ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat BNF
|Weight:||1.25 oz. (RTF)|
|Servos:||Spektrum AS2000L (aileron only)|
|Transmitter:||JR X9303 2.4 GHz|
|Receiver:||Spektrum AR6400L DSM2|
|Battery:||E-flite 1s 150 mah (12C) lipo|
|Motor:||8.5 mm coreless brushed motor|
|ESC:||Spektrum AR6400 DSM2|
|Available From:||Horizon Hobby|
If there is one event over the years that has captured the attention of both aviation enthusiast and non-fliers among us it is without a doubt the National Championship Air Races and Air Show, better known to most as the Reno Air Races. Touted as the "World's Fastest Motorsport" the Reno Air Races has captured the imagination of thousands of spectators over the years that have come to watch these highly modified airplanes go streaking around pylons at speeds of over 500 mph. The Reno Air Race is a five day event which is composed of seven different flying classes (biplane, formula one, sport, super sport, T-6, jet, and unlimited) where pilots fly 50 to 500 feet off the ground flying at times wing-tip to wing-tip.
The Formula One racing class is without question the most successful class in the 86-year history of airplane racing. It has seen more races, more pilots and more airplanes than all other racing classes combined in a half-century lifetime, and has experienced but one important change in its rules in all that time. Moreover, it is the only formal air racing class to be exported from the U.S. to Europe, and the only class to be recognized by the International Aeronautics Federation (FAI), the world governing body for competitive aviation. Any airplane competing in Formula One racing must have a Continental O-200 (100hp) engine. Each airplane must also follow a strict guideline for wing area, weight, landing gear, and prop requirements. Two of the most popular Formula One racers used over the years have been the Cassutt and Shoestring airplanes.
all-composite Formula One racer. " src="https://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/5/6/8/3/8/t4417452-80-thumb-reno05_f1_69_4O4176.jpg?d=1321299823" />
Charlie Greer's "Miss B. Haven" all-composite Formula One racer.
Shoestring Formula One racer.
" src="https://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/5/6/8/3/8/t4417453-122-thumb-reno05_f1_44_4O4178.jpg?d=1321299823" />
Holebrook Maslen's "Judy" Shoestring Formula One racer.
As much as many of us would love to make it out to Reno every year to watch the air races or to have our own full-scale Formula One racer (though I'm sure my 6' 2" frame might not fit) for most of us this just isn't possible. Well, thanks to ParkZone now everyone can enjoy the excitement and fun of flying a Formula One racer without your feet ever leaving the ground. The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat BNF is your ticket to high flying fun and racing adventure right in your own backyard or local park. The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat comes completely assembled right out of the box with everything you need to go flying, minus a DSM2/DSMX compatible transmitter. This versatile little airplane can be flown as an all-out racer (full-throttle racing) or as a great sport aerobatic airplane making it a super fun airplane on many different levels. If racing is your thing then this little racer will have you lapping the competition in no time flat!!!
My ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat arrived in excellent condition thanks in part to a very nicely foam-padded box which has a great picture of the actual model on the box top. I was very impressed with the care that was taken to protect the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat through the use of foam blocks and some masking tape which locks the airplane nicely in the box. The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat box also serves as a great traveling case for the airplane. It has a built in handle at the top of the box which allows for easy and safe transport to and from the flying site. I could find no warping or any other structure damage to the model. For such a small and lightly built airplane I was very impressed how straight and true the airplane was received right out of the box.
The one thing that caught my attention right away about the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat was the highly visible (and very patriotic) paint scheme. The color combination shows up great in the air and allows for excellent orientation of the airplane in nearly any sky condition. The color scheme definitely catches the eye of nearly anyone around you as you're flying at the field, park, or even your own backyard. The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat is made out of all molded foam and was most certainly designed to have all the classic lines and moments of a Formula One racing machine.
The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat BNF contains:
The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat BNF requires:
Item used to complete the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat BNF:
The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat comes with a brief but informative instruction manual. The manual covers everything you need to know on how to bind your DSM2/DSMX transmitter to the Spektrum AR6400L receiver as well as how to properly setup the control throws, exponential, and CG for the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat.
Like most all the products found at Horizon Hobby the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat manual can be easily downloaded and viewed directly from the Horizon Hobby website. I think this is a great idea as it allows a prospective buyer to view the manual before purchasing the airplane. The buyer can see what equipment is needed (only a DSM2/DSMX transmitter in this case), and the online manual allows individuals who may have purchased the airplane second hand a chance to get the proper CG and control throw setups without the need for the printed manual.
The only two items which need to be completed before you’re ready to fly the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat is to charge the battery and bind a DSM2/DSMX transmitter to the included Spektrum AR6400L receiver unit. The Spektrum AR6400L receiver unit is compatible with the following DSM2/DSMX transmitters:
Binding to the Spektrum AR6400L receiver unit is super easy thanks to the fact no bind plug is required! Here are the simple steps needed to bind the Spektrum AR6400L receiver unit to your transmitter (using a JR X9303 tx):
Once your transmitter is turned back on and the battery is plugged in you should be good to go. It just doesn't get any easier than that!!
The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat comes with a pre-installed 8.5 mm coreless brushed motor which is the same motor that has been used with great success in some of the other ultra-micro series airplanes such as the E-flite UMX Extra 300 and the ParkZone Ultra-Micro 4-site. The motor is mounted in a robust plastic radial type mount which is glued to the nose of the airplane. The 8.5 mm coreless brushed motor uses a combination pinion gear/plastic gear reduction setup to allow the motor to easily turn the 130 mm x 70 mm prop. The scale looking spinner looks great sitting on the front of the prop and definitely gives the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat that scale finished look.
|Application:||Ultra-micro helis and airplanes|
|Capacity:||Less than 300mAh|
|Height:||0.220 in (5.59mm)|
|Length:||1.625 in (41.3mm)|
|Maximum Continuous Discharge:||12C|
|Number of Cells:||1|
|Width:||0.440 in (11.2mm)|
The E-flite 1s 150 mah (12C) battery mounts in a battery cavity located on the bottom of the fuselage. The battery cavity is long enough to allow the battery to be moved slightly forward and aft so the CG can be set to match a pilots personal flying preference. The battery is held securely in place in the battery cavity using a small strip of velcro. I fly my ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat with the 1s 150 mah (12C) battery pack as far aft in the battery cavity as possible which really seems to suit my particular flying style (see picture above). I'm getting around 4-6 min. of flight time on the E-flite 1s 150 mah (12C) battery which varies greatly depending upon throttle management.
|Type:||6-channel ultra micro receiver|
|Length:||0.92 in (23.45mm)|
|Width:||1.09 in (27.75mm)|
|Height:||0.32 in (8.10mm)|
|Weight:||0.14 oz. / 3.9 g|
|Voltage Range:||1-cell LiPo 3.2 to 4.2V|
The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat comes with a pre-installed Spektrum AR6400L DSM2 which is a 6 channel ultra-micro all in one receiver, (2) servos, speed controller unit. The Spektrum AR6400L using two integrated ultra-micro 1.7g linear servos which are used to control the elevator and rudder controls and also has two additional ports which can be used for additional plug in servos. The Spektrum AR6400L is an extremely compact unit weighing in at a mere 3.9 g and fits absolutely perfectly in the fuselage of the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat.
|Torque:||2.8oz. of force|
|Length:||.66 in. (16.9mm)|
|Width:||.87 in. (22.0mm)|
|Height:||.33 in. (8.2mm)|
The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole cat uses a single Spektrum AS2000L long throw servo to operate the ailerons. The Spektrum AS2000L is located directly in the center of the wing underneath the foam canopy. The Spektrum AS2000L aileron servo operates two pushrods which run on top of the wing and directly to the aileron control surfaces. Each aileron pushrod has a "Z" style bend at the end with transparent tape holding each control rod in place. This setup works great and really gives the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat plenty of aileron authority and control which is perfect for a racer/sport aerobatic airplane.
The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat has a very unique wing design. The foam molded wing has a very thin airfoil shape with a nice sharp leading edge to it really giving you the feeling this wing was made for speed. The wings leading edge has very little taper to it while the trailing edge of the wing tapers back quite a bit (see picture above) giving it that Edge 540 kind of appeal. The wing platform gives the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat a very solid platform for producing speed and also allowing it to handle very nicely at slow speeds.
The rudder and elevator on the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat are operated by servos which are directly mounted on the Spektrum AR6400L receiver/ESC/servo unit. The airplanes rudder and elevator pushrods are made up of carbon fiber rods and small metal Z-bends that connect to plastic control horns. The metal Z-bends are fully adjustable allowing for accurate neutral alignment of the rudder and elevator control surfaces. The controls on the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat operate very smoothly, and I've been very impressed by how well the control surfaces center overall using the stock onboard electronics.
The steerable tailwheel makes ground operations a snap and the wide stance of the main landing gear on the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat allows the airplane to taxi around very easily without the fear of nosing over.
The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat manual recommends two different dual rate settings depending on how you want to fly the airplane. I found the low rate settings to be perfect for racing style flying and the high rate settings definitely made the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat a very lively and capable sport aerobatic airplane. The manual does not reference the use of any exponential on either the low or high rates. I'm sure for many pilots who fly the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat expo. isn't really going to be needed as it is a very stable and controllable airplane on either rate settings. However, I did add a small amount of expo. on my ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat so I could get a really locked in feel on the airplane especially when flying around my imaginary pylons.
The CG location on the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat is 22-25mm back from the leading edge of the wing at the fuselage. My first flights were done with the E-flite 1s 150mah (12C) battery pack in the front of the battery cavity but I found the airplane required quite a bit of down elevator when rolled inverted with the battery in this position. As mentioned earlier I have since moved my battery pack to the aft end of the battery cavity and in this position the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat flies inverted with only a slight amount of down elevator needed to maintain level flight.
|Low Rate||High Rate|
|Aileron||4 mm up/down||6 mm up/down|
|Elevator||4 mm up/down||5 mm up/down|
|Rudder||6 mm up/down||9 mm up/down|
|Low Rate||High Rate|
Nothing could be more easier than transporting the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat to your favorite flying site. Whether that is an AMA flying club, a local park, or just your own backyard the airplane is so small it can easily be transported nearly anywhere. I do tend to transport my ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat in the original box/transport case since it offers a great deal of protection for the airplane and is small enough to place in any vehicle.
Once at the flying site the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat takes less than a minute to have it race ready! The airplane as mentioned earlier has excellent ground handling characteristics thanks to the steerable tailwheel and wide main landing gear stance. For those pilots that may not have a smooth paved surface to fly the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat off of, the main landing gear can actually be easily removed by simply compressing the landing gear legs together and pulling on the legs. To hand launch the airplane simply hold onto the bottom of the fuselage (I hold the fuselage directly underneath the wing), advance to full throttle, and apply a gentle toss skyward (nose angled up no more than 20 degrees). The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat power setup provides plenty of power making the hand launches a real non-event as the airplane literally flies right out of your hand.
Once in the air the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat exhibits excellent handling qualities and I was surprised to find how stable and balanced the 1.25 oz. airplane felt even with light and variable winds. The little airplane scoots along quite nicely at full throttle with the E-flite 1s 150mah (12C) battery onboard and the low rate settings and expo. definitely gave me a very solid and controlled feel on the airplane. The airplane has very good stall characteristics with no signs of a wing dropping, only a slight mush on the controls and a lowering of the nose. Stall recovery is nearly instantaneous when power is reapplied with very little altitude loss.
Landing the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat is a real non-pucker event. The airplane handles very nicely at slow airspeeds and the controls remain quite effective (even on low rate) which allows the airplane to be confidently slowed down for landing. I like to bring the airplane in with a little bit of power on all the way up to the flair (inches off the ground) and then cut the power right before main wheels touch down. If you cut the power to early and too high on the airplane it will have a tendency to plop in on landing so throttle application is definitely key to making those picture perfect landings every time. Landing without the main gear is not an issue either. Simply fly the airplane down and ensure your throttle is closed PRIOR to landing. I have landed the airplane several times in the grass without the landing gear and I personally prefer to land with high rate elevator as it allows me to bring the nose up slightly just before touching down. This allows me to bleed off nearly all the forward moment and minimizing the risk of damage to the airplane.
I have to admit most of the time when I go out to fly my ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat I'm flying it at full throttle making A LOT of left turns. The full throttle performance and speed is pretty good for an ultra-micro airplane and I have found the little airplane can cover a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. At times though I did find myself wishing the airplane had a little bit more power under the cowl to really make the airplane blaze through the course and around the pylons. However, after talking with several of my fellow club members (who are in the process of buying their own ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cats) I believe the stock power setup would provide more than enough excitement once we get three to four of these little airplanes up flying around the race course at the same time. Yes, we are planning on having a club ultra-micro race in the near future. Should be lots of fun!!
I've discovered the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat requires very little (if any) rudder to make well-coordinated turns when flying at full throttle. Low rates on all control surfaces offers plenty of control authority and maneuverable for this little airplane when racing around the pylons. The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat tracks quite well and stays on heading with very little control correction required. I find that most of the control correction when needed is due to a slight gust of wind blowing the airplane off course. The servos on the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat also center very well which greatly contributes to the airplanes stable in-flight characteristics.
When I'm not flying my ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat at full throttle and bank and yank on the sticks I do enjoy flying sport aerobatics with the airplane. The stock power setup allows for large loops which can easily be entered from level flight. On high rates you can make some pretty tight inside loops without the fear of the airplane snapping out of the maneuver. High rate aileron control is not super-fast but is quick enough to produce a somewhat (though not perfect) axial roll. I'm able to fly some very respectable rollers using high rates with my ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat. I tend to find using high rate aileron and elevator control and low rate rudder produces the most coordinated rollers when I'm out flying. The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat will also fly some nice hammerhead/stall turns with the high rate rudder switch turned on. The airplane will also snap quite nicely especially when you are flying at or above half throttle.
The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat will spin both upright and inverted but due to the lack of elevator control surface area I found many of my spins resulted in the nose pointing straight down towards the ground. Recovery from the spin is quite simple and usually only required neutralizing the controls and then gradually reapplying throttle and flying out of the maneuver. The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat is also able to fly point rolls though they must be flown at nearly full throttle as the airplane lacks in rudder authority and does not have a lot of fuselage side area which helps during the knife edge portion of the maneuver.
The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat is not intended for the beginner pilot. The ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat is really intended for intermediate pilots who have mastered flying low-wing aileron airplanes.
Overall, the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat offers up a great variety of flying capabilities as either a full throttle racer or a great every day sport aerobatic airplane. Its stable flight characteristics and docile demeanor should make it very appealing to the intermediate to experienced pilot looking to have some racing fun or just go shoot some touch-n-goes at the local park. Transporting the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat is about as easy as it gets whether you just toss the airplane in the back seat or you use the convenient carrying case/storage box, getting the airplane to the field is really a non-issue.
The stock power package really compliments the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat and provides a nice mix of speed, flight time, and reliability. The stock electronics package has worked perfectly and definitely provides a very solid feel on the controls whether racing around the pylons or flying a few aerobatic maneuvers. The included charger does a great job of charging up the E-flite 1s 150 mah (12C) battery fast so I'm able to get back on the race course with minimal delay.
My fellow club members and I can't wait till we get several of these little racers in the air and flying around the course at the same time. We're just not sure if it will look more like a combat contest then it will a racing contest!! I guess we will find out soon enough........should be lots of fun (I'm sure there will be lots of foam parts flying around as well)!!!!
For those of you looking to gain additional insight as well see some other member videos, flight reports and comments on the ParkZone Ultra-Micro Pole Cat there is a terrific thread right here on RCG's you can use to follow all the action:
|ParkZone's Ultra-Micro Pole Cat|
I wish they would make a brushless version of the Pole Cat, because that would be my all time favorite flyer
I dig the way the Pole Cat flys, and the difference for me is the speed of the Sbach just tears up the skies!
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