FMS BAE Hawk
Until recently, jets with good scale detail and performance have been a little out of my price range. With the release of the new BAE Hawk from FMS, I can now own a nicely finished, vibrant red replica of the British Red Arrows’ official display-team plane. The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team was formed in late 1964, and in 1979, it started flying the BAE Systems Hawk T1 weapons trainer.
The FMS version of this famous plane only has three main parts to assemble (fuselage, wing, and stabilizer), and this is all done without a bit of glue. The Epo-foam construction replicates the detail of the full-size bird with many scale niceties, and is powered by an 80mm 12-blade electric ducted fan driven by a 3270-size 1930Kv brushless motor. All the control surfaces are hinged, the servos installed, and the pushrods connected. Scale retracts with gear doors and lights are installed and ready to go. The three basic parts are the fuselage, with vertical fin attached; a one-piece wing; and a horizontal stabilizer. Two other parts that need to be attached are scale details: an oil tank and ventral fins. While the plane is designed for the advanced pilot, the assembly can be done by anyone.
The Hawk’s ground control was excellent, and it was easy to control the rollout all the way to liftoff. The wheels are not that large, and a flat surface or well-groomed grass would be the best choice for this aircraft. I took off with half flaps, and the Hawk got into the air rather quickly; once there, the plane felt solid from the moment it broke ground.
This is, by far, the easiest plane to put together and get ready for the flightline. Once there, the payoff is a greatflying jet that has the right amount of power to perform any scale maneuvers you want to do. I found this plane to be a solid flier and enjoyable to fly, and it’s sure to get a lot of air time. If you are looking for a great starter jet that you can go from box to flightline in less than an hour, then this is the one for you.—john Reid