Hobbico brings to the market a fast and easy-to-assemble trainer by Flyzone for the emerging RC pilot. The Sensei Trainer provides a fast track to getting entry-level pilots feet wet at flying RC models. Available Ready to Fly or as an Rx-R, (Receiver-Ready), if you prefer to use your own radio system.
The Flyzone Sensei features the highest level of factory assembly possible that will still fit in a reasonably sized box for shipping. Crafted from “Aero-Cell” foam, the Sensei is a stiff and rugged structure yet light enough to float in gently for a slow easy flare to touchdown. All of the flight controls are prehinged and have the control horns installed. The aileron servos and pushrods are preinstalled as well as the elevator and rudder servos. All that is required is to attach the pushrods to the tail surfaces and secure with provided “Faslink” linkage clips. Care must be exercised securing these links, as it will be easy to dent the foam with your needle nose pliers if you aren’t careful.
After verifying the CG and control surface throws, and a short taxi to the runway centerline, the Sensei was poised for the maiden flight. A smooth application of power resulted in a smooth acceleration to takeoff speed with a gentle climb out. The Sensei required a couple clicks of right aileron trim, and a click of up trim. Sensei feels smooth and solid on all three axis. The wheels are large enough, and the motor is powerful enough to takeoff from a short grass runway. Landing on longer grass is possible though a firm hand launch might be required to get into the air. Flight time of 4 or 5 minutes is realistically doable. As I mentioned above, the nose gear, particularly in high rate is a bit sensitive, so low rate take offs are recommended for the novice. Elevator feels solid and linear up to stall. One could even fly the plane using only the rudder for turning.
Flyzone has found the sweet spot between a “real” model and disposable foam. The structure is lightweight, but not overly sensitive to dings and dents. Assembly involves only five screws, (including wing bolts), a length of Velcro for the battery, hooking up the elevator and rudder pushrods and installing the Spinner and Prop. Factory linkages produce factory recommended throws on all surfaces. There is so little work required to complete, it would be difficult to make a mistake!
Something not seen before on a trainer like this is a “Drop Door” located on the bottom of the fuselage for dropping parachutes or small water balloons. Now this feature makes this a very appealing aircraft to both the novice and the expert alike. Every pilot like to drop something from planes, that is one of best parts of fun fly events, the bomb drop. Be sure to read the sidebar in this article with tips for lining up your bomb drops.
Check out the complete article along with tips on bomb dropping in the November Electric Flight.