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BudgetRC EPP RF-22 Jet Review

Built to fly fast but withstand the wear and tear of continuous flying, the new BudgetRC RF-22 is an EPP standout.

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Introduction


Wingspan:22" / 558mm
Wing Area:254 sq. in. / 16.4 dm. sq.
Weight w/o LiPo:9.8 oz. / 277.8g
AUW:16.8 oz. / 476g
Length:30.5" / 774.7mm
Wing Loading:7.2 oz/cu.ft. Wing Cube Loading (see note below)
Servos:9 gram
Transmitter:Spektrum D6Xi
Receiver:AR6200
Battery:1600 3S 11.1 volt 20C
Motor:2212/5.5 3500kv
ESC:40A
Manufacturer:BudgetRC.com
Available From:BudgetRC.com
MSRP:$45.00

By now, you all know I really like EPP stuff. It is beyond durable, and even though it is not the smoothest looking aerodynamic surface, it flies incredibly well through a very wide range of flight envelopes.

The F-22 is my third BudgetRC plane. My first, the P-51, was great fun. Then I built the ULD. Each of these share a few common building techniques, including the painting, use of carbon stiffeners and lightweight electronics. The F-22 diverges somewhat with a different hinging technique, but overall, the use of EPP foam, carbon and laser cut parts is consistent.

Kit Contents

Just like all the other great airplanes from BudgetRC, the F-22 arrived in a small box, bagged for assembly. The instructions can be downloaded so youíre sure to get the most current version.

I tell you, the good folks at Budget are generous and send you plenty of materials with which to build. With the Ballistic power pack, they also give you everything you need.

Kit Includes:

  • All EPP laser cut components (no Depron in this kit)
  • Carbon reinforcement sticks
  • Laser cut plywood components

Kit Requires:

  • Brushless motor
  • 40 amp ESC
  • 5 gram servos
  • Transmitter and receiver
  • Velcro
  • LiPo battery
  • Delta or Elevon mixing transmitter
  • Hot glue

Assembly

Get ready to build by making sure you have some heavy, flat and straight weights to hold the components down during the build. It is critical you have a flat building surface and have some of the following at the ready.

Building supplies:

  • Wax paper or plastic wrap
  • Medium CA (EPP is foam safe)
  • Accelerator
  • Hot glue gun
  • Flat scraper
  • Small hand saw or side cutters
  • Card stock
  • Spray Paint

Wing

The wing is the majority of the airframe build. It is comprised of two main pieces of laser cut EPP. You will love the detail and crispness of the cuts. Nothing is cut without a purpose.

Make sure you do everything in your power to pull the two halves together tightly as you glue. Once I had the two sides in place, I installed the fat carbon stiffeners.

Canopy

The canopy consists of two halves. I installed the carbon first and then glued the two pieces together making sure to keep it straight and flat.

Tail

The elevons require the use of hot glue as hinges, and they work really well. The key is to not use too much and to use a straight edge to smooth the glue for a thin layer.

There are a few steps that need to happen before building up the fuselage and while the wing is flat to help keep things square and true. Install the tail fins next with hot glue

Fuselage

The fuselage box is easy to construct, but just like everything else, needs to be square. The sidewalls extend all the way back to the elevon hinge and support the servos. Holes are cut in the wing to receive the sidewalls perfectly.

There is one small piece or carbon to install under the wing and through the fuselage lower portion that steadies the wing and stops any flutter at high speeds.

I started with a couple coats of silver spray paint. My wife did the detail work and used colors and shapes like we had seen in the northwest.

Electronics Installation

The motor mount is ply and must go on correctly. It slips into place, and I CAíd it, but also hot glued the mount thoroughly. You should have the motor on the mount before you glue it into place.

Servos install on both sides and are secured with hot glue. I had to install the control linkage guides down each sidewall and secure them with hot glue. I trial fit these first.

From there it was a matter of getting the receiver, ESC and battery in place for the best CG without adding any weight. Because I used the AR6200, I installed the main receiver within the fuselage box and the auxiliary up and along the canopy.

Completion

The CG is located very close to the point where the wings begin to extend outward. The battery has to be placed along the canopy wall and as far back in the fuselage cavity as possible without hitting the prop (see above picture). The battery seems heavy (156 grams) but the F-22 is well engineered to have the correct CG with the battery all the way back. I did fly the F-22 with some larger batteries with no problem.

As a final note, make sure you put the prop on correctly. The pusher requires the prop to rotate so the leading edge of the prop is correct. Trust me, it is easy to get it wrong, and your airspeed will suffer.

Flying

The F-22 is a screamer. At full throttle, thereís enough noise to get just about everyoneís attention. A word of caution is provided by BudgetRC with regards to full throttle operation with the Ballistic Power package: Use short ten second bursts. I did this at first, but soon firewalled the throttle and have been running the F-22 full bore around and around with no problems. You will get only about 2.5 minutes at full throttle.

1600 (battery capacity)/36000(amp draw)= .045 x 60 Ė 2.7 minutes of run time. The prop turns at 17,500 RPMs at 36 amps and about 350 watts.

I did get battery temps in the 120 degree range, and the motor heats up pretty good too, but the good quality components provided by BudgetRC stood up to this kind of abuse.

Basics

I think while a few loops and rolls are in order, this F-22 is all about speed. I would climb upwind and turn downwind as steeply as possible for maximum speed. The climb is pretty good, and at about 45 degrees (as you can see in the video), it climbs completely out of sight. It is a blast to get the F-22 as high as you can and then start to build speed as the plane passes by. I would guess terminal velocity is around 70-75 MPH and is limited mostly by drag. I consistently got speeds right at 70 MPH.

Taking Off and Landing

The F-22 is a hand launch plane, so watch your fingers! The best method for launching is to hold the F-22 between the tail elevons and just give it a slight underhand release upward. You can tell at full throttle that the F-22 wants to leave your hand, and no real effort is required.

The landings are incredibly stable. Nothing I saw was even close to a stall, and the glide was very stable all the way to the ground. The F-22 is a bellylander. Note that I land pretty hot, but totally under control. Honestly, I never stalled the F-22. It can handle a large flight envelope.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Some rolls and loops and inverted flight are certainly in order, but, full out high speed passes are the preferred flight characteristic. Climbs are powerful, but not quite vertical. I experimented with several batteries in the 150 gram weight class, and in the end I measured 69 MPH as my max speed. Not bad. I used Eagletree's Micro Airspeed sensor for reconciling the speed. These little units are awesome and easily mount to the airframe of the F-22.

Is This For a Beginner?

I think just about anyone can fly the F-22, but it is really not intended for beginners. Some flight time and the desire to find more speed is what this plane is all about.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

Itís another well-designed and produced product from Budget RC. I liked the building method, the price, the EPP and the flight characteristics. They have gradually created a hangar of fine aircraft. Keep your eyes open for more.

What I liked:

  • Quality laser cut EPP
  • Well written instructions
  • Speed

What I didnít like so muc:

  • Short flight times
  • Noise might get too much attention

Wing Cube Loading

For some, WCL is a measure that more realistically indicates the flying ability of an aircraft. Here are some links for you to read through and a WCL calculator for your use.

Astroflight Scaled The Future is Electric Wing Loading Calculator

Last edited by Angela H; Oct 29, 2009 at 05:52 PM..

Discussion

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Old Oct 29, 2009, 08:29 PM
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Xpress..'s Avatar
Joined Oct 2007
20,928 Posts
NICE!

And super cool color cheme
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Old Oct 29, 2009, 09:11 PM
Registered User
Kmart's Avatar
United States, CO, Boulder
Joined Sep 2008
7,433 Posts
Dave-

You in the weights room? 'Cuz you keep raising the bar!!!

OK, corny joke. But being serious- your reviews are always thorough, but never too heavy. Great Job!
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Old Oct 29, 2009, 09:38 PM
Registered User
Williamsburg, Va, USA
Joined Jul 2001
270 Posts
What are the slow flight characteristics like?
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Old Oct 30, 2009, 08:56 AM
Dr. Dave
USA
Joined Nov 2005
1,316 Posts
Slow flight is excellent but all in perspective. This is not a slow flyer
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Old Oct 30, 2009, 09:09 AM
Fly DW foamies!
appleflyer's Avatar
longmont, CO
Joined May 2006
1,285 Posts
i like the color scheme
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Last edited by appleflyer; Oct 30, 2009 at 12:37 PM.
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Old Oct 30, 2009, 10:46 AM
made of foam
appa609's Avatar
Ontario, Canada.
Joined Aug 2008
578 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpress.. View Post
NICE!

And super cool color cheme
really? I thought it made the plane look cluttered.
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Old Oct 30, 2009, 12:37 PM
Fly DW foamies!
appleflyer's Avatar
longmont, CO
Joined May 2006
1,285 Posts
but its unique which is a nice change from the same old same old
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Old Oct 30, 2009, 09:54 PM
ProBro Spaz
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Buffalo, NY
Joined Aug 2004
947 Posts
looks like your prop is on backwards.. for a pusher turn it around, maybe it was just for the pics?
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Old Oct 30, 2009, 10:31 PM
Fremont, CA
United States, CA, Fremont
Joined Jan 2009
1,600 Posts
Please disregard.
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Last edited by djacob7; Oct 30, 2009 at 10:37 PM.
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Old Oct 31, 2009, 11:16 AM
Dr. Dave
USA
Joined Nov 2005
1,316 Posts
Yes, the prop was on backwards at first as I mentioned in the text. Good observation.
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Old Nov 10, 2009, 02:44 PM
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cjbucher's Avatar
Raleigh, NC
Joined Sep 2004
2,549 Posts
Something is a miss...

I did some doppler readings on some of your level passes and I was only seeing between 50 and 60 mph. I know you got an eagle tree reading of 69 mph from a 45 degree dive.

At 36 amps of draw on a 3500 kv motor, you should be going a lot faster with a 22" 16 oz plane.

My Stryker (37" wing span, 23 oz) is using a 3500 kv inrunner with an APC E 4.5x4.1 prop. It draws 27 amps static but I've dopplered it at 83 mph. I'm drawing 9 amps less than you and going more than 20 mph faster on a 7 oz heavier and larger wing span plane... Your plane is smaller and should have a lot less drag than mine so yours really should be going a lot faster...

I'm thinking something must not be right with the prop you chose... I hear lots of screaming but not a lot of speed (almost sounds like it's churning or cavitating a little).

What prop are you running? Maybe a better prop choice will give you much better performance and better duration too...

--

Here's a little video of my Stryker for reference: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1036796 (similar sounding RPM's from both our planes but mine is noticeably faster....)

--

I'm not dis'ing the plane. I think it's neat but just wanted to point out that something didn't seem right with the speed and amp draw...
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Last edited by cjbucher; Nov 10, 2009 at 04:36 PM. Reason: added video link
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Old Nov 12, 2009, 11:42 AM
Dr. Dave
USA
Joined Nov 2005
1,316 Posts
Not sure you assumed things correctly. I videoed the F-22 when I had the prop on backwards. Later flights were used to measure the speed after I flipped the prop. Your measures are close as I was getting about 58 MPH with the prop in backwards. Sorry for not saying the prop size. I will check and post asap. Also I understand noise form the prop increases the closer it is to the airframe.
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Old Nov 12, 2009, 03:40 PM
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cjbucher's Avatar
Raleigh, NC
Joined Sep 2004
2,549 Posts
Ok, you might want to update the videos then. The video made the plane look a little disappointing... All that screaming and not much speed...

Did it still draw 36 amps with the prop on the correct way?
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 03:10 AM
Registered User
Australia Sunshine Coast
Joined Sep 2007
447 Posts
Just a quick one you say it gets 2.7min run time out of a 1600mah battery is this a mistake or did you mean 7.2min? What is the prop size please.

Thanks
Rudolf
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Last edited by rudes; Nov 16, 2009 at 03:18 AM.
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