GWS S03N2FFD Standard Digital Servo Review

The company with "servo" in its name has a powerful and affordable new addition to their lineup. Read along as this terrific new servo flexes its muscles in this exclusive review of one of the first production units!



Those of you who frequent these reviews are likely familiar with the work of reviewer Michael Heer. Michael was able to work a promotional deal with the US operations of GWS in City of Industry, California. This marvelous collaboration led to several reviews of great R/C models all guided by state-of-the-art GWS servos.

I was fortunate enough to get some metal-geared digital minis as well as some nylon-geared digitals for use in back-to-back reviews of flat foam models by Hacker Model Production of the Czech Republic.

Tell you what: These ain't your daddy's GWS servos.

These were some of the fastest, most accurate servos I'd ever had the pleasure of using and I sang their praises in the reviews. They continue to operate smoothly with no hint of wander or excessive noise.

We're about to turn our attention to one of the first production examples of the new GWS S03N2FFD nylon-geared digital powerhouse. It'll go into a nitro-powered plane as a single aileron servo working torque rods for real-world evaluation.

GWS S03N2FFD Standard Digital Servo
Output Shaft Support:Dual ball bearings
Weight:1.16 oz. (33g)
Speed (sec/60 deg):.110 @ 4.8V; .098 @ 6V
Torque:97 oz/in (7.0kg/cm) @ 4.8V; 111 oz/in (8.0kg/cm) @ 6.0V
Size (L x W x H):1.51 x .785 x 1.49" (38.4 x 19.95 x 37.8mm)
Distributor:GWS USA, 138 South Brent Circle, City of Industry, California 91789 USA
Available From:Any dealer stocking GWS products
Price (USD):$17.00

Kit Contents and Overview

As I just pointed out, my example is either a very early production unit or pre-production evaluation unit; it has a label on one side with the model number, but no GWS badge on top of the case. Nevertheless, it came packaged in GWS's distinctive and colorful packaging (their pink aircraft transmitter never fails to make me smile) with a complete and comprehensive set of servo horns and wheels. The servo's model number had been handwritten on the back of the card.

Even if this were a pre-production unit, it looked to be well made with a heft that reminded me of a much more expensive unit; this doesn't feel like a $17 servo. It is unquestionably the heftiest GWS servo I've ever encountered and I just happened to have the perfect appplication for it.

I'll be installing this in an old friend and a previous review subject.

Back in March 2009, I had the pleasure of reviewing the Wings Maker Wingman II .40 low-wing sport plane. It's had its share of mishaps since then caused by a couple of dead-stick landings and, ironically, a failed elevator servo. Fai Chan at AirBorne Models was kind enough to sell me a new fuselage, wing and some assorted hardware at a very affordable price; while there was nothing really wrong with the original wing, I thought a new wing to go with the new fuselage and the still good-looking original tail surfaces would look a lot better. It's also packing more power in the guise of a more up-to-date Thunder Tiger PRO 40 two-stroke, replacing the new/old Thunder Tiger GP40 used in the evaluation.

Different too will be the radio system. The Wingman II will be guided by the astonishing new Airtronics SD-6G FHSS six-channel transmitter and full-range Airtronics 92224 receiver as part of its review and evaluation.

Hey, if one can multitask, one should.

The Wingman II utilizes a single, standard-sized aileron servo working a pair of torque rods. One of the few complaints I had about the model was the slow aileron response which I was able to dial out somewhat with some adjustments to the torque rods, but I was never really able to get the kind of aileron response I wanted, especially with the additional power and speed of the PRO 40. The servo I used up until ths point was a name-brand but basic standard servo; something stronger and faster with greater throw yet still affordable has been needed for a long time.

I had a feeling that the Wingman II and the S03N2FFD would be a match made in heaven.

If you'd like to read what I wrote about the Wingman II, you can find the review here.

Installation and bench test

Installing the S03N2FFD in the Wingman II's aileron servo pocket should have been fairly straightforward, but it wasn't.

This new GWS servo is a few millimeters deeper than the standard-sized servo it was supposed to replace, something one should keep in mind for one's own requirements.

I remembered a plywood retract servo mounting surround I had on hand. The laser-cut surround had been left over from a crashed model; it was one of those "I might be able to use this later" moments I had when stripping down the wreck and for once, the moment proved to have been a good one.

The surround not only raised the new servo high enough to clear the bottom of the wing while looking great doing so, it created a gap between itself and the Wingman II's original servo mounting blocks which allowed the lead to thread through easier than it had before.

GWS provides arms with generously sized holes; I had no need to ream out the holes in order to be able to insert the pushrods. The happy result was a slop-free fit.

You'll recall my earlier comment about a lack of aileron authority with the original servo. Such was not the case on the bench with the GWS.

First of all, this servo is fast. Really, really fast. It's also quiet, smooth and has more than sufficient travel and torque for use in a similar setup. Even with the simple four-channel 72MHz sport radio I used for the test, there wasn't a hint of skip or chatter with slow movements of the stick.

To be perfectly honest, I can't recall any torque rod-equipped model I've ever flown that has as much travel and authority as did the Wingman II with this new GWS servo. In light of the problems I'd had with aileron travel with this very model, the results were astonishing.

Let's "kick the tires and light the fires" for some real world evaluation.


After weeks of unrelenting high desert winds, we desert dwellers finally got a break just about the time the midday temperatures in the low desert areas started averaging around 110 degrees (43C).

Can't have it all, I suppose.

I took advantage of the diminished winds early one morning before the temps started to rise at my club field, the Coachella Valley Radio Control Club outside of Coachella, California.

After a check of the operation of the new Airtronics SD-6G radio, I gassed up the Wingman II and fired up the Thunder Tiger engine.

The takeoff could not have been nicer, but I was interested in the performance of both the radio and the servo.

Once the model was airborne with sufficient altitude, I started in with the real testing; the difference was literally night and day.

Any mushiness or lack of aileron response that model may have suffered in the past was really and truly gone. It turned in like a pylon racer, rolls were picture perfect and overall control was greatly improved. Between the new servo and the new radio, the US$99 Wingman II handled like a sport plane costing twice as much.

I found myself smiling at the results as the model settled in for a near-perfect landing.


At only US$17, the GWS S03N2FFD digital servo is one of the least expensive and most effective upgrades you can do for your model. It worked the aileron torque rods with almost no effort both on the bench and in the air. It's slightly deeper than the servo it replaced, but a bit of effort solved the problem.

Any misgivings I had about GWS servos mostly disappeared with their use in the reviews of the Hacker Model Production Super Zoom 2 and Super Zoom XL; they were completely gone after testing the S03N2FFD.

Two thumbs way up for this marvelous new servo. Keep an eye on the comments section; as I put some more stick time on the new combo, I'll keep you updated with the results.

My sincerest thanks go to fellow RCGroups reviewer Michael Heer for his work with the wonderful folks at GWS in City of Industry, California. No review is complete without special thanks to administrator Angela Haglund. Without her tireless efforts, these reviews simply would not be possible.

Of course, thanks to the thousands of you who make the most-visited R/C site on the internet. Enjoy your stay here and as always, I look forward to seeing you at the field.

Pluses and minuses

There are lots of good things to say about this fine new servo:

  • Incredibly fast and powerful
  • Affordable
  • Smooth, accurate and slop-free operation
  • Generous hardware package
  • Replacement parts such as gear sets are as close as a GWS retailer

The only real minus?

  • It's deeper than some other standard servos.
Last edited by Angela H; Jun 30, 2011 at 03:35 PM..
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Jul 08, 2011, 11:35 AM
Houng-wen Lin
GWS4CEO's Avatar
Nice to see your test report.

Pretty soon GWS will carry out a lot of choices for who want to have a standard size servo but in different usages.

New test result of S03N2 servos at early July 2011, this will come with 31.5mm lower case instead of the GWS S03N2+ which come with 37.8mm.

S03N2 D  
mA t/60 degree Kg-cm
1600mA 0.126sec 8.5Kg-cm
1700mA 0.104sec 11.0Kg-cm
1900mA 0.086sec 13.5Kg-cm
2100mA 0.077sec 14.2Kg-cm

S03N2 F D  
1600mA 0.098sec 7.5Kg-cm
1700mA 0.084sec 9.5Kg-cm
1900mA 0.071sec 11.5Kg-cm
2100mA 0.062sec 12.5Kg-cm          

S03N2 XF D  
1600mA 0.082sec 6.5Kg-cm
170mA0 0.071sec 7.5Kg-cm
1900mA 0.061sec 9.0Kg-cm
2100mA 0.055sec 10.3Kg-cm

This is light weight 29g standard servo!
Jul 08, 2011, 11:42 AM
Houng-wen Lin
GWS4CEO's Avatar

what a standard servo should be performed?

4.8V 2100mA 0.134sec 12.4Kg-cm
6.0V 2400mA 0.114sec 15.8Kg-cm
7.4V 2800mA 0.102sec 18.2Kg-cm
8.4V 3000mA 0.095sec 19.5Kg-cm

S03N2+F D  
2100 0.110sec 10.3Kg-cm
2400 0.098sec 12.7Kg-cm
2800 0.081sec 14.6Kg-cm
3000 0.074sec 16.8Kg-cm

S03N2+XF D
2100 0.089sec 8.5Kg-cm
2400 0.078sec 10.5Kg-cm
2800 0.070sec 12.8Kg-cm
3000 0.064sec 14.0Kg-cm

I am also asking RD to try S03N2+ S D test datas. This a standard size servo.
This will bring the shock to those Japanese, Korea and Euro servo makers have to reconsider what a standard servo should be performed!

However, due to the high out put that will too much more torque than the POM engineering plastics can handle, we have to use all metal gears for this servos. The price will be some how higher, but still as low as $27.00 only.

Another revolution of RC servo production industry?
Jul 08, 2011, 11:50 AM
Houng-wen Lin
GWS4CEO's Avatar

This is light weight 29g GWS S03N2 standard servos

GWS is keep setting mile stones for RC servos industry, create new standard and improvements.

There never final destination for GWS.

Even this time our S03N2 can be the best among today's less expensive standard servos, we still keep find a better way for tomorrow!
Jul 08, 2011, 03:27 PM
Pronoun trouble...
DismayingObservation's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks, Mr. Lin. It was a pleasure to do the review and the servos I used in the other two reviews were (and are) marvelous.
Jul 30, 2011, 07:53 PM
Registered User
keithy4129's Avatar
what is the hitec equivalent of the servos reviewed?
Oct 13, 2011, 06:46 PM
Houng-wen Lin
GWS4CEO's Avatar
Originally Posted by DismayingObservation
Thanks, Mr. Lin. It was a pleasure to do the review and the servos I used in the other two reviews were (and are) marvelous.
Wish that you will have time to try GWS S03N3 servos as well!

Also, the new S03Q2 and S03Q3!
Oct 13, 2011, 06:48 PM
Houng-wen Lin
GWS4CEO's Avatar
Originally Posted by keithy4129
what is the hitec equivalent of the servos reviewed?
We need informations about what Hi-tec servos arround $20 can give?
Oct 13, 2011, 06:56 PM
Houng-wen Lin
GWS4CEO's Avatar
S03N2+SD2BBMG 6.0V 2400mA 0.147sec 18Kg-cm ( S= Strong ) only go for $27.00 in USA.

GWS S03N2 +SD 2BBMG just been measured:
4.8V 2100mA 0.17sec 15Kg-cm
6.0V 2400mA 0.147sec 18Kg-cm
7.4V 2800mA 0.124sec 20Kg-cm
8.4V 3100mA 0.115sec 21Kg-cm

But this servo need to be in 2BBMG version, since too much torque and speedy rotation!

However, GWS S03N2+S D2BBMG ( S= Strong ) only go for $27.00 in USA.
Nov 16, 2011, 04:07 AM
Houng-wen Lin
GWS4CEO's Avatar
Wish to see more RC flyers get our servo and try it!

Then you will find how GWS can bring you more happy experience.
Nov 18, 2011, 07:01 AM
Houng-wen Lin
GWS4CEO's Avatar
This had been produced since many months ago.

Pls try to take a look from dealer. or go to

If not avalible, contact [email protected]
Dec 19, 2011, 04:53 AM
Suspended Account
good servo,valuable

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