Electric Flight - - AIRMAIL -

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

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