Phoenix Model Lysander - RCGroups Review

Phoenix Model is back with this HUGE addition to their giant scale warbird line. With its scale looks and great flight characteristics, the 1:4 3/4 Westland Lysander is a home run. Let's take a look at this awesome EP/GP behemoth!


Phoenix Model Lysander

Product:Phoenix Model Lysander
Retail price:$599.99
Wing Span:126"
Construction:All wood laser cut
Weight:23.1 - 26.4lbs
Engine Used:DLE 61
Servos Used:9 Futaba S3071
Radio Used:Futaba 10J w/Futaba R7003 Rx
Prop:Xoar 24x10 PJWWII
Available from:Tower Hobbies

The Westland Lysander "Lizzie" was a British army aircraft produced by Westland Aircraft. It made its mark with its exceptional short -field performance that made possible many clandestine missions from small improvised airstrips to place or recover agents behind enemy lines during WWII.

The Phoenix Model Version of the Lizzie is a fantastically done 1:4 scale reproduction of this iconic airframe. Let's go behind the lines with Mean Joe and take a look at it!

On the Bench

The Phoenix Model Westland Lysander arrived in the shop packed in a HUGE well-protected box with no damage. Upon opening the box the first thing I noticed was how immaculate the covering of this model is. The sheer size of this airframe would have you to assume that there would be a few wrinkles to iron out before assembly. Not a blemish! The whole airframe looked fantastic right out of the box.

All the parts were well protected from any movement during shipping, but not overdone. I like it when they use just enough tape and packing to protect the model, but not too much that it's cumbersome to unpack on our end. Overall very nicely done.

Now that we have it unpacked, let's get started on this bad boy! The build went right along in typical ARF fashion and started right off with installing the main wing control surfaces and servos. Just install the CA hinges to the control surfaces using some pins to hold them in place to make sure they stay centered and aligned to the wing, then apply some thin CA to each hinge. Once that is done go ahead and mount the servos to the wings. The only thing I will caution you on is to make sure you check the centering on your servos before installing them to the wing. With the covered servo bays it will save you some time getting everything set up as the build proceeds. All four of the Futaba S3071 HV S.Bus MG servos fit perfectly with no modifications to the servo trays needed.

I really like the beefy control horns on this model. They each have laser cut pockets in the surfaces that they fit into to make installation and alignment much easier. And with an airframe of this size, the large size control horns will be just the ticket.

One of the nice things about using the Futaba S.Bus System on the Phoenix Model Lysander, was the ability to connect the ailerons and flaps from each wing so that you only have one wire coming out. This will make assembly at the field much easier and quicker.

The installation of the main gear went by quickly and I had her on her feet in just a few minutes. There are only just a couple of small things I would like to see addressed with the gear. First off installation requires you to drill a hole through the outside of the wheel pants to access the axle. I would rather see a small re-design on this so you won't have to put holes in the beautifully done gear. The only other thing I would like to see is the addition of actual landing lights to the pots that come in the wheel pants. It would be an easy modification to make some up (which I will be doing) but the addition of some pre-installed lights would be awesome. Other than that I encountered no issues at all with the assembly.

Ok, so the next step in the manual is where I will take you on a little detour. Because of its size, I skipped the next few steps of installing the wings to the airframe along with the struts. I went ahead and jumped over to the rest of the build and completed these few steps last. At a 126" wingspan, it's just too big to manage in my meager shop. That being said let's move on!

The Phoenix Model Westland Lysander has both a pull-pull rudder set up as well as a pull-pull tail wheel set up, so as you proceed with both of these installs, it is important to make sure you get everything lined up correctly and that your cables are nice and tight. Once the build is complete and you get some flights on her it's always a good idea to come back and re-tighten the cables as needed. They will have a bit of stretch until they break in good. Both the tail wheel and the rudder install in the usual pull-pull way, just make sure you cross both over inside the airframe before attaching to the servo arm.

The only thing I encountered that may cause you a little bump is the immaculate covering we talked about earlier. On the rudder cables, the tube that the cable runs through can be a little tough to locate from the outside. To be sure you don't have to cut into it much it's a good idea to take a piece of scrap control rod (I always have a few on hand) and insert it into the guide tube from the forward end. This way you can lightly push it into the covering from the inside to locate the tube ends on the outside of the airframe at the rear stab. It will just look a lot nicer in the end.

I really like the tail wheel assembly cover! This really cleans up the outside of the airframe and also makes for easy access in the case of any needed repair work. Nice touch!

Now let's move onto the dual elevator assembly. The elevator installation and set up is pretty straightforward on this model. Just make sure to get the alignment correct from side to side and you will be all set. I didn't encounter a single issue with this portion of the build. The design was very well thought out.

The thing to keep a close eye on with this part of the build is servo arm placements. Once you get the throttle servo and optional choke servo installed to the airframe, it can be a little tight up front. It's not an issue at all just make sure the servo arms do not bind with each other. It is fairly simple to get everything in there in a way that won't cause you any issues.

Now on to the beef! I opted to go with the Gas setup on this one. The DLE 61 bolted up perfectly to this monster! With the size of the Lysander, there is plenty of room up front and everything went smoothly. The only modification I made was a couple of small radii I cut into the opening in the firewall for the throttle linkage and the choke linkage. They turned out being too close to the edge of the square hole, and I wanted to ensure that I would not run into binding issues.

The installation of the gigantic cowl was very straightforward indeed. After making only a small modification to fit the muffler and a couple of small holes for adjustment screws, it was ready to mount. Make sure before you pre-drill the holes for the mounting screws that you check the alignment on the top hatch. I left my hatch so that it would open with the gas option for ease of repairs, tank access, and battery maintenance. The large top hatch will make these processes very easy to perform.

So now that the build is finished let's get this big girl to the field!

At the Field

One of the first things I noticed once arriving at the field was just how great the Phoenix Model Westland Lysander looks. It looked great in the shop, but once outside in the sunlight she really sparkles. This airframe will for sure be turning many heads.

After going over my pre-flight setup and inspection, it was time to get her in the air. I have to say that the flight characteristics are great. I don't want to sound Cliché, but she really does fly like a huge trainer. With the high wing design, massive wing and fuselage, she jumped off the ground in just a few feet. The powerful DLE 61 really flies her nice. With just a few clicks of trim, she was tracking straight as an arrow. Man does she look good in the air. The uniqueness of this airframe is something that will have everyone at the field stopping to watch.

With this set up you will have no issue at all performing all of the scale aerobatics that you can throw at her. I have to say my overall favorite is the knife edge. With its unique wing profile, the knife edges just look amazing. You are truly going to love the way the Phoenix Model Westland Lysander flies.

Review Video

RCGroups Review of the Phoenix Model Westland Lysander (5 min 5 sec)

Gear Used

Here is a quick list of all the gear used in this set up:

In Closing

In closing, The Phoenix Model Westland Lysander is a fantastic flying 1:4 scale warbird that can be set up as gas or electric powered. It's great scale looks and flight characteristics are sure to turn many heads at the field in its direction. At a whopping 126" wing it will feel right at home at your local field or giant scale event, but with removable wing panels will still break down nicely for easy transport. So if you're looking for a great flying WWII Warbird with a unique design, then head on over to Tower Hobbies to grab yours now! ~Mean Joe

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Nov 22, 2017 at 03:03 PM..
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Nov 23, 2017, 09:12 AM
Registered User
This is a very nice review. Thank you for the thorough discussion of the model. Here’s what I found and perhaps my experience is a bit different from yours.

The good: This is a solidly engineered airplane that is designed well. Fit and finish is good and you will be pleased with the final product. The bad: if you decide to buy this be aware it is designed to use only the factory/manual recommended parts. If you use a DA 50 you will be reengineering your firewall. This firewall is cut and drilled for a DLE61 and if your engine doesn’t have the exact same bolt pattern roll up your sleeves. It would have been better if they don’t drill it out at all but burned in a drilling guide for different engines. As it is there is no guide or alignment markings. Next: the decal sheet smelled like a chemical spill. Beware open up this sheet and let it air out in the garage for a week or two.

After my Lysander’s first two flights I was a bit disappointed. To begin with, the airplane is unstable in roll. I noted that the high wing tends to drop without any warning. -Most likely due to the shape of the wing. Pitch was more predictable, but was entirely dependent on engine power setting. Even a click or two of throttle in either direction resulted in a significant pitch change that needed to be corrected. Yaw is a bit better. But you need to pay attention to have the rudder exactly faired with the vertical stab, otherwise on takeoff you depart from straight tracking. The rudder is effective in coordinating turns, which you need to do on this aircraft. The recommended control throws are way off. I had to double the high rates and that's how I flew it. In my next flights I will deal with the flaps. -which I believe are needed for low speed flight based on the performance of my airplane. This is an advanced plane for an expert pilot. I would be cautious about purchasing this airplane if I were an intermediate flyer. That's how I feel. Hope others had a better experience. Model was balanced exactly per manual. Power is DA-50. Prop 22x8 Zoar.
Nov 24, 2017, 11:02 PM
Onward and Upward
CatManDu's Avatar
I saw one fly, electric powered, at St. George, UT and it was fast. It did not land slow or short.
Nov 26, 2017, 08:33 AM
Just Plane Crazy
datazman's Avatar

A few photos

Hello all:

Just ran across this thread a few moments ago.
I had the opportunity to photograph the Lysander at NEAT 2017 so I thought I would share them with you.

I hope you enjoy.

Ta Ta for now.

Nov 28, 2017, 12:22 PM
Registered User
Capt G's Avatar
here's a few pics from last weekend. I did put the lights in mine. I also changed the Disney cockpit (goofy and dopey) to one that looks a little more scale.
Dec 18, 2017, 04:59 PM
californiakid's Avatar

Very Very Nice!

With all these cool warbirds coming out I might have to take up flying. I am a r/c model boat guy but am being tempted to try my hand at model airplanes soon. Nice review, keep them coming.
Dec 29, 2017, 01:54 PM
Registered User
spookyeng's Avatar
Just got notification from Tower that mine shipped to me yesterday. Going with a Hacker Q80-9M and Jeti/Hacker Pro Opto 170 ESC on 12S 5,000 mAh for power. Should have it next week, but I will be on a business trip the day it is supposed to be delivered, so I will not be able to take a look until late Friday.

I plan on flying it for the 2018 season and then recovering it next winter and adding a few more scale details.

I am really looking forward to getting it. However, based on the previous post, it does not sound like the flight performance is that great. Bummer, all the videos I have watched seemed to show pretty good flight performance.
Jan 17, 2018, 07:11 PM
Registered User
onio condor's Avatar
Do we always have to have marginal music for these flight demos....takes away from the live show...I mean do you want to hear music when the thunderbirds are performing....Noooooo !
Jan 17, 2018, 07:53 PM
You might get what you pay for
Prodrvr's Avatar
Originally Posted by onio condor
Do we always have to have marginal music for these flight demos....takes away from the live show...I mean do you want to hear music when the thunderbirds are performing....Noooooo !
I think it would be cool to hear Thunderstruck from AC/DC cranked up during a thunderbird performance!!
Jan 17, 2018, 10:42 PM
They call me Lipo...
Justwingit's Avatar

Greg Minden's Lysander at St. George Utah

Here's a video I shot of a Phoenix Models Lysander last fall at an Electric Festival in St. George Utah

Greg Minden (Capt G) is the owner/pilot and here he really shows just how well this huge model can fly on electric power !
Greg Minden's Giant Scale Westland Lysander - 30SEP17 (7 min 17 sec)

For specs on his electric set-up, just watch the video all the way through as Greg explains everything you want to know about this fantastic model!

Apr 27, 2018, 04:43 PM
Everything RC
flypilot's Avatar
Here is my friends Lysander with the Saito FG90 Radial engine..

Phoenix model Lysander with Saito fg90 radial (4 min 20 sec)

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