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Thread: EPO F9F Panther Review

  1. #1

    EPO F9F Panther Review

    Joe Hass of the Detroit Skymaster Club sent in this review:

    The F9F Panther is the latest and, in my opinion, best of the EPO series of electric ducted fan (EDF) jets distributed by Hobby Lobby. The economical package comes receiver ready needing the modeler to supply only the receiver, transmitter and lipo charger. Even the glue and screwdriver are included.

    At his writing I have built 5 of the EPO jets including 2 of the F-86 and MIG 15. I wore out the first F-86 and MIG 15 from numerous flights and touch and goes (even without wheels). The F9F automatically incorporates the improvements needed in the first two aircraft (primarily reinforcing the servo and battery tray). Plus the F9F can be equipped with an optional landing gear and steerable nose wheel (servo included in the optional package) for takeoff and landings. NEAT! The air intake cheater hole on the bottom of the fuselage of the F9F actually contributes to a great sound in the air.

    The instructions are really self explanatory. I will offer a few hints to help insure success.

    Before epoxying any surface together remove any paint overspray that may be present. I found that a coarse (80 or 100 grit) emery board works well for this task. I found that a small amount of epoxy works best to first attach the horizontal stabilizers to the vertical stabilizers. Use just enough to hold the stabs together. There is obviously a little slop in the foam so make sure that you align the two horizontal stabs to 90 degrees to the vertical fin and to match each other relative to incidence. You donít want to induce a roll. After the stabs are secure you can add a little epoxy to the joint allowing it to flow into the opening at the joint. A little rubbing alcohol and paper towel will easily remove any excess. Donít rush. Do one joint at a time.

    The same technique applies to the attachment of the wings. Make sure you hold the wing to the fuselage until the epoxy sets up. Do not try to use tape as even low tack tape can peel the finish off the foam.

    The vertical fin and horizontal stabilizers are now attached. Again, make sure you have removed any overspray and double check the fit before applying the epoxy. I had to trim a little of the foam on the vertical stabilizer insert to get a perfect fit.

    While I have flown the Panther with the landing gear I have not installed one. The instructions seem clear enough that any moderately experience pilot should be able to easily add wheels.

    The nose cone on my kit was slightly different than that pictured in the instructions as it was a hard shelled plastic. It only looks correct one way so do a test fit before you apply any epoxy. I applied the epoxy to the inside of the cone and then set the aircraft nose high to allow the epoxy to fly toward the foam.

    Set the battery for the indicated C/G. Resist all temptation to go beyond the recommended elevator control throws. If available use some expo (25%) to tame the elevator response. After you have a few flights you can adjust the control throws to your liking.

    Letís go flying!

    If you have installed the wheels just advance the throttle, steer with rudder and add a little elevator to take off. While it wonít take off from heavy sod it will take off from a typically close trimmed model airplane field.

    It is best to have a helper launch for the first few flights if you do not have the landing gear. There is not a lot to hold on to. Grab the Panther behind the wing below the horizontal stabilizer. Even though it feels like it will pull out of your hands at full throttle give it a hard push with the nose slightly down. Never launch with the nose up! The horizontal stabilizer needs to get some airflow over it to begin working. If you launch it nose high the horizontal stab is blanked by the wing.

    Fly it like a jet! It doesnít do 3D maneuvers. It does do huge loops from level flight and spectacular rolls. High speed passes on the deck are a blast. Same with inverted flight. At full throttle I get about 6 minutes, a lot more if I work the throttle. Should you run the battery too far down the speed control will cut power to the motor. Just reduce the throttle to zero to reset the speed control and fly back at a low throttle setting.

    I enjoy all of the EPO jets. I hope you do too.

    Joe Hass
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails chris.jpg  

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