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Written by Tom Sullivan
A sport scale model designed to go fast
Abridged product review
Photos by the author
Read the full product review in the February 2016 issue of
Model Aviation.


Specifications

Model type: Semiscale ARF
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced
Wingspan: 52 inches
Wing area: 448 square inches
Airfoil: Semisymmetrical
Length: 44 inches
Weight: 6 to 7 pounds
Power system: .46-.55 two-stroke; .70 four-stroke; equivalent electric motor
Radio: Recommended: four channels; five servos
Street price: $179.99


Test-model Details

Radio system: Futaba 8FG radio; R617FS Futaba receiver; four S9001 Futaba servos; a Futaba Y harness; and two 9-inch servo extensions
Power system: O.S. GGT10 gas engine
Propeller: Falcon 12 x 8
Ready-to-fly weight: 5.5 pounds
Flight duration: Up to 30 minutes


Pluses

• Laser-cut balsa and plywood for fuselage construction; balsa sheeted foam cores for the wings.
• Includes all control hardware, wheels, fiberglass wheel pants, and cowl.
• All control surfaces come prehinged and glued from the factory.
• The firewall comes predrilled and includes preinstalled T-nuts.


Minus

• The engine-mounting location is described as being in two different locations in the manual.


Product Review

I like to think of myself as somewhat knowledgeable about nearly any airplane that’s ever been flown—that was until I was asked about reviewing the F-1 Rocket Evo. Having just reviewed a Radial Rocket, I first thought it was a similar design; however, this kit from Great Planes is quite different.

This kit is a semiscale model of the full-scale homebuilt aircraft manufactured by the Team Rocket Aircraft Co. Its all-metal airframe was designed to deliver extremely high performance with a 3,500-feet-per-minute climb rate and a 230-plus-mph cruising speed. Obviously, the review kit won't quite hit these speeds.




Nothing but balsa, plywood, and fiberglass is used in the F-1 Rocket Evo’s airframe. It comes with a complete hardware package, including a spinner.


This is a well-constructed model. The entire airframe is assembled from laser-cut balsa and plywood, making it quite lightweight. The MonoKote covering over the airframe and the matching paint of the cowl and wheelpants are eye-catching. The amount of work that was done at the factory should make the airframe assembly a breeze.

You need to decide how you’ll power your Rocket. Parts are included for either electric or fuel powerplants. If you go the electric route, laser-cut wood parts are included to build up the motor box that holds the motor in place, basically extending the firewall forward. On the bottom of the fuselage, behind the wing saddle, is a series of cooling exits beneath the covering. Cutting away the covering will open up the vent holes needed to cool the battery and ESC.


Flying

When it was time for the maiden flight, and with the GGT10 engine singing along, the Rocket tracked down the runway with a minimal amount of steering input and took off with authority. It took a few passes to get the trim dialed in, and with the photo passes out of the way, it was time to push the F-1 Rocket Evo’s limits.

It flies as though it’s on rails, especially when pushing it at high speeds. Goose-bump-raising low passes are rock solid, even when flying inverted.

But there’s more to flying than high-speed passes, and the F-1 Rocket Evo delivers. It is an aerobatic model and is as happy with simple rolls and loops as it is with violent snaps and spins. Throw anything you want at it and it delivers predictably.

When you’re done tearing up the sky, the Rocket will settle down and cruise with no bad habits or risks of stalling. The controls remain responsive all the way down to landing speed, and that’s reassuring regardless of your skill level.




The Great Planes F-1 Rocket Evo is a great design and fun to fly. Coupling it with the O.S. GGT10 gas engine, you can fly all day for only a few bucks.


In Conclusion

I’ve fallen in love with this little Great Planes F-1 Rocket Evo. It looks great with its white, yellow, purple, and teal color scheme. It’s not a big model, so it will easily fit into my car’s trunk for a quick run to the field, but it flies bigger than it is.

I love opening it up for low inverted passes, then pushing full down so it races skyward while I add in a series of rolls. There’s not enough power to hover, or go vertically ballistic, nor should there be.

The F-1 Rocket Evo is a great design and just plain fun to fly. Coupling it with the GGT10 gas engine, I can have fun all day for only a few bucks. What a deal!
—Tom Sullivan
tmsullivan@roadrunner.com


Video


Manufacturer/Distributor

Great Planes
(800) 637-7660
www.greatplanes.com


Sources

O.S. Engines
(217) 398-8970
www.osengines.com

Futaba
(217) 398-8970
www.futabarc.com

F-1 Rocket Evo manual and addendum
www.manuals.hobbico.com/gpm/gpma1030-manual.pdf
www.manuals.hobbico.com/gpm/gpma1030-addendum.pdf



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