Horizon Hobby E-flite UMX A-10 BL BNF Basic


Written by Jon Barnes
A wee size Hawg with a big grunt!
Product review
As seen in the Summer 2017 issue of Model Aviation.


Bonus video


Specifications

• Type: BNF twin EDF jet
• Skill level: Intermediate
• Wingspan: 22.1 inches
• Length: 20.3 inches
• Ready-to-fly weight: 5.9 ounces
• Price: $149.99
• Info: horizonhobby.com


Features

• Pilot figure, scale nose cannon, panel lines, and USAF two-tone gray camouflage graphics scheme
• Twin 28mm EDF power systems equipped with brushless BL180 13,500 Kv outrunners
• AS3X stabilization technology
• Steerable nose gear and mechanically coupled twin working rudders
• Removable tricycle landing gear
• Flights can be performed with an ROG-style takeoff or with a hand launch
• Five- to 6-minute flights using a 2S 800 mAh LiPo battery




Although it weighs a scant few ounces, the level of scale detail included in this model is impressive. Removing the fixed tricycle gear further enhances the A-10’s in-flight scale realism.


Product review

E-flite’s latest UMX micro-size model is the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II. Affectionately nicknamed the Warthog, this twin turbofan-powered jet is used by the U.S. Air Force to provide close air support to ground-based troops.

This model stands out uniquely as E-flite’s first twin EDF- (electric ducted-fan) powered UMX model. It is powered by a pair of high-revving 28mm EDF power systems that utilize 13,500 Kv brushless inrunner motors and five-blade impellers.

Marching orders are delivered to this micro-size Hawg via a Spektrum AS6410NBLT DSMX six-channel receiver. This little receiver includes embedded AS3X stabilization technology, as well as a pair of 5-amp brushless speed controllers.

This foam-constructed BNF (Bind-N-Fly) jet features four control channels. The included tricycle landing gear can be quickly removed should pilots prefer to fly without the gear dangling in flight.

E-flite even faithfully cloned the offset that is unique to the full-scale aircraft’s nose gear! A steerable nose gear and working twin rudders that are mechanically coupled allow pilots to taxi the A-10 out for takeoff and capably keep the jet tracking straight down the runway during ROG-style (rise-off-ground) departures.

Attractive scale touches include a pilot figure and clear canopy, panel lines, a tiny replica of the A-10’s awe-inspiring nose cannon, and an authentic two-tone gray camouflage USAF graphics scheme.

E-flite equips the aircraft’s fuselage with both inlet and outlet ducting for vital cooling airflow to reach the onboard electronics. Pilots only need to source a minimum four-channel Spektrum DSM2/DSMX transmitter and two-cell 450 to 800 mAh LiPo battery to have this model ready for its first sortie.




The twin rudders are driven by one servo using a lightweight, mechanically coupled control system.


Flying

Most pilots will opt to perform the UMX A-10’s maiden flight using the included fixed tricycle gear. The steerable nose gear helps pilots keep the Warthog’s nose pinned to the runway centerline during the takeoff roll.

Pilots will need to make sure that the tiny spring washer that keeps the nose gear securely in place on its wire axle is positioned close to the nose wheel. Allowing the retainer to work its way too far from the nose wheel can contribute to imprecise tracking. The same is true of the two main gear, although to a lesser extent.

Although the fixed gear enables ROG-style takeoffs, pilots who place a premium on in-flight scale appearance will probably prefer to fly without them. The gear fit snugly into plastic receivers embedded into the airframe but can be carefully removed using one’s fingers or a small pair of pliers.

E-flite helps to mitigate misplacing the tricycle gear with the inclusion of three storage cavities that are molded into the A-10’s foam storage cradle. Hand-launching the A-10 is a relatively easy endeavor, thanks to its low-wing configuration and the abundance of thrust produced by the twin high-rpm 28mm EDF power systems.

Lightly grip the model near the center of gravity in an underhand grip, run the throttle up to 60% to 75%, and give it a smooth, forward toss. Should a pilot induce any unintentional roll to the A-10 upon release, the AS3X system actively assists in returning the wing to level. The best practice before performing either style of takeoff is to momentarily run the throttle up to 50% to ensure that the AS3X system is online and active.

Unlike the traditional method of trimming out a model on its first flights, E-flite directs that all trimming adjustments be made mechanically by subtly bending the large U-shaped sections of the pushrods.

The twin brushless EDF power systems are good for roughly 65 watts of total power and 5.0 ounces of thrust when at full throttle. With four channels of control and plenty of thrust on tap, the A-10 can perform most basic aerobatic maneuvers with ease.

Typical flight durations of five minutes are to be expected. Pilots who are content to cruise at reduced throttle settings can easily extend the flight duration. Belly landings are best performed in grass. Pilots can protect the relatively delicate airframe from damage by gently plopping it onto the grass.

A good way to free the flight battery pack from the delicate forward fuselage at the end of a flight is to use a credit card. Carefully working it down between the battery and fuselage wall allows a pilot to safely disengage it from the hook-and-loop material. Trying to remove the pack by simply grabbing it and wrenching it free can also require the use of a credit card—in this case, to order a replacement fuselage!




The battery bay gives pilots plenty of space for optimally positioning the recommended 800 mAh LiPo battery pack. Care must be taken when disengaging it from the hook-and-loop material.


Conclusion

This is without a doubt one of the most exciting UMX models offered by E-flite to date! Whether flown ROG with the included tricycle gear or hand-launched without it, the twin 28mm EDF power systems give this little Hawg a lot of grunt.

The AS3X stabilization system prevents pilots from being grounded in less-than-calm conditions. Pilots who fly the A-10 on the recommended 800 mAh battery pack will enjoy the 5- to 6-minute and longer flight durations.

Those who crave regular doses of EDF-jet-induced adrenaline can now get an easy fix by flying this micro-size scale replica of the USAF A-10 Warthog at their closest park or
ball field.

Jon Barnes
barnesjonr@yahoo.com




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