The Flyzone Playmate has been around for a while as a solid micro trainer, but now it’s available as a Tx-R model and some fresh paint to boot. Kurt and Rob grabbed one along with a Tactic AnyLink module and took to the skies! See how the Playmate scored on their 5X5 review…
When I think back to the early production micro models, they were light, had a heavy under-cambered wing design and a predominant dihedral on the main wing. The Playmate is one of those nostalgic designs, kind of like a shark. No need to evolve when the design works just fine!
Out of the box, we had to install (affix) our Tactic AnyLink™ module to our Futaba T8FG transmitter. Being a Tx-R, the Playmate can natively bind to a Tactic 2.4GHz transmitter or, with the currently free and included AnyLink module, can work with a host of other transmitter models and brands. The AnyLink module plugs in to your transmitter via the trainer port. Our Futaba radio was able to connect with one of the two supplied cables with the AnyLink and we were bound and ready for flight in no time.
The Playmates design truly is a “shark”. Early micros were not line-cutting powerhouses, but rather these really fun, lofty, calm weather flyers that were perfect for lazy evening flights in the side yard. That’s the Playmate. It’s also a great first time flyer training platform, providing all the needed interaction for basic RC flight.
One thing that you’ll find with the Playmate is that it has a lot of power! Times have changed and one thing we’ve seen with micros is the added battery capacity. The Playmate ships with a 130mAh battery and with such a light, lofty aircraft design the Playmate will stay in the air for a very long time. With just two batteries, you’d practically be able to fly one battery after another. Three batteries would keep you in the air all day long.
For the first time Playmate pilot, there are a few characteristics you’ll need to expect with an under-cambered, strong dihedral, and pronounced positive wing incidence setup. They are lofty and have a tendency to balloon under power. This is a good thing for long gentle flights and even basic aerobatics in dead calm weather but also comes at a small price. The Playmate isn’t a windy day flyer and you’ll find yourself fighting the sticks if you take it outdoors with even a strong breeze. It has enough power to muscle through the wind but you’ll be constantly fighting the very features that make it so graceful on those calm evenings.
The Flyzone Playmate is what will remain in our minds as a great representation of what drew us into the micro world of flight. A basic, highly functional, and very forgiving high wing trainer plane that will provide you with countless hours of relaxing flight, some punchy loops, and invaluable stick time.