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Flyzone Focke Wulf FW 190 RTF with Retracts Review

The Focke Wulf FW-190 was arguably Germany's best fighter plane of World War II. This Select Scale model from Flyzone comes either RTF or Receiver Ready. In both cases it has working flaps and retracts.

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Introduction





Wingspan:44.5 in
Wing Area:349 in sq
Weight:40 oz.
Length:39 in
Servos:5 sub-micro servos
Flaps:Working flaps
Retracts:Working retracts
Transmitter:Tactic TTX600 6-channel
Receiver:Tactic 6-channel
Battery:11.1V 1800 mAh
Motor:Brushless motor
ESC:30 Amp Esc
Distributor:Flyzone
Available From:Fine Hobby Stores Everywhere
Price:$269.97 RTF

Years ago I had a Focke-Wulf FW 190 with a brushed long speed 400 motor and a foam fuselage. She was a beautiful plane and very similar in size to this Flyzone Select Scale model. Unfortunately, the brushed motor with Nicad battery pack did not supply enough power to fly her in any kind of a breeze and the styrofoam fuselage would break if you stared at it too hard behind the longerons. When I first saw this Flyzone plane it rekindled my fond memories of the looks of my previous plane. But this Flyzone Focke Wulf FW 190 has a brushless motor, a Lipo battery pack, is made with stronger Aerocell foam and has both working flaps and retracts. More power, lighter battery, lighter power system and more features as well! Flyzone sells her as a complete RTF with everything needed to fly and as a Receiver Ready model where the pilot supplies his own radio, flight battery and charger. I was supplied with the Ready to Fly model but I will cover the differences between the two models in this review. I could hardly wait to get this butcher bird in the air and see how she could perform with the modern power unit in her. Fortunately, only some limited finally assembly was needed before going to the flying field.

Brief Historical Notes of the "Butcher Bird"

The Focke Wulf was designed by Kurt Tank to be able to survive the rigors of war in the 1940s. The Bf-109 had landing gear attached to the fuselage that were very close together and contributed to many planes destroyed and damaged in take-offs and landings. The FW-190 has wide landing gear designed to handle the problems of flying from unimproved make-shift airstrips as the war moved back and forth with conquest and defeat. It was designed to use a radial motor as they were available while other planes, especially the Bf-109, were using all the in-line motors Germany could build. There was concern that this design would have too much drag that would slow it down so its creator designed a complete cowl around the motor and then a special ducted spinner. This design failed to meet expectations at cooling the motor and so it was dropped, but the plane proved to be faster than the sleek looking Bf-109 or the Mark V Spitfire that it first did battle with when introduced into the war. The first model had some initial problems performing well at 20,000 feet but those were worked out and it became an excellent high flying interceptor. Tank used electric rather than hydraulic landing gear and these proved to work very well. He also designed rigid pushrod control linkages vs the standard cable and pulley design being used in many planes at the time. The FW-190s controls remained very responsive and didn't develop the slop that worked into cable systems over time. A number of versions of the FW-190 were built during the war incorporating a number of improvements and changes. The plane was used as day fighter, a fighter bomber, a ground attack aircraft, a high altitude observation plane and even as a night fighter on a limited basis. It flew on both the Eastern and Western fronts and was on active duty at the end of the war.

Kit Contents RTF

The RTF Kit Includes:

  • Tactic TTX600 6-channel Transmitter and 6 channel receiver on 2.4GHz
  • Wing with three servos controlling ailerons, flaps and retracts
  • Fuselage with motor, speed controller, receiver and servos for rudder and elevator
  • Horizontal stabilizer with elevator
  • 3-cell 1800 mAh battery pack
  • Balanced charger for home or the car
  • Three bladed prop
  • Spinner








Receiver Ready Model Needs

  • 3-cell 1800 mAh Lipo battery pack
  • Balance charger for battery pack
  • Transmitter with 6 channels
  • 6 channel receiver

The price for the Receiver Ready version: $189.99

Tools I Used in Final Assembly

Tools

  • Small needle-nose pliers
  • Small crescent wrench
  • Thread locking cement
  • Phillips Screwdriver

Special Features

Special Features Radio System RTF

  • 6-channel system on 2.4GHz
  • Includes dual rates
  • Digital trim for elevator, ailerons and rudder
  • Has wireless trainer capability

Special Features Focke-Wulf FW 190

  • Brushless motor and controller
  • working flaps
  • working retracts
  • Little final assembly required

Assembly

Radio Installation

The receiver came already installed in the fuselage and connected to the ESC, the elevator servo and the rudder servo. To power up the receiver I installed the battery pack into the fuselage. It nicely fit right behind the motor and the firewall and was installed in the front top of the fuselage. It was well secured with the included Velcro like strap in the battery compartment. It doesn't shift during flight.

I bound the receiver to the included transmitter that came in my RTF kit. I used the end of a bent paper clip to push the recessed button on the receiver to bind them together as was nicely explained in the instruction manual.

Wing

The wing came almost fully assembled with the servos installed and connected for the landing gear, flaps and ailerons. I had to loosen one of the set screws for one side of the flaps and move the wire in slightly and tightened the set screw so that the flaps deployed equally on both sides. While testing my correction I noticed they could both have more throw and so I dialed in full flaps and loosened the screws and extended the flaps further down and tightened the screws back up. Now they didn't quite retract all the way so one more adjustment was necessary to both flaps and they closed at one end of the dial and gave me good flaps down of about 45 degrees down on the other end of the dial.

With the landing gear I checked that all the screws were properly tightened and I secured them with Locktite and made sure that the gear locked in both the down and up positions. The landing gear is made with both hard plastic and metal parts and the landing gear includes a shock absorber system that works and takes up some of the shock on touching down. The ailerons worked perfectly from the start. The only real assembly that was required on the wing was gluing in the two "guns" included in the kit for the wing cannons. I did that with a little five minute epoxy. I set it aside to let the glue dry as the wing was ready to install into the fuselage.




The servos in the wing from front to back control: the retracts, the ailerons and the flaps.




Fuselage

The fuselage arrived with the elevator and rudder servos installed and with their control rods installed and the control rod for the rudder attached to the tail wheel control. The receiver was installed along with the brushless motor and brushless ESC and they were connected to one another. I only had to attach the wing, attach the horizontal stabilizer/elevator and the propeller and spinner. The tail and wing attachment will be covered in other sections below and the spinner assembly is shown below in four pictures. As stated above the motor arrived installed. I slipped the motor fan/spinner base onto the prop adapter for step one. Next I installed the prop and secured it using a wrench to tighten the supplied bolt. The fourth step was to secure the spinner to the spinner plate and that was done with a supplied screw and a screwdriver. I found all of these parts in my model fit well and went together easily.





Tail

The rudder and tail wheel are controlled by the same servo but with an interesting linkage. The FW-190 arrived with the fuselage fully assembled and the control rod runs from the rudder servo to the tail wheel as shown in the first picture below. On the other side of the fuselage there is a special linkage between the tail wheel assembly and the rudder and in this way the control from the rudder servo is passed through the tail wheel assembly and onto the rudder.

Completion

Center of Gravity

With the plane assembled and the battery in its proper position I checked for the plane's balance point front to back. The recommended Center of Gravity position is three inches in from the wing's leading edge at the panel lines on the top of the wing approximately an inch out from the fuselage. This balance point was checked with the plane upside down and that was where my plane balanced. The instruction manual gave detailed information about using lead weights if necessary but I didn't have to do anything to balance my plane at the recommended C/G position.

Control Surface Throws

Control Surface: Low Rate : High Rate

  • Elevator: 5/16" Up & Down: 7/16" Up & Down
  • Rudder: 3/4" Right & Left: 1" Right & Left
  • Ailerons: 3/8" Up & Down: 1/2" Up & Down
  • Flaps: Down 1/2"

Field Set Up

At the flying field the wing attaches to the fuselage easily. First plug the three servos for the retracts, ailerons and flaps into the receiver. Next slip the two pins on the front of the wing into the fuselage at the front of the wing saddle. Finally, secure the back of the wing with one plastic bolt as pictured below. A Phillips screwdriver was the only tool I needed at the field.

Flying

Basics

There are five in flight controls plus retracts. The controls are:throttle, ailerons, rudder, elevator and flaps. Let me talk about the flaps first. The FW-190 has split flaps so the wing when viewed from above does not appear to have flaps. The flaps deploy from the bottom of the wing and I found the range to be from none at all to about 45 degrees of down. This was completely controllable with the RTF as the flaps are activated and retracted with a dial control. For this review I tested the flaps and they worked at slowing the plane but causing it to rise a bit with their deployment just as would be expected. If you have never used flaps you may find it fun to play with these and learning how to control elevator and or throttle while deploying the flaps or retracting them. I had no severe experiences while experimenting with them but I never tried to deploy them while flying slowly. That would be my only caution to those of you new to flaps. Remember you can practice with them at altitude and have lots of recovery room should you make a mistake. Pilots experienced with flaps will have no trouble using these.

As for the throttle I found the Butcher Bird to have a good range of speed flying nicely from half throttle to full throttle. I found full throttle supplied me with sufficient power to perform all of the maneuvers that I attempted. Of course as with any plane there will be pilots that will want more power and more speed and there is easy access to the motor and speed controller if they want to experiment with other power plants. I feel no need to make any changes as I thought she looked rather scale like in the air from 3/4s to full throttle. The shift in power was smooth and the motor never seemed to over tax the ESC or the battery even at full throttle.

Aileron and elevator allowed me to direct the plane and there was no "Need" for rudder if I just wanted to fly with the right stick. However, using the rudder with the ailerons did make for smoother turns without yaw (or at least very little yaw depending on the direction of the wind. I found the rudder and the steerable tail wheel most useful when landing and taking off, especially if there was a strong cross breeze.

Summarizing the flight basics I would say very nice control with no surprises or problems. A fun plane to fly.

Taking Off and Landing

This model has very wide landing gear just as did the real Focke Wulf FW-190. Just as this allowed the real plane to work from unimproved fields I found my model handled MRCC's bumpy dirt runway without any problems. The landing gear has built in shocks and on some of my harder landings I thought I saw them compress and work but I honestly can't be sure as the landings were not that hard. As stated above I did check all the screws and connections and used some Locktite where appropriate on the landing gear. The landing gear is a combination of metal and hard plastic parts. Mine has deployed and locked in both the down and up positions every time. I have flown several batteries through the plane where I was primarily making touch and goes as well as full landings and take offs and I have had no trouble with the gear or the flaps but most of the landings have been pretty much like the one seen in the video below as I land with power on and land softly if perhaps a little fast most of the time when not using the flaps. I continue to check the plane and it has remained solid throughout this review. Taking off and landing into the wind the plane has been easy to fly. I have done a hand launch with gear up and a hard firm throw straight forward and that went well but I landed on the wheels at the end of the flight as I didn't want to risk breaking the propeller in a sliding landing on the grass.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

For me the main aerobatics for a fighter plane are loops small and large and half loops that become split Ss along with aileron rolls and smooth inverted flight. The FW-190 can do all of these well. When doing multiple rolls the speed can bleed off and they can get a little sloppy but start with speed up and in a slight climb and I can make smooth rolls for the entire length of the pass across the field. Perhaps my favorite sight is watching the gear come down just before touch down whether I am landing or just shooting a touch and go. More speed could make some moves a bit smoother if done right but I had no complaints with the way she flies and the aerobatics I have performed.

Is This For a Beginner?

NO! The FW-190 is a very nice flying plane but I recommend her for intermediate pilots and up. I recommend a fixed gear trainer plane for beginners rather than a low wing fighter plane with retracts. Once they have mastered the basics of flight and landing they should have no trouble flying this plane.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery













Downloads

Conclusion

As described above the assembly was done in one evening and might have been done in one hour if I hadn't needed to adjust my flaps and decided to completely check and use some Locktite on the screws in the landing gear. While I didn't find anything loose or out of line with my landing gear it never hurts to give the plane a good inspection. The plane has some nice details and I especially enjoy the German language on the plane in various locations. Two of us have flown FW-190 for this review and we both have had fun flying her and have had no problems in the air. the paint on the bottom of the wing remains slightly tacky and she has picked up some fine dust which actually has added to the realistic appearance. She is easy to store and transport as the wing servos have enough lead that plugging them into the receiver is easy and the wing secures in place with just one bolt.

Pluses

  • Working retracts and flaps were included
  • Handles well on the ground and in the air
  • Basic flight was easy and the plane was responsive but not twitchy
  • Nice scale appearance
  • The three-cell 1800 mAh battery fit nice and secure in the nose of the fuselage behind the firewall

Minuses

  • Battery compartment does not have space for a much bigger battery than the one that comes with the plane
  • No pilot supplied and limited access through the wing saddle to try and install one without removing the glued on canopy

My thanks to Jeff Hunter for his help with the media for this review and to our editor Angela for her assistance with this review.

Last edited by Michael Heer; Nov 08, 2011 at 10:14 AM..

Discussion

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Old Nov 10, 2011, 08:43 PM
Registered User
03svtsnakevert's Avatar
USA, TX, Copperas Cove
Joined Jul 2010
626 Posts
nice review...I had to add a bit of tail weight to mine...not really happy how it flys right now
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 09:05 PM
You can't take the sky from me
copperbricks's Avatar
United States, OH, Cincinnati
Joined Aug 2011
1,081 Posts
Looks like a very nice plane-I might have to add this to my list. I especially like how it uses only three servos for ailerons, retracts, and flaps. By the way, could I get away with a 2200mah battery in the compartment, or would I need to make some cuts?
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Last edited by copperbricks; Nov 10, 2011 at 09:23 PM.
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 12:54 AM
Look Up!
gewiens's Avatar
Canada, MB, Niverville
Joined Apr 2008
5,029 Posts
Taking mine out for maiden tomorrow.
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 05:02 AM
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Coenraad's Avatar
Norway, Akershus, Frogner
Joined Jun 2010
920 Posts
Looks nice, but that huge tail is a thorn in the eye.
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 08:08 AM
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03svtsnakevert's Avatar
USA, TX, Copperas Cove
Joined Jul 2010
626 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by copperbricks View Post
Looks like a very nice plane-I might have to add this to my list. I especially like how it uses only three servos for ailerons, retracts, and flaps. By the way, could I get away with a 2200mah battery in the compartment, or would I need to make some cuts?
You could removed a little bit of material from the top of the battery hatch and a 2200 will go in no problems...here is some good reading on the little warbird

Flyzone FockeWulf FW190
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 09:22 AM
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ctyankee's Avatar
CO
Joined Sep 2005
93 Posts
Nice review, i've had my eyeballs on this one!
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 09:40 AM
Serenity Now!
jbrundt's Avatar
O'Fallon, MO, USA
Joined Jan 2001
1,329 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coenraad View Post
Looks nice, but that huge tail is a thorn in the eye.
Yeah, you can't even pretend it's a Big Tailed Wurger because those were D models.....
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 02:17 PM
Registered User
Canada
Joined Nov 2000
7,154 Posts
Looks 'pretty' in the infomercial photos.
Doesn't near look so good after it's reverted to a pile of stryofoam beads (crashed) though.
Disposable toy is the most honest descriptor.
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 04:20 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,530 Posts
Cowl, spinner and wing guns look pretty accurate compared to the picture below of the full size plane. Mike H
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 06:28 PM
Registered User
USA, CA, Chico
Joined Feb 2011
3,241 Posts
Hi Michael , liked the looks of this bird when I saw it out your guy's fun fly. How would you say it's speed compares to a stock PZ Spitfire or any other PZ warbird??
I have the Flyzone Corvallis and was pleasantly surprised by how well it flew.

Jerry
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Old Nov 12, 2011, 12:11 AM
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ctyankee's Avatar
CO
Joined Sep 2005
93 Posts
If the tail makes it fly better, i guess I'm alright with it.
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Old Nov 12, 2011, 12:38 AM
Look Up!
gewiens's Avatar
Canada, MB, Niverville
Joined Apr 2008
5,029 Posts
Got mine in the air today. Flys nice. Just for the heck of it i did the gear mod to 1 leg and left the other alone. Guess what happened after 1st landing. Yup the un modded gear was broken and after the 2nd take off the wheel was barely hanging on. I put gear up to hold the parts in place and belly landed it in some soft weeds. They seriously need to fix this issue.
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Old Nov 12, 2011, 01:34 PM
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TripleW's Avatar
Prescott, Arizona
Joined Feb 2010
6,759 Posts
That's a Bummer. And they known about it for a while now!
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Old Nov 12, 2011, 01:44 PM
Look Up!
gewiens's Avatar
Canada, MB, Niverville
Joined Apr 2008
5,029 Posts
I fixed everything now so goin out again. Today might be my last good day to fly so all my planes are gonna take at least one flight.
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