The F- 104 in Southeast Asia livery
looks great in the air. Although the
model has small wings, it’s easy to fly.
Photo courtesy of Motion RC.
You don’t have
to be an ace to
pilot this jet
The F- 104 Starfighter has to be one of the most recognizable jets. The long fuselage and tiny wings
earned it the nickname of the “missile
with a man in it.”
Developed by Lockheed, the F- 104
was designed to be a supersonic
interceptor. The F- 104 boasted a climb
rate of 54,000 feet per minute and a top
speed of Mach 2.
As a subject for an RC model, the
F- 104 has been a challenging aircraft
throughout the years because of its small
wings, anhedral, and long fuselage.
FN-RC Hobby, a Taiwan-based
company, took on the F- 104 challenge
and worked with Freewing Models to
develop this 70mm electric ducted-fan
(EDF) version of the F- 104, molded
in EPS foam. The F- 104 is supplied as
either a Plug-N-Play (PNP) version, or
for those who want to customize with
their own ESC and EDF system, an ARF
Plus version is also available.
When you open the box, you will
notice that the parts count is low for
minimal assembly time. Each item
was well packaged and no parts were
damaged during shipping. The electric
retracts are already installed. The landing
gear legs are wire struts with molded-plastic scale detailing attached to
them. This simplified gear arrangement
keeps the landing gear lightweight and
Also included are a bag of screws and
two carbon-fiber spars that you will
need for assembly. (Do not accidentally
throw them out when unpacking.) The
package also has fast-setting epoxy with
a mixing stick, so there is no need to
supply your own epoxy.
The detailed manual shows all of the
subassemblies and how they are put
together. Many of these subassembly
steps are already done for you at the
factory. All servos and retracts are
preinstalled, and all of the aileron
and flap linkages are preinstalled and
connected. The EDF unit and ESC are
also preinstalled and are easily accessible.
After a quick overview of the
manual, the first thing I did was lower
the landing gear. Having the gear
Photos by the author except as noted.
49 Model Aviation M AY 2016
firstname.lastname@example.org FREEWING F- 104 STARFIGHTER 70MM EDF JET