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Pilot’s Choice Product Review Photos by Kyle Jaracz and Matt Ruddick Horizon Hobby ParkZone F4F


Wildcat 1.0m BNF Basic This tamed Wildcat won’t disappoint


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I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again: One of the best things about model


aviation is the opportunity that it presents us to learn about more than just an aircraft. We can learn about the men and women who have accomplished so much in aviation history. This was the case when I received this Horizon Hobby F4F Wildcat BNF Basic to review. Coincidentally, I had just read


about a Wildcat in the news when the underwater wreckage of the aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-2) was discovered early in 2018. During the dive, an eerie image surfaced of a similar Wildcat with the same squadron markings as the model aircraft of which the ParkZone F4F Wildcat was modeled after.


The ParkZone Wildcat is modeled after the airplane fl own by Lt. Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare. He was the fi rst fl ying ace in the U.S. Navy and the namesake for Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. If you enjoy history as much as I do, check out The Sextant website (http://usnhistory. navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/03/09/ modern-treasure-uss-lexington-reveals- rare-f4f-wildcats) to learn more. The fi rst thing that will jump out at you as you open the box and prepare to put together this model is the amount of detail. A smooth matte fuselage and wing decals proudly display the World War II markings. As I mentioned, the livery is customized to Lt. O’Hare and the VF-3 squadron.


Putting the model together is


straightforward. Use the supplied manual and you will have this aircraft ready before your battery is done charging.


One item that threw me off for a moment was the battery hatch attachment. The magnet and plastic


34 PARK PILOT [Summer 2018]


The contents of the box. Putting this model together is straightforward and easy to achieve. Detailed instructions will assist you along the way. Be certain to use these instructions when binding and determining which transmitter switch turns the SAFE technology on and off.


frame that fi t into the fuselage had come detached. A few drops of Beacon Foam-Tac (www.foam- tac.com) glue alleviated the issue easily, but it’s no fun to divide your attention between a falling hatch and a fl ying model, so be sure that you double-check the magnets before your fl ights.


Most pilots won’t notice, but there is a slight issue on both the box design and inside the manual for the supplied ESC. These sources label the included component as an 18-amp model, but the supplied and installed ESC is a 30- amp version. The supplied electronics do a good job of powering this model. It’s important to remember that the original aircraft couldn’t match the famed Mitsubishi Zero’s speed and maneuverability, so I like to think of the fl ight characteristics as being scalelike. The 1,800 3S E-fl ite LiPo battery offered suffi cient power to perform, but


The F4F ParkZone Wildcat is capable of warbird-style aerobatics. The power system is a good fit for the model, providing good flight characteristics and good flight times.


a speed demon this model is not. When you pair that with the inclusion of both AS3X and switchable SAFE technology, this model fi ts its role well as an intermediate aircraft. You should expect fl ight times of roughly 10 minutes with this power combination. While installing the battery, you might notice that you need more strap material than is present to securely fasten your battery pack. Horizon Hobby provides an additional strap to help secure the battery in its accessory pack. If you use the same size battery pack for all of your fl ights, you can easily modify the canopy to incorporate a battery stop using a piece of foam or a golf tee.


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