Flyzone Tidewater Seaplane EP Tx-R Review
Image Credit: Hobbico
Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- Docile, easy to fly
- Very stable in the air
- Taxiing and takeoff are easy as pie
- Easiest plane to land ever
- Great looking plane
- Less than stellar quality
- Propeller way out of balance
- Spinner way out of balance
- Pontoons are difficult to remove
- Slightly under powered
Every summer, my family takes a trip to the summer house at Lake Champlain. Aside from the canoeing, kayaking, hiking and mountain climbing, I LOVE TO RUN MY RC stuff. I always take a boat or two, a truck or two, and an airplane. I always try to take a new and different sea or float plane every year just to mix it up a little and to see what's out there. With the flying field (the lake), less than 30 feet from the house, getting a kitchen pass to go fly is as easy as it gets.
Last year I decided on the Flyzone Tidewater. I had planned on taking the Parkzone Icon A5, but since it also had wheels, I tried it out before the trip and hated it. I sold it after a few days of owning it and decided to ship the Flyzone Tidewater up to the lake house. I don't know who to blame, Flyzone or Amazon, because when I got it, the wings were totally warped. I dealt with Amazon, and they overnighted me a new one. When I got it out, the entire rudder assembly was ripped off of the tail of the plane and the tail feather was lopsided. Since I hadn't shipped the first one back, I was able to use the fuselage from one, with the wings from the other, a shimmed tail feather, to finally get flying... or so I thought. When I spooled it up on the bench, the wobble in the prop and spinner was so bad, I didn't even try flying it that way. I tried balancing the prop, but it ended up easier to just replace it with an APC prop. When I checked the balance of the spinner, I was disappointed that it too was out of balance. I replaced it with a nice Dubro spinner with an aluminum back plate.
I programmed a standard 100% high rate, 70% low rate on all control surfaces. I was surprised that even with the rates at 100%, the plane maneuvered very sluggishly. I ended up going over 100% until the servos buzzed, then backed it down a little. This way, the plane actually moved the way I wanted it too, though rolls were still not as tight as I like them, but, in the Tidewater's defense, it is basically a flying boat. I will say it flew better than the Icon A5 (no wonder it was discontinued). Flying the Tidewater is relaxing, and pleasant. It would be a GREAT plane if the execution would have been there on the part of Flyzone. Even the motor seems a little insufficient for the shape and weight of the plane. The slightest upgrade would make it a much more fun plane. One of the huge positives I will give this plane is that it couldn't be any easier to land. I'm a pretty good lander as it is, but landing this plane takes little to zero effort. I tried to intentionally land it poorly and I could not succeed. Short of hitting the water like a dart, no landing is really a bad one with this plane.
All things considered, despite some glitches, I was still glad I had taken this plane over the Icon A5. I don't love this plane, but I don't hate it either. It did it's job of giving me something to fly while on vacation, and it certainly got the attention of the neighbors. It was simply just lacking in some very important areas. Areas where Flyzone could have gone a slightly higher quality route. They could have charged a little more and it would have been worth it. The design is there, the stability and fun factor are there, the quality just isn't. It's a shame too, this successful plane could have been an even bigger hit. I'd almost go so far as to recommend it to a beginner because of it's ease of take-off and landing, but the potential hiccups you may encounter, takes it off the table as far as beginners are concerned. If the price is attractive to you, and you know your way around some of these glitches, you may actually like this plane or at least enjoy it enough to have it be your designated sea plane. If you have any questions about this plane or my experience with it, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org