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Unbelievable RC

Air Hogs Nano Hawk (monowing)

September 2008

Street Price: $29.99 US
Manufacturer: Spin Master
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 8+
Our recommended age range: 8+
Primary use: Indoor
Radio: n/a - infrared
Includes:

  • Assembled aircraft
  • Transmitter / charger
  • Extra rudder assembly
  • Instructions
Requires:
  • 4 AA batteries for the transmitter

Initial Impressions

Now wait a minute, I actually already reviewed something Air Hogs called the Nano Hawk, I just happened to get the version sold outside the United States, called the Palm-Z. That one was a bi-wing plane and flew really well indoors. The new one is a monowing (one wing instead of two stacked on top of each other) and looks a little more modern. The controller is the same, though, and it uses the same style of single motor-driven rear propeller and a tiny electromagnetically-activated rudder.


Preparing to Fly

You'd never guess what it takes to get the Nano Hawk flying. Never, ever, unless you'd read any of my other Air Hogs indoor aircraft reviews, or owned any of those craft yourself. So, I'm going to break it down for you step by step. Here goes:

  1. Put batteries in the controller
  2. Connect the plane to the charging port on the controller
  3. Slide the power switch on the controller to the "charge" position
  4. Wait for the LED light to indicate that the charge is done

The end.

  air hogs nano hawk

Testing

Whew, so that was rough, but I now have a charged plane, ready to go! Half throttle, a flick of the wrist, and... it flies! It veered a little to one direction, which is by design since that makes it stay within a small area, but I like to be able to fully control the direction of my planes and have them go straight when I'm not telling them to turn, so I quickly adjusted the trim using the buttons on the controller. Problem solved!

It's pretty easy to fly the new Nano Hawk, just like the original, but it does exhibit some "porposing," climbing and diving rhythmically as you'll see in the video. I tried slightly bending the tail downwards to give it less lift and this helped a little, but never completely stopped it. I could have bent the tail more, but I didn't want to risk accidentally creasing & folding the really thin styrofoam material from the strain. When I lowered the throttle to where it almost flew level, it would slowly sink towards the ground. I found what was easiest and most controllable was gaining altitude in a spiralling turn at high throttle, then easing off and controlling it around under low throttle as it gently came back towards the ground, and repeating the same thing again.

Video

(Click a video a second time to view it larger in a new window.)

Conclusion

The single-wing Air Hogs Nano Hawk is a decent indoor flyer, but not quite as good as the original biplane version. It looks good and is controllable in an area the size of a large living room, but it likes to stall & fall a lot when flying straight. It's still a feat to have such a small aircraft that's fully controllable and so easy and inexpensive to get flying, but if you have a choice, I would recommend buying the older one instead.

B-

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