Spitfire Mk IX

Spitfire Mk IX

First, the 'build' – well more of an assembly than a build and extremely straightforward with excellent instructions – not that you'd need them really if you had any knowledge at all of R/C aircraft!. Everything was present, everything was finished to a high standard and everything went together exactly as planned. The entire build time? – approximately 1 hour – including setting up the transmitter.

There was a marked reluctance to taxi on the ground – the model just kept nosing over, despite application of full up-elevator. I tried various tactics to induce taxying. First I tried 'sneaking up on it' – ie slowing opening the throttle – no good. Then I tried 'surprising it' – ie. banging the throttle open to see if a bit of sudden forward urge and a nice big draught over the elevator would help – no good.

In the end I resorted to a hand launch. A bit dissapointing this as the grass was not long and the strip was fairly smooth – although the 'going was very heavy' as the horsey chaps would say. Maybe it'll be better when the ground dries out a bit.

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Climb out from the hand launch was very brisk and at full throttle she certainly rattles along at a fair old pace. Normal cruise seemed to be about 1/2-throttle. I did need a couple of clicks of right aileron – but it was quite breezy and I was flying cross-wind so that might not be a permanent feature. While there is plenty of power for warbird-like flying it's not like ParkZone's Extra 300 in that verticals, whilst having enough energy, are not unlimited.

General flying characteristics were extremely pleasant with no hint at all of the usual Spitfire vices. Turns were clean – a very little adverse yaw was noticeable and it might benefit from just a hint of aileron differential – but it's not an issue by any means. Controls were responsive – as you'd expect on a warbird – but not at all twitchy. The throws where as specified by ParkZone as high rates with 30% expo on elevator and ailerons. Personally I think the low-rate settings would be a bit sluggish for most fliers, but it's early days to be sure. All in all she's very smooth and quite straightforward to fly. Rolls are more axial than is the case with many warbirds, but a good poke of 'down' when inverted is needed to keep them so. I haven't tried actual inverted flight yet.

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Slow speed handling is good by the standards of any model – by the standards of a warbird it's excellent! Landing the model is very straight forward as long as you keep the nose down and a bit of power on. She comes in quite fast – even into a stiff-ish breeze, but slows well at the flair with no hint of a wing drop – though she did immediately nose over – but again that could be the sodden state of the ground.

All in all another ParkZone sucess story I think, and one I could recommend. If you fancy a Spit, yet remain wary of their reputation then this might be the one for you. It has a good appearance – very good scale outline for an ARTF – and a high standard of finish. And best of all she looks absolutely 'the thing' in the air – I found myself doing one fast low pass after another with a big grin on my face. Considering the price includes absolutely everything you need except a receiver – I even feel it's quite good value for money (Typical price; £204.99 BNF, £125.99 PNP).

All in all, I think I'm going to become very fond of this one!

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