GWS-15 EDF64-BL2028 Twin/Gray Review

Would you like an easy to fly, yet very nice looking EDF? GWS, purveyor of many nice foam kits, would like you to have a look at their GWS-15.

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:35.4"
Wing Area:370.5 sq. in.
Weight:28.3 - 35.3 oz.
Length:41.3"
Wing Loading:11 - 13 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:GWS (2) Park & (1) Naro
Transmitter:Futaba 9CAP
Receiver:Mikro Design 5 Channel
Battery:Air Thunder LiPo 11.1v 2100mAH
Motor:Twin EDF64 Ducted Fans
Flight Duration:5 minutes of varied throttle setting
ESC: Two CC Phoenix 25
Manufacturer:GWS USA
Available From:Tower Hobbies
Price:$133.00

The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is a twin engine all weather tactical fighter designed to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. It was developed for the United States Air Force and first flew in July 1972. The F-15E Strike Eagle derivative is an all-weather strike fighter that entered service in 1989. The U.S Air Force plans to keep the F-15 in service until 2025. It is one of the most recognized fighters of the modern day.



Kit Contents



Included in kit:

  • Two piece foam fuselage
  • Foam wings
  • Foam vertical and horizontal stabilizers
  • Two foam nose cones
  • Canopy
  • Twin GWS EDF64 brushless power system
  • Two sets of brushless motor extension wires
  • Four servo extension cables
  • Two reversing Y-cable harnesses
  • Pre-bent wire control rods for conventional stabilizer configuration
  • Pre-bent wire landing gear
  • Three ultra light wheels
  • Bag of precut fiberglass rods
  • Two parts trees with components required for both conventional and all-flying stabilizers
  • GWS glue and clay stick
  • Decals
  • Instruction manual

Required:

  • Transmitter and receiver with four or more channels
  • Three micro servos
  • Lithium polymer battery 11.1V 1300 to 1800mAH (>15C)
  • Two 25 amp electronic speed controllers

Included for review:

  • Castle Creations Phoenix 25 brushless speed controllers (2)
  • Air Thunder 2200 mAH 3S lipoly battery

Assembly

Before the assembly process could commence, I had to make a decision to go with either all-flying or conventional stabilizers. The all-flying configuration requires two servos whereas the conventional configuration requires four servos. For this review I chose to go with the all-flying stabilizers.

The model kit came with a tube of glue which appeared to be some type of contact adhesive. After some experimenting, I opted to instead use 5 and 30 epoxy adhesives.

Wing

The main wings were easy to assemble. All wing components were attached using five minute epoxy. I first installed the long fiberglass spar into a precut channel. I next installed three wing tube sockets and one wing locking connector, giving careful attention as to which slot received which component. I then installed fiberglass rods through each wing tube socket into precut channels.




Fuselage

The fuselage comes out of the box in two pieces. I started by installing the wing tube sockets and wing tube locking connectors in the top half of the fuselage, again giving careful attention to ensure that component was properly placed.


It was necessary to remove blocks of foam from the top half of the fuselage in order to make room for the GWS Naro servos. I drilled small holes in the top of the fuselage to route servo extensions into the radio compartment. The servo extension plugs into the servo lead and secures with a piece of dental floss to ensure that it does not accidentally come unplugged. The servos are held in place with five minute epoxy, and the servo extensions are held in place with drops of hot melt glue. For a clean installation, I removed the connector from the servo extension and fed the harness through the small hole and reassembled it on the other side.




Next I installed the twin GWS EDF64 brushless power system and extension wires. The EDF housings, fans and motors all come pre-assembled from the factory. The extension wires have factory installed bullet and socket connectors. GWS has gone out of their to make this step easier. I found that the fan assemblies fit into the factory molded recesses very nicely. Each fan is held in place with five minute epoxy. I routed the motor extension wires along a narrow channel that runs down the middle of the fuselage and into the electronics compartment.




I finished the assembly of the fuselage by flipping the plane onto its back and installing the landing gear and steering servo.



Next it was time to glue the top and bottom fuselage pieces together using thirty minute epoxy. Even though I used a slower setting adhesive, I still had to work fast because of the amount of surface area that needs to be covered.

Tail

Assembly of the vertical and horizontal stabilizers does not take much effort. I started by attaching the vertical stabilizer mounts to each vertical stabilizer using the supplied machine screws and nuts. I applied five minute epoxy to the bottom side of each stabilizer mount and positioned them on the pre-molded slots in the fuselage. Assembly of the horizontal stabilizers starts with the trimming of a short piece of foam from each stab. This piece gets attached to the fuselage. This step is necessary due to my choice to go with the all-flying stabilizers. I trimmed the fiberglass spar as directed and glued it to each horizontal stab. The all-flying stabilizer mount is glued to each horizontal stab. Careful attention should be given here to ensure proper orientation of each mount and control surface. I attached the horizontal stabilizer to each servo mount in the fuselage using the supplied screws.



Radio Installation

The all-flying stabilizer servos need extensions to reach the receiver. The ones provided in the kit are the perfect length. The kit also includes a reversing Y-cable harness but I opted to plug each servo extension into its own channel on the receiver to allow for greater programming flexibility. The wee Mikro Designs receiver I used takes up absolutely no space at all. There is plenty of room to spare in the radio compartment when using these components.

Completion

The setup of control surfaces is one step I take very seriously. Should there be any bad behavior exhibited during a flight, it will definitely not be due to any failure on my part in setting up the control surfaces exactly as recommended in the assembly manual. I usually check these at least twice, if not three times, before sending her on the maiden flight. Accuracy and symmetry of throws is essential when using a flying stabilizer type setup.



When completed, I had to take a step back and do a walk around this beauty, to admire her from all angles.










Flying


Taking Off and Landing

Takeoffs with the GWS-15 are a snap. Go full throttle, and it will build ground speed quickly. Pull back on the stick gently, and she will gracefully rise off the runway.

A good final approach and landing does require some power for a controlled descent. The wire landing gear does a good job of absorbing energy from the occasional and accidental hard landing. Cross winds can be a bit of a challenge for an airframe without rudders. However, patience and good stick control will bring this bird down safely.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The all-flying stabilizers setup makes the GWS F-15 very maneuverable. Rolls are quick and easily executed. Loops can be executed but having enough forward speed is essential. Inverted flight does require a little up stick to maintain level flight. My initial flights were made with a few 3S 2100 lipos that I had been using in other projects. I then switched to a new Air Thunder 2200 mAH 3S lipoly, and the GWS-15 really came to life on that battery! Subsequent flights saw the Air Thunder battery perform even better! I really like this battery. It is perfect for this plane and can handle the load of the dual EDFs with no problem.

Is This For a Beginner?

The GWS-15 is recommended for intermediate pilots as stated in the GWS manual. However, in my opinion and experience, the GWS-15 is a great choice for beginning EDF pilots. The GWS power system is perfectly matched to the airframe and will never overwhelm you with too much power, which can quickly get a beginner into situational overload. The GWS-15 will satisfy both beginning and intermediate pilots with its versatile flight envelope.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery







Downloads

GWS-15, in HD.  106.25 MB

Conclusion

The GWS-15 is a great looking EDF that builds quickly. The foam airframe comes out of the molds with detailed panel lines, and applying the numerous decals makes the F-15 look great. The pilot is given several different building options, including the choice to go with an EDF or pusher prop power system and whether to use all-flying or conventional stabilizers. I am very impressed with how GWS thought this one all the way through and brought a sturdy and sharp looking electric ducted fan ARF to market.

Pluses:

  • Excellent value
  • Quick and easy build
  • The kit is well stocked with all small parts and pieces needed.
  • Factory molded vents for battery and radio compartments
  • Detachable main wings makes transporting this model easier for those with smaller vehicles.
  • The instruction manual shows many detailed assembly diagrams.

Minuses:

  • The black plastic mounting components are a distraction. Molding them from gray plastic would improve overall aesthetics.
  • The power system seems a little lacking but is perfectly adequate for this EDF jet. Replacement power system components are both available and inexpensively priced.

Other Thoughts:

  • Adding a lightweight pilot figure to the kit would be an awesome bonus and enhance the scale detail
  • Having an access hatch on the bottom of the airframe to service or replace fan components would be a benefit.
Last edited by Angela H; Apr 14, 2009 at 03:06 PM..
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Apr 14, 2009, 05:22 PM
Where'd my money go?
rawr404's Avatar
Nice review. I enjoyed the video!
Apr 14, 2009, 05:34 PM
Registered User
Corelli's Avatar
Yes, nice review. Good work!


What are the KV of the motors on the stock setup?
Apr 14, 2009, 07:18 PM
Trash Hauler emeritus
herk1's Avatar
Nice article and good video. It really is a great-looking plane. I agree that the plastic pieces should have been made in a lighter color, instead of that darn black. I also agree that a fan-hatch should have been designed into the kit...though it would be a pretty easy mod to lop off a chunk of the lower fuse with a Zona saw, and fit some fasteners to retain it with. I built my GWS-15 so that the entire fuse halves are retained with fasteners, so complete disassembly is possible.

It looks like your stabilators are upside-down, and left swapped with right (exposing the reinforcing rods up top). It's prettier while taxiing around to have the rods facing down. And if someone building with conventional stabs looks at that photo and tries to build it that way, they will subsequently find that the molded receptacles for the elevator control horns will be on the wrong side.

Did you really get two reversing Y-cables in your kit? Mine came with a single plain (non-reversing) Y-cable, so I had to special-order a reversing one when I converted mine from all-flying to conventional stabs.

The listed battery requirement of "1300 to 1800mAH (>15C)" is barely enough battery for one of the stock motors, much less two.

A typo: change "remove blocks of foam from the top half of the fuselage in order to make room for the GWS Naro servos" to "remove blocks of foam from the bottom half of the fuselage in order to make room for the Park servos."
Apr 14, 2009, 08:20 PM
Registered User
Ben Lanterman's Avatar

Model Aviation Review


Hi All,

I would also like to refer the readers to the review that Model Aviation had a few months ago (I forget how many although I wrote it - don't get old). I built it with the all flying horizontal, another with the conventional elevator and ailerons, and finally a version with the all flying horizontal and ailerons. I also built the EPO and regular foam versions.

If the reader is a member of the AMA take a look at MA. If not see if you can borrow a copy of the magazine from a member.

Although winter has slowed down flying a lot, when I do go to the flying field I usually take one of them with me. They are a ball and the best looking jet ever - I am a bit biased though, I worked on the F-15 project from initial design through flight testing. It brings back a lot of interesting memories - some more interesting than the other!

GWS did a fine job of presenting it but it would have been nice to have the fan units easier to access and working rudders would have been nice (or thrust deflectors in the exits that do the same thing). I had to build the models stock for the review.

Have fun with the models,

Ben Lanterman
Apr 14, 2009, 09:37 PM
The Need4Speed
fooyukvoon's Avatar
Hi,

Did you noticed any unusual flight characteristics? I looked at the picture of your fan installation and I noticed the Brushless motors are of 2 different types. 1 being a GREEN Heat Shrink Shielded version (3900kv) and the other a BLUE Heat Shrink Shielded version (4600KV). (info I've gathered from the GWS fans I bought).

Just wondering......
Apr 14, 2009, 09:42 PM
I make ARFs out of RTFs..
Ben,

Your review was in August 2008 issue of the MA (p:76-86). I am currently using it to built my son's F-15. It is a very helpful review.

Terry,

Thanks for a well written review. It is very timely for me. The instruction manual is not necessarily the best I have seen. It is good to have reviews like these to clarify things.

The kit I have has the so called "blue" motors. The heat shrink is blue colored. I understand that these are good for only 3S. I have read that some of the kits come with a different version (I believe "green"), which is supposed to be better, and can handle 4S. Is it worth to replace the stock motors? How do you take off the blades to balance them? Do they need balancing?

My son is also insisting to build the plane with full flying stabilizers and ailerons. I am concerned about the weight penalty. What do you guys think?

ATAC
Apr 15, 2009, 12:08 AM
wine country wing nut
BlueSkyRiderX's Avatar
Hello everyone thank you looking at my review and for the kind words and detailed feedbacks.

Nothing gets past RC Groups members. I did accidentally install the horizontal stabilizers downside up and left swapped with right. Oops, my bad. However, it flew just fine in this configuration. The kit comes with two Y harnesses. It was my mistake to describe them as reversing.

The recommended battery size at 1300 to 1800 is large enough to drive both EDF units when the proper C rating is selected. The manufacturer recommends batteries >15C. I chose to use 2,100mah and 2,200mah batteries because the airframe balanced on the recommended CG without adding useless ballast weights.

The KV rating of the stock motors included in the kit should be 4600KV. The observation that one motor with blue insulation and the other with green insulation were installed in the airframe is correct. The GWS website shows that their Inrunner BL Motor 2028 is indeed color coded: Blue = 4600KV, Green = 3900KV, Black = 3000KV and Yellow = 2300KV. However I happy to report that even though motors of different KV ratings were installed in this ARF it did not demonstrate any adverse behaviors in flight.
Apr 15, 2009, 03:10 AM
The Need4Speed
fooyukvoon's Avatar
Blueskyrider,

I got the same model a few weeks ago but have yet to get down to building it. Still having too much fun demonstrating my Sapac Red Arrows (B2830 KV4000) to a bunch of skeptical local 'Prop' flyers. I am the lone EDF flyer in my town

Everyone here has the impression that EDFs are slow flyers.

What is your AUW? I would like to know because I am considering a different power plant for mine if the AUW is too high.

At the max of 3S, for the Blue coded 4600KV motors, it is only capable of about 410g thrust each. (as stated on the GWS EDF64 Box) so X2 = 820g (On the box it is stated a flying weight of 850-1000g

Whereas the Green Coded 3900KV motors are 4S capable, resulting in a high of 510g thrust. X2 = 1020g 1:1

Think that's enough to offset the weight of a bigger battery?

Thanks.
Apr 15, 2009, 10:49 AM
skunkworks
Dark Angel's Avatar
I built one last month they fly nice and have no bad habbits. They are slow I am using hyperion 4400 and it is slooooowwww. I built mine with conventional ailerons ,elevator. If I could do it over again I would use taileron set up to save weight and set up for 4s. Oh and unless you are using brushed motors DO NOT CUT THE CHEATER VENTS!
Apr 15, 2009, 02:14 PM
Fan-atic
cray2602's Avatar
The 4600kv motors make 750 grams thrust in the F-15 and pull about 42amps combined. I tried everything from removing the cheater covers to makeing thrust tubes and could not get more than 750grams from mine. The 3900kv motors on 4s make around 900 grams thrust at 42amps combined. The specs listed by GWS im sure are gathered without takeing into account the loss in efficiency from the airframe ducting. The green motors are some of the most efficient motors i have when compared by thrust vs watts.
Apr 15, 2009, 05:17 PM
Lipo abuser ... smoke on!
gp125racer's Avatar
Lookin good Terry! I'll have to bring my J10 out and chase you around with it.

Don
Latest blog entry: D100
Apr 15, 2009, 10:18 PM
It's a really big number.
I got one of the first F-15 kits out the door and still fly it nearly every weekend. It's such a nice model to see in the air and has no nasty vices.
Apr 15, 2009, 10:39 PM
Registered User
Ben Lanterman's Avatar
I just checked my stats.
Weight of the normal foam was average of 31 oz with no batteries.
Full initial power is 500 watts - 49 amps at 10.3 volts - which will drop rapidly of course.
Initial thrust is 32 ounces (896 grams)

The thrust was without cheater holes. I did cut some holes in this winter and am wondering how they will work if the weather ever gets better. I expect an overall thrust increase with the same power.

Dark Angle why would you say not to use the cheater vents? If the holes on the bottom of the fuselage have proper angled forward and aft edges to take advantage of the angle of attack high pressures there then it should feed the inlet pretty well in positive maneuvers. Not so good on negative outside maneuvers.

Just one other note - in the three sets of systems I have the fans have ran nicely so I didn't balance them. One now has a slight nick it it caused by a time when I ran off the runway (my fault) and it inhaled several sticks. It still runs smoothly.

Ben
Apr 16, 2009, 09:12 AM
Fan-atic
cray2602's Avatar
The biggest problem for this jet is the airframe drag. It takes huge amounts of power to get this thing running really fast in the air. One easy way to cut the drag a bit is to trim a couple inches off of the root of the wings to shorten them up. I cut mine by 2" per wing, it still floats in like a dream and flares great. Not to mention it looks better too. The stock wings are much bigger than they need to be. Tons of guys here on RCG have modded the heck out of this jet. Heres the thread that has most of the builds and mods for this F-15 https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=695155 . Lotsa good info in there.


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