Parkzone Night Vapor BNF Review
Review by Nicholas Turner, Staff Contributor
- Spektrum DX8 and DX6i
- 1S 150mAh lipo
- Slow flyer
- Binds to any DSM2 compatible TX
- Bright LEDs
- 15-20 min flight times w/150mAh lipo
- BNF option for $99.99 USD
- RTF option for $129.99 USD
- Adjustable CG
- Rudder/aileron mixing programming not mentioned
- Covering can tear easily
- Landing Gear fragile
- Naturally, does not like wind
I’ll be the first to admit I scoffed at the Vapor family of aircraft for a long time. I even made fun of close pilots who raved over theirs. Then, one of them let me fly theirs and my opinion changed. An 18 minute flight in the backyard, stress free, no worries had me hooked. I was fortunate and had one offered to me used by a friend of a friend, so in 2011 I purchased a used Night Vapor. Once I took possession of the aircraft, I bound it to my DX6i at the time. First flight was enjoyable, but I found myself using aileron input instead of rudder. With the default mapping rudder is mapped to the rudder stick. I did some digging on the DX6i and mixed aileron/rudder together so now both will control the Night Vapor’s rudder. After a few flights in the yard getting familiar with the plane, I ventured into the realm of night flying. The LEDs are bright enough for night flying. There are three white LEDs on the wing’s LE, which when close enough to the ground will illuminate the ground under the plane. There is a red and green LED on the TE of the wing, red on the left and green on the right. As well as a blue LED on the carbon fiber rod between the wing and tail feathers. The blue and red LED blink together, alternating with the green LED. There’s also the glow of the LED on the RX as well. So night time orientation is easy. As much fun as it is to throw up in the air during daylight and twilight hours, I find it more fun to get out after dark and fly it around the yard.
After a few years of using the DX6i and missing the backlight on the TX, I upgraded to the DX8 (for other reasons than just the backlight). The Night Vapor bound the DX8 without issue and I mixed the aileron/rudder input again. I really enjoy flying around the trees and kid’s playhouse in the yard with the vapor, especially at night time. I even entered a limbo contest that no limitations on airframe and schooled everyone with the Night Vapor. With a CG back, the Vapor/Night Vapor can harrier extremely well. On a fresh pack, with enough altitude you can squeeze out a loop, but that’s the limit of the vapor. I enjoy doing tight circles down from high altitude, flying through openings, and around things. When I’m stressed, this plane is the perfect relaxer as it’s not fast and doesn’t require much thinking like a good 3D plane or warbird would require. Due to the slow nature of the Vapor family aircraft, they are very popular indoor planes. I attended one indoor event where we tried to fly through hula-hoops and other obstacles. Despite the fun of the Vapor family of aircraft, they do not handle wind much over 3-5mph. They are extremely light aircraft and get blown around easily. Now I primarily fly mine in the yard at night after the kids have gone to bed, or sometimes early in the morning in the yard before anyone is up.
After coming to the “darkside” of this three channel aircraft, I highly recommend anyone with a decent sized yard or access to a park to get one. With a fresh 1S 150mAh lipo, 15-20 minute flight times are expected. The plane is so relaxing and easy to fly, when I hit LVC at 18 minutes on my friends’ I was shocked because it didn’t feel that long.