Ultra Micro Warbirds; Comparing the UM T-28, Mustang, Mosquito, and Corsair RC Airplanes

Standing in a hobby store in front of a wall of Ultra Micro planes can be quite intimidating. You might find yourself obsessively considering your options; slow flier, sport, or 3D. Which one to buy? With so many options and so many opinions it can be hard to narrow the decision down to one aircraft. Fortunately, one of the advantages of the Ultra-Micro world is the wide and affordable selection. For around one hundred dollars (US) there is a large range of possible aircraft. Many of the best looking UM aircraft are warbirds, the class of RC models made to look like scale versions of familiar bomber and fighting planes from history. These include several planes I’ve experienced - the P-51, T-28, Mosquito, and the Corsair. All of these are capable fliers and pleasing to the eye.

The UM P-51D Mustang was the first Ultra Micro warbird to be released. The P-51 is a good plane because it holds true to its scale form and function. It’s well painted, with authentic looking decals to bring even more realism into play. The Mustang is a full 4 channel air plane with an undercamber main wing and a small amount of dihedral for stability. Even the yellow spinner with a black spiral stripe was included in the design. A graceful flier with enough power to loop and roll, the P-51 is not to be overlooked. Although the P-51 looks awesome, and it will loop and roll, I find it a bit lacking in power. The motor is underpowered for the bird; it won’t fly very fast, and forget about vertical climbs. The control surfaces appear to be large enough to flip this bird around, however reality is quite to the contrary. I was not impressed with the performance.  Rolls are large and graceful, loops are huge and easy to follow. This particular warbird line would be a good recommendation as a next step up from a Champ.

The UM T-28 Trojan was the next airplane to be released, and like the P-51, is not lacking in authenticity and realism. ParkZone designed this plane with form and function as paramount priority. Just like it’s larger and very popular cousin, the park flier size Trojan, the Micro version is a full 4 channel airplane with full length ailerons and an undercamber main wing. Boasting a stout front nose and tail section with a snappy red and black color scheme, the Trojan can fly inverted and complete inside and outside loops and snap rolls to name a few. The T-28 was also the first Micro RC with a steerable front wheel and tricycle landing gear. Although the Trojan does not have the same power as a park flier, you will not be let down with this airplane.

ParkZone’s first dual motor Ultra Micro was the mighty Mosquito MK VI.  This is a unique plane for several reasons - it has dual 3 blade props, cool looking guns on the front nose cone, and over sized tires, it’s truly an ultra mighty micro plane. Boasting the largest wing span of any in its class, this one definitely stands out from the rest. Some wartime nick names included Mossie, Balsa Bomber, Wooden Wonder, and Freeman's Folly. The size of this plane is not the only thing unique to it. The sound of counter rotating 3 blade props stands out and will draw a curious eye from those whom have yet to hear it. The two electric motors do not necessarily make the Ol’ Mossie any faster or perform any better, but they sure look good. Everything about this micro is large - even the 250 mah liPo is the largest of the single cell planes. The Mosquito is a graceful flier with the ability to do slow rolls and large loops, but you will not be hanging this one by its props.

The most recent Warbird to be released is the Corsair. Sporting a dark blue top and light blue belly with clear canopy, this is one of the best looking of the War Birds. The inverted gull wing shape is the most eye catching part of this plane but possibly one of the biggest aerodynamic problems about this plane. In the full size plane, the shape was found to provide inferior elevator authority, a characteristic I think holds true in the Micro cousin. The F4U is my top pick for aesthetics, but my last pick for flying fun. I found the F4U Corsair to be slow and anything but responsive. Rolls need help from other control surfaces, loops are very large in diameter, and snap rolls are more like dough rolls, big and cumbersome. If you’re looking for an ornamental plane to hang from your ceiling or simply to expand your collection, this is a good plane you. However, if you’re looking for the divine intersection where form and fashion meet function and fulfillment, you might want to overlook this one.

You might have already figured out my preference is toward sport and 3D planes, which may be why I hold the above mentioned planes to such a high standard. At the same time though, my Mosquito is always under one arm on my way out to the flying field. The UM warbirds offer incomparable style and the gratifying chance to own an ultra micro piece of aviation history; here’s how I’d break them down for a friend shopping at the local hobby store. The Mustang looks good, but it’s just not that exciting to fly. The Corsair just doesn’t fly all that well at all. That leaves the T-28 vs the Mosquito, and between them I would be hard pressed to pick one. The T-28 is well designed, very popular, and flies well. If I was forced to choose just one, it would be the Mosquito. Its size and sound are unique to this not so small Ultra-Micro. As I write this there is only a $20 difference between the two in the Bind n Fly versions, and when choosing between $20 and ten times the excitement, in my book there’s no competition.

Aircraft compared in this article:
Ultra Micro Mosquito Mk VI PKZU1380 by ParkZone
Ultra Micro T-28 Trojan PKZU1580 by ParkZone
Ultra Micro P-51D Mustang PKZ3680 by ParkZone
Ultra Micro F4U Corsair PKZU1680 by ParkZone

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