RCU Review: Great Planes Phazer

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    Contributed by: Geoff Barber | Published: November 2012 | Views: 38487 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Great Planes Phazer


    Distributed by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021

    The Phazer is a Delta wing EDF that utilizes a HyperFlow EDF and an Ammo brushless motor to propel it to speeds exceeding a claimed 90+ mph. The Phazer arrives with a wood/balsa wing and a fiberglass fuselage that is painted an attractive red and white scheme. A flat pilot figure is included and attached to the pre-assembled magnetic canopy which provides quick access to the flight battery.

    Simplicity is the name of the game with the Phazer. Being a delta wing, only two servos are required to provide flight control. A provided bungee launcher allows for perfect takeoffs and the lack of ducting allows for easy component placement inside the fiberglass fuselage. The Phazer is recommended for advanced pilots due to the speeds it can reach so lets put that to the test by putting one together and taking it out to the field.

    • Fiberglass fuselage
    • Simple and quick assembly
    • EDF and motor included
    • Attractive and easy to see color scheme
    • Multiple decal options

    • Rudder option would have been nice

    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    The Phazer arrives in a nicely adorned box in the usual manner expected from a manufacturer like Great Planes.

    The components are individually wrapped and securely taped down.

    Included in the box is the fiberglass fuselage, the wings, skid plates, the EDF and motor, the bungee assembly and a decal set. A balance jig is also included to help perfectly balance the Phazer before its first flight.

    Great Planes Phazer

    Price: $179.97

    Key Features

    • Fast and easy to assemble.
    • Sleek fiberglass fuselage and tail fin.
    • Includes HyperFlow? ducted fan unit with Ammo? brushless motor.


    Don?t blink when flying the Phazer. It can travel the length of a football field in just over two seconds! With its simple delta wing design, this EDF assembles quickly, too ? the fuselage is painted fiberglass and the wings are built-up balsa and ply, already covered in MonoKote® film. In no time, you can be airborne?accelerating with ducted fan power and speed.


    Wingspan: 23 in (585 mm)
    Wing Area: 224 in2 (14.4 dm2)
    Length: 30 in (760 mm)
    RTF Weight: 30-31.5 oz (850-895 g)
    Suggested Battery: 14.8V 2200mAh LiPo 

    There are only a few components in the ARF and the bulk of the assembly seems to be oriented around assembling the EDF and placing it inside the fiberglass fuselage. A bungee launcher is provided but the manual also claims that the Phazer can be hand launched. Two grip strips are provided which can be attached to the side of the fuselage to provide better grip if you decide you cannot get a good grab on the fiberglass fuselage.

    The canopy arrives with a flat pilot to help save on weight but still provide good looks. Two magnets hold the canopy firmly in place but allow easy access to the main flight pack. The Phazer does not utilize any ducting and the inside of the fuselage is completely empty.

    A carbon pipe is already attached to the tail which is aimed to mate with the rear of the HyperFlow EDF unit. The wings are wood/balsa and are partially sheeted. To complete the Phazer, all that is required are two micro servos, a receiver and 35A ESC and a 4S2200mAh flight pack.

    The assembly process start by preparing the EDF. Several areas of the fan have to be trimmed to accept the Ammo motor. The procedure is described in detail in the manual and is not hard to perform especially if you have a rotary tool. Once the fan has been trimmed, the Ammo motor can be mounted and fixed in place with two screws.

    A pre-assembled fiberglass stator extension is then attached to the fan housing and  covered with a cone adapter. The cone adapter will mate with the carbon pipe in the rear of the fuselage. The adapter also has a hole to allow the motor leads to exit. Lead extensions are provided to reach the ESC which is supposed to be placed towards the front of the airframe. The fan and adapter cone attach to the motor with a single bolt.

    The manual states that the assembly and installation of the fan will take a bit of fine tuning. I found this statement to be particularly true as I had to play with the centering and balance of the fan outside of the airframe to get a perfect rotation as well as sanding the provided fan housing mount in a few places to get a good fit inside the fuselage. Once the fan is rotating freely and sits nicely in the fuselage without binding, it can be glued in place. A flange is provided and can be glued in place with Zap Goo or epoxy mixed with micro bubbles to make a flush seam. A fin hole cover is provided to help route the engine leads towards the front of the fuselage and away from the blades of the fan. After the motor has been glued, it can still be removed but it is a pain to do so. It is best to try and balance the fan and work out any vibrations before you glue everything in place. There is enough space to get a screw driver in the fuselage to remove the fan and adapter cone to clock the EDF if you need to do so.

    The servos are glued to small balsa pieces and then to the servo bay covers. The manual is very clear on setting up the orientation of the arms and the directions they should move with aileron and elevator inputs. 

    The control arm for the elevons are drilled and attached using a handy template that is available on the last page of the manual. The connection to the servo is made using two connector rods that are held together with two wheel collars.

    The skids are then attached to the bottom of the wings. An outline of the skid has to be drawn on the bottom of the wing and small holes poked in the covering to make sure there is something for the CA to adhere to. Once that is done, the skid can be glued in with thin CA. A little extra care here will make sure you do not ruin the bottom of the wing with extra CA run off.

    The electronics can then be attached and routed inside the fuselage. The receiver and ESC are secured using double sided tape. The flight pack is attached to a battery mounting plate and screwed in the fuselage.

    The bungee hook is then attached to the bottom of the fuselage along with the nose skid and the assembly of the Phazer is essentially completed. Great Planes provides a nifty little balancer which can be used to perfectly balance the Phazer. Make sure you follow the manual to setup the control throws as there is a bit of reflex that has to be setup in the elevons. I found that setting up the maximum available throws from the surfaces will make the Phazer very responsive and almost impossible for me to control.

    For the maiden flight, we took the Phazer out to Scobee field in Houston which has become our usual weekend field. On a clear and semi calm day I charged the 4S2200mAh main flight pack and proceeded out to the flight line to setup the bungee launcher. I was initially a bit put off by the bungee launch process as I was not sure what to expect. After repeated successful bungee launches I am pretty much sold on the process as it is simple and fool proof.

    After attaching the bungee stake in the ground and hooking in the Phazer, I walked back quite a bit to get tension in the bungee. There is ample grip on the sides of the Phazer for me to hold with one hand as I pulled back on the bungee. Great Planes provides small grip strips that can be attached to the side of the fuselage to provide even more grip if desired. After setting the throttle to full power, a gentle underhand toss is all that is required to let the bungee do its thing and provide the additional thrust that is required to achieve a painless take off. Hand launching the Phazer without the bungee is also possible but a firm and level underhand toss is required to get the required speed for a successful launch.

    Once in the air, I had to quickly trim the Phazer for level flight as I had too much reflex in the wings and the model wanted to climb and roll. After the Phazer was trimmed, I started performing some full throttle passes as I tried to familiarize myself with the flight characteristics of the model. I found that the Phazer is a very stable airplane that can be flown in a wide range of speeds. At full throttle, the Phazer is a blast to bring low over the runway. With the EDF screaming, the Phazer can disappear from sight quickly. Slowing the Phazer down, I did not notice any nasty stall tendencies but the Phazer is definitely a plane that likes to be flown with some speed.

    I had initially setup the Phazer with max throws and discovered that it was way too much control for me. With max roll rates, the Phazer rolls so fast that I almost lost orientation and pulled up when I ended up inverted over the runway. I will stick with the recommended rates with the low rates being my preference for general sport flying. Since the Phazer does not have a rudder, loops and rolls are about the limit of its aerobatic capability. For a model that does not have thrust vectoring, I was amazed to find that I could perform high alpha passes over the runway which I attribute to the cheater hole in the bottom of the airframe.

    When it came to landing the Phazer, cutting the throttle and letting the Phazer glide in on the grass was not hard to do. I also performed some high alpha approaches and let the Phazer drop in on the grass as it started to loose lift. Either way, you have to make sure you clean the EDF before the next flight as the cheater hole in the bottom does allow for some FOD to enter the fan.

    Check out the video to see it in action!

    Great Planes Phazer

    I normally try to stay away from fast and small airframes for reviews as they are very hard to properly photo and film. While the Phazer fits this category, I was pleasantly surprized by its flight envelope that made slow and even high alpha passes over the runway a breeze allowing us to get nice still photos of the airframe in flight. The Phazer does offer a nice thrill ride at full throttle. Due to its small size and the loud EDF, it actually seems to be going faster than it probably is which is always a crowd pleaser at the field. Great Planes recommends that this airframe only be flown by advanced pilots and I tend to agree with this statement as it is quite fast and can cover a lot of ground in a hurry. If you are however comfortable with small and fast low wing airframes, I would not let that statement deter you from trying out this nice little EDF to get your next thrill ride at the field.

    Distributed by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021

    17260 Westheimer Parkway
    Houston, TX 77082


    Comments on RCU Review: Great Planes Phazer

    Posted by: Scream And Fly on 11/07/2012
    Good review. There is no Z in 'surprised'.
    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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