Grand Distribution and Icon RC Jr. Hawk RTF Powered Glider Review - RC Groups
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Grand Distribution and Icon RC Jr. Hawk RTF Powered Glider Review

If you are looking for an inexpensive trainer to get started in the area of electrics, your glider has just come in! Ray Thomas has a good time reviewing this fun plane.

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Introduction

If youíre looking for an inexpensive trainer to get started in electric flight, look no further! The Jr.HAWK delivers in every way. With the Jr. HAWK, there will be no reason not to get your family and friends addicted to electric RC flight as well! Since itís an RTF kit there isn't alot of assembly needed, and it can be flight ready in a very short time. With other expensive trainers on the market, its nice to see a plane come along that doesn't cost alot of money to get you started. The Icon RC Jr.HAWK just might be your ticket to the wild blue yonder!


Wingspan:54.3"
Wing Area:448.7 sq. in.
Weight:18 oz.
Length:35"
Wing Loading:5.7 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:2-micro factory installed
Transmitter:3ch. FM proportional with servo reversing
Receiver:3ch. FM factory installed
Battery:8.4v 1300NiMh
Motor:380 direct drive
ESC:electronic factory installed
Manufacturer:Icon RC
Available From:Grand Distribution
Retail Price:$99.00

Kit Contents

The kit comes packaged with everything covered in plastic to keep the parts from rubbing against each other or the box. Nothing was broken or missing.

All the stickers are factory applied.

Kit Includes:

  • Fuselage with complete motor pod and radio installed
  • Main wing panels
  • Carbonfiber wing spar
  • 3 ch FM transmitter
  • Horizontal and vertical tail surfaces
  • 7 cell 8.4 volt 1300mAh NiMh battery pack
  • AC wall charger for flight battery (non-peak)
  • Parts bag with prop adapter, landing gear, extra prop and needed wrenches

Kit Requires:

  • 8 AA alkaline batteries for transmitter

As you can see there is a lot packed inside such a small box! All parts fit well and assembly was a snap as you'll soon read.

Assembly

Since the Jr. HAWK is RTF, assembly should be very easy for even the newest of pilots. The included instruction sheet was in English and very detailed with step by step diagrams to aid in preparing the Jr.HAWK for flight. There was even a section on how to get started with your first flight, including important tips like launching and landing into the wind and flying away from powerlines and people.

Wing

The wing comes shipped in two halves which are held together by a round carbonfiber spar. The spar is a very tight fit inside the wing panels so no adhesive is required. This comes in handy if you would like to disassemble the plane later for transportation purposes or for easier storage.

Fuselage

The fuselage comes with the motor already mounted inside the motor pod. You will have to use the supplied wrenches to put the prop adapter and prop on the motor. The prop is 5 inches in diameter with what looks to be about 4 inches of pitch. I would suggest you balance the prop before flight. Mine was slightly out of balance and caused the motor to vibrate upon startup. After balancing, everything was fine.

Tail

The horizontal and vertical stabilizers are not mounted at the factory. You will have to mount them with the included and pre-applied double stick mounting tape. NOTE-The mounting tape is super strong and all but impossible to remove once stuck down. Be sure you have the tail lined up perfectly before pressing the tape pieces together.

After mounting the tail pieces, hook up the control rods to the control horns. I suggest putting a small O-ring or tubing around the clevises to keep them from coming unhooked in flight. The recommended control surface throws are 14mm for rudder and 8mm for elevator.

After mounting the wing and tail surfaces itís time to install the landing gear into the plastic reinforced slot on the bottom of the fuselage. It needs no screws or glue, but is simply a pressure fit inside the slot. It can also be removed and flown without gear if you fly over grass and wish to land the plane like a regular glider. There is a non-steerable tailwheel already factory mounted for you that cannot be removed. The rudder had enough authority to steer the plane on pavement.

Radio Installation

The FM radio comes factory installed with the servos mounted in the fuselage sides and the receiver and electronic speed control mounted inside the fuselage behind the flight battery. For safety purposes there is a motor arming switch on the left side of the fuselage about where your thumb would be when handlaunching. The switch must be pressed before the motor will start. The transmitter has servo reversing on all 3 channels. It uses 8AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries. It is noted in the manual that you must land immediately when the red light starts flashing on the transmitter.

Battery Charging

According to the instructions, you will need to charge the included 1300mAh NiMh battery pack for 4 to 4.5 hours to receive a full charge, and I found this to be spot on. A NiMh pack will be pretty warm when it reaches full charge, and this is normal; warm, but not too hot to handle. Please never leave any battery alone while its charging. It is stated in the instructions that prolonged (over) charging of the battery pack will not only shorten its life but could lead to a fire hazard.

There is a slot provided inside the fuselage under the hatch that fits the battery perfectly. It is connected with a small two pin molex plug that is designed to keep you from plugging it in backwards.

Completion

After charging the battery pack and installing the 8 AA batteries in the transmitter you will be ready to head for the airfield.

Starting sequence consists of:

  • turn on transmitter.
  • center all trims on transmitter.
  • push throttle lever to full down or off position.
  • turn on main power switch on Jr.HAWK.
  • check rudder and elevator for proper movement.
  • push motor arming switch on fuselage.
  • throttle lever will now activate the motor when moved.

!Flying

Taking Off and Landing

The Jr.HAWK will take off easily from pavement. It uses about 30 to 40 feet to reach flying speed and lift off. It does not have enough power to take off of grass. As for landing, this is the hard part. I found the Jr.HAWK tough to bring down! With the wonderful wing design it just wants to keep flying. In fact, while shooting the video I had to make 5 go around passes because when the Jr.HAWK got low in ground effect it would glide nearly the whole length of the airfield with the power off. I finally had to just fly it to the ground with the elevator. I told you this plane would make a great trainer!

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Being a trainer means the aerobatic flight is very limited. The only stunt itís truly capable of is a nice slow loop. I tried a roll, but without ailerons I couldn't roll fast enough to keep from losing a lot of altitude. I don't recommend you try any rolls unless you are at VERY high altitude.

Flight Video

Downloads

Is This For a Beginner?

In a word. YES!! I highly recommend the Jr.HAWK for anyone wanting to get into the sport of RC flight, or anybody wanting a nice, slow, well mannered trainer for family and friends. Since itís an RTF, 95% of the work is already done for you at the factory, and it can be flight ready in the time it takes to charge the flight battery (4 to 4.5 hours). No glue means less mess and faster setup.

Conclusion

Do you need one? Not if you don't want to have fun! Would I buy one for myself or a friend? Yes, but I would probably want to keep them both for myself. The Jr.HAWK is one capable plane. It doesn't make one marketing claim that it doesn't deliver on fully. Itís inexpensive and durable and Grand Distribution has a marvelous web site with a breakdown of the available parts that can get you back into the air in no time if you do crash. The Jr.HAWK is one plane that does what it says, and does it well!

Pluses:

  • Kit includes everything needed except transmitter batteries
  • Very easy to read and understand instructions.
  • NiMh flight battery for extra long flight times.
  • Two piece wing for easy transport.

Minuses:

  • AC charger doesnt peak (must time battery pack to receive full charge).
  • Non-steerable tailwheel
Last edited by Angela H; Sep 17, 2007 at 08:30 PM..
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Sep 19, 2007, 01:06 AM
Registered User
Beginners should give this aircraft a close look. Lots of stuff for little bit of money.
Sep 19, 2007, 02:14 AM
There is no place like Hodges!
edge5foamy's Avatar
Looks cool! I have been looking at the Multiplex Easystar just for use as a night flyer, but this one is RTF, and only $99!
Sep 19, 2007, 05:45 AM
Slow Flyer
Heard lots of fine reports on the Hawk, looks like a stable flyer and certainly worth considering for beginner trainer...as flew sailplanes with success in the past, would enjoy this one, sure it detects lift (thermals) for a great ride...54 inch wingspan, nice...<>...
Sep 19, 2007, 06:48 AM
Registered User
OV101 Enterprise's Avatar
This plane is also marketed (in a red color) as the wild hawk, sold by harbor freight. I started on this plane, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn to fly, especially without an instructor. The plane is easy to fly, not to fast, and can survive allot of punishment. When it does break, some simply foam safe CA will repair it. One thing to watch with this plane, the polarity on the connector for the battery is reversed from industry standards, so if you buy extra batteries, you will have to be sure to check the polarity when soldering on your connectors. The radio on this plane actually works surprisingly well, and the servros, while cheap, will work with futaba radio's. From my experience with this plane, it also tends to be just a tiny bit tail heavy, so you may want to try to modify it to move the battery a little bit forward. Over all, this may be the best beginner plane under $150. It can sometimes be had on sale at harbor freight for as little as $59.99.
Sep 19, 2007, 07:50 AM
Registered User
The reviewer must not have had the plane for very long before writing his review. The two sided tape holding the control surfaces in place is not very strong at all and will likely fail in flight if left in place. Like the last poster said this plane is a blast to fly and dirt cheap but there isn't much need for a review when you could just link to one of the Wild Hawk threads and get a much better overall review of this plane.
John...
Sep 19, 2007, 01:22 PM
KZ RIDER
raythomas's Avatar
You must have gotten a plane with an older style mounting tape. The tape on the review plane was SUPER strong!!!! But just the same,thanks for the info I'll keep a watch on my plane for any problems that might arise. Ray
Sep 19, 2007, 02:15 PM
Registered User
Ray, the tape on mine seemed super strong also when new but eventually lost it's grip. Your plane may have some sort of new, stronger tape.
Sep 19, 2007, 02:18 PM
BD Flyer's Avatar
Wow, that looks EXACTLY the same as the Harbor Freight Wild Hawk.
Sep 19, 2007, 02:54 PM
Registered User
Someone needs to build a yellow/red version.
Sep 20, 2007, 12:56 AM
Registered User
Harbor Freight runs these often for $69. Agree with the review, except, My first few attemps were out of control wanderings. First I thought it was a cheap radio and so installed my DX6 radio. Same lousy wandering. The problem is that the tail boom is too flexible. It took 4 layers of packing tape to stiffen it and now it is a good trainer. I'm the club flight trainer. There are 2 popsicle sticks glued inside the nose cutout hatch to repair this common weak spot. I may add a 1/2" or so to the rudder for more directional control power.
A very good primary trainer with durability. But stiffen the nose and the tail boom while you are assembling it.
Sep 20, 2007, 04:26 AM
Registered User
This plane is at harbor freight for 129.00 right now would like to find it cheaper anyone know where we can get it for less
Sep 20, 2007, 06:26 AM
Registered User
OV101 Enterprise's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by milton j fozzmor
This plane is at harbor freight for 129.00 right now would like to find it cheaper anyone know where we can get it for less
When the wild hawk is on sale at HF, it is normally only marked down in the stores. If you go into a harbor freight, and ask them for the sale price on the plane, they will normally give it to you, even if it is not currently on sale.
Sep 20, 2007, 08:01 AM
Registered User
I have a buddy who works at HF and he says they are going on sale again next week. Go to any HF and get on their mailing list then every week or so you get a mailed flier that will include a 15% off coupon. $69.99x.85=$59.49 . Read the various Wild Hawk threads before building it up as you really need all the nose reinforcements and fuse stiffening mods. I'd glue the rudder and stab in place also but thats just me.
Sep 20, 2007, 01:58 PM
Registered User
I have or should i say HAD 1 lol
I gotit awhile back from hf and they let me have it at sale price for $69 even though it wasnt on sale and i must say kudos to hf as they will sell me stuff like their rc,s toys at sale prices at anytime.
Just ask them and they will do the same for u prolly.
Anyway when i first got mine i immediatly took the brushless motor and electronics from another plane i had and replaced them with them.
Well my maiden flight was like a batt outta hades lol, this wild hawk took off and flew so fast and climbed so fast it literally got away from me so far i couldnt tell if it was coming or going and i let it go down a good 1/4 mile away as i coldnt tell what i was doin, it went down way away from me beghind thick woods, well i tried to find it to no avail as it was getting late, so the next morn i went looking for it and found it all busted up bad, both wings snapped off and rear elevators busted but i managed to put it all back together and reinstalled the factory motor and radio etc.
Well i flew it again and it flew fine, i took it way up several hundred feet and was catching great thermals w/it and i did a big loop w/it and one of the repaired wings snaps off, ARRRGHH!! well this time it went haywire bigtime and went down along ways away, i never did find it but will prolly go get another here soon.


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