Flyzone DHC-2 Beaver… “Missed it by that much.”

First flights and final thoughts on the Flyzone Beaver

Yesterday afternoon, April 8 was the first flight on the Flyzone Beaver.  The first flight was done on wheels with an 1800 3 cell (older, brand unknown) LiPo.  Power was adequate with the 3 blade 11×6 MA making little excess noise.  After a bit of aileron and elevator trim she smoothed out fairly well considering the slightly breezy conditions.  Taxi on our early spring uncut/rough field was adequate even with the stock wheels.  Roll rate was acceptable (not fast, but OK considering the long wingspan), tight to mediums size loops were possible but don’t stretch it to far or you may run short of power.  Turns needed a bit of rudder to avoid “skid” and add some authority.  Nothing wrong with any of that.  It was hard to get a really good feel for the handling with some 15+ MPH gusts up there but generally I would say it handled well.

That success led me to spend the time to attach the floats and try it again.  Attaching the floats was a bit of a job with 2 people working it.  I probably would have given up and waited to do it on my bench where I have a better stand, no wind to deal with etc… had I not had help.  I don’t see doing this often as a real option… certainly not at the field.  I will probably only switch them back and forth 2 or 3 times a year.  They could make this a lot easier with a bit of design work but that seems to be the theme for this airplane.  I pulled the water rudders off to avoid any untoward encounters with the ground.  Unfortunately they are not pivoting like my larger water rudders are (“spring” loaded via a rubber band) so flying off of hard surfaces like snow/ice/dirt with them attached is not recommended.  At least not by me!

Here I am with floats attached after all the days flying was over with…


Photo by K. Bogigian

The second flight, the first with floats, was more of a sit in place and struggle to move due to the increased friction and a less than fully charged battery.  Swapping the battery for a smaller capacity but fully charged power source got it sliding and once moving it took 30-50 feet to get up to speed and then was off.  Not terrible considering we are talking dry grass here.  Based on my experience with larger planes with glow engines flying off both water and grass this gives me confidence that getting off the water won’t be difficult.  Flying was not a lot different than without the floats.  The extra weight was not a big issue and did add some additional stability in the wind.  Here’s a couple flight photos.

IMG_3295 IMG_3329

Photos by K. Bogigian

You can’t deny that straight out of the box the plane looks pretty good in the air.  The lines look good to my eye and with the added weight of the floats the plane has a bit more stable track as well.  The flaps seem to do almost nothing with the factory available travel.  I will eventually have to do something to correct that.  There is simply no more travel available with the existing control arm and linkage geometry. Maybe as part of that I will change the linkage to something much easier to re-connect like a snap on ball link or something similar.  This would help to overcome the whole wing removal and attachment difficulties without having to readjust the flaps each time.  Even with my SUV it takes up entirely to much room with the wings and floats attached.

Here are my current overall feelings on the Beaver at this point.

The Beaver certainly seems to fly well and has excellent ground handling on wheels.  I expect good things from float flying as well based on my “floats off of grass” flight.  The outlines and color scheme are good which results in a good looking and very visible aircraft.  The quality of the build is somewhat lacking… not in any way that will affect flight-worthiness but rather making the plane’s cosmetic details poor.  Errant glue, lack of same where it belongs, “smeared” colors, etc… all take a potential A+ aesthetic and bring it down to average.  The biggest drawbacks however are based on a lack of consideration to the things that make an RC plane easy to get ready to fly and maintain.  Access to the interior is limited, “daily” assembly is painful and likely results in changing centering/trim on the flaps and wing removal and attachment just isn’t thought out well.  Ditto for swapping between landing gear and floats.  Even changing batteries can be a tricky balancing act since there is no easy way to support the plane while inverted while simultaneously using 2 hands (a necessity) to swap the battery.  At least not without a cradle of some sort.  For around $200 I expected a bit better.

I hope Flyzone will spend some time re-engineering and come out with a Beaver version 2 at some point in the future as the subject matter is great and it could be a great little RC airplane with some better engineering.  I expect to have some fun flying on floats (always a favorite of mine) but this plane will not get the number of flights it deserves due to the drawbacks noted.  To quote Maxwell Smart… “Missed it by that much”.  It’s a bit early to give this plane a final grade but I think at this point I would rate this plane a solid C+.


15 Replies to “Flyzone DHC-2 Beaver… “Missed it by that much.””

  1. …Deleted insulting verbiage… its a foam plane , not a 5000.00 toc ship
    C+ smoke another one , this plane rocks . Looks amazimg , flys great and beyond average .
    Just way to technical of a review for such a simple little foam plane ….. maybe its not to big , maybe you need a larger suv ..I mean your a pretty serious plane guy , you must have a trailer for all the planes you give an A+ . …Deleted more insults…, it a model airplane that comes loaded and flys great pulled right out of tne box .
    …And again deleting personal attacks…

    Edited by moderator… Will seems to be trying to make a point which I am happy to post but I won’t approve insulting language or personal attacks so I have edited the content with the intention of not changing his valid opinions about the subject at hand.

  2. Hats off, to flyzone and there select scale series , I have the corsair and beaver , both have just nrth of 50 flights each and never a problem worth talking about .
    If they fix and release a “beaver 2” and adress all the petty little issues mentioned , then you would be crying about the price .
    And WHY test a plane that is a true FLOAT PLANE on dry grass ?
    The whole review should be deleted . Testing a float plane find some water or dont review the floats …. yea I know had to get it in the air with the floats so you could review the flight characteristics with floats attached ,, goodmthing you did …we would all die of sleep deprivation if we didnt get your thoughts on the floats .
    And the 3 blade prop looks good on the ground …not. write the review again and keep in mind how the plane looks and flys then consider what a basic fm radio system cost 10 years ago .. and that this plane can be found for, under 300.00 ready to fly with a 2.4
    radio . Review the rtf next time so we dont have to hear you cry about the any link and its being to bulky. God forbid.

  3. I’ll try to answer some of Will’s questions and comments.

    First, I try to be critical of all airplanes and RC equipment in general and I believe there are several better flying planes for the same money… some of which are made of foam just as the Beaver is and don’t cost any more either. I think the level of detail and technicality I comment on is important and is where the important differences are between different models and manufacturers. Doing less detailed reviews, regardless of the construction material of the planes, doesn’t make sense to me.

    I’m glad you apparently think its such a wonderful plane and are enjoying it so much. I gave it an above average grade myself. I am disappointed with it more because it could be a plane I’d consider really great with just a few tweaks. I don’t think the tweaks to improve this plane need increase the price and I think the current price is fair if not exceptional for the market so I don’t agree with your statement about a new version causing a price issue or it being any better (or worse) value than any other similar package deal on the market.

    On the float issue, I have flown several of my planes off of grass or snow when the appropriate water isn’t handy. I did because I can and I didn’t see a need to wait. Since folks don’t send me free planes and I already have a reliable 2.4 radio system I doubt I’ll get a chance to fly an RTF version unless a local club member gets one and offers me the opportunity.

    Finally, I don’t think I’ll delete my review… It’s still an accurate representation of my opinion and I stand by it.

    1. With a bit of practice it is easy to swap battery without having to flip plane over. Just kneel down in front of it and look down through the windshield to see what you are doing.

  4. I own this plane. After several months – here’s my take:

    It flies just fine. It looks like what it is: An inexpensive foamy with cosmetic imperfections. It looks great at a distance, no so much up close. I purchased mine after watching some “expert” reviews on YouTube that were less that forthcoming, and (in hindsight) probably biased. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have selected something else.

    IMO, all of the criticism from the OP is completely accurate and justified.
    From a serviceability standpoint, the design is truly unacceptable, making it all but impossible to access the elevator and rudder servos without a tedious disassembly and reassembly process that will also entail re-trimming the flaps. The build quality and quality control were also lacking. In addition to the issues raised by the OP, my RTF had missing parts, a faulty restraint hinge on the electronics compartment door, and a faulty charger right out of the box.

    A redeeming factor is that FlyZone’s support does seem to respond appropriately to problems.

    One other thing:
    I don’t believe for a second that it would have increased the cost one iota to have come up with a better design in the first place. That’s just silly. Look around. There are plenty of planes in this price range that don’t suffer from these flaws.

  5. I have about 25 hrs on hobbyzone cub both on land and water and skis. I have never flown the 4 channel. Will it be a huge step to fly the beaver

    1. Since you commented here, hopefully you’ve seen my other posts on the water rudder issues on the Beaver? You may want to go ahead and make some modifications along the lines I have documented before you put the Beaver on floats… it will save you some frustration.

      Otherwise, the Beaver flies well so I would expect you wouldn’t have any major problems other than the usual concerns of stepping up to a 4 channel. I presume your Cub uses the aileron channel to control the rudder so you will need to spend some time “waking up” the left stick (assuming you are mode 2 / rudder on the left stick). I’d advise you to adjust by doing some taxi practice (on the ground) and then work on coordinated turns or even some rudder only turns to get used to how the plane reacts to use of rudder rather than relying on aileron. This will become much more important on the water as you will need to learn to not only use the rudder to steer around while taxing on the water (which will feel a bit different than ground taxiing) but will also need to watch out for the transition when you break free of the water.

      This plane is no more difficult than any other in this regard but if you haven’t experienced it you will quickly learn that rudder in the air is much more effective than rudder on the water therefore when that transition occurs you don’t want to be in the midst of any large rudder motions or things may get more exciting than you would like. Don’t let any of this scare you, just something to be aware of. Enjoy the Beaver.

  6. This review missed it by just about everything. So far I have 3 flights on this plane and im in love with it. Why you need more flap throw is beyond me, full flaps this thing climbs insanely. Floats, yes its a bit of a hassle to put in 8 screws… for some people… Using some smart building techniques this plane is stupid easy to put together. HINT use a long servo Y harness to fish the light, flap, and aileron leads through the cabin. I dont know remotely how “changing batteries can be a tricky” I dont know what to say… open the hatch, insert battery, close hatch. For 200 bucks its hard to find a better deal, perfect beginner 4 channel plane. it is my first scale 4 channel plane and i couldn’t be more happy with it

  7. A lot of complaining on here over nothing. This plane is great. Plenty of power, easy to fly, looks good at a distance (remember this is an RC plane, not a model… function first here)… and not too shabby up close either. For the money spent this is a real bargain. Replacement parts, should you need them, aren’t outrageous either. I say, “quite the bitch’n. This is a solid plane to own if you live on a lake or enjoy casual flying.”

  8. Why do you guy’s even bother reading reviews if you don’t want to hear about a model ‘misses’? Mr. Sallade was honest with his assessment of the model and you guy’s feel you need to bash him for it? Reviews don’t only help customers avoid products with issues they’re not prepared to deal with, they help manufactures recognize (along with customer feedback) the need to improve their products. He didn’t say that this was a ‘bad’ model, he simply pointed out that there were areas that COULD be improved. The RC Groups ‘Flyzone Select Scale DHC-2 Beaver’ thread is full of information on how to correct most of these misses and have identified others as well all written by folk’s who LOVE this model! I agree with the reviewers assessment that a model this size should be more transportable and whether or not the reviewer has the ability to transport it to the field or not, isn’t the issue but it very well may be for one of his readers! A review is an opinion, you don’t have to agree with it but a reviewer shouldn’t be bashed for being honest!

    I appreciate that Flyzone cranked this Beaver out but it’s not without flaws, an honest review could help someone determine if they’re prepared to deal with them or not.

  9. I’m on my 3rd beaver, I would agree with the review and also would like to know if anyanyone is having issues with the rudder not returning to center?

  10. One issue i have had a problem with is one elevator binding up.
    A simple fix was trimming a small amount of foam from the inside
    Of the stab that faces the elevator.

  11. Recently had a bad landing with the beaver which resulted in tearing out the
    Landing gear. Purchased a new fuseledge while removing the motor of the
    Damaged fuseledge two washers fell out of the motor mount. I. Assume these
    Were for tbrust but don’t know where they sre supposed to go . my assumption
    Would be down and right thrust but don’t know for sure. Any help would
    Be appreciated.

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