What does a high-wing replica of a Cessna 195, configured as an RC trainer, and a P-51 Mustang painted as Miss America have in common? Plenty if they are part of the new AirCore lineup of small foam aircraft from Flyzone. This latest offering is going to make flying small RC aircraft easier and more affordable.
The AirCore fleet has some exciting things in common. Magnetically attached wings and hatches are obvious, but what makes these aircraft so neat is the Power Core system that houses everything electronic in one easy-to-install unit. That’s right everything—brushless motor, ESC, receiver, and three servos—all on a plastic frame that is retained in the airframe by powerful, rare earth magnets.
Even more innovative is the pushrod attachment. Self-aligning, rare earth magnets make the mechanical connections at the same time that the Power Core is being attached to the airframe.
Completing the package is a snap-on propeller that delivers the needed thrust, but easily falls away in the event of a not-so-perfect landing. A propeller and matching spinner are included with each airframe. The LiPo battery is held in place by hook-and-loop fasteners directly over the ESC.
The Power Core is compatible with any SLT transmitter (Tactic) or the AnyLink system. Included in the manuals are specific instructions for setting the reversing functions on the transmitter as well as the throttle trim to properly arm the ESC.
At this writing, there are eight airframes available from $39.99 to $44.99 covering everything from a high-wing trainer to your favorite military fighter or racer.
The Power Core that moves from aircraft to aircraft in seconds sells for $59.99. A two-cell 250 mAh LiPo battery completes the package at $5.99 each.
The Principle is a three-channel trainer with a remarkable resemblance to a classic Cessna 195. The airframe’s assembly consists of simply snapping in the landing gear to the bracket in the bottom of the fuselage and securing the wing with the built-in magnets. The pushrods and tail surfaces are preinstalled. The top of the cowl is held in place with magnets and gives you access to install the Power Core and the battery.
Control functions so that the right (aileron) stick controls the rudder without any special channel mapping or programming. Even if you are all thumbs, the Power Core only takes a few seconds to put in place.
The Power Core has more than enough thrust to fly the Principle. Resist the temptation to use full throttle for hand launching, or takeoff. If you are taking off from the ground, slowly advance the throttle. I found that the Principle is the most fun at half throttle or less.
If you are using a radio with end-point adjustments and programming functions, consider reducing the elevator throw and increasing the rudder throw. A small amount of down-elevator as you advance throttle, will also help. At full throttle, the Principle is a rocket ship.
The Miss America P-51 adds ailerons, so there is an additional step when attaching the wing. Make sure that the aileron pushrod guides in the fuselage are clear and gently position the aileron pushrods into the guides as you snap the wing into place. The top of the fuselage all the way to the rear of the canopy comes off to make installing the Power Core even easier.
That big, clear space in the canopy looked empty without a pilot so I installed a small foam figure by carefully cutting from the bottom and gently pushing the figure into the cockpit.
The landing gear—complete with gear doors—snaps into the bottom of the wing. If you have access to a hard surface or even artificial turf, use the landing gear. The P-51’s takeoff and landing performance was improved with the gear bent slightly forward.
Make sure that the wheels spin freely and don’t drag on the gear doors. From the factory there is a slight amount of aileron droop and right rudder—all good things! The Miss America is incredibly stable in slow flight. The right rudder helps keep the takeoff roll straight.
Going easy on the throttle makes takeoffs a breeze. You will be off of the ground at less than half throttle. The machine is fully aerobatic. Inverted flight requires significant down-elevator input. All of the typical warbird maneuvers are easily achieved. At full throttle, the Miss America becomes a racer burning up the indoor or outdoor skies.
Landing with the wheels on requires a small amount of power through touchdown to keep the tail working. With the proper application of rudder and throttle, you can easily taxi back although there is no steerable tail wheel.
The AirCore lineup has eight great airplanes with more offerings on the way. The ability to move the Power Core between airframes in less than a minute and fly a different model is amazing! The recommended battery is a good choice and provides reasonable flight times before a pit stop is required.
If you’re looking for some variety among your fleet, give AirCore aircraft a try. You will have a blast!
Wingspan: 22 inches
Length: 17.8 inches
Weight: 3.4 ounces
P-51 Miss America
Wingspan: 22 inches
Length: 19 inches
Weight: 4.1 ounces
• Nice mix of aircraft from which to choose.
• Modular system makes it easy to swap equipment from airframe to airframe.
• Good flight performance.
• Gear needed to be bent slightly forward.
• Aileron guides needed to be cleared out.