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E-Flite Hawker Sea Fury 480

Issue 110 – January 2013

Hopefully you find this additional information helpful… check out the full article, written by Mike Lee, in the January 2013 issue of Fly RC Magazine.

Where the U.S. Navy had it’s Corsair, the Luftwaffe had the “Butcher Bird” and the Japanese had the Oscar, the Royal Navy came up with the Sea Fury. All of these planes were the heavy-weight fighters of their time, but the Sea Fury didn’t get the time to play during WW-II. The production of the plane was too late to get significant numbers into the conflict before the war ended. Now, fast forward 6 years and the Korean conflict erupts, with the Royal Navy being a participant in this unofficial war. The Sea Fury got the chance to show what it was made for, performing interdiction missions, ground attack and amazingly enough, dog fighter against Communist piloted MiG-15 jets. A certain Lt. Peter “Hoagy” Carmichael is credited with the first prop driven MiG kill in Korea flying Sea Fury WJ232 with 82 Squadron off the deck of HMS Ocean.

E-Flite honors that particular action with a reproduction of Lt Carmichaels’ ride with the Sea Fury 480 ARF.

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The assembly begins with reading the assembly manual, which is worthwhile, as it is nicely done and has good photos to guide you. It wisely advises you to remove the prop before you do anything else…and I heartily agree! (It wasn’t mounted when I opened the box, so no problem.) This is followed by binding up your receiver to the transmitter and plugging everything in. This is necessary to center up the servos prior to hook up. From here we go to the single piece wing. This wing is unique in that it features a large, plastic bottom cover that will not only hide the wing servos, but also the landing gear mounts and nearly the entire center section. It is accurately painted to match the paint scheme of the wing. Hold on to that thought for a moment.

The first thing to decide is whether you wish to use fixed landing gear or retracts. The hardware outfit has parts for both types, and the mounting blocks are the same. Should you decide to use the retracts, which are mechanical servo driven, you will need two servos, one of which must be moving in the opposite direction as the other. This has to do with the way the servos are mounted in the wing. In our case we used an Expert Electronics servo Y connector/reverser. The wire length is perfect and this wire connector has a servo reverser in it allowing you to run both servos the same direction, or in opposite directions. Very innovative and convenient!

Once the landing gear is set up, the aileron servos are installed. These will require either a long Y connector or two long servo wire extensions in order to reach the wing center section and then the receiver inside the fuselage. I used a 9-inch wire extension, which just makes it. You can now install that plastic bottom cover, but I did have a problem here. The instructions say to attach the cover by peeling off the paper backing to the double sided tape on the cover. Well, there is none, and the same thing will happen with the engine cowling, so be aware of this possibility. I simply used dabs of UHU adhesive and that did the trick for both items.

To finish off the wing assembly, you need to glue into place the rear wing extension and then add a drop or two of thin CA adhesive to the aileron hinges to keep them in place. So far, we have used 4 of the E-Flite DS78 sub-micro servos, all in the wing. From here, we move to the nose of the fuselage, where we will mount the Park 480 motor.

The hardware outfit provides a classic “stik” motor mount to be placed on the stick in the nose. And while this might seem old school to some of you, it really is sinfully simple and effective. The only problem we ran into was that the retaining collar on the back of the motor shaft is too large for the opening in the mount. I had to drill out the motor mount to allow the proper fit. (You will not have this problem with the 450 size motor). Once the motor was fitted to the mount, the rest of the work up in the nose was a cinch. By the way, the E-Flite 40 amp Pro Switching BEC controller also resides in the nose, with room to spare. You will need a wire extension from the ESC to the battery In order to connect up. Tidying up the nose is a very well made plastic cowl that fits like a glove and painted to match.

We can now test the motor for correct rotation and then mount up the kit supplied prop and spinner. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy, as the supplied 1080 prop is too thick at the hub to provide enough of the prop adapter up front, and now the adapter nut cannot be threaded on. My solution was simple, as I substituted an APC 10x8e prop in place and that did the trick. From here, we go inside the fuselage to install the elevator and rudder servos. This goes quickly and easily using E-Flite DS78 servos, attached to the supplied wire pushrods.

We now go to the tail, and this is also quick and easy. The horizontal stabilizer slides in only from the right side in order to key in correctly. The fit and alignment is spot on, leaving you with only the rudder with integrated tail wheel. But just to make sure of the alignment, go ahead and mount the wing. Here find our final bug-a-boo and that has to do with the main wing screws. The screws have a clean shot through the wing, but no apparent place to go in the fuselage. A quick look inside shows that there are wing hold down plates with blind nuts present, but no pilot hole through the foam fuselage. Thankfully, the wing alignment is excellent and so by hand drilling your own pilot hole from the wing side, you can create the pilot holes and then bolt the wing in place.

At this point, the plane is assembled and should be balanced. For power, we used an E-Flite 3S-2200mAH High Power series LiPo battery, and don’t be surprised to find that the battery location goes all the way to the firewall…it goes much deeper than you might think, which is good, as you need the battery that far up to achieve perfect balance without adding any weight! Keeping the battery in place is a shaped wedge of foam which fits between the battery and the roof of the nose. By placing the canopy in position, the battery retainer has no place to go, effectively fixing the battery in the nose. It all ends up being a tidy arrangement that works great. Our finished weight came out to a flat out 24 oz ready to go. Our controls were set as follows, using the end point adjustment from our JR 11x transmitter:

Ailerons: ½” up and ½” down high rate with low rate set at 50% of high

Elevator: 3/8” up and 3/8” down high rate with low rate set at 65% of high

Rudder: 1.5 inch total movement at trailing edge, bottom of rudder.

The balance was right on the molded in “CG” marks on the wing with landing gear in the down position. (It’s the first time in my 45 years as a modeler that I have seen “CG’ molded into a model wing!)

Overall, the Sea Fury does have a few challenges, but I feel that for the finished looks and the very nice flying characteristics, those challenges are well worth resolving. She looks and handles great, and the guys who want a bit more realism can easily add weathering and other scale touches that will make this model a park flyer standout! For a park flyer, it’s big, powerful, and it’s a fighter! What more do you need?