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Saturday, December 5, 2015

[Review] Swift from Hacker Model, Fly EPP with style !


At the last toy fair 2015 in Nuremberg, and following the success of the Vagabond, Hacker Model had plenty of new gliders to display. This is actually a original proposal where the same aerodynamic concept is available in 4 different semi-scale models (Blanik, Swift Fox, Lunak) and available in various colors to suit all tastes ! I propose you today the review of the Swift from this SKG product range.

Kit Overview

The Hacker Model Kit is without doubt what is the best in the world of hot wired cutted EPP models. Carefully packed, we discover firstly the wings, decorated covered wings with a laminate film, pine spar and plywood root rib already in place. Servo prints are done and the servo wires tunnel also.

The fuselage is also decorated but not covered with laminate film. Various cuts are already made, either for the fin or the tailplane, for the wing root print and the radio housing. The tailplane and fin are delivered articulated but uncovered.
The complete hardware includes CTP laser cut parts, thermoformed canopy in black plastic, screws, the piano wire joiner, a plastic and foam wheel, without forgetting the piano wire control rod and plastic sleeves.
As is often the case for Hacker Model kits, assembly instructions consists of mounting pictures without text. It is easy to follow and clear.


Assembly is done in 2 or 3 evening, without stress. I did all the gluing with “foam safe” cyano except for wood parts where I used normal cyano.

Because of the position of the radio housing and canopy, the swift proposes an interresting mounting and locking system, rather sophisticated but very well designed (see pictures). The assembly starts with the wings locking system that is to be assembled from parts ctp laser cut. We must be careful to mount the blank to verify the perfect alignment of the rooms in which the CAP will slide to lock the wings, which is the main difficulty of assembly. Do not forget to prepare and glue the servos extensions in place.

Let's continue with the fuselage. First proceed to the alignement of the wing and glue the wing mounting system in place. Next, insert and glue the reinforcements along the fuselage, taking care that the fuselage stays straight, then cut an opening into the fuselage to insert the wheel. Ditto for elevator  and rudder control sleeves.

Next we can move to the tail and fin: They are reinforced with a carbon flat rod inserted in a cut made with a cutter. Then we can proceed with the gluing of the tail and fin on the fuselage, using  cyano and activator, and being cautious with its positionning and alignment, just to have a well balanced and symetrical glider that will fly straight.

The rest of the work consists mainly in the radio installation which remains very usual. A plywood tray receives the 9 to 12 gr servos (Tower Pro MG90 Servo 9g metal in my case). The receiver is located behind the servos and should be small size.

On the wings, very few work apart preparing the servo lead extensions and glue them in place, then finish the control command with the accesories.

To obtain the right CoG, I had to use a pack of 4 NiMH AAA batteries, contrary to what is indicated in the instructions (ACCU 4x AA NiMH 1900) and which is far too heavy for the plane.

It is interesting to stiffen the wing servo extensions at the root so that they can move easily into the wire tunnel. For this I used some heat shrink.

Good surprise on the scale, with a flying weight of only 702g to be compared with the 780gr mentionned in the building instructions. It's rare enough to be reported !

At the slope

The maiden took place on a nice slope but with a strong wind. Not ideal for this light Swift but it fighted with honors. This already helped to see that there is not enough aileron and elevator movement  and also the CoG a little too forward.

Other sessions were held in ideal conditions, from very little wind to medium breeze. I was surprised by the  thermal capabilities that I do not necessarily expect on a model like this one. I remember a flyin session in the Vosgen with many Alula EVO and TREK around, and the Swift was doing rather well, far from ridiculous.

Its preferred conditions remains the light to medium breeze. The swift then delivers lot's of fun, first of all by its presence in the air and its semin scale look.  I'm never tired to do low altitude fly by in front of me.

Control on all axis is precise and efficient but not violent. Piloting remains easy. The dihedral and lateral surface of the fuselage provide good stability in trajectory.

The rudder is effective under all circumstances and especially when circling or doing aerobatics. Despite its name, the swift is not really an aerobatic model, but is capable of all basic academic aerobatics: rolls and inverted flight is no problem. The vertical manoeuvers like reversals, looping, lack of amplitude due to the low weight of the machine, nothing abnormal.

The landing even without airbrakes is very simple, because the glider 700g are easy to slow down.

Finally, nothing better than a short video of  the Swift in his element:


The Swift from Hacker Model is a very nice glider, the kit of very good quality. The plane is intermetidate level pilots who are looking for a compact glider, which looks great in the air and with good handling qualities. And if the Swift does not catch you, you still can choose a different look like the Fox, Blanik, or Lunak.

I liked :
  • Very nice looking EPP plane in the air
  • Wing mounting and locking system simple and efficient
  • Integrated plug in the wing root

I disliked:
  • Tail not removable
  • Ailerons hinge working a little vertically with time

  • Wingspan: 2000mm
  • Length: 995mm
  • Chords: root 22mm, 11mm salmon
  • Flying weight:  702g (780g indicated in the building instructions)
  • Price
  • Manufacturer: Hacker Model


  1. Hi Pierre,
    I'm thinking about getting a Swift, would you reccomend it to a relative newcomer? Been sloping foamies, mostly SAS Wildthings for just under a year now. My brother now has a Vagabond, and we are just getting to grips with that. Flew well at the weekend, quite different flying characteristics over the foamies, but we are up for it!
    Would you reccomend the tower servos as you used? Are there any other servos that you may reccomend for such a model with good centreing?

  2. Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. hire a hacker


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