Pros / The Ember 2’s battery charges up in just 20 minutes and lasts for over eight minutes of flight time.

Cons / Without gyroscopes, ailerons or the ability to perform even basic stunts, the plane isn’t as entertaining as other aircraft we reviewed.

 Verdict / ParkZone’s Ember 2 is a basic flier that feels too hamstrung for its price tag, though its decent battery life and fast charge times keep you in the air longer than most planes.

If there’s one thing we look for in the remote control airplanes we review, it’s fun. There’s no point in flying RC planes, whether they’re built for beginners or aimed at expert pilots, if they don’t make you grin from ear to ear. ParkZone’s Ember 2 is an aircraft that’s fairly easy to control and won’t shatter the first time you crash it, but it doesn’t have any gee-whiz abilities that drop your jaw. Given its stiff competition, we wish it did more to excite us.

The Ember 2’s best feature is its battery, a small 70mAh cell. The battery lasted an average of eight minutes 23 seconds in our flight time tests. That alone is well above the curve, but even better were the cell’s charge times; you can recharge a used Ember 2 battery in just 21 minutes. Given that charge times for RC airplanes average over 45 minutes and some take as long as an hour and a half to refuel, 21 minutes is nothing.

The Ember 2’s transmitter is a standard E-flite MLP4DSM, which came in many of the RC airplane kits we tested. The transmitter offers decent range – its connection with the Ember 2’s receiver was solid out to 321 feet on test day – and has support for four-channel aircraft, but the plane only uses three of those channels. It’s driven by a propeller, a rudder and an elevator; there aren’t any ailerons, which means barrel rolls aren’t possible. Even more disappointing, the shape of the Ember 2’s wings keep it from performing loops, a stunt many three-channel aircraft can pull off with ease.

Keep in mind that without SAFE flight assistance or even basic gyroscopic stabilization, the 0.7-ounce Ember 2 can easily be swept aside by a gust of wind. Its structural design purposefully angles the body of the plane up to help maintain lift, but the aircraft itself is shaky, even when there’s no breeze to speak of.

  • Flight Time
  • Charge Time
  • Range
  • Assembly Time
  1. How long you can safely pilot your RC airplane before needing to land it.
    (longer is better)
  2. 10  Ember 2
    8.4 Minutes
  3. 4.2 Minutes
  4. 6.4 Minutes
  5. 9.4 Minutes
  6. Category Average
    6.72 Minutes

Summary

Taken on its own merits, ParkZone’s Ember 2 is an adequate flier. Its battery life and charge times are excellent, it offers fairly easy flight, and the craft’s structure is forgiving if you happen to crash it once or twice. When measured against the fantastic flight models and gyroscopically stabilized planes that are higher on our lineup – including some that cost the same or even less than ParkZone’s aircraft – the Ember 2 struggles.

Specifications and Benchmarks

Performance

Flight Experience
C
Ease of Flight
B+
Durability
B+
Charging Time (minutes)
21
Flight Time (minutes)
8:23
Range (feet)
321
Low-Power Stutter
Loops
Barrel Rolls

Transmitter

Signal Channels
4
Required Batteries
4x AA
Panic Button
Re-Bindable Transmitter
Transmitter Type
E-flite MLP4DSM

Construction

Build Material
Poly- styrene
Weight (ounces)
0.7
Wingspan (inches)
16.3
Length (inches)
13.9
Propellers
1
Battery Capacity (mAh)
70
Assembly Time (minutes)
None
Charge Method
DC Charger

Flight Features

SAFE-Equipped
Gyroscopic Stabilization
Rudder
Elevator
Ailerons
Steerable Tail Wheel
Differential Thrust
Aircraft Channels
3