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Old Jan 17, 2011, 11:20 AM
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Joined Sep 2010
12 Posts
Mini-Review
"Rafale" park flayer EDF by HobbyKing

Few weeks ago I got an offer from Maayan and Izik to do a Review on the HobbyKing "Rafale" EDF.

This was a kind of an offer that can't be refused, it took me almost 10 seconds to accept


The chosen plane was the Newly Park Flayer EDF "Rafale" which comes in a form that I call MRF - "Mostly Ready To Fly.


The kit is manufactured by FMS - Shenzhen Famous Electronic Tech Co. LTD.



Specification:
Wing span 660 mm.
Length 1000 mm.
Weight 610 gr (with 1300 mAh battery).
Channels 4.
Servos 9g 1.3 KgxCm 0.12S/60 Deg.

More data can be found in Hobby King site - http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dproduct=12484

As the kit is 97% pre built (according to the site) it takes short time to Assemble and setup.

The box came in shortly after.
The Box is big, but the weight is surprisingly light, Mail handling of the box made some dents.
but the inside was in tucked :



Unpacking the box:

Opening the box reviles a nicely packed almost finished plane.
All parts were nicely packed and guarded by EPO cage and nylon wrapping.



The body of the plane was locked to place by a block of EPO that locked the nose to the side,
Lift it up to loosen the body from the box (see attached picture).



The plane was divided into fully built sub Parts:
fuselage:containing the installed EDF, ESC ,1 servo and extension cables for the elavons servos.
Pre built wings and rudder were packed bellow.
Landing gear, plastic Canopy and nose cone were laying in the side of the box.

Also in the box was a small Build and operating manual in a pictorial brochure clearly describing the building process and installation.

First Impression:
The kit looked fabulous, all parts were nicely build and had painting and decals. the kit looked very realistic, resembling the real fighter.
I Was impressed!!! (and in love from the first sight)

Building:
The process of assembling the plane can hardly be called "building
mainly, all you have to do is glue some parts, install the radio and go flying... I like it

First step:
Check all parts are in and nothing is broken or bent or missing.

Second step:
Review parts connecting method, peel off guarding parts attached to the leading edge of the wings.

Make sure alignment and matching of the wings and the rudder to the body by positioning the parts in place.
Note: the Rudder connecting rod has a small tube installed in order to safeguard the rudder during installation.

Make sure you know how to insert the rudder and don't forget to loosen the rudder hinge bolt so the rod will enter it during installation.

check wings alignment and matching - if needed sand a little bit. check nose cone position and alignment - note: the cone is not symmetrical.
Third Step:

Gluing: Straight forward, follow the steps as seen in the brochure
use the Epoxy glue that came with the kit, the glue is fast hardening (5 Min) so be quick and keep it light - use a little glue.

Landing gear installation: Main gear - put in place and lock the latch.
Front - put in place (note the notch) and lock with the Allen wrench supplied.


Forth Step:
Installing the Receiver and connecting the electronics
I used the Berg light receiver which I prefer for its ability to withstand noisy environment, and has a failsafe feature

Check servo movement, centers and travel
note: mechanical center of the nose wheel/Rudder servo should be as in the following picture

This is the end of the "Building" part, it should take about 30 min. to finish


Now it is the time to do all programming needed on your transmitter
I use the good old Futaba 9CHP so some travel adjustment and Exponential assigning is needed.
Jet or Ducted fun is being flown in 70-100% throttle mostly, so an exponential of 50% was put on the motor channel.
Elevator exponential was initially put on 25% and Ailerons on 35%.


Pre Flight checks:
CG was checked to be found in the exact position noted on the manual.
Weight was checked to be found 605 gram (a little lighter then the anticipated 610 gram).
Engine static thrust was checked (by measuring weight and then total weight and thrust)to be around 440 gram, not bad, but will not make nice verticals.
Current draw and battery time was checked on ground to be found around 20-25 Amp (250-300W) at about 5 min flight time, battery used during the tests were 1300 and 2200 mAh 20-25C.
no significant noise or heat were shown during the ground tests.


>>>> Flying Time >>>>:

The big day arrived almost two weeks after finishing the plane. As the manual says a clear paved 20 meter runway is needed
so a landing strip that will allow such long takeoff was found and weather was king enough, all was GO....

With the help of my good friend Ilan and my son Ido, we constructed the test team 'that included me as the pilot and a crew of two rolling cameras.


As the runway is not paved and had small granular stones the take off roll was somewhat bumpy.
I let about 10 meters of accelerating before applying slight elevator only to find myself in the air without enough energy to stay airborne.
having to let the plane sink, I hit lightly the ground, this was enough to detach the right main gear from the wing.
but still airborne I continued gaining enough speed to start climbing.
At a secured altitude some minor trims were made and a few flyby over the runway were done.
The battery run down at about 5 min. flight, Power was drastically low and a quick landing was needed.
Landing gently and easy on the left gear, no harm done or scratches on the plane.
Attaching back the right main gear to place with sticky tape... and rock n' roll again.

The maneuverability was found to be excellent, ability to fly at low and high speeds,no tendency for abrupt stalls.
canards and delta wing combination was found to be stable easy and fun to fly.
Eventually, 4 batteries later and at sun dusk, Alas, we had to return home but with a big smile enjoying a happy day in the field.






Learned Tips:

Initial setup of the elevator is de-cambered a little (about 1 mm Up).
Exponential is a must, the plane is very sensitive on the roll axis, and sluggish at pitch axis.
Be patient,Let the plane build up speed before pulling up at take off.

The following movie filmed and edited by Ilan:

hobbyking Rafale Fighter R/C Ducted Fan Jet Plug-n-Fly (4 min 3 sec)



Conclusion:
This Kit is aimed to the intermediate flayer that can handle fast maneuvers and unstable platforms.
The kit is built in a good quality and has a good real like visual view,I also likes the Jet Turbine like sound
Requires small time and expertise to build and comes almost RTF
Good build instruction and operating Manuel



An Excellent Value for the money ! ! !


Zvika
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Old Jan 17, 2011, 02:24 PM
Registered User
Joined Jun 2005
3,783 Posts
Very nice!

Well presented, Zvika! Most enjoyable!
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Old Jan 17, 2011, 11:47 PM
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Hilo
Joined Jan 2011
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A good EDF Jet!
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 04:17 AM
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Joined Sep 2010
12 Posts
Thanks, it is a nice EDF to fly.
I really enjoyed the scale look and the good feel
The other EDF i had was the XPD that left a bad impression.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 04:59 AM
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lipoflyer's Avatar
Australia
Joined Nov 2010
2,876 Posts
what was the quality of the electrics like?

also how would you rate the quality of the foam
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Old Feb 28, 2011, 03:50 AM
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Joined Oct 2006
1 Posts
Rafale

Hello,

I'm also owner of this HK Rafale. I must say that the foam is good quality, but the sticks were all bubbled and they fall of part by part. For this I'm dissapointed. The color finish is ok, but can be easly removed, maybe somebody knows which color codes this Rafale have. I can not find the right color for example with Revell colour. Maybe ModelMaster have something right. I apricciate this kind of info. Still did not made the maiden flight. I hardly wait till warmer weather, the I will report how it was going. I'm intending to do hand launch. Do you think that glassing the belly of the plane is a must in that case? I hope that the electronics will survive some flights, since I read that a lot failures accure.

Regards
Igor
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