Saturday night at our local indoor fly I had the opportunity to fly the new Parkzone UMX B-17G. Here are the specs from the Horizon website:
Wingspan: 26.0 in (660mm)
Overall Length: 18.3 in (465mm)
Wing Area: 87.5 sq in (5.65 sq dm)
Flying Weight: 2.75 oz (78 g)
Motor Size: 6mm in runner (Left and RIght Rotation)
Radio: 4+ channel DSM2/DSMX transmitter required
CG (center of gravity): 38mm back from leading edge at wing root
Prop Size: 72×65 3 Blade
Speed Control : Brushed ESC (included)
Recommended Battery: 3.7V 1S 250mAh 20C LiPo Battery
Scale: 1/48th Scale
Experience Level: Intermediate
Is Assembly Required: No
Parkzone UMX B-17 <– Click here to view purchasing options on Amazon
The first thing you need to be aware of is that there is no steering on the tail-wheel so you need to get some forward speed quickly so that the rudder becomes effective and you can turn! Not a big issue as doing a ROG takeoff was accomplished fairly rapidly and without any real need for rudder input. The counter-rotating motors and three blade props seem to provide good power without causing any yaw that I noticed. I was flying in a gym that consists of 3 side by side basketball courts and was off the ground in about 10 feet. The B17 flies fairly slowly though I would rate it moderately fast for an indoor venue of this size. I had to apply a fair amount of down trim to keep it from nosing up but I suspect the battery could be moved a bit more forward to offset some of that. Probably 15 clicks of trim before I got level but this was not my radio so I don’t really know what the trim steps were set for (it was a DX9 I believe).
I’m fairly sure no expo or rates had been set, just a very vanilla setup. In spite of this the B-17 flew smoothly with a fairly wide speed envelope. Roll and Yaw seemed to be adequate though I did not try to do a full aileron roll, stall turns or any thing of the sort considering it was not my airplane nor did I have much room to work with. All I can really say is that it flew smoothly and turns were easily accomplished though a bit of rudder coordination seemed to make for much better turns. In a gymnasium you quickly learn to turn while maintaining altitude or you will be bouncing off the floor or dodging rafters on a frequent basis. With the help of the AS3X system, this was not very difficult. The only concern is on landing as the B-17 does what all my AS3X ships do… it wants to keep level and will attempt to do so by applying more and more elevator as you back off on throttle until the plane stalls abruptly!! This can be a bit disconcerting the first time you experience it so my advice is bring the B-17 in a bit hot to stop this from happening until you learn the stall speed of the plane at altitude. A few clicks of throttle will keep this at bay until you learn the characteristics of the plane. This seems to be an AS3X thing, not exclusive to the B-17.
All in all, the plane flies much better than such a small multi-engine like this really should! And it is really impressive how much scale detail they pack into such a small package. Flying it isn’t difficult, the intermediate rating they apply seems appropriate. I’d love to fly one outdoors to see what it can really do… I’m going to guess that basic aerobatics (more than a B-17 should be doing) are within its grasp and flying smooth and looking impressive it can certainly pull off. Wind handling will be interesting but based on other AS3X craft I’ve tried I expect a 5-10 at most would be within reason with a little practice.
It’s hard to believe that all 4 engines running at around half throttle didn’t kill the battery after 8 minutes of flight. I thought I could detect it slowing a bit at that point but it was still flying when I landed it with only a minor bump into the wall as the roll out lasted a bit longer than expected! No damage, so NO, I don’t own one yet! I do encourage you to get one though… and then let me know when you’d like me to come over and fly it for you a bit!