Owning several planes is easy for some people, but it can take a lot of money and storage space. For the rest of us, it becomes more difficult to operate and own multiple aircraft. Some may have different electric planes of the same size, allowing a single battery size to power multiple planes. Others may just stick to one aircraft and fly it until they're ready for a different plane.
Now, there's a new option! Designed to fly nearly anywhere, Flyzone has introduced AirCore - a new modular system that allows several aircraft to be flown by one power system!
There are a lot of advantages to this system, starting with the Power Core. The power Core is the 'heart' of the system, and a strong internal frame and magnets (in each aircraft) allow it to be transferred between the several different aircraft offerings from Flyzone!
But enough from me - let's see what's in the boxes!
Lightweight Foam Construction
Power Core Offers All-in-one Ease for Electronics
Multiple Airframe Options
Can be Flown with ANY Tactic SLT Transmitter or AnyLink
Channels Used: 3-4 total - Elevator, Aileron, Throttle,
Rudder (Varies from Principle to Other Aircraft)
Needed To Complete
Aircraft of Choice
2S 7.4V 250AmAh Aircore Battery
The Power Core is what makes this all possible. On its sturdy composite frame, the Power core incorporates a 2181 kV brushless outrunner motor, a 6A ESC, a Tactic SLT 4-Channel receiver, and three ultra-micro digital servos! That's a lot of hardware for such a small feat of engineering!
The manual included with the Power Core is just what I expected from a company like Flyzone - Easy to read and straight to the point!
There was an small yellow addendum sheet included with my Power Core, and it stated to gently pull the receiver's antenna from the covering on the receiver to increase the signal strength from any of the SLT transmitters.
I will be using the AirCore Battery for my review - they're a 7.4V 250mAh LiPo pack, and available for around $6.00 each. At that price, I can afford to purchase a few extras, and fly for quite a while!
Your First Plane
If you're just getting into RC or looking to start your collection of Aircore planes, I recommend starting with the Principle - it's great looks and three-channel control are good for beginners and seasoned pros alike!
Like most of the Flyzone aircraft, the shipping box doubles as a secure carrying case for the plane - a dense foam insert protects the contents from almost any damage!
With four main parts to this plane, I highly doubt assembly will take more than five minutes!
Magnets are everywhere! They attach the wing as well as hold the Power Core in the fuselage! I really like that the elevator features sturdy hinges.
I looked over the one-page manual and assembled the Principle - It went went like this:
After removing the cowl/front cover, I slid the Power Core into the fuselage. A couple of simultaneous 'snaps' meant that the Power core was locked into position and that the elevator and rudder pushrods were connected.
The wing was added next, and was locked in with the leading edge tab and two magnets at the trailing edge. I slid the pre-assembled landing gear into the plastic pocket on the belly of the Principle, and snapped the propeller in place.
The Aircore LiPo battery was secured to the Power Core using the included hook-n-loop tape.
After marking the Center of Gravity with a fine-tipped permanent marker, I balanced the plane - with the battery pushed as far forward as possible, the Principle balanced perfectly!
All that was left was to turn on my transmitter and link the SLT receiver to my Tactic transmitter of choice! The Principle was ready to fly, and it took about five minutes to go from the box to the sky!
Beyond the Basics
Once you mastered the basics of flight with the Principle, it's time to upgrade! Moving from a three to a four channel aircraft is a lot of fun, and opens a pilot to a new world - aerobatics! The Aircore lineup has 'Select Scale' airframes available now, with more planned in the future! One of the coolest features to the Aircore system is that the aircraft possibilities are limited only by imagination!
For the second part of this review, we'll be looking at the Select Scale P-51 'Cathy II' airframe. Once again, the box doubles as a carrying case, and there's plenty of foam surrounding the plane for transit. Like the Principle, there are very few pieces in the box, and all are of high quality!
There's a lot of detail molded into the foam aircraft right as it comes out of the box - exhaust stacks, panel lines, a clear canopy, and even the decals are all pre-installed! The P-51 has ailerons, and they use the magnetic push rods as well!
Most of the hinged surfaces have real plastic hinges - the Aircore lineup doesn't rely on the foam hinge line alone to keep the control surfaces attached.
The P-51 incorporates a large scale-looking spinner on the snap-on propeller to keep the profile correct, and the removable landing gear installs and removes easily for belly landings on soft surfaces.
Like the Principle, the P-51 has a single-page assembly manual. That's all you really need to put these planes together!
I started by removing the canopy/top hatch, followed by installation of the wing. With the wing in place, a small needle-nosed pliars was used to snap the aileron push rods into their respective guides.
After working with the Power Core in the Principle, I found it much easier to attach the propeller with the Power Core out of the airframe. With the prop in place, I slid the Power Core into place and the magnets took over! The top hatch was reinstalled, and the plane was nearly complete!
I installed the landing gear next, and it was an easy task - they snap into place with just a little bit of force.
The battery was installed on the top-side of the Power Core, the canopy/hatch was reinstalled, and the P-51 was ready to head out to the field! Sitting next to the P-51 is the new TACTIC TTX403 4-channel transmitter. I'll cover a few more details on that in just a minute, as well as a separate review of the TTX403.
Tactic TTX403 Micro 4-Channel Transmitter
New from Tactic is the TTX403. Offering a lot of versatility in a compact case, this transmitter is powered by 5 AA batteries and boasts the Secure Link Technology (SLT). The TTX403 is geared toward all of the micro and mini sized Flyzone and Great Planes aircraft utilizing the Transmitter-Ready (Tx-R) branding. This transmitter has several features, such as servo-reversing, digital trims, elevon and V-tail mixing, and a single cell (3.7V) LiPo charger built in to the transmitter's case! All these features are now available in a transmitter that costs less than $35.00!
As luck would have it, December 1st was a pretty nice day - no snow on the ground yet, the temps were pushing 30 degrees (yes, above zero), and there was just a slight breeze that kept switching direction. Now the first day of December, in Minnesota, can be pretty ugly, but we were having a great catch-up day of flying! (It's a good thing we had such a nice day, because we got nearly six inches of snow about three days later!)
With the Power Core securely seated in the Principle and a prop snapped in place, I set the small plane on the runway at my local flying field. Yes, a ball park would have worked just as easily, but I like to fly at my field when possible. I advanced the throttle stick on the Tactic TTX403 mini transmitter and the Principle took off in a matter of just a few feet! The 2S battery and brushless motor are a powerful combination for this lightly loaded plane! With a quick pass, I had the plane trimmed nicely - three clicks of down elevator trim and it was flying hands-off at half-throttle.
I started pulling the throttle back a bit, and the Principle slowed even more, but I had to hold a little up elevator on the right stick. I slowed it down more, and it stalled, dropping a wing. Adding a little throttle and pulling a little more up elevator had the plane flying very quickly! High speed flight was brisk, at best, but it's a trainer - speed is NOT the main goal. I set the Principle up for landing, and it came down without any real problems. I would have liked a little more elevator control for landing, but the plane did fine using the TTX403.
Within just a couple of minutes of landing the Principle, I had the Power Core swapped over to the P-51 Mustang 'Cathy II', and she was ready to fly!
I placed the little Mustang out on the runway and advanced the throttle. I was immediately impressed by the scale-like take off that followed! The tail popped up and the plane rolled down the runway several feet before lifting off very gracefully. I was already very pleased with the Mustang! A couple clicks of right aileron had the P-51 flying along nicely, and I felt that it flew very well around 2 / 3 throttle. The little Mustang could handle anything I threw at it - loops and rolls were fun and easy, along with other scale maneuvers. When it came to landing, the P-51 likes to be flown to the ground - it's not difficult to do, but I had to stay with it. Once on the ground, the plane did tip on its nose a few times, but with a little more practice, I believe I can get it right every time!
All-in-all, I'd say that both airframes are easily flown. The Principle is good for learning, and I had a blast with the P-51! Battery life depended on which plane I was flying, but both were easily in the 8-10 minute range.
Powercore, Principle, and P-51 'Cathy II'
There's not much more I can say about this neat line of products. The Power Core is an ingenius idea in the electric power market, and allows pilots the opportunity to own several small aircraft with one power source. From my stance, I'd say that the sky's the limit for these new products! Thank you to the great people at Flyzone, and Hobbico, for bringing modelers such a great line of products with Aircore!
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.