Flying off Water
The plane is versatile and can switch to the landing surface of the day (ground, water, or snow) with the help of an Allen wrench. Landing-gear swaps are quick, and the Kingfisher just looks right whether it’s on the water or parked on land. The float gear is quite robust with wire bracing, and the V-bottom hull floats cut into the water and absorb some of the shock of a hard landing. Water performance is good, and the floats are well designed for cutting the water and straight tracking. The model is just as stable on the water because of the generously sized floats, which even have spray chines to keep water spray away from the propeller. The steerable water rudder keeps the Kingfisher pointed where directed, even with modest crosswinds. Powering up the Kingfisher had it up on step and gliding across the water’s surface in a relatively short distance. Acceleration was straight, with at most a hint of rudder required to keep things straight. What was most apparent was that the elevator is more sensitive and downtrim was needed when the plane was equipped with floats. The FMS Kingfisher is well thought out, and everything works seamlessly from assembly through flight. The only consideration I would make is using a slightly heavier battery pack when in a floatplane configuration. A slightly more forward center of gravity would desensitize the elevator and add a bonus of longer run times.