I'm a big fan of old airplanes and this is a beautiful model. Just wish it had real windows instead of stickers. Anyways, assembly was simple, it took longer to connect the wires to my receiver than it did to build it. Have flown it twice off pavement...it's a beautiful flyer! very scale. very lightweight. I wouldn't use anything larger than a 2200 mah pack. Five minutes of flight time while using only about 50% of it's capacity. This is a beautiful, scale flyer. Highly recommend.
The plane arrived very well boxed with no damage. Nice looking model. Impressive assembly design - no glue needed. Only screws were the tail wheel. I also had on hand an Aura5 which I installed and proceeded to configure. I had watched the FT videos on differential throttles and have set up the same on other planes with my transmitter mixing. Easy to do with the Aura5. However, very incomplete info on setup. I didn't see how to set any mix values on the throttles. They seemed to be set to max by default. Would have been very interesting for a 3D plane but not the Widgeon! I did find the info from Flex Innovations.
Next, I didn't see any discussion of how to set control throws per the manual. I dug most of that out by myself also. And I had left the elevator with far too much throw so my first flight was almost the last!! I moved the elevator control rod further in on the servo arm and that helped greatly!
I tested all three modes and will make some further mods to them. The mid config results in scale flying with limited aerobatic capability and gyros. Nice.
My first flights were from land and I noticed the wheels would either come loose or pop off! Needed to check after each landing.
I think FT needs to do more work on those videos because new flyers using the Aura5 are in for a surprise if they use the default settings!! Maybe have available a default config designed for that plane, not just a generic high performance model.
Other than these shortcomings, I think the Widgeon is a nice model. I do wish they would have not put on those awful looking FT decals! They really degrade the looks from a nice scale model.
I have uploaded a video to my youtube channel, MEFLYER, that is comprised of my first four flights.
One other note: The left motor has a ticking noise and nothing is hitting so I expect bearing or something internal to the motor. I spent 1.5hrs on chat with no answers before I closed it.
The G44 kit arrived in perfect condition. The Airplane assembly was easy. I added my ID numbers and WWII Army Air Corps markings. Looks cool. I didn’t install the pontoons(I’m not going to fly off water). I replaced the 2” wheels with 3” to fly off the grass at our field. I will fly it this week after the initial checkout. Thanks Flite Test, nice model. Larry Pace
I ordered my Flite Test Widgeon as soon as I saw the introduction video. It came within a few days and I had it ready to fly Monday morning this week. I installed an AR637T Spectrum RX with AS3X. I programmed my trusty Spektrum iX12 for guidance and differential thrust. My maiden flight was with the wheels installed and was flown off our club Petromat runway. Bottom Line - This Widgeon Flies AMAZING! More on that later.
Unboxing the Widgeon was a bit of an adventure. The starboard motor had poked a hole in the wing's plastic bag and the prop nut and washer were not in the bag. Luckily I found them both in the bottom of the box. The rudder had a bit of a twist from shipping, but it was easily straightened out. Both of the wingtip LEDs were angled down like they had been bumped into something during shipment. They were easily straightened out also. Here's the Good News - the Flite Test Widgeon looks even better in person than it does in the pictures and it goes together just as easy as they claim. Since I prefer differential thrust in all my twins, I separated the throttle Y-harness and used my gear channel for the starboard motor. The hardest part of the build was programming Throttle Cut for the second motor. I set up the AR637T for the recommended AS3X defaults and used my slider to adjust the gains.
Maiden Flight went very well. I set the AS3X for "OFF" and the Widgeon was airborne at barely 1/4 throttle. This plane flies very nicely at all power settings. It is very stable and doesn't really need a stabilized receiver, but I like them, so it's in mine. The Widgeon was much more aerobatic than I expected. The aileron rolls were nice and axial - much better than a high wing twin has a right to. Pretty much unlimited vertical was a bonus. Upright and inverted snaps and spins worked out well with the recommended CG. I guess I got a bit too rowdy with the aerobatics as the port motor cover came off part way through the maiden. I put a tiny touch of FoamTac on the front of each motor cover and snapped them back in place. They haven't come off again.
I can't wait to get this Widgeon out on the water, but that will have to wait till our local authorities relax a few restrictions.
Overall I am very pleased with the Flite Test Widgeon. It's a great flying model of one of the most beautiful seaplanes every built. What more could you ask.
Great looking plane, and the color scheme is fabulous. I was a bit concerned that it would not be such a great flyer as the wing loading is a bit high, but the maiden flight totally alleviated that fear. Really is a gentle flyer, and can be flown quite slow and scale... or not. Truly is a great aerobatic performer, with a little power added and using high rates. I don’t love the looks of the props-looks like they belong on a multi rotor and not a scale vintage sea plane, even if they do perform well. May try a pair of MAS 8” x 6” three blade props. The port side red navigation light in the wing tip did not work out of the box, and this has been the only quality issue. Would like to report how the Widgeon performs on the water, but I stalled and crashed on a landing approach, while I was getting it dialed in flying it from land. Very sad, but I can’t wait to get it repaired and get it on the water and back in the air!
Wow, what a superb plane. The finish is incredible. The paint so shiny it shows finger prints! Rivet and panel detail is terrific. It goes together with no glue. All magnets and beautifully fitting hatches. Access to motors is via a removable top hatch. This plane is designed with maintenance in mind. Replacing a motor or an ESC would be a breeze.
Teamed with an Aura 5, mine flew incredibly scale and smooth. I had both a 6-axis flight mode for that locked in "SAFE" flight experience, and a 3-axis flight mode for a bit more freedom. Have not yet moved up to high rates to see what this can really do.
Maneuvering on water with Differential Thrust set up via the Aura 5 was a joy. Not the vague, hope I can get it to shore, feel of my other sea planes. This drove like a boat. Incredibly scale. I did not yet try differential thrust while flying as I wanted to get a feel for it first.
Take off is absolutely scale. The Widgeon very noticeably comes up on plane, tracking straight ahead with the twin motors, then gently lifts off completely scale, but with plenty of power. My guess is a hammering of the throttle would produce more energetic less scale like take offs.
With the help of the Aura 5, in the air it is rock solid and predictable with 6-axis "Safe" like help, and nicely lively with the low rates 3-axis. Plenty of speed. Landings onto the water were again incredibly scale and easy to land perfectly. It's not exactly a STOL type plane (maybe with a Flaperon set up), but it sure lands nice and easy and smooth. Makes you look like a great pilot!
Still working on perfect CG, but I found the recommended CG a touch nose heavy, but I was flying with a 2200 instead of the recommended 1800.
I have flown a E Flite Otter. The Otter is clearly more just a model compared to this. The price difference is absolutely worth it if a beautifully engineered and finished plane is something you like. Simple things like the way the wings secure with hand twist large pins from either side - just works beautifully on the Widgeon. The Otter wing mechanism is hugely clumsy by comparison. Even all the servo arm hook ups are such high quality. Plus, if you choose to set it up, this has the fun of Differential Thrust!
This is just a great plane, you will not be disappointed. This is my first Flite Test product, but certainly not my last! If the rumored Beech 18 is produced, I will be first in line to pre-order!
REVIEW UPDATE AFTER A FEW FLIGHTS: More flying of the Widgeon tonight. Flew a 1800mah 3s for four minutes of light flying and had 54% left. There was maybe a 12mph breeze. Very impressed with the flight envelope. Can just hang in the air like almost like a STOL plane. Very light on its wings. Very smooth for large lazy 3/4 throttle scale like loops, or crank the elevator for a super tight loop. Seems to have unlimited climb but I did not fully test that. The real surprise was the rolls. Rolls almost like a fighter jet. Stays absolutely straight and level while rolling at a surprisingly rapid rate for this type of plane - all this on “low rates”. I can’t believe the wide flight envelope and no bad habits all through the range. Once I get more comfortable with low rate aerobatics, I’ll give it a go on high rates, and eventually try stunts with differential thrust (which so far I have reserved for taxiing on the water). I’m not sure how much the Aura 5 is helping create these fantastic flight characteristics, but this really is a great flying plane. Any comparison to an E Flite Otter (which I have flown) goes completely out the window once the Widgeon is in the air. It’s in a completely different league in terms of flight characteristics and wide envelope of capability. I can’t say enough great things about this plane. Can’t wait for more to come out in this line.