The call of duty beckons yet again, to review another RC aircraft. But, this time it is not another helicopter, it is an airplane. Specifically, it is the Hornet 3 Mini RC Helicopter and the RC AH-64 Apache RTF 4 CH Electric Helicopter, both also available from HobbyTron.com. With my RC helicopter flying experience would I be able to take on flying an airplane? We’ll see.. To date I have test flown the
The Silverlit Palm–Z Mini RC Indoor Airplane is small, so small that it literally fits in the palm of your hand. The wingspan is 8-inches and the nose to tail length is 7.25 inches. Like the Hornet 3 and Picco Z helicopters, the Palm–Z is made of the same tough polypropylene foam. The Palm–Z is also very light, weighing in at only 10 grams with the Li-Poly battery pack.
Like other small electric RC aircraft before it, the Palm–Z recharges from the remote controller unit. But instead of a cable running from the controller plugging into the belly of the aircraft, the Palm–Z rests on top of the controller with the belly plugged into a socket on the controller.
The way the Palm–Z connects to the remote for charging is very unique and innovative. The on/off switch doubles as the charging connector.
After the Palm–Z is connected to the charger, the power switch is set to “CHG.” The green charging indicator light will turn on. In about 15 to 20 minutes it will turn off, indicating that charging has been completed. The Palm–Z is rated for 8 to 10 minute flight times on a fully charged battery.
At this point, the Palm–Z is ready for flying after a quick trimming session to make sure it will fly straight. Take-off is accomplished by throwing the Palm–Z in the same way you throw a paper airplane. Although, there are videos on the net that show the Palm–Z taking off from tables, I have yet to perfect the “take-off from a table” method.
The controller that comes with the Palm–Z is different in that there are no conventional sticks for the flight controls. There are sliders which the instructions call left and right levers. The left lever controls the throttle and the right lever controls the left/right turning of the Palm–Z.
The controller uses infrared (IR) frequency to communicate with the Palm–Z. The infrared have a range of up to 100 feet. The Palm–Z is available in three bands, A, B and C, which means that up to three Palm–Z airplanes can share the same airspace.
What surprised me the most is how the delicate looking motor and rudder systems are so exposed.
The construction of the Palm–Z appears and feels very delicate and fragile. After many crashes (I lost count of how many times) the airplane has not suffered any visible damage. Just in case, Silverlit bundles repair tape and a spare rudder with the Palm–Z. Also included is a wall hanging hook to display the Palm–Z.
Despite the Palm–Z being designed as an indoor flyer and advertised as able to fly around your living room, I found that my living room had just too much furniture which got in the way of the Palm–Z’s flight; it kept going behind shelves, the TV and the sofa, Other people’s flying experiences may vary based on how much free space is available in their homes, but my home just did not have enough space to fly this airplane. I found the best place to fly it was the same place I flew the Apache helicopter, the lobby at work. With the big open space and little furniture to get in the way, the flying fun could be had. With so much more space, I was able to easily fly the Palm–Z in circles and from one side of the lobby to the other. Just a word of caution: watch out for air vents that will throw out unexpected air currents to knock the Palm–Z out of control.
Since I flew the Palm–Z solo, I was unable to work a camera at the same time. But, HobbyTron has this awesome video of the Palm–Z in action. Check it out:
I think the Palm–Z is a fun and durable RC aircraft that mini RC vehicle fans will enjoy a lot.
What I Like: Durable construction, cable-less charging setup
What Needs Improvement: Nothing
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