Flying Mini and Micro Warbirds

Sep 07, 2011 No Comments by

We all dream about it. Sitting in our WW2 fighter drawing a bead with our gun sights on our adversary in a high-speed dogfight in and around the clouds! Well, at least I dream about it! The history of WW2 is the stuff of legends and there are so many great warbirds to choose from. Pilots like Pappy Boyington, and Jimmy Doolittle, are readily known to a whole generation of aviation fans for their tales of adventure and daring do. The best way to get into the air quickly and satisfy your “Walter Mitty” syndrome is with an all-foam, electric powered RC fighter. From Mustangs and Warhawks, to Messerschmitts and FW-190s, there’s a mini/micro fighter plane waiting for you. If you want to check out some of these great backyard fighters, check out the classic war machines available from ParkZone.

(Above) The new Ultra Micro Corsair from ParkZone is a great flyer indoors or outside.

Fighter Pilot’s check list

Of course to be successful, you need to do some basic homework.

  • Be prepared. Even though these foamy fighters are easy to put together and reasonably priced, you do have to be qualified as a pilot. Don’t pick a Mustang or Corsair as your first RC plane. After you learn to fly and solo a basic sport plane, you’ll be ready for action!
  • Have extra propellers and battery packs at hand. Extra equipment means more time flying and less time at the hobby shop or online ordering parts.
  • Have a good field charger to keep your packs up to snuff.
  • Maintain your plane and radio gear. Always do pre- and post-flight checks to make sure you fighter is in Top Shape!

Flight Plans

“I love it when a plan comes together!”  To best enjoy your warbird you should always have a mission objective. This could be from basic trimming and learning how the plane flies to perfecting your skills and improving the quality of your wing time.

  • Have a plan and stick to it. Don’t just blast off into the wild blue and eat up amps.
  • Fly in a proper flight pattern and announce your takeoffs (or hand launches,) and landings.
  • Climb to a safe altitude before turning out of the pattern. And don’t direct enery toward the pit area.
  • Do any maneuvers out and away from the flightline. With the exception of safe, high-speed low-level passes. When doing these be at or beyond the runway centerline.
  • Don’t dogfight anyone who doesn’t want to participate! Leave the unsuspecting targets alone.

Dogfighting Maneuvers

Here’s a list of fighter pilot moves. Practice them, master the skies!

  • Loops. To evade an obvious attack.
  • Rolls. To keep the enemy guessing.
  • Split-Ss. To dive, gain speed and reverse direction of flight.
  • Low-level High-Speed Passes. To taunt the enemy and draw them down onto the deck. Also impresses the crowd!
  • Formation Flying. To show off for your girl friend and improve your skill with the help of a wingman.

(Above) Happy Warbird Pilots. (Photo Courtesy of NEAT Fair)

Pilot Log Entries

A great way to have fun and improve your skills is to keep a detailed log book. Divide it into two sections. One for Mechanical issues and the other for Flight information. You can easily trouble-shoot issues if you have all your information and maintenance/repair issues in one place. You’ll be able to see how long battery packs last and notice a decline in flight durations indicating a new battery pack being needed.

Log your flight times and mission profile. You can then easily spot trends in your flight skills and identify places where you can improve. A fighter pilot is always compelled to “push themselves” and use what they learn to improve. (Sorry for the Top Gun movie reference!)

The main thing is to fly your fighter safely and to have fun! Go to local events and mix it up with other RC fighter pilots. Compare notes and enjoy talking Smack with each other! “Who’s the greatest pilot you ever saw?” (Oh dear… another movie reference!)

 for more information on ParkZone Fighters, go to www.horizonhobby.com

Featured News, Gerry Yarrish

About the author

Senior Technical Editor About Me: I have a lifelong passion for all things scale, and I love to design, build and fly scale RC airplanes. With 20 plus years as part of the Air Age family of magazines, I love producing Model Airplane News and Electric Flight.
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