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Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

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Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

Old 08-27-2011, 05:44 AM
  #1  
Greg Covey
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Default Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

Great Planes ElectriFly recreates the General Dynamics F-16's innovative design in a ducted fan ARF that combines scale looks with top-end speeds of over 90mph! This brushless electric-powered, radio controlled, almost ready to fly EDF design is easy to assemble and is recommended for advanced RC pilots flying at an approved AMA flying site.

The HyperFlow ducted fan unit with the Ammo 24-45-3790 inrunner brushless motor (both included) produces impressive thrust and speed. The [link=http://www.electrifly.com/ductedfans/gpma1801.html]ElectriFly F-16 Falcon[/link] provides "jet" excitement in a convenient size. The magnetically attached canopy doubles as a battery hatch, simplifying the installation of LiPos and radio gear. Ailerons, elevators and rudder control make the F-16 highly maneuverable, for slow fly-bys and full-throttle excitement. The F-16 can be hand-launched, or you can take advantage of the included bungee launcher for even easier launching. Also ideal for assembly, the display stand lets you show off your F-16 when it isn't airborne.

Specifications:[ul][*] Wingspan: 22.5" (570mm)[*] Wing Area: 166 sq in (10.7sq dm)[*] Length: 34.5" (875mm)[*] Weight: 32 - 34oz (910 - 960g)[*] Wing Loading: 27.8 - 29.5oz/sq ft (85 - 90g/sq dm)[*] Center of Gravity (CG): 3-1/4" (83mm) back from the leading edge of the wing where it meets the fuselage[*] Recommended ES: 35A brushless ESC[*] Recommended Battery: 14.8V (4S) 2100-2500mAh LiPo[*]Recommended Radio: 4-Channel Radio system[*]Servos: Micro Servos (4 required)[/ul]Features:[ul][*] Fiberglass fuselage with balsa and ply wing and tail assembly[*] Balsa and ply built wing, covered in Top Flite MonoKote[*] Hyperflow 56mm ducted fan unit (included)[*] ElectriFly Ammo 24-45-3790kV brushless inrunner motor (included)[*] Motor Wire Extensions to ESC (included)[*] Dual servo aileron control[*] Clear canopy with lightweight profile pilot, attaches with magnets[*] Bungee type launching system for easy unassisted launches (included)[*] Plywood stand (included)[/ul]
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:10 AM
  #2  
Greg Covey
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

The F-16 parts come well protected and sealed in the box. All the control surfaces are pre-installed and hinged. The bungee launcher, display stand, motor, and ducted fan unit are all included. The kit even includes the motor wire extensions to the ESC.

In addition to the 24-page step-by-step manual, a separate HyperFlow manual, covering tip sheet, and assembly addendum are also included. A laser cut tail alignment fixture is also provided to insure that the stabilizer halves are glued to the fuselage at the correct angle. A glossy decal sheet allows you scale up the F-16 Falcon when the assembly is finished.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:59 AM
  #3  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

A closer look at the fuselage reveals the factory-painted fiberglass design. The canopy is magnetically attached and doubles as a battery hatch, making it easy to access the Lipo pack for recharging.

Although there is a scale duct opening in the front, the large cheater hole provides most of the air intake to the ducted fan unit. The ElectriFly F-16 Falcon was designed to be belly landed on grass so there is no provision for landing gear. The fuselage bottom has a reinforced area, just forward of the CG, with a pre-installed t-nut for the bungee launch hook.
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:02 AM
  #4  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

The recommended parts for completion are as follows. [ul][*] Great Planes Silver Series [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXKSY5&P=ML]35A Brushless ESC[/link][*] Great Planes ElectriFly [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&P=8&I=LXWRA7]4S 14.8V 2200mAh 25C[/link] Lipo Pack[*] Futaba [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXTHL6&P=ML]R617FS[/link] 7-Channel 2.4GHz FASST Receiver[*] Futaba [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXSWC4&P=ML]S3156[/link] Micro Digital Hi-Torque Metal Gear Servos (4)[*] Hobbico 6" [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXL287&P=ML]Extensions[/link] (2)[*] Futaba [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0095p?FVPROFIL=&FVSEARCH=FUTM4130&search=Go]Dual Servo Extension[/link] 6"[/ul]
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:42 AM
  #5  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

The assembly begins with the included plywood stand. It is used to support the F-16 during assembly and transport. I used medium CA and kicker to secure it after first taping the assembly together. Optionally, you can add your own foam cushion to protect the model from scratches. I used a 1/4" sticky-back white wing saddle foam and secured it with medium CA. The foam is not included.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:48 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

While I was at it, I skipped to page 14 and assembled the tail alignment fixture. A little medium CA and kicker is all you need.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:38 PM
  #7  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

The HyperFlow Fan Unit requires some modification before the AMMO 24-45-3790kV brushless inrunner motor and brass rotor adapter can fit inside. The manual gives some detailed instructions, photos, and tips for the fan assembly and installation inside the fuselage. My only deviation was to use an aircraft grade epoxy (BVM V-poxy) instead of 30-minute epoxy and microballoon filler.

Note that the fan unit is fully tested outside the fuselage with a live radio system and Lipo pack. Once satisfied with the operation, it can be installed into the fuselage. Shrink tubing is supplied for securing the motor wire extensions.

A tail cone come pre-assembled and glued inside the fuselage. The fan unit is then set snugly inside the tail cone unit on one end and anchored by the additional plywood former that you glue in place. The former did need some sanding for a perfect fit. I tied off the three motor wires through the cockpit to keep them in the vertical fin hollow and out of the way.

A plastic front housing flange and balsa fin cover are also glued into place to increase the efficiency of the air flow.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:21 PM
  #8  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

The elevator servos are set up properly with the correct arm length and a live receiver. One set up, they are glued into the bays in the wings. Pre-cut custom covers are then tacked in place with a small amount of medium CA.

The linkage was easy to install. The control rods are pre-bent and cut to length so you only need to drill two 3/32" holes for the horn. I used a razor knife to slightly open the servo arm hole. The instructions tell you how long the servo arm should be and what holes to use on both ends of the control rod.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:31 AM
  #9  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

I glued the wings and tail in place with 5-minute epoxy. The wings are aligned by an aluminum tube and carbon anti-rotation pins. The tail is aligned by the supplied alignment fixture.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:30 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

After first mounting the servos up front, the control horns are put on the metal rods which are fed into the sleeves before mounting to the rudder and wing halves. The rudder control rod is simply fed into a quick link. The two elevator rods are joined with a third rod going to the servo arm and secured with a couple wheel collars. Both rods are further secured by plywood guides.

I didn't notice that my elevator sleeves were too long so I needed to cut them shorter after feeding the metal rods inside. It will be much easier to cut them about 1/2" from the support, if needed, before starting this step.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:48 PM
  #11  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

The last few assembly steps are to mount the ESC and launch hook. I deviated from the manual's suggestion of adhering the ESC to the fuselage intake and simply secured it to the former with a cable tie.

Several sticky-back sandpaper pieces are included for hand-launching the F-16 Falcon. I'll try the included bungee launch system and see how it works. The launch hook simply screws into place with a little thread locker.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:35 PM
  #12  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

Can you help me out? I tried e-mailing Aero Sound RC, and their e-mail address was rejected. Is there any other way of contacting these people? I have ATT, and it won't go to them, or you,because they are the same. Is there another way to contact them, possibly by phone? Freddy
Old 09-08-2011, 08:16 AM
  #13  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

It looks like you can send them an embedded e-mail from their [link=http://www.aerosoundrc.com/contact.htm]Contact[/link] page. Other e-mail addresses are [email protected] and [email protected]. Perhaps they can be contacted via PayPal.

I haven't had contact with them in 3 years.

Good luck!

Old 10-11-2011, 01:33 PM
  #14  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

My ElectriFly F-16 Falcon was finished and set perfectly on the included stand. I set up the control throws per the manual and added 30% exponential to the ailerons and elevator. Although I didn't measure the power level, it seemed plenty strong when I test ran it up to full power holding it by one wing. I liked the safety arming feature on the Great Planes Silver Series ESC so the motor doesn't spin until you arm it with a throttle stick sequence.

At first we thought about hand launching the model but the manufacturer's site video really made the bungee launch look easy so we decided to try it.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:20 AM
  #15  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

Greg, how does your fan run? It seemed like earlier hyperflow fans had vibration issues= esp with the spinner. Many guys opted to just fly without the spinner cause it was difficult to balance.

Joe
Old 10-12-2011, 03:10 PM
  #16  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

Hi Joe,

That's a good question. There is a resonance when the fan is at low power but it goes away once you throttle up to half power or more. This will be evident on the video when I post it later this week. It seemed to have no ill effect and the F16 has more power than you will ever need.

Here are some photos from one of the bungee launches. I was surprised at how easy it was to bungee launch. On the video, I show it three times. There was no need to hand launch the plane because the pilot can easily bungee launch it himself. The F-16 Falcon had no issues when flying. When landing, it seemed like the bungee hook made it stop short in grass so I will recommend adding an aileron servo cover mounted just in front of the hook.

Regards.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:01 PM
  #17  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

The F-16 Falcon was flown three times in the video by Team Futaba's Devin McGrath. The bungee launch worked perfectly every time. We flew for 5 minutes and each time the pack used only 50% so very little energy is needed to keep the F-16 airborne.

We didn't see any issues when launching or flying the F-16 Falcon. There was a resonance in the fuselage when the throttle was about 1/3 power but after about half throttle it went away. It didn't seem to have any ill effect. When landing, it seemed to stop sliding along the grass due to the bungee hook so I would recommend add an aileron linkage cover just in front of the hook.

The F-16 Falcon performed many maneuvers with plenty of power! It coasted well and flew great at both low and high speeds. The roll rate is impressive on high rates and it was very stable when flying inverted.

[link=http://www.gregcovey.com/reviews/F16Falcon.wmv]Great Planes F-16 Falcon Test Flights[/link] (23meg)

photos by "Papa Jeff" Ring
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:43 PM
  #18  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

looks and sounds good
Old 10-22-2011, 12:53 PM
  #19  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

is there any upgraded power system available for this jet to make it go faster maybe a 5 cell setup or higher kv motor
Old 10-25-2011, 11:14 PM
  #20  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

Nice writeup Greg! That's a cool looking plane, nicely built for a small one.
Old 12-21-2011, 02:03 PM
  #21  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

Since I really liked how the F-16 flew, I decided to modify the one thing that I thought was under par for the model. Swapping out the 2D profile pilot for the ParkZone PKZ7003 Habu pilot literally took only a few minutes.

I first cut out the profile pilot base to remove it and then increased the cutout size to just fit the shoulder tops of the Habu pilot. I few simple slices below the shoulders and the new 3D pilot presses into place. No glue is needed.

There is plenty of room in the fuselage for the bottom section of the new pilot so you don't need to cut it flush. A few pieces of black tape covered the unwanted open areas. My Great Planes F-16 Falcon looked great with its new 3D pilot figure!
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:42 PM
  #22  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

Looks very cool!
Old 02-24-2012, 10:48 AM
  #23  
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

Greg, I enjoyed reading your write up. I noticed you chose Futaba servos. The EDF kits (70mm) I'm building recommend 7 - 9g. servos...which are roughly about 20 oz. torque or less. I've been told the HiTec 55 (in the weight range above) are good servos for EDF. I'm new to EDF and don't know which size servos to use. Any rule of thumb about how to select servos for various applications?

Keith
Old 02-25-2012, 05:25 AM
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Greg Covey
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Default RE: Great Planes F-16 Falcon EDF

Hi Keith,

That's a great question. Much like control throws and exponential settings, servo selection is in large part a personal preference. The selection often depends upon your expected performance, availability, and, the price you are willing to pay. Those Futaba S3156 Micro Digital Hi-Torque Metal Gear Servos I used were provided by Great Planes for my review. I wouldn't normally pay $40 per servo for a $200 plane. The HS-55 servos will work just fine on the GP F-16. The only effect you may see is a slight amount of sluggish behavior at the top end speed but I doubt it because the control surfaces are small. The digital servos are nice for repeatable fine control with a higher torque (which is needed over 100mph) but they can be pricy to use on a lower cost model.

On a higher-end model, it is ok to pay more for servos. One example is the E-flite Habu 32. Before that model is ready-to-fly, you have about $1200 into it. Again, it has much to do with personal preference, model speed, and performance expectations. Hopefully this helped.

If you haven't seen my formatted review on the G.P. F-16, you can view it [link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/magazine/article_display.cfm?article_id=1391]here[/link].

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