Pilot Report by Mike Gantt
I remember overhearing a conversation at my local hobby store while walking past the airplane section. A pair of shoppers toting their RC buggies were telling one another to “Buy one of those if you want to crash” as they nosed toward the RC aircraft displays. I smiled and thought about how high those little nitro-powered cars can fly and how hard they always land. And why did they need to bring their models into the store with them? No matter your hobby, smiles and success are what keep you coming back. When most of us started flying model airplanes, the beginner offerings were not nearly as refined or forgiving. Enter the Flyzone Switch, a revolutionary EP (electric-powered) trainer that is ready to fly.
This means that when you bring it home, you won’t need anything other than some workspace, and Phillips and slotted screwdrivers. Everything else is included in the box. Gone away is the can-motor approach on nickel batteries. The Switch has a prewired and mounted brushless power system which feels like it gives the plane a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio here at sea level. A complete guidance package (receiver, servos and transmitter) is also installed and included. Aerocell foam is used throughout construction; it is rigid and would only require some CA glue if a rough landing is encountered. Aluminum landing gear, a carbon-fiber wing-tube, small hardware pack, LiPo battery and LiPo battery charger all join the party so you can get in the air fast. The 16-page instruction manual is full of all needed information and then some. The Switch is definitely aimed at the beginner pilot yet will also give intermediate to advanced pilots an ear-to-ear grin.
You essentially get two planes in one package with the Switch. The instructions tell you to at first fly the Switch as a trainer, or in its high-wing configuration. Now the cool part: after you master the Switch and its flight characteristics, you can “switch” the model and turn it into a mid-wing design making it much more aerobatic and agile! This is done quickly and easily via a canopy swap. The “beginner” canopy has a wing mount built in and the other does not. Rare earth magnets and a single wing-screw are employed to keep things in place during flight; because this is not an “extreme G machine,” they do a perfect job. All hinges are molded into their counterparts during production. The control throws are for the most part set at the factory yet are adjustable for when the time comes for more response. A plastic cowl is preinstalled and the matching wheel pants are easy to install. The landing gear goes on just as quick and I noticed that there was preapplied threadlocker added to all hardware included in this kit. All decals are preapplied and give the airplane a three-color, easy-to-orient appearance. The propeller and spinner are ready to go on and you’ll need to use your screwdriver and the included hex wrench to permanently secure them. When I ran up the motor for the first time, I noticed that the prop was a little out of balance so I used my balancer and a sanding stick to make things right. The brushless power system is not only installed for you, but it’s also quiet, powerful, and perfectly matched to the model. The newer end of communication between a pilot and his aircraft involves 2.4GHz transmission as opposed to 72MHz. This means you’ll be able to fly without the hassle of channel conflict, i.e. someone else using a particular channel that may also be assigned to your transmitter and receiver. The transmitter itself is very lightweight, looks cool and has digital trim tabs, servo reversing, and a wireless trainer system built in. This is a great feature because anyone with a compatible radio will be able to aid first-time pilots without a wire between them, and up to 30 feet away.
first-time builder will not encounter any issues; I was able to put the Switch together with a friend here (only observing) and with a drink in my hand. Even still, the total time to finish it was a mere 30 minutes! I did, however, spend an additional five minutes balancing the prop, but your prop may not need any adjustment. Be sure to charge the included flight battery pack during your construction; it takes more time than the build!
Name of plane:
419 sq. in.
14 oz./sq. ft.
Two planes in one design.
Perfect for beginners who want to progress.
Everything required is included in the box.
Outfitted with 2.4GHz guidance, brushless power, and a LiPo battery.