Top Flite Spitfire 60 Kit Review

Review by Eric Bradley, Staff Contributor

Equipment Used:

- RCV90sp four stroke nitro motor

- Spektrum AR6210 receiver

- ST47BB servos

- Century Jet Spitfire retracts

- Robart Standard Airtank and valve set

- 3.5" Tru-turn aluminum spinner

- Hangar 9 remote glow igniter

- Top Flite Spitfire Cockpit set

- Dubro rubber wheels 3.5"

- Hydrimax 6v 2000mah battery

Pros:

- Very detailed build instructions

- Scale appearance

- Split flaps that hide in the trailing edge of the wing

- Fully sheeted design

- Vacuum molded plastic parts for detail

- All wood parts for retracts included

- All screws and hardware for fixed gear included

- Detailed rolled plans

- Very well die cut balsa parts

Cons:

- Some die cut ply parts were split on the edges (dull cutting blades?)

- The middle former around the cockpit was smaller than the two adjacent formers making for a tough sheeting job around the cockpit

- Landing gear rails are angle, requiring a sweeping retract action so the hole in the wing is a bit larger than necessary for the wheels to tuck into the wings

- I was wanting more detail in the cockpit

Summary:

Oddly when I started in RC this was the first large plane that was purchased for me. So I started building off and on, with building interrupted by an occasional Great Planes ARF. The build is straight forward with clear, understandable instructions with plenty of clear black and white pictures to demonstrate how the model should be built.

 

For finishing I decided to fiberglass the fully sheeted fuse, build up panels with Flite Metal and primer using 1/32 chart tape. And added rivets with a brass tube on the end of a soldering iron. Painted with Testors Enamels and sealed with Top Flite Lustrecote gloss clear. And used supplied adhesive backed insignia over the clear coat. Highly suggest Top Flite kits for Warbird enthusiasts!

I haven't flown it yet. But will update after the maiden flight.

 

After getting the motor started I taxied around to get a feel for how much power the RCV90 had. Then I lined her up on the runway and deployed flaps for take off and gave full throttle. After a longer rollout than anticipated she lifted off into the air with a slight roll to the right. A couple trim clicks kept it level. The motor had plenty of torque but not high enough RPM to be a speed demon. Turns were on rails and rolls were axial with enough rudder authority in the air that 4 point turns could be locked in. After goofing off for a bit it was time to bring her in. I lined her up over the runway once more and deployed full flaps, and it slowed but I kept the power on and greased her in with the wheels gentle bouncing on the grass. It is a great flying plane. I probably shouldn't have rushed the build and paid closer attention to keep it light. It looked great in the air with the retracts and flew just like I expected a warbird to fly.

If you haven't built a kit before I wouldn't recommend this one for there was a ton of carving, but if you love warbirds, have building experience and want something unique this is a lot I would highly recommend!