Home RC Airplane Reviews Hobby King Durafly MK 24 Spitfire Review
Hobby King Durafly MK 24 Spitfire Review Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 04 September 2013 23:40


History

The final Spitfire variant, the Mk 24, was similar to the Mk 22 except that it had an increased fuel capacity over its predecessors, with two fuel tanks of 33 gal (150 l) each installed in the rear fuselage. There were also zero-point fittings for rocket projectiles under the wings. All had the larger "Spiteful" tail units: modifications were also made to the trim tab gearings in order to perfect the F Mk 24's handling characteristics. The F Mk 24 achieved a maximum speed of 454 mph (731 km/h), and could reach an altitude of 30,000 ft (9,100 m) in eight minutes, putting it on a par with the most advanced piston-engined fighters of the era. Rated at 2,050 hp (1,530 kW), the 12-cylinder Vee liquid cooled Griffon 61 engine featured a two-stage supercharger, giving the Spitfire the exceptional performance at high altitude that had been sometimes lacking in early marks.



Intro

Hobbyking is known for good deals and inexpensive parts. They have gone through great measures within the past few years to increase the quality of the airplanes that they produce. Their Durafly line has been pumping out more and more models that are actually impressive. I decided to take a chance and see how their latest model, the MK24 Spitfire would stack up to their previous airplanes.

Kit Contents

The Spitfire took under a week to reach my house and thankfully it arrived with no damage. The kit was packaged extremely well with plenty of plastic and foam keeping it snug. The plane comes with the motor, ESC, servos and electric retracts all preinstalled. The wing not only has ailerons and lights but split flaps which are preinstalled. The kit includes the elevator, air scoop and under wing radiators. The HobbyKing MK 24 Spitfire comes with a 4-bladed prop and extra parts for assembling the plane.

   

   

Assembly

Like most planes assembly started on the little things first. I cracked open the parts bag and screwed on the aileron control horns to each side of the wing. To make the job easier I ‘pre-drilled’ the horns with a screw before trying to install them in the plane. After the ailerons were finished I moved on to the split flaps. The flaps were easy to work with and it took only a matter of minutes until the horns were finished. The same process was completed for the rudder control horn.

   

The horizontal stabilizer goes together very easily and is a secure piece on the plane. The two pieces of stabilizer slide over a carbon rod and meet together in the middle of the tail section of the plane. The elevator is then secured with two screws, keeping the entire assembly tight.

The wing is all one piece so no real assembly is required but before screwing the wing into the fuselage the fairings needed to be glued to the side of the plane. I opted to epoxy the fairings to the plane so prior to mixing the epoxy I scuffed the inside of the fairings with sandpaper to create an adhesive surface. Once the fairings were done I slapped the wing on and secured it with the four metal screws. The wing assembly feels very secure.

   

   

After the wing was on I finished putting on the miscellaneous parts like the cannons, under wing radiators and air scoop. At this point I made sure that all moving parts were working and moving smoothly. I found that the rudder and elevator rods were too long so I had to unscrew the servo arms and reposition them for a better fit. After fixing the rods all systems were a ‘go’ so I screwed on the beautiful 4-bladed prop and nose cone.

   

   

The entire assembly was fairly painless and even a stone cold beginner would not have an issue putting the Spitfire together with the super-duper detailed manual. Seriously, this is one of the most detailed manuals I’ve ever seen from Hobby King. The last plane I received from them didn’t even include a manual!

   

   

Features

The Hobby King MK24 Spitfire features an 1100mm wingspan with an overall length of 970mm. The warbrid weighs around 1200g with a 2200mah 3S Lipo stuff inside. The Spitfire balances right around 70mm for the CG. The plane is powered by a 750kv Brushless motor that is capable of producing 340watts of power at 30amps. The model features a 35amp ESC and a plethora of other features like servoless retracts, split flaps, lights and detailed paint. The plane is made out of EPO foam that looks smooth and beautiful. One feature that I really loved was the simplicity of the steerable tail wheel. I've seen too many overly complicated or weak designs for tail wheels but this design is so simple it is silly! Just a tab tab that sticks out the side of the rudder that links into the tail wheel. So easy and done!

First Flight

After giving the plane a thorough pre-flight check I walked it out to the runway and throttled the plane up. The 4-bladed prop instantly sprang to life and the Spitfire rolled down the runway with ease. The tail wheel popped up from the ground after only 6 feet and it was probably less than 20 feet before the plane bounced into the air. I was instantly pleased with the power to weight ratio of the aircraft. It felt super light and had a large amount of throttle in reserve. The retracts pulled up beautifully after I flipped the switch and once in the air I found plane only needed about 4 clicks of up trim to fly level. Despite the level flight the elevator was a bit touchy in flight and could benefit from slightly reduced throws or expo.

I flew around the field for about 5 minutes with a wide grin spread across my face. The Durafly Spitfire flew without a hitch! My only complaint or issue came when I tried to land it but I’ll save that for the landing section of this review.

   

Flight Characteristics

The Hobby King Durafly Spitfire flies really nice out of the box! The plane exhibited no bad habits and had plenty of power coming from the 4-bladed prop. The Spitty can do all of the basic aerobatic moves and it does them with easy. Inverted flight felt very balanced and regular flight feels very light and not laborious. The warbird can putt-putt around the field with only half throttle and it moves at a decent clip when the throttle is turned to ‘11’. I didn’t feel any tip stalls or unstable flight while I had the plane in the air, in fact this warbird can slow down to a crawl better than any Spitfire I have ever seen. It is truly amazing. The split flaps are very effective in slowing down the Spitfire. A few times I floated the Spitfire across the runway at such a snail’s pace I felt like I could reach out and grab the plane with breaking a sweat. This is a huge characteristic that cannot be highlighted enough, especially for the pilot that has trouble with landings.

Takeoffs and Landings

Takeoffs in the Durafly Spitfire are a cinch given the amount of power the bird has. After 6 or 8 feet of roll off the tail wheel will pop up from the runway and in about another 10 feet the Spitfire will be airborne. Only ¾ throttle is needed at the most to get this plane up in the air. I did not test it, but given the power I do think this plane could be hand-launched….but launch at your own risk!

    

Landing the Durafly Spitfire seemed challenging until I got the hang of it. The gear are a little bouncy if you come in too steep so be aware of their basketball type abilities. With the flaps down the Spitfire is a floater. During the first few runs I actually had a hard time getting the warbird down to the ground! It just kept going and going. I finally found the perfect combo to be only half flaps and 1/8 throttle. This combo settles the plane down to the earth in a nice, predictable manner. Given the floating ability I imagine the Spitfire could be landed in very small spaces. Impressive!

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

I wouldn’t recommend this for a brand new RC Pilot but it sure as heck could be the first Warbird or perhaps even the first aileron plane as long as they have some instruction and understand of the ailerons and flaps.

Conclusion

The HK Durafly MK 24 Spitfire is a solid flying warbird that has some surprising characteristics. I was very impressed by the build quality and the paint scheme. There was nary a blemish on the plane when I unwrapped it. The included motor and esc combo provide plenty of torque and power while in the air or on the ground. Spitfires can be a handful when trying to land but the split flaps tamed this wild beast with ease. Overall the Durafly Spitfire is a solid buy and is priced is incredibly well it would be silly to not have this in the hangar.

GRADE: A-

Pros

  • Beautiful detail
  • All electronics included
  • Retracts work flawlessly, don’t feel flimsy
  • Extra parts in the package
  • Most detailed manual I’ve seen from Hobby King

Neutrals

  • The original manual had the CG way off, my manual was corrected (70 mm) but be aware

Cons

  • None

 

 Media and FLIGHT Time!

     

   

   

   



Unboxing Video


Flight Video


 
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