The winter is here and with it comes early sunsets and reduced daytime which eats away at our precious flight window at the RC field. Luckily, Flitework’s latest addition is here to save the day and bring back what the cold season takes from us. The Shiny doesn’t need the sun to shine as it is equipped with dozens of very bright LEDs that keep the plane very visible even in the darkest of nights.
The Flitework Shiny is an ARF, which is closer to “ready” than “Almost ready”. The plane comes with the servos, motor, ESC and LEDs pre-installed. The assembly and setting up of the plane is a matter of only a few hours. The only things missing to get the Shiny ready to shine is to add a receiver and a 2200mAh 3s Lipo battery.
- Wingspan: 47.2 in (1200 mm),
- Length: 42.5 in (1080 mm),
- Wing area: 2.7 ft2 (24.9 dm2),
- Weight: 32.2 oz (915 g),
- Wing loading: 12 oz/ft2 (36.7 g/dm2),
- Requires: 4-Channel radio system, receiver, and flight battery.
- Price: $230
Built in LEDs make the Shiny fun to fly day or night. It’s factory-fitted with a powerful brushless motor, ESC, servos and the impressive array of LED lights. At night, the whole model shines with interior illumination wowing onlookers at the flying field. This aircraft is also receiver-ready so it goes together quickly and is ready to go with just a few additional components.
First look and Assembly
What’s in the box?
There are very few parts, and most of the elements are already assembled: the servos for the ailerons and the elevator are already mounted, the LEDs are installed, and the motor is in place.
Do’s and Dont’s:
The Flitework Shiny is meant to be flown at night, but it is strongly advised to have a couple of flights by day to properly trim the night flyer and get a good feel for its flying behavior before throwing the plane into the pitch black night.
The very classic design of the plane, with the generous wing area and a large stabilizer are signs of a very gentle aircraft, which was confirmed on the first flight. After a first hand-launch, the plane was flown around for a series of hippodrome-shaped pattern to adjust the trim of the ailerons and stabilizer. The plane flies as a well-behaved high-wing trainer. The lack of rudder is absolutely not detrimental to simply flying the plane around. The long moment arm of the rudder makes the plane naturally track the trajectory in a turn, as long as there is enough speed. Obviously, the absence of yaw control does limit the aerobatic capabilities, rendering the knife-edge maneuver impossible (or more precisely, very short lived). Rolling turns are acceptable, if you are not too picky on the regularity of the rotation. The Shiny is not designed as an accurate acrobatic plane, but as a fun, easy to move around flyer. The speed could be slightly higher for added fun, but the moderate velocity has one massive advantage: low power consumption. The flights with the 3s 2200mAh are easily into the 10-12 minutes range. We even broke the 20-minute flight time at night, with very good power management.
The stall occurs very late and is very gentle, thanks to the thick profile and the swept leading edge. The plane is easy to slow down for a landing right at the pilot’s feet. The landing is better accomplished on a very soft surface like thick grass, as there is no wear protection on the underneath of the plane. A hard runway will quickly wear and tear the covering.
There is no denying that the Shiny is at its best at sundown. Flitework rightfully understood that to optimize the night-flying experience it is important for the plane’s LEDs to light up the plane itself. Too many times we see planes designed to fly at night with bright LEDs mounted on the outside, shining away from the aircraft. These offer limited visibility, and often have dark angles from which it is difficult to determine the true orientation of the plane. By designing the LEDs on the inside of the plane’s structure, Flitework made the whole surface of the Shiny an omni-directional light source. The covering acts as a light diffuser, allowing the plane to be seen from any direction. This is a great feature and makes flying the plane a breeze, even with no lighting at all.
The good color contrast between the top vs bottom of the aircraft, with the top being colorful and underneath being plain white, is yet another design element that greatly improves the visibility at night. Throughout our flights, we never had any issues determining the plane’s orientation, even when we were slightly distracted as we messed with camera settings to take cool pictures.
Having a plane which is so clearly visible at night was the perfect excuse to test some light painting photography techniques. Here are a few examples:
We found that we could take the best photos using a large angle lens with a 14 to 18mm focal. The aperture should be set to f/8 at the maximum, as a too large aperture would have too narrow of a focal distance, and the picture would be blurry. An exposure time of 6 to 8s worked best.
Day flying with the Shiny is ok, the plane is easy to fly around, and offers a stress-less flying experience. However, the limited flying envelope and moderate speed doesn’t make for the most exiting flights. It is when the night comes that the Shiny truly…well…shines. The well illuminated aircraft deploys his art, drawing the most fascinating figures against the dark sky.
With the Shiny, Flitework took a classic design and brought us the platform for a very original flying experience. Finally, there is a remedy against the reduced flying time of short winter days, and its name is Shiny!
Flitework Shiny RR
- The indirect lighting of the plane makes it very easy to fly by night
- The quality and overall look of the decal
- The very good behavior in flight
- The tight hinge slots and the possibility to damage the LED while enlarging them
- No spare parts available at the time of the review