Wingspan: 43.3 in (1100mm)
Overall Length: 37.0 in (940mm)
Flying Weight: 44.4 oz (1260 g)
Motor Size: 15-size brushless outrunner, 950Kv (installed)
Radio: 4+ channels minimum (6+ for drop tank and retract operation)
Speed Control: 30-amp BL ESC (installed)
Recommended Battery: 11.1V 2200mAh 3S 25C Li-Po (required)
During World War II, few sights could make an Allied pilot’s blood run cold like that of a Focke-Wulf 190 headed his way. So fearsome was this fighter’s reputation that it was known to friend and foe alike as the “Butcherbird.” In the hands of Luftwaffe aces like Kurt Bühligen, it was practically invincible.
Parkzone has beautifully recreated the Focke-Wulf 190A-8 as a 15 size park fly that no warbird lover should be without. Modelled after a variant that first flew in 1944, it bears the trim scheme and markings of the airplane flown by Kurt Bühligen near the end of the war.
Equipped with a 15-size, 950Kv brushless motor and an E-flite 30A Pro ESC the power system has been specifically designed to operate on a 3S Li-Po battery. The brilliant paint scheme, moulded panel lines, a functional engine fan and a painted pilot figure as well as instrument panel, gun and cowl all guarantee that you will love Parkzones’ latest warbird. Should you feel the need for an upgrade, optional drop tank release and electric retracts are all available to purchase separately.
In the box
I’m amazed at how well planes are packed for shipping with interlocking foam packers ensuring that no parts move or rub against each other during transport. The wing was removed first with aileron servos pre-installed and hooked up to the ailerons. Installed is a payload holding mechanism which has a spring-loaded pin to hold the drop tank in place. Here you can upgrade the release system to the E-flite servo-less payload release (EFLA405).
Undercarriage mounts are all ready glued in place ready to accommodate the fixed undercarriage. Here you can option up to retractable undercarriage which requires the separate purchase of the E-flite 10–15 size 74-degree electric retracts (EFLG115). It’s a simple case of removing the fixed gear mount to reveal the retract cavity, servo lead and wheel well.
Fuselage is out next and the warbird comes complete with a 15-size 950kv brushless motor installed and accompanied by a 30 Amp ESC. A 9.5 x 7.5 propeller and scale spinner are already secured in place. An impeller is also attached to the front of the motor that not only adds to the scale appearance, it acts as a fan that forces air into the fuselage to keep the electronics cool. The canopy is already in place encapsulating a scale pilot and instrument panel.
Access to the battery bay it is achieved by a neat little press release mechanism on a removable hatch; Velcro straps are ready to secure your 3 cell pack. Here you will also find a genuine Spectrum AR 610-x receiver and the 30 Amp ESC. In the underside of the fuselage sit two micro servos’ with pushrods factory installed and exit the tail at the rudder and tail wheel. I really like the design of the tail wheel steering as a simple plastic tab connects the tail wheel to the control rod for the rudder via a Z bend through a tab before connecting to rudder horn, simple yet effective. The horizontal stab slides into plastic mounts already glued to the tail. A carbon fibre spar and some tape are all that is required to secure the tailplane.
Next out of the box comes the fixed undercarriage legs which are fully assembled including gear doors, as well as a small bag of hardware which includes imitation cannons and machine guns. The drop tank and support cradle are the only hardware left in the box. Taped to the underside is the comprehensive instruction manual.
Parkzone’s motto is “Just Fly”, and with the miniscule amount of work you have to do to finish the Focke –Wulf, I can safely say they are true to their words.
I started the assembly by installing the fixed landing gear. The wheels and undercarriage doors are already assembled and simply slide into the mounts in the wing. A small plastic retainer piece is screwed over them, keeping them in place. You also have the option here of installing retractable undercarriage if you wish. There is a removable cover that hides retract mounts and a servo wire that has been pre-installed during manufacturing and is designed to accept E-flite’s 10–15 size 74-degree electric retracts (part no EFLG115), which I will be upgrading to very soon. Both options are detailed in the instructions manual.
On to the drop tank. The wing is fitted with a fixed holder that is easily upgraded to a servo-less drop tank release if you wish. Sold separately (part NoEFLA405), it is an easy swap out as the parts are identical in size with the same mounting pattern. I followed the manual and installed the supplied cradle and fitted the drop tank to the fixed mount. After fitting the cannons into the mounts on the leading edge of the wing, the completed assembly then slots into two holes in the fuselage and attaches with two screws near the rear of the wing.
I next moved toward the back of the fuselage and installed the elevators. They simply slide onto a carbon spar and nestle into moulded holders on the vertical stab. They are secured top and bottom with clear tape, simple and secure.
Happy with the assembly, I fitted a 3s 2200mAh battery under the hatch and happily, it balanced perfectly with where the manual states. The next step is to bind the 6-channel AR610-x receiver with your DSM2/DSMX compatible transmitter. The kit includes a bind plug and the simple process is clearly detailed in the assembly manual. I had no troubles binding the Parkzone FW190a-8 to my DX7.
At wide open throttle the PZ FW-190 produces 270 Watts of power at 26 Amps. With an all up flying weight of 1300 grams, I should achieve theoretical flight times of up to 10 minutes on a 2200mAh pack with some throttle management.
I must admit I love the beginning of cricket season, ovals all around Melbourne end up with these perfect little runways in them, ideal for park flyers. So, out to the middle we went with a charged battery in the Focke-Wulf and camera at the ready. After a pre-flight check, the throttle was advanced to have the warbird in the air half way down the pitch.
A couple of trim adjustments had the FW-190 tracking straight and true giving me the chance to become familiar with plane. After a few circuits, it was time to perform for the camera. High speed passes looked great as there is ample power to tear up the sky whilst basic warbird acrobatics are all achievable, the roll rate is predictable and the plane reacts well. The elevators have plenty of movement and give the plane the capability for tight loops. The available power is enough to perform multiple loops but don’t expect unlimited vertical.
Backing off the throttle see’s the airspeed wash off quickly. Back on the power to just above 1/3 throttle she flies very well at slower speed into the wind, making it easy to grab a few more photo’s. As the 5 minute mark approached there was no noticeable loss of power due to the fact we had been ringing the neck of the Butcherbird and not sparing the battery, so it was time to quickly try inverted flight, totally un-scale like but with a little elevator correction to keep the nose up, it was easily achieved.
At 6 minutes the flight timer beeped so it was time to land. At 1/3 throttle I line up the cricket pitch but dropped short, the flare was good but as the wheels touched down the warbird flipped on to her back. Arrrgh! Now some would say it was a bad landing but a closer investigation showed differently. The longer grass caught on the gear doors; that’s to say, if the landing is a little tail high the increased angle of attack reduces the ground clearance of the gear doors down to about 15mm. This has the potential to get caught on long grass causing the nose over.
So with a fresh battery installed the theory was put into practice. Taking off from the synthetic crass on the cricket pitch is easy, punch the throttle, the tail rises and the Focke-Wulf rotates and you’re airborne. A circuit later I lined up to land on the outfield, reduced the throttle, gentle touch down instantly followed by elevator input to force the tail down, resulting in a perfect landing. Taking off on the outfield is a little tricky as well, you need to apply full up elevator as you gently apply the power, the trick is to stop the forward momentum rotating the plane too prematurely, it a juggling act on power to elevator input but one that is soon mastered. After a few take off and landings you have it mastered. On the ground, the steerable tail-wheel has more than enough movement for ample control, enabling you to taxi back to your feet.
The scale detail of each component is brilliant, the Z-foam has all the panel lines moulded in place, the paint scheme is faithful captures that of World War II ace, Kurt Bühligen. The Bind and Fly system along with the easy assembly process guarantees that you will be out at the field very quickly.
I love the fact the plane is designed around a 2200 mAh, 3 cell battery pack, these are a common stable among my fleet. Nothing annoys me more than having to buy multiple packs of differing kinds for different planes. I was a little surprised at the amount of power at hand; it is sufficient but not overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, at wide open throttle the Fw-190 flies with authority, but with the throttle reduced I’m under the impression that the drag from the drop tank and large wheels tend to have a drag effect. Take offs and landings on long grass are a little tricky. You could either remove the gear doors or maybe cut them back a little, this problem is easily fixed.
The option of adding scale retracts and the payload release system enables you to enhance the scale realism of your warbird as you become more comfortable with it. The Parkzone BNF version of the Focke-Wulf 190a is bought to us thanks to O’Reilly Model Product, S.A.. At $263.00 RRP, the warbird will be a worthy addition to anyone’s hanger