are among the most well-known planes and have been
reproduced numerous times in the RC industry. Among
this category exists some rarer models, despite
being famous in WW2. The P-38 Lightning is one of
these. It is famous for its dual tail boom, twin
engines, and two rudders. This aircraft is a bit
more complex to reproduce and therefore rarely spotted
at the RC field compared to the P-51 Mustang or
Corsair F4U models.
The P-38 Lightning's scale complex design did not
stop Flyzone from proposing a micro-scaled version
of this legendary warbird. They choose to simplify
the design by making the plane into an elevator
and ailerons version only.
The P-38 Lightning model is available in two versions:
RTF and Tx-R. Today, we are testing the latter,
coupled with a Tactic module mounted on a Futuba
delivers most of their planes in a similar fashion. The
box is nicely decorated, and very convenient for storage
and transportation of the plane.
of the components are secured with EPS foam. The model that
we received was exempt of any transportation damage.
box doesn't have a large part count: the plane comes in
one piece, ready to fly. The manual, the 250mAh 1s
battery and the charger accompany the plane.
version: $130 RTF
engines, twin tails and twin booms made the
P-38 Lightning® the most distinctive single-seat
fighter of World War II. America's top scoring
ace and many others flew the P-38 Lightning®
throughout the war and now you too can fly
this ferocious fighter!
This Flyzone plane comes fully assembled and
finished. Twin counter-rotating three-blade
propellers powered by a LiPo battery give
the model impressive speed and handling. With
its compact size, this P-38 Lightning® is
easy to transport and easy to fly indoors
or out. Pilot the Tx-R version using any SLT
transmitter or your favorite transmitter with
AnyLink. Or go for the all-in-one-box convenience
of the RTF!
charger works on AA batteries, which are provided.
It takes approximately 10 to 15min to charge the
battery. The plane comes fully assembled; the only
task remaining is to snap in the landing gear.
twin engines are nicely integrated. The propellers
are contra-rotating, which in theory counteracts
the torque generated by the props. The tip of the
blades are painted in yellow, which draws a nice
circle around the engine, when the props are spinning.
The decorative details of this plane are remarkable
including the pilot, the guns in the front, and
of course, the famous turbochargers on the back
of the twin booms.
paint job is good overall. The Olive green on
top might be a bit bright to be truly scale, but that
is a detail. To simplify the design, the elevator linkage
goes straight from the cockpit to the elevator horn
through the center of the plane. It would have been
nice if it could have been concealed in one of the booms,
but that would have made the design more complicated.
The linkage is small enough to stay discrete. The aileron
linkages are perfectly hidden in the cockpit.
designed the elevator linkage with a Z bend to allow
for some adjustment. The battery compartment is
all the way in the front, and easy to access.
The day of the maiden flight was quite windy, maybe
too windy for an indoor flier to have his first flight. But
the cameraman was here, the plane was ready, so we decided
to go for it!
The wheels were installed for the first flight, to attempt
a take off from the ground. The steerable front wheel makes
this maneuver easy. The plane accelerated quickly and becomes
airborne in just a few feet. The plane has plenty of power
and quickly gains a good altitude for trimming.
The first flight confirmed that the plane has ample
power, a key component for a successful hand launch. The P-38
is powerful and stable, and leaves your hand perfectly straight
in the direction it is launched. The plane can be easily hand
launched from underneath the wing or by holding it by the
My first surprise with the P-38 was its ability to
handle the wind so well. The plane had no problem flying against
the wind, and handled small gusts like a champ. Trimming the
plane is very straight forward, only a couple of clicks down,
and it was flying nice and level.
For our first flight, the slow pass had a relative meaning,
since the plane was at 3/4 of the throttle to compensate for
the wind. Later flights showed a very good low speed ability,
with a very gentle stall, consisting of the plane simply slowing
down and losing altitude with no real nose drop.
While it is able to perform loop and roll maneuvers
with ease, the plane aerobatic capabilities are limited by
the absence of a rudder and by the camber profile. The roll
rate is not too fast, and since it cannot be supported by
the rudder when the plane is on its side, it is good idea
to start in a slight nose-up attitude.
The plane sustains inverted flight relatively well, considering
the profile of the wing. It is possible to roll in to inverted,
or maintain it after a half-loop. It is better to try the
inverted at around 20 to 30 feet for the first time, to get
use to the plane's behavior. The under cambered airfoil doesn't
provide as much lift when flying inverted, and the pilot has
to compensate with a higher angle of attack and more power.
The plane is not stable in this condition.
The low speed capability of the plane makes the landing very
straight forward, whether it is on wheels or a belly-landing.
The plane needs to be brought a couple of feet above the runway,
with the wing leveled and the fuselage horizontal. Then the
throttle is gradually reduced until the final touchdown.
Flyzone P-38 micro scale
once again scores with this very nice micro-plane
version of the legendary P-38 Lightning. The real
plane is famous for its amazing flight characteristics
and very novel design. The aircraft's shape was so
innovative that it inspired car manufacturers at the
time. Flyzone did a great job at scaling the legendary
airplane to a micro-flier, while keeping the look
of the P-38 and combining it with the excellent flying
characteristics of their micro-sized planes.
P-38 Lightning by Flyzone is a very good plane overall,
and I could only find one fault.
It made me want a larger scale version of this plane!
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.