Home Parkzone Airplane Reviews Parkzone FW-190a-8 BnF Basic Review
Parkzone FW-190a-8 BnF Basic Review Print E-mail
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Monday, 10 June 2013 21:57


History

The Fw 190 A-8 entered production in February 1944, powered either by the standard BMW 801 D-2 or the 801Q. The 801Q/TU, with the "T" signifying a Triebwerksanlage unitized powerplant installation, was a standard 801D with improved, thicker armour on the front annular cowling, which also incorporated the oil tank, upgraded from 6 mm (.24 in) on earlier models to 10 mm (.39 in). Changes introduced in the Fw 190 A-8 also included the C3-injection Erhöhte Notleistung emergency boost system to the fighter variant of the Fw 190 A, raising power to (1,953 hp, 1,456 kW) for a short time. The Erhöhte Notleistung system operated by spraying additional fuel into the fuel/air mix, cooling it and allowing higher boost pressures to be run, but at the cost of much higher fuel consumption. A new outwardly bulged main canopy glazing format, more in the manner of a Malcolm hood rather than a bubble canopy, with greatly improved vision sideways and forward. The new canopy included a larger piece of head armour which was supported by reinforced bracing and a large fairing. This fuselage would form the basis for all later variants of the Fw 190 and the Ta 152 series. The A-8 was the most numerous of the Fw 190-As, with over 6,655 A-8 airframes produced from March 1944 to May 1945.



Intro

Parkzone’s latest warbird flew onto the shelves this last week and in classic rcairplanereviews fashion, I had to pick one up. The guys at RC Hobbies were more than happy to sell me one and I was happy to buy it.  It’s nice to see Parkzone branch out in their models but also re-vamp previous models they have created.

Kit Contents

Parkzone/E-flite have been changing things up lately and instead of offering this model in a Plug-n-play or Ready-to-fly variety they currently only offer it in a Bind-n-Fly Basic. The BnF Basic comes with everything you need to get the plane in the air EXCEPT battery/charger/transmitter. Not too shabby. I do believe they will have a kit version down the road but I do not know when as of yet.

This BnF kit includes the fuselage, wing, landing gear, elevator, a few accessories for assembly and the manual. The motor, esc, servos, receiver and prop are all pre-installed making the hobbyists’ job very easy. Please check out the video below of the FW-190's unboxing.

   

Assembly

Parkzone’s famous for their motto “Just Fly” and after years of pumping out airplanes, I can safely say they are true to their words.

In 95% in airplane assemblies my first step is to lop off the ESC battery connector and solder on deans plugs. I don’t know who Dean was but I like his plugs. The next step is to bind the receiver with your DSM2/DSMX transmitter. The kit includes a bind plug so this process is simple. I had no troubles binding the Parkzone FW190a-8 to my DX7. The included receiver is a 6-channel AR610-x.

The next step is to install the wing onto the fuselage. The aileron servos are pre-installed and hooked up to the ailerons. The wing slots into two holes in the fuselage and attaches with two screws near the rear of the wing. The design is simple, but feels solid and has held up so far.

   

With the wings installed it’s a good time to move onto the drop tank installation. The plane comes with a stationary drop tank that is easily removed, but for the modelers that are feeling saucy; a separate servoless bomb drop module can be purchased and dropped into the fuselage. The manual gives instructions for either installation.

   

After the payload release was installed I moved toward the back of the wing and installed the elevator. This is as simple as sliding the elevators over a carbon spar and connecting them together in the tail of the plane. In classic Parkzone fashion they ask you to merely tape the elevator to the edges of the tail. I don’t usually do this since I don’t like messing up the paint (should the tape ever be removed) but the elevator was a looser fit so I used the supplied tape to secure everything and fortunately it all worked flawlessly!

   

The next step was installation of the fixed landing gear. These simply drop into the wings and a small plastic piece is screwed over them, keeping them from falling out. Again, there are detailed instructions for installing the servoless retracts, but I did not have the retracts at the time of this build. A cool/nice feature is that Parkzone pre-installed the receiver wires in the wings so should you decide to put in the retracts, the wires will already be there. No fuss!

The last two steps of the build are to install the cannons and the optional decals on the vertical stab. The guns slide into the wings but one of the plastic pieces that hold the guns popped out of the wing as I was trying to slide it in. It looked as if the glue didn’t ‘take’ but after cleaning it off and using some CA, everything was good as new.

   

Parkzone also has more ‘historically accurate’ decals (i.e. swastika) for the tail section should you want to put them on instead of the included crosses.

After the build was done I fired everything up and found that one of the aileron servos was bad! The servo would only turn one way and after testing it for a few minutes it started dying even faster. Replacing a servo is a fairly easy process but I took my time since all of the wires and servo are covered by tape and decals. Very carefully I cut and peeled back the decals. It took way longer than it should’ve but in the end the repair job is hardly noticeable.

With everything done I plopped in a 3s 2200mah battery and to my amazement it balanced perfectly with what the manual states. No teeter-totter, just BAM…perfect at 74mm.

   

Features

The Parkzone FW190a-8 features a 43.3 inch wingspan and an overall length of 37 inches. The warbird come with a 15-size 950kv motor installed and a 30amp ESC that runs the show. As mentioned earlier the plane also comes with a genuine Spektrum AR 610-x. The prop is a 9.5 x 7.5” and behind the swirly spinner is a functional motor fan that keeps everything cool. At Wide Open Throttle the PZ FW-190 produces 29 amps and 336 watts of power. The BnF Basic features a bolt on drop tank and space for installing servoless retracts and payload drop. The flying weight is around 44 ounces and the warbird is constructed with Z-foam. I have to say their Z-foam is looking better and better with each model. The paint scheme is a nice flat color, not too shiny or cheesy looking. The cowl is made out of hard plastic and feels very durable. I really like the design of the tail wheel steering. Too many times I have seen unnecessarily complicated tail wheel setups on warbirds but other designers could take a lesson from Parkzone’s FW190. Just a simple plastic tab that sticks out of the side of the rudder and the control rod for the rudder slips right through the tab. Simple.

First Flight

I loaded up my planes, assistant and barky dogs and headed for the field on a Tuesday night for the maiden. The field was buzzing with people and planes but the weather was perfect with only a slight meandering breeze wandering through the trees.

After a pre-flight check I set the plane on the tarmac and let ‘er rip. The Parkzone FW-190 rolled down the field and in about 25 feet she was up and reaching for the sky. Despite checking all of the control surfaces several times, the warbird wanted to dive so I added in 5-7 clicks of ‘up’ trim to keep her flying level. After the slight adjustment the plane tracked straight and true.

The plane needed a little more power to stay in the air than I expected but it flew well. Despite a busy night at the field it didn’t take long to feel at ease with the FW190. The gliding ability was lessened by the large landing gear but not enough to be a hindrance.

The Parkzone Warbird looped, rolled and soared beautifully and after a 6 minute flight I brought her down to a bouncy landing. The included gear is plenty strong and will withstand a decent amount of abuse. The motor was still cool as was the battery and each cell of the lipo read 3.85. For mixed flying the Parkzone FW190 could easily stay in the air for 8 minutes and possibly up to 10.

   

Flight Characteristics

The Parkzone FW190a-8 is a great flying airplane and is especially smooth for a warbird. The power is sufficient but not overwhelming. At full throw, the roll rate is predictable and the plane reacts well. The elevators have plenty of movement and give the plane the ability for tight loops. Out of the box, the rudder has enough throw for steering the plane through the air and performing some basic maneuvers like hammerheads, stall turns and even a dull Knife-edge!

The plane skirts around the sky and looks great doing it, but I found inverted flight to be a bit unstable. The FW190 wanted to fall out of the inversion, especially while turning. The large gear may have been a reason for this, but I am uncertain as it could just be a small quirk of the plane.

The 336 watts is good but don’t expect unlimited vertical without a bigger motor.


Takeoffs and Landings

The Parkzone FW-190a does not have any bad ground handling characteristics. The steerable tail-wheel tracked straight and true and had enough movement for ample control. I did not experience any ground looping or steering issues. Taking off is simple enough; just point the plane where you want to go and throttle up. Within 20 feet or so the plane’s tail wheel will pop up and the warbird will be ready to leave the Earth.

Landings are floaty and do not require much speed to perform. All of my landings were a bit on the bouncy side, but this was due more to pilot issues, rather than the FW190’s. The included gear are a little ‘springy’ and I reckon the retracts would add slightly more weight to the front of the plane and help absorb more of the plane’s touchdown.

The wheels are large and grass landings/takeoffs are definitely a possibility although do not be surprised if the plane noses over on grass landings. Our field needed a cut so the moment one of the PZ FW190’s wheels touched the grass the plane would flip over. The vertical stab is sturdy and despite a couple of ‘flip overs’ the stab stayed intact and shouldered the impact with ease.

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

For a brand new pilot this would not be a great choice, but I think this would make a great 3rd or 4th plane in someone’s hangar. I suppose with the proper instruction someone could learn to fly with ailerons on the FW190, but I’d stick with the robust stationary gear in case there are any mishaps.

Dead Servo

As stated earlier, the Parkzone FW190a-8 arrived with a dead (or dying) servo in one of the wings. I was able to replace the servo with a generic 9g servo I had lying around and everything worked splendidly. I am in the process of contacting Parkzone and seeing if they will replace the servo. I’ve never had to use their support, but this might be a good chance to give them a try and see what happens. I will update accordingly.

   

Conclusion

Parkzone is always developing and pumping out new planes. It amazes me how their quality continues to grow. The foam and paint on their models continues to get smoother and sharper than previous versions. The FW-190a-8 is no exception to this. The plane is beautiful and performs like a Parkzone Plane should. The assembly is mind-numbingly simple, yet when everything is assembled the plane feels solid and not ‘cheap’. The Bind-n-Fly Basic is a great concept and one that I could get behind if they’re able to keep the cost down.  I love the option to put in retracts or a payload release system or you can leave the airplane stock and zip around your local park. The power to fly-time ratio is nearly perfectly balanced. Flight times average around 8 minutes which is plenty of time to get a kink in your neck. The FW190 is an excellent addition to the Parkzone lineup and one that should not be overlooked for your own hangar. Check it out today!

Grade: A-

Pros

  • Great paint scheme and scale looks
  • Good power to flight time ratio
  • Easy Assembly
  • Functional motor fan
  • Ability to easily install retracts/payload system
  • Detailed Manual

 

Neutrals

  • Servo was DOA, easy to replace but all the beautiful paint got torn up in the process

Cons

  • None noted.

 

Media and FLIGHT Time!


   

   

   

   

 


Maiden Flight Video


Bad Servo Video


Unboxing Video


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