I truly enjoy the Parkzones Warbirds.  The whole series of Parkzone WWII planes have been easy to build and fun to fly.  Each has it's own character, it's own look and feel in the air.  When word came out that they would be releasing a FW-190A, I put them on backordered and waited patiently for the day they would arrive.  (Patiently like a 5 year old waiting for Santa!)
Finally the boxes showed up at the shop.  Some for customers, and one for me!  In typical Parkzone fashion, the initial build took about 20 minutes (hey, I read instructions!).  In my opinion, the plane looks outstanding!  The painted finish on these foam Warbirds keeps getting better with each model they release.
Of course, we had the specific E-Flite electronic retracts in stock, so I instantly opted to install a set.  For me, Warbirs just look better with the main gear retracted.  Within minutes, it became apparent that someone got something wrong with the retracts this time.  They usually bolt in and work, as easy as that.  But, even though the struts and retracts were specific to this airframe (74 degree, with pre-bent struts) they took some work to get fit properly.
After informing Horizon of the problems, I set to work figuring out what to do so I could fly my new Bird.  The problem was the toe angle of the tires.  Both had toe in (pigeon toed, angled in), about 5 degrees per side.  This would not have worked well trying to taxi the plane, as the drag on the tires would have acted like brakes and most likely caused the plane to flip over when throttle was applied.
As it turns out, the flat spots on the struts were cut incorrectly at the factory.  Horizon has released a product bulletin on how to fix this, but I came up with a simple fix that might work for others as well.  I simply loosened both of the set screws holding in the strut, then tightened the rear one which sets the strut much closer to the proper angle.  Then, I snugged the front screw down.  This seems to leave a degree or so of toe, not enough to worry about.
The second problem spot was the gear covers.  Both were angled incorrectly.  The front was pushing into the wing too much, and the rear was sticking up away from the wing too much.  I added two shims to the front screws, and angle cut the plastic strut cover were the 5th screw mounts and it came out close enough for government work (as they used to say).  There was still a small gap on the rear of the cover, but shimming anymore would have put a funny angle on the covers, taking away from the looks when the gear are down.
Parkzone nailed the scale appearance of the full size FW-190A with the retract angle and look.  I was very happy with the appearance overall.  I found out the angle makes the plane a little tricky on take off and landing, if the surface you are using has a lot of traction.  The Maiden flights were on astro-turf at our local flying club (the Wine Country Flyers).  This stuff is has great traction and side loads caused the retract to fold against it's spring slightly and then it would unload and flip the plane on it's top!  Caught me by surprise once or twice.  So, being on top of your rudder control is important on this type of surface.
The 2nd outing was on a gravel/dirt runway and everything was much easier.  Getting used to the airplane helped, I'm sure.  But, I was able to impress everyone with scale take-offs and landings.  Nothing beats watching a warbird come buy, tail in the air, slowly lifting off the main gears and then hitting the retract switch a few feet off the ground.  Landings were much the same, set it down on the mains, a nice long roll out, and then plant the tail and taxi back.  I thought the Thunderbolt would be my all time favorite tail dragger to do touch-n-goes, but in only it's 2nd outting the FW-190A has taken that spot!
Bomb drop?  What bomb prop?  Well, actually it's called a "Servoless Payload Release" and it's a great idea.  Parkzone just released this unit and the FW-190A has a belly tank and a spot for this gem.  It wires into an auxiliary port and with the flip of a switch, it releases the belly tank (in mid flight!).  I've hooked it up, taking all of about 10 minutes (yes, I read instructions).  I did have to cut away a little bit of the foam in the wing, so the servo-plug wire would not be squished.  But, other than that, it was two screws out, two screws in, plug it into the receiver, a quick transmitter set-up and I was releasing payloads.
The FW-190A is a terrific addition to the Parkzone WWII series of airplanes.  It's a great all around flying airframe, fast enough that low level passes are exhilarating, yet slows up nicely for landings.  The ground handling on most runways is excellent, although it takes a quick hand on the rudder control.  Overall, this is not a beginners plane, it's for an advanced intermediate to expert flyer.

A big Thanks to Mike Kalua for some help with flying and photo work!

If you would like to see a video, please click on the link:  http://vimeo.com/67477982  A big thanks to Jon Barnes at www.hdflyer.com for the video and editing work!

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Jake's Performance Hobbies
6650 Commerce Blvd. #21
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Telephone: (707) 586-3375