RCU Review: Flyzone P-38 micro scale


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    Contributed by: Laurent Caekebeke | Published: November 2013 | Views: 19723 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Wings Maker DF032


    • Nice scale look
    • Very good flight time
    • Fly in established wind with no problem


    • None found

    Warbirds 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 14SG.



    Flyzone delivers most of their planes in a similar fashion. The box is nicely decorated, and very convenient for storage and transportation of the plane.


    All of the components are secured with EPS foam. The model that we received was exempt of any transportation damage.

    The 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.

    Manufacturer Information

    Price:
    Tx-R version: $130
    RTF version: $140

    Overview
    Twin 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!


    Specifications:

    Wingspan: 21 in (535mm) 
    Length: 16 in (406mm) 
    Weight: 2.4-2.6 oz (68-74g)
    Battery: 250mAh 1S LiPo






    The 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.





    The 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.





    The 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.





    Flyzone 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.


    Take-off on wheels:

    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.

    Hand launch:

    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 cockpit.

    Flight:

    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.

    Aerobatic:

    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.

    Landing:

    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.










    The Flyzone P-38 micro scale


















    Flyzone 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.

    The 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!

    Links

    Flyzone Home Page


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


    Comments on RCU Review: Flyzone P-38 micro scale

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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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