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Flyzone 73" Calypso EP Glider Review

The Calypso is a beautiful electric powered glider whose great design and AeroCell foam combine to make it a soaring masterpiece.

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Introduction


Wingspan:73” / 1855mm
Wing Area:526 in. sq. / 33.9 dm. sq.
Weight:29 – 31 oz. / 820 – 880 g
Length:47 in. / 1195mm
Wing Loading:7.9 – 8.5oz/sq. ft. / 24 – 26 g/dm. sq.
Servos:Flyzone Micro
Transmitter:Tx-R compatible
Receiver:Tactic TR624 6-channel SLT 2.4 GHz.
Battery:Flyzone 11.1v
Motor:28 x 30 1300kV Outrunner
Prop:9 x 5 folding with aluminum prop mount
ESC:18A
Typical Flight Duration:Pilot skill and lift generation dependent
Manufacturer:Flyzone
Manual:Manual
Available From:Your Local Hobby Shop
Price:$199.98

Flyzone’s 73” Calypso EP glider comes in four versions: Rx-R receiver ready (includes servos, ESC and brushless motor), RTF with Tactic TTX404 transmitter, ARF allowing the customer to use their own equipment (ARF Manual) and this version reviewed here, the Tx-R transmitter ready glider. In the transmitter-ready configuration a 6-channel SLT 2.4 GHz. Tactic receiver is installed awaiting the bind using either a Tactic 2.4 GHz transmitter or via the new Tactic AnyLink SLT 2.4 GHz. Universal radio adapter to most major brands of radios.

This is a beautiful aircraft with a bright, easy to see color scheme. Constructed of Aero-cell foam (EPO and CA safe), you get a smooth flying surface that is perfectly molded and almost indestructible. In the transmitter-ready version the Calypso takes only about 30 minutes to build with no glue necessary. When complete, this is a remarkable glider that can follow a pilot’s lead to slope or thermal lift and stay there.

Flaps are an option that require the installation of servos, control horns, servo leads and some cutting of the aileron to create the inside flaps. Flap kits will be available very soon from Flyzone or you can improvise your own setup. My experience tells me this will be a no-brainer option since getting the Calypso to release its grip on lift is not easy. The Calypso wants to fly and does so in all types of wind. This is a plane that will not be denied flight on those windy days.

Kit Contents

My Calypso arrived with no damage. Each item was packaged in bubble wrap to protect it from shipping rash. There were no loose items that could cause damage. The battery charger and one small accessory bag were taped to the box interior. I'm not sure if this was intentional, but the length of the box provides some extra room for crushing on the ends should that occur. The wings are separated within the box and stabilized with tape. All in all, this was a very well designed shipping container and packaging.

 Nice!
Nice!
 Great style
Great style
 Built to fly
Built to fly

 Everything is wrapped
Everything is wrapped
 and secured
and secured
 away from foam components
away from foam components

 It will all store in the box.
It will all store in the box.
 The wrapping is excellent.
The wrapping is excellent.
 Great value and a durable plane for lots of flying.
Great value and a durable plane for lots of flying.

 The 1300 mAh LiPo
The 1300 mAh LiPo
 12v charger is all about park flying.
12v charger is all about park flying.
 At .8 amps figure about 1.5 hours to charge.
At .8 amps figure about 1.5 hours to charge.

 Cruise the air.
Cruise the air.
 You have got to get one of these.
You have got to get one of these.
 Continuing to produce new and innovative products
Continuing to produce new and innovative products

 It is this easy to build. Step I
It is this easy to build. Step I
 Step II
Step II
 Step III
Step III

  • Tx-R Kit includes
  • Fully decaled fuselage, wings and tail components
  • Carbon Spars
  • 2.25” nose wheel
  • 12 volt LiPo Smart charger
  • 1300 mAh 15C 14Wh LiPo
  • Installed servos
  • 9x5 folding prop
  • Velcro
  • Detailed instructions

Replacement Part Order NumberDescription
FLZA6000Wing Set
FLZA6001Horizontal Stabilizer
FLZA6002Vertical Stabilizer
FLAZ6003Fuselage
FLZA6004Canopy
FLZA6005Wing Tube
FLZA6006Spinner and Folding Prop
FLZA60079x5 Folding Prop
FLZA6008Flap Set (when available)
FLZA6009Wing Screws
FLZA6010Tail Screw
FLZA6012C28-30 1300kV Brushless Motor
FLZA6013Micro Servo
FLZA60141300 mAh 3S LiPo
TACL0624Tactic TR624 6-Channel Receiver

Assembly

Assembly just means that you install the tail, slide the wings together and setup the electronics. Because this is a Tx-R product you will need to bind your radio.

Tail

There are two components to the tail that need to be installed. Both the horizontal stabilizer and vertical stabilizer are secured with one bolt. Before you start putting things together, make sure to flex the rudder and elevator at least 100 rotations to free up the hinges and lessen the torque required by the servos. As you flex the control surface you will realize they get easier to flex. I would guess there are thousands of flex cycles so these are never going to wear out.

 The elevator has a very strong steel joiner that is secured well.
The elevator has a very strong steel joiner that is secured well.
 The fuselage molding for the vertical stabilizer
The fuselage molding for the vertical stabilizer
 The control horns are big and secure.
The control horns are big and secure.

 The vertical stabilizer fits down into the horizontal stabilizer.
The vertical stabilizer fits down into the horizontal stabilizer.
 The vertical stabilizer has a plastic tab that holds the attachment nut.
The vertical stabilizer has a plastic tab that holds the attachment nut.
 The nut is perfectly aligned.
The nut is perfectly aligned.

The tail build is a one-two-three process with a tight, very well designed and molded component set.

 The aft end of the tail
The aft end of the tail
 Another view
Another view

 Slip the vertical stab into the horizontal stab.
Slip the vertical stab into the horizontal stab.
 A perfect fit
A perfect fit
 The two components joined
The two components joined

 This tab will secure the lower end of the rudder.
This tab will secure the lower end of the rudder.
 Gently align it and slip it in.
Gently align it and slip it in.
 Ready to finish
Ready to finish

 One bolt holds the tail.
One bolt holds the tail.
 The bolt goes through the tail skid.
The bolt goes through the tail skid.

Wing

The Calypso’s wings are huge and provide incredible lift. Once you fly the Calypso you will see what I mean as this plane prefers to be in the air rather than on the ground. The wing is two-piece with a carbon spar. One unique feature is the locking bolts under the wings that keep the wings together. The only build process is to install the spar, slip the wings halves together, tighten the locking bolts and connect the aileron servos to the receiver. Nice design.

 The interlocking wing roots are a perfect fit.
The interlocking wing roots are a perfect fit.
 The servo leads are nice and long.
The servo leads are nice and long.
 Nice addition with linkage cowls.
Nice addition with linkage cowls.

 A carbon reinforcement spar is installed.
A carbon reinforcement spar is installed.
 The servo leads are partially secured under tape.
The servo leads are partially secured under tape.
 Great color scheme.
Great color scheme.

 The interior portion of the wing houses the wing spar lock.
The interior portion of the wing houses the wing spar lock.
 The bolt secures the wings.
The bolt secures the wings.
 The molded hinges are straight and strong.
The molded hinges are straight and strong.

 Note the straight molding
Note the straight molding
 A split molding is provided for the flap install.
A split molding is provided for the flap install.
 The flap control horn mounting location is also molded into the wing.
The flap control horn mounting location is also molded into the wing.

 The underside
The underside
 The topside
The topside
 The servo leads are routed through the fuselage.
The servo leads are routed through the fuselage.

Fuselage

The fuselage is perfectly molded and straight. It is 47” long, so you get some great flight stability from the length. The fuselage is also streamlined with a large area for electronics, and a huge magnetically attached canopy with a perfectly sculptured transition to the tail. All the linkages are housed in plastic sleeves with a bolt secured clevis. A huge wheel under the cabin keeps the Calypso from damage on landing off of any surface.

 The nose includes a skid plate.
The nose includes a skid plate.
 A 9x5 folding prop
A 9x5 folding prop
 cooling port aligned with the ESC
cooling port aligned with the ESC

 The 1300 kV brushless motor
The 1300 kV brushless motor
 Lots of room for electronics
Lots of room for electronics
 A huge nose wheel
A huge nose wheel

 Servos are glued in place.
Servos are glued in place.
 The Tactic 2.4 GHz receiver is attached to the side wall.
The Tactic 2.4 GHz receiver is attached to the side wall.
 Strong magnets secure the canopy.
Strong magnets secure the canopy.

Radio Installation and the Tx-R AnyLink

The bind was without anything unusual, and by following the directions I easily connected my Futaba 9C Super using the provided cable to the onboard Tactic receiver. It was bsolutely seamless. To my advantage I was able to set all the parameters necessary for flight and mix the tail to the ailerons. Dual rates and expo were also a part of the setup so having my trusty 9C in my hands made the experience much more user-friendly. Here is a link to more information on the AnyLink Addendum.

 The bind LED says it all.
The bind LED says it all.
 The AnyLink is only about $25.
The AnyLink is only about $25.
 You get cables for different radios.
You get cables for different radios.

 The package includes the transmitter module and two sets of cables.
The package includes the transmitter module and two sets of cables.
 Here is the JR/Spektrum
Here is the JR/Spektrum
 and the Futaba Cable.
and the Futaba Cable.

I centered all my transmitter sticks and adjusted the control surfaces. I did notice the clevises were very tight on the control rods, and to avoid twisting the linkage I had to use pliers to hold the steel linkage until they loosened up a bit. I used the settings provided in the instructions in degrees, mm and inches.

Flyzone recommends calibrating your throttle stick. This applies to Rx-R and Tx-R versions. This is a simple process that ensures your ESC and throttle are synchronized. A range check is appropriate with any changes in your radio setup.

  • Elevator High Rate – 19mm up and down
  • Low Rate – 13mm up and down
  • Rudder High Rate – 25mm
  • Low Rate – 19mm
  • Ailerons High Rate – 16mm
  • Low Rate – 10mm

Take your time centering the control surfaces, and make sure to not over tighten the clevis. Do not just insert the clevis into the outer hole as the elevator. The first flight setting is in the third hole, not the outer hole.

 The clevises are secured with through bolts.
The clevises are secured with through bolts.
 The linkages align very well.
The linkages align very well.
 Do not over-tighten the clevis bolt.
Do not over-tighten the clevis bolt.

Flying

The Calypso is a flying machine. It is a powered glider, but it is fully capable of gliding. Don’t expect that to be the case with all powered gliders. You know the minute you chop the throttle if the plane will glide, and I assure you the Calypso is an excellent soaring airplane. On the day I took the video I was flying in 30mph gusts at 105 degrees (density altitude at nearly 4,000 feet) and I could still literally hover the Calypso into the wind. Lift is strong, and the wind penetration is excellent. Even in cross-winded turns I did not feel as though the plane wanted to roll over. I was always in quick and authoritative control. Overall, the stability is wonderful and even in heavy cross winds and gusts it is easy to control. Under power, the Calypso tracks straight and has almost vertical performance. I want to install an altimeter and see just how high I can get.

Basics

The Calypso performs, as a glider should. It can ride lift and handle a great deal of wind from either thermals or slope. Stalls are difficult to induce, but in a very steep and slow climb it will stall. The nose drops pretty fast, so make sure you either have some wind or some airspeed on approach or it could stall. An example of a stall is about a third of the way into the video. Because the wings are so big and generate so much lift I did not experience a tip stall, but rather a full-on straightforward nose drop. It was easy to resolve; as soon as some airspeed is generated the stall is over.

Power is plentiful. Kick the throttle and pull back the elevator and the Calypso will climb like a rocket. The instructions provide that there should be enough battery power to make at least five climbs. If you have some lift, the separation between those climbs could be a long time. Bring a chair and a bottle of water and prepare for some great soaring.

Taking Off and Landing

A slight hand release is all that is necessary to the get the Calypso in the air. Climb out is strong and no need to be quick to the sticks. Landings require a long final approach and on occasion I found it necessary to disregard all flight rules and land downwind. The lift with even a slight breeze just keeps the plane from wanting to land. You will notice in the video I actually come in across the runway into the wind at almost a hover to land. Landing roll out was almost zero into a 20+mph wind. Flaps will be a great addition.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Aerobatics are limited to loops and some inverted flight. The wings tend to negate even the most aggressive aileron input to get a good roll going. I suppose if you want to prove something the Calypso will make a big roll. Be careful with inverted flight. Getting upside down is not difficult as you are inverted at the top of the loop, but when getting out of the loop, the Calypso wanted to nose down to come out rather than climbing to push the nose up while inverted. Make sure you have some air under the plane before going inverted. Rolling out is slow.

Is This For a Beginner?

I love training new pilots with gliders. They are forgiving and stable platforms for learning to fly. I would say beginners would enjoy the Calypso because as a parkflyer, this is one fun airplane. It is also a plane that one can fly and then hand the transmitter over to a new pilot. With some altitude the changes are slow and easy to overcome even after getting the transmitter back.

All levels of flyers will enjoy the Calypso. Beginners that are learning to fly, but not skilled at finding thermals and lift, will still get several climbs at full throttle and flights of maybe 30 minutes. Those that do find lift and perhaps opt for a larger capacity battery can fly as long as their thumbs can stand it. If you do find lift, get comfortable and enjoy an afternoon of flying.

Flaps add a whole new experience. When available from Flyzone or on your own you can really slow the Calypso down. A slight use of the flaps can also increase your lift in light winds. The build instructions are provided in the instructions and designed to be connected via a “Y” connector into one receiver channel.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery















Downloads

Conclusion

This has been a fun project. I was unsure of how good the Calypso could be until I let it out of my hands on that first launch. In short order, I fell in love with the power curve, glide slope and color scheme. It is a plane I think you will appreciate for how you will get better at flying and soaring. I also really think being able to easily remove the tail and wings makes for a portable big plane that fits back into the box for transportation. That is a nice feature. Keep the bubble wrap for transporting. I would guess in a few assemblies at the park one will become very adept at quickly putting the Calypso together for a flight.

I would like to also add the fuselage cavity is huge and I can’t wait to mount a camera on a pan and tilt. Purchase another canopy and a streamlined camera platform would be easy to develop. I think the load handing could be pretty good as the wing loading is very low so either a bigger battery (2100 mAh has been tested) or some camera equipment is just waiting for the possibilities.

  • The Good
  • Great color scheme
  • Flight character
  • Versions to best suit your needs
  • Repair with CA, white glue or Shoe Goo
  • Nose wheel

  • The not-so-good
  • 1.5-hour charge time
  • Be careful and do not leave the Calypso canopy in the sun too long or the foam may blister under the black paint.
  • I await the flap kit option - stay tuned...
Last edited by Angela H; Jul 09, 2012 at 01:07 PM..

Discussion

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Old Jul 11, 2012, 10:58 AM
MN WATTS Master
Vintauri's Avatar
United States, MN, Mankato
Joined Jul 2003
7,326 Posts
Very nice review.

I have been looking forwad to this one since seeing it at SEFF.

Steve
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Old Jul 11, 2012, 10:59 AM
semper mitis
gentle ben's Avatar
Paducah, Kentucky
Joined Nov 2004
837 Posts
Very interested in this motorglider. Also looking at the Radian. Wanting to get back to my sailplane roots without highstart/winch (arthritis). I have been burned before being an early adopter of Flyzone planes. As they say "third times a charm". I'm such a sucker for good looks.
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Old Jul 11, 2012, 10:29 PM
Lover of fine cheeses
United States, IN, Mauckport
Joined Jan 2012
140 Posts
Great review! I've been waiting for a review on this one. Since it is rare for this area to have a wind-free day, I've been thinking of getting a glider. This review has sold me on the calypso.

...lobe
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 05:19 AM
Dr. Dave
USA
Joined Nov 2005
1,316 Posts
Just a little outside the other flyzone planes I have flown. This is a huge stable and powerful flyer. I love the lines. It would have been easy to mold the fuselage straight, but instead it has a slight drop to the tail from the bulbous but streamlined cockpit. Just very pretty lines I think. I also hope to get the flaps up and running soon.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 11:27 AM
Registered User
Rob_P's Avatar
Grosse Pointe, Mi
Joined Jun 2005
1,090 Posts
Looks very nice and I'm sure it will take away few potential Radian sales.

I just wish it were a little smaller so that I could fly from my local field.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 08:03 PM
Registered User
Joined Jul 2012
16 Posts
It's a cool plane but a MSRP of $159 for the receiver ready (RxR) version is a little pricy.
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Last edited by IIIHorseman; Sep 05, 2012 at 08:05 PM.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 01:27 AM
Bone Breaker
Lammergier's Avatar
Dallas , Texas, United States
Joined Oct 2002
825 Posts
Yes the lines are great. It's just plain sexy looking and sex sells!
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 10:13 AM
Wind Powered
george@dream-flight's Avatar
United States, CA, Goleta
Joined Oct 2004
535 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIHorseman View Post
It's a cool plane but a MSRP of $200 for the receiver ready (RxR) version is way overpriced.
http://www.towerhobbies.com/products.../flza3004.html

$159.99
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Last edited by george@dream-flight; Jul 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Little Rock Regional, Arkansas, United States
Joined Sep 2002
4,455 Posts
Out of Stock until Sept. Typical.........

Stringfly <>+++++
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 11:05 AM
Wind Powered
george@dream-flight's Avatar
United States, CA, Goleta
Joined Oct 2004
535 Posts
The release is staggered. The TXR and RTF will arrive here shortly in July.
The RxR and ARF will follow.
thanks.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 08:37 PM
semper mitis
gentle ben's Avatar
Paducah, Kentucky
Joined Nov 2004
837 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by g_rod22x View Post
The release is staggered. The TXR and RTF will arrive here shortly in July.
The RxR and ARF will follow.
thanks.
looking at your info: 1573 miles from you in
Champaign, IL
Joined Oct 2004
453 Posts

I know for a fact Champaign, IL is not 1573 miles from Paducah, KY unless you go by way of Atlanta...
When will the Flap kit come and at what price? Saw the flap linkages for $2.25. That can't be all that's needed? Two servos and extension/s? Comes as a "kit" as noted in the review.
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Last edited by gentle ben; Jul 13, 2012 at 08:51 PM. Reason: Some more questions.
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 10:09 AM
Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum!
Doubletap's Avatar
PRC (People's Republic of Commiefornia)
Joined Jul 2005
9,596 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIHorseman View Post
It's a cool plane but a MSRP of $200 for the receiver ready (RxR) version is way overpriced.
Yep! not competitive at all at that price, even at $160 too much, when a ZD 383/384 full 5 CH PNF 2 meter can be had for street price of $100:
http://leaderhobby.com/product.asp?I...Location=MIAMI
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 07:22 PM
semper mitis
gentle ben's Avatar
Paducah, Kentucky
Joined Nov 2004
837 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubletap View Post
Yep! not competitive at all at that price, even at $160 too much, when a ZD 383/384 full 5 CH PNF 2 meter can be had for street price of $100:
http://leaderhobby.com/product.asp?I...Location=MIAMI
There is the matter of shipping from outside the USA. How much would that add?
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 11:04 PM
Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum!
Doubletap's Avatar
PRC (People's Republic of Commiefornia)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentle ben View Post
There is the matter of shipping from outside the USA. How much would that add?
It's not shipping from outside the US, if you didn't notice, this model is at their Miami Florida warehouse, they have 2 US warehouses with different stock at each location, so shipping would be no more or no less than a model this size would cost from FL to KY for you.
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