RC Plane-HobbyZone Firebird Stratos RTF

Fun And Excitement Rc Planes

I got this for my 11 year old son for his birthday, but I’ve had a blast flying it too. My son had some fixed wing experience with the ParkZone Night Vapor BNF and the Phoenix RC Flight Simulator Version 3 and could fly the Firebird Stratos well immediately. If you’ve not flown a radio controlled airplane, this airplane is forgiving in flight and durable in a crash, but I’d still recommend the Night Vapor and some time on a simulator before attempting to fly the Firebird Stratos.

The assembly instructions are clear, it took us less than an hour to put it together. The most frustrating part was getting the tape, which is used to secure the horizontal stabilizer and the wing fins, to separate from its backing. We managed to make use of all of the pieces of tape provided, but at one point I considered giving up on a few and just using packaging tape instead, which I’m sure would work just as well.

We’ve crashed it only once, it dropped about 20 feet (6m) nose first after one of its wingtips struck a telephone wire. The rubber nose absorbed most of the impact, but the foam just behind it was folded like an accordion. The wrinkled foam was easily repaired by applying heat with a hair dryer, evidence of this crash was erased. The breakaway wing works well, rotating off the plane instead of breaking the wing when a wingtip strikes the ground during a rough landing. So far we’ve only flown it in grass fields which are too rough for using its landing gear, so I can’t comment on its durability, we hand launch ours and land it on its belly in the grass.

This airplane lacks ailerons, which limit its aerobatic abilities. One of the other reviewers here said that this airplane cannot be looped, but that is not true, it loops very well, even in low rates. Hammerhead, or stall, turns are also easily performed. Its polyhedral (curved upward at the tips) high wing design make it very stable when upright, which make inverted flight difficult to maintain because the airplane is constantly trying to right itself.

We’ve also enjoyed capturing video from the airplane using a small camera (we used the Hobby King Wing Camera) mounted to the cockpit area just in front of where the leading edge of the wing meets the fuselage. We used hook and loop strips (aka Velcro) to attach the camera, just needed to slide the battery back about an inch (2.5cm) from the usual location (snug against the front block) to keep the center of gravity over the main wing spar. I have included a minute long clip of video recorded by the camera on the airplane, including a spiral descent, final approach, and a belly landing in the grass.

Overall, this is an easy to fly and durable trainer at a good price. Everything you need to fly comes in the box, although I’d recommend picking up a spare 7.4V 1300mAh Lipo battery or two and a Hobbyzone 1.5A AC Power Supply HBZ1004 so you can recharge the batteries using house current.

I purchased the Firebird about three weeks ago and it arrived on-time and in good condition. The assembly is pretty straightforward but follow the directions closesly & carefully. I was very excited to try this new bird out as I’ve been waiting for it for awhile (been flying RC planes for about three years). The next evening I took it out and it was perfect conditions; the sun was low and there was no wind whatsoever. I did my complete pre-check including walking about 100 yards to check the controls and all was good. On the very first throw she climbed very steady & straight at about a 40-45 degree angle and was up pretty high (~150-200 ft). I went to bank her right (as I normally do giant circles in this field) however instead of turning she just kept flying up & straight. When there was no response I tried turning left, throttling down, pitching the elevator down/ up, etc.,…..unfortunately, she just kept going & going & going. I tried running as fast as I could to stay in close range but the plane never responded. After a couple minutes (which felt like moments) I could no longer hear the engines or see the plane as she was over very thick vegetation (the large field where I fly is surrounded by thick pine, oak, plams,& swamp and is mostly county land in that particular direction). Talk about a heart-breaker!!! OMG, I couldn’t believe it and felt SICK :O. When I got home my son said, I guess the Firebird wanted to be a Freebird.

Rc plane hobbyzone firebird stratos rtf1 RC Plane HobbyZone Firebird Stratos RTF