no longer the case today, but for sometime in aviation
history, taking off from water was popular and in
fact, only viable option for large carrier airplanes.
Seaplanes were the kings of the sky and all signs
pointed to the fact these aircraft would have a very
bright future. At that time runways were scarce and
the ability to land on water was perceived as added
safety. The development of runways in all major cities,
along with better and more reliable aircraft changed
the game, and it is safe to say that nowadays seaplanes
are largely outnumbered by standard planes. Sadly,
this also true in the RC world and it is not often
RC pilots come across a top of the line seaplane....until
When I saw the recent Tidewater seaplane from Flyzone,
I was excited! It is a 1 meter wingspan flying boat,
with a fuselageacting
as the hull. The plane comes in twoversions: RTF and Tx-R. This article will cover
the Tx-R version.
1250kV brushless motor & 30AESC;
(4) micro servos
the Tidewater your first float plane!
Fast to assemble without using glue, it boosts
your confidence with predictable flight characteristics
and easy water handling. Takeoffs are a snap,
whether from water, grass or by hand. At full
throttle, the Tidewater is fast and powerful.
When it's time to land, just point the plane
into the wind, reduce speed and keep the wings
level... it almost lands itself!
Tx-R Prime aircraft were created with the
more experienced hobbyist in mind. While our
original Tx-R models include a battery pack
and basic charger, Tx-R Prime aircraft let
you supply those items yourself. You choose
which battery to use and you save by using
your existing charger, instead of buying a
new one. It's solid proof that Tx-R Prime
was designed with you in mind.
with Battery =
quality of the different components of the Tidewater
aircraft is excellent: the wing was not warped, the
fuselage is straight and true, the assembly is well
done, with no excess of glue dripping out of the contact
surfaces. The paint job is nice and with no visible
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:
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 modulation.
enables your transmitter to send
out a true, 2.4GHz signal
and operate with all of the interference-free
dependability of a frequency-hopping,
offers all of the convenience, versatility
and benefits listed above for far
less than the cost of a new 2.4GHz
2200 mAh 3-cell 30C lipo was provided with the plane
for this review. The battery comes with the rightconnector for the ESC, and I was pleased to
see they were equipped withthe standard Deans T-plug connector.
ESC is pre-fitted and wired in the fuselage; mounted
on the side with Velcro, underneath the cover. There
is a good reason for the ESC to be as high as possible
in the fuselage as it prevents water damage in the
event the fuselage was to leave way to some of water.
The same principleis
applied for the receiver and the battery, which are
raised above the fuselage floor.
Tidewater requires minimal assembly and is practically ready
to go when it comes out of the box which is extremely convenient.
The included assembly manual covers the remaining assembly steps
which does not require any glue, but the user will need a couple
of screwdrivers, pliers and wrenches. The elevator comes in
first and it attaches on the fuselage with a screw. The servo
linkage doesn't need adjustment and is pre-fitted and cut to
the right length. The motor pod must then be attached to the
wing, and the two wing floats are inserted in their openings
on each side of the wing. The wing is then attached to the fuselage.
Make sure to setup your radio before you mount the prop and
the spinner. It is always safer to work on the radio settings
separately keeping your hands and fingers away from potential
injury. That being said, the aircraft is equipped with a safety
feature that prevents the motor from starting even if the plane
is powered up even with the throttle stick not on zero.
Last but not least, be sure to apply a good amount of torque
when assembling the spinner nut, if you don't want to see the
prop taking off on its own. But more on that later...
balance of the plane was checked at the end, and it was found
to be spot on with no weight needed at all.
much as I was eager to get this plane out on the water and
in the air, I stalled for a few minutes double checking the
control surfaces two even three time, rechecked the battery...quickly
I realized that I had to seize the moment and let this plane
do what it is designed to do and I pushed it on the water
and crossed my fingers. I'd like to remind all pilots that
there is one very peculiar thing about seaplanes...once it
is out of your hand, it is out of reach. Even just a few feet
away, it is untouchable which is why if you happen to forget
something - say, to connect the battery for example - you
can not go and grab it easily. That is, unless you have a
boat or a swimsuit handy! So yes, I was a little paranoid,
before pushing the Tidewater into the water but I bit the
bullet, took a deep breath, put the plane down in the water
and gently pushed the tail as it got further and further from
Taxiing (or, maybe, navigation!)
The first surprise with the Tidewater comes by observing how
it floats. It seems as if it barely touches the water: the
plane is light, and the fuselage so wide, that it doesn't
have to go deep to displace enough water to stay afloat. The
power is there, and the rudder is very effective on water.
The plane performs tight turns and the ease of navigation
on water is remarkable.
After having a bit of fun making turns and navigating in the
water, it was time to test the "flying" part of this flying
boat. I moved the Tidewater towards the end of the pond, to
takeoff right into the wing. That is one of the good things
with seaplanes, crosswind takeoff and landing can most always
be avoided. I gradually pushed the throttle, and the Tidewater
very rapidly climbed onto its keel, effectively surfing on
the wavelet at the surface of the water, when.....the prop
took off on its own! The tidewater set back to a normal floating
attitude, waiting, powerless for the wind to push it to shore.
Ah! I hated myself for not checking that before pushing the
plane on the water! So lessons learned check that you securely
attached your prop! It took me 15 minutes to wait for the
pond current to push the plane back to me, put on a new prop,
and continue with the test.
Round two of the test went very smoothly...the plane is very
well behaved, quickly lifts off the water for a smooth takeoff.
It is far easier to takeoff in water with this plane than
taking off from land with most tail draggers.
Once airborne, the tidewater behave as a very docile trainer.
It stay controllable even at very low speed, thanks to the
large wing area, and its low weight. That makes the plane
capable to fly in a tight space, making most local ponds a
potential flying spot.
The power is there, and the plane will perform all standard
acrobatic maneuvers with ease: loop, roll, etc.. are not to
difficult to master. But, to be perfectly honest, aerobatics
is not where the most fun is. I most enjoyed the low pass
right above the water, the touch and goes and the long and
steady approach prior to ...
The last time I had this much fun landing a plane was probably
when I first mastered a landing with a convention landing
gear plane which I can assure you was sometime ago! The Flyzone
Tidewater is an incredible plane for pilots wanting to practice
water landings. A perfect landing requires some speed, and
a very tangential trajectory. On most floatplanes (planes
that actually have floats underneath the fuselage), failure
to have any of these requirements will most likely end in
capsizing the plane. The Tidewater will accomplish a beautiful
landing if the speed and trajectory are right but will simply
stop on the water if they are not. I did miss a couple of
landing as you will see in the video :) but those were pilot-errors
and my landings got better and better the more I practiced.
I even somehow managed to get the Tidewater upside down in
the water, completely emerging the motor in the process without
damaging any components, and the plane was back airborne as
soon as it was recovered on shore. I've never seen such a
durable well behaved seaplane and would recommend it to anyone
with a bit of flying experience who wants to have a little
fun on the water.
I did not try taking off and landing from grass, as the rudder
is very exposed and only hinged with bending foam. After only
10 flights, signs of fatigue could already be seen on the
paint which is typically especially with the exposure to water.
and Video by Burc Simsek and Laurent Caekebeke
has really topped their game with the Tidewater. The plane
is a strong combination of innovative design, easy assembly,
smooth flying, and hours of fun. Flying a seaplane might
be conceived as a challenge as some people shy away from
mixing water and their electronic equipment -- this typically
does not make for a good combination. But Flyzone
proves us wrong with the Tidewater.
If you are tempted by the seaplane experience, the Tidewater
is built for you. I would not recommend the plane for a
beginner pilot, but this is a great aircraft to add to your
collection as a second 3-axis plane.
Sailors, I must now leave you.....I have a boat to fly!
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.