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Review by Jay Smith
An enjoyable EDF jet experience
Abridged review and bonus photos.
Read the complete review in the August 2014 issue of
Model Aviation.



Specifications

Model type: Semiscale EDF
Skill level: Beginner builder; intermediate pilot
Wingspan: 43.3 inches
Length: 39.4 inches
Weight: 59.26 ounces
Construction: EPO foam
Street price: $249.99


Test-Model Details

Motor: Two 2836-3500 Kv brushless outrunners (included)
Speed controller: Two 40-amp SBEC Brushless ESCs (included)
Battery: Admiral 4S 3,600 mAh LiPo 40C
Radio system: Futaba 8FG transmitter; Futaba R617FS receiver
Ready-to-fly weight: 60 ounces
Flight duration: 4-6 minutes


Pluses

• Electronic retractable main and nose landing gear.
• U.S. Air Force graphics, hand-painted pilot, detailed cockpit, 30mm gun, and bombs.
• Twin 40-amp ESCs are housed in a special compartment providing effective cooling.
• Twin motors produce more than 1,700 grams of thrust.
• Nylon hinges on all control surfaces.
• Wide flight envelope.


Minuses

• Optional flaps only have foam hinges.
• Review model was missing a part, but Motion RC quickly provided a replacement.


Abridged Review

Although the A-10 Thunderbolt II entered service in the 1970s, intended to target Soviet tanks, it is more prominently known today for its close-air support missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Warthog, as it is commonly known, was credited with the destruction of 967 tanks in the Gulf War alone.

Upon receiving the Freewing A-10, the first order of business was to read the manual cover to cover. The English version of the manual spans 20 pages and includes black-and-white photos of the steps required to assemble the aircraft. The Chinese-to-English instructions leave a little to be desired, but easy enough to follow.

The manual does illustrate and describe how to install the retractable landing gear and assemble the EDF fan units to the motors, although these steps are already complete.

All of the mounting points, including the tail, wing, and power pod, utilize a plastic insert that ensures the screws can be securely attached without digging into the foam or causing a weak point.

The throws in the manual were used for high and low rates and 20% exponential was used on all controls. The model balanced within the CG range.

The completed model, with all of its preinstalled markings, decals, and armaments, looks absolutely fantastic! This foam model packs plenty of detail right out of the box.

Before the actual maiden flight, high and low speed taxi tests were done to get a feel for the A-10’s ground-handling capabilities. At high speed, it tracked well with only minor rudder inputs needed to keep it on the centerline. At low speed, the servo throw was more than adequate to maneuver around the pit area and line up on the runway. The steerable nose wheel was effective, but not overly sensitive.

Freewing did a great job matching the power system to the airframe. Smooth, scalelike passes can be made at half throttle. A touch more power was needed for rolls or inverted maneuvers. When going into any turnaround maneuvers such as Half Cuban 8s, wingovers, etc., you’ll need to use roughly three-quarters throttle for the verticals.

If you like to fly fast, expect a flight time of roughly 4 minutes. If you fly with throttle management and some common sense, you can coax 6 minutes out of the pack. However, when power runs out, there is no gradual decrease in thrust. Instead the power simply stops, turning the A-10 into a glider. So to make sure you have power for all of your landings, set your timer, and use it vigilantly.

The Freewing A-10 Thunderbolt II is easily assembled and does a nice job replicating its full-scale counterpart thanks to its preapplied U.S. Air Force graphics. Motion RC was quick to provide the missing servo arm with U-Arm link and the company stocks a full range of replacement parts for the A-10.

The A-10 presents as well on the ground as it does in the air and its only challenge may be in flying it in a gray sky when its colors seem to blend in at a distance.

Intermediate pilots should find the FreewingA-10 to be an enjoyable EDF jet experience.

Read the complete review and build in the August 2014 issue of Model Aviation.

Jay Smith





Bonus Photos





2 comments

I thinks it's clear that the reason Motion RC provided a replacement part at near warp 8 speed, is because they didn't want to get a bad review. (Editor’s note: the rest of this comment has been removed because it does not comply with our comment policy at www.ModelAviation.com/commentpolicy)

Not sure what this individual had to say about Motion RC. However, their customer service is second to none. They answer emails and calls promptly and make good on all products the carry. If there is an issue, they resolve it to the customer's satisfaction. They have an on-line chat that is monitored through the day and after hours. Moreover, they carry parts for all planes in their inventory. Try this with some of the other so call name brand retailers. No need to mention names here. Bravo Zulu for Motion.

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