|Wing Area:||527 sq. in. (34dm2)|
|Weight:||6 lbs. (2760g) (6 lbs 14 ounces as reviewed)|
|Wing Loading:||26 oz/sq. ft. (83.8g/dm2)|
|Servos:||Hitec HS475B (4, for ailerons, elevator and rudder), Hitec HS325B (1 for flaps)|
|Battery:||Orion Avionics 5S1P 5000mAh 30C Lipoly|
|ESC:||Scorpion 6-cell 90 Amp ESC with Switching BEC|
|Available From:||Your local hobby shop or direct at Kyosho America|
According to Wikipedia:
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger ("shrike", also called butcher bird), was a single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft of Germany's Luftwaffe. Used extensively during the Second World War, over 20,000 were manufactured, including around 6,000 fighter-bomber models. Production ran from 1941 to the end of hostilities, during which time the aircraft was continually updated. Its later versions retained qualitative parity with Allied fighter aircraft, but Germany was not able to produce the aircraft in enough numbers to affect the outcome of the war.
Kyosho has elected to model the airplane flown by one of the Luftwaffe’s more notable pilots, Josef Priller. He flew a total of 1307 combat missions and claimed 101 victories, 68 of which were Spitfires.
The 190 is likewise one of the most recognized and modeled World War 2 German planes in the hobby, and I was excited to see that Kyosho would be releasing a 50 size FW190 ARF. It is especially noteworthy that Kyosho has designed and released two different variations of the ARF: an electric version and a version for internal combustion engines. According to Steve Pond of Kyosho, the differences between the two kits are substantially deeper than just the version identifying decal.
This review will cover the EP, or Electric Power, version.
Kyosho has done an amazing job with the covering on the FW190! The flat finish of the covering, complete with all panel lines, details and warnings written in German is fantastic. I couldn't resist individually examining each and every piece of the ARF.
Kyosho even painted the innards flat black.
My preliminary examination found an honest to goodness, bona fide battery hatch that was big enough to easily install and remove the large 5000 mAh 5S lipoly battery!
The battery hatch releases are a pair of machine head screws that protrude up through the top deck of the hatch. While they do provide a very easy way to release and open the hatch, the two screw heads remind me of the unsightly bolts protruding out of Frankenstein’s neck. I wish rare earth magnets or some other more visually subtle method could’ve been used.
End User to provide:
Included for Review
Kyosho assembly manuals are unique in their level of detail, and once acclimated to the comprehensive, multi-language style of their instructions, assembly proceeds with very few questions. The abundance of drawings do a very good job of guiding you through the assembly of the FW190.
All hinge slots are precut. When gluing the hinges on the wing control surfaces, it is especially important to be very careful when gluing the flap hinges in; Using too much CA could result in the split flaps getting permanently stuck in the up position.
The aileron servos are mounted to wooden access plates that have short, hardwood sticks epoxied to them. A pull string is provided to snake the aileron servo lead back to the wing root. 15 minute epoxy was used to mate the two wing halves permanently. A second batch of epoxy was used to fill any gaps in the wing joint once the epoxy holding the wings halves together dried.
One servo mounted just off the centerline of the wing controls both split flaps. The linkage rod comes pre-bent. It is necessary to adjust the clevis for each flap individually. The manual clearly illustrates how to set up the flap servo horn for proper operation. There are two small aligning dowels that get epoxied into a pair of holes in the leading edge of the wing. Though the holes for the wing retaining bolts are already drilled, you will have to locate the holes and remove the covering from over them on both the top and the bottom of the wing. The wing is held in place with a pair of 4 mm X 35 mm hex head bolts. Prior to installing the retract servo, it is necessary to glue several small ply pieces into the recess in the wing, effectively creating a retract servo mounting box.
Assembly of the fuselage is limited to trimming the canopy, mounting the cowl and installing the pair of blind nuts for wing retention.
The assembly manual shows a servo/receiver ply tray getting glued in, but this step had already been completed at the factory on my plane.
The four wooden cowl mounting blocks need to be lightly sanded in order to match their contour to the curvature of the cowl. After attaching them to the firewall with five minute epoxy, the cowl can be mounted by drilling small pilot holes through the cowl and into the blocks. In order to achieve the recommended firewall to spinner back plate distance of 125 mm, it was necessary to mount my cowl so that it was nearly touching the leading edge of the wing.
My curved tip scissors made short work of trimming the canopy. As directed in the manual, I used tiny screws to fasten the canopy to the fuselage. I personally prefer this type of canopy installation, as it facilitates easy access to the cockpit later for adding a pilot or other minor cockpit modifications.
The retract servo gets installed into a small wooden frame, which must be built and installed in the front edge of the wing. The retracts in the FW190 are especially nice looking and include inner gear doors which completely cover the wheels when they are up and in the bays. It was necessary to trim the plastic wheel wells a small amount because the spring loaded plywood blocks that trigger the inner gear doors were rubbing.
Kyosho included a one sheet Supplemental Instruction Sheet that contains revised instructions for two different pages in the manual. The first change is in connection with the retracts. The main gear doors are attached to the struts with metal straps. The 3 mm hardware that fastens the doors to the struts can restrict the gear from fully retracting. It is necessary to provide clearance holes in the plastic wheel wells for the 3 mm nuts to recess into.
Operating the retracts and watching the wheels fully disappear into the belly of the wing made me anxious to get the FW190 finished and in the air!
If you should have any problems with the retracts or need to disassemble them, Tim Johnson of Kyosho posted the assembly instructions for the retracts HERE.
The most difficult part of attaching the tail feathers to the fuselage was taking a knife to the beautiful covering job! Since it is absolutely necessary to have a strong wood-to-wood glue joint on the vertical and horizontal stabilizers, I grabbed a new blade and carefully made the cuts. I used epoxy to attach the empennage. The elevator halves are joined by means of a pre-bent steel rod. Do not glue the vertical stabilizer on until you have drilled a hole for the tail wheel and mounted it to the fin.
Kyosho recommends a power system capable of producing 600 to 800 watts for this FW190. The motor I chose was definitely capable of producing this much power and quite a bit more!
Lucien Miller is the US Distributor of the Scorpion line of brushless outrunner motors and speed controllers. He started Innov8tive Designs several years ago to bring the Scorpion product lines to the US. Prior to that, many knew him as a RCGroups member who created some of the most impressive scratch built large pusher jets around. I first met Lucien several years ago in Las Vegas at Superfly V. Since then, Lucien has gained a reputation as one of the hardest working guys in the hobby. He tirelessly provides technical support for the Scorpion product line and is always willing to answer any and all questions about the Scorpions.
If you have yet to purchase a Scorpion product, you are in for a very pleasant surprise. If packaging was everything, the Scorpions would have it all and then some. They come in a very nice metal box that slides out of a cardboard sleeve. The box includes all necessary hardware and several different sizes of decals. But the beauty of these motors and ESCs definitely goes way beyond skin deep. The magnets used in Scorpion Motors are N-50EH style and are rated for operation at 200 degrees C or 392 F! Scorpion claims that it is impossible to burn this motor up in normal use, and to back up their words, they offer a two year warranty. The Scorpion ESC is a full featured controller and includes the especially "Innov8tive" feature of an included Infra-red programming remote. Using this IR controller, you can quickly make changes to the settings of the ESC.
Here are the specifications on the Scorpion 4020/10 brushless outrunner and 90A 6S speed controller sent to me by Lucien and Innov8tive Designs for this review:
Up to 1.5 Kw can be generated by this Scorpion 4020/10 brushless outrunner
|Suggested Retail Price:||$89.99|
|Motor Wind:||10 turn Delta|
|Weight:||304g (10.7 oz)|
|Motor Resistance (Rm):||0.016 Ohms|
|No-Load Current (Io) @ 21 v:||2.24A|
|Number of cells:||Li-Po 5s-6s|
|Max Continuous Current:||90A|
|Max Continuous Power:||1500W|
Scorpion 6-cell 90 Amp ESC with Switching BEC
|Type:||Brushless Speed Controller|
|Suggested Retail Price:||$159.99|
|Weight (Without Connectors):||57g (2.0 oz)|
|Size :||70 x 30 x 15mm|
|Operating Voltage Range:||5 to 26 Volts|
|Max BEC Output:||4 Amps @ 5.7 V|
|Low Voltage Cutoff:||5.0 - 25.0 V (0.5V steps)|
|LVC Cut-off Type:||50% power, Pulsed, Off|
|Brake Setting:||Adjustable in 5 steps from No Brake to Very Hard Brake|
|PWM Frequency:||8KHz, 16 Khz, or 32 Khz|
|Motor Acceleration Delay:||Adjustable in 5 steps from 0.15 to 1.3 Seconds|
|Motor Timing:||Auto Detect, 5°, 15°, 20°, 25°, and 30°|
|Motor Rotation:||Normal or Reverse|
As previously mentioned, the firewall to spinner back plate dimension must equal 125 mm. Kyosho includes a very nice three piece aluminum motor mount with the kit. The instructions explain that depending on the motor size used, it may be necessary to trim the motor mount.
The dimensions of the Scorpion motor did require that I cut the mount. My handy Dremel made short work of this task.
The built-in right and down thrust of the motor box on the front of the firewall is obvious. I used nylon ty-wraps to attach the ESC to the firewall atop the motor.
All metal fasteners used in the motor installation received a dab of red thread lock compound. Don't leave the ground without it!
The final step in the installation of the power system involved, what is in my opinion, one of the nicest accessories that Kyosho includes in the FW190 kit: The dull plastic scale spinner is simply great!
And it comes with only one cutout, permitting the user to decide if they prefer to use a two blade or a more scale three blade prop. Kyosho provides etched lines on the inside of the spinner as a guide for the locations of the other cutouts. A few passes with a sharp blade, and the plastic yields. I chose to use a Master Airscrew three blade 12x8 prop, and it fit perfectly into the spinner with no modifications necessary.
The Hitec HS-475 servos I obtained dropped right into the cutouts provided for the elevator and rudder, and there is plenty of room for radio gear, especially when using the Spektrum receivers. I installed a Spektrum AR7000 7 channel receiver in the FW190.
Another very interesting component in the Kyosho kit is the included push rods. They are composed of a hollow, large diameter, black carbon rod with end caps. Each end cap accepts a smaller, steel pushrod that can then be locked into place by means of a set screw. Thread lock assures that they will not get longer or shorter while in flight.
These pushrods are the subject of the second item listed on the supplemental instruction sheet. Kyosho slightly altered the assembly instructions to eliminate any pre-designated length to which they should be set during assembly. Instead, the builder is ultimately responsible for ensuring that they are set at the proper length.
The FW190 comes with a very small decal sheet. It contains a pair of black hawk head decals that are applied to each side of the cowl. The interesting thing to me is that the black and white photo of the real plane, as shown in the introduction above, does not contain these hawk heads on the cowl. Either Josef had a replacement cowl installed on his plane and neglected to have them repainted or it never had them to begin with. Either way, I think Kyosho made a good decision to provide them. If they had not, there would have probably been many complaints about the "forgotten decals"!
Thanks to a creative user on RCGroups, I added an instrument panel to the FW190. (Downloaded from a Kyosho FW190 THREAD on RCGroups) Next, I decided the cockpit needed one for sure. Hangar 9 makes a selection of different sized WW II German pilot figures, and I reluctantly purchased one and invested about three hours in painting. As much as I dislike painting little men, this plane just kept getting better and better looking the closer I came to completion!
The final checks involved setting up the throws on all of the control surfaces. Kyosho recommends the following initial settings:
|Control Surface||Amount of Deflection|
|Ailerons||10mm each way|
|Elevator||12 mm each way|
|Rudder||25 mm each way|
I set up my low rates using the above numbers, while the high rate throws were increased roughly 30% beyond the factory values. Exponential was set at 40% on aileron, elevator and rudder.
The acceptable range for the center of gravity is 110-115 mm from the leading edge of the wing, measured at the wing root. Using the large Avionics 5S 5000 lipoly pack provided for the review by Kyosho and placing it all the way forward against the rear of the firewall resulted in the CG being spot on! I used hook and loop fastener on both the battery and battery tray and also wrapped a strap around the battery and battery tray to insure there would be no repositioning of the battery while in flight.
The final control surface to be set up was the beautiful split flaps. I could find no recommendations in the assembly instructions, so I decided to use my Spektrum DX7s default flap programming. There is a three position toggle that controls flaps on the DX7. I set the downward travel to around 20 degrees on the first position and approximately 35 to 40 degrees on the second position. I did not like the way the flaps would deploy and retract with a quick “bzzzzzp!” so, I installed a servo rate reducer from Dionysus Designs. Dionysus sells several different variations of the miniature electronic inline reducers. Dan was kind enough to send me one of their amazingly compact extra slow reducers which slows the flap servo down to a more realistic six second end to end movement. The added benefit is that the slower deployment of the flaps helps prevent the plane from ballooning as the flaps come down.
I next decided to verify the settings of the Scorpion speed controller. The included IR remote programmer worked like a charm. It was very easy to use and much better than pumping the throttle stick up and down, as many ESCs require you to do to make any changes. A few pushed buttons later and I had set the brake to the off position and the cell count to five.
While reviewing the photos I had taken for this review, I noticed I had not reinstalled the servo horn screw on one of the servos mounted inside the fuselage. It is always a great idea to spend five or ten minutes triple checking that you have not forgotten any of the little details that can spell disaster on the maiden flight!
I was a little apprehensive to try the flaps, so my initial flights took place with them fully retracted. The Scorpion motor pulls this six pound airframe with a vengeance! The FW190 tracks straight on takeoff and even handles the strong cross wind often present at the club field, to a point anyway.
The one caution I will offer is that a strong crosswind can cause the plane to nose over on the takeoff roll, especially if you release the typical up elevator that is used to hold the tail to the ground during the transition from the taxi to the take off. Ask me how I know!
Takeoffs can be scale with a gradual application of power coaxing the FW190 up to rotation speed, or they can be more of the STOL variety. The Scorpion 4020/20 has plenty of power to spare and will easily pull this airframe skyward with minimal time spent in the takeoff roll. When the crosswinds are present, the short takeoffs are best. When the winds are light or down the runway, scale takeoffs are a visual pleasure. As the plane accelerates, the tail will come up, and the plane will happily continue down the runway on the mains until a touch of up elevator releases it from the ground.
The landings are equally enjoyable, but the same cautions are in order. I had several outings were I was battling a pretty strong crosswind component and several of my landings resulted in the plane sliding to a stop on its nose. I really like the two piece construction of the landing gear wire struts. The landings that ended with a nose over resulted in the axles twisting on the main struts, but with absolutely no damage to anything else. I spent a few seconds realigning the axles, and I was immediately back in business.
On days when the winds were right down the center line of the runway, I had a bunch of fun coming in and settling on the mains. Chopping the throttle once on the ground bleeds the speed until the tail slowly settles back to the ground. The Fw190 will come in fairly hot when landing without the flaps, however.
With several flights under my belt, it was time to start exploring takeoffs and landings with the flaps. I dropped them to the first position, pointed the FW190 into the wind, and hit the throttle. I was amazed at how quickly the 190 leaped off the runway! It feels quite different in the air with the flaps down, though. It tends to mush through the turns a little, but once you have flown around some it is very easy to get comfortable with the flaps deployed.
I shot a few landings on the first flap position and then went to full flaps. I was really surprised and impressed at how well the plane lands with the flaps all the way down. I shot several landings, and they just kept getting better. It is not necessary to hold anywhere near as much speed with full flaps on final. The 190 will slow way down, and I even had one notable landing where I kept feathering in more and more up elevator until the plane stalled and dropped the final four inches of altitude into a perfect three point landing. The stall was not nasty at all, but a mere kerplop onto the gear.
I could probably set up a flap to elevator mix of 2-4%, but so far it is quite easy to just fly the elevator when landing with flaps. The rate reducer from Dionysus really helps stabilize the plane while the flaps are dropping. Without it, the plane would assuredly porpoise a little on flap deployment, but that is pretty typical. The higher end radios will let you slow servos down with transmitter programming, but if you do not possess such a radio, the Dionysus reducer is well worth the few dollars Dan charges.
I am not sure what aerobatic moves Josef and the other crack Luftwaffe pilots were able to pull off while dog fighting in their FW190s, but I have a feeling they would have asked to upgrade to a Scorpion motor if they had seen this one fly! The 12x8 three blade Master Airscrew prop is a very conservative prop when mated to the 4020/10. My Eagletree eLogger reported that the power produced was in the 600-1000 watt range. The motor is rated for up to 1500 watts, so there is quite a bit of room to increase the prop diameter or pitch if desired.
I personally felt the motor and prop combination was just about perfect. WOT passes are screaming fast, and the vertical pull out at the end of one is just about unlimited. This plane will easily perform big loops, stall turns and inverted climb outs until your eyes cry uncle. Aileron rolls on low rates are scale, while the high rates I set up will speed them up to a much faster rate. I even played around with attempts at knife edge flight when posing for the camera, but the small amount of dihedral will keep you busy on the sticks to stay in it.
The Avionics 5000mAh lipoly is large enough that you can probably fly for upwards of 7-10 minutes, depending on how hard you push the power system. I never put more than 2,000 to 2,200mAh back into it after my flights. The amazing thing is that the battery hatch and bay are large enough that you could even go to a higher capacity battery. Doing so would probably require a little ballast added to the tail to keep the CG in the right range. I tried running the FW190 on a smaller 3,700mAh battery, but I had to add an ounce or so to it to hit the CG range. The 5,000mAh lipoly is perfect!
I would love to recommend this plane for beginners, but it is probably best if you have a few planes worth of experience behind you before reaching for this high performance war bird. Although the FW190 has yet to surprise me with any bad habits, it could be a handful for a beginner pilot to manage flaps and retracts when landing, and the kit costs enough that destroying it due to lack of skill would be downright depressing. But when you are ready for an honest to goodness well behaved war bird, the Kyosho FW190 delivers!
The Kyosho FW190 is the first in what is sure to be a series of 50 size war birds that will be offered in both an electric version and a nitro powered version. By the time you are reading this review, the second offering - a Spitfire - should be available. And the third release is rumored to be a Kawasaki Hein!
Kyosho has apparently been paying attention to the wants and needs of those who prefer to fly with the clean power that an electric power system provides. While at times it can be exciting to do an electric conversion on a product originally designed as a nitro powered airframe, many prefer a true electric kit designed to accommodate the unique needs inherent to an electric power system: an easily accessible battery compartment and an airframe that will balance properly without needing to add any ballast. The Kyosho FW190 EP version comes out of the box and achieves all of that and more. Kyosho has provided several very nice components in the box, notably the scale spinner that can accommodate either a two or three blade prop, the carbon push rods and the adjustable aluminum motor mount. The matte finish of the Mastercote covering, along with its panel markings, rivets and German language lettering looks fantastic in flight!
Finally, the Scorpion power system provided by Innov8tive for this review is absolutely dynamite! It provides more than enough power to pull this butcher bird all over the sky and does so at a very pleasing price. Scorpion seems to be working hard to gain a reputation for producing well engineered products that are assembled with top shelf components and that are designed to satisfy electric enthusiasts without emptying their wallets. Excellent customer service and a two year warranty put the exclamation point on the end of the Scorpion sentence!
Last edited by Angela H; Sep 22, 2008 at 07:29 PM..
Im considering both the H&M or This one!
Although, i hope NO ONE goes thru the gun to the head situation!
Great review, I've been waiting on the review!! The plane looks great!! The stats say the motor can handle a 3-4 cell lipo, isn't a 5 cell pushing it? Could the plane get by with a 4 cell? I've got 2 4 cells, and wondering if it's enough to get the plane around with no problems.
Southernmd man ... I think I made a small error on that particular motor spec?
Everything I read says the 4020/10 motor is happiest on a 5S or 6S lipoly battery? I would double check with Lucien at Innovative but I believe he is on a well deserved two week Mediterranean Cruise with his sweety right now!
Edit: Motor specs corrected by our wonderful Editor-ess here at RCG! Tnx AH!!
Last edited by Bajora; Sep 22, 2008 at 07:34 PM.
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