FVK Bandit

Review 19-Apr-2003 Oded Mazor Video Available Follow the link
Motor   Servos 3 x HS81 MG
Speed Controller BEC 40 amp Batteries 8 cells 1250-1700 (scr, cp)
Channels 3 + motor (no rudder) Flight Time 5-15 minutes (depends on throttle management)
Propeller Aeronot 12x9 folder Gear Box Ripmax inline 4:1 gearbox


Wingspan   length   weight  
Wing Area   Wing load   CG location
from wing edge


Building The bandit is a very high quality model (like all other FVK models). tricky part is inserting the aileron's servos cable into the slots, so have patient with this part, don't rush it. if using a geared car motor (like I do) than take into consideration that an 8 cell pack of sub-c cells would be quite difficult to insert as there in not much room behind the motor for easy battery changes. I have the older version of the Bandit in which the elevator servo is above the battery pack (under the wing), in the new version the servo is placed in the tail of the plane. the instructions are ok with some photos in them. all in all, building is quite easy with all hardware supplied.
Take-off Read this part carefully !! I hand launched the plane myself on its maiden flight (my girlfriend didn't want the responsibility...). I used full power which turned out to be a mistake as the bandit rolled to the left immediately, just 20 cm above the ground I regained control and managed to recover. this power set-up produces over 40 oz. of static thrust (that's a lot for a 43 oz. plane), so the torque of the prop is high. conclusion : always launch with half throttle and after 2-3 seconds give it full power and climb away.
Flight behavior Climbs are very steep and fast. I use the motor for climbs only, most of the flight is done with the motor off (this is a glider after all). without the motor, the bandit glides very well and FAST. point the nose down and it comes screaming down the field with enough inertia to regain much altitude without turning on the motor. rolls are very fast and straight. this is the only plane in which I have no concerns for wing strength - wings are very strong.
Landing This is the hardest part (at least for the first few flights). the bandit can pass the field at about 1 meter high without showing any intention to loose altitude. spoilerons (ailerons both raised up) are a must, in my opinion, unless you have a very large field and don't mind long walks... do not slow the bandit too much on landing approaches as it may drop a wing (bad habit of many hotliners).
Crash Results Fuselage is quite delicate but can be fixed with some fiber cloth. wings are very strong.
Other comments The bandit is not a beginner's plane. it is very fast. if looking for relaxing flights than this is not the plane for you. if looking for a hot model in regard to speed and aerobatics than I highly recommend it. I'm just starting to enjoy its full potential. a computer radio is very important for two reasons : exponential ailerons (more up than down) and for the spoilerons (air brake) option. my only problem with the bandit is that I get severe radio interference when the motor is on, hope to solve it soon...
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Latest Update: Monday, 20 June 2005