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Unbelievable RC

Air Hogs Jetscream

August 2008

Street Price: $39.99 US
Manufacturer: Spin Master
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 8+
Our recommended age range: 8+
Primary use: Outdoors
Radio: 27mhz
Includes:

  • Assembled craft
  • Transmitter / charger
  • Decal sheet
  • Instructions
Requires:
  • 6 AA batteries for the transmitter

Initial Impressions

As soon as I saw the box sitting on the shelf at the store, I knew I had to get this plane! Its futuristic design is inspired by the legendary SR-71 "Blackbird" spy plane and it really looks amazing.

 

Best of all, unlike on the previous Air Hogs Aero Ace "jet," there are no propellers sticking out on this one. It looks like a real jet! How did they manage this? Well, it's actually still powered by propellers (real jets would be cool, but REALLY dangerous!), but they're small and hidden deep in the jet pods on the wings:

 

The propellers are tiny, so to produce the thrust the plane needs, they're powered by very high-speed motors. This type of setup with a motor & prop inside a jet-like tube is called an Electric Ducted Fan, or EDF.

Preparing to Fly

I'm sure you've seen other Air Hogs reviews. Preparation is a cinch. All you do is put batteries in the combined controller/charger, take out the charger cord and plug it into the plane, and wait for it to charge. Soon you'll be ready to fly!

Testing

Like all small, lightweight aircraft, it's best to fly in no wind, or a light enough breeze that you can barely feel it. With the sleek jet design, I expected this plane to be very fast, so I took it to a large field to fly it and got ready for a very high-intensity flight. To my surprise, its speed was managable, and it was pretty easy to control, too! It's actually slightly slower than the Aero Ace Jet, but more stable. It really looks great in the air, too.

The one thing I quickly noticed is that if there is any slight breeze, if you turn quickly away from the wind, the plane will spiral quickly and lose altitude. To help combat this, you want to give it full throttle while turning, then just before you straighten out, go back to half throttle to keep it from stalling.

I did crash a handful of times on both grass and concrete, and there was no damage at all. The foam used for the wings & fuselage is durable, and the vulnerable nose is covered with a clear plastic shield to protect it from chipping.

Video

(You can click on a video a second time to view it larger in a new window.)

Conclusion

This thing is great! I had high expectations when I first saw it, and it didn't disappoint. It's easy to fly, but not boring. Speed is just right, and most of all, it looks great, especially in the air where it belongs! I definitely recommend the Air Hogs Jetscream for any RC flier who wants something affordable, durable, and exciting.

A

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