RCU Review: ParkZone F-27Q Stryker

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    Contributed by: Burc Simsek | Published: September 2011 | Views: 33922 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the ParkZone F-27Q Stryker BNF


    Distributed by Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (800) 338-4639

    Since the day it was released as a brushed sonic combat ready F-27B airframe to when it was upgraded to the brushless F-27C tiger meet scheme, the ParkZone Stryker has been a favorite of many in this hobby ranging from beginners to experts and is one of those airframes that can truly be classified as a legend. 

    The new F-27Q version of the Stryker is a major re-design of the airframe by Q. Q. Somenzini himself and includes many improvements in both durability and performance. Being a long time fan of this airframe and having purchased and built from scratch countless F-27B/C airframes, I was very thrilled to have the opportunity to get my hands on the Q version for an official RCU review. Lets unbox a BNF version, put it together and take it out to the field...

    • Improved airfoil
    • Increased flight envelope
    • Dual rudders
    • Magnetic nose and canopy
    • Removable turtle deck

    • None Found

    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    The F-27Q Stryker is shipped in a colorful box that is quite nice to look at.

    The very few parts that are required to get the F-27Q Stryker ready for flight are well packaged and I was pleased to see that there was no damage to any of the components from shipping. 

    With all of the components removed from the box, you can see that all that needs to be done is to install the rudders, attach the nose and bind the receiver. The control surfaces have been pre-hinged with CA hinges and the control rods are supported by carbon rods to make them nice and stiff.As this is the BNF version, the receiver has been attached and all that remains it to bind it.

    F-27Q Stryker

    Price: $184.99 (PNP) - $249.99 (BNF)

    Key Features

    • Fully functioning rudders allow for more advanced maneuvers
    • Redesigned airfoil and more powerful 480 Brushless Outrunner motor for improved aerodynamics and speed
    • More rigid airframe with fiberglass reinforcement reduces wing flex and increases precision and speed
    • Removable top hatch provides convenient access to internal electronic components
    • Easy release magnetic nose for increased durability
    • Z-foam construction with CA hinges for increased durability, repairability and safety at high speeds
    • AR600 6-Channel Receiver installed (BNF only)
    • 3S 2200mAh 25C battery included (BNF only)
    • 2-3 cell variable rate fast charger included (BNF only)


    Designed by world aerobatic champion Quique Somenzini, the F-27Q Stryker delivers a thrilling blend of speed and aerobatic precision that?s unlike anything else in its class. Its fiberglass-reinforced Z-Foam airframe has been designed to handle abrupt wing loading changes at high speeds. This, combined with its more powerful 480 brushless power system and twin rudders, gives you an extra dimension of aerobatic fun you won?t find with any other flight-ready flying wing. Flat spins, blenders, snaps, knife edge ? the F-27Q does it all with the same smooth, predictable handing that?s made every Stryker a sport flying favorite.


    Wingspan: 37.1 in (943mm)
    Overall Length: 24.1 in (612mm)
    Flying Weight: 30 oz (855g)
    Motor Size: 480 size Brushless Outrunner 2200 Kv (installed)
    Radio: AR600 6-channel receiver (installed)
    Servos: Four (4) DSV130M digital metal geared servos
    CG (center of gravity): 5.5 inches (140mm) forward from the firewall on fuselage
    Prop Size: 6" x 6"
    Speed Control : 40A (installed)
    Recommended Battery: 11.1V 3S 2200mAh 25C LiPo Battery (included)
    Approx. Flying Duration: 8-12 minutes
    Charger: DC powered variable rate balancing charger (included)

    Those familiar with the previous generation of the F-27B/C Stryker will immediately start to notice all of the differences that have been incorporated in the F-27Q version as you remove the components from the box. The nose cone which used to be a stick on deal has been upgraded to a magnetic mount. Once attached, it makes a pretty sturdy connection but at the same time can pop off during a mishap to save the fuselage from major damage. Another significant improvement is the new magnetic canopy which covers the new enlarged battery tray. The battery cover is held on by powerful magnets in the front and with a latching mechanism in the rear. the turtle deck design of the electronics cover is also another nice improvement over the previous design where the deck was held in place with plastic nails that were attached directly to the foam which usually wore out very quickly after a insertions. The new turtle deck is held in place with a single screw and removes/attachers quite easily. Underneath the turtle deck, the pre installed AR600 and the 40A ESC is visible. An extension has been pre-installed to the bind port of the AR600 so you will not actually have to remove the turtle deck at all to get the F-27Q Stryker ready for flight.

    One of the major new features of the F-27Q Stryker is of course the dual rudders. The control horns have been pre-attached and a strip of dual sided tape is provided to attach them to the fuselage. The wing tips is another area where new features can be found. A plastic cover wraps the wing tip to prevent against damage and a wing fences have been molded in the fuselage which according to the literature, serve to help in stabilizing the Stryker when flying at higher speeds. The leading edge of the wing also has a nice cut out but I have not been able to figure out if it has been added to serve a specific function or for looks. Either way, they look great.

    The motor mount has also been redesigned and is now molded in the fuselage. It is supposed to not only provide a better platform to attach the motor to but to also help in making the airframe more rigid. The bottom of the fuselage now holds a single wheel and plastic along the bottom of the fins. I am not super crazy about the wheel as I probably would not land the Stryker on a hard surface when grass is available but there will surely come a time when I will try to shoot high speed touch and gos by trying to bounce the Stryker off the ground off the new wheel so I am looking forward to that. 

    The battery hatch (or canopy) has a very large cooling hole in the front which should help get some air over the battery and ESC to help keep them cool during those high speed passes.  Another major new feature is the move to the outrunner 480 motor and the higher pitch 6"x6" plastic propeller which is supposed to help propel the F-27Q Stryker to higher speeds. 

    The BNF version is shipped with a pre-installed AR600 receiver and a 3S2200mAh 25C LiPo battery and charger that have pre-installed EC3 connectors. All of the surfaces are actuated by metal geared DSV130M digital servos.


    The manual contains information on how to assemble the F-27Q Stryker, bind the receiver and setup the control surfaces. The CG point is documented as 5.5" forward of the firewall which places it right about the middle of the hand launch opening in the bottom for quick reference. 

    Download the manual

    All that is required to get the F-27Q Stryker BNF ready for flight is to attach the nose cone, bind the AR600 receiver and install the rudders. The provided double sided tape is all that I used to attach the rudders for a few initial flights but the manual actually recommends that you use some CA to help them stay on during high speed flight/maneuvers.

    Once the rudders are installed, the two carbon fiber supported control rods are installed and can be adjusted to center the surfaces. The clevises are held shut by small pieces of fuel tubing. I noticed that without the fuel tubing, the clevises do not really like to stay on there very tightly so it is probably best to check these before and after each flight.

    Usually, the spring and summer seasons in Houston are relatively calm, albeit hot, and perfect for flying. However this last season was day after day of windy conditions which did not make for great conditions shoot video of the Maiden of the Stryker. The Stryker however does not really care about the wind as it cuts through it effortlessly and in my opinion is actually even more fun to fly in slightly windy conditions due to the higher speeds that can be achieved with a good tail wind and the ability to perform inverted stationary harriers.

    For the photo shoot, we headed out to Scobee field in Houston with two Strykers and got them both ready for flight. The Stryker is very easy to launch in to the wind. I prefer to apply about quarter throttle and give it a firm toss in to the wind and lay on the power after it clears my hand. The F-27Qs increased torque from the outrunner motor seems to want to bank the Stryker sharply to the left when power is applied abruptly so  it is probably best to not just nail it but to apply throttle gradually on takeoff. 

    Once the Stryker was up in the air, a few clicks of trim here and there were all that was needed to achieve level flight. Going to full throttle I immediately realized that the new Stryker is a  fairly bit quicker that the C version. I would even go as far to say it performs close to a stock C Stryker on 4S.  I rolled the Stryker over and noticed that I had to give a bit of down elevator to maintain level inverted flight.

    Of course the maneuvers that I was very interested in performing now that I had rudders were the flat spins and knife edge flight. I setup for a high speed run over the runway and banked the Stryker hoping to catch it with the rudder but noticed immediately that the rudder has some roll coupling. In fact, I was able to do a barrel roll on rudder alone. I discovered that doing a nice knife edge does not actually require a lot of rudder but more speed but eventually I was able to perform an acceptable knife edge pass in both directions which brought a grin to my face.

    Next up was the flat spin. I tried for a while to get an upright spin going but just could not manage to do it. The inverted flat spin on the other hand is fairly easy to enter and maintain by simply cornering the sticks after a blender or when stalled at the top of a climb. You can spin fairly flat down to a comfortable altitude but require a little bit of recovery room on the bottom as you need to fly out of the maneuver on the wing. As this was one of the first couple of F-27Q Strykers in our field, several people came out to the flight line to watch the flat spins and I could hear laughs of amazement every time I performed these maneuvers.

    The high throws on the control surfaces coupled with the rudder also allow for some nice snaps. It is really fun to start a climb, perform a snap, come to a stop, then turn around and fly the other way. I was very temped to try a parachute but did not want to risk putting the review airplane in the ground before I had a chance to finish the review. However, the parachute and elevators (with some slight wing rock in high alpha) are now among the repartuare of maneuvers that you can fly with the Stryker.

    I always like flying inverted harriers with the older generation of Strykers and the new F-27Q Stryker is no different. I did not really utilize the rudders during inverted harriers but felt like I could get slower, lower and higher alpha harriers with the newer  version that I could ever before.

    The more I flew the Stryker, I started to realize the new Stryker is not only faster up top, but that it also allowed me to fly at slower speeds which essentially translates in to a wider flight envelope. I did notice a slight rocking or yaw effect when approaching stall speeds when turning but when using the rudder to make coordinated turns, this effect was diminished.  

    The flight times that I observed were less than the advertised times of 8-12 minutes with my first flight running out of power at around the 6.5 minute mark which seemed to be consistent with further flights. During my second flight, I ran out of power while trying to perform a low harrier pass but was able to turn the Stryker upright and perform a pancake landing from about four feet off the deck which did not do any other damage than nick the prop. 

    Where one Stryker is fun, two or more is of course better, so we handed the camera to a friend and took both the Strykers up for some formation flying. It is always fun to try and fly wingtip to wingtip in a slow pattern around the field which yielded in some nice static photos which can be seen below.

    Check out the video to see her in action!

    F-27Q Stryker (Pilots, Stills & Video: Burc Simsek and David Smith)

    If you have never flown a Stryker before, you owe it to yourself to try one out. The F-27B and the F-27C were both great airframes which flew on inexpensive 2200mAh 3S LiPos, had great performance out of the box and were open for extensive modification to reach speeds well over a 100mph. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the airframe could be slowed down to provide a nice and relaxing flight allowing you to achieve greater than 10 minutes of flight time. Parts were inexpensive and you could build a Stryker from scratch with a custom paint scheme. My favorite was to paint the top yellow and the bottom black and to dress it up with the F-27B stickers.

    So how does the new Stryker compare? Well I can safely say that the new F-27Q Stryker promises performance and it delivers... It is faster, more maneuverable, more aerobatic, includes some well designed upgrades and flys great, really great. I'll admit that when I first saw the media release of the new Stryker back in April, being so used to the previous generation, I was not really crazy about the new look but was intrigued about the new features. The new look has now actually grown on me while the performance and improvements over the previous generation are a welcome addition and this will definitely be an airframe that will make it to the back of my SUV every time I go out to the field. Great job and thanks ParkZone!

    Distributed by Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (800) 338-4639

    Comments on RCU Review: ParkZone F-27Q Stryker

    Posted by: djnsayne on 09/16/2011
    this is my fav plane to fly right now.....
    Posted by: Tony Iannucelli on 09/20/2011
    Stryker is capable of almost anything... but I can't get it to hover. It falls over toward the canopy. Nice torque roll but it keeps moving off line... it's me, for sure. Setup three flight modes with #3 good for nice flat landings. Really. What a nice plane. You will find out early in the game why the nose cone is a "breakaway".
    Posted by: stoneenforcer on 10/03/2011
    Picked one of these up while on vacation. Gotta say, the F27Q is an excellent parkflyer! Fast enough for the veteran flyer and capable of doing some head spinning flight manuevers! Parkzone did a great job with this little pocket rocket!
    Posted by: stoneenforcer on 10/03/2011
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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