|Wing area:||325.7 sq in.|
|Wing loading:||1.1oz sq ft.|
|Servos:||3x 9g servos|
|Transmitter:||Art-tech 4 channel FM|
|Receiver:||Art-tech 6ch micro|
|# of Fans:||1|
|Fan Thrust||approx. 16oz (470g)|
Over the last few years, the popularity and achievements of electric flight have progressed very rapidly. Two of the markets that have seen some of the largest growth are the foamy EDF (Electric Ducted Fan) and RTF (Ready To Fly) offerings. Art-Tech, manufacturer of those very things, has been around for a few years and produces quite a diverse range of products including R/C airplanes, helicopters, batteries, ESCs, gyros, servos and a slew of other assorted electronics. For those of us in North America, Nitroplanes.com carries quite a few of Art-Techís products, including the Eurofighter 2000 RTF kit featured in this review.
The EF2000 is marketed as a RTF, 95% complete kit so I expected a high level of prefabrication. I have never owned a, RTF package, and I found opening the box and inspecting the components quite fun. All of electronics come pre-installed, the components seem to be of decent quality, and all that was required was some final assembly.
A single 64mm fan unit with a brushless inrunner motor mounted at the factory powers the Eurofighter on the kit 3s 1600mah lipo. According to factory specs, the thrust output of the fan unit is in the 16oz range, which on paper should give the Eurofighter plenty of power. Bench testing showed my setup making just under 250W @ 20A on the stock freshly charged battery, and about 275W @ 24A on a 2200mah 20C pack that I also had in the workshop. Either way the stock 30A ESC is more then enough to cover the demands of the fan/motor combo.
I simply glued the wings and canards in place, installed the landing gear, plugged in the servo wires, charged up the battery and headed out for the maiden. If you've got some build/assembly experience, I'd bet you could complete the assembly in the amount of time it takes to charge the battery with the supplied wall charger (about 30 minutes for initial charge).
To attach the wings, I pushed the tabbed wing into a precut slot on the fuselage for both the left and right side. To ensure the wings were aligned properly, I kept the top / bottom of the wing flush with a ridge that runs the length of the fuselage. The servos and control linkages are already done at the factory, so once the wing was in place all that was left to-do was plug them in.
The Art-Tech Eurofighter comes with fixed canards, and to install them I slipped the tabbed end of the canard into a precut slot on the fuselage and glued them into place (just like the wing). Aligning the canards is done for you once the canard is fully inserted into the tab, but I still ensured everything looked symmetrical before I glued in place.
The only remaining step that is required to complete the fuselage is attaching the nose cone. I simply glued it into place after it was aligned appropriately.
Since itís a delta wing, there is no horizontal stab. And since the vertical stab is molded into the fuselage there is no assembly required. The rudder servo and linkages are pre-installed at the factory.
The steerable nose gear comes installed out of the box, so all that's left is to install the pre-bent mains which plug into a plastic base plate that is pre-mounted into the wing and which are held in place by 4 screws. For this step, I found it necessary to clean out some of the flash left over from the molding process with an exacto blade. It was preventing me from getting the gear to mount flush inside its housing.
All that remains for the builder to-do is to plug your servos into the RX. To gain access to the RX, start by removing the bottom 'cover' which retains and masks the electronic components installed underneath of it from the bottom side of the aircraft. Then plug your servo leads into the RX. I recommend you verify everything works as expected and then once you're satisfied everything is operational, pop the 'cover' back into place and secure with the provided screws.
I balanced the model, charged the battery, checked the throws and glued the wing tips on. The battery took about 30 minutes to charge on the provided wall charger, and then I was off to fly! There is no mention of throws in the manual, so I feel it's worth noting that I did not use the stock settings for the control horns on the ailerons. I ended up adjusting them so that they were placed in the hole closest to the aileron itself (ie maximum throws).
The Eurofighter is a stable aircraft which scoots along nicely above 3/4 throttle. With the provided 3s 1600mah pack, Iím getting just under 4 minutes of full throttle flight. Unfortunately, I don't have any way to scientifically measure the aircraftís speed, but I would guess the straight and level passes are in the 45mph range and downwind speed passes are upwards of 55mph.
Having flown the Eurofighter in winds varying from 0 - 15mph, I think itís safe to say it handles them very nicely, and as with most of my EDFs I actually prefer to fly in winds of 5 - 10 mph; It helps to slow down and stabilize the aircraft on approach and during takeoffs.
Full throttle rollouts had my Eurofighter airborne within 10 - 25 yards (depending upon the runway surface) with plenty of momentum for a nice scale climbout. Much like my J-10 (also a delta wing w/ canards), the plane didn't want to become airborne on its own, so I found myself needing to apply a good amount of up elevator to get the plane in the air.
Landing the Eurofighter is no different then any other EDF with the exception of the cool nose high attitude the canards give it on approach. Simply chop the throttle to about 1/8th, line up on the runway and grease her in.
The EF2000 rolls incredibly well, and handles nicely inverted with a slight bit of up elevator. I've found I can eek out a single loop from flat-out level flight, but the plane much prefers to enter them via a shallow dive on the stock 1600mah pack.
Absolutely not. The Eurofighter is fast, nimble and provides no self-righting characteristics. All of which are essential to the success of a trainer aircraft.
I find it hard to believe that for about $150, you can purchase a plane that looks great, assembles easily, flies well and everything short of some AA batteries is included right there in the box for you. For the price, I think it's a great bang for the buck, and I am glad to have it as part of my fleet.
Thanks to nitroplanes.com for supplying the plane for review and to Jon Barnes and Terry Riley for the fine media work.Last edited by Angela H; Mar 12, 2009 at 08:32 AM..
Very nice review. Sans landing gear the plane would really have a nice silhouette, but it doesn't look like she would be a good belly lander with the airscoop and servo arms positioned as they are.
BTW - how did you manage to slow down drastically upon touchdown on the last landing, down ele after the gear touched?
help with movements
I've just bought 1 of these ef2000's today and built it this evening. Like you said the instructions are simple to say the least. I notice from your review you mention 1-2mm up reflex to be setup, thanks for that, what a photo in the manual!
Most importantly can you help me with movement setup. My elevons only move about 3mm either way, which I think may not be enough, can you advise me of the settings you used.
Many thanks and great review by the way!
I got mine on max movement and I believe he mention the same thing. Most outer hole on servo horns and most inner hole in control surface horn. I also glued small plastic ball link to eliminate some pushrod flex.
I find that even with the lipo as far back as possible in the battery compartment, its still a bit nose heavy, mite also be because I replace the stock RX with Spektrum AR500 that I position just in front of the nose gear.
Anyhow, VERY NICE REVIEW & VERY NICE VIDEO & VERY NICE FLYING.
Upon closer review of you're review and better look at you're pictures, I was wondering if this was a recent model or earlier version and just took awhile for you to do the review. (very nice review by the way)
#1 The canards dont even look like the same materiel as mine and mine dont even look like the same material as the plane.
#2 You either did not install or did not have (disturded pieces) that mount just under the canopy in the line grooved in the side of the fuse.
#3 The ESC does not look like mine (and what's the extra 2 wires coming out of it)
#4 You mention 40-45mpg straight line passes, I too have no way of proving it (no gps or radar gun), But I did gps confirm 58mph on my truggy and this EF2000 look like it was a bit faster. I read somewhere that this mite do 70mph but I have yet to see this for myself. But regardless of its true top speed, its still pretty fast and cover ground or air space quickly. One can easily and quickly go out of range (1000ft stock TX/RX) if one is not carefull.
Main reason for my radio swap with my full range spektrum.
Last edited by freechip; Mar 18, 2009 at 08:20 PM.
Thanks for the comments fellas!
I was able to slow down as the surface there is loose gravel/small pebbles .... the tires dig down into it and slow me down pretty well. It also is what made the takeoff roll so long in the video.
Use max throws (all the way in) and just be easy on the sticks if you're using the stock transmitter ... remember we don't have any expo
Your bird looks nice! Not sure why we have different speed controls, and also what those two extra wires on mine are .... different connectors maybe? I'm not a great judge on speed, and I don't have a radar gun so I just guesstimated those numbers Also, I got this plane a few months back from nitroplanes so there might be a new version available??
Thanks! I can't wait to see some photos from your new rig. How are you likin' it so far??
Last edited by gp125racer; Mar 18, 2009 at 10:32 PM. Reason: spelling
Mine had a few problems.
The pre installed servos at neutural were not pointing the same way. In other words, UP always gave ROLL.
The control throws were way too much.
I had to open the turtle deck to get to the rudder/steering servo to correct the throw and to center the nosewheel.
The installed wiring was run all over the place into the inlet duct and was not neet and tucked into the housing like it should have been. Tucked mine in and the duct is very clean - well worth the effort.
The radio and receiver had no indication of what channel they were on. Some research through my JR instruction book found that the channel was 55. Now I can fly at a frequency controlled field. There weren't any adjustments such as end point and expodential. Replaced with a Hitec 555/JR tran.
Steering is a joke. The inside diameter of the wheel bearing is about twice as large as the nosewheel wire thereby allowing the plane to go any where except where the steering is commanded.
The plus side.
Once airborn it does extremly well. It looks good.
I've moved the stock battery as far back against the nose gear leg (still allowing steering) and it's still nose heavy according to the directions. But it flies OK.
Would I buy another? Yes, if I could buy without the radio AND realizing that a through search is required to correct the little things that made it through the non exsistant factory quality control.
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