RCU Review: ParkZone Ultra Micro Spitfire Mk IV BNF


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    Contributed by: Geoff Barber | Published: March 2013 | Views: 19609 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the ParkZone Ultra Mirco Spitfire
    Geoff Barber
    (gabarber)

    Email Me




    ParkZone
    Distributed by Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    www.parkzone.com

    The Supermarine Spitfire may not be as well known on this side of the 'pond', but the English love her. Designed by R. J. Mitchell, the chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works, in 1931, the Spitfire saw many refinements and modifications even after Mitchell's death in 1937. Though there have been many variations of the 'Spit', the Mk. IX is the most commonly known, due to its involvement in WWII. The Mk. IX was introduced in June of 1942, and retired in 1955.

    The Spitfire has many great technical aspects, from its two-stage superchargers to the Hispano machine guns in the wings. The most interesting item, in my mind, is the over-all profile of the aircraft. I believe that the Spit has one of the most attractive airframes of ANY WWII fighter. Don't get me wrong - the P-51 looks sleek and powerful just sitting on the ground, but the Spitfire Mk. IX is beautiful! The long fuselage and rounded tail surfaces, in combination with the large elliptical wing is enough to make anybody look at her twice!


    • Completely Assembled
    • Box Doubles as Carrying Case
    • Battery Charger Included
    • AS3X System for Smoother Flights
    • LOTS of Scale Details!


    • None as Tested


    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Assemble:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?


    Name:ParkZone Ultra Micro Spitfire Mk IV BNF

    Price: $99.99 (Accurate at time of review)

    Stock Number: PKZU2180

    Wingspan: 15.9 in (403 mm)
    Length: 13.5 in (343 mm)
    Weight: 1.65 oz (46.8 g)
    Radio Used:Spektrum DX8
    Battery Used: Included 3.7 V 150 mAh 25C LiPo
    Channels Used: 4 Total - Aileron, Elevator, Throttle, and Rudder

    Items Needed To Complete:

    • A 4+ Channel DSM2 or DSMX Compatible Transmitter





    Like all the other aircraft in the Ultra Micro line, the UM Spitfire comes in a nicely adorned box that doubles as a carrying case. Mine arrived without a scratch! Inside, I found a safely packed, fully-assembled airplane, flight battery and charger, and batteries for the charger.



    ParkZone has really done a great job on the Spit - there's a TON of scale details on this little warbird! I loved the exhaust pipes, the 'ribbed' tail-feathers, and the FOUR BLADE propeller! The plastic chin cowl and machine guns add a great deal of realism to the Mk. IX as well.



    The landing gear is removable, in case you'd like to hand-launch the Spitfire. Speaking of the landing gear, ParkZone has added gear doors as well! I really liked the clear canopy with instrument panel, and absolutely loved the AS3X stabilization system!

    For more information on the AS3X system, click here.



    Since the Spitfire Mk. IX arrives fully assembled, there is very little required to ready her for flight. I installed the four AA batteries in the charger and charged the 3.7v 150 mAh 25C LiPo flight battery.



    When the flight battery was fully charged, I plugged it into the connector, secured the battery
    in the plane, and installed the plastic chin cowl.


    That's it! Let's get this little 'Spit' out for a flight or two!


    Manual


    The manual is just what I expect from companies such as ParkZone and Horizon Hobby - first rate! The illustrations are clear and the written instructions are easy to read and understand. In addition to the manual, there is a Lithium Ion battery safety guidelines addendum. This sheet would be very helpful for anyone just getting started with LiPo batteries.



    Maiden flight day arrived, and I didn't think it could have been better - for mid-March in Minnesota. The winds were calm, the sun was shining, and the temperature was a balmy 38 degrees (yes, above zero). I called my buddy Jim Buzzeo and told him to meet me at a local park for a little flying. Now, being March in Minnesota, there was still snow on the ground - which meant flying from the wheels only so as not to pack the motor full of that wettish white stuff.

    I set the Spitfire on the ground, and advanced the throttle to take off. Unfortunately, the asphalt 'runway' we had available was a little rough. To the little Spit, I would imagine it to be like taking off from an old, abandoned, bombed out runway from WWII! So, a graceful scale-like take off was out of the question. I pushed the throttle stick to wide open, and the Mk. IX rolled about 8 feet and was airborne! The little plane left the ground much sooner than I expected, but the AS3X took over and kept the plane upright and climbing out nicely.

    Once at altitude (in this case, about 20 feet high), I checked for any trim adjustments. I didn't have to make any changes, so I backed the throttle off to about two-thirds - she settled into a nice cruise speed. The Spitfire does a great job of covering ground quickly, but she didn't get ahead of me by any means. Believe it or not, the little Spit appears to be flying at a scale speed at that throttle setting!

    As a warbird, I decided to maintain some dignity and perform only scale maneuvers. Aileron rolls are easy and fast, as were tighter loops. Large, round loops presented a little challenge and slow rolls provided some 'skill-building' time as well, but it's hard to do a good slow roll with an under-cambered wing.

    The default timer on my Spektrum DX8 is set for 5 minutes, so when the time ran out, I kept flying to see how long the Mk. IX would stay aloft. At the 7:40 mark, the Spitfire's motor started pulsating, like the rest of the UMX planes do, signaling the battery was getting low.

    One quick 180 degree turn and I was on final approach. I lined up with the asphalt road and pulled the throttle back to about one-quarter. When the little Spit was about a foot above the ground, I killed the motor, and the Mk. IX glided in and landed nearly at my feet!

    Thanks to the AS3X Stabilization System, the Spitfire was easy to take off, fly, and land - at no point in the flight did I feel that the plane was shaky or uncontrollable. And that's a lot to say for a warbird weighing less than 2 ounces with an elliptical wing!




    Check out the video to see the Ultra Micro Spitfire Mk. IX in action!




    ParkZone Ultra Micro Spitfire Mk. IX














    Parkzone has another cool addition to their line-up. With great scale looks, no assembly, and (thanks to the AS3X) fantastic flight characteristics, the Ultra Micro Spitfire Mk. IX is a real winner! Many thanks go out to ParkZone and Horizon Hobby for bringing us a (reasonably priced) Spit that almost everyone can enjoy!






    ParkZone
    Distributed by Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    www.parkzone.com




    Spektrum
    Distributed by Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    www.spektrumrc.com


    Comments on RCU Review: ParkZone Ultra Micro Spitfire Mk IV BNF

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    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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