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Old Sep 18, 2009, 10:31 AM
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Zurich
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New Product
Silverlit Swiss Version F/A-18 (NEW and diff from AirHogs F-18!)

EDIT > NOTE: I have just discovered that this Silverlit Swiss Version F/A-18 is NOT the same plane as the AirHogs F-18!

Rather, it is likely an updated re-design from Silverlit.




I spotted and quickly bought a grey Silverlit F/A-18 Hornet (product #87506) in very detailed & realistic Swiss military markings .... on top of very detailed and complete MOLDED-IN all-over surface markings, like a plastic model kit! It's available at Franz Carl Weber and I am sure it can be shipped internationally > http://www.fcw.ch/filialen/zuerich/

The production values are great, and the Silverlit aerodynamics were easily improved with a hairdrier & lots of twisting in various directions. I even bent the nose more realistically scale down (the fuselage, also up to the nose, should be in an almost straight line on the bottom: find a scale 3-view), removed the landing gear and black plastic sockets (filled holes w/ EPP scrap using CA gel).

Comparing with wheels-off both before & after, this twisting & bending (needed several hairdrier actions to stay re-formed) almost DOUBLED the L/D (glide ratio), a measure of aerodynamic efficiency, and made the handling/response much more to my liking (it was passable out-of-the box). I'm very happy with this nice toy (now closer to the "Pro" series), and can loop and barrel roll it or fly in small highly-banked circles around me at eye-level. However, I think my ORIGINAL ("UNmod") F-22 is still far more realistic in the air (it's almost exact scale) and can outfly anything similar on the market today > the Unmod has lower min speed, greater top speed, much tighter turn ability, more stable, quicker response (see "Maneuver Test" YouTube vid), and can be flown (by experienced pilots) in very windy/gusty conditions (the Silverlit F-18 needs calm conditions) ....

BUT you can't buy that one, so check out this nonetheless very cool Swiss Version F/A-18 anyway! I don't have any Unmods to play with now, so I am off again to fly THIS fun, somewhat modded (I'd say, "trimmed") Swiss Army jet!

Lee

EDIT: (reprise) I now see that the AirHogs F-18 is a TOTALLY diff plane than this new one from Silverlit! Everything is different! This ("Swiss Version F/A-18") one has a diff body, diff wings, diff vert and horiz tails. Every part has a diff shape than the AirHogs one! It has molded-in detail, the leading edges are SHARP, it has air-air missle holders on the wingtips, etc.

Perhaps it is a 2nd-generation design effort from Silverlit. But it IS cool and I love it (with my hairdrier "re-design"). Everyone needs one! I'm sure FCW can ship ....
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Old Sep 19, 2009, 08:19 AM
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To be FAIR, it should be noted that "Basic Fly" is written on the Silverlit box! That is, this product is intended as a simple and basic child's or beginner's toy. And as such, it is neat and dandy. However, by making the adjustments, etc., as noted above, it becomes a very respectable PILOT's toy. And I like it this IMPROVED way enough to even prefer it over the "Pro" series ....

It's very pretty (according to a nice Japanese woman and her young adughter) and just looks right COOL flying in tight low-level circles around me, as well as not only buzzing, but flying through clustered groups of admiring kids (who say "Coole" [German for "cool"!]).

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Old Sep 21, 2009, 09:13 AM
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Inverted Flight!

Surprise (to me) >

1. stall to initiate upwind loop

2. cut power just before inverted apex (top of loop) while (inverted) nose is still higher than tail w.r.t. the ground

3. add power at apex

4. 3 - 4 seconds of stable (downwind!) inverted flt!


I'm pretty sure the "stock" toy won't do this: besides the C.G. shift, my trim adjustments involved heat-twisting (in 3-D) some 2-D angles almost 10° from their molded settings! As noted, the plane flies markedly better so (for an experienced pilot), and although not even close to my orig., F-22, still LOTS of cool fun (in no wind).
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 12:53 PM
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B.t.w., everyone, not just kids, thinks it's way cool! The "advantage" of flying a Swiss Army plane is that everyone knows it's not likely going out to attack* anyone (rendering CLOSE buzzes and fly-by's all the more "innocent" fun: think Tom Cruise buzzing the field and carrier towers, loosing coffee but not armament).

* I have GREAT respect for USN carrier pilots: I allude to the general non-American public opinion
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 02:04 PM
Checking CG is for NERDS!
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Sounds pretty good, Lee. Can you post a pic of it next to your F-22?

The F-22 has been a blast for over a year now and has caused me to pass on similar planes but one that looks this good might justify a place in my micro hangar.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 05:17 PM
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40 Mhz or 27?

Hey Lee,

Did you get the 40 Mhz version or the 27 Mhz?
Only 27 MHz versions seems to be available here.
Any range issues or glitching?
Is the Swiss version the one with black trim and horizontal stabilizer tips painted yellow?
Channel B (or is it C?)

Channel A is like Navy blue or something similar, B grey I think, and C is desert camo.
Wonderfully detailed models.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 05:52 PM
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washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frequent Flyer
Hey Lee,

Did you get the 40 Mhz version or the 27 Mhz?
Only 27 MHz versions seems to be available here.
Any range issues or glitching?
got all excited when i read "over here", and then saw your location is Sweden.

Crap, really would like one of these....
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Old Sep 23, 2009, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokescreen38
Sounds pretty good, Lee. Can you post a pic of it next to your F-22?

The F-22 has been a blast for over a year now and has caused me to pass on similar planes but one that looks this good might justify a place in my micro hangar.
It's the same size/plane as the AirHogs F-18 (which is made by Silverlit, but has diff colors as specified by AirHogs). This one is accurate military grey on the upper surfaces. I don't know if the AirHogs version has all the molded-in detail that THIS one does, but on top of that are the very detailed Swiss Army military decals/details.

The F/A-18 is larger than my F-22 and out of the box is a floater (I changed that!*). Further, my F-22 (UNmod) can fly circles inside AND outside it (i.e., the UNmod is both slower and faster on command; the ITC version is much faster than the Silverlit/AirHogs F-18, but the UNmod F-22 is faster AND much slower than the ITC version F-22). For calm weather, I still think the Swiss Version F/A-18 is fun (but not close to the UNmod F-22).

* by improving the aerodynamics greatly, it has more penetration, but can still loop, FLY INVERTED briefly, climb and also slow down nose-high to land
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Old Sep 24, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frequent Flyer
Hey Lee,

Did you get the 40 Mhz version or the 27 Mhz?
Only 27 MHz versions seems to be available here.
Any range issues or glitching?
Is the Swiss version the one with black trim and horizontal stabilizer tips painted yellow?
Channel B (or is it C?)

Channel A is like Navy blue or something similar, B grey I think, and C is desert camo.
Wonderfully detailed models.
They have 3 military grey Swiss Version F/A-18's, one on each of the bands A, B, and C. There may be a slight extra delay on C (my first one), so I just bought my second one (in case they sell out!) on band A. I did notice a rare, occasional "drop out" with that C close to the (wet = possible ground wave!) ground. And from my early experiences with the first X-Twins stuck going downwind in high thermals, and only brought down with luck and steel nerves, I don't trust a 2-ch w/o ZTT up too high, so I haven't really range-tested it, but the R/C seems fine.

ALL are on 27 mHz.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 07:48 AM
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Tested Band A

I hairdriered & twisted my second Swiss Version F/A-18, but this time left the landing gear sockets in (I think the wt diff btwn leaving them and removing them, filling in the holes with EPP using CA gel is obscure [I can use F-22 gear on the first when I wish, removably fitted into a slot]), BUT I did make NEW landing gear using two old sets (and 3 wheels, natch) from a scavenged old Silverlit "Pro", which use THINNER wire, but splayed & LOWERED the main gear and shortened the nose gear. The takeoff angle is similar, but I saved a bit of weight and lowered the "stupidity" level of the (I think) silly-looking "Concord"-esque landing gear. And it DOES take off fine with the lighter, lower gear. Flying with and w/o the gear, I have the idea that Silverlit attempted to pendulum-stabilize their VERY un-maximized aerodynamic approach. At any rate, the greater vertical (roll axis) mass moment-arm slows down the roll response a bit, but the improved stability resulting from my "intense" hairdrier twist re-arranging of ALL the surfaces overrides that. Airplanes are dynamic (aerodynamics) and don't need pendulums, just smart/educated design.

Delay: it turns out that compared to the nice response on my A, the C does have a bit of a delay (that is the same with my 2 A and 2 C TandemZ-1's: the A is much better!). But my C is STILL fun, and I'll use it for fun "crashing and bashing", knowing I have now a perfect A in reserve!
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Old Sep 27, 2009, 08:09 AM
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ground-to-air attack (& vice versa!)

Yesterday I was at a predominantly Italian birthday party at a small park here in Züri. One of the guys who had a toy cardboard-tube mortar-like foot-long foam-"rocket" launcher, decided it would be fun to play (I won't name the adversaries) "religious"-Insurgent vs modern Military aircraft. Even though THIS F/A-18 has Swiss (NON-combative!) markings, it made no diff in the game. So with my acceptance and no further encouragement all the males took turns trying to shoot down my EPP foam F/A-18 with yellow EPP foam rockets. Some came close, as I flew over, through or around them at low and higher speeds, but no one hit it.

However, I did manage, as the wind came up, to hit the main antagonist (rocket-launcher owner) in the head; I'd only wanted to come close to his head, but the (harmless!) "hit" was some kind of justice. Then they spent hours shooting the rocket at each other, etc., as I got into some GREAT food & wine ....
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Old Sep 27, 2009, 09:03 AM
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Hi Lee, hows things?

Sounds like a fun party. I would love to get one of those fully auto nerf guns for that kind of a game! I don't know how old your playmates were in this case....little kids are a blast to play with, but its also cool when the big ones drop that "adult" pretense, and let their soul have some fun too!
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Old Sep 28, 2009, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airfoil'd
Hi Lee, hows things?

Sounds like a fun party. I would love to get one of those fully auto nerf guns for that kind of a game! I don't know how old your playmates were in this case....little kids are a blast to play with, but its also cool when the big ones drop that "adult" pretense, and let their soul have some fun too!
25 -35 yr-old Italian MALE* "children" (they certainly had a LOT of Nerf!)

Lee


*[I had more fun with the nice WOMEN, who along with me laughed at the guys who for hours continued to play with the long cardboard-tube rocket launcher, long after the ground/air "combat" ended. My conversation starter: "If I had one of those things, I'd call it "Sigmund" and have that name in large letters on the side!"]
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Old Sep 28, 2009, 09:30 AM
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More Info

1. Using my F-22 landing gear re-bent to give a VERY slight nose-high angle, my well-used C takes off from rough asphalt in NO wind in ~3.5 m/ 11'. With my shortened, thinner-wire "original" F/A-18 landing gear (at a greater angle than above C nose-angle, but less than Silverlit "Concorde"-original), my A could take off in a slight headwind in ~4 m! I.e.: lowered nose angle takes off in shorter distance.

I suppose that the very thin-wire F-22 gear, w/ more fwd mains, flexes to allow rotation at T/O speed, and the lower nose angle with thus more leveled (up-thrusted!) motors permits greater initial acceleration. Another example of Silverlit's design stupidity (even w/ "kid-proof" thicker wire) in a well-MADE product!


2. The R/C range is listed as 50 m (~160'), and that seems to be where it drops out near the ground, esp. as the LIPO nears low-voltage cutoff.


3. My left C motor was tight, resulting in a strong tendency to spin in LEFT, since the right motor would spin down longer w/ no power .... so I used the "unbalanced taped-on paperclip to one blade-half" vibration trick (holding motor!) for ~1 min to loosen & fix it!


4. the printed flt time is ~5 min.
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Old Sep 30, 2009, 08:33 AM
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BACK to the Future ....

Yesterday I was having fun buzzing myself & my two birds*, when one close pass came too close. I bent forward at the waist, ducking my head/upper body as one of the spinning props (no protective landing gear!) actually grazed/touched (OK, buzzed!) the back of my shirt, as the menacing little fighter continued and climbed out. THAT was a very close pass ....


*Both small but intelligent birds enjoy R/C planes indoors (TZ-1 helis) or out (male Kiki used to say "Go, Go!" when I'd catch a thermal), as I also narrate the action. They understand the MEANING of ~80 words in English. I am convinced that from such observation over years that that is how Kiki learned to catch and circle in occasional thermals himself while slope-soar piloting his hangglider (he is a practiced and skilled hangglider pilot; Star just rides). When I have both along for the mtn bike-rides they love, they stay in a small cage-like Transport Box hanging around my neck. Star (Kiki's female partner), who has found out how to open the Transport Box and wait inside [so it's wire-locked shut!], would try for Barcelona or Leipzig if I let her loose outside! Kiki not, having slowly found out that unauthorized flights (he got used to flying on command to specific targets in parks) make a lot of trouble for everyone, him included. When he did get adventurous, he'd often get lost, land and start crying for me till I located him (these birds have zilch navigation skills: it took him 2 yrs to get the multi-room layout at home). So when it's just Kiki and me, he rides on TOP of the box, bravely outsife except in heavy traffic. But Star would go for it (and probably be a cat's appetizer).
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