The GWS Spitfire is one of a line of foam War birds. It is quick to build, reasonably easy to fly and can do many aerobatics.
Similar to many of the GWS kits, the Spitfire comes as two fuselage halves, a wing and a tail plane. All made from fine-beaded EPS for better finish and increased toughness. The control surfaces need to be cut out, beveled and hinged but otherwise there is very little construction.
There are vacuum formed pieces for the lower part of the cowl and the radiators - the radiators can be left off to reduce drag.
Initially the CG should be on the spar but it is neutrally stable (i.e. it will fly inverted with no trim change) when the CG is 5mm behind the spar.
The Spitfire has a fairly short nose and is a tricky model to balance correctly - this has lead to many people attempting to fly with the CG too far back, making the elevator over sensitive and leading to nasty tip-stalls and spins. GWS include a block of clay to be used around the motor to balance the Spitfire, use as much as is required to acheive the recommended CG and don't be tempted to leave it out to save weight! Be careful when painting the tail, as excess weight here will require a lot of nose weight to compensate.
The Spitfire kit with the motor comes pre-painted solid green, the slope-soarer kit comes unpainted.
The Spitfire flies very nicely but isn't suitable as an aileron trainer. With the CG set correctly is is no harder to fly than the GWS Formosa but aileron experience is required. It is capable of aerobatics (loops, rolls, stall turns, inverted flight) and it copes well with a bit of wind but it's aerobatics aren't as accurate as the Formosa and it is not suitable for knife edge flight, infact the rudder is almost redundant and many people leave it fixed.
The stall is gentle and spin recovery is simple. The stock landing gear is too small for grass, hand launches are fairly easy except (in common with all Spitfire designs) the wing fillets force you to hold it some way behind the CG. The Spitfire tends to tip up on it's nose during a belly landing, which can damage the prop. Landings can tend to float on longer than you expect because it is a 'clean' design and glides well.
The Spitfire really needs at least a football field to fly safely. More if you increase the power.
The EPS foam is prone to Hanger rash but is quite good at absorbing bad landings. More major crashes usually require collecting all the pieces in a plastic bag, but it's usually possible to just reassemble the jigsaw of pieces with glue. The prop, gearbox and motorstick can all be broken in a major crash. They are all cheap but the motor stick can be hard to remove.
The vacuum formed plastic cowl is the part most likely to be damaged beyond repair in minor crashes.
There are many motor upgrades - anything over 100W is good. A suitable lipo would be 3s 1500mAh or 2s 2000mAh. Any more power and weight starts to require extra structural stiffening.
- Length 912mm (35.9 in)
- Wing Span 900 mm (35.4 in)
- Wing Area 16.5dm² (255.8 sq in)
- Empty Weight 340 g (12 oz)
- Flying Weight 410 g (14.5 oz)
- Wing Loading 24.8 g /dm² (8.1oz/sq.ft)
- Power System EPS-350C/DS
- Propeller EP1147
- Battery Required 7 cell 1050mAh
- Servo PICO / NARO
- Speed controller
- ICS-300 above
- Radio Required 4 ch