E-flite BAe Hawk 15 Ducted Fan ARF Review

This electric ducted fan ARF has a molded fiberglass fuselage and built up wing structure, and the new "15" EDF power system provides plenty of motivation for this beauty.

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:33.3"
Wing Area:206 sq in
Wing type:Built up balsa - Symmetrical
AUW weight:Advertised 43-46oz Actual - 44 oz
Length:35.4
Wing loading:~30.7 oz/sq. ft.
Cube loading:25
Transmitter:Spektrum DX7
Servos:E-Flite S75
Receiver:AR6200 6 channel
Battery:E-flite 3200 3s LiPoly
Motor:E-flite 15 DF Motor
ESC:E-flite 60 AMP Switch mode ESC
US distributor:Horizon Hobby
BAe Hawk EDF ARF:BAe Hawk EDF
ARF Price:$159.99

E-flite has released some very high quality models for a good number of years now. The realism of the EDF jets that have come on the scene lately is impressive, but the BAe Hawk is a work of art.

This is an exceptional ARF that is a head-turner indeed.

Kit Contents

The review package shipped from Horizon, and it arrived in perfect condition. It was exceptionally well packaged, double-boxed and the contents in the box were isolated and protected from shifting during shipment.

Kit includes:

  • Stunning prepainted fiberglass fuselage
  • Built up wing and tail surfaces, covered and ready to go
  • Clear canopy pilot ready (pilots not included)
  • Factory slotted hinges ready for gluing
  • Hardware (Push rods, torque rods, keepers and horns)
  • Factory installed markings
  • Clear, well-written picture assembly guide

Kit requires:

  • Delta-V 15 69mm Fan unit
  • 60amp Switch Mode BEC ESC
  • 3s-4s LiPoly battery 3200mAh 3s or ~2600 4s recommended
  • 3-4 Micro servos (Ailerons, elevator and optional nose steering)
  • Receiver
  • 3 channel minimum transmitter
  • Servo extensions for aileron servos

Optional:

Included for this review:

<font size=-2>BL15 ducted fan brushless motor, 3600Kv</font>
BL15 ducted fan brushless motor, 3600Kv
Type:Six-pole brushless inrunner
Weight:3.7 ounces (106g)
Output shaft size:4mm
Cells:3S4S Li-Po
RPM/Volt (kv):3600
Continuous Current:46A
Burst Current:55A (15 sec)
MSRP:$79.99

<font size=-2>E-flite 60A Pro Switch-Mode BEC ESC</font>
E-flite 60A Pro Switch-Mode BEC ESC
Continuous maximum current:60 amps
Continuous maximum current:75 amps
Input Voltage:10.8V - 22.2V
Input connector type:13 AWG with E-flite EC3 connector
Output Input connector type:13 AWG with 3.5mm female gold bullet connectors
Weight:2.3 ounces (66g)
# of servos (BEC enabled):7 analog or 6 digital
MSRP:$84.99

<font size=-2>E-flite 3s 3200mAh 11.V LiPo battery</font>
E-flite 3s 3200mAh 11.V LiPo battery
Capacity:3200mAh
Voltage:11.1V
Number of cells:3
Weight:10.9oz
C Rating:20C
Max. Continuous Current:64A
MSRP:$89.99

<font size=-2>E-Flite Delta-V 15 69mm fan unit</font>
E-Flite Delta-V 15 69mm fan unit
Rotor diameter:69mm
Shroud outer diameter:73.5mm
Shroud length:58.3mm (including intake ring: 72mm)
Center body diameter:28.3mm (designed for 28mm motor)
MSRP:$29.99

<font size=-2>Spektrum AR6200 DSM2 six-channel receiver</font>
Spektrum AR6200 DSM2 six-channel receiver
Frequency:2.4Ghz DSM2
Number of receivers:Two (main and remote)
Channels:Six
Voltage range:3.5-9.6V
Weight:10g
MSRP:$79.99

<font size=-2>E-flite S75 sub-micro servos</font>
E-flite S75 sub-micro servos
Type:Analog
Torque:17.2 oz/in at 4.8V
Speed:12 sec/60 degrees at 4.8V
Weight:7.5g
Gear type:Nylon
MSRP:$13.99

Assembly

The E-flite BAe Hawk is a scale model that is a true ARF. Most of the difficult work was completed for you at the factory. This ARF was highly prefabricated, including a molded fiberglass fuselage that was beautifully painted with balsa surfaces and wing. The wing and surfaces are factory covered with Ultracote.

Most will find the Hawk can be assembled in just a few hours. Especially impressive was the detailed, impeccable fiberglass fuselage. It was really is a very stunning model!

Done by the factory:

  • Surfaces hinged
  • All surfaces and wing covered
  • Factory paint on the fuselage

The builder needs to:

  • Install the servos
  • Install the fan, motor and ESC
  • Install and align the horizontal stabilizer
  • Install the landing gear

Assembly

Fan Unit

Work begins with the fan unit. The all new Delta-V fan and accepting brushless 15 EDF 3600 KV motor are custom fit for the BAe Hawk.

The motor fit perfectly in the fan unit. Two screws attach the motor firmly to the fan unit. Use some thread locking compound with the screws to keep them from backing out. The fan uses a collet type adapter that grasps the motor shaft instead of set screws. I really liked that the solid aluminum fan spinner doubled as the nut, securing the fan to the shaft. The fan blades are a bit delicate, so be cautious as you assemble the fan unit.

E-flite includes a fairing that allows the builder to route the motor wires away from the rear of the motor. Two small machine screws attach this fairing to the rear of the motor, and it made for a very neat, tidy assembly. At test installation the fairing was about 5mm too long and was causing the wires to contact the fuselage side. The fairing fit better after removal of about 4mm of material.

Fuselage

The fuselage on the E-flite BAe Hawk is impeccable, and the glass work is very durable. The highly rounded, sleek Hawk fuselage is not easy to replicate, but this one replicates scale detail very well.

Fitting the fan in the fuselage takes some care and time. The fuselage includes a large number of ducts which allow for more fan airflow. The motor wires were rerouted from the top (as shown in the instructions) to the bottom of the former, making it easier to attach the ESC wires through those ducts but requires drilling a hole using a long drill bit. This was just a personal preference.

Tail Assembly

The fiberglass fuselage has tidy precut factory openings for the horizontal stabilizer. The fiberglass molded fuselage includes the vertical stabilizer and nonfunctional rudder.

The horizontal stabilizer includes a nifty laser-cut lite ply jig to insure the correct anhedral. The ends of each stabilizer were beveled perfectly, but a quick hit with a sanding block will align if you have any alignment issues.

The instructions call for removal of the covering to aid adhesion for the horizontal stabilizer. In my opinion, this is simply not necessary when surfaces are "pinched" by the fuselage. Torture tests have shown just how strong the CA grips even without covering removed. High quality adhesives provide more than adequate holding power.

The holes for the stab were perfectly cut and allowed the surfaces to fit properly and with no modification. They were also cut true so the surfaces were aligned properly.

Elevators on the BAe Hawk each include their own pushrod. Tubes are routed to internal linkages for the elevator operation adding to the scale realism. The elevators include small factory-bent wires that attached to each elevator half. Those elevator wires serve as actuation horns with supplied thread on plastic linkages.

The instructions say to CA the elevator hinges before threading the horn connector, however, it was much easier to work on the assembly with the elevators loose. Once the horns have the threaded plastic connector installed you can add a drop of thin CA to secure the hinges in each elevator half.

The manual reminds you to secure the pushrod tubes to all formers. They were factory glued and well attached at the servo and elevator end. You will need pay close attention to the center former which needs epoxy or CA to properly secure both tubes and is critical for proper elevator control function.

The fuselage has a factory installed battery and servo tray. This lite ply tray included cutouts that fit the S-75 servos for nose steering and elevator perfectly. It is appreciated when the recommended servos fit without modification.

Wing

The wing halves for this beauty are really true to scale which means they are small! Each half has a cutout for a single 7.5g servo and is installed with the short direct linkage to each aileron surface. I appreciated the fact the ailerons were hinged at the factory and the gaps were sealed!

The wing halves are simply butt-joined to the molded fiberglass fuselage. Included are two CF tubes that are used to create center joiners for the wings. Make sure you follow the instructions, and remove all paint from the root panels on the fuselage.

I used 30 minute epoxy to allow plenty of alignment time and give additional strength. A proper fit between the wing, fuselage and CF tube was much appreciated.

Landing gear installation was a snap. The wing mount blocks were all installed and pre-drilled. Everything fit without any modification. The nose gear was a snap too, and everything fit well.

The mylar fan tube was installed finally. A piece of music wire might help as you direct the mylar tube to the outside of the installed fan unit. It took a couple of minutes but then the tube slid on.

True to scale realism, the E-flite BAe Hawk includes wing stall dams and fuselage intakes. They attached quickly and really add to the scale detail. Hats off to E-flite!

Canopy

The canopy followed the impeccable fit and finish of the fuselage, using dowels for alignment to the fuselage. The factory recommends a rubber band attachment method for the canopy. I have long been a fan of magnets, as has E-flite, so I was surprised to see this change. I much prefer magnets, and that modification only took minutes to complete.

Power system

The recommended EDF 15 brushless motor and Delta-V fan system were used in the Hawk.

Amp draws

The included brushless motor is perfect for use with either 3s-4s packs. With the E-flite 3200 mAh 3s pack and stock fan it produced the following results:

Motor statistics on 3s
Amps Watts Voltage
39 410 10.7v

These power levels gave the BAe Hawk 149 watts per lb, enough for spirited performance in an EDF model. The power and performance of the Delta-V fan and 15 motor was impressive.

The E-flite ESCs have provided consistent, impressive performance. The switch mode BEC will power 6-7 servos on 6s voltages. Not having to add supplemental BECs is always welcome!

If you use the newer E-flite ESCs, the programmer makes setting them up a snap. Its an RS-232 computer link that enables you to install software and update settings like cutoff voltage, brake, timing, throttle range, acceleration range and frequency.

Battery

A single 3s 3200 MAh E-flite LiPoly battery provides power. This pack weighs in right at 9.2oz/261g, and its performance was stellar: It provided great voltage under a near 40amp load.

Finish

The BAe Hawk fiberglass work is fantastic. The impeccable paint work is spectacular. The paint scheme is very attractive and really stands out at the field. The covering was equally impressive on the both the built up wing and tail surfaces. The pilots are a great addition and really add to the realism, but they are not provided in the ARF.

preflight

Some glamour shots of the E-flite BAe Hawk:

CG

With the 3s 3200MAh pack placed in the forward section of the tray the BAe Hawk balanced at any of the CG settings from 80-90mm. It is nice when a model balances correctly with the recommended equipment. This is especially key with the rear fan position of this model.

The forward CG of 80mm was far too nose heavy and made it difficult to rotate in my opinion. After experimenting with different CG settings, the optimum location seemed to fall about 85mm aft of the leading edge, when measured inverted at the wing root.

Rates and transmitter setup

The trusted Spektrum DX7 transmitter was used for this plane. Rates were set as recommended in the manual with ailerons at 8mm up 5mm down and low rates 6mm and 4mm respectively and elevator at 8mm high and 5mm low each direction. Exponential rates were set at my preferred 35% for the primary flight controls.

Nose gear steering was set to 85% exponential to be very soft at high speed yet still will allow small turning radius with full throws.

The ailerons were quite sensitive in flight so decreasing the throws to about 3mm and use of 60-65% exponential felt better. The elevator authority was too light, and an increase was in order. I settled on about 8-9mm throws and decreased exponential to zero.

The flight timer was set to count down from 6 minutes giving an audible warning to land long before the battery was depleted. The 3200 E-flite pack was able to supply the BAe Hawk with full throttle runs with no ill effects. (Editor's note: Flight times will vary with throttle management.)

It is advisable to use reflex on the BAe Hawk, especially when landing, setting about 1.5-2mm of reflex (up) aileron in each aileron surface. While the instructions do not mention this, my past experience reminded me that small scale size wings with high wing loadings usually appreciate the effect: They have less tendency get snappy while slowing. On the DX7, this reflex can be programmed and assigned to the flap switch. Reflex really helps in keeping snap tendencies tamed, which can be especially welcome on landing.

I took the Hawk outside for some more pictures because it just looks stunning!

Flying

The Hawk is a small, fast airplane. In fact, it really moves out! There is no question that this is a go-fast-turn-left airplane. It gets very small quickly so maintaining orientation is key. With the large air intakes and the "cheater" holes in the fuselage bottom, it performed well with the stock 3s setup.

In-flight pics come from Andy Grose. Thanks for these fantastic in-flight shots!

A curious observation related to a power off pitch characteristic with the E-flite BAe Hawk: While it only needed a click or two of elevator trim when flying at full throttle, I noted that when it was powered off abruptly, it pitched up (which was not the intended result). This may indicate that the thrust tube is aligned for full throttle flight.

The Hawk, while it retains energy quite well, is by no means a throttle-off kind of performer. It requires its fair share of power to stay in the air; hardly ever below half throttle and, more often than not, three-quarters-to-full throttle. Speed is what it's all about with these sleek lines.

Takeoff and Landing

Use of the included landing gear is recommended. With the wing loading and the smallish wing, the landing gear was the best option to get this bird airborne. The Hawk picked up speed well but it generally used roughly 200+ft of pavement before rotation. Ground handling was excellent with the trike gear, and the large spread on the main gear made it handle like a sports car. You will need to use up elevator for rotation off the ground: As expected, it will not rotate by itself.

Landings were fairly straightforward when using the reflexed ailerons, using a small amount of UP aileron on each surface.

Care must be taken to keep power on to maintain proper landing speed; EDFs, including this Hawk, require it since they have no direct propeller blast over the control surfaces, and they will become sluggish if you attempt to slow them too much. The resulting attempt to compensate by adding control throw will have undesired results.

Special Flight Characteristics

The BAe Hawk has been at Her Majesty's service as a fine aerobatic performance, but in the case of this rudderless plane, your routine may be a bit more limited.

The E-flite BAe Hawk is exhilarating in the air. It goes exactly where it is pointed, and it travels there in a big hurry. The plane penetrates wind very well, just as one would expect.

The plane stalls very predictably for a model with a low 30s in/oz wing loading. Recovery takes time and altitude, so make sure you have both.

Rolls are magnificent, and the aileron differential dialed into the control surfaces helps with keeping the rolls nice and axial, straight and true.

Loops require full power, so be sure you have altitude and power. Loops can be a bit challenging, however: The vertical performance is not unlimited, and the fact that there's no rudder may mean that the Hawk may want to snap out mid-loop. Then again, if what you're after is looks and speed, the Hawk passes the test with flying colors. Let there be no doubt: There shall be oooohs and aaaaahs from the peanut gallery.

Recommended power system

Power on 3s voltages was just fine, and it did not leave me wanting more. But for the more power crowd, the stock power system will take 4s voltage with shorter flight time, but the EDF 15 motor and Delta-V fan gave excellent performance on 3s voltage.

Is this plane for a beginner?

The E-flite BAe Hawk is for the experienced EDF jet pilot and not for the faint of heart. It is intended for advanced pilots due to the small wing and the speed of the model.

Flight Video

Downloads

Conclusion

This is a beautiful plane. The fiberglass work, wing and tail surfaces were all perfect. It was very impressive, and it is easy to be pleased by the attractive paint scheme and markings. It is a well thought out model as was evidenced by the quick construction.

Assembly of this EDF was quick and straightforward. Thinking of how long that molded fuselage would have taken to build makes you glad for modern ARFs of this build quality. The prefabricated parts fit was good making the assembly process smooth.

The E-flite BAe Hawk is extremely attractive: It looks fast just sitting on the ground! The fiberglass work was impeccable. The paint was amazing and would rival the work done in any modern car body shop. The covering was also tight and expertly applied.

It would have been nice to see a magnet canopy attachment system used just as E-flite does on most of their models. Adding magnet attachments was easy, and the modification took less than 15 minutes.

The Delta-V fan system and motor provided great power on 3s. The Hawk, understandably, gets small in a hurry. 3s power should prove to be more than enough for the average jet jockey.

Keep it turning frequently as you will find it really moves out. Although not intended as an acrobat the Hawk does fine with Split S, immelmann turns, rolls and loops.

Pluses:

  • Looks are second to none with attention to scale detail
  • Great quality, from sheeted wings to composite airframe
  • Hardware is top notch
  • Instruction manual is detailed and in plain English full of helpful details
  • Jig to properly glue the tail angles was a great addition
  • Short assembly time
  • Great performance on 3s

Minuses:

  • Magnet canopy attachment would be welcome
  • Would be nice to see pilots included

Check it out the hobby shop or buy direct at Horizon.

Special thanks to all those who helped with this review!

Last edited by Angela H; Aug 28, 2009 at 01:12 PM..
Thread Tools
Aug 25, 2009, 10:14 AM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
A huge Thank - You to Napo and crew for a number of the pics and vid on the review!!!

Mike
Aug 25, 2009, 12:16 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Soooooooooooooooooo much nicer looking than those foam "things".....
Aug 25, 2009, 12:56 PM
I want to fly everything!
Lance Nordby's Avatar
Nice looking plane. Wish it had retracts. Sure has a lot of cheater holes.

What is the source for the pilot figures?

Is anyone else having trouble with the video?
Aug 25, 2009, 02:36 PM
War Eagle!
Spackles94's Avatar
Mike: It was great collaborating with you on this review. Nicely done! Thanks to the Birmingham R/C Club for its hospitality in letting us use the paved runway, and to Andy Grose for the great photos and video!

That's weird about the video. I'm attaching it below it is in all its embedded glory. Sorry about that!

The pilots came from Horizon, and they're the same ones as in the T-28 Trojan. Here's a picture of them.



Here are a few more photos of the Hawk in action, too. It's a looker for sure!







E-Flite BAe Hawk EDF review for RCGroups, take three (2 min 42 sec)


Retracts would be cool, but the wing is much too thin to accommodate all the innards, methinks...
Last edited by Spackles94; Aug 25, 2009 at 02:44 PM.
Aug 25, 2009, 07:16 PM
We shall serve the Lord
kingsflyer's Avatar
Really nice review Mike. Looks like the Hawk flies pretty fast, but have you had a chance to try it on a 4-cell battery pack yet?
Mike McD
Latest blog entry: LEDs on my T-28
Aug 25, 2009, 08:29 PM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
Thanks Napo!

Nope Mike I have a 4 cell - but the performance was fine (to me) on 3s. So didn't feel the need.

Mike
Aug 25, 2009, 08:36 PM
War Eagle!
Spackles94's Avatar
Mike,

I think you would definitely get shorter takeoff rolls with the 4S (and possibly a bit better vertical performance), but I think the weight penalty would not be worth the upgrade. At least I didn't think so with my Hawk. It's the proverbial weight-vs.-performance-vs.-flight-times dilemma.
Aug 25, 2009, 11:39 PM
Registered User
mavdriver's Avatar
Nice review i flown this plane on a 3200 4s and it flys awsome big lops and great vertical , no problem on the landing reflex helps and bit hotter though .
Aug 25, 2009, 11:55 PM
Registered User
RC-Aeroplanes's Avatar
Came here to quickly check this out and ended up reading the whole thing nice review. And very beautiful shots of the plane, great photography!
Aug 26, 2009, 12:16 AM
War Eagle!
Spackles94's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC-Aeroplanes
Came here to quickly check this out and ended up reading the whole thing nice review. And very beautiful shots of the plane, great photography!
Thanks! The plane is definitely a photogenic, egotistical son of a gun. She likes to pose for the camera.

Here's one extra one from the studio session...



... and another one from the field ...



... and finally a happy camper at the end of a rough, grueling day of photographing and taping with my good buddy Andy.

Aug 29, 2009, 02:48 AM
Watts up ?
OzparkPilot's Avatar
good review, great looking club you guys have. man i would just live there lol..
Aug 29, 2009, 07:23 AM
War Eagle!
Spackles94's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BingWing
good review, great looking club you guys have. man i would just live there lol..
I actually don't usually fly there, I just visited there that one time. But I'm planning on visiting again soon. It has a million-dollar view!

No one's stopping you from moving here...
Aug 29, 2009, 08:09 AM
Registered User
Maxfly54's Avatar
Was just browsing round and came down on this. Excellent review!!!
Aug 30, 2009, 09:11 AM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
Thanks Max....


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