RCU Review: Flyzone Mini Switch


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    Contributed by: Laurent Caekebeke | Published: June 2013 | Views: 19746 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Flyzone TideWater
    heli-Max 1SQ
    Author
    Laurent Caekebeke


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    Dealer Info

    Introduction
    A few years ago, Flyzone had this interesting idea of designing a plane that could switch from a low wing to a high wing configuration in a matter of minutes, they called it The Switch (see the review here). This concept is now coming back today, only in a smaller scale: The Mini Switch! The wingspan has gone down from the previous 45" we found in the Switch to 34" and the weight is right around 600g. The plane is the perfect size for all-around flying and easy transportation.

    The Mini Switch by Flyzone is available in two versions, as with most other models from this manufacturer: Tx-R and RTF. The RTF includes a TTX450 radio, the battery and the charger, whereas you will need a TACTIC module for the Tx-R. This review focuses on the Tx-R Mini-Switch.

    Hits

    • The idea and the implementation of the wing switching concept - easy and practical

    • Very simple and rapid assembly

    • Good power-to- weight ratio
    • Aerobatic capabilities
    • Large speed range
    • The manual, which is very thorough and even includes the ESC programming sequence

    Misses

    • The landing gear attachment to the fuselage is a bit weak.
    • The wing pocket plugs pop out too easily in high wing configuration

    First Look

    The transportation box is nicely decorated, showing the model in different configurations.


    All the components are secured in molded Styrofoam to avoid any transportation damage.

    Content of the box:

    • Mini Switch body, with the receiver, servos, motor and ESC installed.
    • A propeller and spinner
    • Two wing halves
    • High wing fuselage adapter
    • Stabilizer
    • Wing spar
    • Manual
    Manufacturer Information

    Price:
    Tx-R: $149.97
    RTF: $219.99

    Description:
    The Mini Switch lets you change between a low-wing and a high-wing quickly and easily. Its compact size makes it easy to transport to and from the flight park without disassembling the plane. It changes the flying characteristics and the look of the model, both offer unique results in the air and on the ground. Different aerobatics, different looks, different strengths.


    The Mini Switch RTF includes a 2.4GHz radio, so you can be airborne in minutes. There?s also a Tx-R Prime version you can fly with your battery, AnyLink and radio. Experience the more flexible and fun way to fly today with the Flyzone Mini Switch.

    RTF:
    • Tactic TTX404 4-channel 2.4GHz radio
    • AeroCell Mini Switch airframe with pre-applied trim
    • components for both high and low-wing configurations.
    • Factory-installed brushless motor, ESC and electronics
    • 3S LiPo battery and AC/DC balancing LiPo charger
    • (4) "AA" batteries
    TxR:
    • A pre-constructed AeroCell airframe ready for easy, glue-free final assembly
    • Factory-installed brushless motor, ESC and electronics
    • 2.4GHz SLT receiver compatible with Tactic AnyLink
    Specifications:
    Wingspan
    31"- 785mm (low wing)
    34"- 865mm (high wing)
    length
    32.5" - 825mm
    Weight
    20.4 - 21.2 oz / 580g - 600g
    Battery
    1300mAh 3 cells
    ESC
    20A
    prop
    8x6
    motor
    brushless 2830 1100Kv



    The wing servos are installed and set.  The first power up done later confirmed that they were perfectly centered.

     

    The motor is installed behind a strong firewall. Notice the large ventilation holes on both sides.


    The landing gear is made of aluminum and the wheel pants make it look very scale-like.
      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? (Transmitter-Ready?) 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.

    The recommended battery is a 1300mAh 11.1V 15C 3S Lipo. It is strongly encouraged to go with the stock battery. With the battery of this plane located behind the CG, using a heavier battery might make the plane unstable.


    A 2.4ghz TACTIC receiver is mounted in the fuselage, along with the rudder and elevators servos and the ESC.

    Assembly
    No need to duplicate the manual in this section:it is well written and deserves a special mention for even including the ESC programming sequence.

    The assembly simply consists of screwing in place the stabilizer, and tightening the prop and the spinner in place. The assembly depends on what you want to try first: the low wing or high wing configuration. We decided to start with high wing option for this review.








    Photo Shoot

    Flight Report

    One thing I really like about compact airframes such as the Mini Switch is that it fits in the car in one piece. That brings parking to first flight an absolute minimum. The Mini Switch is essentially two planes in one, so the flight report will be done in two sections:

    High-Wing flight report
    The first takeoff was as easy as it gets: the plane was aligned on the runway, noise into the wing, the power was gradually increased, and the Mini Switch took off in around 10 meters, with no tendency to veer right or left. A few clicks down on the elevator, and the plane was flying nice and straight. The photographer was already asking for lower passes, so I slowed the plane down and brought it over the runway. It was easy and smooth - no issues at all. Note, this plane is not a beginner plane, so to slow it down, you need to bring it to a higher alpha, and play with the throttle, to keep the plane airborne. No problem for anyone accustomed to sporty planes. The power is there, and the plane will go vertical if needed!


    The plane will deliver most aerobatic maneuvers easily, however the self-correcting tendency of high-wing plane kicks, and the rolls are bit more barrel-like in this configuration.


    As predicted, landings are a formality: the plane is brought to the runway at reduced power and once it enters in ground effect, a foot or two above the ground, the throttle is chopped off, and the Mini Switch nicely sits on its main gear.

    Low-Wing flight report
    Let me start with this statement: this configuration is my favorite!
    All the positive attributes gained in the high wing configuration are also found in the low wing arrangement. With added benefits of cleaner aerobatic capabilities and  more responsive control inputs.


    The plane is capable of any maneuver expected from a sports plane: rolls, loops, Cuban 8, etc. Even inverted the plane remains easily controllable, and in capable hands, is able to perform very slow and low passes right above the runway! I invite you to have a look at the picture to see for yourself :)


    While doing a series of touch and goes for the pictures, we had the surprise to see the landing gear come off. It sheared right at the attachment between the hard plastic mount and the foam. It is not a big issue - some CA and it was fixed - but it is worth mentioning, as the landing wasn't hard at all.


    We tested the plane wings up to 10-15miles/hour, and it did surprisingly well for its size! Its power and speed make it cut through air easily.

    Switching from high to low at the field?
    You might wonder if the wing switching is a lengthy process or requires many tools/rework of the plane. I recorded the transition on video to time it and it took around four minutes, which is not bad at all. It only requires a flat screw driver.





    FlyZone Mini Switch

    Photos and Video by Burc Simsek and Laurent Caekebeke


    Summary

    The Mini Switch is a very interesting concept and helps the pilot in understanding the fundamental difference between a high wing and a low wing configuration. It is not that often that you can compare two planes against this single parameter, with everything else being equal: weight, wing profile, etc.

    As the high-wing configuration looks like a trainer, you might think that the Mini Switch is the perfect starter plane for those pilots recently picking up this hobby but you would be wrong. This plane is in fact a sports plane in both configurations, with different behaviors. It is targeted towards pilots who have flying experience and have mastered a few previous planes and are ready for something new and fun. We all want to vary the experience at the field, and most of us own many different planes. The Mini Switch was designed just for that.

    It will bring you the experience of flying two different types of airplanes in one single box!
     


    Links




    Pictures and videos were shot at:
    http://www.bayoucityflyers.com/



    Comments on RCU Review: Flyzone Mini Switch

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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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