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Air Hogs F-16 Mini Review

Old 05-20-2006, 04:52 PM
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Joe 1320
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Default Air Hogs F-16 Mini Review

I was finally able to track these down. They are a Target exclusive at least for the moment. I opened the package and was pleasantly suprised with the airframe itself. It appears better than the Dominator (F-117 knockoff) but is still unfinished on the underside. The production units should be finished top and bottom, but that is easily rectified by some foam safe paint. The shape of the fuselage is reasonable, the wing angle has been changed to a configuration similar to the F-15 with the wings swept foreward. Intersting is that it appears semi serviceable. The motors and prop protectors unscrew from the wings, giving one the impression that upgrades are possible. the same goes for the battery compartment, but I'm not hacking this up just yet to do some exploratory surgery. :p There is even a slight bit of rudder adjustment via a small bendable tab. Not elegant, but functional. The nose is a foam rubber. Hmmmm....... I found that odd. I eventually found the reason and it works well.

The Charger/Remote serves double duty. After inserting the 6 AA batteries into the transmitter, a side panel is opened and the charging lead is brought out to insert into the plane. Once the lead is inserted into the plane, push the charging button and the red indicator light flashes. It continues to flash until the charge cycle is complete, at that time the LED light changes to green. To perform the double charge, once the first charge is complete, pull out the charging connector and re-insert. Push the charge button again for another complete cycle. You'll find the plane performs best this way, but battery life in the transmitter is decreased. You'll want to replace the batteries in the transmitter as soon as you see decreased flight times and or altitude. On the subject of the transmitter portion, the charger/remote is still the same terrible gated single joystick that makes changes in power and direction at the same time nearly impossible. The range is acceptable and the idea of the the charger and transmitter combo is great. If the Aero Ace technology were used is would be a major improvement. That being said, on to the flight.......

The maiden flight was near sunset, the sky was clear and the air was still. The hand launch was a snap and immediatly the plane started to move out. I had expected the same leisurely flight characteristics that the Dominator had. Basically that one you just try and fly it around and it looks sort of scale in the air. This one is definately faster, It looks great in the air and is fairly agile for what it is. You have to anticipate the turning, but once you get used to it there are some neat things you can do. The plane climbs out well without any additional throttle input. The plane goes where you point it, however it has a tendency to porpoise a bit as wind speeds climb. It actually flies typical of any rudder only, single engine speed plane..... with some exceptions. Once you lose airspeed, it plumets toward the ground like a laser guided bunker buster on it's way toward an Iraqi presidential bunker. In some ways, there are some great tricks that can be done. Throttle it up to altitude and turn off the transmitter. The engines stop, the plane eventually stalls. It instantly snaps into a twisting dive straight toward mother earth. After a few twists and 50 ft of stright down, turn on the transmitter with your full throttle engauged. It rockets out of the dive in a wicked snap and if you're good with a joystick, this is capible of some cool manouvers. Not enough power for a loop, but some cool stuff for a $30 toy. Now that being said, make sure you bring it down before you run out of power. I don't think I have to describe the end result more accurately than it's a bunker buster.

Landing is altogether another issue. I've only been able to get a decent glide path down on a couple of flights. Now I have to say that I am trying to land in close confines, the average big field is pretty easy. I'm trying to consistantly land in a 20x20 patch of my side lawn. Most times I had to fly it down to about waist high and cut power from the transmitter and force it into a frenzied lawn dart trajectory and I can drop it there almost every time. Now I see why the foam nose cone. It cushions the fall pretty good, sometimes bouncing like an Aero Ace, sometimes imbedding nose first into the grass like unexploded ordinance. I still worry about the lack of glide cability. The way this dives, it looks spectacular doing stunts but flying out of range would have catastrophic results.

I've already put 15 flights on it, a double charge each time and it does fly. Does it fly like something with 3 channels? Heck no. I think the biggest hinderance to this is the electronics/ transmitter. If one could have throttle control like the Aero Ace, left and right control like the aero ace, this would be a serious winner. Without it, you have to muscle it around and the drama level is fair. It's not as easy to control direction precisely, but I'm having fun with it considering what it is. When this one is trahed, I will buy another. The airframe will make some interesting conversions. When you guys get these and finally burn out the motors, I would love to have the intact leftover airframe for another project.

As far as kids flying it, they will have a blast. It will also keep them entertained as they will be doing some long distance fetching in between flights. Unless they learn the trick of bringing it down while there is still battery power, it's going to land somewhere other than expected.


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Old 05-24-2006, 04:11 PM
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Still flying after 30 flights. It's turning out to be a fun little plane. Frustrating that there is no turning ability once the battery runs down. I've been able to get decent landings instead of the lawn dart approach. You just have to keep the airspeed up. Pulsing the throttle keeps it going fast enough to land normally. In reality, it's just learning what the thing will and won't do, then flying it according to those parameters. I'm sure I would buy it again.
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Old 05-31-2006, 09:06 PM
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With all it's battle scars, I decided to give it a refresh. I know the F-18 is what the Blue Angels use, but I just couldn't resist the paint scheme. it looks stunning, but now kinda flies like a pig. I used too many coats, I even went so far as to add a clear coat. All that weight made it a little tail heavy, so after a few terrible flights I got the CG back on by adding a little weight to the nose. It doesn't quite fly with the authority it did without the paint, but the look makes up for it.


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Old 07-22-2006, 01:52 PM
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Joe, nice.
I made pretty much real nose dives with the syma 295m
http://www.wattflyer.com/photoplog/index.php?n=786
and a sportfflyer from silverlit. But these EPP planes just bump and jump a bit arround then, also nice :-))

Perhaps you can make two little front wings, see:
the silverlit green turbo fury channel C (airhog you call it) i am from the netherlands)

Bottomline, after some 'adventures' with a 3 channel piper pa-12, 3 channel, this little vector steered, proportional 'gas' flyers is much higher FUN factor !
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Old 07-22-2006, 03:38 PM
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That's unusual! We don't have those here in the states. There is something similar, but it doesn't use the same technology as yours. It appears as though you have the Aero Ace (the biplane here in the US) transmitter and electronics in an airframe similar to other air hogs products. I would like to find one of those! Any idea where I can find one online and have it shipped?
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe 1320 View Post
Any idea where I can find one online and have it shipped?
Yes, i also bought it by internet, in germany. www.ebay.de and seek on "silverlit fury" without the " 's
http://cgi.ebay.de/R-C-X-Twin-Turbo-...QQcmdZViewItem

To get it here, it cost 14 euro. Germany is real close to the Netherlands, so what it would cost to get it to USA....? don't know.

Indeed, the rc transmitter is EXACT as the one from silverlit, so it must be an umbrella brand or such, named silverlit in europe and airo ace where u at.
Also see http://www.silverlit-flyingclub.com/ perhaps that directs you to somewhere nearer.
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe 1320 View Post
That's unusual! We don't have those here in the states. There is something similar
Indeed, i was confusseled, it is Aero Ace wich has the same one as silverlit does. That aero ace bi plane is exact the same as with silerverlit wich sells that one to, but then it is (well most are) as DHL painted yellow and red. These sold out in a week or 3
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:59 PM
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Ah.... www.silverlit.de
http://www.nottoxic.com/wapcc/xtwin/airace.html
And the strang thing is, exactly my Syma (is a brand) c-295m sells now also at- and as silverlit, look 100% the same, only charger is tippicall aero ace / silverlit now. (Syma delivers with bigger 2 stick, fine tune, 8 AA battery operated rc sender)
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:53 AM
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Apart models in germany buyable online:
http://www.xufo-shop.de/sess/utn;jse...iew.shopscript
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Old 07-23-2006, 03:52 PM
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Great info..... thanks!
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Old 08-03-2006, 10:16 PM
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After countless flights, I finally managed to break off a prop. Snapped the shaft right off the motor. Upon disassembly, I find something rather interesting. The motors appear to be the same as the old Wattage B-2 motors. Hmmm...... I wonder if that old B-2 kit that I have would fly with this type of control arrangement. In any case, these things are serviceable and I have to say, more reliable than many of my other planes. This one can be crashed at high speed and with well over a hundred flights, I've yet to break an F-16 until now. Even that damage was minimal, a quick motor swap and it's as good as new. These things are tough, they fly well once you get the hang of it and are a pretty good value in the inexpensive catagory.

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Old 08-07-2006, 09:29 PM
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I like your paint job!
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:53 AM
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flew my f/16 yesterday and i am still amazed how rugged this plane is. the one i cracked the nose on must have been defective. i had the plane up about 75 ft when i lost it in the sun. when i picked it up again it was barreling towards a pickup truck and crashed nose first into a deck plate steel tool box at about rough estimate 30 to 40 mph. thought i would be picking up pieces of plane. but nothing happened!! the plane looked like brand new except for a scuff mark or two. will post some photos later so you can judge for yourself. charged her up and flew for about 1 more hour. these thing rule!! get one if you can find one. clear skies and good flying.
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:23 PM
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I can also attest to the F16's durability. Mine got stuck on a school roof for two weeks. After a number of storms, I got a call back from the school that they found it. Charged it up and off it flew.
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:46 PM
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As a matter of fact, I am more bummed when I can't fly the Air Hog F-16 than with my larger planes. I guess because there less prep to do. The battery is sealed, no servos to check, no bulky flight box and all the associated gear. Just charge it and chuck it.
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:39 AM
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Yes, I read your posts on the F-16 and I agree. Over the last week I've learned and enjoyed the F-16 quite a bit. It can handle a mild breeze much better than the Aero Ace that's for sure. These suckers can really move. It was scary at first. But after a couple no wind mornings, I feel much more confident flying this thing around. I have a park near me that's got 4 socer fields side by side, and allows me plenty of space to navigate.

I loved my Aero Ace, but I get really excited when I get to fly the F-16.
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:32 PM
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Hey Joe, how many dual charges do you get out of a set of batteries? I've probably gotten about 12+ in now and the plane isnt responding at anything further than 40-50 feet or so. I figure its the remote not sending out a strong signal? I almost lost my F-16 today... it was like something out of a John Candy movie. The F-16 took a B line for the nearest forest and just went straight. I killed the power on the remote, walked about 150 yards, turned on the remote and heard the plane in a bush. heh, at least I got it back.
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Technodynamic View Post
Hey Joe, how many dual charges do you get out of a set of batteries? I've probably gotten about 12+ in now and the plane isnt responding at anything further than 40-50 feet or so. I figure its the remote not sending out a strong signal? I almost lost my F-16 today... it was like something out of a John Candy movie. The F-16 took a B line for the nearest forest and just went straight. I killed the power on the remote, walked about 150 yards, turned on the remote and heard the plane in a bush. heh, at least I got it back.
I haven't counted the amount of flights before replacement, but if I had to guess I would say 10 flights before the perfromance starts to suffer a little. I pull the batteries and check them with a LED type testor and sure enough, the batteries are down by half. I buy the 36 pack of double A's at home depot for $11.99..... that is the deal on these.

Don't feel bad about your mishap. I've had to turn the transmitter on to locate mine before. One time it got away in 10-15 mph winds and it came down about 1000ft away. A few other times I've fished them out of trees, off roofs, etc.... haven't lost one yet.
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe 1320 View Post
I haven't counted the amount of flights before replacement, but if I had to guess I would say 10 flights before the perfromance starts to suffer a little. I pull the batteries and check them with a LED type testor and sure enough, the batteries are down by half. I buy the 36 pack of double A's at home depot for $11.99..... that is the deal on these.

Don't feel bad about your mishap. I've had to turn the transmitter on to locate mine before. One time it got away in 10-15 mph winds and it came down about 1000ft away. A few other times I've fished them out of trees, off roofs, etc.... haven't lost one yet.
heh, it was actually humorous (since I found it) I'll have to get some of those batteries at Home Depot. Now the question is, what do I do with a bunch of AA batteries that are half dead.
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Technodynamic View Post
Now the question is, what do I do with a bunch of AA batteries that are half dead.
I've found that my digital camera is the same way..... once the batteries are down to half, it quits. Half dead batteries will still have enough juice to power clocks, flashlights and other low load items for a decent amount of time. I'm in the process of getting a few items together to modify a transmitter to use an external voltage source. The factory transmitter takes voltage from two different places via a second tap strictly for charging voltage. Right now I use one tranmitter strickly for flying and a second one strictly for charging. The one used for flight control has probably 60 flights and the batteries are still strong. It's the charging that eats the batteries........ but not for long.
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Old 08-15-2006, 02:45 AM
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sams club or costco sell 48 aa batteries for $13.99. my f/16 landed in a salt marsh, nothing but 6 to 7 foot tall green plants found mine by listening for motors two. luckily it didnt penetrate down to the water level. clear skies and good flying
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:52 PM
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I just had to do another one with the Thunderbirds paint scheme. Even though I stripped off the grey before re-doing the white color, it still added additional weight that required some additional nose weight to compensate. This is still lighter than the Blue Angels version, not quite as fast as an out of the box plane, but flies great. Well over 100 flights on these now, as those of you that have purchased these found out..... they rock!


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Old 09-10-2006, 03:56 AM
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Nice! I am going out hopefully tomorrow to fly (I really hope my Firebird Scout will be up to it). I will probably end up driving with the entirety of my hangar in the back and end up flying half of them. The one I will fly most though will definately be the F-16, it is such a great flier and looks fantastic in the air. Hope to post pics tomorrow.
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Old 09-10-2006, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe 1320 View Post
I just had to do another one with the Thunderbirds paint scheme. Even though I stripped off the grey before re-doing the white color, it still added additional weight that required some additional nose weight to compensate. This is still lighter than the Blue Angels version, not quite as fast as an out of the box plane, but flies great. Well over 100 flights on these now, as those of you that have purchased these found out..... they rock!

hi joe thats a realy cool paint job how did you remove the grey? i would like to paint my 2. btw each one is 50+ flights and still going strong. thanks for turning me on to them clear skies and good flying
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by kenchiroalpha View Post
hi joe thats a realy cool paint job how did you remove the grey? i would like to paint my 2. btw each one is 50+ flights and still going strong. thanks for turning me on to them clear skies and good flying
You'll laugh at this...... to remover the paint I first remove all the tape applied from the factory then I apply clear tape carefully to each area except the vertical stab. I put it out in the sun for a hour or so, bring it in and let it cool. Then peel..... most of the grey lifts off with the tape. I may take several applications but eventually it all comes off. If you can get by without any addional paint, this thing is a scorcher. Paint adds so much weight that performance wise, a good looker will be a slow flyer.

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