The Beaver was created by De Havilland of Canada to be the perfect bush plane. Its designers knew a lot about wilderness flying living in the shadow of the Great White North and built the Beaver to be exceptionally rugged and powerful. Entering service in 1946, it quickly established itself on backwoods routes throughout Canada and Alaska. It went wherever the roads didn't, including lakes when retrofitted with floats. This airborne pack mule still flies in remote areas today, carrying fisherman to weeklong getaways or island-hopping tourists in the Caribbean. Wherever people are looking to enjoy a secluded slice of the great outdoors, chances are a Beaver is taking them there. It's only fitting that such a plane be GWS's newest park flyer subject.
Designed for those afternoon getaways to the local park, the GWS Beaver park flyer looks like a baby bush plane. Its all-foam fuselage is molded to look like the real thing and comes with a realistic looking cowl. No painting is required; decals are included for extra detail. Assembly can be completed in just a couple of short evening sessions.
A 3-channel radio system, micro flight pack, and charger are required to complete assembly. GWS has designed two new flight packs specifically for use with the Beaver. These come with just about everything needed for the onboard electronics, including the ICS100 electric speed control, two servos, a R4N micro receiver, and a 600mAh battery pack. A powerful EPS300C power system consisting of a 370-type electric motor mated to a gear reduction drive comes in the kit. This all-in-one unit simply pops onto the model's stick motor mount and can be easily swapped for a different EPS system, should the modeler want to experiment with different prop and gear reduction combinations.
We flight tested the Beaver in calm conditions using a GWS Naro flight pack with both the 600mAh and 270mAh 7.2V battery pack. Naturally, the biggest difference was in flight times with the 600mAh pack offering the longest at a little over 11 minutes. The 270mAh pack lasted for half that time, yielding about five minutes worth of flying fun. Takeoff performance with both packs was spirited, with the lighter 270mAh pack offering a slight climb advantage over the bigger pack.
We could takeoff in about the length of a picnic table and climb briskly, just as if we were taking off from a secluded strip with trees at the end of the runway. Once airborne, the Beaver's high wing and simple rudder/elevator controls made for stable flight performance that was reminiscent of a trainer. We flew lazy 15-foot circles at half throttle without a hint of a tip stall. There was plenty of elevator authority and horsepower for loops too. Hushing down for landing, the Beaver retained superb control authority all the way to touchdown. The only thing the experience lacked was a scenic mountain backdrop and a miniature backwoods airstrip.
GWS has a real winner on their hands with the new Beaver park flyer. Its scale good looks and baby bush plane performance will provide hours of outdoors enjoyment, much like its full scale inspiration has for over 50 years.