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A Quick Review of The Freewing 80/90MM EDF Jets

Posted by Todd Breda on |

  • Category: Miscellaneous Topics
  • There's just something about a scale military jet in R/C form that excites the senses.  We have all fantasized about strapping in to the real thing but alas, outside of some media members and VIPs, that honor is bestowed only to a very select few in the world.

    So the next best thing is strapping on your radio and flying the model version!  

    Freewing has been delivering fantastic semi-scale military jets in the foam class for years, and their recent releases just keep getting better and better with modern day amenities like 9-to-12-blade EDF fans that offer a much more realistic jet sound, sequenced gear doors, retracts, flaps, and in some cases even air brakes and slats.  Talk about scale appeal!

    We often get asked about the larger class (80mm/90mm) of Freewing EDF jets we carry.  What are their general characteristics?  Which one has the most forgiving flight dynamics? Which one should be my first?  These and other questions are common so I am going to offer a quick baseline review of each model to help you make an informed decision when considering these class of EDF jets.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive analysis of each jet, just a brief summary, but it will give you a good idea to help you make the choice that fits your preferences and skill level.

     

    Freewing A-10 Thunderbolt II Super Scale Twin 80mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The latest of the "New Generation" of Freewing models, this A-10 Thunderbolt II twin 80/90mm EDF jet showcases a marriage of excellent engineering and scale appeal, with an emphasis on grass handling for the RC pilot without access to paved runways. Large tires and trailing link mains absorb punishment on unimproved surfaces, and metal trunions and reinforcement plates further fortify the undercarriage.  This A-10 looks and performs like a composite at a fraction of the cost! The A-10’s wings are composed of hollow chambered foam with an interlocking matrix of plywood ribs, carbon square spars, and aluminum blocks, providing rigid support usually unseen in EPO.  Despite its 1700mm wingspan, the aircraft's wings detach for a very transportable package in an average car. While not a good choice for someone's first 80mm/90mm EDF, this definitive and award-winning Warthog has excellent flight characteristics and impressive presence that will not disappoint. 

    .Flight Performance

           Scale Appeal

     Bang For Your Buck

               Difficulty

    Freewing Avanti S 80mm EDF Ultimate Sport Jet - PNP

    One of the latest of the "New Generation" of Freewing models, the Avanti S 80mm EDF Ultimate Sport Jet is a fantastic answer to the popular but aging Stinger 90.  Sleek, sexy and affordable, the performance, handling and quality of this award-winning sport jet will please any "speed junky". The first officially licensed EPO Avanti S from SebArt International, the Avanti's original designer, the Freewing Avanti S features trailing link suspension struts on both mains and nose for durable grass operation. For intermediate pilots looking for a stable and capable 80mm jet to grow into as their skills increase, or for advanced pilots looking for a thrilling performer out of the box, the Avanti S is our top recommendation. 

    .Flight Performance

           Scale Appeal

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    Freewing F-86 Sabre 80mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The Freewing 80mm F-86 is a great flying EDF jet.  Many flyers consider this their "go-to" jet due to its gentle and smooth flight characteristics.  The shape of the intake and ducting really lends itself to an extremely clean turbine sound.  Easily mistaken for a real turbine jet.  Clean lines, very scale appearance and graceful in the skies are key reasons this is a popular EDF jet.  This would be a great first 6S EDF jet for someone with 3S/4S EDF experience, looking to make the jump into a larger aircraft. We have operated the F-86 on very short grass with success, although its scale wheel stance and smaller wheels make it better suited for paved or hard rolled surfaces. 

    .Flight Performance

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     Freewing A-6 Intruder 80mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The 80mm A-16 Intruder was arguably the first jet where most folks got the message that Freewing is not messing around.  No more carbon copy of the same ol' same ol' model jet.  The Intruder exhibits similar characteristics to the F-86 with its stability, great sound and scale appeal. Fly the recommended 6s 4000 battery, though; unlike some other aircraft in the 80mm series, the A-6 Intruder cannot fit and CG with a larger 6s 5000. The 90 degree twisting retracts are mechanically weaker than standard 90 degree outboard retracts, so use flaps for a slower approach when landing on short, level grass. 

    .Flight Performance

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    Freewing Mig-21 Silver 80mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The MiG-21 is a large-in-length (1730mm) jet with a lower wing load and is surprisingly very stable, and as such would be a good scale jet for those intermediate to advanced pilots who prefer off the beaten path of iconic jets.  The MiG-21 can fit a larger range of batteries than most other 80mm Freewing jets. We've tested 4000-5800mAh without issue, making this jet a good choice if you have a wide range of 6s batteries and don't want to buy a specific size.  The MiG-21's trailing link struts and large wheels make it especially suited for grass operations, and the aircraft is one of our best all around performers for thrust, acceleration, and speed.  As with all of our larger Freewing jets the scale details and component quality is excellent.  Easy to takeoff, fly and land, just be careful as orientation can be somewhat of an issue. Some pilots have painted the drop tanks a different color to help them orient this fast Cold War arrowhead!

    .Flight Performance

           Scale Appeal

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    Freewing F-5 Tiger II 80mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The F-5 Tiger II is a good flying jet that prefers to fly fast.  Not for pilots trying out jets for the first time, this jet will drop a wing if you are not careful.  Even still it is well behaved and rewarding to fly. The red/white Swiss scheme and desert camo Aggressor scheme really change the look of the aircraft. The F-5's smaller wheels and Oleo struts can make for challenging ground handling on anything but short and smooth grass. Like the real jet, pavement is preferred! This aircraft can fit and CG with the Admiral 6s 4000 and up to the Admiral 6s 5000. We recommend the lighter 4000 for the best balance of speed and flight time!

    .Flight Performance

           Scale Appeal

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    Freewing Super Scorpion 80mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The Super Scorpion is a great bang-for-your-buck sport jet.  Thrilling presence, flies on rails and big on the overall fun factor.  The Scorpion doesn't require any glue to assemble, and its large battery bay can fit 6s 4000mAh-5800mAh. Not needing a belly cheater hole, the Super Scorpion can fly off of manicured grass easily, and handles smoothly but beware, this jet is known to have some bouncing traits on landings so practice your approaches with flaps down and power on. 

    .Flight Performance

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    Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 80mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The Mirage is one of Freewing's fastest jets and is not for the intermediate flyer.  Very responsive and fast, this delta wing aircraft can fly very slowly in high alpha, and can disappear in the sky if you fly too far. Recommended best for advanced pilots, the Mirage is rewarding for those wanting speed and scale in a uniquely styled aircraft. The trailing link mains help cushion rough landings, although the scale double nose wheel is small so be careful on taller grass runways.  On pavement there isn't an issue. Make sure you use plenty of expo and limit your throws (the manual's throws for aileron are considered about 25-35% too high). To aid in orientation, some pilots will paint the drop tanks or the bottom of the aircraft with a stripe or a bright color, but we prefer to fly this French beauty as it comes stock out of the box.

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    Freewing F-14 Tomcat Twin 80mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The F-14 Tomcat is what I consider one of Freewing's "New Generation" of super scale, quality jets.  For years many R/C pilots clamored for a quality EPO F-14 and their prayers have been answered with this model.  Definitely not for a rookie EDF pilot.  The build is somewhat intensive and the swept wing format will keep you on your toes but this jet's performance and quality is off the charts. This model handles very well on grass, and actually lands like a trainer jet, but we still recommend pilots have at least two years of large EDF experience before taking on this F-14 to satisfy their Need For Speed.

    .Flight Performance

           Scale Appeal

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     Freewing Stinger 90 Extreme Performance 90mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The Stinger 90's popularity speaks for itself.  Over the years, no other sport jet (so far) has compared to this incredibly fun sport jet in just about every category.  It flies on rails, with great speed, excellent tracking and is very easy to fly.  Like the 80mm F-86 Sabre, this would be a great first 6S EDF jet for someone with 3S/4S EDF experience who is looking for sport performance instead of scale looks. Though the newer 80mm Avanti improves on several aspects, the Stinger 90 continues to be a relevant aircraft and a good choice, as a large jet trainer and an all around sport jet performer. 

    .Flight Performance

           Scale Appeal

     Bang For Your Buck

               Difficulty

    Freewing F-16C Super Scale 90mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The 90mm F-16C should definitely not be someone's first 6S/90mm jet.  The scale fidelity, features and quality is exceptional but offers a higher wing load and she likes to bite on the landings unless you know how this jet prefers its landing sequence (hint, under power with a higher AoA).  The scale landing gear is beautiful but narrow, so take care not to turn too sharply after landing.  Fantastic scale appeal and overall performance. When flying off of grass, ensure the nose door doesn't touch the grass when the nose strut is fully compressed. 

    .Flight Performance

           Scale Appeal

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    Freewing T-45 Goshawk Super Scale 90mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The T-45 was perhaps the first "New Generation" jet from Freewing which really showed off what is possible.  With the addition of air brakes and leading edge wing slats, the T-45 redefined the term "bells and whistles" when it comes to EPO/EDF jet class.  The servoless slats are the first of its kind in the Foam R/C world. They're not just beautiful, but also help stabilize slow speed flight.  Very well mannered, simply a joy to fly with a static appeal that could win foam scale contests.  Similar to the 80mm F-86 with it's smooth and gentle flight characteristics, the T-45 is popular for scale EDF enthusiasts looking for the ultimate marriage of scale looks and scale-plus performance.

    .Flight Performance

           Scale Appeal

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    Freewing F-15C Eagle Super Scale 90mm EDF Jet - PNP

    Outside of the 90mm F/A-18E Hornet V2, the F-15C is one of the easiest "F" super scale 90mm jets to fly.  Typical "New Gen" high scale fidelity including air brake, the F-15 looks equally good static as well as on a low pass at full power.  This is one jet that you would think would be a handful just looking at it but she's quite tame actually.  Very well behaved, easy to land with excellent overall quality and performance. The F-15 isn't one of the fastest 90mm EDFs from Freewing; instead envisioned as an "Easy 90mm Jet" instead of an outright speedster. Reduce your steering throw to ~60% to minimize the chance of scraping a wingtip, and avoid turning the aircraft when your speed is faster than a jogging pace.

    .Flight Performance

           Scale Appeal

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    Freewing F/A-18E Hornet V2 90mm EDF Thrust Vectoring Jet - PNP

    Getting a little long in the tooth (the V2 has been on the market since 2014 and the V1 since 2009) the F/A-18E Hornet V2 is simply a fantastic semi-scale "F" jet.  Once dialed in with your throws and expo preference, this jet is just plain awesome to fly.  With the lighter wing loading, floaty characteristics and ample wing surface, this is one of the rare 90mm jets you can dead stick the landing if you wanted to.  The EPS foam keeps it light but is extremely prone to dings and dents. The small landing gear is not recommended for rough grass surfaces. Paved and rolled surfaces are best. The model's Thrust Vectoring makes extreme maneuvers possible, and is also necessary for a predictable takeoff roll. 

    .Flight Performance

           Scale Appeal

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    Freewing Yak-130 Super Scale Ultra Performance 8S 90mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The 90mm Yak-130 is a nice scale appeal jet with overall quality components and solid air performance.  The standard version was said to suffer from a lack of power and authority so this 8S Ultra Performance version is sure to hit all the right notes. Shedding the weight, cost, and complexity of the ordnance and speed brake, the 8s version is less draggy and really flies like a large jet should. Super scale articulating undercarriage makes the model excellent for grass runways. 

    .Flight Performance

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    Freewing F-104 Starfighter Silver 90mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The F-104 in 90mm size was brought to customers who loved the 70mm version and wanted it in the larger class.  High Risk High Reward kind of jet.  A whole barrel of fun but you must be a skilled pilot to take this one to the skies.  Not for the faint of heart but also not unstable as some might think due to it's small wing surface.  Comes with a built-in gyro, and once an Advanced level pilot is comfortable with orienting the aircraft, it actually becomes very predictable to fly and very rewarding. 

    .Flight Performance

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    Freewing Eurofighter Typhoon V2 90mm EDF Thrust Vectoring Jet - PNP

    The Eurofighter is one of Freewing's earlier models which showcased the attention to detail and quality to come.  With canards the configuration and mixing is unique but the jet is a pleasure to fly with good handling characteristics and a relatively low stall speed.  This one is for R/C pilots in between intermediate and advanced skill levels who are also comfortable programming mixes in their computer radio. The EPS foam is lighter than EPO, but is more prone to dents and dings. 

    .Flight Performance

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    Freewing de Havilland DH-112 Venom V2 Swiss Silver 90mm EDF Jet - PNP

    The De Havilland DH-112 Venom V2 is a unique jet that is amazingly easy and fun to fly. Recommended as a first or second "big jet".  It handles grass like a champ, takeoffs are very smooth and on the recommended 6s 4000-5000 battery it can achieve some of the longest flight times out of all the 90mm jets.  If you gravitate towards unique and love a great flying jet than this is the one for you! Two tips: When gluing on the booms, do so while the model is inverted. Also, the Venom can fly slower than it wants to land, so practice flat power on approaches and only apply down elevator after the mains have touched the ground.

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    2 comments


    • Todd, an outstanding overview of the whole picture regarding the big EDF’s. Great idea of doing this, will be very helpful for folks making the jump . Best to ya, Jack from cajun country

      Jack Boren on

    • Nice work Todd! With so many choices when buying EDF jets, it really helps to have some quality insights.
      Fly happy!
      - Doctorfoamy

      Jim K on

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