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RCLander Hawker Hunter Review

The Hunter handles well all around the flight envelope, looks great at the field and in the air, sounds awesome and is plenty quick. What more could an EDF junkie ask for?

Splash

Introduction


Wing span:41.3" (1050mm)
Length:39.3" (1000mm)
Weight:38-53oz (1100-1500g)
Servos:7x (w/ retracts and flaps)
Transmitter:6+ channel (w/ gear + flaps)
Receiver:Spektrum 6 channel (6100)
Battery:4s -6s (6s 3300mah as tested)
Motor:RCLander 2399Kv
ESC:60A (w/ 3-5A BEC)
Flight Time:3:00 - 4:00 mins
# of Fans:1
Fan Dia.68mm
Fan Thrust~3.5lbs (~1.6kw)
Manufacturer:RCLander
Available From:EJF.com
MSRP:$189

RCLander has quickly established themselves in the foamy EDF market with quite a few popular designs including the F-16, Rafale and Panther Jet. Recently they announced they would be relasing their renditions of two very beautiful and influential jet aircraft, the Mig-17 and the Hawker Hunter. While the Mig-17 won't be available until later this year, the Hawker Hunter is available now.....

  • Hawker Hunter

  • Options abound!

History

The Hunter was the most successful of the British postwar fighters and is remembered as a delightful, capable airplane in every respect. The prototype was first flown on 20 July 1951, and the single-seat Hunter F1 entered service with the Royal Air Force in July 1954. A two-seat variant, the Hunter T7, entered service in 1958. Deliveries of the Hunter continued until 1966, and during its life, the airplane was continually modified and improved, resulting in over 25 variants, including export versions for over 22 foreign nations. All versions were supersonic, and most variants featured increases in armament, power and fuel quantity.

Major variants included the F4 (Avon Mk 115 engine, increased fuel capacity from earlier versions), F5 (Sapphire Mk 101 engine), F6 (Avon Mk 203 engine, increased fuel capacity), T8 (Two-seat Navy version), FR10 (RAF reconnaissance version); GA11 (Royal Navy single-seat attack version; and FGA9 (Greater weapons capacity, increased thrust, strengthened fuselage for ground-attack role.)

Until just a few years ago, almost 20% of all Hunters built were still in service (mainly with the Swiss Air Force, RAF and Royal Navy), but as of 1998, only Zimbabwe's Hunters are still in front-line service. At least 30 are still airworthy in private hands.

Source: warbirdalley.com

  • Hawker Hunter

  • Fokker assembly line

  • Swiss Hunter

Kit Contents

As with my previous experiences with RCLander, I received a package that was extremely well packed, and there was no shipping damage. Upon inspecting the box contents, it became apparent just how 'modular' of a design RCLander has put into play here. My initial impressions of the kit were very positive. The finish and quality of the foam is very high, the overall design seemed to be well thought out and the flap option is just a really nice touch.

  • Everything in the box

  • Wings, etc.

  • Landing gear

  • Vert/Hor. stabs

  • Drop tanks and gun pods

Kit includes/features:

  • Retractable landing gear (metal unit optional)
  • Pre-painted foam fuselage / wings / empenage
  • Decal sheets
  • Pre-painted foam gun pods (2x)
  • Pre-painted foam drop tanks (2x)
  • Instruction manual

Kit requires:

  • 5+ channel rx (6 as built)
  • 5+ servos (7 as built)
  • 68/70mm fan unit
  • ESC
  • Batteries (4-6s lipo)

Power system

The Hunter in this review will be of the 6s variety, and will be powered by 2x 3300mah 25C Fullymax lipo packs running in series (6s 3300). The fan is 68mm in diameter, has a 5 bladed rotor and weighs in at just over 9.5 ounces. The factory stats show this power combo capable of approximately 700w, 47,000 rpm, and about 3.5lbs of thrust. On a set of the fully charged batteries listed above, my trusty watt meter shows bursts of approximately 1090 watts @ 49 amps on the workbench, putting us above the 200W per lb. mark!

  • Power system

  • ESC/BEC

  • Batteries

  • 5-Bladed 68mm fan

  • w/ 2399kv motor

Assembly

Assembling the Hunter took me the course of a week or so using up most of my free time on nights and days off (What can I say? I'm a slow builder.). RCLander designs are very modular (for example the fuselage consists of 5 pieces), and as such, the build follows the instruction manual. The instruction manual does leave a bit to be desired for the beginning modeler, but then I wouldn't expect someone with very little experience to be assembling this ARF. The only place I found myself differing from the provided instructions was the elevator/rudder pushrod linkages.

Wing

One of the coolest features of the Hunter is the precut/hinged split flaps. Before putting the wing together, one must decide if you plan on utilizing them or sealing them up (I strongly recommended tape such as blenderm for this task should you decide to not use them). I prefer them for scale looks more then anything. After you've decided on the flaps, simply slap some 15 minute epoxy on the two wing halves, insert the carbon rods in their respective holes and either hold the wings together or tape together with painters tape and let dry. Installing the servos, and their respective linkages and horns was straightforward, just make sure you try and get them as close to 90 degrees to the servo arm as possible.

  • Split flaps

  • Wing out of the box

  • Pre-installed horns and linkages

  • Completed wing assembly

Fuselage

Assembling the fuselage consists of a series of steps including mounting of the nose gear, installing the fan/motor unit, running the elevator/rudder linkages and gluing the pieces together which form the completed fuselage. The biggest issue I encountered during the build was with the elevator pushrods/linkage. The stock wire is fairly thick gauge, and the angle the piano wire exits the fuselage causes for lots of binding, so much in fact, it renders the stock servo (LS-1) useless. I spent some time installing Sullivan gold 'n rods and cleaning up the channels in which they ride to straighten out its pathway, and I essentially eliminated all stickiness issues. I strongly recommend running something like a HS-81 servo to ensure there are no issues with overworking the servo.

NOTE: Ensure that the wooden blocks which the wing and wing cover screw into are securely glued into place. While testing the wing fit, mine started to pull away. I simply pulled them up and glued them into place with a good amount of hot glue.

  • Fuselage during assembly

  • Rudder linkage in rear of fuse

  • Frontal area awaiting assembly

  • Elevator pushrod linkages

  • Completed fuselage

Tail

Both the vertical and horizontal stab come prehinged at the factory, and only the rudder requires you glue the hinges into place, as the linkage needs to be routed thru the base of the vertical stab and into the actual control surface of the rudder. Assembling them is easy enough, and the rudder looks nice and clean as there is no external control horn.

  • Ind. tail components

  • Completed tail assembly

  • Glued into place

Landing gear

RCLander has a reputation for listening to their customers, and as it turns out, their customers we're asking for better landing gear. Recently, RCLander released their line of full metal gear with functional suspension for all of their aircraft. Not only do they look very nice, they operate much more smoothly then their predecessors and withstand much more abuse. Installing them on the Hunter was fairly straightforward (some fiddling with the linkages was required to eliminate buzz/slop as best as possible) and took just a few hours including the time required to trim the radio, etc.

  • Landing gear out of box

  • Nose gear close up

  • Main gear close up

 

Radio Installation

I use a six channel receiver for my Hawker Hunter, and found it mounts just perfectly in the little well just behind the cockpit area. Getting the wires to the cockpit can be a bit tricky as there are quite a few wires (3x Y-cables, extensions, etc.) after the plane is completed and ready to fly. Once everything was inside the well, I cut a piece of styrene and hot glued it into place on the top side. A large hole was cut in the styrene to still allow airflow thru this area of the airframe.

  • Nose retract/steering

  • Elevator/rudder servos

  • RX on top of custom styrene tray

Completion

Completion of the model consists of screwing the wing on to the fuselage with the provided hardware, attaching the wing center section (aka cover), gluing the drop tanks/gun pods onto the wings should you so desire (those doing belly landers may want to exclude them for obvious reasons), applying the decals, attaching the canopy, balancing the model, and verifying the proper function of all the aircraft's major systems (i.e. fan unit, control throws etc.).

  • Canopy closeup

  • Gun pods and drop tanks

  • Wing cover in place

  • Completed model

Flying

Basics

Generally speaking the Hunter is a very docile aircraft, and while it is quick, it's not blindingly so. A few of the guys out at the field approached me, and asked "How fast do you think it is?". Not having the slightest clue, and not having a radar gun available, I guesstimated the passes to be in the 75-80mph range but it would not surprise me to find if it is quicker as the airframe is rather large. It just doesn't "feel" that fast, which I think speaks towards the great overall handling the Hunter possesses.

As with most of RCLander’s CG recommendations, I find them to be extremely nose heavy. I did some research here on RCGroups and found others running between 160 and 175mm from the leading edge of the wing. For my maiden flight, I flew at 158mm and subsequent flights have been done at 162mm, and it suits my needs just fine. Using the batteries listed above hits this CG just about spot on, and there is a LITTLE bit of adjustment available once everything is installed.

Taking Off and Landing

Takeoff

The Hunter’s takeoff roll is a bit on the long side which is to be expected for its weight and size, but it's very stable after initial rotation and gets on step very quickly. After getting used to flying other jets with cheater holes in the bottom of the fuselage, it feels as this airframe really lifts into the air instead of leaping like the Rafale and E-Flite BAE Hawk do. Ground handling of the plane is good, and there doesn't appear to be any tipping tendencies some of the newer more narrow stanced fighter jets exhibit, and its turning radius is tighter than I expected on full throws.

Landing

The Hunter lands great should you decide to deploy the flaps. To be perfectly honest, I find myself hardly ever using them as the locations we fly at typically have large runways available. On the occasions I have used the flaps, they are very effective and slow the plane down nicely. A good bit of down elevator was required to keep the nose from ballooning, and at least 1/4 throttle all the way down the glide slope with flaps deployed. For most approaches, I like to setup on a “bomber” style approach, and reduce the power to just above idle as I'm about to cross the runway threshold and then start to feed in some backstick as I near idle to slow the planes descent, and let it settle into a nice 3 point landing.

  • Into the wild blue yonder!

  • minimums!

  • About to touchdown

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

As usual, most aerobatics tests start with rolls, and I was impressed with how axial they are and just how quickly they can be turned out. Loops and inverted flight are a nonevent, and just about any other scale type maneuver can be accomplished by the Hunter. Those full flap slow fly-bys sure look cool and are a real crowd pleaser too.

Is This For a Beginner?

Absolutely not. While the Hawker Hunter is a very well behaved aircraft, it's not intended nor do I recommend someone without experience attempt to fly it.

Photo Gallery/Flight Video

Downloads

Vimeo links

Type Name
RCLander Hawker Hunter on Vimeo

Conclusion

I truly enjoy every opportunity I get to fly the Hunter. While I did find a few things to be a bit of an annoyance during the build phase (elevator/rudder linkages), any extra efforts required have certainly been rewarded with its awesome looks and flying characteristics. The Hunter handles well all around the flight envelope, looks great at the field and in the air, sounds awesome and is plenty quick. What more could an EDF junkie ask for?

Likes:

  • Great scale looks
  • Perfect size for those wanting a larger foamy
  • Split flaps
  • Modularity of design

Dislikes:

  • Instruction manual (poor English, lacks details for build etc.)
  • Servo buzz
  • Poor design of elevator/rudder linkage
  • Glue used on wooden blocks either not up to par or not enough used

Thanks

Thanks to Tim @ RCLander for supplying the plane/components for review and as usual Jon Barnes and Terry Riley for all their great support and media skills!

Last edited by Angela H; Oct 12, 2009 at 03:30 PM..

Discussion

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Old Oct 12, 2009, 08:19 PM
Registered User
mavdriver's Avatar
United States, CA, Apple Valley
Joined May 2002
2,880 Posts
Nice Video I`ll be adding this jet to my list thanks for the detail review .
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Last edited by mavdriver; Oct 12, 2009 at 08:26 PM.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 08:26 PM
Fly, Crash, Burn,
f4addict's Avatar
United States, CT, Danbury
Joined Jul 2008
667 Posts
man!, i just got my hunter today... thanks to racer for the fantastic review.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 09:03 PM
Registered User
Leduc, AB, Canada
Joined Oct 2008
562 Posts
Awesome write-up and review Don!!
The more I see this plane, the more impatient I get waiting for my own to arrive.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 12:43 AM
Registered User
Tel Aviv-Yafo Sde Dov, Israel
Joined Aug 2004
93 Posts
Extra drag?

Thank you for your great review!

Have you try to fly the Hunter without the fuel tanks and rocket payload?
To my opinion the "clean" configuration should give some more
mph and better flight preformance.
Let us know.

B.R

Eran
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 03:57 AM
UK Commercial RPAS Pilot
Scott Cuppello's Avatar
United Kingdom, England, Carlisle
Joined Mar 2007
2,608 Posts
I ended up ditching the U/C [despite flying off tarmac, but we also have some grass] and the tanks/ordanance....and it really came alive. C of G was way out @130mm and like everybody else, I have settled at 160-165mm, any further back and it starts sitting nose-high...not good. 160mm seems to be the best for balance of the airframe and speed. Good review by the way.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 03:09 PM
Flanker Fan
yellow13's Avatar
Joined Dec 2008
212 Posts
Nice review- gotta love those EDFs.

However, I did want to point out a couple of things about the history of the the plane. While it was a good all-around fighter, it did have its share of problems. On some marks, the engine would flame out if the cannons were fired above 30,000 feet. Empty shells coming out of the cannons could also damage the underbelly or be sucked into the intakes (which was resolved when "link collectors" were added to contain the casings). For quite a bit of its early life, the endurance was hideous (~1 hr.) although like other problems this was eventually resolved. Greater internal fuel capacity, the addition of "wet" hardpoints, and the distinctive sawtooth wing made its range respectable.

Finally, I don't believe the Hunter was a supersonic fighter per se. As I understand it, a supersonic fighter is capable of exceeding the speed of sound in level flight, whereas an airplane that can only go supersonic in a dive is referred to as a "transonic" fighter.

Thanks for the excellent article, and enjoy flying your Hunter.


yellow13
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 03:51 PM
I tell her RC is cheap !
carguy1994ca's Avatar
Quebec, Canada
Joined Sep 2006
12,461 Posts
Nice retracts, nice pictures, nice video, very nice landinding on the main with the nose high

Great review, thanks !

Carguy
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 04:33 PM
Lipo abuser ... smoke on!
gp125racer's Avatar
Joined Feb 2005
1,914 Posts
Thanks for the comments fellas, as usual I appreciate it.

I've never flown my Hunter without the drops/pods cause I just like how they look so much

And Yellow, thanks for adding to the history of the plane. I always enjoy the historical aspects of any R/C plane I fly.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 05:08 PM
Flanker Fan
yellow13's Avatar
Joined Dec 2008
212 Posts
I enjoy the historical stuff too, because it adds so much to a plane's design. What would a P-51 be without its heritage?

You're welcome for the comments-- I'm happy that you took them well. I don't mean to be a pain; I guess I'm just a stickler for history.


yellow13
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 09:47 PM
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X30PILOT's Avatar
Joined Aug 2007
440 Posts
A very nice review, I’m flying my Hunter without the tanks and rocket pods and I am easily pushing 100 on 6s. This thing does fly great! I only got 8 flights out of my 2399kv fan before it quit. I am hoping the second fan gives me better service.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 10:51 PM
Lipo abuser ... smoke on!
gp125racer's Avatar
Joined Feb 2005
1,914 Posts
Nice pics X30, I really like that color scheme .... prob. a little easier on the eyes to pick up in the skies too.

Did you replace it with another 399kv motor/fan? or did you decide to go with something else this time around??

Don
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 07:26 AM
BadPilot
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United States, IL, Custer Park
Joined Nov 2007
1,706 Posts
Don,

Super review and fantastic video! I really enjoyed the clean clear photos but your honest write up on the build informed me of what pitfalls to watch out for when I build mine.

Thanks

John
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 01:21 PM
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Michael Johnson's Avatar
Joined May 2007
530 Posts
Nice review, I'm sold.

MJ
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 02:42 PM
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Angelo's Avatar
Chicago, IL
Joined Nov 1999
2,051 Posts
One thing I noticed is that the drop tanks and rocket launchers are NOT parallel to the flight direction, but angled outward a bit. You can easily see this in the tail views. This is going to cause a LOT of extra drag. Maybe the mounting holes aren't aligned correctly, but whatever the reason, fixing this would not only improve speed but duration, too.
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