Home Parkzone Airplane Reviews Parkzone Ultra Micro Polecat Review
Parkzone Ultra Micro Polecat Review Print E-mail
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Monday, 01 August 2011 02:39

Intro
I am constantly surprised at all of the Ultra Micros that Parkzone continues to release. When they announced the Polecat I was intrigued and when they mentioned that it was going to cost only $99 I was hooked.


Kit Contents
The kit comes with everything needed to fly the airplane except the actual transmitter. Inside the box lies the Bind-n-fly Polecat, the charger, 4 AA's for the charger a 3.7v 150mah 1s lipo, instruction manual and a race number decal sheet for customizing the plane.


   

Assembly
The Polecat comes 100% assembled so there is nothing to do except charge the included battery and bind the Ultra Micro to your DSM2/DSMX transmitter. Binding is a simple process that begins by plugging the 1S lipo into the Polecat. Once the Polecat has power a bright orange receiver light frantically blinks inside the fuselage. At this point all you have to do is hold down the bind plug and turn on your transmitter until the plane and your radio have made a connection! Easier than baking an apple pie.

   

Features
The Parkzone UM Polecat features a 8.5mm coreless brushed motor that is powered by a 1S lipo pulsating through a Spektrum AR6400 DSM2 receiver and ESC unit. The airplane has full 4-channel controls powered by AS2000 linear servos that come installed and ready to rock. In addition the little racer features a steerable tailwheel and main gear that are held on by thin wheels pants, adding to the scale features.
I really dig the scale paint and looks of the Polecat and I love the contrast between the bottom and  the top of the wing, very easy see which side is up.

First Flight
Sunny day? Check.
Warm weather? Check.
Light breeze? Check.
After a round of preflights we were ready to take the Polecat up for her first flight. I kept everything in the radio at full throw and left off any expo to see how she would feel the first go around.

With the fully charged battery stuff all the way forward in the nose of the plane, I set the little Polecat on the ground and throttled up. The plane responded quickly and after a few feet of rolling, the Ultra Micro leapt off the runway. I climbed high to make sure I was safe before taking my hands off the controls to make any adjustments to the trim. With the hands off the sticks I discovered the Parkzone Polecat needed ZERO trim. The little plane surprised me with how flat and true it flew right out of the box. All of the control surfaces were responsive and flying inverted or right side up felt balanced.

   
The first flight was excellent and I was having a ball with the little plane. I did my best to put the airplane through the paces and it handled most of the maneuvers I threw at it.
After 4 minutes of super happy fly time, I brought the micro racer down for a soft landing.

Flight Characteristics
The Parkzone Ultra Micro Polecat has excellent flight characteristics packed into a tight package. The little plane features a solid power envelope that has wonderful climbing ability and enough juice to flip, flop and spin the craft in every direction.  The plane is not a full 3D airplane but 4-point turns, inverted flight, knife edges, and rolling harriers are all possible. Out of the box the UM Polecat needs more rudder control to do more advanced maneuvers. I could not get the plane to hold a knifedge with the stock rudder throws.
The plane has a decent amount of floating ability when power is off, but it is no glider, so be aware  that the ground will quickly approach if there is no power.
I was gleefully thrilled with how well the Polecat performed, plenty of power, well balanced, and great fun.

Takeoffs and Landings
Takeoffs are easy from the ground with the steerable tail wheel and steady ground characteristics. Simply rolling on the throttle will cause the plane to quickly roll up to speed and easily pulling back on the elevator will pop the Polecat off the ground. If you don't like landing gear, or do not have a hard surface to takeoff from the PZ Polecat has plenty of power to be hand launch. A simple under handed toss and 3/4 throttle is all that is needed to get the 'Cat in the air.

   

Landing the plane is just about as simple as the takeoff. Gentle rolling off the throttle on approach will bring the plane down in a predictable manner and with the steady flight characteristics the Polecat settles into the descent nicely. If a hard surface is not available to land on, then gentle ditching the Ultra Micro in the grass is even easier. Make sure the speed is kept down so no damage is incurred to the wings or the body of the plane.

Is This Plane For a Beginner?
I would not recommend the plane to a total beginner as it would be quite a handful. The Polecat can be tamed down to allow a beginner to get a handle on it, but I wouldn't do it without some help, otherwise there will be a lot of crunched noses and broken wheel pants.

Conclusion
Out of the box the Parkzone Polecat is a solid flyer that balances power and precision perfectly. The plane does not have endless amounts of power, but it has enough to keep the risky pilot out of trouble. The handling is top notch and the generous surface areas allow for plenty of fun maneuvers. The scale looks and paint job are easy to see in the air and the included decal sheet is great to have for customizing the look of the plane. All in all I am highly impressed with the Ultra Micro Polecat and for $99 it is a definite buy for fast, fun summer flying.

GRADE: A-

Pros

  • Great contrasting paint scheme
  • Decent power, not limitless, but can hover for a couple of seconds
  • Perfect price point


Neutrals

  • Battery needs to be forward all the way otherwise the plane is tail heavy and can cause issues for the inexperienced

Cons

  • Wheel pants are very thin and weak, prone to break. May need a beefier system for keeping the wheels on the struts.


Media and FLIGHT TIME!

   

   

   

 

 

 
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