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Air Hogs Nano Hawk

Reviewing: Air Hogs Nano Hawk  |  Rating:
razor By razor on
Badge: Author | Level: 4 | Children & Parenting Expertise:
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I run a RC club at my school, and we were desperately in need of something to do. I decided to get a RC toy for the club members to mess around with, so I headed out to Target to find something. They had a limited selection of RC, but I found what I was looking for - the Air Hogs Nano Hawk.

I paid $40 for the Nano Hawk, not too bad. The Nano Hawk is a micro foam biplane. As opposed to the earlier Aero Ace, which used thrust from 2 motors to turn, the newer Nano Hawk has one motor and a rudder controlled by a small electronic coil. That provides much sharper turning as opposed to the outdoor-only Aero Ace.

The Nano Hawk wasn't designed by Air Hogs, but actually is a rebranded Silverlit Palm-Z. The Palm-Z is only available online, and the Nano Hawk is generally only found in stores, but both are exactly the same and will deliver the same performance.

As soon as I got my Nano Hawk, I proceeded to charge it. The transmitter acts as a charger, just like many other Air Hogs products. Also the transmitter accepts 4 AA batteries. After only a couple minutes the charge light went off, indicating it was fully charged. It seemed too quick, but I assumed the battery was almost fully charged from the factory. I went to my living room, which is about 20" by 20", with several obstructions like couches and lights around the area. Holding the plane in my right hand and the transmitter in my left, I applied full throttle and gently tossed the plane. I crashed of course, but after many more flights and charges, I got the hang of it. I noticed many things during this process. First, the charges don't take long at all! I never timed it, but the time was under 20 minutes, much quicker than the Aero Ace I used to have, which took 40. Also the turns are very sharp (which is why they dubbed it an indoor flyer, I suppose), but the right turns are too sharp due to the complicated aerodynamics of propellers and the plane. The problem with that is that the Nano Hawk would go into an uncontrollable right spiral, and the only way to get out was to lower the throttle significantly and push full left stick. That got very annoying, so I put some tape on the rear part of the plane to prevent the rudder from going too far to the right. That helped a lot, but I still had to be careful with the right rudder so that the Nano Hawk wouldn't go into another uncontrollable right spiral. To make the right turns correctly you only need to tap the stick to the right a little, if you jam it to the right all the way, be prepared for a spiral! Also to help it get out of the right spiral, I used a hobby knife to cut out a small part of the tail near the rudder, so that the rudder could go farther to the left, making left turns more responsive. After those modifications the plane was much easier to fly. Also, like most Air Hogs planes, the Nano Hawk was noticeably tail heavy. Sometimes the tail heaviness would cause it to porpoise, but you need to keep the center of gravity where it is - if you move it forward, the plane wont porpoise, but it won't climb very fast, either.

Overall I think that the Nano Hawk is a great plane, but it can get very challenging to fly. I recommend you do the modifications I mentioned, to make it clearer I have attached a picture of what I did. The right spirals were the biggest problem, but after some practice you can get the hang of flying. For just $40, I think the Nano Hawk was a great deal!