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RC Lander Hawker Hunter Print
Written by Jimbo   
Monday, 17 August 2009 19:02

RC Lander Hawker Hunter - Build and Flying Review

I've been waiting for this for quite some time, not that delivery was poor or that it got stuck in customs, no, just because for many months I've been trying to convince myself that I could build the west wings version when in reality I hadn't got the patience and there were no alternatives (until now) of flying such an iconic aircraft !

As usual packaging of this Lander bird was well up to the 'Friday afternoon' delivery man standard, the layer upon layer of packaging would satisfy even the largest of kids pass the parcel parties, luckily this is not a toy and I'm a big kid !

We fly from grass at our club and I was determined for the Hunter to take the demanding contours in its stride. I have been working with Tim at RC Lander to produce sprung legs to take the impact for a few months and the metal sprung struts Tim had produced were mighty impressive, the weight difference was negligible but the footprint slightly larger (more of this to follow)...

First up was the nose leg, the new spring leg was a direct swap for the original, I've suffered a few problems with mechanical retracts and advisee everyone to test, test, test the installation (including the right way up) before gluing it all together. As an added precaution I opt for a powerful servo, for this plane I used the TowerPro MG90S 13.4g (2.2Kg S/torque) Metal Geared micro servos. I have also suffered from nose leg collapse previously so for all round security I installed a large 1/16th ply plate over the mounting plate to spread the load. Remember though to measure the plate with the model test assembled so as to ensure the possibility of removal if required later. I found this out after the event as the when I joined everything the flippin servo started buzzing. I cured this by installing a straight wire rather than the pre-bend one and a small block of blase to stop binding due to the height differences of the servo and retract assembly.

The mains retracts were installed with minimum fuss, I did replace the wood bearers with thicker beech and built them up by 1/16 as the retracts are deeper that their plastic counterparts. I also replaced the provided screws with JR servo screws which were thicker to provide extra support.

The tail surfaces were interesting, the elevators are split with the rudder controlled by a central wire which keeps the surfaces very clean looking. I initially installed the provided metal push rods, they required some filing of the exit angle to line up with the elevator to complete but no real problem. although not strictly in order when I connected everything up with the elevator servo I found there was some stiffness in the assembly which caused the elevator not to centre properly and the servos to buzz on full deflection. I had some sullivan snakes in the workshop so I quickly changed the push rods for snakes towards the tail but kept a section of the original push rods (including where they joined into one) so as to reduce the amount of work required. I'm sure that if I had spent more time on the original method, possibly using WD40 on the push rods they would have worked.

If you go for flaps then you will end up with 6 servos in the wings, whilst installation isn't really a problem connecting everything up correctly at the field can be challenging, I made a change to the instructions to make this process easier. The instructions showed the cables threaded through the top of the wing, I thought it would be easier to connect them up ager the wing was screwed up and so decided on a different route, its really up to you. i also used some of the readily available sticky cables bases and ties to tidy things up.

After reading some early build information on the forums I deduced the the C of G in the instructions was too far forward so I took the decision of moving the elevator mounting further back, this was very simple, although when it was all put together it was totally unnecessary !

The installation of the silky smooth6S Lander metal special fan, ESC (hobywing high timing) and joint the fuselage was very straightforward, as is customary with RC Lander models the compartmentalisation of components is very effective and allows everything to be tested before its glued together.

Joining the wings was not really an issue, I did find the captive nut had been oversprayed during the painting process and was stiff so I replaced it and everything was ok. There was a bit of foam removal where the belly pan passes over the wooden wing bolt washers but this was minor.

So after approximately a week of leisurely evening builds the Hunter was ready for her maiden, CG was set at 160mm from the leading edge and she came out at 4lb 1oz on the scales, not bad considering she would be flying on 6S and had a total of 8 servos. After a range check we decided to do some taxi testing, true to form she was straight as a die. i set up 50% rates on the ailerons and elevators and took up the video while El Presidente took the sticks for the maiden flight. There was little wind for the maiden but she still took off in 3/4 of the runway and climbed very well, only a few of clicks of up trim required. After a couple of laps she was brought in for some fast passess which were great, she cuts slips through the air like a knife through butter. Steve lined her up for a roll and noted that a lot of down trim was required (note to self CG needs to be 165-170 from LE). After a few minutes we brought her in for a landing which was very straightforward, she came in like she was on rails.

Post flight inspection showed no problems with the retracts so in summary so the metal spring legs are a up to the job. In summary its a great model, i went a bit over the top with my modifications and if I was a little less impatient (apart from the retracts) the stock setup would work fine..... If you want to build a Hawker Hunter I can heartily recommend RC Lander's version.