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F-16 (1/8th scale)


Model: F-16
Producer: Fly Eagle Jet
Turbine: JetCat P-80 (21LBs/9.5kg version) with kerosene start
Center of gravity 140-150mm from leading edge

The kit
This kit is very well made with a beautifull matt paint job, you do get a lot for the price, however there are some areas where the kit could be improved; poor pneumatics, weak springs in landing gear, very fragile paint job.

Gear doors
One part of the kit that has suprised me in a positive way is the quality and strenght of the doors and hinges. I have involentary struck the doors with my hands when reaching for something under the plane and on other models the doors have snapped off. These doors however have been rock solid and taken quite a few hard knocks.

Fuel
The onboard saddle fuel tanks hold just under two liters of A1, wich with the P-80 gives me just over 4:30 minutes of flight time including taxi out / taxi in. This is not enough by far, so I am planing to make another tank which sits between the main tanks. This tank should hold 500-600ml, which still is not enough. A scale belly/centerline tank should let me put another liter of fuel on board. The total fuel capacity should then be around 3.5 liters hopefully giving me eight minutes air time.

Take off
I have only taken off from grass with this model and have been plesantly surprised by its short takeoff run. Our grass strip at Tingalpa Model Aero Club is 140 meters long and the F-16 can take off using less than 90 meters. This requires keeping the brakes on until the turbine has completely spooled up.

Landing
Landing this model is not hard once you have done it a couple of times. The model will come in hot until you lift the nose. Having the correct center of gravity is important to give you proper elevator authority. If you go with a CG to far forward to "play it safe" you may have very little elevator authority during flaring.
If you watch the video of my seventh flight you will see how not to do it ;)
The model is very very dragy with the gear down and 15mm flaps deployed, about 40% throttle is used just to keep the model flying. You can make very steep desent approaches with this model and the model does not have tendensies to wing rock or snap during high alpha.
On the 14th flight during the final aproach I did not have enough airspeed and stalled a couple of meters over the runway. A fairly hard landing followed which dug the nose leg into the grass and snapped it backwards, breaking it cleanly out of it's ply mounts.

Videos

Flight number 3
Checking CG and high alpha
Size: 74Mb
Length: 7:08
Resolution: 720x576
Flight number 7
Bad go-around
Size: 70Mb
Length: 5:08
Resolution: 720x576
Flight number 16
After rebuilt nosegear and turbine
Size: 340Mb
Length: 4:35
Resolution: HD 1280x720
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