Version 3: Air Hogs Aero Ace Conversion:
Now for the "grown ups"...a McDonnell-Douglas F-4E Phantom with
pusher props on the trailing edge of both wings...based on swapping
in Air Hogs AeroAces electronics. EPP foam makes it extremely
tough. Kit is supplied with slots for battery and scavenged radio
gear. This is a direct swap with no cutting or soldering...although
there are many "hop ups" that could add to your enjoyment, they are
not necessary for fun times. There is a link to online directions with
photos supplied once payment is made.
This version of my Phantom has a more stable flight attitude than the
AirHogs toys from which it gets its power and RC systems. It is more
predictable and controllable than these toys in their as-purchased,
unmodified, form. Trimmed to slow, nose-high flight, turns are quite
sharp but still steady in calm conditions....it'll play in a High School
gymnasium just fine. Trimmed to more level flight as in the video
clips below, it scoots along pretty well...handling what I would guess
to be 5-7 MPH wind "gusts" which you can hear in the videos.
Though still a bit "toy-ish", this plane is very close to qualifying, in my
mind, as an RC model.
I'll let the videos say the rest...Enjoy!
Buy this plane!...Add kids, or the right kind of adults, and you have an afternoon of fun. I call it
"checking the Center of Gravity" when I fly it...in case you need an excuse!
Some videos of a bumbling idiot (Bluswede himself!) trying to fly in a street alive with
swirling winds....proof, at least, that a plane made from EPP foam is real tough!
Someone smart suggested a larger area, so videos #9 and #10 are in a church parking
lot...best flight was by my buddy Steve's (camera man) 12 year old son Logan...pity we
ran out of video storage a little ways in. Altitude had to be kept down to fifty feet or so
due to winds aloft.
A McDonnell-Douglas F-4E Phantom:
The Phantom is 17 inches long with a 11 inch wing span and
is available in three versions: Hand toss, catapult launch, and
Air Hogs AeroAce RC conversion.
Version One: Hand-tossed glider:
Intended for the young or young at heart, this plane arrives in
four major pieces (well packed) that assemble quickly with tab
and slot construction.
Parts can be left as is, but some shaping of the foam with a
very sharp hobby knife is recommended. For rough use,
additional nose reinforcement pieces are provided and make
the thing pretty near indestructible. (see flight videos of
powered version below) It also has a precut slot that will
accept two U.S. Pennies as noseweight to achieve perfect
center of gravity. (no guessing)
The plane will loop or hold a turn (eventually levelling out)
depending on the angle at which it is thrown. It is docile,
stable, tough, weighs only 13 grams, (1/2 ounce) and slows
soon after launch so the small fry are less likely to mangle
Mom's petunias, or each other! Up to four more pennies can
be added to the center of gravity (marked) to give more "carry"
once thrown so older "kids" can fly longer "missions".
Remember flying "missions" when you were a kid?...it's a
crucial part of development that a lot of kids are missing out
on these days.
"Paint" all versions with permanent
markers. Sharpie-type for details.
Thunderbirds scheme really
"pops", but the Blue Angels also
flew this bird...as well as many
foreign air forces.
Showing the "belly
tank" hand grip
(minus belly tank)
Version 2: Catapult-launched glider:
Basically the same as the hand-tossed version above, this
version is supplied with a length of dowel glued into the
fuselage as a launch hook and a larger dowel with two
easily-replaced rubber bands to provide launch velocity...the
dowel may be pushed into the ground to simulate a takeoff.
When well trimmed; flights of 75 to 100 feet can be expected
from a level launch, making this a potentially dangerous
toy...so a little supervision is required at first, depending on
Again, turns can be executed by banking the wings at
launch. With practice, "S"-turns can be made by "tweaking"
the tail one way and banking the other for launch. Additional
pennies may also be added to this version to extend flight, but
this carries the penalty of making maneuvers such as turns
The foam from which these toys are made can handle
repeated "trim adjustments" without breaking. Trimming is
done by squeezing a flight surface slightly while bending it to
a new position...the foam will gradually creep back to its
original position, none the worse for wear.
This is an American-made, imagination fueled, toy that is precision-cut on my CNC Foamcutter. (see
above menu) I have regressed to my childhood and flat "played" with it in its many versions over the
period of its development. I have also watched as like-minded friends have had a "go"...and even
gone so far as to have spent some quality time with the pre-teen set.
I have built gliders that have flown better. I have built gliders that have flown farther. But I have
never built a glider that has flown as well...through this much abuse!
Check the flight videos on down the page to see what happens when the powered version of this
plane hits a tree trunk dead square at full throttle...then plummets nose first into the sidewalk! Also
note that the kid in video #10 has his mouth hanging open as he makes his first RC flight. That
kinda' goes to show that his brain is busy...AND he's breathing lots of fresh air in a church parking
lot...in the company of his father even! Can you really ask for more than that in a toy?!!
about balance point!
tabs on stabilizer
Touch the tip of the
tab with a marker for
The stabilizer does virtually "pop"
into place though.
With 12 inch ruler
for size comparison
This kit is no longer in production due to slim profit margin and
relatively low demand. It is a nice-flying plane, and tough as
nails...but I would starve to death even if I advertised and made
them in volume. I just can't see charging more
either...So...She's gone the way of the Dodo!