Going Electric - With Electro Flyer!

Electro Flyer Gets Ready For Christmas
By Mark Stringer
Here we are again. I can't believe this is my 20th article for "Flying Sites". (A big thank you too, Mark! Ed.)

A big thanks to everyone who have read my articles and provided feedback over the last couple of years. I hope that these are still of interest and help inspire people, young and old to enter the field of clean, easy electric flight.

Hopefully this month's offering will continue to build on this as I have just so much to cover - I just hope the ED can spare the space on the site.

New Web Site
Firstly, I must tell everyone about the most exciting research tool into vintage/not too recent modelling. Whether it is just out of interest or as a serious research tool this web site is amazing - the Queen and Queen Mother at a model show, DeHaviland as a judge at a model competition, even the first flights of the Radio Queen (see my model of this beauty in my earlier articles) and lots more! - Not just for modelling but for everything!!!

British pathe Web SiteJust imagine if you could get hold of every bit of newsreel that had ever been taken by the good old "British Pathe News". Well, you can! Everything they ever did has been digitally transformed as well as every film having been screen captured throughout so that you can get photos too.

For medium quality with "preview" written across it is all-free! If you really want something then you can buy a film clip in high quality for £25 or a picture for £15, but for general interest it is all free. Browse around, add what you fancy to your basket and when done go to the checkout. Fill in all of your details and your purchase - costing £00.00 ! - is confirmed. The links to download are supplied and e-mailed to you giving you 7 days to download. It will even save a cookie for you so that next time all your details are filled in ready for you. So, what ever you are researching through 3,500 hours of video, 12 million still images and 75 years of history then go take a look at:

Enjoy !!!!!

Fan-Tastic Models Mig 15Mig 15 Update
Ok, a quick update first. The Fan-Tastic MIG EDF model I reviewed last month has had one quick flight in the back garden. Affected by a little too much turbulence and a pilot error on the trim the flight was cut short with a stall. Just a bit of nose rash but she will be fine. However, from the short flight I am more than happy that she is a little gem. She launched easily, plenty of power and, probably due to how light I managed to finish her; she was quite quick and nimble, handling faultlessly.

Sounded great too! Even based on this one short flight it is obvious that she is a super little model with no vices. She doesn't need much in the way of control movements. As set I felt there was too much so I used the computer on the radio to reduce the movement and use the rates, this gave me a throw of the switch if I did need more.

The problem with this is that the trim doesn't obey rates, so when I needed to add a little "up" and used the trim, it moved too much causing a stall which combined with the turbulence over a garden terrace ended in a bump. No great damage though and as soon as I get time she will be straight back into the air - lovely!
(Read Mark's Mig 15 Review here)

Mini DragonflyNew Models
And now to the new models that have come my way.
I have currently three electric helicopters, a powered glider and a 4 channel aerobatic aircraft at my disposal so I will do a brief review on these and may cover each in more detail at a later date. See my web site if you want details of everything that is now available.

First of all, the Helicopters. I have a GWS Mini Dragonfly, a Smartech Aerohawk and a Coloco Thunderbird.

I have read Steve Broughton's article on the Piccolo and it surprised me to find that his model came as a box of bits with a foam canopy, so costing him extra to get an ABS one.

ColocoI am new to the electric helicopter market and so wasn't aware at just how complete the kits that had arrived on my doorstep really were. All of them come almost ready to fly. The Dragonfly and Thunderbird just need the counter-balance arm pushing across and tightening with the supplied Allen key and they are ready. The Aerohawk also needs the rotor blades fixing with two screws - again with screwdriver and Allen key supplied!

All have ABS canopies, mains 2-hour chargers with UK adapter included. If you have a standard ni-cad fast charger then you can be flying any of these within 10 minutes of opening the box.

The Dragonfly and Smartech come with 4-channel radio - mine came with a Futaba SkySport 4 Transmitter (optional). The Thunderbird came with a 6-channel transmitter though I am told the 5th and 6th channels are not enabled (Haven't checked yet). They all use mini servos, have receiver, speed controllers and gyros.

Dragonfly PackageThe Dragonfly and Thunderbird have all parts as separates (The Dragonfly is all GWS radio), the Aerohawk has an all-in-one receiver/gyro.

They are all available with "Crash Kits" which include spare battery pack, tail rotor motor, tail and main rotor blades, counterbalance bar and rotor head parts. Training undercarriage and Flight Simulator lead for the FMS Flight Simulator are also available.

All the models are fixed pitch at the moment, although I am working on this with the suppliers for the future.

The GWS Dragonfly is the highest performing and smoothest model, so for those with some helicopter experience (or the adventurous) this is ideal choice. Very high performance rotor blades get this quickly off the ground to good heights with excellent gyro stabilisation. Everything about this model is excellent from the quality to the performance, but what else would you expect from GWS?

Aerohawk MilitaryThe Aerohawk uses the same size 7.2 V power but is a little larger and so gives the impression of less power. This however makes it that bit steadier and less inclined to zoom off into the sky. This makes it a perfect first model and can carry the weight of the training undercarriage with ease. Lovely build quality and very smooth, a real treat. It also has Military and Police Hughes body shells available - these look fantastic and fit perfectly.

Finally, the Thunderbird. The odd one of the bunch this. It is obviously based on the Dragonfly but uses a different motor and an 8.4 V battery pack. I expected this to be the most powerful but due to the extra weight of the batteries and lower quality of the plastics used in the rotor head it did not perform as well as the other two and struggled to carry the extra weight of training undercarriage. I am working on this with the suppliers but I suppose as this is the cheapest one that lower performance is to be expected.

Aerohawk PoliceAnd so, on to the price! This is where it gets really good! All models are shipped directly from the Far East to your door so you may have to pay VAT and a small handling charge from the carrier, but even so I think they are all pretty good value, especially considering they are ARTF with all the radio (including transmitter), gyro, batteries and charger - basically everything you need. The price also includes the postage!
The introductory prices are:
GWS Dragonfly £160
Smartech Aerohawk £160
Coloco Thunderbird £145

Electric Gliders
Next comes the Badius electric glider. This is an all moulded plastic/foam ARTF very nice looking model that goes together in about 15 minutes. It has a span of 43"

Badius Electric GliderIt comes complete with 3 channel 27 MHz radio including transmitter, receiver, servos, battery pack, mains charger and speed controller - again everything you need apart from the transmitter batteries. The motor and radio is pre-mounted and connected up along with the speed controller. Even a spare folding prop and optional undercarriage is included, so just join the wings with the plastic plates and screws (screwdriver included), fix them to the fuselage, charge the battery pack and off you go. The transmitter has a rotary knob for proportional motor control and includes servos reverse.

She flies very smoothly and easily - the perfect first model for those who fancy getting into the hobby. Shipping is on the same basis as with the helicopters but at the introductory price of just £80 including postage that should still work out pretty good.

Anyone For Aerobatics?
Finally is the Scorcher 4 channel Aerobatic model. It has a span of 34½. This comes either with or without radio, but it is so cheap for the radio option (all GWS radio including transmitter) I can't see why you would want it any other way.

Scorcher Electric AerobatThe model is all moulded plastic and foam and is very ARTF, so it should take only minutes to assemble. A single servo is mounted in the strengthened almost symmetrical full profile open cored foam wings. Elevator and rudder servos pre-mounted in the fuselage along with the motor and pre-wired speed controller. The canopy needs cutting from its vac formed sheet and screwed to the fuselage, screw the undercarriage on, connect the elevator and rudder linkages to the pre mounted horns, screw them both in place and there you go.

The battery pack is supplied, along with a mains charger and spare prop of course, so charge her up and you are ready to go.

This model is due for release around Christmas time and we are working on the decals at the moment. Two sets have come to me so far. These are being adjusted in size for a better fit so I will have to do an update on the final look but the ones I had put on her are not the way I would normally finish this type of model but I have to say she looks great!

Scorcher Electric AerobatI have yet to fly this one so again will have to do a follow up on this but with everything happening at the moment I just don't know where I will find the time to do everything - but at least it should keep the article coming for a few months.

The introductory prices on this one, on the same shipping basis as the others, are:
Model kit £100
Complete kits with GWS 4 channel radio (including transmitter) £135.

Well that's it for another month - have a great Christmas everyone, and an electric New Year.

If you have any questions then please get in touch with Mark at:
or check out his web site at: