RCU Review: Flyzone Tidewater

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    Contributed by: Laurent Caekebeke | Published: June 2013 | Views: 43646 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Flyzone TideWater
    heli-Max 1SQ
    Author: Laurent Caekebeke
    Laurent Caekebeke

    It's 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 now!

    When I saw the recent Tidewater seaplane from Flyzone, I was excited! It is a 1 meter wingspan flying boat, with a fuselage acting as the hull. The plane comes in two versions: RTF and Tx-R. This article will cover the Tx-R version.

    • Assembly is very easy

    • Landing is pure fun

    • Very good look

    • Rudder is a little weak

    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    The Tidewater comes in a fairly large, well decorated box.

    As usual with Flyzone, the plane's components are perfectly packed and secured for transpotation.

    The tidewater package comprises:

    • Plane body: the fuselage, the elevator, the two floats, the one-piece wing, the motor .
    • The receiver, servos, motor, ESC are all pre-installed
    • prop, spinner
    • the manual
      Tidewater - manufacturer information

    Price: $169.98 (Tx-R), $259.98 (RTF)


      • RTF: Tactic TTX404 4-channel 2.4GHz radio system, 1250kV brushless motor & 30AESC; (4) micro servos, 11.1V 2200mAh 20CLiPo battery, charger & (4) "AA" batteries
      • Tx-R: 1250kV brushless motor & 30AESC; (4) micro servos

    Overview - manufacturer:

    Make 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.



    Motor: brushless outrunner
    41.5 in (1055mm)
    36 in (915mm)
    Weight with Battery =
    32 oz (905g)
    Battery :
    3S 2200mAh Lipo 

    The 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 defects.


      Tactic AnyLink Adapter

    A 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:

    • All Tx-R airplanes;
    • Most electric aircraft equipped with a 2.4GHz SLT receiver.
    But that's not the only amazing thing about AnyLink. Here are three more:
    • AnyLink works with virtually any transmitter, regardless of brand, band or modulation.
    • AnyLink 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.
    • AnyLink offers all of the convenience, versatility and benefits listed above for far less than the cost of a new 2.4GHz radio system.

    A 2200 mAh 3-cell 30C lipo was provided with the plane for this review. The battery comes with the right connector for the ESC, and I was pleased to see they were equipped with the standard Deans T-plug connector.

    The 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 principle is applied for the receiver and the battery, which are raised above the fuselage floor.

    The 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...

    The balance of the plane was checked at the end, and it was found to be spot on with no weight needed at all.


    As 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 the shore.

    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.

    Take off
    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.


    FlyZone Tidewater

    Photos and Video by Burc Simsek and Laurent Caekebeke

    pics pics pic
    floating prop pic pic

    Flyzone 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! Ahoy!

    Flyzone Home Page

    Pictures and videos were shot at:

    Comments on RCU Review: Flyzone Tidewater

    Posted by: flyingking on 07/18/2013
    I have several problems number one is esc fried reciever,got a new one from them,second one is the the motor mount came off and propeller dug Into fuselage ,had to epoxy the damage,the whole engine pod came loose the attachment point became too soft had to epoxy it so in the end the problem is the where you bolt the to the pod to thewing is to soft needs to be strength or some how reinforced some other than it flies really well thank you
    Posted by: rafeeki on 07/28/2014
    Maidened last Sunday although I have had it over a year ago. This plane surprised me in its ease of takeoff and landing as this was a first for me. I had fun in the landings:), no nose overs. The radio compartment remained bone dry throughout all 3 flights. This is a new fun avenue that I can fly while standing on my 2nd floor deck.
    Posted by: Kostas1 on 01/04/2015
    Excellent review! Please could you tell me how you made the first 360 degree gif ????
    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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