Horizon Hobby E-flight F-16 Falcon 64mm basic w/AS3X and SAFE Select Review

The E-flite® F-16 Falcon 64mm EDF jet is a scale replica of one of the most recognized and successful single-engine fighters in the world.

Splash

Introduction

Wingspan: 28.7" (729mm)
Length: 43.3" (1099mm)
Flying Weight: 31.75oz (900g)
Motor: 2840 3150Kv
Fan: 64mm, 11 blade
ESC: 40A Brushless ESC
Receiver: Spektrum™ AR636 6-Channel Receiver
Battery: 3S or 4S 2200mAH Lipo (Not Included)
Available From: Horizon Hobby
Price at time of review: $179.99

It's hard to believe that the F-16 has been around since the 1970's. While the current F-16's are a vastly upgraded aircraft from their 1970's predecessors, the overall look is still distinctly there. So, the jet that was initially conceived as an air-to-air day fighter has morphed into a multi-roll all-weather fighter. Even after over 40 years of service and continual development the F-16 has many more years of service ahead.

The 64mm F-16 from E-flite hits a sweet spot of size, price and performance that make it a fun and accessible jet to most RC pilots. It is small enough to be easily transportable. The bright red tail surfaces and nose graphics make it stand out in the sky and the AS3X® technology that is pre-installed make it feel like a much larger model. All this adds up to a model that will make its way into your rotation of frequently flown models. If you are a less experienced modeler, SAFE® Select can be initialized for added assistance in preventing over control and possible loss of orientation.

What's in the Box

The packaging on this model was great. I had to add a photo of the parts in the box because it was just so well done. After opening the box and removing the parts it's pretty evident that this will go together quickly and easily. All the paint work and decals were pre-done and to a high standard. The Gunfighter scheme is sharp and with enough bright elements to aid in maintaining orientation of the aircraft in flight. This is a simple design without the added complexity of retracts and flaps. It just has the basics of ailerons and elevator. The rudder is not functional but there is a servo in the fuselage that operates the nose wheel steering using the rudder channel. The fixed landing gear are optional, if you don't have a paved strip to take-off and land at, you can fly the jet as a hand launch model. The F-16 has an 11 blade 64mm fan that produces a lot of thrust on either 3 or 4S 2200mAh Lipo batteries, and sounds good doing it.

  • Fuselage with receiver, 64mm fan, motor, esc, 3 servos installed
  • Wings with aileron servos installed
  • Horizontal stabilizers
  • Vertical fin
  • Magnetic nose cone
  • Wire landing gear with wheels installed
  • Carbon support rod for wings
  • Optional ordnance
  • Accessory bag
  • Manual

Assembly

The manual is clear and complete and the assembly is very simple. A couple of additional tools can be helpful to speed things along. I find that a set of metric hex head drivers is much easier to use than the classic L shaped Allen wrench. This is especially true on the F-16 when installing the nose wheel steering as you need to tighten a screw that is inside the main air inlet.

Flying

Since I have a very nice paved runway to fly off of at our local flying field, I choose to fly the F-16 with all the ordnance and fixed landing gear in place. If your situation is not suitable for landing gear, they can simply be removed and the model hand launched. As I had already glued the ordnance onto the wings, I choose not to fly the model without the gear. All my flights were with the 4S 2200mAh pack.

Take Offs

I set up the jet with the recommended control throws and placed the fully charged 4S pack as far forward as possible. I did not set up the SAFE® Select. The main gear are fairly narrow so small steering inputs and a slow taxi speed are required. Some expo on the steering channel may help soften the movement as well. Once lined up on the center line, I increased the throttle to about 1/2, the F-16 quickly accelerated and smoothly lifted off after a fairly short roll of about 30 feet. All was smooth and little trim was required, I pushed the throttle to full as I came back around, even with the fixed gear and ordnance the jet is pretty fast. Jet flight times are relatively short so it was time to see what this jet can do.

Basics

After the hot pass I slowed it down to check out the basics. The roll rate was quick but not twitchy, climb and dive transitions were smooth and predictable. I tried a couple of tight "bank and yank" turns without experiencing any unexpected events. I took the F-16 up a bit and nosed it into the wind for a stall test. With the throttle at idle I slowly pulled back on the elevator. Speed bled off and eventually the plane just mushed along. It never did actually drop a wing or spin. Recovery was just to center the elevator, raise the throttle and fly on.

Aerobatics

I didn't have a lot of time left on the first pack but there was enough to try a few basic aerobatic maneuvers. Rolls were quick and axial and while you can't do extended point rolls, due to the lack of rudder, it did surprisingly nice quick point rolls if the maneuver started with a slight up line. Inverted was uneventful and required only a little bit of down elevator to maintain. No snap rolls were possible but loops and stall turns were an option.

Landings

The first 3 minutes were just about up, time to bring her in. The AS3X® took any turbulence out of the picture on approach making final a worry free event. A fairly high alpha approach will slow the jet nicely and lead to a nice sink rate if only a touch of throttle is applied. The model is so light that too much throttle will simply result in a climb. With the right balance of elevator and throttle the F-16 will make a beautiful main wheel landing and roll to a stop quickly. Flying the jet on to landing in its normal flight attitude might lead to a slightly too fast landing speed. Not a huge problem but it will make the steering without tipping a more delicate prospect. After taxiing back to the pit area I checked the battery level. It was down to 30% with 3 minutes of flying. With mixed throttle flying of a 2200mAh pack, 3 minutes is a safe flight time.

Beginners?

Horizon says that this is an intermediate level aircraft and I agree. While not at all difficult to fly, ducted fan models are just too quick for beginners. With some prior flight experience or the aid of a more experience modeler this could be flown successfully.

Video

Photos

Conclusion

The world of small 64mm ducted fan jets is a very appealing one. Easy to build and transport, fairly inexpensive and using popular inexpensive batteries, these models provide a lot of bang for the buck. The F-16 comes to the flying field with me on most days as it is a low anxiety fun to fly model that can be put into action in a matter of minutes. I had several of the other pilots at our local field fly the F-16 and they all felt that it was a blast to fly. If this type of aircraft resonates with you, I don't think that you can go wrong with this jet, it's just a lot of fun.

RCGroups.com Review Policies

Our intent is to provide fair and unbiased reviews so that consumers can make informed decisions regarding new products. Some things you should know about our review process:

  • RCGroups.com review items are provided by hobby manufacturers and suppliers, some of whom may be RCGroups advertisers.
  • Review products are sent directly to independent reviewers, chosen by RCGroups.com.
  • RCGroups.com reviewers are not compensated by either RCGroups.com or the reviewed item's supplier. However, they are allowed to keep the review items at no charge.
  • Published reviews reflect the opinion of the author.
  • When a conflict arises between a review sponsor and a reviewer (which is rare), RCGroups attempts to work out a satisfactory solution for all parties. In some cases, this may mean that a finished review will go unpublished, or be subjected to editing for technical accuracy. RCGroups reserves the final say as to whether an article is fit for publication.

It is always our intent to provide a place for honest and open commentary, and to put the needs of our visitors first. If you feel that something we've published is inaccurate, please let us know using the contact form.

Last edited by Hiflyer; Dec 02, 2019 at 03:40 PM..
Thread Tools
Dec 18, 2019, 09:05 AM
Registered User
MartinT's Avatar
Awesome livery, looks great! Kudos to the photographer of the inflight pictures too!

The only negative is the fixed stick gear, but that is more or less inevitable at this size. Yes you could take it off and belly land, but half the fun is making nice (wheel-) landings! (the other half is making stupid fast low passes )

Nice one from E-Flite! Unfortunately the thing is priced too high in Europe... (even higher than the F-15 of the same size) And there are no deals for Christmas to be found there either...
Last edited by MartinT; Dec 18, 2019 at 09:14 AM.
Dec 18, 2019, 09:19 PM
Registered User
I have about an ounce of lead in the tail to get it to balance.
Jan 29, 2020, 01:39 PM
Registered User
beautiful, and i love the color scheme especially


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
News F-15 Eagle 64mm EDF BNF with AS3X and SAFE Select (EFL9750) Jim T. Graham Foamy EDFs 374 Dec 10, 2019 09:54 PM
New Product UMX F-27 Evolution BNF Basic with AS3X and SAFE Select Micubano Flying Wings 11 Dec 22, 2018 02:26 PM
News F-16 Thunderbirds 70mm EDF BNF Basic with AS3X and SAFE Select (EFL7850) Jim T. Graham Electric Warbirds 10 Dec 22, 2018 10:31 AM