the flaps up, the takeoff roll is relatively short. I
took off with full power, turned downwind, and
was awestruck by the speed of the big Beaver.
At a better than one-to-one power-to-weight
ratio, this plane has more than enough power
to easily carry the extra weight and drag of the
float set or tow a good-size sailplane. On the
opposite end of the spectrum, the plane can
be slowed to a crawl with full flaps. Flying at
a more realistic speed at about half-throttle
with occasional use of full power, I got about
10 minutes of flying time. Battery changes are a
snap with the removable front hatch and roomy
General FliGht PerFormance
Stability: Being of a high-wing design, the
model is very stable at any speed with the flaps
up or down.
Tracking: The Beaver is definitely a stick-and-rudder plane, meaning that rudder greatly
enhances the turn. Ailerons alone can be used,
but turns look much nicer and have more
authority with some rudder added. This is not a
detraction—it is inherent in the scale design.
Aerobatics: Even though it is not very scalelike,
aerobatics are a blast with all that power on
tap. I used the recommended high rates for
all the controls and found the plane to be
The Beaver on Floats
If you can land and take off the Beaver at your flying field, then you should
have no trouble flying it off of water. The FMS Beaver and its optional float
set are ideal for first-time seaplane pilots. The floats simply bolt on, and
the plane has outstanding water handling and flight characteristics. Here
are a few tips to help you get your sea legs:
Unless you are a good swimmer, have
a means of retrieving the plane if it is
dead in the water. An RC or full-size boat
is a good option.
taxiing on calm water is no problem.
If there is any wind, taxiing can be very
challenging, as the plane always wants
to weathervane into the wind. Often you
will need to make a 270-degree turn to
turn 90 degrees.
take off and land into the wind.
Hold full up during the initial takeoff
run so that the floats don’t dig into the
water. Ease up on the elevator as the
plane gets “on the step,” and pull
back gently when the plane reaches
landing on water is the same as
landing on land. Ideally, the plane
should have a slightly nose-high attitude
at touchdown, but avoid stalling it above
the plane will seem to be a bit
sluggish due to the weight and drag of
the floats but, otherwise, will behave
like the wheel-equipped version.
responsive but not overly sensitive. Loops can
be any size, and the model has great vertical
performance. Roll rate is not especially fast, as
expected by the long wing. Inverted flight, as
well as any sport aerobatic maneuver, is easy
and fun to do.
Glide and stall performance: The plane has
a good glide ratio with the flaps up, but a
little power helps overcome the drag on final
approach. With full flaps, the plane can almost
be stopped with a good headwind yet remain
under complete control. Stalls present no
surprises and needn’t be feared.
The wide flight envelope of the Beaver
should provide for many entertaining flights.
The five bright LED lights, which are clearly
visible in daylight, will let you extend the fun
into the dawn or dusk hours. If you have
access to a lake, I highly recommend getting
the float set—the Beaver looks like it belongs
on the water.
FMS did a great job in engineering the Beaver
for pilots who want to get in the air quickly.
It takes less than an hour to assemble and
set up the radio. The plane has great flying
characteristics with no bad habits and can be
flown by pilots past the primary trainer phase.
With its abundance of power, the Beaver will
also put a smile on experienced pilot’s faces—
whether doing aerobatics, touch-and-gos, or