Horizon Hobby / Hangar 9 F6F Hellcat 15cc ARF

Check out this review of the Hangar 9 F6F Hellcat 15cc ARF.

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Hangar 9 F6F Hellcat 15cc ARF
Length:47.8 in (1214.12 mm)
Wingspan:64 in (1625.6 mm)
Weight:9-10 lbs (4.08-4.54 kg) / 10lbs 9oz. as reviewed
Wing Area:698 in≤ (45.1dm≤)
Wing Loading:34.87 oz/ft≤ as reviewed
Servos:Spektrum A6110 HV Standard Servo. 4 for electric, and 5 standard for Gas/Glow
Transmitter:Spektrum DX-18
Receiver:Spektrum AR636 6-Channel AS3X Sport Receiver
Battery:F-Tek 7000mAh 6S 22.2V 30C LiPo
Motor:E-flite Power 60 Brushless Outrunner Motor, 470Kv
ESC:Castle Creations Talon 90-Amp 25V BL ESC W/20amp BEC
Typical Flight Duration:8 minutes of mixed flight
Manufacturer:Hangar 9
Available From:Horizon Hobby
Price:$299.99

From the Hangar 9 Hellcat 15cc product page ....

"At a dire moment of WWII the U.S. Navy was desperate for a fighter capable of returning the wallop enemy aircraft were serving. Grumman Aircraft answered the call with not just a capable aircraft, but a match that could be produced quickly and in massive numbers. Pilots of the new F6F Hellcat returned fire and then some by downing more foes over the Pacific than any other aircraft. Today, the roar of a Hellcat is an air show treat that embodies the rewards freedom and hard work has to offer.

The Hangar 9ģ F6F Hellcat 15cc Sport Scale ARF is a warbird model designed for legendary fun. Lightweight laser-cut construction combines with quality craftsmanship to deliver a durable, all-wood airframe. The result is an outstanding appearance with great performance and friendly flying manners. Its genuine UltraCoteģ film covering is professionally finished with a look thatís classic. Standard fixed landing gear feature stability and ruggedness for grass field operation. Plus, functional electric retracts are a drop-in option.

The basic build is simple so that your time at the bench can brief and enjoyable as possible. The hardware package is complete with everything needed for an internal-combustion or electric power installation. Choose a 15cc gas engine such as the easy-to-use Evolutionģ 15GX, and get long flights that cost only pennies per flight. Engineered into the fuselage is a large top-hatch that allows convenient access and quick electric flight battery changes. The fiberglass cowling provides enough space to conceal any of the recommended engine or motor recommendations. The two-piece, plug-in wing design includes tool-free assembly in addition to ease of transport and storage.

In the air, this Hellcat proves its heritage with maneuverability thatís rock-solid, friendly stall manners and a feel at the controls that will have you wanting more. Whether this F6F Hellcat is your first warbird or a fun addition to a growing fleet, donít be surprised if a Hangar 9 ARF is all youíll ever want to fly."

I won't go into detail here about the importance of the Hellcat as a capable military fighter. There is plenty of information available online from a simple Google search. What I will address is my wanting a capable RC warbird that could possibly be an every day flyer. I have other warbirds that fly incredibly well but they are of a size that makes them less than ideal for a somewhat quick trip to the field, especially if I am wanting to pack another plane as well. I had hit a stage in my RC hobby where the bigger flies better sentiment had taken hold, but bigger in my case also meant more field set up and tear down and a little more hassle getting them to and from the field. When the chance to review the Hangar 9 F6F Hellcat 15cc ARF presented itself I was more than interested. A few years back I sold a Hangar 9 60 sized P-47 that was converted to electric and had regretted that decision. The Hangar 9 F6F Hellcat 15cc ARF seemed like the perfect replacement! Hangar 9 touts the F6F Hellcat 15cc ARF's rock-solid maneuverability and also say "don't be surprised if a Hangar 9 ARF is all you'll ever want to fly." Well, let's see how surprised I am!

Kit Contents

First Impressions

The kit box was shipped inside of another box and arrived without damage. The kit contents were packed well and fit nicely in the box to help minimize damage. The sub-assemblies were individually wrapped in thin plastic bags. The bags would not prevent certain damage to the airframe as say bubble wrap might, but it is nice to see them individually wrapped.

The individual sub-assemblies appeared to be built well and were light. The Ultracoat covering was bubble free and was tight against the wood fuselage and wood wings, but there were some creases in the covering. If you have ever covered a bare airframe with film covering you might know that if tight wrinkles are ironed over, or if the film isn't stretched properly around a surface, it can create creases when heated down with an iron or heat gun. There were a few instances of these creases on the airframe and they are noticeable when fairly close, but seem to disappear into the blue covering as you step back from the airframe.

I knew that the wings did not have flaps but I was somehow hoping the factory would mess up and mine would show up with them ... no such luck. The horizontal stabs, elevators, vertical fin, and rudder were all wrinkle and crease free and covered well. The fiberglass cowl was very rigid without feeling too heavy, and it was painted well. The cowl also matches the covering on the airframe very well, which isn't always the case with ARF's. The gear doors are also fiberglass and very rigid. They might be a little heavy for gear doors, but this is very welcomed since they are definitely not flimsy like many ARF gear doors are.

After removing the factory installed hatch bolts (which actually wasn't too easy, they were very tight because they were inserted through the fuse at an angle ... more on this later including their look), I tried to remove the hatch to peek inside the fuselage but I couldn't get it off and I was pulling pretty hard. I decided to stop before I broke something. I even went back and checked the manual to make sure I wasn't missing something. After assessing the situation a bit further, I decided to slide a small ruler between the hatch and the fuse and tried to pry it off. It eventually popped off with quite a bit of force. A quick inspection revealed that there was excess glue at the back of the hatch and on the fuse that had glued it into place. The Hatch is fairly large and when removed reveals great access to the fuse and future components. At this point, all of the assemblies looked to be of good quality. The only thing I had questions about were the wheel well liners, since they seemed a little flimsy, and the two plastic bolts that are on the outside of the fuse when the hatch is installed. Overall, I was very impressed and ready to move on with the build!

Additional components provided for completion

The major additional components used to complete this review are noted in the pictures below. Not shown in this section is the prop required. I also decided to run my ailerons on separate channels so I used an additional servo extension for that. Another extension was also needed for the ESC.

Assembly

The Hangar 9 Hellcat 15cc ARF instruction manual is a printed copy. I always like to sit down on the couch and read through the manual before I start a project. Sometimes I have to print the manual from a digital file since I also like building with a printed copy. I do enough staring at computer screens at work. A digital version can also be found on the Horizon Hobby website here.

Note, my construction sequence is slightly out of order compared to the manual since I was waiting for some backordered parts and skipped some sections until those parts arrived.

Wing

The wing is provided with the ailerons held onto the wing with CA hinges, but they are not glued in. I removed the ailerons from the wing and proceeded to install the control horns first. The manual outlines an easy process for partially sanding the control horns and installing them into the ailerons without any excess epoxy slop.

The wing panels are provided with the servo hatches and aileron extension pull strings taped in place. The great thing about the servo hatches are the mounting tabs for the servos are already glued to the hatches. After the ailerons were glued in place using the provided CA hinges, I mounted the aileron servos on their sides on the hatches with the hardware provided with the servos. The ailerons are connected directly to the aileron servos using the pushrod hardware provided.

Empennage

For me, gluing a horizontal stab onto the back of a fuse is the most stressful part of most builds. I always want to make sure the stab is properly aligned and agonize over every measurement before finally gluing it down. I always mount the wing and elevators as well during this step to help with alignment. The stab comes provided with covering cut away at the center contact area ... a nice plus. I glued the stab on with epoxy while making sure it was properly aligned. Push pins held it in place as the epoxy set.

The Elevator control horn was mounted using the same method as the aileron control horns. The elevator is mounted to the stab with CA hinges. There is an elevator joining wire that connects the two elevator halves. Normally, I wouldn't say much about a joining wire system, but this was the best fitting slop free factory done joining wire (with pre-drilled elevator holes) I have ever seen on an ARF.

The vertical fin is glued in place on the back of the fuse with epoxy. The only thing to mention here is how nice it is that the filler blocks on the side of the fin are shaped and covered as part of the fin, not separate items. The rudder control horn is epoxied onto the rudder using the same method outlined for the ailerons, but the rudder control horn must be angled down to prevent interference with the elevator. The rudder is then glued in place on the fin using CA hinges.

Tail Wheel Assembly

The tailwheel assembly is very straight forward to install. I was happy to see that the tail wheel bracket was factory installed in the fuselage. All that was left was to slide the tail wheel strut into the bracket and steering arm, and tighten the collar screw down to hold it all in.

A factory painted plastic cover is provided that covers the tail mount mechanism, but it must be trimmed first before it can be installed. I initially made my rough cut on the cover with a medium pair of scissors, but quickly switched to a very small pair since there was some chipping of the paint with the larger pair. The manual recommends gluing the cover on after hooking up the tail wheel control rods, but I chose to tape mine on instead. It will be much easier to get it off without chipping the paint if needed.

The rudder and elevator servos are mounted in their respective slots on a tray that is factory mounted in the fuselage. A separate control rod is run off of the rudder servo to control the tail wheel.

Main Landing Gear and Doors

The Hangar 9 Hellcat 15cc is provided with a set of fixed main landing gear, but I imagine those will be unused during most builds as the optional electric main gear retracts and optional struts are mostly a drop in fit. The optional retracts and struts look great and provide more stability over stock wire struts.

The wing is provided without the covering cut out for retract installation for those that stick with the provided gear configuration. For the optional retracts, take care when cutting out the covering and keep the cut covering piece as large as possible ... you never know when you might need a covering patch.

As provided, I needed to cut the wheel well liners for proper fitment. I recommend using a small pair of curved scissors here. Take your time and make small cuts. The paint on these parts can chip somewhat easily and the plastic is thinner in the corners. After trimming, I epoxied the liners in place while holding them down with tape as the epoxy set.

Before adding the optional struts, I needed to trim the stock retract wire struts back with a Dremel to form a "strut pin" that the optional struts attach to. I then slid the optional struts onto the strut pin and secured them in place with the setscrews on the side of the struts. The Gear doors are held in place with small screws into the gear door mounts that are slid over the struts. Be careful here not to tighten the set screws too tight on the gear door mounts, doing so will result in the strut not being able to move up and down properly. I needed to add one washer to the top screw where it is inserted into the gear door mount in order to help the door sit properly on the top strut where it goes into the retract. My gear doors do not sit completely flat against the wing when the gear are retracted, but it is very close.

Cockpit / Hatch

As mentioned in the first impressions section, the hatch came unintentionally glued to the fuse.

I glued the pilot into the hatch using Goop. After the Goop dried, I prepared the hatch and canopy by lightly roughing up the contact area and then glued the canopy to the hatch with RC56.

The Hatch is held in place on the fuse with two bolts; one through each side of the hatch. After gluing the hatch on and trying to reinstall the bolts they did not line up at all with the nuts in the fuse. At first, I couldn't see what the problem was since the hatch did come on the fuse with the bolts installed (although they were tight and inserted at an angle). The issue turned out to be the angle of the back of the hatch preventing the hatch from moving all the way to the back of the hatch saddle on the fuse.

Initially, after breaking the hatch away from the fuse, the back angle of the hatch had changed, and when I glued the canopy onto the hatch it then set this angle in place preventing the hatch from moving all the way back on the fuse. In order to fix this, I had to break the glue joint at the back of the canopy, push in the top of the hatch back to match the angle on the fuse, and then re-glue the canopy to the hatch at this angle. I was now able to get the hatch to fit on the canopy with the bolts inserted, but the bolts were at an angle and a tight fit because of that angle, which now resembled how they originally fit.

Motor Installation

Since I was installing an electric motor on the Hellcat, I needed to install the electric motor box first. In order to mount the motor box a set of holes must be drilled into the main firewall. Many ARF kits provide a paper template to facilitate the hole drilling, but the Hangar 9 Hellcat comes with a nice wood template that makes this process a bit easier than using a paper template.

The motor box is held on with a set of bolts and blind nuts, and the motor is held onto the motor box with bolts and nuts as well. I installed the ESC mount to the bottom of the fuse with screws and ran the ESC wires through a hole I drilled near the firewall.

Cowl Mounting

The fiberglass cowl is very solid without being overly heavy. I was also impressed with how well the paint matched the film covering. Before installing the cowl, the dummy radial must be trimmed for fitment of the electric motor and for a passage for incoming cooling air.

The pictures below outline my method for getting nice perfect circles when needed in model building.

Before mounting the cowl, locations need to be marked properly for the screw holes in the cowl and on the cowl mounting blocks on the fuselage. A simple paper transfer method outlined in the manual and in the pictures below helps insure a proper fit. The cowl is held on with four small screws.

Decals

The decals provided in the Hellcat kit are self-adhesive. Two different numerical themes of this paint scheme are provided ... "32" and "9". I decided to use the Windex floating method to install the decals. It provided for a smoother adhesion and allows the decal to be moved around before being placed. If you use this method you must be sure to 'squeegee" out all of the excess Windex or you will have a less than stellar final look. Also note that this will cloud the decals for a few days while all of the Windex dries out. Having said that, I really wish the decals were vinyl.

Finishing Touches

The battery tray is mounted inside the fuse by inserting two tabs into the firewall and then holding it down at the rear with two screws. I had to sand the front of my tray slightly to get the screws in the back of the tray to line up properly with the mounting holes.

The Antennae mast, which has a 4mm banana plug on the bottom of it, slips easily into a 4mm receptacle on the top of the fuse that holds the mast securely. Very clever! I wish Hangar 9 could come up with a solution as clever as this to hold on the hatch.

With the Hellcat completed, it was now time to attach the wing panels (plastic bolts go through the side of the inside fuse and into the wing panels), set the control throws and C.G. the airframe. Below is a composite picture from the manual of the control throws and C.G. With the plane inverted and the wheels retracted, the Hellcat balanced (without adding weight) with the battery exactly one inch back from the firewall.

*At this point I would usually take some power readings with a wattmeter, but I was unable to find either of my wattmeters due to them still being packed somewhere after a recent move. I had an APC glow prop on during the initial build but switched to a 16x8 3 blade prop before the first flights. I probably should had made sure to find my wattmeter before I did this, but more on that later!

Completion

The Hangar 9 Hellcat 15cc ARF looks great as can be seen in the pictures below. I was excited to have the Hellcat finished and definitely ready to get it in the air!

At the Field

Flying

Taking Off

For the maiden flight...

After doing a range check and also checking my control throws again, I taxied out onto the runway. The wind was fairly strong but was mostly down the runway with some 3/4 crosswind gusts thrown in. After composing myself and pointing the Hellcat straight down the runway, I slowly began to push up the throttle and the Hellcat responded positively but veered slightly left. I fed in a little right rudder but the wind had shifted slightly from the left which was impacting the roll path. I added a little more throttle to get a little more positive control with the rudder and the hellcat lifted off almost immediately. I was surprised at how little runway it used to lift off but I was heading into a fairly strong wind.

After liftoff it was obvious I would need a little more trim than "normal". The Hellcat was climbing at a good rate and also banking left. During setup, I had set the elevator level with the stabs and the ailerons level with the trailing edge of the wing. I flew around at just under half throttle in slow circuits and trimmed the model for level flight. The Hellcat took about 13 click of down elevator and 6 clicks of right aileron to fly level hands off (this translated into 4mm of down elevator and 2.5mm of right aileron). Although the maiden takeoff and climb-out wasn't as smooth as I was hoping for (wind and trim) it wasn't anything to be fearful of and the Hellcat remained positive in control the whole time.

Subsequent take offs have proven to be very uneventful as far as stress level is concerned. The Hellcat does not need a lot of runway before it lifts off. With the Hellcat, I find the smoothest takeoffs start with me slowly advancing the throttle to get the model rolling then fairly quickly but smoothly going to about half throttle as I feed in some up elevator. If I advance the throttle slowly during takeoff, I find the Hellcat is a little more likely to veer off of a straight path and track to the sides. It's best to get some air moving over the rudder and use it to help you stay straight instead of relying on the tailwheel.

Landing

First landing...

I spent the better part of the first flight making trim modifications, getting used to the flight characteristics, and trying aerobatics so now it was time to set up for a landing. Before attempting my first landing, I wanted to try a few low speed stall tests. Low speed stalls with the Hellcat were at what seemed like a crawl and almost always straight ahead and easy to recover from (just add a little power and pull up slowly), but there were a few times where it stalled and rolled to the right. With that in mind, I felt confident the landing would be uneventful.

The wind was blowing at a decent clip and this was my first landing with the Hellcat so I decided to land by going out fairly far and coming in at a shallow glide slope. This would require a little more throttle control since I wouldn't be using a steep decent to keep the speed up and the wind was blowing fairly hard. The Hellcat settles in quite nicely at lower speed. Although I did have the AS3X active on my Spektrum receiver, the Hellcat was getting bumped around a little because I had the AS3X on a very low setting for the first flight. As the Hellcat got closer to the runway I slowly began to reduce the throttle and add up elevator. I touched down on the mains first but the tailwheel touch wasn't far behind. I carried power all the way to touchdown. The Hellcat slowed quickly on the runway given the headwind. The control from touchdown until the time the Hellcat stopped on the runway was very positive. At no point did I feel like it was getting away from me.

Subsequent landings have been uneventful and stress free, although I did have an instance where I tried to land with a little too much speed that ended with a few bounces. I recommend letting the main gear settle first and then let the tail fall as the landing speed reduces. Although "three point" landings are possible they are a little harder to pull off smoothly. Remember, the Hellcat does not have flaps so landing in a direct headwind is a little beneficial. Although, for a warbird I think the wing loading is pretty good and don't anticipate any issues landing in no wind conditions without flaps ... although I have yet to encounter that at this time of the year in Central Ohio. Do not try to force the Hellcat on the ground too soon, as mentioned landings can get bouncy if you try to land with too much speed.

Basic Flight

After the Hellcat was trimmed on the first flight, I flew a couple of circuits around the field to get used to the airframe. This is one of those airframes that I got comfortable with real fast. The Hellcat responds well to control inputs and tracks very well. The Hellcat is not a precision machine that tracks like a pattern plane, but it also isn't somewhat loose like a Cub or high wing trainer is. I have a few warbirds that need a bit of rudder in moderate banking turns, but I didn't feel that this airframe needed those corrections. I couldn't imagine feeling much more relaxed flying an RC wood warbird as fast as I did than I was flying the Hellcat. This thing is fun! The Hellcat cruises well at just over half throttle and as you can see in the video, I spent most of my time flying in this range. The Hellcat is obviously more responsive on high rates but I prefer to fly it on my mid-rate settings, which are right in the middle of the high rate and low rate settings noted in the manual.

Basic aerobatic maneuvers with the Hellcat are easily executed. The power provided by the E-flite Power 60 470kv motor is more than adequate for all of the maneuvers the full-scale airframe can perform and more. The Hellcat will climb straight up as far I can see after a fast pass at full throttle. I chose to use the 16x8 3 blade prop, as a prop was not provided...but see my section labeled "important update" later in the review. I would imagine it would be faster and possibly have a little more vertical with an APC 2 blade prop, but as you can see in the video at the 3:40 mark, the Hellcat is plenty fast with this prop.

I tried a set of stall turns, which are very graceful and almost effortless with a moderate amount of rudder at the top of the maneuver. The airframe does have a slight hint of wiggle coming back down but looks great none the less. The rudder is effective in flight but not overly so. Most of my stall turns were done on medium rate. Inverted flight is very easy with the Hellcat! Only a small amount of down elevator is needed to remain inverted. I was so used to the amount of elevator needed to fly one of my jets inverted, that the first time I tried flying inverted with the Hellcat it climbed immediately. It is very fun to fly the Hellcat inverted even for extended periods of time. My impression of the Hellcat during basic flight were very positive, so I was ready to try a little something more.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The Hellcat does well with sport scale aerobatics and the pull from the E-flite Power 60 provides plenty of confidence to try vertical maneuvers. On high rates, the Hellcat will snap well but the snaps are not particularly violent ... which is just fine for a graceful warbird. The Hellcat tends to slightly over-rotate so planning ahead during snaps will ensure you exit the maneuver where you were hoping. The Hellcat rolls with ease and the roll is actually fairly axial for a low wing warbird. Depending on your transmitter rates and forward speed, little to no correction during inverted flight is necessary. As mentioned in the basic flight section, inverted flight is easy and very little up elevator is needed during inverted flight. Loops can be as big as I liked and the Hellcat tracks well through the entire maneuver without any sign of falling out at the top as long as the speed is kept up.

I was eager to try some point rolls and knife edge flight since the Hellcat has a fairly nice locked in feel for a warbird. Point rolls are easily accomplished with a minimal amount of rudder and elevator at faster speeds. A nice slow point roll requires a little more rudder on the edges of the point roll but there is still little elevator needed to remain level while inverted. Extended knife edge is a little difficult with the Hellcat. The Hellcat will pull toward the side as the rudder tends to roll the airframe. The Hellcat will perform other basic aerobatic maneuvers with ease such as split-s turns, Cuban eights, reverse Cuban eights and immelman turns.

Is This for a Beginner?

The Hangar 9 F6F Hellcat 15cc ARF is definitely not for a true beginner but it would be a good first warbird after a pilot has mastered a trainer and is comfortable with a tail dragger.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Normally I wouldn't include an unedited video with a review, but I think getting a sense of how well the Hellcat flies and for the length of time it flies is best shown in a full flight unedited video.

Horizon Hobby / Hangar 9 F6F Hellcat 15cc ARF - Unedited Flight (9 min 57 sec)

Important update!

After the first 5 flights I wanted to get a sense for how the 16x8 2 blade prop would compare to the 16x8 3 blade since I felt a 2 blade prop would be more commonly used with the Hellcat. Luckily for me, I was able to find my wattmeter in the meantime. What my wattmeter showed I wasn't really ready for. With the Master Air Screw 16x8 3-blade prop the motor was pulling 110 amps at 2400 watts. Wow, and oops ... way over the rating of the motor! After seeing the suggested props in the instruction manual ... that the motor would be good for up to a 17x7 prop I figured I might be a little over the rating of the motor but felt it would be ok since my past experience with E-flite motors shows them to be cautious with their ratings. Also, I have a 500kv motor running the same 16x8 3-blade prop for well over 30 flights without issue, so I guessed a 470kv motor would be fine. Guess I better go back and check my other motor as well. Lets just say, at this point I don't see going back to the 16x8 3-blade prop since the motor pulls way too much current with it. The flights I did have with the 3-blade prop were completely without incident but it's not worth the risk of both the motor and ESC. With the APC E 16x8 2-blade prop the motor pulls 82 amps at 1824 watts. Much better for the motor and ESC! I will be sticking with this prop for now.

Conclusion

Let's go back and look at what the Hangar 9 product page says... "In the air, this Hellcat proves its heritage with maneuverability thatís rock-solid, friendly stall manners and a feel at the controls that will have you wanting more. Whether this F6F Hellcat is your first warbird or a fun addition to a growing fleet, donít be surprised if a Hangar 9 ARF is all youíll ever want to fly." They won't get too much of an argument from me there except for Hangar 9 being all I would ever want to fly. I don't recall Hangar 9 making any jets, so I guess I will have to go somewhere else for those...for now. I have come to expect great things from Hangar 9 and they have delivered for the most part with the Hellcat 15cc ARF.

So, where did they come up short with the Hellcat? Well, I realize this is a sport scale plane and they are trying to keep it simple and light but ... no flaps? Yes, the full-scale Hellcat has somewhat difficult flaps to reproduce on a model but this is sport scale so how about some sport scale flaps? Now, in Hangar 9's defense the Hellcat doesn't really need flaps to land easily but it sure would be much better to have them, and it would just look better on a nice shallow glide path with them hanging down. Where else did they come up short? The hatch retention method. There are two small plastic thumb screws that go into each side of the hatch / canopy assembly to hold it to the fuse. The system is a little awkward and the look of two plastic bolts on the side of the hatch is a bit odd. Hangar 9 came up with a great system to hold on the top fuse antennae mast (4mm banana plug). Iím sure they could have come up with something just as slick without having two bolts on the outside of the fuse.

The finished airframe looks great minus a few unremovable but mostly unnoticeable creases in the film finish and a few decals that didn't lay flat on the radius of the cowl. Given how good it looks, you would hope it would fly just as good but it actually flies better. This truly is an easy flying sport plane in scale clothing. This is the warbird that can easily be a "daily flyer". One of the big pluses of this airframe given how well it flies is how LONG it flies on the recommended battery pack. I have been averaging 8-minute-long flights, and sometimes slightly more depending on how much full throttle I use. Overall, I couldn't imagine myself being too much happier with this airframe...except if it had flaps. The electric version with the E-flite power 60 provides more than adequate power. I am very excited to have the Hangar 9 Hellcat 15cc ARF in my Hangar now and look forward to flying it as much as possible. I already have multiple offers to take it off my hands after the review is done...sorry guys, itís all mine!

Pros:

  • Overall Appearance. The Hangar 9 Hellcat 15cc ARF is a great sport scale rendition of its full-scale counterpart.
  • Great flight characteristics!! Can easily be a daily flyer. Tracks well and settles into the landing pattern extremely well. Long flight times with the recommended battery pack!
  • Fit and finish. The fuselage, wings, and tail surfaces are built well. The covering is very good but not completely great. The fiberglass cowl is solid without being overly heavy and is painted well.
  • High level of prefabrication. Things like having the covering cut away on the servo cover slots are a plus.
  • Solid design. The airframe is somewhat light for an airframe this size and construction material, while still being strong.
  • Large canopy hatch with easy access into the fuselage.
  • Great power with the recommended E-flite power system.
  • Quality hardware and accessories provided and worked as intended.
  • Instruction manual. Horizon Hobby / Hangar 9 provides an exceptional printed manual that is easy to follow.
  • The optional retracts are easily installed.
  • Flight time. I averaged 8 minutes of mixed flying with plenty of aerobatics!

Neutral:

  • It would be much better if the decals were vinyl or water transfers but they did work so I will leave them in this section but there was some slight lifting on the cowl decal.
  • The main tires are a little odd looking but work as provided and are very light for their size.
  • As received, the hatch was stuck to the fuse with some excess glue that was used during factory construction. I had to wedge a small ruler in between the hatch and the fuse to break it loose.
  • The wheel well liners are a little fragile, and the paint can chip easily if care isn't taken when cutting them for fitment into the wing.

Cons:

  • Lack of flaps. yes, I realize this is a sport scale warbird and Hangar 9 is trying limit complexity and weight but how about some sport scale flaps?
  • The method for holding on the hatch is a bit awkward and looks odd. There has to be a quicker and better method for getting the hatch on and off that doesn't result in two bolts sitting on the outside of the fuselage.

Wishes:

  • FLAPS!!!

  • Thanks to Mike Redenshek, Mike Magnacca, and Dan White for their video and photographic services.

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Last edited by kevin; Oct 02, 2018 at 07:25 PM..
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Nov 21, 2018, 05:48 PM
Registered RC NUT!
The Snake's Avatar
Nice review Kevin! The power 60 is strong enough for vertical performance?
Nov 21, 2018, 10:09 PM
Registered User
kevin's Avatar
Yes. As noted in my review, keep an eye on amps if you go with a 3 blade. 2 blade was pretty much the same speed (much less amps) but a little less pull.
Nov 22, 2018, 01:37 AM
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Caddguy6's Avatar
Nice review, it'll help with my build in January. Received the model today, quite nice, also noticed a product sticker on a flap of the outer carton, manufacturer: Seagull Models. That explains the excellent quality of the airframe construction. Btw, my fuselage hatch just came right out after struggling with those blasted plastic retainer screws, gotta come up with a better method.
Thanks again Kevin and Happy Thanksgiving!
Nov 23, 2018, 12:40 AM
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Kevin Cox's Avatar
Nice review Kevin. Our local hobby shop has one and I thought it would be a fun sport scale model.
Nov 23, 2018, 07:43 PM
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kevin's Avatar
Thanks for the kind words guys. You would definitely like it Kevin. Perfect for E-Jets &E-Warbirds!
Nov 23, 2018, 08:15 PM
Registered User
Nice flying. I was surprised to see how heavy it is for a relatively small airplane.
Nov 24, 2018, 12:21 PM
Registered User
kevin's Avatar
Not overly heavy for an arf wood warbird but you could definitely lighten it up by going with a lighter battery. This has a 6s 7000 in it. Flights are plenty long. You could easily use a 5000 or maybe 4500.


Quote:
Originally Posted by viva_peru
Nice flying. I was surprised to see how heavy it is for a relatively small airplane.
Nov 27, 2018, 01:22 PM
Modeling Retread
Seems like it would be more versatile if the whole thing had been blue and the white rudder, vertical stabilizer had been decals.
Latest blog entry: Sad Pilgramidge
Dec 01, 2018, 03:01 PM
Ldm
Ldm
Ldm
Ldm's Avatar
Cool plane looks nice and I am sure like the original sport version 66” Corsair , this is a nice flyer .
I was surprised however to see the nagative comments on the actual purchase area on the Tower /Horizon website
Dec 02, 2018, 11:09 AM
Arrowhead
I’ll have to check those out! I’ve been biding my time, hoping for a sale before I snag one of these. No flying till May or June now, so no hurry for me.
Dec 02, 2018, 11:46 AM
Onward and Upward
CatManDu's Avatar
Needs flaps.
Dec 03, 2018, 01:32 AM
Registered User
Anyone using retracts other than the recommended stock? The recommended retracts are out of stock at Horizon with no ETA and are stupid expensive the other few places that have them in stock.
Dec 06, 2018, 10:39 AM
its TALON TIME!
corsair nut's Avatar
nice review. yeah....lack of flaps kept me from getting excited about this one.
Dec 09, 2018, 10:44 PM
UAS Pilot - FAA# *******HRK
CryHavoc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickydee
Anyone using retracts other than the recommended stock? The recommended retracts are out of stock at Horizon with no ETA and are stupid expensive the other few places that have them in stock.
I'm using the FMS ones for the 1700mm planes with a set of 140mm HK struts. You have to widen the fit between the stock rails a smidge. The side-to-side mounting hole spacing is almost perfect so I used the stock two front mounting holes on the FMS units but the for-aft hole spacing is way off. You'll need to either redrill the stock mounts, or drill new holes in the FMS which is what I did. I'll try to get smaller pics at some point as I can't seem to upload them right now.

The only other issue is that the FMS only retract through 90deg (the E-Flites are 95deg if I recall) so I made some 5deg wedges to cant the wheels forward a tad but don't know if I'll use them because it doesn't seem tippy as is.

Mike


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