the last of the supplied glue and then
glued the canopy onto the hatch with a similar clear foam-safe
glue of my own.
balance at the 180mm point recommended in the manual, I needed
to move the 12.5oz ThunderPower pack slightly forward as shown.
The strap just covered the back end of the pack.
Venom F86-70 Sabre was ready to fly at 55oz (3.4lbs) including
the 12.5oz 4s ThunderPower pack. I measured 670 watts at 45 amps
for a power level of 195w/lb. The jet should fly nicely!
After a perfect pre-flight check, we thought the Venom
was ready to go but the rotor blew out when we were taxiing
for take-off on grass after about 20’. I’m not
sure if something got sucked in the nose (nobody saw anything)
or if the distortion from bouncing on the grass made a
rotor blade strike the fan unit. I had the power system
up to full throttle 3 or 4 times at home without issue.
It was actually quite smooth running at full throttle.
sent an e-mail to VGI and received my replacement rotor
in about a week. The rotor was actually quite easy to
replace. After removing the four screws holding the wing,
it could be set off to the side while the rotor was swapped
out. I did notice some slop in either the stock outrunner
motor or DF mount that may have allowed the rotor blades
to strike the sides. Otherwise, there was no evidence
of what caused my blade failure. Once again, I ran it
up to full throttle 3 or 4 times outside and it sounded
smooth with little vibration.
weather was great today so I finally got a chance to test
fly my Venom F86-70. My usual crew was not available so
my wife, Kim, helped me out with the video and photos.
My first attempt to fly off grass with the gear down didn't
work and the soft struts that were never replaced on my
earlier review unit managed to bend a bit. As I tried
to bend the nose wheel forward, the strut just snapped
off. All the newer kits should have these struts replaced
by now (as well as the rigid airlines) so it won't be
a problem for kits purchased after August 2010.
decided to hand toss the F-86 and land it on the tips
tanks on grass. This plan worked out great as the F86
was easy to hand toss and slowed down to a crawl without
using the flaps or air brakes. The scale model EDF really
flies great! Flight times were about 5 minutes and I could
perform just about any maneuver without bad tendencies.
The stock CG seemed dead on and I used the recommended
control throws with about 35% exponential. No mixing was
I fly off grass, I will likely remove the retracts and
air tank to reduce some weight. The Venom F86-70 appears
to be a very versatile and stable flier. When landing,
I simply reduced power and increased elevator until it
slowly landed in the grass. Although the tip tanks didn't
even scratch, I will likely protect them with some clear
foam-safe paint now that I know I can easily land on grass.
The Venom F86-70 Sabre is a highly-integrated
ARF making the time from bench to flight line
very minimal. Although it comes with retracts,
air brakes, and flaps, the plane flies and
lands very well without using these features.
The sport scale jet and has very honest and
predictable manners while providing plenty
of added frills. Since no mixing is required
for the control surfaces, the F86-70 provides
a good trainer platform for many aspects of
EDF jet training. The plane can be flown or
landed relatively slow so only intermediate
flying skills are required.
that is needed to complete the kit for flight
is a six channel radio system and a 4-cell
3200mAh to 3600mAh LiPo battery pack. The
stock power system provides excellent power
for the F-86 providing speeds of about 65mph.
The power system is easily accessible for
either replacing the rotor (like I did) or
other maintenance upgrades.
you fly off pavement or off grass, the Venom
F86-70 can adapt to your needs. The model
jet is designed for the person who appreciates
scale jets and is interested in learning more
about EDF and flying with flaps and retracts.
I recommend this model as a good first step
toward larger and more expensive electric
jets and a great start for Venom in the EDF
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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.