Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021
Champaign, IL 61826
Phone: 800-637-7660 www.flyzoneplanes.com
It was March of 1916 when the Nieuport 17 first arrived at the French front, where it quickly began to replace the Nieuport 11. Not quite a biplane, the lower wing having less than one half the surface area of the upper wing, it's firmly classified as a sesquiplane. The aircraft was very similar to the earlier Nieuport 11, with a slightly beefier airframe and a 110 hp Le Rhone 9J engine. During WWI, aircraft manufacturers were diligently attempting to stay ahead of their country's respective enemies. 'Cutting Edge' designs quickly became 'Old News' as they were replaced by even newer designs. The Nieuport 17 was among them. By early 1917 it was outclassed by most of the newer German fighters and was replaced by the Nieuport 24 and 27, although it was still used as an advanced trainer for prospective fighter pilots after its operational days were over. If you're a WWI History buff like me, mention the Nieuport and names like Albert Ball and W.A (Billy) Bishop immediately come to mind.
Price: $79.99 (Tx-R) $99.99 (RTF) (Accurate at time of review)
Stock Number: FLZA2042 - Tx-R
Stock Number: FLZA2040 - RTF
Top Wingspan: 15.3 in (389 mm) Length: 12 in (305 mm) Weight: 1.16 oz (33 g) Radio Used: Spektrum DX7S with Tactic AnyLink 2.4GHz Radio Adapter Battery Used: Included 3.7 V 140 mAh LiPo Channels Used: 3 Total - Elevator, Throttle, and Rudder
Items Needed To Complete: (Tx-R)
Tactic AnyLink and Compatible Transmitter ~OR~ Tactic 4-channel (minimum) Transmitter.
Foam Safe Glue and Paint. (for the Pilot Figure)
Items Needed To Complete: (RTF)
Nothing. Everything is included. (Pilot requires painting and installation.)
The Nieuport 17 is Available in two varieties: Transmitter Ready (Tx-R) which is the version I received to review, and a Ready to Fly Version (RTF). The Difference is that the RTF version includes a Tactic TTX402 4-Channel SLT 2.4GHz Mini Transmitter, which doubles as a LiPo charger. The Tx-R Version provides a battery operated LiPo charger in lieu of the transmitter. Either version arrives in a colorful, sturdy box that doubles as a carrying case. The contents of the review plane were kept undamaged by the well-designed Foam packing. Included with the plane is a LiPo flight battery, cordless DC charger, five 'AA' batteries and an unpainted pilot figure.
I liked the way the pre-painted airplane looked, and the dummy radial engine behind the cowl added just the right touch of realism. The unpainted pilot figure is not installed, but a few minutes with some water based paint and a drop of foam safe CA and accelerator was really the only assembly required. I'm sure I could have skipped that step, but I prefer the look of an open cockpit with a pilot figure.
I removed the single cell charger, installed the five 'AA' Sized batteries (YES, batteries ARE included!) and plugged the included lipo battery into the charger. The flight battery even has hook and loop fastener pre-installed! After a few minutes, the green LED on the Charger went out, indicating that the 3.7v LiPo flight battery was fully charged.
Next it was time to Link my transmitter. I do not currently own a Tactic brand radio; however I had a Tactic AnyLink 2.4GHz radio adapter that was looking for a home. The connections and linking procedure does vary depending on your transmitter make and model, but the procedure itself is very simple.
Ok, now where's my checklist? Pilot: PAINTED & INSTALLED. Flight battery: CHARGED. Radio system: CHARGED AND LINKED. Checklist complete. Now off to the Gym!
The manual, like most from Flyzone and Hobbico, is very well written with good illustrations. Flyzone also has the Manual and TX-Ready addendum on-line. The TX-Ready addendum was helpful in reminding me that the JR / Spektrum radios should use the 'Alternate Mapping Function', otherwise you may find your aileron stick moves the elevator.
We arrived at the gym after dark, it was chilly and raining. Perfect conditions for Indoor flying! The gym was about the size of one full basketball court, but with a slightly lower ceiling: 15 - 20 feet. I turned on the transmitter, connected the battery and armed the ESC (throttle first set to low, then slowly to full and back to low waiting for the appropriate 'beeps') a final check that all controls moved in the correct directions, and I smoothly advanced the throttle.
I was impressed by the amount of power this tiny motor was able to generate, as the Nieuport took off with authority in about 10 feet. Two clicks of right rudder was all it took to trim the airplane for straight and level. I quickly noticed that control response was very good, but not too touchy. I was already impressed with the Nieuport's flying capabilities.
I throttled back to less than half throttle, and the Nieuport descended to a comfortable altitude of roughly 8 feet. Even with only rudder for directional control, the airplane was very easy to keep well within the confines of the gym. After a few circuits getting comfortable with the airplane's handling characteristics, I began to allow it to get closer to the walls and ceiling, using more of the available airspace.
After only a few more minutes, I was pretty sure I'd be able to fly this airplane in a broom closet. The control authority and stability is that good. I flew around for another couple of minutes, and decided to bring her in. I've owned hand launched gliders that were trickier to land. I was able to slow the Nieuport down to a crawl and easily set it down right where I wanted it. now THIS is FUN!
A few days later my Flying buddy Geoff and I had some spare time on our hands so we decided to take the Nieuport down to a nearby (SMALL) Parking lot to see how it would fly outdoors intentionally under less than perfect conditions. The winds were blowing about 6-8 MPH and variable. Again, I was impressed by the amount of power provided as the airplane jumped off the pavement. Flying in breezy conditions the Nieuport still did not show any bad flying tendencies, but at slightly over one ounce the Nieuport is not exactly built to be flown in anything but reasonably calm conditions.
With all things considered, I was more than impressed by the Nieuport's overall flying capabilities, it's value and it's pure FUN factor. The indoor flying season is well on its way, but it's not too late to grab this little jewel from your Local Hobby Shop, or Online Retailer.
Check out the video to see the Nieuport 17 in action!
Flyzone Nieuport 17
What a wonderful little airplane! From start to finish this Nieuport was fun, fun, FUN. Flyzone has certainly done a great job in putting this little flyer into the hands of the masses! With so little time spent on assembly, flying takes center stage!
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.