OK, so Chellie asked for it, here it goes:
I couldn't resist any more now that the EF F-4 price was reduced to $199. Although I knew with all the rest of the stuff to go in it will still reach or exceed $1,000! But my mind has been wandering towards turbines (I know, sacrilege! Will I get kicked off of WF?) and I thought this would be a way to get my feet wet without really jumping in. I may still think better of it and be satisfied with the bigger EDF's. But enough about me and my decision.
I purchased the plane at my LHS. (Support your LHS!) I got it home and found it to be very well packed, and no shipping damage at all. Sorry I didn't get pictures but I had already undone a lot of things before this thread idea came about. I'm really impressed with the quality of the plane. I almost feel guilty at getting it almost half price. There were some bubbles in the wing covering, and I got them mostly out with a sealing iron. Some left small wrinkles. Could be my lack of experience with an iron.
You have to glue the outer wing panels on. Then I couldn't help but see how she will look assembled.
Maybe it's because I'm so used to the foamies, but I am so impressed with the quality of the whole plane. There are cooling air inlets at the nose and cleverly hidden outlets hidden behind the jet exhaust nozzles. There is also an opening where the intake ducts meet in front of the fan for some reason.
After hearing from my club president and seeing some YouTube vids, I decided the stock power system was more than adequate for me. It's the EF DeltaV32 fan unit with their brushless 32 2150kv ducted fan motor, and their 80A Pro Brushless ESC. It says the BEC is good for 7 analog or 6 digital servos, but I have 4 digital and 6 analog (3 are retracts) so I got a Castle Creations 10A UBEC for the radio system. I already installed the fan unit (only a dry fit in the picture) and I'm amazed what a perfect fit it is in the ducting! The plane is supposed to go 110+mph with the stock setup in level flight, so I couldn't imagine going through the trouble of fitting something different.
Instead of the suggested JR servos, I'm going with Hitec. HS5085MG's for the ailerons and rudder, HS85MG's for the flaps and nose wheel steering, and an HS5245MG for the stabilizer(elevator). I also got the stock EF 15-25 size retracts, which pleasantly surprised me. The nose retract is very nicely done, and easy to replace the strut, unlike the more 'affordable' ones I'm used to.
Progress is slow, as I've also been doing some maintenance on my other jets for this weekend's Jet Rally at our club. It would be nice to get this one done in time, but I don't want to rush it, and who wants to maiden something like this with an extra big audience? And then working overtime to help pay for all this!
I still don't even have batteries yet. Those are what will push this project over the $1k mark.
6S 5000mAh. At 80w max, my charger will only be able to handle charging them at ~3A, so that'll be on the upgrade list eventually. Much to learn. I'll post updates when I can.