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Hobby Lobby Kyosho AiRium Messerschmitt Bf-109E Ready Set Review

Kyosho makes this very nice little Bf-109E that Hobby-Lobby currently has on sale for a very special price.

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Introduction


Wingspan:25 5/8"
Wing Area:111.6 sq in
Weight:8.2oz.
Length:22 7/8"
Wing Profile:S3010
Servos:3 KS-21 5g servos
Transmitter:KT-21 2.4GHz 4 CH
Receiver:Kyosho 6 channel
Battery:2 and 3-cell Lipo
Motor:Sky Victory AF400 BLS B/07/15
Propeller:7 x 6 (3-blade)
ESC:Sky Victory BLS 10A
Manufacturer:Kyosho
Available From:Hobby-Lobby
Price:$129.99 Ready Set
Price:$99.99 Receiver Ready

This Kyosho AiRium Messerschmitt Bf-109 is the E variant also known as the Emil. Approximately 4,000 of this variant where made by Germany with first deliveries in early 1939. This was the plane used to win the skies over Poland in 1939 and over Norway, the Netherlands and France in 1940. But the Emil is best known for its Battles with Spitfires in the Battle of Briton. The Emil used a three blade variable pitch prop and early versions had four rifle caliber machine guns with two in the cowl and two in the wings. Later models of the Emil had 20mm cannons in the wings (This model has the cannons with the barrels sticking out of the wing.). The plane's biggest improvement over the earlier Dora model was the improved Daimler Benz 601, a cutting edge motor which gave the Emil a top speed of 350 miles per hour. The Emil model still had the supports under the horizontal stabilizers and Kyosho has included this often missing detail. Additional detail features on this Kyosho Bf-109 besides the three blade prop, the wing cannon barrels and the supports under the horizontal stabilizer include a detailed canopy and the radio antenna behind the canopy, great decals and paint job. These details add a lot to the appearance of this model whether it is flying or just sitting on its display stand. Of course to me it looks best when it is on the tail of my friend Mike's Kyosho Airium Spitfire Mk. 5.


Kit Contents: Kyosho AiRium Messerschmitt Bf109E Ready Set

Airium RTF BF 109E

  • Factory assembled airplane
  • Installed Sky Victory AF400 BLS B/07/15 brushless motor
  • Installed Sky Victory BLS10 ESC
  • Installed receiver
  • Installed 3 KS-21 5g servos
  • 7 x 6 three blade propeller with spare
  • Spare spinner
  • Display stand
  • O-ring and spring hook to secure wing to fuselage
  • KT-21 4 CH 2.4GHz transmitter
  • Instruction Manual














Items Author Supplied

  • 2 and 3-cell Lipo battery packs
  • Balanced Lipo battery pack charger for 2 and 3-cell pack
  • 8 AA batteries for the transmitter

Second plane Also Supplied

  • Spektrum AR500 receiver
  • Spektrum DX7 transmitter

Assembly

The plane requires only a few minutes of final assembly. I put my battery pack (I supplied the battery pack) on my charger so the plane would be ready to fly as soon as the final assembly was complete.

Wing

The wing was a one piece foam wing and came with a single servo installed in the top center of the wing and connected to the ailerons. There was no work to do in assembling the wing. To attach the wing to the fuselage I simply connected the aileron servo to the receiver via the supplied aileron extension wire, plugged the pins on the front of the wing into the fuselage and used a supplied O-ring to secure the wing to the fuselage. There were hooks for the O-ring on the back of the wing and in the fuselage at the back of the wing saddle. I used the supplied spring wire hook to pull the O-ring up from the hook on the wing and onto the hook on the fuselage. This was done through the canopy area as shown in the picture below.

Fuselage

The fuselage came fully assembled and ready for the wing to be attached. It just needed a couple of pictures to document the fuselage's condition on arrival.

Tail

The tail was fully assembled. It included the external horizontal tail supports used on the Emil (They were removed in later models of the BF-109.). However, many companies simply fail to include them on their Emil's. I am really glad they included this detail as it adds to the visual impact of this plane in flight.

Radio Installation

The radio came installed in the fuselage and connected to the ESC, rudder and elevator servos. There was even a short extension wire for the aileron servo to plug into already connected to the receiver. The ESC has a JST connector to connect to the battery pack. Although a two cell Lipo pack was recommended I went with a three cell pack to power the plane initially.

The transmitter came set on Mode 2 which is what I fly but per the instruction manual can be set to Mode 1 through a switch in the battery compartment. The transmitter also has Dual Rates with the switch on the top left front of the transmitter. The trim tabs are analog for all four controls and there are servo reversing switches on the front of the transmitter as well. The instructions advise that the radio system is fine for this plane but is not designed for use with large RC planes. This leads me to believe that the radio has a limited range appropriate for this size of parkflyer which is flown relatively close in due to its small size.

My plane and transmitter came already bound together but a binding plug and instructions for how to bind the receiver and the transmitter were included should that ever prove necessary. The manual lists the radio's range as 150 meters. That is about a football field and a half. I suggest you keep it within a football field distance from you for safety or get the Receiver Ready version and use your own radio. On the second plane I used my own radio and the plane responded at any distance I flew and I was a happy camper.

Completion

When mounting the wing to the fuselage I noticed the wing was slightly longer in the middle then the wing saddle. I simply filed down a little of the foam at the back of the wing to get it to fit nice and snug. I plugged the wing servo into the aileron extension wire that came plugged into the receiver and made sure the ailerons were properly centered. The wing was secured by inserting the pins on the front of the wing into holes in the front of the wing saddle. At the back an O-ring was attached to the hook between the aileron control horns. The wing was fitted into place and using the supplied metal hook I pulled the O-ring up via the canopy access and attached the O-ring to a hook in the back of the wing saddle.

The plane can easily be transported to the field or local park fully assembled and ready to fly. The battery compartment is accessed through the cockpit area by removing the canopy. I simply turned on the transmitter and then plugged the JST connector from the ESC into my battery pack and slid the battery pack into a slot for it in the front of the cockpit, tuck the wires down and insert the canopy back into the plane and she was ready to fly. My transmitter came bound to my receiver and the controls were all set up properly so that the sticks moved the control surfaces in the proper directions.

Recommended Settings per the Instruction Manual

  • Center of Gravity is 40mm behind the leading edge of the wing
  • Elevator throw 6mm up and down
  • Rudder throw 7mm side to side
  • Aileron Throw 5mm up and down

Berlin: We Have a Problem

Through the course of Trial and Error I discovered I had a problem with my Bf-109 in connection with the aileron response. I thought the problem was with the servo and I replaced it but I still had intermittent problems with aileron control. I next thought the problem might be with the radio but I was wrong. It turns out my problem was in the little aileron extension wire that came with the plane. It would intermittently stop and start working. This is probably a one in one hundred thousand problem but it bugged the heck out of me until I solved the problem. It never showed up on the ground but during flight. I and others who flew her at my request, would suddenly loose aileron control and it was almost always into a sharp left turn no matter what was done with the right stick. This lead to a number of crashes. A lot of crashes and a lot of repairs. When I replaced the short aileron extension wire the problem finally disappeared. Intermittent problems such as I experienced are fortunately very rare but also very frustrating as being intermittent they can be very hard to find. However, a good did come out of this experience. This problem caused repeated crashes of the plane which lead to repeated gluing and repairs to the plane by myself. I can report that through approximately the first 12 crashes (an exact count was not kept) I was able to repair her, and she looked pretty good. The propellers were my main casualty as I went through four, three blade props and several two blade props. During the next dozen crashes her looks admittedly went downhill. After a whole bunch of crashes I finally found the problem and got a replacement plane to continue this review. It is very unlikely anyone else will experience the intermittent problem I experienced so I am not worried about that with my new plane. I did want to share how durable my plane was as I was able to repair the plane (glue) time after time and send her back into the air.

A Great Companion Plane

Hobby-Lobby is selling a Spitfire the same scale as the Bf-109 at the same special price. This can make for some great flights with a friend. Here are some pictures of my plane with my friend, Mike Heer's Spitfire.



Flying

Basics

Hobby-Lobby is selling the plane both RTF and as a Receiver Ready model. I knew from my first plane and from watching Mike Heer fly his Spitfire that the RTF radio worked. For my second plane I used my own radio to increase my comfort level. I have flown it using both the included three blade propeller and an 8 x 6 two blade propeller. It flies fine with both of these propellers as you can see in the videos below. It has four channel control with ailerons, rudder, elevator and throttle.

Taking Off and Landing.

Being gun-shy and destroying 3 bladed props from my first plane, I used an E-flite 2S 800mAh 10C battery with the CG at 40mm and using a 8x6 Master Airscrew 2 bladed prop. I hand launched the plane with 3/4 power. I can't throw very hard but I give a straight forward toss and she flew well and climbed out as I made right and left turns. My controls on the Spektrum DX-7 radio were all set on low rate at 50% with 30% expo. For the first landing attempt I reduced the throttle and allowed the plane to lower and just above the grass I cut the power and landed her. There was no hint of a tipstall and NO BROKEN PROP! Again I flew the plane using an 8x6 prop just to get used to her. I then switched to the supplied 3 bladed prop that came with the model and launched again with a toss and 3/4s throttle and she flew as pretty as you please. She seemed a little slower with the 3 bladed prop but the plane still had plenty of power. I recommend a good toss at 3/4s power as I get a good launch with that every time. I don't recommend launching at full throttle as you may get a nasty torque roll to the left and down.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Using the 3 bladed propeller, I was able to do nice loops and stalls at high and low rate. With high rate, I was able to make some nice rolls with the plane at 3/4s throttle. Not sure if it was me or the plane but I found she flew best at about 3/4s throttle. She was great for a high speed pass but turns and maneuvers go better at 3/4s throttle rather than at full speed. I recommend flying her at 3/4s throttle or less for the majority of the flying time and mix in the occasional high speed pass and then like a race car slow down for maneuvers. Mine and Mike's experience is that the 109 and Spitfire are a lot of fun at 3/4s throttle and a bit of handful going faster than that.

Is This For a Beginner?

NO! Hobby-Lobby says it is for intermediate pilots or better and I agree. It is not inherently stable and a beginner with their tendencies to over control will soon likely crash the plane. Additionally, a beginner not familiar with torque roll will have problems if they try and launch with full throttle and a soft toss. This is a plane for pilots that already know how to fly.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery












Downloads

Conclusion

The first plane with the intermittent problems with the aileron wire and its intermittent shorting was very frustrating! It would have been troubling in any situation but while writing a review for the first time in years it was especially maddening. However, that frustration made the success with the second plane especially sweet. As discussed above I found she made nice high speed passes but maneuvers at high speed were a little quirky at times. At 3/4s throttle she followed my directions perfectly. I found the plane flies well when balanced at 40mm behind the leading edge of the wing. I have found she flies a little faster with the two blade 8x6 prop mentioned above than with the standard three blade prop supplied and the two blade prop is much more durable. The spinner sold for the E-flite P-40 is designed for a two blade propeller and fits the Bf-109. I look forward to doing mock combat with my friend Mike and his Spitfire.

Pluses

  • Excellent color scheme, finish and scale details
  • Easy access battery compartment
  • Flies great at 3/4s throttle
  • The Special Price is a good deal
  • I especially recommend the Receiver Ready model
  • My original plane went back together many times.

Minuses

  • The defective aileron extension wire on my first plane.
  • The three bladed props are brittle and break easily if they contact the ground.

My thanks to my friends Michael Heer and Tom Bone for their assistance on this review with stills and video.

Last edited by Angela H; Jan 27, 2011 at 10:13 AM..

Discussion

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Old Jan 27, 2011, 12:57 PM
Parkstormer!
Raleigh, NC
Joined Jan 2010
1,894 Posts
Great review! The 3-bladed props are fragile and HL usually is out of them, so I've switched to the 2-bladed prop that goes with the E-Flite P-40 . . .
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Old Jan 27, 2011, 03:41 PM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
United States, TX, Kingsland
Joined Sep 2005
4,969 Posts
I enjoyed your review. It looks like the 2-blade prop has much less "torque effect" on takeoff and seems to perform better in the air.

Better watch out for Herr on your six .

McD
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Old Jan 27, 2011, 06:00 PM
Sic Semper Tyrannis
USA, VA, Virginia Beach
Joined Oct 2003
952 Posts
Review is dead on. These little birds look great and fly well - but not for newbies.
They can be very "twitchy" - the Spit keeps me on my toes and I've been flying for a long while. The Bf-109 is a better flyer overall.

Torque roll can be pronounced on launch - I typically have a buddy toss for me if available.

It's also been noted in other threads that these tend to come from the factory with a slight bend in the tail. Both my Spit and 109 have it. Does ot sem to affect flying.
Really fun, spritely little models.
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Old Jan 28, 2011, 01:20 AM
Registered User
Norway
Joined Dec 2007
1,480 Posts
Very good review!

One point I would add. The motor mount (plywood) has a tendency to become
loose should be checked and probably reglued even before first flight.
I've got this problem on my 109, Spitfire and E-flite P-40 300 all got the
same problem. My real problem with my HL Me109 was the motor did not
rotate properly. Had to replace the front bearing on my AF-400 brushless
motor. Now it's flying execelent with a 8x4SF prop and 3S 450mah LiPo.

I've flown and tried to share my hard gained experience with both the
Spitfire since May 2010 and Me109 since December at
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1164347
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Old Jan 29, 2011, 06:29 PM
flitelab's Avatar
Canada, NS, Halifax
Joined Feb 2010
6,966 Posts
Nice review. Anyone know if there is a Canadian reseller for these?
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Old Feb 04, 2011, 06:05 PM
Registered User
Miami,FL
Joined Jun 2007
763 Posts
Looks nice. The 109 looks alot like the GWS 109.
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Old Feb 04, 2011, 07:01 PM
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ColinB505's Avatar
Fort Worth, TX
Joined Dec 2010
8 Posts
Great review! Kyosho does a nice job with the scale looks and flight performance.
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Old Feb 06, 2011, 07:06 PM
King of Crash
Joined Feb 2011
21 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLOEY View Post
Very good review!

One point I would add. The motor mount (plywood) has a tendency to become
loose should be checked and probably reglued even before first flight.
I've got this problem on my 109, Spitfire and E-flite P-40 300 all got the
same problem. My real problem with my HL Me109 was the motor did not
rotate properly. Had to replace the front bearing on my AF-400 brushless
motor. Now it's flying execelent with a 8x4SF prop and 3S 450mah LiPo.

I've flown and tried to share my hard gained experience with both the
Spitfire since May 2010 and Me109 since December at
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1164347
A note I want to add is you kinda mispelled Britain...
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Old Feb 16, 2011, 02:05 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,369 Posts
You kinda mispelled chainsaw.
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Old Mar 09, 2011, 09:39 AM
flitelab's Avatar
Canada, NS, Halifax
Joined Feb 2010
6,966 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by schooner2000 View Post
Nice review. Anyone know if there is a Canadian reseller for these?
I'll bump this again. Since Hobby Lobby doesn't even ship to Canada now it appears, anyone know of a Canadian reseller?
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Old Mar 10, 2011, 01:43 PM
Registered User
Norway
Joined Dec 2007
1,480 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by schooner2000 View Post
I'll bump this again. Since Hobby Lobby doesn't even ship to Canada now it appears, anyone know of a Canadian reseller?
They ship to Norway! That is over the pond ...
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Old Mar 10, 2011, 01:46 PM
flitelab's Avatar
Canada, NS, Halifax
Joined Feb 2010
6,966 Posts
Ya the shipping option wasn't showing earlier but it is back now. But $40 is a bit steep :-\

May just go with an Eflite P-40 as its in same size range and can be had locally.
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Old Nov 13, 2011, 02:23 AM
denvoyager
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United Kingdom, Wales, Swansea
Joined Nov 2011
40 Posts
Probably me being dense, but the wingspan is......? Den Moran,Swansea
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Old Nov 13, 2011, 04:34 AM
Registered User
Norway
Joined Dec 2007
1,480 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by denvoyager View Post
Probably me being dense, but the wingspan is......? Den Moran,Swansea
Wingspan 650mm (~25") but flies like a much bigger bird (my view).
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