Spitfire ARF model from CMPro / Flight Test
This is perhaps one of the most beautiful scale-model Airplane I have ever seen. It is not much popular among the RC flyer though. According to many reviews I found on Youtube this plane was rather heavy in relation to its size, secondly the fuselage is made of fiber glass which might not up to many flyer preference, and thirdly its price is higher than Phoenix model, VQ model and other competitors in this range.
If you have a chance to browse through CMPro ( China model product) website you may agree with me that most of its collection are the Gems of art and could use as static model in the galleries or for demonstration purpose. I admit that the manufacturer really serious on the use of color and other technique to make the plane looks so real and appealing in all perspectives. With all credit I gave to this beautiful bird finally I bought this plane, but this is not the first one I bought it is, however, the second one of mine.
The plane specifications:
Weight………………….2800g – 3100g
Engine…………………..2c 40-46 4c 52-63
Radio…………………….4 – 5 ch 5 -7 servos
The kit comes with some 250g weight piece which must be added to the model to get to the correct balance of CG. To my surprise it needs additional 200g to get to this point. Everyone will not appreciate the 450g configuration since it will absorb more engine power and literally slow down the plane speed. Therefore the recommended 40-46 engine size seems to be under powered and is not big enough to drive this plane in a jazzy way you would expect. The most likely scenario is the landing speed would expect to be fast and sadly said the flap is not provided so you have to rely on your own skill to land this beautiful model on these courses. Well I need a generous airfield for safety purpose.
Flying this big mass is surely a challenging task for me but I don’t be much overwhelmed with the statistics. Every time I maiden a new plane I am a bit nervous for it needs some or more trims to get to a stable flight but this time I am quite confidence that it will be handled safely. Well most flyer know that the heavy head plane is easy to land than the light nose plane.
Nice material and precision handcraft where all the parts are fitted quite well into each other. I followed the step by step suggestion in the manual and it is probably one of a good detail and correct direction among the other Chinese make, so building this plane will not be a pain in the neck like many other models which I had tried long before.
Installing engine was the first job for this kit then the fuel tank and followed by many other parts as directed by the manual. The images were all described how the assembling was carried out. It took me two weeks to finish this model as I did it during my time off after daily job but the encouragement was when the plane was gradually shaped up into a beautiful work piece.
A hard part of this assembling I realized was how to get a right CG since the given 250g of lead was not enough to maintain a right balance. I was busy around get a trial on many sizes of lead pieces to ballast a correct CG, and at the end an additional of 200gram was the right answer to this puzzle. It balances well on this setting but what would the flight be with this wing loading and the landing speed?
As I choose OS62FS V series engine for this plane I fully believe that the output will be well over its weight. I was looking for a long vertical straight climb up as this is my preference maneuver. But the final gross weight appears to be 3.4Kg which seems to be too much for this engine capacity. With a little hope I tested the plane with many propellers like 13×8, 13×6, 12×8, and 12×6 as recommended in the engine manual but the size that seems to render most thrust was 12×6”. Holding the plane vertically upright and applies full throttle this model can barely hold itself in place but still slightly descends a bit. Unpleasant at all in a power to weight ratio but what should I do?
If the power to weight ratio is a bit less than 1:1 you can imagine that it will fly a scale-like model and is not possible to do some of my preferred aerobatic maneuver, and just forget the vertical straight climb up I am looking for. What is the way out? I can swap this engine with my FW190 which is fitted with OS81FS but this will be the last solution. Changing engine is in my mind if this CMPro Spitfire really give me a boring performance. So just wait and see how it behaves in the maiden flight.
I have a chance to get its first airborne with other friend on Friday afternoon as we were all destined for the maiden flight for four planes. Three Spitfires and one Mustang were ready for the first flight we were all waiting for the occasion for over a week. Have you ever tried making a first flight for a model plane? If not I want to tell you it feels exciting mixed with some nervous and a fair unleashed of adrenaline in me. The reason was I did not know how well the plane will behave and how much trim it needs to correct the bad tendency during the first flight. But after the first flight was done the following flight will be normal and a pleasure to fly with.
After an engine warm up I pushed the throttle stick slightly upwards and saw the plane steer along the guide way. It looked promising in a half stick as the tail lift up while the speed was added in – this was an indicator that my plane was now engaging on the rudder control so I kept it a bit more distance. At this point I shoved the throttle stick to its full limit and applied a gently up elevator and saw this model lifted up in the air nicely. You can see this in my video placing nearly the end of the post.
After making turn and flying in a straight path I tried to feel any uncorrected tendency. The roll was nice there was no trim required but the pitch needed correction since the plane tended to climb up at the center of elevator stick. So I trimmed it with up-stick to make it nose down to a level flight – the lead weight just popped up in my mind as it might need a bit more in this case. However I wanted to determine this when making the landing. If the landing was acceptable I would keep the trim but if not I should do something with the lead or … the engine.
During the flight the plane was very stable and looked nice in the sky. There was no problem making axial roll an stall turn. Loop and Cuban eight was not tried but a sense of the handling hinted me a confirmation. At full speed it was not dull it was flying fast in most people eyes however I did not make a straight and long climb up since I felt the lack of power for this magic maneuver. Gliding was not bad the eclipse wing did its job very nice and this perhaps owing to the heavy lead that assisted this performance. Overall rating it had crisp control and was nice to fly but literally needed a long runway to land – it was a flying brick like other flyer used to call.
After the landing I found that one of the lead piece fell off its place so I need an epoxy to fix it back again, it may be better idea to use the screw nut to securely lock it in place. I flew this Spitfire again around five minutes and still discovered that the same lead piece was out of place again. This time I saw the engine mounted screws were loosed so there would be more work at home after the end of this day. Back to my house every loosing thing was fixed and securely locked so next time it will be more pleasure to fly this CMPro Spitfire. Thanks for your reading this review I hope you have an idea how the CMPro Spitfire behaves. How do prefer its pros and cons? Please kindly give me your idea or share your experience in the comment box. Thanks