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Old Apr 11, 2010, 10:38 PM
Editor - Flying Models
United States, CT
Joined Aug 2003
2,334 Posts
I just home from Toledo and simply have to rave about the little Flyzone Albatros.

I got to fly it on Friday right before lunch and was absolutely captivated. I flew out the better part of a fully charged battery and really didn't want to go back to show. It is very easy to fly, yet still retains enough character to feel "right." By that I mean it doesn't feel like a generic sport flyer simply wrapped in uniform. Instead it seems to give a reasonable impression of how the full scale might fly. Maintaining a nice balance between that F/S personality and still keeping them flyable at model scales is something Dave Johnson is very good at with his designs.

The FZ Albatros tracks beautifully on the ground, with just enough "grab" on the tires so they don't skid and slide uncontrollably on a wood floor, but not so much that it wanted to ground loop either. Throughout my several takeoffs, landings and taxiing about in between, I never saw it try to misbehave once on the ground.

Take offs are easy, and will happen well below full throttle. Trying for scale realism, I brought the stick forward slowly, let the tail come up as it accelerated and kept it going straight with only the lightest of taps on the rudder. Truthfully, I don't think I needed to do anything but add power, but seeing as I was flying one of only two in the country and I knew they needed it for the rest of the weekend, I wasn't going to risk a hands-off take off run.

Once in the air it tracks nicely both left and right in its rudder-only turns at any reasonable bank angle. Such benign handling tells me that Dave did a lot of flight testing and tuning to get this design so right. Get the bank too steep and it will start to sag in the turn as it should, but a touch of extra power will hold altitude nicely. One wheel touch and goes and tracing single-track circles on the floor came quickly.

It has a really nice "sit" in its partial throttle level cruise and really looks sharp doing it. Full power is more than ample for loops from level flight and aggressive climb outs if you need to avoid an errant table or other obstacle. It readily climbed out at a 30-degree angle until I felt the imminent doom of the approaching ceiling girders. Pull it straight up and it runs out of steam after a nice climb for luscious stall turns, hammerheads and lazy eights. Time them right and they look great, get the rudder in too early or late and your friends will get to razz you a bit. I think it is a really nice balance of power and performance.

Being a three-channel model, the wings need to be level when you pull up for a loop, otherwise the dihedral will screw it off to the side. This is a good thing, as you can get some really pretty barrel rolls by adding some rudder after you pull the nose up. I didn't see anything ugly in terms of the stall. As best as I can recall, the nose just drops forward until it accelerates and starts flying again. Adding power will naturally make the recover a lot faster.

I'm something of a nut about my landings, and so made quite a few to find the sweet spot of pitch and power. The power-off glide is reasonably steep due to its light weight and drag. It's not falling out of the sky without power, but you will want to let it settle into its own natural angle instead of trying to keep the fuselage level. It isn't tough to land power off, you just have to time the flare right to make it look good. Keeping a little power on changes everything. If I was up high and wanted to land, I settled on pulling power fully off to get down quickly, then slowly brought the power back in a little to slow the decent rate once I got down to eye level or so. Just remember this one will take off at half stick, so you don't need to bring back much power. With a little practice I was able to float it in with a nice mild sink rate and then give it a touch of elevator to flare. Finally, and knowing the battery was nearly done, I reluctantly called an end to the fun after one landing that kissed the floor so gently I honestly wasn't sure it was rolling until the tail came down.

While you are looking at these photos, remember that this is a prototype. The actual production models will quite likely look slightly different. How about that cool little engine and dashing pilot figure?

Yeah, this one is a keeper. On my way to lunch I had just enough time to call Dave and leave a short message for him. "LOVE IT! - [click]"

Thayer
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Last edited by Thayer; Apr 11, 2010 at 10:40 PM. Reason: added photos
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 11:25 PM
TheyreComingToTakeMeAway!
derk's Avatar
USA, ID, Coeur D'Alene
Joined Dec 2003
5,406 Posts
even though this is an rtf, i think it fits here.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 09:21 AM
free flight or micro RC ???
g_kandylakis's Avatar
Greece, Central Macedonia, Thessalonika
Joined May 2006
459 Posts
"This is a private video"...

How do I see this? Youtube dosn't allow it either...

George
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 10:51 AM
Registered User
Chillicothe, OH
Joined Mar 2008
234 Posts
This is getting ridicules, I am going to have to get a second job to pay for my growing fleet of micros
Can't waite to get this one on backorder!
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 11:24 AM
Weni, wedi, Java...
Brent Slensker's Avatar
Casper, Wyoming
Joined Nov 2009
1,097 Posts
Been wanting something like this for a while!!....Looks great.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 02:25 PM
TheyreComingToTakeMeAway!
derk's Avatar
USA, ID, Coeur D'Alene
Joined Dec 2003
5,406 Posts
woah weird, when i posted it, i could watch it!! sorry guys, i will delete the vid from this thread.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 02:37 PM
free flight or micro RC ???
g_kandylakis's Avatar
Greece, Central Macedonia, Thessalonika
Joined May 2006
459 Posts
That is not a solution !!!

Where can we see a video of it ? Anybody?
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 02:50 PM
Wind Powered
george@dream-flight's Avatar
United States, CA, Goleta
Joined Oct 2004
535 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thayer View Post
I just home from Toledo and simply have to rave about the little Flyzone Albatros.

I got to fly it on Friday right before lunch and was absolutely captivated. I flew out the better part of a fully charged battery and really didn't want to go back to show. It is very easy to fly, yet still retains enough character to feel "right." By that I mean it doesn't feel like a generic sport flyer simply wrapped in uniform. Instead it seems to give a reasonable impression of how the full scale might fly. Maintaining a nice balance between that F/S personality and still keeping them flyable at model scales is something Dave Johnson is very good at with his designs.

The FZ Albatros tracks beautifully on the ground, with just enough "grab" on the tires so they don't skid and slide uncontrollably on a wood floor, but not so much that it wanted to ground loop either. Throughout my several takeoffs, landings and taxiing about in between, I never saw it try to misbehave once on the ground.

Take offs are easy, and will happen well below full throttle. Trying for scale realism, I brought the stick forward slowly, let the tail come up as it accelerated and kept it going straight with only the lightest of taps on the rudder. Truthfully, I don't think I needed to do anything but add power, but seeing as I was flying one of only two in the country and I knew they needed it for the rest of the weekend, I wasn't going to risk a hands-off take off run.

Once in the air it tracks nicely both left and right in its rudder-only turns at any reasonable bank angle. Such benign handling tells me that Dave did a lot of flight testing and tuning to get this design so right. Get the bank too steep and it will start to sag in the turn as it should, but a touch of extra power will hold altitude nicely. One wheel touch and goes and tracing single-track circles on the floor came quickly.

It has a really nice "sit" in its partial throttle level cruise and really looks sharp doing it. Full power is more than ample for loops from level flight and aggressive climb outs if you need to avoid an errant table or other obstacle. It readily climbed out at a 30-degree angle until I felt the imminent doom of the approaching ceiling girders. Pull it straight up and it runs out of steam after a nice climb for luscious stall turns, hammerheads and lazy eights. Time them right and they look great, get the rudder in too early or late and your friends will get to razz you a bit. I think it is a really nice balance of power and performance.

Being a three-channel model, the wings need to be level when you pull up for a loop, otherwise the dihedral will screw it off to the side. This is a good thing, as you can get some really pretty barrel rolls by adding some rudder after you pull the nose up. I didn't see anything ugly in terms of the stall. As best as I can recall, the nose just drops forward until it accelerates and starts flying again. Adding power will naturally make the recover a lot faster.

I'm something of a nut about my landings, and so made quite a few to find the sweet spot of pitch and power. The power-off glide is reasonably steep due to its light weight and drag. It's not falling out of the sky without power, but you will want to let it settle into its own natural angle instead of trying to keep the fuselage level. It isn't tough to land power off, you just have to time the flare right to make it look good. Keeping a little power on changes everything. If I was up high and wanted to land, I settled on pulling power fully off to get down quickly, then slowly brought the power back in a little to slow the decent rate once I got down to eye level or so. Just remember this one will take off at half stick, so you don't need to bring back much power. With a little practice I was able to float it in with a nice mild sink rate and then give it a touch of elevator to flare. Finally, and knowing the battery was nearly done, I reluctantly called an end to the fun after one landing that kissed the floor so gently I honestly wasn't sure it was rolling until the tail came down.

While you are looking at these photos, remember that this is a prototype. The actual production models will quite likely look slightly different. How about that cool little engine and dashing pilot figure?

Yeah, this one is a keeper. On my way to lunch I had just enough time to call Dave and leave a short message for him. "LOVE IT! - [click]"

Thayer
Thanks for the kind words Thayer! I am stoked to see that you had a chance to get your mits on the sample while at the show.

Like with all products....it takes the combined efforts/and hard work of many.... to bring a tiny little airplane to market. We are lucky to have such a solid R&D and product development team that can take a hand built idea...and get it to the point where it is able to be mass produced. That overlying task is not always an easy hurdle to get over.

cheers,
George
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 02:57 PM
Dave North
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USA, CA, San Jose
Joined Apr 2004
5,254 Posts
Any chance of getting "just the foam" eventually?


Dave
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 03:48 PM
Just some guy
D Johnson's Avatar
Joined Aug 2006
662 Posts
I want to reiterate what George said. A great deal of work went into taking something like this from prototype to production. One particular member of our R&D team, Steve Beros, has done a fantastic job in developing this micro concept into production.

DJ
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 06:57 PM
Editor - Flying Models
United States, CT
Joined Aug 2003
2,334 Posts
That's what I get for being excited about a great new product at the end of a long, sleep-deprived weekend. I didn't mean to single out Dave and suggest he was the sole creator of this model. We all know that can't be the case. I should have been more specific and congratulated Dave and his team at Great Planes for the fine work they did on this one. Sorry for any confusion that may have arisen.

Thayer
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 08:30 PM
AOG
Registered User
AOG's Avatar
Champaign, IL
Joined Feb 2008
24 Posts
Thanks for the recognition Thayer, Dave, and George! Equal credit goes to Brian Bremer and Mark Hampe for their input, advice, and valuable experience. Every project is truly a team effort and it takes the combined talent of all team members to make it fly good and look good.

The Albatros DV is a great looking WWI legend that will surprise you when you fly it. It can be flown comfortably in a tight area - any gym will do or fly it outdoors on a calm evening. Control response was very important on this project and you can expect crisp and smooth transitions while easily maintaining pitch and altitude. I can't wait to get mine!

Steve
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Old Apr 13, 2010, 06:46 PM
Flutter-Bys are fun
Conehead's Avatar
United States, MI, Honor
Joined Dec 2005
4,982 Posts
Thayer,
If that is the only error you ever make, then ok. I can understand how that could happen. I saw Dave at E-Fest and he had some great planes, no pun intended, that he had developed and I would have thought Dave was the man behind this one also. Thanks to all who did the work on this one.
I got to have one.
Conehead
Orrin Eldred
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Latest blog entry: Maiden Flight today.
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Old Apr 13, 2010, 07:50 PM
Editor - Flying Models
United States, CT
Joined Aug 2003
2,334 Posts
Orrin,

Really, I only get one? In that case I am well past my allotment.

Thayer
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 09:07 AM
Just some guy
D Johnson's Avatar
Joined Aug 2006
662 Posts
This plane is going to be a ball for all the mod guys out there. Once they start coming I am going to spend some time really dolling one up. I am working on lozege decals for the wings and will post the file after I know that it lays down OK and what the weight penalty will be.

DJ
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