Hobby Lobby Mirage 2000 Brushless RTF Ducted Fan Jet Review - RC Groups

Hobby Lobby Mirage 2000 Brushless RTF Ducted Fan Jet Review

Alex Lewis takes a closer at Hobby Lobby's exciting RTF EDF!

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:25"
Wing Area:83 sq. in.
Weight:17 oz.
Length:28"
Wing Loading:8.5 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:4 servos
Transmitter:4 channel, 72 mhz
Battery:3S LiPo
Motor:Brushless Inrunner
ESC:18A Brushless
Manufacturer:Riccs
Available From:Hobby Lobby
Retail Price:$219

When I first accepted the review for Hobby Lobby’s RTF Mirage, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Ready-to-Fly airplanes have traditionally been fairly low quality affairs, but within the last year or two some surprisingly nice RTF models have been released. The Mirage proved to be among the latter group, with a quick assembly time, complete package and snappy performance.

Kit Contents

The model came to my door in a box that contained a rigid inner foam structure that supported and protected all of the individually wrapped parts. On inspection of the components, I found that the airplane came with everything required for assembly, minus a few pieces of tape and a Phillips screw driver. It even came with a transmitter neck strap and glue!

Kit Contains:

  • Fuselage
  • Wings
  • Landing gear
  • Transmitter
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • Unidentified contact adhesive
  • Neck strap

Kit Requires:

  • Packing tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Epoxy (optional)

Assembly

There is virtually no assembly with the Mirage as you would expect with a RTF craft. The nose gear and all electronics are completely preinstalled, and the aircraft is decked out in contrasting paint and an instrument panel inside the canopy.

I only had to glue on the wings and screw in the main gear to get it airworthy. The manual recommends using the included tube of contact adhesive to glue the wings on, and although it has proven to be sufficiently strong when reinforced with tape as instructed, I would recommend using some epoxy instead. The included adhesive took several days to harden, and even then the final joint was a little flexible for my taste. Epoxy, on the other hand, would have reduced the assembly time enough to have it RTF by the time the battery was charged and would hae allowed me to skip the tape.

Flying

The Basics Including Takeoff and Landing

The Mirage 2000’s ground handling proved to be as excellent as you would expect in a tricycle gear aircraft. The steerable nose wheel had adequate deflection to navigate on the runway, and I found the model to be extremely stable at high speeds.

The model accelerated quickly with the application of throttle and needed about 50 feet to lift off. The wheels were big enough to take off on uneven surfaces if needed. I did not try hand launching it, but I suspect that would be a somewhat uncomfortable process with the low wing.

Like most scale models, the Mirage looks great in the air. With the scale outline, whining fan and fast roll rate, it drew a lot more attention than your average 3D flyer when I took it to the local parks.

The brushless motor and lithium battery provided more than enough power for scale-looking flights. The jet exhibited decent vertical performance, but lacked enough thrust to climb vertically for sustained periods. At about 50 mph, speeds were reasonably quick for my local parks. I believe that speed approaches the top-end for this airframe; the Mirage was hunting a bit in some of the dives.

Aerobatics

This jet showed plenty of aerobatic potential and was capable of the full range of aileron-elevator maneuvers. However, the rudder wasn’t effective enough to add much to the aerobatic performance of the airplane, so most maneuvers that required the rudder were out of reach. The roll rate was excellent at about three rolls per second. The aircraft rolled axially and stopped crisply when the stick was centered. Loops and other climbing maneuvers were similarly easy, with plenty of power to pull the Mirage through the vertical portions.

Finally, inverted performance proved to be surprisingly good. With its flat bottomed wing, I expected it to require a good deal of down stick to keep it level, but was pleased when I found it to fly almost hands off.

Flight Video

Downloads

Is this airplane for a beginner?

No, I would never recommend this for a new pilot. Although it is very neutral and forgiving, the Mirage is simply too fast and responsive for someone new to the hobby. However, I wholeheartedly recommend it for someone who is looking for their first aileron or ducted fan powered ship.

Conclusion

The Mirage is a nice looking and good performing airplane. For its price, it is a great deal and a no-brainer for someone who’s looking for an inexpensive and prebuilt EDF.

Pluses:

  • Virtually no assembly
  • Great scalish looks
  • Tough enough to handle some abuse
  • Good aerobatic performance
  • Easy to takeoff and land
Last edited by Angela H; Mar 10, 2008 at 04:37 PM..
Thread Tools
Mar 10, 2008, 05:52 PM
Registered User
No cursing in the videos. Nice review.
Mar 10, 2008, 10:01 PM
Extreme Flight 540T Flyer
Very nice video, plane looks slow as all heck though to me?
Mar 11, 2008, 08:37 PM
Dr. Dave
Nice job Alex, great flying too!
Mar 11, 2008, 08:48 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRyder
Very nice video, plane looks slow as all heck though to me?
It looked slow to me too. I guess I just had the impression that all EDF Jets were fast. I guess I was wrong. It looks so slow I might be able to fly it.

CJ
Mar 12, 2008, 10:24 AM
Checking CG is for NERDS!
Smokescreen38's Avatar
Nice review and video, raptor22!

Can you clarify on what you said here?

"I believe that speed approaches the top-end for this airframe; the Mirage was hunting a bit in some of the dives."

So what would you expect to see from this airframe with more power applied?
Mar 12, 2008, 10:49 AM
Doing it in the Lateral Axis
modfly's Avatar
nice EDF. Looks very good for the price. Someone should install a link for us impulse buyers...
Mar 12, 2008, 11:23 AM
Long-Time Member
James Frolik's Avatar
Good simple and quick review. Well written too.

But this model and its identical variants have already been run through the gutter here. The model's both good and not-so-good, but overall it does fly well—although I feel that Hobby-Lobby should exclude the RTF kits with radio.

Oh, it can also fly kind of fast; best of all, as a delta it really handles well in slow flight.
Mar 12, 2008, 11:44 AM
Registered User
retract can be add too:






heres a short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDjktHoLw8A
Mar 12, 2008, 12:36 PM
Striving to Rip the Bring
raptor22's Avatar
Thanks for the comments everyone.

No, its not a really fast airframe. In fact, if you compare it to a "real" performer like a pylon racer or a hot flying wing its positively slow.

However, that's not its target niche. It's just an attractive, aerobatic, scale-looking parkflyer that's easy to fly for an attractive price. If you look at it as a parkflier or entry-level ducted fan, it really is quite quick.

The comment on the top speed was based upon how it feels at high speeds. It is very smooth at most speeds but starts to hunt around out of dives. I believe it would need a minimum of new linkages and balsa control surfaces with more power.

--Alex
Mar 13, 2008, 03:50 PM
Captain Carnage says......
AirWarriorBelgy's Avatar
Hi Alex,

Good review....quick and simple as the others have stated

It will quit hunting in a dive when you put the stabilizers on it (the extra little black plastic parts that came with the kits and have no instruction in the manual for them) they really do help stop the nose downs a bit, and add that little touch of lift needed. If you go to the thread that James Frolik mentioned you can see where and how to add the stabilizers.

Also, the included glue is a contact cement, like GWS glue; a little on both sides push together, pull apart, let it almost dry then place...in about 1 hour its completely dry, strong, and lightweight, of course...like GWS, they don't tell you that in the instructions as well.

Chuck
Mar 18, 2008, 07:07 PM
Registered User
zebl's Avatar
I agree, those little canards make a huge difference. I noticed right away that the plane gained altitude a lot faster and did not have the tendency to nose dive.

The glue sucks, I waited one day for it to dry, I finally gave up and pulled the wings apart with no resistance to my surprise and used CA.

I recommend that Hobby Lobby to 1) Make this ARF version 2) upgrade the motor. I almost crashed mine when I lowered the power on my maiden flight.
Mar 19, 2008, 06:07 AM
Member 120mph Club
ATIS's Avatar
cadwarrior...more info on the retracts... and a pict of the nose landing gear please... I was passing this one up, but I have a GWS Green motor and 4s 1500 lipo sitting around looking for a home...and with retracts this plane just might find a spot in the hanger...LOL

Alex, nice review.
Mar 19, 2008, 06:55 AM
Checking CG is for NERDS!
Smokescreen38's Avatar
Can anyone share pictures of these add-on stabilizers? I take it that these pieces have nothing to do with a real Mirage 2000, right?

How does adding lift help with high speed stability?
Mar 19, 2008, 07:22 AM
"Have Glue - Will Travel"
dawnron1's Avatar
Nice review and flying Alex, the Mirage looks to fly alot like the F/A-18. Looks great in the air too!

Ronnie


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