Home/Builds/Reviews/ESM TYPHOON REVIEW



Aug 26, 2008

A highly detailed, all-composite scale model of the classic British WW II warbird, the Tiffy


The Fuji BT-24 fit well within the cowl. The 1 /8-inch plywood brought the engine out to the correct distance for spinner clearance.

ORIGINALLY PRODUCED in 1941, the Hawker Typhoon was designed to become the successor to the Hawker Hurricane. Interestingly, the Typhoon (nicknamed Tiffy) did not perform very well as an interceptor. Rather, it became apparent that the Typhoon was better suited for ground-attack roles. The Typhoon quickly made short work of lightly armored vehicles with its rockets propelled from 20mm cannons.

Kondor Model Products(ESM) has released an excellent replica of this timeless classic. This is not your average scale RC aircraft. This is easily one of the best looking models on the market. It is fully constructed of fiberglass, which means the wing, fuselage, tail, everything. The model is fully detailed, meaning there are no decals or any tedious markings to add to the plane. The model comes fully equipped with nice air retracts, and you can get a discount on the model if you choose to go with the fixed gear option. Another attractive option is the use of aluminum hub landing gear wheels (including the steerable tail wheel that is included in the original price). Much of the necessary hardware is included, but it wouldn’t be uncommon for a trip or two to the local hobby shop. This is a good-size model with a wingspan of 73.5 inches. This model is only for expert modelers and pilots. Even though the model fits together there are steps not shown in the manual that the user will have to improvise. Expect to spend about 30 hours to complete this model.


  • MODEL Hawker Typhoon
  • TYPE Scale WW II Warbird
  • WINGSPAN 73.2 in.
  • WING AREA 856 sq. in.
  • LENGTH 57.6 in.
  • WEIGHT 19 lb. 10 oz.
  • WING LOADING 52.77 oz./sq. ft.
  • POWER REQ’D 1.20 to 1.40 4-stroke
  • RADIO REQ’D 6-channel with eight or nine servos
  • PRICE $650 (CLICK HERE FOR 2015 PRICING , under $450)


  •  Superb fiberglass components and details
  •  Optional retracts and nice aluminum wheels
  •  Excellent parts fit
  •  Fantastic looking on the ground and in the air


There is plenty of room in the fuselage for the radio gear and air retract tank. The radio tray and pushrod guides are already in place for you.

At first glance you can easily tell how great this model looks with each of its molded fiberglass components. The wheels look great (although feel somewhat heavy) and I noticed a lot of the scale components that really make the model shine. There is a plastic radiator to add realism to the scoop under the propeller. A Dirty Dora nose design has been painted onto the fuselage giving this a true WW II look. I really enjoyed the metal tube pieces that have been included and the pattern to represent the exhaust.

The wing arrives in three portions to allow easier installation of the flap servos. The flaps are actually quite innovative and a unique design. There are a total of four flaps for the wings (two per side). Instead of having to use four different servos, the flaps are paired together using a sturdy yet flexible wire. This allows one servo to control two of the flaps. Due to the flexible wire, the flaps can be extended at different angles from each other, adding to the scale realism.

For the electronics, you will want to use high-torque servos for the majority of the build. I used digital servos, but any high-torque (preferably metal-geared) servo should be used on the ailerons, elevators, and rudder components. The flap servos can be powered by any standard issue servo, along with the throttle control. A radio capable of controlling eight or nine servos would be the best for this model. However, in theory you could get away with a 6-channel radio by using multiple Y-harnesses. You will not want to put both of the elevator servos on the same channel (via Y-harness) to properly set the neutral point and endpoints.

The model does have some shortcomings, however. First, the manual only offers a few pages of drawings to guide you along the way with the rest being up to you. The instructions show wooden blocks to support the hinges. According to KMP, these are no longer necessary and are not included because the hinges are now reinforced with carbon tubes. Probably the most perplexing thing is that in order to achieve proper CG with the recommended engine (1.20-to 1.40-size 4-stroke) I had to add about 7.5 pounds of weight to the nose. I immediately knew that this would not fly given the current setup. The only solution was to power this model with a more potent and heavier gas engine (the Fuji BT-24EI). This model’s final weight came in at 19 pounds 10 ounces even with the CG farther back than recommended (after determining that this would be safe). This is heavier than the advertised 12 to 14 pounds. (See notes about total all up flying weight at bottom of this article)

In the Air

After assembling the Typhoon and warming up the Fuji gas engine, I taxied to the takeoff area. I left the gear doors off and will install them after the test flights. The ground handling was good and you need to keep some up-elevator when taxiing. The winds were gusting at 10 to 15mph at about 30 degrees to the runway. Despite the stiff crosswind, it was relatively easy to keep it straight. I let the plane run on the mains until sufficient speed built up to takeoff. This is very important on a heavily loaded warbird as a premature liftoff can easily result in a snap roll or tip stall. Once airborne, I made a shallow climbout and kept all turns shallow until I got the plane trimmed out. The thick airfoil and flaps make it easy to land at a reasonable speed. There was virtually no pitch change when I deployed the flaps.

STABILITY The Typhoon exhibited good stability at all speeds, but had a tendency to tip stall on very tight turns at slower airspeeds.

TRACKING The plane tracks well as long as sufficient airspeed is maintained. For me, the full-power, high-speed passes were the most exhilarating. It was easy to keep the plane on track during these passes.

AEROBATICS The Fuji engine had sufficient power for scale-like aerobatics. Aerobatics must be performed smoothly to avoid inadvertent stalls and maintain the plane’s energy.

GLIDE & STALL PERFORMANCE The glide as well as slow flight is surprisingly good; just don’t get too slow. Dropping the flaps enhances the slow flight characteristics and makes landings easy. You need a fair amount of up-elevator for the flair. Recovering from a stall is straightforward.

Pilot Debriefing

I found the Fuji BT-24 to have sufficient power, but I felt some more power would be useful to help you get out of trouble. I would put the biggest engine you can fit as you’ll need the weight in the nose anyway. I also highly recommend that you be experienced in highly loaded warbirds before flying the Typhoon. You should also be able to fly a tail-dragger as you need to be able to keep it straight while building up airspeed during the takeoff. If you’re not experienced with this type of aircraft, get help from an experienced pilot or get some time on a more lightly loaded and forgiving warbird. For the experienced pilot, however, the Hawker Typhoon is truly a masterpiece on the ground and a magnificent sight in flight.


  • ELEVATOR ±1 in., expo: 25%
  • AILERON ± æ in., expo: 25%
  • RUDDER ± æ in., expo: 25%


  • RADIO Futaba 12FGA transmitter, Futaba R138DP-8 PCM receiver, seven DS821 JR Sport Digital servos, two Futaba S3001 servos (throttle and retracts)
  • ENGINE/MOTOR Fuji Imvac BT-24EI w/ Fuji Imvac 4.8V 1400mAh ignition battery
  • PROP Master Airscrew 18×10 w/Tru-turn 4 in. spinner


The rudder and tail wheel are controlled by pull-pull cables. The split elevators are actuated by composite shafts within tubes.

The stock air up/spring down retracts install easily. Sierra Giant Scale has a robust set available.

The Typhoon’s fit and finish is superb, but I would recommend this model to experienced builders and flyers only. I added nearly 4 pounds of lead to the cowl to achieve a balance point of 110mm from the leading edge (the manual recommends 100mm). To support the heavier cowl I fabricated a ?-inch plywood piece that I attached to the firewall. I then made up hardwood blocks and pinned them to the plywood and firewall with 1/8-inch dowels. The finished Typhoon looks awesome and even expert scale modelers would be hard-pressed to duplicate the detailing molded in.

***VQ WARBIRDS NOTE:   This model will perform well and fly well with heavy gas engines. Same as most “HEAVY WWII WARBIRDS” these types tend to require a LOT of nose weight.  Do not be afraid of its performance in the 19-20 lb range. We have these models flying world wide with 26cc-40cc gas engines.  We offer scale 2 and 3 blade spinners, retracts, pilot figures, engines and soon Scale Cockpit Kits as well. email us for any information you are needing on this or any other ESM WARBIRD!***

Original article found at  Model Airplane News