|Contributed by: Michael Kranitz | Published: August 2004 | Views: 80994 | Email this Article
Parkzone F-27 Stryker
cammo paint scheme
- Plastic silver
wiring cover may loosen after several flights
have to get your neighbor to buy one so you can kick his butt!!
reviewing the F-27 Stryker, the only way I can imagine receiving
more instantaneous gratification is by printing a copy out from
my computer and flying it in my backyard. Since that won't happen
(at least not for another decade), Parkzone's F-27 has to top
the list of EFFTRCF (extremely fast fun things in R/C flight)!"
We assembled the Stryker at the field and video taped the entire
process so you can see how quickly and easily you can be flying.
Horizon Hobby (manufacturer and distributor of Parkzone products)
has rung the bell with this product, which will entertain "advanced
beginners" as well as experienced pilots.
be fooled by the the fact that this is an RTF. The Parkzone moniker MEANS that the plane is geared toward pilots with moderate flying skills.
(we know this because an experienced pilot planted his Stryker into the turf our first video shoot!). Horizon Hobby created the Parkzone line of aircraft to satisfy skilled pilots who want a fun and convenient addition to their hobby hangar. For those interested in beginner RTF's, check out the "Hobbyzone" line of airplanes.
Stryker flies alone or in combat with up to 5 other Strykers (provided
they are all on different channels). With Horizon's exclusive
X-Port, you can instantly clip on a sonic combat module (we like
to call it the "Battle Pod") and dog fight over your
packaging to pulse-pounding combat, the Stryker kicks butt. We'll
show you why.
Toledo closes in on Brian Gafford's Stryker in the heat
of battle. View the video tape to see the action!
Fuselage and wings: EPP
Drive 480 brushed
3-ch FM proportional control w/mode change switch
900mAh Ni-MH (included)
peak detect with car adapter (included)
Sonic Combat Module: (not
Hop-Up 8-Cell Battery: (900mAh Ni-MH available from Horizon Hobby)
The packaging is simple and stout. We had 3 Strykers shipped and
none of them sustained any damage until we got them out of the
box and punched on into the grass. Score one for Parkzone.
Review Pilot, Tom Toledo shows off the Stryker's bold
many pieces here. Anybody who can follow directions (and
even those who can't) will get this right.
Double-sided tape and large notches hold the nose in
help keep the nose where it belongs.
Assembly consists of attaching the nose cone, twin tail
fins and landing skid. That's it. Parkzone could not have
made this any easier and still packaged the Stryker in a
realistically sized box.
Fins are held in place with a clever "hook"
shape, a fin channel and double-sided tape at the forward
the top, plug in the battery and you are ready to go!
One of the coolest features of the Stryker is its "Mode Change Flight Control"
capability. With the flick of a switch, you can go from tame
to torrid. The Stryker uses a sophisticated on-board mixer to control the
elevons in two modes. When you change modes from low to high, the Stryker responds with an instant agility boost, which is great for battle.
The Strykers use an included, high-quality FM Parkzone transmitter,
which operates on one of 6 different channels, allowing you to dogfight with other Stryker owners.
Although the range is greater (up to 2,500 ft), Parkzone recommends
flying within a 600-foot radius circle for best results. This makes good sense with the Stryker, given its low profile and because it's
easier to battle within that range. We went beyond these limits with no transmission issues.
The Stryker transmitter has
a real firing button. WAY COOL!
the firing button on the left side, this is the coolest
switch on the
for Combat - Stryke One
though the Stryker makes a great aerobatic flyer in its
own right, we just had to test it in a dogfight with the
sonic combat modules.
Sonic Combat Module ready to clip on.
Swooping in to take the shot, Top Gun Style!
In our first shoot, we had two experienced pilots at the
helm. Tom Toledo, a long time RCU Review pilot launched
the first Stryker and trimmed it. After noticing that it
dipped a bit even with significant up-trim, he landed and
adjusted the clevises on the elevons for more stable flight.
Once trimmed, the delta wing flew just fine, even in the
15 mph breezes we get in the Denver area. It is worth noting
that this pusher had plenty of power, even at high altitude.
hand wells make launching easy.
clevises are easy to adjust for perfect trim
Our second pilot, Roger Camp, is known for his awesome building
and crash re-construction skills. Now we know why. Not one
minute into the maiden flight, I heard a "eeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhh-WHOMP"
to the right of my camera as I was filming. Roger sheepishly
admitted that he became disoriented with the Stryker overhead
and simply punched it in. Secretly, we think he just wanted
to re-build it. We headed home for the day and within a
week, Horizon had sent us another Stryker and we headed
out to the field with veteran jet and warbird pilot, Brian
Gafford and of course our trusty ace, Tom. In all fairness, we could have put Humpty together again at the field, but I forgot the CA and really wanted to give the Styker a fair look. We did beat the Stykers up after a number of flights and they do repair easily (see last section of the review for details).
Strykes and Out of the Park
hard to quantify the "fun factor" of battling two F-27's,
but I'd say it's about a 9. The only thing more fun would be actually
firing a missile and obliterating your opponent with one.
the sonic combat modules snapped in place, both pilots took to
the sky. It wasn't long before Brian got his first confirmed "hit"
on Tom. When firing, the modules send out a shrill chirping sound.
If the target is within range, it's sensors will pick up the hit
and emit a steady shrill tone. The disabled target loses throttle
for up to 10 seconds (our experience was about 6 seconds) after
which full control is restored.
with the Stryker demands more from the pilot than does
combat with the Styker's HobbyZone cousins, the Firebird
or Aero Commander. With their delta wing design and commanding
power, these fighters are extremely maneuverable, making
them excellent dog fighters.
Strykers had no problem doing loops, axial rolls and inverted
flight (although not sustained for too long). With this
level of agility, dogfighting Strykers will give any pilot
a real R/C thrill.
airborne, the Stryker will fly nicely at 1/3 throttle,
provided the battery is fully charged. As with any delta
wing aircraft, downwind turns can be tricky so make sure
you are ready to apply elevator before it's too late.
you get the Stryker up high enough, you can ride thermals
and glide fairly well. We recommend using the low rate
setting when sport flying and high rates for combat.
tried a little experiment with the Stryker. After flying
to about 110 feet, we dove down at full power. The bad
news: at the bottom of the dive, the propeller flew off
under the stress of the dive. The good news: the Stryker
-with no power- pulled through with a full loop followed
by an upwind turn and steady landing. Oh yeah, and we
found the prop!
land the Stryker, fly it to the ground and about a foot
or so off the ground start feeding up elevon for a nice
flair or "delta stall". At low speeds near the
ground, be wary of stalls and sudden wing tip drops (as
you would with any delta wing plane).
videos of the
Parkzone F-27 Stryker
really like this plane. It shines among park flyers and "standard"
aircraft at the flying field. What makes it more impressive is
its simplicity in construction. For those who scoff at ready-to-fly
aircraft, consider the place in R/C for products like this. They
are extremely fun and because they are so easy to get going, they
will invite more fliers into the hobby. What makes R/C cars so
popular among young people is, in part, their simplicity. Sure,
you can take cars to more complex levels, but at their core, they
are not intimidating as a "build from sticks" airplane
might be. The Stryker addresses this market but also rewards experienced
pilots and builders with just plain fun. I like the direction
that Horizon is taking with Parkzone products, and especially
We had so much fun on our initial review of the Strykers that I
decided to take the set out for a second round later in the week.
The wind was gusting over 25 mph and by all rights we should not
have been test flying these lightweight fighters. But who could
dog fighting was good. In fact, it was so spirited that on one
round I piled my Stryker into the side of a hill (thanks to a
radically evasive maneuver that eluded my attacker, but not the
upslope). The nose broke off behind the place where you initially
attach the tip with double-stick tape. The hatch popped also.
With 5-minute epoxy (CA would have worked also) I was back up in
The great thing about these sturdy birds is their ease of repair.
The foam goes right back together and the plane flies like nothing
ever happened. The F-27 uses CA-safe EPP so you can "fix it and forget it" on the spot!
back into the sky we rose for another round. This time (again,
over the upslope) a huge gust of wind grabbed my opponent's right
wing and spun him out of control. By the time he regained his
sticks, it was too late. The nasty hill ate his Stryker's nose
for lunch. This time, the break was almost to the leading edge
of the wing. To make matters worse, the left vertical fin was
damaged. That's when things got interesting. I wondered how well
the Stryker would fly with only one vertical fin and virtually
no nose. Yee haa! We launched the wounded predator into the sky
and it flew great!! We rolled, looped and inverted our flying
Frankenstein and even played a bit of limbo with the soccer goals
at our park. Check out the photos. This is one tough airplane.
thought the Stryker was an excellent park flyer before we piled
it into a heaping mass of twisted foam. Now, after flying it all
beaten up, I am absolutely positive that this product is a home
to Horizon Hobby for taking this one downtown.
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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