Motion RC Spitfire Mk IX
Scale detail in an easy-toassemble 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.
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.
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.