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By Gerry Yarrish
This cute little Indoor/Outdoor Micro Sport Flyer is just the thing if you want to revisit the days of simple RC. I first saw the Playmate (several of them,) at an Indoor Festival in Ohio. When they all took to the air, I was immediately reminded of old-time free flight designs my father and I used to build from balsa and tissue. The Playmate may have old-time good looks, but it is totally up to date when it comes to radio gear. Out of the box, you get a completely built and ready to fly plane, with all the radio gear and motor system already installed. There’s nothing to do but install the four included “AA” batteries in the 2.4GHz transmitter and charge the flight pack. The charger circuit is included inside the transmitter and the charge lead is under a small hatch on the lower left corner of the radio case. After the charge indicator stops flashing, you are ready to go. Nothing could be easier!
The Playmate is made of molded, lightweight white foam, and it is decorated with small decals and red paint accents reminiscent of the old Gee Bee racers. The included radio system is a 3-channel Flyzone FTZ-324 with fully-proportional rudder and elevator control. The flight Battery is a 130mAh Li-Po that fits into a small recess under the nose and is held in place with Velcro. Pre-bent wire landing gear and foam wheels are also included and are already installed for you. There’s nothing to assemble.
IN THE AIR
Pick any calm afternoon and you can fly the Playmate anywhere from a small backyard to a school athletic field. I was able to fly figure 8 around the trees in my front yard without any difficulty at all. With a full charge, the Playmate can climb quickly and then throttled back, you can cruise around for a good 10 minutes before needing a recharge. The model is stable and very easy to fly. My daughter Rebecca was able to fly the Playmate without any help from good ole Dad. Once we got it up to 2 mistakes high that is!
Indoors, the Playmate is equally impressive and it can perform in areas as small as a half of a High School Gym, without bumping into the walls. The landing gear keeps the prop clear of the floor and yu can easily take off from any smooth surface, even from short pile carpeting. The transmitter has digital trims so you can easily trim the plane for almost hands-free circular circuits of a full-size gym.
All in all, if you want to just have some easy going, no pressure fun, the Flyzone Playmate is the Micro flyer for you. Whether you are looking for a first time RC experience or if you are an old pro looking for some keep-in-the-back-of-the-car action, to play with during a lunch break, it doesn’t get any better than the Flyzone Playmate.
- 2.4GHz Transmitter
- 1S LiPo battery
- Four “AA” batteries for Transmitter
- Instruction manual
Wingspan: 18.5 in.
Wing Area: 51 sq. in.
Wing Loading: 2.8 oz./sq. ft.
Length: 13.5 in.