Home RC Airplane Reviews Dynam Spitfire Review
Dynam Spitfire Review E-mail
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Thursday, 25 August 2011 23:45

History

The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft which was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire continued to be used as a front line fighter and in secondary roles into the 1950s. It was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft, and was the only British fighter in production throughout the war.

The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works. Mitchell continued to refine the design until his death from cancer in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith became chief designer. The Spitfire's elliptical wing had a thin cross-section, allowing a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. Speed was seen as essential to carry out the mission of home defense against enemy bombers.

During the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire was perceived by the public as the RAF fighter of the battle, whereas in fact, the more numerous Hurricane actually shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against the Luftwaffe. The Spitfire units did, however, have a lower attrition rate and a higher victory to loss ratio than those flying Hurricanes.

After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire became the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, and saw action in the European, Mediterranean, Pacific and the South-East Asian theatres. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber, carrier-based fighter, and trainer. It was built in many variants, using several wing configurations. Although the original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030 hp (768 kW), it was adaptable enough to use increasingly more powerful Merlin and the later Rolls-Royce Griffon engines; the latter was eventually able to produce 2,035 hp (1,520  kW).


Intro

While anxiously waiting for the Parkzone Spitfire to be released I happened upon the newly released Dynam Spitfire. The Dynam mode looked similar in size and specs and was quite a bit cheaper than the Parkzone bird. I figured it might be a good comparison and snatched one up.

   

Kit Contents

The kit arrived modestly packed and for a split second I thought that Dynam had stepped up their game. Unfortunately, true to form they threw most everything inside of the box which resulted in the tops of each wing being gouged by the wing spar bouncing around inside the box. So stupid! This could easily be avoided by covering the wings in plastic, or leaving the spar outside of the wing box. The rest of the plane was in good condition which was a miracle. The kit included the fuselage, wings, elevator, rudder, 3-bladed prop, spinner, guns and a manual. The airplane came installed with electric retracts, 4 servos, an 850kv motor and a 30amp ESC. The foam is strong and the paint job is well done.

   

Assembly

I bought the Spitfire with the intention of seeing what a Dynam warbird looked and felt like, but also to see how it compared to the upcoming Parkzone Spitfire. Taking a step towards Parkzone’s “Just Fly” motto, Dynam made the assembly of the Spitfire extremely easy. All of the control horns came installed on the control surfaces and the ailerons are already connected to the servos. The beauty of the assembly is there is no gluing of major parts.

   

The process starts by sliding both wings onto the wing spar and attaching the wings to the fuselage via 4 small metal screws. Next the elevator and rudder fit onto the rear of the fuselage and are secured by two metal screws. At this point the plane is almost finished! I connected all of the wires into my receiver so the servos would center and then made any adjustments to the ailerons, elevator and rudder with the ‘quick-controller’ (as they call it) screw. They use this system instead of clevises, but make sure you use Loctite on the small nut that holds the unit together. Otherwise you may experience ill side-effects like I did on the first flight.

    

With all of the wires connected into the receiver the prop and spinner assembly are next and once they are secure the plane only needs the antenna and plastic guns glued in and the plane is finished!

Features

The Dynam Spitfire features sturdy EPO foam that looks great on the ground and in the air. The electric retracts installed in the plane work very well and are completely smooth when retracting. The plane is powered by an 850kv brushless motor that pulls only 18 amps and 213 watts on a 3S battery. I don’t usually go outside of manufacturers specs, but I found it odd that the plane pulled so little power. I dropped in a 4S battery and the motor pushed out a heart pumping 29 amps and 459 watts. The included ESC can handle the extra juice but I am not sure about the motor. I can find no in depth specs on the motor so don’t blow out your motor on my advice!

   

First Flight

The first day I brought the plane out the field I felt it was much too windy for a maiden flight. I was happy to hold off a day since the very next day was near perfect flying conditions. I ran through the Spitfire, made sure everything was moving properly and set the warbird down on the runway. A gentle roll on the throttle moved the plane down the runway and with some elevator she climbed out nicely. Running on a 3S, I wasn’t expecting much performance but I was pleased with how well the plane did fly. The throttle was just above the halfway point and although the full throttle passes left something to be desired I thought the plane performed okay.

I brought the plane up, pulled a loop and tried to do a roll out after coming out of the loop but noticed that the roll rate was slow…dangerously slow! I went around the circuit a few times and until I used the rudder I felt like I couldn’t get the plane to flip over! Something wasn’t right because the ailerons had a large dose of movement on even the stock settings. Nevertheless, I continued to fly and was amazed at how slow the Spitfire could fly. After 6 minutes I brought the plane around, chopped the power and glided her in for a bouncy, but safe landing.

Flight Characteristics

After safely bringing the plane back to earth, I checked the Dynam Spitfire and immediately noticed that only one of the ailerons was moving. I flipped the plane over to discover that the entire control rod was missing from the plane. “Hmmm…that would be a problem” I thought. I walked out to the runway and surprisingly found the rod. Seems ol’ smart guy (me) didn’t Loctite the nut and it came loose during takeoff, ejecting from the wing. Whoops.

   

After fixing the rod I took the bird back up and was instantly greeted with smoother, faster rolls, just as I had expected.

The Dynam Spitfire is a very smooth flying airplane. This plane won’t be winning any pylon races, but it does have enough performance for scale flying and beyond. The wings are large, fat and provide plenty of lift for the plane to fly very slowly.  I could not get the plane to do any dramatic tip stall; it was completely docile and easy to maneuver. The balance felt very close to the edge of tail heavy  at 80mm so a little nose weight or heavier battery would give the plane more stability should you find it tail heavy.

Takeoffs and Landings

The Dynam Spitfire takes off better than a typical tail-dragger airplane. There was no heavy torque roll or ground looping. After 10 feet of rolling the tail wheel pops up and the Spitty quickly gathers speed on the front two wheels. A gentle pull of the elevator brings the warbird off the ground towards the clouds.

   

Landing the Spitfire is fairly simple. It is best to leave a little throttle on while landing, but even on a dead stick approach the plane can perform quite nicely. Line up the approach, deploy the gear and let the Spitfire settle down to the ground. The gear are probably not the most heavy duty gear ever made, but given the lightweight nature of the Spitfire, I think they hold up very well.

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

Considering this is a warbird and a tail-dragger it would not make a good choice for a brand new beginner. With that said, while I was flying it I remember thinking that it is really gentle and easy-going for a warbird. I think the Dynam Spitfire would make an excellent choice for a first warbird.

Paint in the sun

The Dynam Spitfire is a great deal for someone that is looking for a mild warbird. The assembly is extremely easy, the model looks great in the air plus it is much cheaper than the upcoming Parkzone Spitfire. But there is one part of the model that doesn’t even come close to comparison with Parkzone.

Paint.

Don’t get me wrong the Dynam Spitfire is nicely painted and looks fantastic which is why it is such a shame that that paint won’t last. I don’t know what type of paint they used, but both the Spitfire and Dynam T-28 Trojan have paint that bubbles worse than a roll of bubble wrapped covered in bubbles. Several members bought the Dynam Trojan and after a few flights in the sun the tops of the wings are completely blistered (pics coming). After two days of flying I can already see tiny blisters forming on the nose of the Spitfire. This is completely unacceptable. I understand foam models should not be kept in the sun and I try to keep them in the shade when possible, but that is not always feasible. I guess this is why the Dynam model is so much cheaper than Parkzone’s. It is sad really because they put out a decent product and not all of their models react to the sun like this. One member of the field believes it is because they “just don’t care” and maybe that is true, but in my opinion that is a great way to lose a customer base! Sadly, the silly paint issue brings the grade of the Spitfire down a bit.

Conclusion

The Dynam Spitfire is a docile replica of a beautiful British Warbird. The plane has peaceful flight characteristics and stable manners. The power is a bit paltry but on a 4S the plane comes to life! Even with the stock motor the plane is not totally gutless, it will climb, loop and roll with little effort. For the price the Dynam Spitfire is a solid buy, but watch the paint in direct sunlight otherwise the skin will be bumpier than an alligator’s back.

GRADE: C+

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Quick build, less than an hour
  • Clear, concise manual
  • Smooth and gentle in the air
  • Retracts feel strong, work well
  • Option for flaps

Neutrals

  • Aileron control rods need Loctite to remain secure

Cons

  • Paint is nice until the sun finds it
  • Pilot is ridiculously un-scale

 

 Media and FLIGHT Time

   

   

   

   



 
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