RCU Review: Tower Hobbies F6F Hellcat RxR

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    Contributed by: Geoff Barber | Published: April 2013 | Views: 19914 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Tower Hobbies F6F Hellcat Rx-R
    Geoff Barber

    Email Me

    Tower Hobbies
    P.O Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021

    The Grumman F6F Hellcat, often dubbed as "the Wildcat's big brother" was a carrier-based fighter plane. Though similar in appearance to the Wildcat, the Hellcat was a completely new design. The plane was powered by the Pratt & Whitney R-2800, which was also used in the P-47 Thunderbolt and the F4U Corsair. Used primarily by the United States Navy, the Hellcat was a simple aircraft, and was later noted to be the least-modified fighter of WWII.

    Though not as sleek and refined as some of the other WWII fighters, the F6F was designed to bring its pilot back home after an encounter. With over 200 pounds of armor surrounding the cockpit, a bullet-resistant windscreen, and more armor to protect the oil tank and coolers, the Hellcat did a fair job at keeping the pilot safe.

    Meet the new F6F Hellcat Rx-R from Tower Hobbies. Molded in AeroCell foam, the Hellcat gives you a good, scale looking plane that includes high-quality electronics and assembles easy!

    • EPO Foam Construction
    • Brushless Motor, ESC, and Servos Pre-installed
    • No Glue Required
    • Large Removable Hatch For Battery Installation
    • Lots of Scale Detail Added!

    • None as Tested

    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    Name:Tower Hobbies F6F Hellcat RxR

    Price: $129.99 (Accurate at Time of Review)

    Stock Number: TOWA2004

    Wingspan: 39" (990mm)
    Wing Area: 271 in² (17.5 dm²)
    Weight: 28-31 oz (795-895 g)
    Wing Loading: 14.8-16.7 oz/ft² (45-51 g/dm²)
    Length: 31" (825mm)

    Center of Gravity (CG): 2-1/2" (64mm) from the leading edge of the wing

    Radio Used: Spektrum DX8 with Tactic AnyLink 2.4GHz Adapter
    Receiver Used: Tactic TR624 SLT
    Battery Used: FlightPower EONX 3S 11.1V 25C 2100 mAh LiPo

    Channels Used: 4 total - Aileron, Elevator, Throttle, Rudder

    Control Throws: LOW

    • Elevator, up/down: 1/4" (6mm) 7°
    • Ailerons, up/down: 3/8" (10mm) 12°
    • Rudder, right/left: 1/2" (13mm) 13°

    Control Throws: HIGH

    • Elevator, up/down: 7/16" (11mm) 13°
    • Ailerons, up/down: 1/2" (13mm) 17°
    • Rudder, right/left: 3/4" (19mm) 19°

    Items Needed To Complete

    • 4 Channel Radio (min) w/ Receiver
    • 3S 11.1V LiPo Battery and LiPo Charger
    • Phillips and Straight Screwdriver

    The Hellcat arrived in a plain white box with a single large sticker. I opened the package and saw that the plane was secured in foam cradles and plastic bags. Upon removing the Hellcat from its box, I found that the plane was unscathed during shipping!

    Inventory was taken, and no parts were missing. I could tell by the very low parts count that this plane would go together in no time!

    The F6F included a lot of features that I really liked. All of the control horns, servos, brushless motor and ESC were all pre-installed, which made assembly a piece of cake!

    A few of the scale details that really caught my eye were the gun barrels on the wings, the clear canopy with painted pilot figure, and the three-bladed propeller with aluminum prop hub. One other thing that stood out was all of the molded panel lines - these really helped to give the Hellcat a nice scale appearance!


    The instruction manual is very informative. The illustrations are clear, and the written instructions are easy to follow.


    Assembly began by installing the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. Both had their respective control surfaces pre-attached, so installation took just a few minutes and a single machine screw. If this step were any easier, the Hellcat would have come out of the box with the tail feathers already in place!


    Moving on to the wing, I pushed the main gear into their plastic slots, slid the aileron Y-harness through the hole in the bottom of the fuselage, and secured the wing using the single nylon bolt. Please pay attention to the manual and DO NOT over-tighten the nylon wing bolt!


    I mounted a Tactic TR624 SLT receiver inside the fuselage, followed by the hook-n-loop strip for the battery. Since the Hellcat is made from AeroCell foam, I added a few drops of thin CA to the edges of the hook-n-loop strip - this helps to keep it in place on the floor of the fuselage as the battery is pulled out.

    After the servos had been centered, final adjustments were made to the control surfaces by adjusting pushrod length at the servo arm.

    I then installed the prop adapter, three-blade propeller, and hub.

    After completing the assembly, I did check the center of gravity on the Hellcat. I found that the plane was slightly tail-heavy, so an ounce of stick-on lead weight was added to the cowl. Don't worry! The manual states that this can be done with no harm to the cowl!

    Do you have a favorite transmitter that's NOT a Tactic? Would you like to fly any of the TX-R Aircraft from Flyzone and Heli-Max? Have you got a spare Tactic 2.4 gHz receiver laying around? I have great news for you! With AnyLink, you can use almost any major brand of transmitter! How? Read on to find out!

    This is the Tactic AnyLink transmitter adapter. It is a small device that is attached to the back of your favorite (most Futaba, Hitec, JR/Spektrum) transmitter. For the purpose of this review, I used my Spektrum DX8, AnyLink SLT cable, and an Electrifly 2S 7.4V 250 mAh LiPo battery.

    Product Spotlight: Tactic AnyLink 2.4GHz Universal Radio Adapter

    A transmitter alone can only do so much. But a transmitter with AnyLink can do wonders. It's so revolutionary that a patent is already pending, and so simple to use that it takes only seconds to add.

    AnyLink works with virtually any transmitter,regardless of brand, band or modulation. AnyLink enables your transmitter to send out a true, 2.4GHz signal - and operate with all of the interference-free dependability of a frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum system. AnyLink offers all of the convenience, versatility and benefits listed above for far less than the cost of a new 2.4GHz radio system.

    As luck would have it, we got a really nice flying day in March. In Minnesota, that means it's above zero, sunny, and calm. Actually, the temp was hovering around 20 degrees and there was just the faintest breeze - not enough wind to even determine a directional take-off.

    I taxied the Hellcat out onto the runway and was immediately impressed by the ground handling. I really liked the steerable tail wheel! I left the rudder throw set to 3/4" (1- 1/2" total throw)on high and low rates, and it proved to be perfect for turning the F6F on the ground.

    I pushed the throttle stick forward and the Hellcat came to life - full throttle is definitely NOT needed to get her airborne! The 30 Amp ESC and outrunner motor have ample power for this warbird, as the plane was off the ground in around 20 feet. After the maiden flight, I found that 2/3 throttle produced a really scale looking take-off.

    Once in the air, the trims were adjusted - only slight down elevator was added to get straight and level flight. I was immediately comfortable flying this Hellcat! Again, I found that 2/3 throttle flew the plane in a scale manner. The Hellcat will cover a lot of area in short order, but I never felt like I was trying to keep up with it.

    The F6F is more than capable of slowing down as well - I was very impressed by how well the Hellcat handled at slow speeds! I felt at-ease flying the plane right up to a stall, where she just dropped the nose. Adding a little throttle and some up elevator was all it took to get her flying again.

    Aerobatics were next on the agenda, and I was not disappointed! Though I prefer to do scale like maneuvers with a warbird, the Hellcat will perform sport aerobatics with ease! Large round loops, aileron rolls and stall turns look really great!

    I always get a little edgy when it comes to landing a warbird for the first time, but the Hellcat proved me completely wrong. I flew the plane down to about 6 feet above the ground at one-quarter throttle, then pulled the stick back a bit more and the F6F settled in very easily and rolled to a stop. Not bad for a first landing!

    After Shooting the video for this review, we removed the landing gear and hand-launched the Hellcat. With the main gear off, the F6F looks really nice in the air! One item to note: before launching, I added some heavy-duty clear packing tape to the bottom of the fuselage and the wing tips - on landing, this helped the Hellcat glide on the snow, and not get torn to pieces. Though the snow looks harmless enough, it can chew up a foam airplane pretty quick!

    Check out the video to see the F6F Hellcat in action!

    It seems to me that the F6F Hellcat isn't as well known or modeled as some of the other warbirds. I'm not sure, but if they all go together and fly as easily as the Tower Hobbies F6F Hellcat, I'm certain that everyone would have one. This plane is a definite keeper! She looks good, flies better, and comes Receiver-ready - that's three checkmarks in the win column for me! Thank you, Tower Hobbies, for bringing us a Hellcat. I know I'll be enjoying mine a lot this year - and for years to come!

    P.O Box 9078
    Champaign, IL 61826-9078


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


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


    Comments on RCU Review: Tower Hobbies F6F Hellcat RxR

    Posted by: acejinx on 04/14/2013
    Nice review. I had to have one as soon as they came out. I LOVE it, it looks so cool, and is a real sweetheart to fly.
    Posted by: Geetarjones on 06/16/2013
    Ordered mine today! Thanks for the in-depth review.
    Posted by: Flying-dog on 06/20/2013
    Perfect i like
    Posted by: Geetarjones on 07/20/2013
    Got mine and found it to be slightly tail heavy and flew 2 times without incident. Upon third flight hard landing broke prop. Propellers are out until late Oct. :( Tried an off brand similar but heavier prop. Upon liftoff the plane took a nose dive and heavy crash breaking the motor mount. Any suggestions on replacement motor mount or propellers? Have ordered a new plane and will sacrifice the other for parts.
    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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