RCU Review: GWS GWS-262 EDF

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    Contributed by: Michael Parsons | Published: January 2008 | Views: 46905 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    GWS-262 Electric Ducted Fan

    Review by: Michael Parsons- email me

    The ME-262 (better known as the ME-262) was the worlds first operational turbo jet fighter. It was commissioned during World War II and first saw action in 1944 as a multi role aircraft for the Luftwaffe. While the Me 262 had a negligible impact on the course of the war, its design had a strong influence on postwar aircraft development.

    GWS has recreated the lines of this historic aircraft in the form of an Electric Ducted Fan (EDF) model. The GWS-262 is comprised of EPS foam with a plastic canopy and nosecone. The Full kit comes with two EDF-64 fan units ready to install, plastic nosecone, plastic canopy, landing gear and all of the necessary hardware to complete the model minus electronics.

    The kit we are reviewing is bare frame white and will need to be painted. There is an optional green painted kit available, however I wanted to be able to choose my scheme. It adds a little bit of time, but I feel it will be worth it in the end. My very first aircraft was a GWS Beaver, so I am looking forward to see how the company has progressed with it's R&D.

    Specifications (as equipped)

    Wing Span: 41.34"
    Overall Length: 33.6"
    Flying Weight: 24-27 oz (27.5 oz)
    Motor Size: GWS-2028/KV3900 EDF-64
    ESC: GWS 25a speed controllers
    Wing Loading: 13.5 - 15.3 oz/sq.ft
    Center of Gravity: 3.1" (80mm) behind leading edge of wing
    Servos: GWS PICO STD (4)
    Battery: 11.1V lipoly (3S Thunderpower 2100)

    Grand Wing Servo

    Grand Wing System U.S.A.
    138 South Brent Circle, City of Industry, CA 91789-3050

    Upon unpacking the contents, I could instantly see that GWS has come a long way since I built my last GWS kit. The GWS-262 didn't have the mold divots of the past and panel lines have even been added for additional realism. A few smaller changes have been made to increase the parts fit and builders effort, but they are quite noticeable.

    The manual is better than past prints and include more step by step photos and very clear instructions. I only found one gotcha that is crucial to get ahead of to avoid a mistake. There is no text on it and only one photo. Make sure if you are building this kit do not miss this.

    The parts bags are well organized and can be separated in accordance to the steps in the manual. This way the builder doesn't have parts that he or she is sifting through to find what is needed at that particular time. GWS provides contact cement in every kit. I find that most often, this is the best glue to use. There is a method to using this glue that is detailed below.

    The aircraft's wings come in two halves that must be joined together. Prior to that however there are Carbon Fiber reinforcements that are used to strengthen them. I am told that the original support rods were fiberglass, however GWS has upgraded those to CF for additional strength and weight savings. One of the nice things in the design is how the parts that are to be joined are tabbed. This makes assembly virtually foolproof.

    In usual GWS fashion the front wing is held on by a two pin plate and the rear is secured with two bolts that pass through wing and up into bolts glued into the fuselage. The fit is flawless and everything lines up perfectly. It is only a matter of gluing these support parts into their respective slots as indicated in the manual.

    GWS glue is basically a contact cement and works extremely well if used properly. With this glue, the proper method is to apply it to both surfaces to be joined. Temporarily joining the two halves to distribute the glue properly and then pull them apart and allow the glue to tack up. This usually only takes a couple of minutes depending on the room conditions. After the elapsed time, simple press the parts back together and allow it to setup the rest of the way. When following this procedure, it is rare that the parts have to be held together manually. The bond is usually immediate and can support themselves. It is a good idea however, to tape the halves together as a precaution as seen above with the fuse.

    The kit includes paper hinges that have been a staple in GWS kits for years. They do not work well with CA, however used with the supplied glue it will pull the foam out before the hinge lets loose. I like to install one side first (usually the control surface) allowing the glue to setup and then install the other side.

    Plastic control horns are attached to the control surfaces. There are molded recesses in the foam to place the horns. Here I prefer to rough up the surface of the horn and use foam safe CA. It seems to flow a bit better into the recess than the GWS glue. By all means you can use the provided glue, however this is my preference.


    Get those scissors out as the canopy and nosecone must be trimmed to fit. The cut lines are vacuum formed into the plastic and very easy to follow. It is a good idea to rough cut them out first and then perform a final trim.

    The nosecone pieces need to be assembled and are a mix of plywood, foam and plastic. The method of attachment is really ingenious in that the nosecone assembly slides and twists onto a mating plywood support using three screws. The nosecone is removed to access the battery compartment. Really slick.

    Here is a step I almost missed and I think should be better documented in the manual. While the nosecone is a pretty tight fit onto the three screws, there is a spring latch that has to be installed prior to mating the nosecone pieces together. This provides a lock mechanism once the nosecone is installed. Check the above photo for a close up of this step.

    The gun ports are to be drilled out and are intended to provide cooling to the battery. I have my doubts about this as the air must travel 90 degrees from the intake and then another 90 degrees into the battery compartment. With the cooler weather, this may not present a problem, however in the summer months of 100 degrees, extra cooling may be necessary. This is something to be aware of.

    Since my kit is bare white foam, it needs to be painted. A little forethought has to be implemented prior to applying paint. Like painting the cockpit floor and nacelle ducts if desired and then masking off the canopy to highlight the frame. There are plenty of schemes to be had on the web and google will provide a plethora of results. This model was painted using Tamiya spray paint in Violet Gray and Haze Gray. It is hard to get too detailed with rattle cans, but they do the job well enough. The panel lines are highlighted with a black fine tip sharpie for added detail. And then decorated using the supplied decals.

    The power system I am using is that which GWS recommends. The included fans are being outfitted with the 3900kv GWS inrunners and powered by two GWS 25a speed controllers. Many questions have been asked whether one controller can power both fans. While I have heard success stories, I advise against it. One controller often can not spin both motors consistently and is an avoidable headache.

    While the Speed Controllers can be programmed via stick inputs, GWS has a programming card available to simplify the process. It literally took seconds to program the controllers. Really the only change was to tell them the battery is a lithium as the default settings work well.

    The controllers were installed on the wing using double sided tape and the wires managed using some of the left over plastic parts in the kit and tye-wraps. Due to the cooling concern, this is another area to be conscious of. If the battery is getting hot, check the controllers as well. If there isn't enough airflow to cool the battery, it is a safe bet, the speed controllers aren't getting any either.

    GWS pico servos are installed in their respective slots and the control rods are installed using a quick link at one side (servo side) and a retaining clip and L bend at the control horn side. The only place where extensions are needed is on the wings.

    Running up the motors on a fully charged 3S 2100 pack showed 20 amps and around 220 watts. Not quite 1:1, but plenty of juice to pull the plane around. It slide around quite briskly on the carpet.

    Our field is very nice and often kept short, however it is less than ideal for smaller wheels to transverse on smoothly. Much less an EDF that needs to flow smoothly in order to get on step and airborne. So I opted to leave off the gear and land on the nacelles. I had concerns with this, however had a conversation with another 262 owner who suggested that I do as he did and glass the underside of the nacelles. So I did just that with lightweight fiberglass cloth ( cut to 2" strips) and 30 minute epoxy thinned with denatured alcohol.

    I tried to rise off the grass but without success. The plane just didn't have enough thrust to travel more than a few inches before getting hung up in the grass. A fellow club member and friend hand launched for me and the 262 was airborne. In the first circuit around the field, I noticed it wanted to climb so a handful of clicks of down elevator was added in for hands off flight.

    Half throttle flight is all that is really needed to comfortably cruise around. This model is not a speed demon on 3S, but it gets along very well. Climb outs where easy at three quarters throttle and what I found interesting is that there seems to be no difference in speed between three quarter throttle and full throttle. However, the fans do seem to resonate loudly at full throttle. I don't know if it is an unbalanced fan or if it is just normal resonance.

    I was impressed at the gentleness of the way this plane fly's and it's scale looks in the air. It drew many comments from the other club members. Tight figure eights are easily accomplished and there is no sign of tip stalling at slow speeds. Rolls are less than axial, but accomplishable coordinating rudder. This is not surprising as it is basically swinging those large nacelles around and all that weight is concentrated there.

    I flew for about 8 minutes on the one 2100mah pack and setup for a few approaches with most as power off approaches.The 262 has a very forgiving glide path and didn't seem eager to come down in a hurry. The 262 set down nice and easy and slide for about 7 feet before coming to a stop. I had several flights after the initial and the glassed underside of the nacelles are holding up fine. The batteries were barely warm in the 60 degree weather, but again, it will need to be monitored in summer. And to my amazement, the 2.1ah packs only took 1600 mah back in. That tells me that I am not even pushing the system with throttle management. It also opens up the possibility of going to a 4 cell setup. I plan on testing that very soon.



    Here are a few other schemes found on the web from other GWS 262 owners.
    Beautiful work done by all!


    Manual page 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, CG

    GWS has come along way in performance and design since my early experience with their kits. The plane looks great both on the ground and in the air. The flight characteristics are stable and while it wont break any speed records, it is fast enough and comfortable enough to fly in a baseball field and provide enjoyment for pilots and spectators alike.

    Is this plane for beginners? No. But if a pilot is comfortable with full house controls and sets it up to the manuals specifications, it will be no problem. GWS did a wonderful job with this plane and if you are in the market for an EDF that provides solid performance and the thrill of ducted fans, take a second look at the GWS-262.

    Grand Wing System U.S.A. Inc.
    138 South Brent Circle, City of Industry, CA 91789-3050
    Phone: 909-594-GWS9(4979)
    Email: sales@gwsus.com
    Email: service@gwsus.com

    Mercury Adhesives
    6150 Parkway North Dr
    Cumming, GA 30040
    Phone: 770-886-9566
    Email: sales@mercuryadhesives.com
    Website: www.mercuryadhesives.com

    Comments on RCU Review: GWS GWS-262 EDF

    Posted by: aviatordave on 02/01/2008
    nice review Mike, looks like a good flyer
    Posted by: Potawatomi13 on 02/05/2008
    The plane basically looks very good but with those huge out of scale engine nacelles it looks like some of the pod racers from Star Wars Episode 1.
    Posted by: kahloq on 02/11/2008
    Not sure how your getting 8 mins on a 2100 3s battery. I have the same motor setup as the review model and can barely get 5 mins using a 25C 2200 Thunderpower extreme V2 or a flightpower 25c 2170. I added several extra cooling holes, but the battery still gets pretty warm. The maiden flight I did use a 2100, and barely got the plane back on the ground in 4 mins before LVC would have occured. I have been flying this plane since last spring when they came out. It also doesnt have a decent glide path. It drops like a rock power off and will stall if speed gets somewhat low. As a result, I added flaps to help get it safely back on the ground. The only difference is mine has the landing gear on it compared to the review plane. Glad the reviewer had such good results, just not sure how.
    Posted by: Mike Parsons on 02/11/2008
    Kahlog, Most flying was done at 1/4 to 1/2 throttle. Only a few passes with full throttle or on steep climbout's/turns. 8 minutes was easily acheiveable on the 2100 pack. My results were different than yours I am afraid. The glide path was excellent and stall speed was about average. The stock cooling holes were fine for our Fall/Winter months here in Georgia. Summer will be a different story though and will require additional cooling.
    Posted by: kahloq on 02/19/2008
    That might explain the difference. Your at a lower altitude. Georgia is not much above sea level, so you can maintain adequate flight performance at 1/2 throttle and so stretch out the flight time relative to Colorado. Your air density is also higher so more weight can be carried by the same size plane....or.....this translates into better glide ratio power off since the air will carry the plane better. Now, about the cooling holes. I am sure during the fall/winter, temp is not a problem. You may want to revisit this though when flying it during the summer. The battery will get hotter and more heat will translate into more resitance causing a higher power drain shortening flight times. Here, I have to keep it at 3/4 or more for safe flying. Much lower then this(say 1/2), and it risks stalling while turning(banking) anything more then wide and gently. Since mine has landing gear, that does add drag and might also explain some of the difference for flight duration as it will take a little more power to fly same basic speed.
    Posted by: rpackmanus@yahoo.com on 08/23/2010

    Posted by: Turbobearcat on 02/07/2013
    I know this post is older than dirt - but what servos did you use, nobody has given me a good example of the servos used outside of the GWS Naro servo, is there another Alternative to use that will work with this beast?
    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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