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Jun 02, 2019, 09:57 AM
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jfetter's Avatar
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Discussion

Is the foam jet both the revolution and potential slow death of EDF?


First, this is not a rant, it is not a slam, I am not looking down in any way on foamies! I have several (Habu, Habu2, UMX Habu, UMX Mig 15, Mig 29 vectored thrust), this is just an open conversation.

What I am asking is if anyone else worries with the recent total saturation of the market with cheap EDF's, many scale, that are taking over? My concerns (other than being throw-away foam) are whether this helps or hurts the progression of electric jets? The number of scale jets is another thing, certainly not every military jet fly's well or can be considered entry level, is any of this even considered by the vendors, or by the buyers?

The complexity of some of the designs, the almost industry-wide lack of serious attention to retracts, being used mostly by entry-level to mid-level pilots and the tendency to suck? totally under-designed, prone to fail, sometimes falling apart on first landing, the gear is almost universally a total and utter failure in design and execution.

Finally, is any of this leading to life-long electric pilots or making many give up and drop-out after a fair amount of frustration? I remember 2010 and thinking electrics were taking over, now I see a lot of foam but wonder where the larger jets are, the new composite "designed for electric" jets are and the guys trying to get refrigerators with wings strapped on, to fly (large scale!).

Is the state of electric jets positive and growing? Other than BVM and maybe Skymaster, who else has a competitive electric line of models (even BVM has me slightly concerned, the trend in larger, massive, my [email protected]& is bigger than yours) is more prevalent than ever, will that cut into future electric development? Do you feel the foam jet has a place or is being pushed and over-saturating the market without consideration for how and who fly's them? Does it matter?

Jack
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Jun 02, 2019, 10:08 AM
Big gov never Works
St. Martin's Avatar
Hi Jack, I think the influx of the inefficient high blade chinese fans, is a step backwards. Most people using these, can not even compare them with efficient fan units, as they joined the jet flyer ranks with 0 experience, and sold in by sound and price. I will say this: foamies and ARF's has increased the market so vastly, that we can now get items we never had and prices that are very good. You just have to identify what is good, when you click on the "buy".

Fuzz
Jun 02, 2019, 10:10 AM
HAL... Open the damn doors!
jfetter's Avatar
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BTW, who am I?! I am no purist or even builder, I assemble composite jets and love the hobby. I don't at all question why someone would like foam, it is easy, fast, cheap (relatively) and has options that any jet-loving kid-to-adult will love. I simply question where the hobby is going, will it be totally throw-away at some point and are larger, competitive, comparable-to-turbine jets making any progress? I'm electric for life, is that still common or are we a dying breed?

Jack
Jun 02, 2019, 12:14 PM
Registered User
.

Here is My 1 cents.

I started RC in 2000 when the polpular
Screaming Zagi and the slowstick are
The norm and Nicad , Nimh. What a joke.

Then came Gws with some scales like
The Zero, Mustang, Lipo ...
Then the phase 3 F16 EDF , until now
They are still great flyers, not really scale though.

I always go to RC airshows, watching and
dreaming about Flying Turbine jets but
knowing budget will never Allow me to fly
Turbine Jets.

Then lately, those Freewing scale Jets kill
My dream of flying turbine jets. No need
Anymore. For example, A FW F16 70mm
With XRP 14 blade 70mm fan with 2200kv
inrunner, 6S 5200 can fly 6 minutes, performs
like An expensive turbine jet with only $400, $500.
Way Much less than a turbine jet. :-)

Now if they come out with new better battery,
Lighter and more powerful. That that would
Be a perfect world.

I don't think EDF is dying. It is getting
Much better over time.

Nowadays, so many great EDF foamy jets
Out there. Hard to make a choice. Just
Pick yours that is also your favorite full
scale jet and enjoy flying.


Until then. Keep flying whatever you have and love .
:-)


.
Last edited by flylow2011; Jun 02, 2019 at 12:25 PM.
Jun 02, 2019, 12:32 PM
HAL... Open the damn doors!
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Agreed with most but not the part about equal to turbines. The major part being grass ops, the typical foamy gear will disintegrate on takeoff and landing in grass over a short time and the size of the jets also is important as larger is easier to see, can operate in windy weather (including cross-wind landings) and typically just fly better.

I would like to see longer flight times too but the energy density of LiPo's is more than good enough for larger setups at least, they just aren't common or seem to be something the foam companies are interested in. I am interested in larger jets but not turbines, for me it has to be electric and for that we need innovation, something I worry may be over...

Jack
Jun 02, 2019, 12:54 PM
Registered User
The overwhelming majority of foam at our club field suggests a trend toward disposable equipment and low investment in time, money and skills. This amounts to suicide for those of us flying full-scale homebuilts- if you cheap out on equipment and don't stay current in piloting, you die.

Electrics may well be here to stay for the forseeable future. Meanwhile, I'm stocking up on the stuff I may not be able to buy in future (BVM sportjets, EVF units and pneumatic retracts).
Jun 02, 2019, 01:40 PM
Registered User
I don't think anyone who fly's a foam 70mm, 90mm or 105mm jet would have bought a Skymaster or BVM jet, completely different market.


As for large scale quality edf airframe manufacturers well that's a extremely small niche market these days, I can hardly think of anyone over this side of the pond that fly's a 120mm or bigger edf as turbine is the norm.

When you get to that size most guys who can afford the ticket price of a quality airframe can usually afford a turbine to go with it.
Jun 02, 2019, 03:49 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfetter
Agreed with most but not the part about equal to turbines. The major part being grass ops, the typical foamy gear will disintegrate on takeoff and landing in grass over a short time and the size of the jets also is important as larger is easier to see, can operate in windy weather (including cross-wind landings) and typically just fly better.

I would like to see longer flight times too but the energy density of LiPo's is more than good enough for larger setups at least, they just aren't common or seem to be something the foam companies are interested in. I am interested in larger jets but not turbines, for me it has to be electric and for that we need innovation, something I worry may be over...

Jack

Most of stock foam EDF jets till now
Could not fly as good as any turbine jet.
Flyer needs to up grade power to better
performance. Wind is no problem at all.
Taking off, Landing on grass is :-(
I know it is hard to believe that.

... now I dont want to fly turbine jets anymore.

The only 2 things that EDF does not have
As turbine is the sound and long air time.
And that is it .


.
Jun 02, 2019, 03:57 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanflyer
The overwhelming majority of foam at our club field suggests a trend toward disposable equipment and low investment in time, money and skills. This amounts to suicide for those of us flying full-scale homebuilts- if you cheap out on equipment and don't stay current in piloting, you die.

Electrics may well be here to stay for the forseeable future. Meanwhile, I'm stocking up on the stuff I may not be able to buy in future (BVM sportjets, EVF units and pneumatic retracts).

The EDF is here to stay and keep growing,
Getting better with time for sure.

:-)
Jun 02, 2019, 04:07 PM
HAL... Open the damn doors!
jfetter's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raydar
I don't think anyone who fly's a foam 70mm, 90mm or 105mm jet would have bought a Skymaster or BVM jet, completely different market.


As for large scale quality edf airframe manufacturers well that's a extremely small niche market these days, I can hardly think of anyone over this side of the pond that fly's a 120mm or bigger edf as turbine is the norm.

When you get to that size most guys who can afford the ticket price of a quality airframe can usually afford a turbine to go with it.
Once you get that size the price is pretty much the same...

Jack
Jun 02, 2019, 05:03 PM
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Lynxman's Avatar
I think foam jets make EDF accessible to a lot more people, who would never ever get a composite EDF jet.

In my opinion foamies should be light. Foam lost that quality when they started making almost solid EPO planes. Now they are just as heavy, if not heavier than, fiberglass planes. For that reason I think foamies are getting worse.
Jun 02, 2019, 05:27 PM
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4stripes's Avatar
Love the foam jet revolution!
And the Chinese cheap fans! There is a lot of misinformation of how "inefficient" they are that is continually perpetuated right here on this forum. Sure the ARF's have some quality issues, but doesn't the modeller have some responsibility to check things out anymore? A BVM jet doesn't just fly out of the box without careful assembly by the "builder".
I have built and flown composite and truthfully don't see any advantage. That goes for balsa too. It is hard if not impossible to build a jet as light as is available today made from foam. Just as in full scale flying, a lighter plane just flies better. Climbs faster with less power and can land at slower and safer speeds.
Do most models even come close to scale speeds? No because they are too heavy IMO. Compare any video of a jet flying an airshow routine to a model doing the same, and it becomes obvious, the models fly too fast. I wish the foam jets would go back to their lighter roots to take full advantage of their amazing potential. Flyfly models were light years ahead of their time but unfortunately the hardware wasn't ready back then and FF didn't put enough thought into the basic structure for longevity. Nothing a typical modeller can't fix but the basics were largely ignored leaving companies like Freewing to take over.
Jun 02, 2019, 06:06 PM
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AntiArf's Avatar
RTF are a slow death of the EDF fourms... other than RTF EDF forum. In the old days builds would draw large followings and views, and there was a number of them in progress at any given time. Even if a real modeller wasn't going to build your project, they still enjoyed following the build and gathering information. Seems EDF builds draw little interest today, since why follow what a person isn't even going to consider building for themselves. The focus is on what RTF company will offer them the next subject they want. In less than 3 weeks, there's a Freewing thread that has almost twice as many views as my Victor build. Not saying I'm supposed to draw millions of views, but it's certainly not a foam profile jet with an EDF stuck in it either. BTW not meaning to bash non builders, but it's only so interesting to keep looking at threads of the same off the shelf models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynxman
I think foam jets make EDF accessible to a lot more people, who would never ever get a composite EDF jet.

In my opinion foamies should be light. Foam lost that quality when they started making almost solid EPO planes. Now they are just as heavy, if not heavier than, fiberglass planes. For that reason I think foamies are getting worse.
Agreed. The older Alfas and GWS models flew well. Looking forward to posting video soon of a GWS 262 powered by EDF50/Feigao fans. Removed the heavy, build to crash glass spars and replaced with significantly lighter wood and lengthened the nacelles, also reducing the aft weight issue. Still uses a 5.5oz battery and would have preferred lighter, but with no added ballast, which was actually necessary for the considerably heavier stock build. Smaller models don't handle the added weight of servoless retracts and heavy reinforcing spars well.
Jun 02, 2019, 07:39 PM
killickb
killickb's Avatar
Well this question could evoke more different responses than any other. Bet everyone has a different opinion / slant on it.
No doubt the use of all the foam types for airframes caused a radical change in who and how many pilots took up any type of model flying not just ED.
I would say that the “foam” end product can only improve with new molding techniques, new foams, better strength/weight ratios, better surface finishes, improved design concepts etc so surely never the demise ? Love my two EPS FlyFly models and still fly an Alpha MIG —- probably impossible to scale up the Alpha method of foam design ?
The fact that you now see double digit, or greater, numbers of the same model at fields now makes the foamier just another airplane with little novel attributes to discuss as did the scratch built EDF era —- before electric even.
EPO EDFs certainly bought elec EDF to the masses and they fly very, very well for what they are and for what they cost. Would love to afford a turbine or composite EDF but probably will never and for sure those types would never be light years ahead of my foamies in the enjoyment that I get when flying. I like my balsa RBC ducted fan models primarily because I still like to and can, build. Not many at my field will ever, or even want to build an EDF —- to them a scratch built anything is an anomaly !
Sorry to say but I have to use what you stated as “cheap Chinese fans “ as I am not willing to add the $ for a JF, Scheubler, Viojett or similar products into a foamie, especially when the stock performance meets my expectations.
The fact that RCG has a forum for foamie and scratch EDFs says something about where this is going, even more so when you look at the ratio of posts, one to the other.
Would be great to have a live ( and lively!) discussion on this subject by average flyers, sponsored flyers, and distributors
Jun 02, 2019, 09:45 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by flylow2011
Most of stock foam EDF jets till now
Could not fly as good as any turbine jet.
Flyer needs to up grade power to better
performance. Wind is no problem at all.
Taking off, Landing on grass is :-(
I know it is hard to believe that.

... now I dont want to fly turbine jets anymore.

The only 2 things that EDF does not have
As turbine is the sound and long air time.
And that is it .


.
I fly all forms of jets. An EDF will not and will NEVER fly like a turbine jet. The efflux of an EDF in flight will never, ever match the efflux of a turbine. It is that simple and makes the flight characteristics completely different. I challenge you to take a foamy jet with a high power EDF...fly it... then take out the EDF and install an equivalent thrust turbine. You would have a different flying airplane and without appropriate reinforcements would probably rip the wings or tail off. Plus you need to learn how to slow a turbine jet down. You can't just throttle all the way back and turn the "fan" off like an EDF. You have residual thrust you need to think about.


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