Exclusive! Mo­tion RC Spit­fire Mk IX

Scale de­tail in an easy-toassem­ble pack­age

Model Airplane News - - CONTENTS - By John Reid

Scale de­tail in an easy-to-as­sem­ble pack­age

Mo­tion RC has re­cently de­vel­oped some larg­er­scale air­craft with Flight­Line RC, and we were lucky to get one of their early ar­rivals: the Spit­fire Mk IX. This EPO foam war­bird has a scale out­line with a nice smooth sur­face. The wing halves are re­in­forced with an in­ter­lock­ing ply­wood and car­bon-fiber frame that cre­ates a wing that’s lighter and stronger than a solid foam wing. The air­craft comes painted, and there are four sets of de­cals that al­low you to cre­ate one of two his­tor­i­cal air­craft: that of Squadron Leader F. A. O. Tony Gaze (MA621 DV-A) or that of Lieu­tenant Michel Boudier (BS393 GW-Z).

The wing halves and hor­i­zon­tal sta­bi­liz­ers are re­mov­able, with just two screws each. This al­lows for easy trans­porta­tion if you don’t have a large car. On top of the fuse­lage is a large hatch, with easy ac­cess to a large space for all the elec­tron­ics (re­ceiver/ speed con­trol) and the 6S 5000mAh bat­tery that you’ll sup­ply. The ser­vos, mo­tor, speed con­trol, and re­tracts are all in­stalled at the fac­tory. There are many scale de­tails, in­clud­ing a scale cock­pit with canopy mir­ror, molded-in panel lines, a 4-blade prop, scale tail­wheel, w ing guns, and en­gine ex­haust pipes. The main land­ing gear are shock-ab­sorb­ing Oleo struts, with a main wheel diameter of 85mm, along with metal re­in­force­ment plates. This all works to­gether with the sus­pen­sion struts and soft wheels to dampen the land­ing forces to al­low this air­craft to take off from all types of run­ways. This plane is per­fectly suited to in­ter­me­di­ate to ad­vanced pilots who have some tail-drag­ger ex­pe­ri­ence.

UNIQUE FEA­TURES

The first thing I need to share is just how well this air­craft is pack­aged. All the parts are pro­tected in bags and foam in­serts in­side the box, and not one part was da­m­aged or miss­ing. This was a wel­come sur­prise to me, es­pe­cially see­ing how beat up the out­side box was dur­ing ship­ping!

The as­sem­bly starts with at­tach­ing the tail sec­tion to the fuse­lage with the en­closed glue (a tube of glue is also in­cluded). The key point is to not get glue onto the pushrods pass­ing through that joint. While wait­ing for that to dry, I started on the wing. The two wing sec­tions are joined with a car­bon-fiber tube and two bolts, mak­ing it easy to dis­as­sem­ble if needed. The ailerons and flaps are hinged at the fac­tory, and the ser­vos are al­ready in­stalled; all I needed to do was at­tach the pushrods to the servo arms and con­trol horns. This was easy to do be­cause they are al­ready cut to length. Fi­nal ad­just­ments will come with ra­dio setup.

Back to the fuse­lage, I in­stalled the hor­i­zon­tal sta­bi­liz­ers. Each side is held on with two screws, mak­ing it easy to dis­as­sem­ble for stor­age or travel. The pushrods to the tail feath­ers are al­ready cut to the proper length, and this at­tach­ment was quick and easy. As­sem­bly and at­tach­ment of the 4-blade prop was next. Each blade is se­cured to the spin­ner hub with some screws, and the spin­ner is then bolted onto the front of the fuse­lage. This is a good-look­ing prop; my first re­ac­tion was that it may be ex­pen­sive to re­place, but after look­ing at the web­site, I found that the props and spin­ner are quite in­ex­pen­sive.

The most time-con­sum­ing process of all the build­ing on this model was ap­ply­ing all the de­cals to give the Spit­fire that fi­nal scale touch. I spent as much time on this as I did all of the other as­sem­bly, and the re­sult was well worth it. I at­tached the wing, routed the wires, and plugged in all the well-marked servo leads into my re­ceiver, then I bound my re­ceiver to my ra­dio, low­ered the land­ing gear, and cen­tered and ad­justed all the con­trol move­ments. The Spit­fire Mk IX was now ready for the fly­ing field.

IN THE AIR

The re­tractable land­ing gear are rather stout, and the

Spit­fire will have no prob­lem tak­ing off from the grass or solid land­ing strip. I checked all the con­trol sur­faces and be­gan my taxi out to the cen­ter of the runway (in my case, a solid dry lakebed). Throt­tling up, I found that the 4-blade prop was re­spon­sive and put out a lot of thrust, and the Spit­fire was up in the air be­fore I was ready for it. It made for an ex­cit­ing mo­ment, but the con­trol re­sponse made it easy to get the bird back on track. Once in the air, it was ev­i­dent that this is go­ing to be a good-fly­ing model. My first land­ing was with­out flaps, and the Spit­fire set­tled in well with con­trol all the way down to the ground touch­ing. This was im­pres­sive be­cause we did have a good amount cross­wind at the time.

GEN­ERAL FLIGHT PER­FOR­MANCE

Sta­bil­ity: The Spit­fire was easy to con­trol and sta­ble even at low throt­tle. The flight per­for­mance was what you would ex­pect from a war­bird.

Track­ing: Track­ing was very good, and the air­craft did a good job of main­tain­ing its head­ing dur­ing the flights. It would ba­si­cally go where it was pointed with­out any prob­lems.

Aer­o­bat­ics: Rolls, loops, and ev­ery­thing that a full-size Spit­fire would do, this bird can do. The mo­tor pro­vides more than enough power for any scale aer­o­bat­ics.

Glide and stall per­for­mance: The glide path was solid and pre­dictable. The stalls will drop a wing but can quickly be recovered by a short blast of power or, if alti­tude per­mits, pointing the nose down and trad­ing height for speed.

PILOT DE­BRIEF­ING

My first flight had the 5000mAh bat­tery in the mid­dle of the bat­tery rack; the Spit­fire was a bit tail heavy but easy to con­trol, so I fin­ished the six-minute flight. On the sec­ond flight, I pushed the bat­tery all the way to­ward the fire­wall, and on that flight, the Spit­fire was solid and sta­ble. I have been for­tu­nate enough to fly a num­ber of Spit­fires, and I would say that this one ranks right up there with some of the best­per­form­ing ones. It is a great value and a re­ally nice-look­ing plane.

While there are a good num­ber of de­cals, they do go on smoothly and add quite a bit of scale re­al­ism.

A cock­pit, pilot, rearview mir­ror, and an­tenna are just some of the scale de­tails in­cluded.

A large hatch grants easy ac­cess to the bat­tery and ra­dio com­part­ment.

Smartly de­signed scale de­tails are ev­i­dent with the wing can­non guns. They can be pulled out for trans­porta­tion and stor­age.

A 4-blade prop makes a nice sound in the air and is a nice scale touch.

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