RAF S.E.5 British biplane fighter aircraft was introduced in November
1916 during the First World War. This aircraft was developed to be
strong and stable, and quite maneuverable, and was among the fastest
aircrafts of its time. The plane played a key role during the war,
providing the Royal Air Force with superior performance during air
The S.E.5a model was released a few months later, with a
more powerful engine, a smaller windshield and new pilot seat position
and it is this version of the aircraft that Flyzone has reproduced to
add to their existing offering of model micro planes.
As with most of the Flyzone planes, the S.E.5a is available in two versions: Ready to Fly
and Transmitter Ready. The second allows you to use your own
transmitter to control the plane, and this is the version we are
fully assembled Micro S.E.5a is small enough to fly indoors and you can
show off its scale realism in light winds outside. From the detailed,
molded-in wing ribs all the way down to a pair of machine guns, it’s
like flying the full-size WWI fighter!
The S.E.5a RTF includes a 2.4GHz radio, so you can be airborne in
minutes. There’s also a Tx-R version. You can fly this and any other
Transmitter-Ready plane with AnyLink and your radio. Fly your own WWI
sorties today with the S.E.5a.
12900kV, geared 6.25:1
with Battery =
biplane runs from a tiny one-cell 140mAh lipo battery and is to be
charged with the included battery charger, which is powered by 5
included standard AA batteries. The whole idea of charging a battery by
using another battery might sound cumbersome at first, but it is
actually quite handy to be able to charge the plane cell wherever you
are, without worrying about having access to a power supply.
there is a warning sign on the battery stating that the maximum
charging current is 140mA, which means charging at 1C. The battery
charger provided with the plane will deliver up to 250mA and the
battery/charger combination seem to work quite well together.
transmitter alone can only do so much. But a transmitter with AnyLink™
can do wonders. It's so revolutionary that a patent is already pending,
and so simple to use that it takes only seconds to add. Yet, once it’s
installed, your transmitter will be able to fly:
Tx-R™ (Transmitter-Ready™) airplanes;
electric aircraft equipped with a 2.4GHz SLT™ receiver.
that’s not the only amazing thing about AnyLink. Here are three more:
works with virtually any transmitter, regardless of brand, band or
enables your transmitter to send out a true, 2.4GHz signal — and
operate with all of the interference-free dependability of a
frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum system.
offers all of the convenience, versatility and benefits listed above
for far less than the cost of a new 2.4GHz radio system.
out of the
box, the only thing left to do is the prepartion of
pilot figure. The polystyrene formed figurine is of course not required
the model to fly correctly, so it is really up to the flyer whether to
install it or not.
Do not be afraid of the task, it doesn't take
much effort to paint the pilot. Use only water-based paint if you do,
as solvent will dissolve the foam.
plane, including the battery, weights only 36
grams ( 1-1/4 oz).
The manufacturer annonced 37g, and the difference is well under the
precision of the kitchen scale I used here.
the optional painting of the pilot, there is absolutely no assembly
required with this plane, and virtually no setup. The only thing to
take care of is the direction of the control, and ensuring that no axis
are reversed, and you will be good to go. In many of its models,
Flyzone has introduced a welcomed safety feature for starting the
engine: the throttle has to be at idle while powering the plane, and
then brought to max after a few seconds. When a distinctive single beep
is heard, the throttle is reduced to idle. The engine beeps twice to
notify it is enabled, and will start with a move of the throttle stick.
S.E.5a model is a very light weight micro-plane and therefore is really
intended to be flown indoors. I had to wait for the perfect day with
wind to perform the maiden flight, and that day came in the form of a
foggy Texas morning in the month of January. The very nice thing with
the S.E.5a is that packing the equipment to go to the field really
takes no time. I grabbed my good old Futaba, the small box that
contains the plane, a camera, and was off.
I had measured the
static consumption of the plane at around .8A, and I knew I could
expect flight time of around 10 minutes, which is really not bad
considering the size of the plane. I aligned the plane on the runway,
verified one last time the direction of the rudder and elevator, and
pushed the throttle to the max for takeoff. I am not sure the wheels
actually completed one full rotation before the plane was airborne. The
combination of the sudden power with the slightly out of trim elevator
made the plane jump in the air, rather than take off. Once the plane
was trimmed, it became a breeze to fly. The next takeoffs were done
with the power only gradually increased, resulting in a more realistic
picture of this war bird leaving earth. Hand-launch is always an option
with this model, and with the stability of the plane coupled with its
power, this operation is easily achieved.
The plane has two axis
of control: rudder and elevator. If you have never flown a two-axis
plane before, it takes some getting used to. The plane will react to a
rudder input with a slight delay and will drop its nose if not
sustained by the elevator. A good synchronization of these two axis
allows for nice turns without gaining or losing altitude.
cambered profile of the wing helps make the plane a very slow flier.
This type of profile generates lift even at very low speeds, and is
commonly used for small park and indoor flyers. The drawback
the profile is that it has a higher dependency between speed and lift,
which causes the plane to “balloon” (ie, gaining altitude) when power
is applied. That is to be compensated by an action on the elevator.
plane is capable of being flown in a very small area. Capable of
performing tight turns and
short takeoffs and landings, flying the SE5a indoors or outdoors with
calm conditions is a pleasure. The S.E.5a is capable of performing
basic acrobatics, such
as a loops or stall turns. While the S.E.5a can not really sustain
inverted flight, it is achievable, but only
for a short time before the plane stalls. Cambered profiles are rarely
good for inverted flight.
my opinion, the S.E.5a is at its best when flown slowly at head height,
doing slow figures eight with nice and long turns. Once in a
is good to throw a speed dive and series of intricate tight turns, as a
mark of respect to one the greatest war birds of World War I.
by Burc Simsek and Laurent Caekebeke
that long ago, flying a micro-plane meant needing to be a very talented
plane builder, capable of shaving weight off of every part of the
plane. With their micro-plane line, Flyzone gives any pilot the ability
to fly these feather light aircrafts. Not only has Flyzone developed a
plane that flies nicely, but also one which incorporates good scale
finish and details.
all, Flyzone scores once again with the S.E.5a, which deserves to be a
success among the population of indoor micro-plane lovers.
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.