RCU Review: Hobby Zone Firebird Scout

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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: April 2005 | Views: 47152 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon


    Manufacturer Info

    hobbyzone™ is a
    Horizon Hobby brand
    (877) 504-0233


    Watch the Fireboard Scout
    in Action

    Windows media

    • Low street price
    • Rugged design for beginners
    • Good power level and turning authority
    • Complete package

    • Difficult left-hand launching


    The Firebird Scout is HobbyZone's lowest priced Smart-Trak equipped airplane. It's ready to fly in minutes and comes with everything you need, including batteries and an instructional video CD. For a low street price of $55, this trainer package is a great value for entry-level R/Cers!

    The Scout is a Zone 1 skill level plane, so no experience is necessary to fly it. HobbyZone’s Smart-Trak™ control system gives you two ways to fly: Standard Mode and Expert Mode. If you’ve never flown before, Standard Mode keeps turns smooth and responsive without allowing you to turn too steeply. After you’ve mastered the basics, you can unlock Expert Mode for tighter turning performance.


    Plane Name: Firebird Scout

    Wing Span:
    29.5 in (750mm)
    Overall Length: 21.7 in (550mm)
    Flying Weight: 5.8 oz (165g)
    Motor Size: 180 power

    Proportional 2-channel FM with Smart-Trak
    Trim Scheme Colors: White wings and body with orange and deep pink decals
    Recommended Battery: 5-cell 6V 300mAh Ni-MH
    Approx. Assembly Time: 5 minutes
    Transmitter Range: 1500 ft (457.2m)
    Available Frequencies: 6 frequencies on 27 MHz
    Smart Trak: Yes
    X-Port: No
    Charger: 2.5-hour wall pack with optional DC peak (HBZ1026)
    Landing Gear: Yes
    Steering: Proportional


    • Two-stick proportional FM radio with a 1,500-foot range allows you to fly with range to spare
      High-voltage, rechargeable battery pack can be charged at home with the included wall charger or in less than half the time in your car with the HobbyZone® DC peak charger (HBZ1026)
    • Compact A/C wall charger has a LED and timer
    • High-performance 180 power motor for faster climbs and swift speeds
    • HobbyZone's fully proportional Smart-Trak™ control system gives you two ways to fly: Standard Mode for beginners and Expert Mode for those people who've flown before
    • Learn to Fly video CD with assembly instructions and flying tips makes getting the Firebird
    • Scout up in the air and flying easy
    • Specially designed one-piece wing with decals included
    • 9V battery for radio control is included



    There's not much to getting this plane ready for flight. Simply plug in the landing gear and attach the wing with 4 rubber bands. I would, however, suggest that you read the manual while the battery is charging because it is loaded with good tips for first-time flyers!

    A view of the inside reveals the white foam block and where the battery safely fits down in between the foam and rubber-padded nose

    Flight Time

    Left-handed launches are a bit more difficult since the spring-loaded throttle must be held.

    I flew the Scout several times in good and fair wind conditions. It seems to have good power and good turning authority when using the Pro Mode. I didn't try the Smart Trac mode since it was a weekday with a parking lot full of cars across the street and I wanted the full steering control.

    Watch the video of the Firebird Scout

    Windows media

    The Firebird Scout video shows it flying over a snow-covered field. It likes to pitch up when going too fast or when going into a breeze so you simply reduce the throttle a bit to keep it from stalling. In a small field, I had good maneuverability with the Smart Trac mode disabled. It lands easily in the snow without bending the landing gear.


    The Firebird Scout is a complete package for beginners that can be made Ready-To-Fly (RTF) in only minutes. The Scout has a good level of power and good turning authority. The light wingloading makes it near impossible to stall and provides a quick recovery to start flying again. Although the model is difficult to damage, spare parts are available from Horizon Hobby. A spare battery pack can be purchased to increase flying time while charging the other battery.

    Launching the plane left-handed was a bit difficult but not impossible. I had to hold the spring-loaded throttle stick on with my right hand and then transition back to the left hand after the launch. It can be easier for beginners just learning to fly to stand in the center of the field and fly the plane over your right shoulder as you slowly turn to the left. This technique keeps the left/right direction orientation of the plane and transmitter control stick consistent which can ease the difficulty of your first flights.

    Although the Scout requires very calm conditions to fly, it is a rugged design with good gliding characteristics. The complete package comes with a very low street price which makes it a great choice for an introduction into R/C flying.

    Manufacturer Information

    hobbyzone™ is a Horizon Hobby brand
    (877) 504-0233

    Comments on RCU Review: Hobby Zone Firebird Scout

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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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