Review: Dynam Spitfire
The Dynam Spitfire was recommended to me by the president of our flying club and I had been looking for a good spitfire for a while, so I decided to buy one.
The reasons I liked this model are that it is actually a very good representation of a Spitfire Mk. IX. It is very scale - the panel lines and profile are all fairly accurate, unlike the previous spitfire I owned and many others on the market, which have flat bottoms, enlarged tails, poor reproductions of the beautiful curves and wing fillets. You see, the unique shape of a spitfire is difficult to reproduce in a model. It is all compound curves and very distinctive. The Dynam spit Is quite accurate, all the way down to the panel lines, right number of exhaust ports and scallops under the wing root The spitfire is actually a gull wing, although this feature is hard to spot.
I am now in the process of repainting and adding some nice scale details and weathering effects.
I have heard the kit was poorly packed when first released, resulting in small dings and dents in the foam, but mine arrived in good condition. They have improved their packaging which is good to see. The wings were slightly bowed upwards but were easily fixed by placing two books to warp them in the opposite direction for a few hours on a warm day. The kit included the model, a good quality 3-bladed prop similar to a master airscrew, quality and very scale spinner and a manual. The electric retracts, 4 servos, an 850kv motor and a 30amp ESC were pre-installed.
Assembly is fairly easy. The wings attatch by sliding onto the main wing spar, which is a sturdy carbon tube running about 3/5ths through the wing. There are smaller carbon rods already embedded in the outer half of the wing. The wings are then fixed to the fuselage by 4 metal screws.
Next the elevator and rudder fit onto the rear of the fuselage and are secured by two metal screws. I chose to glue the tail surfaces also. You need to check that they are aligned straight and level. I also needed to glue in the cannons and faux antenna.
Insallation of my Rx came next, secured with adhesive velcro, to allow centering of servos. Make sure you use Loctite on the small nut that holds the pushrod linkages together. I chose to remove the included aileron Y-lead and run ailerons on separate channels. The landing gear also has a custom y-lead which works well. All up 5 channels are required, although I used 6.
The prop and spinner assembly are very good, and the clearances between spinner and fuse are only a few mm which is pleasing to see. In 1 hour the plane was completed.
The Dynam Spitfire is made from sturdy EPO foam that has a good smooth finish (for EPO). There are a few moulding marks, but mostly on the bottom of the wings where thay aren’t obvious.
Servoless retracts of good quality
850kv brushless motor
30A Detrum ESC
Steerable tail wheel
mount point for flap servos if you choose to install them
Landing gear - The stock retracts are excellent quality and will handle grass fine, but if you intend to run this model from a grass field, it will require the landing gear to be angled forward to avoid nose overs. The only way I was able to take off without doing this was to have a friend hold the tail while I throttled up, and even then it was almost impossible to take off or land on grass without the model tripping over.
The mod is not difficult, and involves inserting 6-8mm plywood ‘spacers’ under the rearmost two screws of the LG. I had to replace the stock screws over these spacers with longer ones to achieve this. If you search the forums, there are pics of this mod.
Flaps are pre hinged and only require to be cut out, and two 9g servos added.
You can upgrade to 4s for more power using the stock motor, but should change the stock 30A ESC for a 40 or 50A with SBEC. Cooling holes would be recommended in warmer climates.
The Dynam Spitfire flys well in stock form. It is only mildly powered and pulled 280W on a 2200 3s 30c battery (about 120W per Lb), but it does have enough performance for scale flying. It will cruise at just over half throttle and can loop from level flight, roll, dive and immelmann easily. I get 5 - 6 minute flights on a 2200 3s, but there is room enough for a larger battery. The airfoil is fairly thick, providing plenty of lift for the plane to fly very slowly for a warbird. I could not get the plane to do any dramatic tip stall; it was completely docile and easy to maneuver. 75mm was the sweet spot for CG.
Once the landing gear is raked forward, it takes off nicely, requiring a little rudder to keep straight for the first few metres. The tail wheel lifts quickly and gently leaning back on the elevator brings the warbird off the ground. It will happily climb out at 45 degrees without losing speed.
It is best to leave a little throttle on while landing, but even on a dead stick approach the plane would be manageable if you kept the descent from being too shallow and losing speed.
The Dynam Spitfire would make a good choice for a first warbird. Due to its size it handles quite well and I found no challenge in making a nice neat circuit.
The Dynam Spitfire is a very nice replica of a beautiful British Warbird. The plane has peaceful flight characteristics and stable manners. The power is mild but enough. On a 4s the plane is a beast! Even on 3s the plane will climb, loop and roll with little effort. For the price the Dynam Spitfire is a solid buy, but watch the paint in direct sunlight otherwise the skin can blister.
- Can be bought for around $120 plus shipping
- Good quality electrics and hardware
- Quick easy build, flies well out of the box
- Clear, concise manual
- Smooth and predictable in flight
- Retracts are strong enough for grass
- Easy to add flaps
- Surface can blister in the sun
- Retracts need a small modification for grass strips