RCU Review: Great Planes F-86 Sabre Micro EDF

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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: July 2012 | Views: 26269 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Great Planes Tx-R F-86 Sabre

    Review by: Greg Covey
    Flying Photos: "Papa Jeff" Ring
    Video Pilot: Devin McGrath

    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Telephone: 800-637-7660
    Telephone: 217-398-3630

    Web: www.greatplanes.com
    E-mail: gpinfo@gpmd.com

    Complete RTF Kit with DF, motor, battery, and receiver
    Excellent manual
    Superb Flying Performance
    Plenty of power with a wide range of flight speed
    Optional Landing Gear and Pilot Figure included
    Great Scale Appearance
    Spare Parts and Batteries Available



    Great Planes Tx-R F-86 Sabre

    The Great Planes F-86 Sabre Micro EDF is the first micro that offers true EDF jet performance and authentic jet looks in equal measure — and it's available as a Tx-R. It measures only 15” from wing tip to wing tip, but offers the scale looks of a plane twice the size and the performance that jet pilots want. A factory-installed brushless motor and a HyperFlow ducted fan unit provide the power and thrust for full-throttle passes just off the deck and outstanding sport performance.


    • Wingspan: 15" (381mm)
    • Wing Area: 53.1 sq in (3.4 sq dm)
    • Length: 14.4" (366mm)
    • Weight: 2.35oz (67g)
    • Wing Loading: 6.4 oz/sq ft (20 g/sq dm)
    • Center of Gravity (CG): 2-3/4" (70mm) from the leading edge of the wing looking downward from the fuselage

    Key Features:

    • Foam construction with molded-in panel lines, hatch lines, and machine gun ports for realistic appearance
    • One-piece wing
    • Canopy lifts off for easy battery access and attaches magnetically
    • Three digital ultra-micro servos (included)
    • Tactic 2.4GHz SLT receiver (included)
    • Ammo 11,500kV brushless inrunner motor with 30mm HyperFlow ducted fan unit with ducting that runs the length of the aircraft (included)
    • 6-amp brushless Electronic Speed Control (included)
      250mAh 7.4V 20C LiPo Battery (included)
    • DC powered Battery Charger with 12V Car adapter (included)
    • Removable Landing Gear for hand launching and grass landings 0.59" (15mm) diameter foam wheels (included)
    RTF Contents :

    The canopy doubles as a realistic detail and a magnetically attached hatch that simplifies battery changes. The G.P. Tx-R F-86's landing gear can be installed for ROG takeoffs and removed for hand launches and grass landings. The F-86 arrives factory-finished, with fine details already molded into the foam fuselage and wings. Lightweight water-transfer decals add authentic details without additional work.

    Ducting runs the entire length of the fuselage, providing a channel for the HyperFlow ducted fan and added scale realism for the eye.

    The box is well designed to keep the F-86 safe for shipping, storage, and travel.

    If you don't plan to use a Tactic transmitter, the Tactic AnyLink SLT 2.4GHz Radio Adapter (sold separately) will convert signals from most Futaba, Hitec, JR and Spektrum brand radios to work with the Tactic brand 2.4GHz SLT receiver already installed in the F-86.

    Although the Great Planes ElectriFly 2-cell, 7.4v, 250mAh (20C) LiPo is included with the micro F-86, it's a good idea to pick up a spare for continued flying while the other pack is charging. My older model came with a 200mAh (15C) pack but the versions shipping now include a newer improved 250mAh (20C) GPMP0810 pack.

    Inside the box is pilot figure and landing gear. Installing these items is optional.

    The included ElectriFly DC powered Battery Charger (GPMM3322) is supplied with a 12v Car adapter as a very economical, portable, and simply way to charge the included ElectriFly 2-cell, 200mAh LiPo battery. Just plug in the car adapter to power the charger and plug in the white charging connector on the battery. Optionally, you can buy the Great Planes Micro AC/DC 2S LiPo Balancing Charger (GPMM3321) for charging at home.

    The 12-page manual is well-written and loaded with information on handling, charging, setup, and usage. The Tx-R data sheet has an AnyLink Transmitter Compatibility Chart on the back and points you to the Tx-Ready.com site for updates. The two cables supplied with the AnyLink 2.4GHz Radio Adapter (TACM0001 and TACM0002) allow you to use just about any of today's popular transmitters except the Spektrum DX8. A separate cable purchase is required to work with the DX8 transmitter. I'll be using my JR x9503 transmitter for the review.

    Tactic AnyLink :

    The Tactic AnyLink 2.4GHz Radio Adapter was connected to my JR x9503 transmitter using one of the supplied cables. After first programming the F-86 model into my JR radio, the power was then turned off and the two connectors attached to the transmitter; one to the charge jack and the other to the DSC jack in the back. Connecting the cable to the DSC jack turns on both the Tactic AnyLink and the JR transmitter. The manual recommends removing the RF module or crystal in the host transmitter, if possible, but I won't be doing that on my JR transmitter.

    A few pieces of 3M Dual Lock are supplied to hold the AnyLink to the back of the host transmitter.

    The normal channel mapping was right for my JR x9503 so I switched to the alternate channel mapping as described in the manual. All the channels were now correct and my micro F-86 came to life!

    I set my dual rates and exponential up per the F-86 manual and my own preference. The motor requires an arming routine to be completed before it will operate. This is the usual throttle to full procedure, wait for the beep, throttle down and wait for the double beep. The power system ran very smooth on my trial runs to full power and back.

    The Tactic AnyLink is essentially free of charge when you purchase any of the Tx-R models listed here. A $25 Merchandise Certificate is provided to balance the cost of the AnyLink Radio Adapter when you purchase a Tx-R model.


    A closer look at the F-86 fuselage reveals some surprising detail. The scale looks are molded right into the foam fuselage and wings! The lightweight water-transfer decals add authentic details and are already applied. The ducting runs the entire length of the fuselage for added scale realism.

    All the linkages, three digital servos, 4-channel SLT™ receiver, 6-amp brushless ESC, and 30 mm HyperFlow™ ducted fan unit are all pre-installed so the F-86 is ready for flight right out of the box.

    All the linkages, three digital servos, 4-channel SLT™ receiver, 6-amp brushless ESC, and 30 mm HyperFlow™ ducted fan unit are all pre-installed so the F-86 is ready for flight right out of the box.


    Great Planes Tx-R F-86 Sabre Flight Video

    The Great Planes Tx-R F-86 Sabre was flown several times in the video by Team Futaba's Devin McGrath. As expected, it flew awesome right out of the box! The Any-Link transmitter worked flawlessly with my JR 9503 transmitter and the 4-minute mixed flights only used 50% of the battery capacity. I didn't find any flaws with this model and was happy to see that it flies as good as it looks!

    The F-86 Sabre performed maneuvers like a much larger model and with plenty of power! It coasted well and flew great at both low and high speeds. The roll rate is impressive on high rates (as shown in the video) and it even flew inverted. The working rudder provided additional maneuverability and helped to align the landings. The under cambered wing combined with a light loading allow for slow and easy landings.

    While this model is well suited for your first EDF, I would still recommend it for intermediate level fliers with some fast plane experience. The micro EDF gets small quick so it is always a good idea to have an experienced pilot trim the plane out on the first flight.

    My JR 9503 transmitter worked great with the Tactic Any-Link 2.4GHz Radio Adapter and I learned that if you keep the JR transmitter switch off that the trainer mode only powers the Any-Link transmitter. This keeps from draining your transmitter battery twice as fast because it is powering two transmitters.

    The F-86 Sabre met my expectations for looks, performance, and overall design. It is nicely detailed and comes with everything you need. The box is well designed to keep the F-86 safe for storage and travel. I didn't use the optional landing gear as we hand-tossed the model over grass. After seeing the performance of the 30 mm HyperFlow™ ducted fan unit, I felt there was no need for any hop-ups. The Great Planes F-86 Sabre is a nice way to get into EDF jets without breaking the bank.

    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Telephone: 800-637-7660
    Telephone: 217-398-3630

    Web: www.greatplanes.com
    E-mail: gpinfo@gpmd.com

    ZAP Glues On-line at Frank Tiano Enterprises
    Pacer Z-42 Thread Locker
    5-minute Z-poxy
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    Comments on RCU Review: Great Planes F-86 Sabre Micro EDF

    Posted by: cessnaflyer54 on 08/03/2012
    This a great little plane. The performance for such a small plane incredible. Was not ready to fly right out of the box, was very tail heavy with landing on.It took a penny taped to the fuse just behind the nose gear and all was good to go. Great little plane.
    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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