So who's doing this reviewing then?
Well I've been building and flying or driving radio controlled models for over 40 years and during that time I like to think I've built up a reasonable amount of knowledge.
I'm also a qualified electronics engineer who has worked in radio frequency, analog, digital systems and software for more than three decades. In fact I designed and built my first RC set back in 1969.
For the past nine years I've also been involved in the design and manufacture of some rather sophisticated engine technology and UAV flight control systems.
So, chances are I've been there, done that and have a huge pile of tee shirts to prove it.
Right now I'm heavily into 3D flying and enjoy all aspects of the RC hobby. I may be old but I don't feel it.
In the Pipeline
Here's just a little bit of what's to come on this site...
RC explained: Demystifying terms such as PCM, PPM dual conversion, single conversion, full-range etc., this feature will explain it all.
Cheap Chinese Engines: Just how good are those cheap Chinese glow and gas engines that sell for half the price of their "brand-name" equivalent? I put several to the test.
Build your own radio gear?: Back in the old days, building your own RC gear was not uncommon and now the arrival of 2.4GHz has made it practical again.
Review: SkyAngel F16 EDF (part 2)
ARE YOU SURE THAT'S STOCK?
Dated: 14 Oct 2010
So how does the SkyAngel F16 fly?
Well the first thing that struck me was how tough this little model is.
How do I know it's tough?
Well watch the video below and you'll see what happened as a result of my failure to properly pre-flight the model and check that the ailerons were working in the right direction.
The result of that little "oops" was nothing more than a bent nose -- something which was quickly fixed with a bit of 5-minute epoxy.
Now to the real test-flight...
To say I'm very pleased with this little model would be an understatement.
It's very fast and those who see it flying almost always find it hard to believe that it's using the stock motor and battery.
Just for fun, I pitted it against a larger FMS F16 with its 70mm fan and 4S battery -- the SkyAngel was markedly faster, despite its diminutive size.
And, despite that small size, it flies like a much larger model. It grooves extremely well, making high-speed ankle-high low-passes easy to do. It's also pretty easy to land -- albeit I didn't bother with the optional undercarriage.
In fact, I don't see why anyone would bother with the undercarriage, since it doesn't have a steerable nose-leg and will simply add weight and drag.
There are a few negatives to this model though...
First-up, the flight time is quite short with the standard battery -- probably no more than 3 minutes if you fly at full-throttle all the time (and why wouldn't you?) At the end of a flight the stock 20C battery is pretty warm so I'm just awaiting the arrival of some 850mAH 3S Turnigy Nanotech batteries to see if that improves things any.
If you want to do much flying with this model you will need a bag of freshly charged batteries.
Although the EPO itself is nicely molded, it is rather flimsy in parts, particularly underneath where you have to hold it for a hand-launch. The stripes and trim are also very fragile and tend to rub off easily.
However, this model gets a big thumbs-up from RCModelReviews because it's a whole heap of fun for a very small amount of money!
- It's very nicely priced
- A very quick build
- Surprisingly fast and agile
- It's EPO and strong where it needs to be
- Nice "English" instructions, well illustrated
- Very complete, just add a receiver
- Flies like a much larger model -- groovy!
- It's just plain *fun*
- Stock battery doesn't give much flight-time
- Stripes and trim come off too easily
- A bit weak underneath for hand-launching
- EDF fan needs balancing before use
- Non-standard connectors on the battery/ESC
- Product: FlyAngel F16
- Wingspan: 530mm
- EDF: 50mm
- Overall rating: 4.5/5
- Value for money: 5/5
Updated: 20 Sep 2012
Here's a blog that will keep you informed just what's going on behind the scenes at RC Model Reviews and also tells you a little more about myself.
23 Mar 2010
How come there's no compatibility between different brands of transmitters and receivers? Why can't you use a cheap Chinese receiver with your Futaba FASST radio?
4 Mar 2010
Since this has become a very frequently asked question, I've posted this simple guide to getting your product, or a product you're thinking of buying reviewed here at RCModelReviews
Useful information on what's inside your servos and how they work.
Important facts you should know about the oils that are used in our model engine fuels.
How well do five different 2.4GHz systems stack up when hit by interference? The answers are here, with more to come.
Yes it does work on model airplanes but there are some limitations involved with this bargain-basement radar speed gun.
These are possibly the world's worst servos, find out exactly why you should avoid these boat-anchors at any cost.
It's cheap but can it really stack up against other glow engines in the .90 market? Find out in this review.
How does this cheap 9-channel 2.4GHz radio system perform when compared to big-name systems that can cost two or three times as much? Have the Chinese finally developed a real contender with the iMax 9X?
Does all this 2.4GHz stuff have your head spinning?
I've done my best to demystify the whole subject so if you feel like a bit of learning, this is the stuff for you!
How can you tell when your engine needs new bearings? Who has the best prices and service on replacements? Just how do you change them? Get all that information and watch a great video tutorial anyone can follow.
The Chinese are now churning out a huge number of very reasonably priced no-name servos. But are they any good?
Nicad, NiMH, Li-Ion, LiPoly, LiFePO4, A123... the range of different battery types has never been greater. So how do they differ and what type should you be using?