The Calypso is a new powered glider offering from Flyzone that is available in the ARF, RTF, Rx-R or Tx-R versions. Built with tough AeroCell foam and offering a 1.85m wingspan, the Calypso is marketed towards a wide variety of modelers ranging from beginners to advanced glider pilots. The Calypso is a flap ready model which means that flaps can be added by purchasing the optional flap connector kit and servos.
For this review, I was supplied with the Tx-R version of the Calypso which arrives with a brushless 28-30-1300kV motor, an 18A ESC, a 1300mAh 11.1V LiPo battery, factory installed servos, a charger and a 2.4GHz SLT receiver. A Tactic AnyLink adapter was also provided for the review which allows the use of virtually any popular transmitter in controlling the Calypso.
- Available in ARF, RTF, Rx-R and Tx-R versions
- Quick assembly
- Powerful brushless motor
- Generous canopy area for electronics and battery
- Attractive and easy to see color scheme
- Landing wheel and skid plates
- None found
The Calypso arrives in a nicely decorated box which highlights the major features of the aircraft on the box.
The components are securely tied down and individually wrapped in bubble wrap to protect against damage.
With all of the components out of the box, it is evident that the assembly of the Calypso will not take long. Keep the bubble wrap that the fuselage and the wings arrive in as they can be later used as a make shift wing and fuse bags to transport the Calypso in.
One of the first things that will grab your attention as you remove the Calypso from the box is the skid plate and landing wheel on the bottom of the fuselage. A folding propeller and spinner have been attached at the factory and taped down for transport. The complete canopy is easily removed to reveal the pre-installed 2.4GHz receiver, the 18A ESC and the rudder and elevator servos. The canopy is held in place by two magnets and there is ample space in the canopy to install the flight pack along with any optional electronics you may choose like an altimeter. Cooling holes on either side of the canopy and to the bottom of the fuselage should help in keeping the battery and ESC cool during full power climb outs.
The wing is a two piece design that will allow for easy transportation of the Calypso. Out of the box, the ailerons are a single piece but there is a clear marking which indicates where the aileron needs to be cut to allow the installation of the optional flap system. The ailerons servos have already been installed and wired and carbon stiffeners are visible on the underside of the wing.
The tail is air foiled and looks like it will simply snap together. A stiff metal rod connects both elevator halves on the bottom of the horizontal stabilizer. Included with the Tx-R version is the 11.1V 1300mAh LiPo battery, a charger with DC adapter and a small parts bay that contains a few screws.
The detailed manual starts you off in the assembly process by assembling the tail section of the Calypso. Notice the skid plate on the bottom of the fuselage which should help in reducing damage to the airframe when landing on paved surfaces. The horizontal stabilizer is mated to the vertical and bolted down to the fuselage with a single bolt.
The connections to the elevator and rudder control arms are made by attaching the pre-installed push rods to the horns using two small screws.
The flaps are prepared by cutting the ailerons at the marked spot and opening the holes for the flap servos.
The flap control arms are glued in place and the servo wire is routed through the wing. You will have to use a string as a guide as the channel is pretty tight and there is already the aileron lead routed through the wing that could block the way. The completed assembly is elegantly simple and slop free.
The wing halves mate perfectly with the opening in the fuselage. A small channel is provided to route the flap and aileron leads through the fuselage in to the canopy compartment. Y-connections are utilized to connect the flaps and the ailerons. The wings are then bolted in place by tightening the pre-installed screws on the bottom of the wing.
I took the Calypso out to Scobee field in Houston for its maiden flight. As luck would have it, it was a rainy day but we waited it out and when the rain finally cleared, it was calm skies which made the maiden all the more enjoyable. The Calypso balanced out near perfect with the 11.1V 1300mAh battery placed about mid position in the canopy compartment.
For the first flight, I opted to use the Tactic TTX600 transmitter that I already had. With a charged battery and no wind, I hand tossed the Calypso in the air and applied power and watched as the Calypso gently floated away in a nice and stable manner. I had to apply a good amount of up elevator trim to get the Calypso to fly level under power. The manual states that the amount of trim may differ while flying under power and gliding but I did not see any major difference between the two. After trimming out the Calypso, I really started to enjoy its docile powered flight envelope as I slowly floated around the field making long and gentle turns and low altitude passes for the camera.
To tests its climbing ability, I pointed the nose upwards and applied full power and the Calypso did not hesitate in responding with a strong climb out. I would rate the climb capability of the Calypso as very good. On later dates, I installed a telemetry system with an altimeter and noticed that I could reach a 1000ft within approximately 1 minute and 10 seconds. With no lift conditions, the glide ratio of the Calypso allowed me to gently glide down from a 1000ft in about 4.5 minutes. With no lift and only 4 – 5 climb outs, that is a good 20 minutes of flying right there.
When it comes to aerobatics, the Calypso can perform loops and maintain inverted flight but its roll rate is fairly slow to really consider doing anything beyond that. The optional flaps help in increasing the available lift and can allow for some really slow approaches to perform spot landings. Even without flaps, the Calypso can approach in a slow and controlled manner for a wheel first landing on finished surfaces. I was originally worried about landing on the wheel as I did not want to scuff up the bottom of the wing tips but I noticed that aileron control is available even after the wheel touches down which actually made it enjoyable to see how far I could roll on the ground without touching the wings.
We enjoyed flying the Calypso so much that we hung out at the field much later than we usually do until the light had started to fade to get in a few more flights. It was a real pleasure to watch the Calypso become a silhouette against the fading light from the setting sun as we tried to make one more pass over the runway before we had to pack up and leave for the day.
The Flyzone Calypso is a great little powered glider that performs equally well as a gentle powered airplane or glider. The two piece wing construction allows easy and quick transportation and assembly of the airframe and the bubble wrap that the airframe is shipped in can be used as wing bags as well.
The Tx-R version of the Calypso assembles in no time and can provide long relaxed flight times with the supplied 1300mAh battery. I also tried a 2200mAh and did not notice a major difference in the handling of the Calypso. The Tx-R version of the Calypso arrives with a pre-installed 2.4GHz receiver and can be mated to a Tactic TTX400 or TTX600. Using an AnyLink adapter, virtually any popular transmitter can be used to control the Tx-R version.
I think Flyzone hit it out of the park with the Calypso. Available as an ARF, RTF, Rx-R or Tx-R there is surely a flavor to match your needs. If you are looking for a 2m powered glider, I would recommend that you place this one on your list and take a closer look.
Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021
Champaign, IL 61826-9021
17260 Westheimer Parkway
Houston, TX 77082