Flyzone DH-2 Beaver Ready-to-Fly
Ok, we are not going to beat around the bush plane here. If you have yet to try flying off of water … you should go grab the Flyzone DH-2 Beaver
The ULTIMATE Float Plane?!
Ok, we are not going to beat around the bush plane here. If you have yet to try flying off of water, you have been tossing around the idea of flying off water, you already have flown off water a little or you are a career float flyer with thousands of hours under your belt … you should go grab the Flyzone DH-2 Beaver! A strong recommendation perhaps yes, but we have plenty of reasons why we are willing to go out on a limb and make this statement at the very front end of this product review. For starters, take a look at the following collage of photos of the Flyzone Beaver. She’s quite the beauty, eh? Next, please read on to see why we think this foamie float flyer qualifies as the best amphibious aircraft that we at HDFlyer have ever laid our greasy, airplane loving mitts on.
The DH-2 Beaver, like most Flyzone models, is available in either a Ready-to-Fly (RTF) or Transmitter Ready (TxR) version. What those acronyms mean to an aspiring new pilot is that they have a quick decision to make before plunking their hard earned cash down. The RTF version includes EVERYTHING that is needed to fly in the box. EVERYTHING! The TxR version does not include the 3S 1800mAh flight battery or a battery charger and it comes with but half of the radio system, I.E. the consumer will have to either buy a five channel radio transmitter or use one that they may already own. The half of the radio system that does come with the TxR version is the receiver.
It is a Tactic TR624 six channel 2.4GHZ receiver and it will respond to signals from a Tactic AnyLink 2.4GHz radio adapter compatible transmitter. Retailers often run specials that include the AnyLink adapter with the purchase of a TxR kit. Put another way, if you are a total beginner and wish to get your feet wet in the exciting hobby of electric aircraft, spring for the RTF version. The Tactic TTX600 2.4GHz transmitter is a most capable entry level transmitter with a very well balanced features set that will serve a beginners needs and then some. The RTF version even includes a four pack of AA batteries to power the TTX600 transmitter. The RTF version also includes a 3S 1800mAh flight battery and a basic balancing type charger that can be powered off either AC or 12VDC.
If you already have spent any time at all in the hobby, chances are that you already have a programmable computer transmitter, a battery charger or two and a 3S 1800 or 2100mAH battery lying around. If that is the case, the TxR version is probably for you. When buying the TxR version of the Beaver, it is necessary to get a hold of an AnyLink adapter. I bought one from my local hobby shop. Most shops stock this very popular adapter. The chart below lists the transmitters that are compatible with the AnyLink module:
AnyLink Compatibility Matrix!
While we started out flying our Beaver RTF kit with the included Tactic transmitter, we eventually switched over to using a Futaba 8FG and AnyLink adapter. Why? Mainly because we wanted to be able to employ some of the advanced programming features of the 8FG, such as being able to slow the operation of the flaps down. That is not to say that the Tactic transmitter is not a very capable transmitter however. Deploying and retracting the flaps using it involves rotating a knob. Another feature that I like to use on my transmitter is a count down timer, to better track the length of time that I have been in the air. The Beaver sips the current out of the included 3S 1800mAh. We were able to attain flight durations of eight to ten minutes with This battery. Most 3S 2100-2200mAh batteries will also fit into the battery compartment and can thus be used too. Though the extra bulk of a 2100 or 2200mAh pack does shift the center of gravity forward slightly, it is not that noticeable. What is readily apparent is that even longer flight durations are possible using a larger pack.
Notably Cool Features
In this section, we will start to build the list of reasons whey we wholeheartedly recommend this model as the quintessential float plane. The Beaver is composed of Flyzones own special chemistry of foam known as Aerocell. Aerocell is touted by Flyzone as being “crash-tough and feather-light“, and “durable enough to stand up to everyday abuse“. This is not the first Aerocell foam model that I have flown. I have owned and enjoyed several other aircraft and Aerocell does live up to the marketing claims.
It is easily repairable and resists hangar rash and the normal damage commensurate with handling and transporting a model airplane, AKA hangar rash. I have in the past used plain white spackle to fill dents in my Aerocell aircraft and the spackle does a great job of fixing and hiding minor damage. I for one am usually much less nervous flying foam models than when flying a similarly sized built up plane. Foam is much more easily repaired than a balsa and lite ply aircraft that has suffered a big hit.
Another feature that is not only cool but quite useful as well is the included LED lighting system. The Beaver comes with realistic wingtip strobes, a red beacon atop the cabin and a bright white landing light in the leading edge of the wing. I ordinarily get a little nervous when flying at or beyond dusk. However, with the lights on the Beaver providing valuable orientation feedback, I found myself routinely flying into twilight and beyond. The lights are even visible in broad daylight.
One of the main reasons that we at HDFlyer really love this model is that is comes with both fixed landing gear, for operations of the terrestrial sort, and floats, for flying off of water in its various states of thermal suspension (ice, snow and liquid). Almost every other amphibious kit currently out on the market now or in the past has required the end user to purchase floats as an add-on to a plane that comes out of the box with conventional landing gear. Not so with this Beaver! Flyzone includes both options in the box and it is possible to switch back and forth at will, dependent on the days flying destination. Though we did start out with the conventional fixed gear, which is in a tail dragger configuration, we flew but one battery through the model and then rushed it back into the shop to exchange the fixed gear for the floats. And the floats have not left our Beaver since! The float struts are keyed, using both adhesive backed labels and identifiers molded into the foam in the form of raised letters and numbers, to assist in getting them all attached properly.
Assembly Sans Adhesives
Assembling this model does not require adhesives at all. Instead, a Phillips screwdriver will get most of the job done. Some of the fasteners fit quite tightly into their plastic receivers, I.E. the gear and floats fasteners. It is important to use a properly sized screwdriver tip in order to avoid rounding out the screw heads. The fasteners all come in clearly marked bags. Spare pieces of many fasteners are included. We really like how some manufacturers are engineering their kits to go together without adhesives. Most of the graphics are factory applied, although some of ours were curling along their edges in several places. No amount of coaxing them back down would convince them to stay. There is one small sheet of graphics, containing N numbers and a fish logo. Don’t forget to stick the fish on the vertical stabilizers!
Though I had attached the small finlets on the ends of the horizontal stabilizer when assembling my kit, I later read that they were only installed on full scale Beavers equipped with floats in order to improve yaw stability. For any members of the Scale Police that may be auditing this article for scale accuracy … Please excuse the photos of the fixed gear equipped Beaver showing these finlets in place. We have sinned.