Introduction (Art-Tech EF2000 Electric Ducted Fan Jet w/ 2.4Ghz System)
Over the last few years, the popularity and achievements of electric flight
have progressed very rapidly. Two of the markets that have seen some of the
largest growth are the foamy EDFs (Electric Ducted Fan), and RTF (Ready To Fly)
offerings that are available from many manufacturers today. One of those
manufacturers, Art-Tech has been around for a few years, and produces quite a
diverse range of products including R/C airplanes, helicopters, batteries, ESCs,
gyros, servos, and slew of other assorted electronics. For those of us in North
America interested in their products, Nitroplanes.com carries quite a few of
Art-Techs' offerings, and have been kind enough to provide me with one of their
very complete Eurofighter 2000 RTF kits for review.
The EF2000 is marketed as a RTF, 95% complete kit so my expectations were
pretty high as to the level of prefabrication that would of been done at the
factory. Having never owned a RTF package, I found opening the box and
inspecting the components quite fun as all of electronics come pre-installed,
the components seem to be of decent quality, and all that was required was some
325.7 sq in.
1.1oz sq ft.
3x 9g servos
2.4Ghz 4 Channel
Art-tech 6ch micro
# of Fans:
approx. 16oz (470g)
Art-Tech 4 channel FM Transmitter
Pre-installed Art-Tech 6 channel micro receiver
Art-Tech 3s 1600mah lipo battery
DC charging unit
Pre-painted and decaled foam fuselage / wings
Pre-installed and painted pilot / canopy
Pre-installed 9g servos and linkages
Pre-installed Fan/Motor unit
Pre-installed 30A ESC
8 AA batteries for the transmitter
Box as it arrived to my doorstep
Lots of stuff packed inside that foam chunk...
Battery, charger and DC wall unit
A single 64mm fan unit with a brushless inrunner motor mounted at the factory
powers the Eurofighter on the kit 3s 1600mah lipo. According to factory specs,
the thrust output of the fan unit is in the 16oz range, which on paper should
give the Eurofighter plenty of power. Bench testing showed my setup making just
under 250W @ 20A on the stock freshly charged battery, and about 275W @ 24A on a
2200mah 20C pack that I also had in the workshop. Either way the stock 30A ESC
is more then enough to cover the demands of the fan/motor combo.
Simply glue the wings and canards in place, install your landing gear, plug
in your servo wires, charge up your battery, and head out for your maiden. If
you've got some build/assembly experience, I'd bet you could complete the
assembly in the amount of time it takes to charge the battery with the supplied
wall charger (about 30 minutes for initial charge).
Attaching the wings has you push the tabbed wing into a pre-cut slot on the
fuselage for both the left and right side. Ensuring the wings are aligned
properly is done by simply keeping the top / bottom of the wing flush with a
ridge that runs the length of the fuselage. The servos and control linkages are
already done at the factory, so once the wing is in place all that is left to-do
is to plug them in.
Wings out of the box
Pre-installed horns and linkages
Completed wing assembly
The Art-Tech Eurofighter comes with fixed canards, and installing them
requires you slip the tabbed end of the canard into a pre-cut slot on the
fuselage, and glue them into place (just like the wing). Aligning the canards is
done for you once the canard is fully inserted into the tab, but you'll want to
ensure everything looks symetrical before you glue in place.
Sliding into place
The only remaining step that is required to complete the fuselage is
attaching the nose cone. Simply glue into place after it's aligned
Nose cone glued into place
Being a delta wing, there is no horizontal stab, and as the vertical stab is
molded into the fuselage there is no assembly required. As with the rest of the
kit, the rudder servo and linkages are pre-installed at the factory.
The steerable nose gear is installed out of the box, so all that's left is to
install the pre-bent mains which plug into a plastic base plate that is
pre-mounted into the wing, and are held in place by 4 screws. For this step, I
found it neccasary to clean out some of the flash left over from the molding
process which prevented me from getting the gear to mount flush inside its
housing with my exacto blade.
Landing gear out of box
Landing gear close up
All that remains for the builder to-do is to plug your servos into the RX. To
gain access to the RX, start by removing the bottom 'cover' which retains and
masks the electronic components installed underneath of it from the bottom side
of the aircraft. Then plug your servo leads into the RX. I recommend you verify
everything works as expected and then once you're satisfied everything is
operational, pop the 'cover' back into place and secure with the provided
Bottom cover removed
Art-Tech 6 channel micro RX
8 AA batteries
Completion of the model consists of balancing the model, charging the
battery, checking your throws , and gluing the wing tips on. The battery took
about 30 minutes to charge on the provided wall charger, and then I was off to
fly! As there is no mention of throws in the manual, I feel it's worth noting
that I did not use the stock settings for the control horns on the ailerons. I
ended up adjusting them so that they are placed in the hole closest to the
aileron itself (ie maximum throws).
The Eurofighter is a nice stable aircraft which scoots along nicely above 3/4
throttle. With the provided 3s 1600mah pack, Im getting just under 4 minutes of
full throttle flight. Unfortunately, I don't have any way to scientificly
measure the aircrafts speed, but I would guess the straight and level passes are
in the 45mph range, and downwind speed passes are upwards of 55mph.
Having flown the Eurofighter in winds varying from 0 - 15mph, I think its
safe to say it handles them very nicely, and as with most of my EDFs I actualy
prefer to fly in winds of 5 - 10 mph as I find it helps to slow down/stabilize
the aircraft on approach, and during takeoffs.
Taking Off and Landing
Full throttle rollouts have my Eurofighter airborne within 10 - 25 yards
(depending upon the runway surface), with plenty of momentum for a nice scale
climbout. Much like my J-10 (also a delta wing w/ canards), the plane doesn't
want to become airborne on it's own, so I find myself needing to apply a good
amount of up elevator to get the plane in the air.
Landing the Eurofighter is no different then any other of my EDFs with the
exception of the cool nose high attitude the canards give it on approach. Simply
chop the throttle to about 1/8th, line up on the runway and grease her in.
Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance
The EF2000 rolls incredibly well, and handles nicely inverted with a slight
bit of up elevator. I've found I can eek out a single loop from flatout level
flight, but the plane much prefers to enter them via a shallow dive on the stock