ARTF Hobby King Bearcat

R/C to C/L Conversion – Bearcat ARTF from Hobby King

If you’ve already looked at our review of the Hobby King BF109, you may be surprised to see how much of a contrast this kit is. The Bearcat is something UTTERLY different, and much nearer to a scale model out-of-the-box.

Firstly, it’s largely conventionally built from balsa and lite-ply with laser-cut formers of considerable complexity and lightness, balsa planking and what looks like Oracover providing a first-class finish. 

Secondly, all the necessary holes and fixing points are easily found, and there’s a ready-made, latched, hatch cover for the fuel-tank/battery compartment. Everything oozes quality, from the ready-to-fit wing assembly with ailerons to the undercarriage and tail feathers. It’s also great to see a comprehensive construction manual included.

The Bearcat can be powered by either electric or I/C motors. The only slightly dodgy component appears to be  the moulded squidgy plastic cowl, which is far too lightweight. Reading the owner-reports on the H-K website, it’s the done thing to strengthen this part with epoxy and glass cloth. Apart from that, it really does look and feel good (check it out on the Hobby King site HERE).

For carrier-deck purposes, it begs to be finished as a Class 1 contender, given its very scale-like proportions. Again, reports from R/C owners indicate that it’s a superb flyer as long as the C/G is correctly set up, with just a few moans about the small wheels making take-offs from long grass difficult (not an issue for carrier use). As with the BF109, some strengthening of key areas (U/C and arrester-hook mountings) would be wise.

I know of another flyer (he’s a very proficient builder/pilot) who has also bought this kit. I’m doing the sensible thing and waiting to see how he sets about the conversion! He thinks it may be easiest to use 2.4ghz R/C to manage the secondary control systems, which would leave only the elevator set-up to modify.

Here’s some pix of my un-built kit to give you some idea of what it looks like.

Hobby King Bearcat ARTF

The kit contents straight out of the box…


 Box-Art and comprehensive Construction Manual

Front Fuselage and Battery/Fuel-tank Compartment


 Sample Laser-Cutting – Engine Bulkhead


Trial Assembly

Leading Particulars

Wingspan: 35.0 in (890 mm)
Length :     27.6 in (701 mm)
Weight : 22 oz    (625 gm)
Wing area : 232 sq in

Kit Cost: About £45.00