The F-16 defines “legend” among modern military jet enthusiasts. This Cold War-era centerpiece comes to life for us RC enthusiasts with ElectriFly’s EDF version. Kurt and Rob get a closer look and take to the air. Check out the videos to see how it flies…
The real F-16 is a computer assisted fly-by-wire design that was produced to be highly maneuverable at the cost of positive aerodynamics. Since we lack the advanced on-board flight control systems, ElectriFly made the F-16 a bit more aerodynamically stable, actually, a LOT more stable!
Assembly took several hours since you have to assemble and construct the intake and exhaust ducting for the EDF unit. Take your time and do it right, or your EDF performance will suffer significantly. The instructions are intuitive, but if you’ve never built, trimmed fiberglass and plywood, or worked with Epoxy with micro-balloon fillers, ask an experienced builder for some help.
During the EDF break-in phase (prior to installation) make sure you’ve got your unit running smoothly! This is a very critical step to in-air performance and durability. Keep working with adjustments until you have the EDF running smooth and vibration-free. Vibrations cause excessive loading resulting in motor heat build-up, high power consumption, and also increases the risk of fan failure. You should be able to run your EDF up to full throttle without much vibration. Rule of thumb: if it “tickles” your hand or causes some numbness after a few minutes exposure – you have too much vibration. Please be very careful when holding the EDF during break-in procedures, and keep some exhaust airflow going across the ESC – it gets hot real quick.
Once we cleared our EDF break-in and installation, we moved on to radio components and things went pretty fast. Launching is easiest to accomplish using the included bungee launcher. Draw back the F-16 the recommended distance and essentially let go (with a 20o up angle) and the F-16 will pull right into the air. Maintain about half up elevator at launch and you’ll fly out nice and smooth.
In the air the F-16 is solid as a rock. Aileron maneuvers are extremely fast and crisp. The EDF has plenty of power for some nice steep and even vertical climbouts. Thrust is slightly less than 1:1 but you’ll be happy with the performance. It never felt under-powered through our testing.
Landings are a breeze! Chop the throttle on the downwind, make your turn, and enter a nice long glide path. The F-16 is slippery but as it slows, you maintain perfect control, all the way to touchdown. We found the directions to be accurate for landing procedures – holding a foot or two off the ground while increasing elevator as necessary to maintain altitude – ending in a gentle “plop” on the grass, every time.
Yes, it’s fast and it’s smaller, but DON’T BE AFRAID! If you’re a solid intermediate pilot ready to move towards advanced EDF scale flight, this is a perfect next step!