Question1: "Jack, what's the best way to land my Byron Corsair."
Jack: "The Byron Corsair is a very predictable airplane and a real thrill to fly. It is an all business Warbird and it goes exactly where you tell it to. The landing sequence is pretty straight forward and in my opinion the use of flaps is mandatory. As you enter the downwind leg of your landing approach reduce the throttle to about 50% power and lower your flaps and drop your landing gear. Most Corsairs require a bit of down trim to maintain level flight and I program this in on my radio. As you start your base leg turn have your flight partner make sure the runway is clear and announce your landing intentions. Make your turn to final and establish your approach
angle. Warbirds have very effective flaps and they will slow the plane down so your approach should be fairly steep and you control the approach with the throttle not the elevator. Adding power will soften the approach and reducing the throttle will increase the approach angle. Be careful of the throttle setting because as you reduce the throttle you need to maintain airspeed and this will be difficult with a shallow approach. As you ease off of the throttle keep the nose of the airplane down and when you are sure you will make the runway reduce the throttle to idle and begin your landing flair with the plane about two feet off the runway. Ease in just a touch of up elevator and steer the plane with the rudder. Keep the wings level and let it set on the mains and do not force the tail down with up elevator. Let the airspeed bleed off and the tail will settle in all on it's own. Let the plane roll out and turn to clear the runway when your speed is safe to do so. Practice setting the plane down right at the threshold of the runway lined up dead center. It takes a little practice but establishing a routine for landing will make the whole flow of the landing sequence repeatable. One step leads into the next and it gets close to automatic once you practice it. Remember it's the only mandatory maneuver there is. Good luck!!"
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Question 2: "Hey Jack, Great addition to the RCWarbirds site. Here's my question. I'll be completing my first true warbird soon, after eight months of construction on my Top Flite P 47 (63" WS). I've been flying for about 9 months and have progressed steadily through a trainer, a Piper cub, and low wing, tail dragger ARF with retracts. All these planes are floaters, so I have been practicing on the simulator using warbird type aircraft. I have not had any serious mishaps and consider myself an intermediate flyer. My plan is to complete extensive ground test, and have one of our expert engine guys review my tuning of the engine prior to the first flight. If I choose to fly the plane I'll have a written plan in place that my spotter will coach me through as we trim the plane together. Question - Should I have a more experienced flyer take the plane up on the first flight? I would really like to be the one, but I also need to know that I have a good chance having a successful trimming flight. Your thoughts? Rob"
Jack: "Hi Rob, The Top Flight P-47 is the best flying Warbird in the Top Flight line up and I think once you get the airplane sorted out you will be very happy with it. It sounds like you have some experience with R/C airplanes and the transition into the heavy metal should be smooth provided you get to know the airplane in the air before you worry about any high performance flight. Warbirds are different airplanes and they fly differently than the other planes you mentioned. Having some simulator experience is a definite plus and it will help you but I think the right way to approach this is to get the guy in your club that is a known good pilot, to fly your Thunderbolt on it's first flight. Let him get it trimmed and verify that the plane is ready for the entire flight envelope from taxiing to takeoff to stable
flight to landing. I can remember my first warbird. A Top Flight Corsair and I took it home in a bag after the first flight lasted about ten seconds. Anticipation and nerves will be at an all time high the day you take your plane to the field for the first time and giving yourself the benefit of experience with a skilled pilot at the controls will come as close as possible to guaranteeing that your plane will be available for you to enjoy when you are ready to take the sticks. Too many guys let egos get in the way and I've seen more than my share of broken airplanes because of it.Crashing a plane that you worked so hard on would be a real blow to why you do this hobby and many guys walk away when that happens and never get the thrill of a Warbird. Have that guy help you and when you see your plane make that first successful flight you will agree with why I feel this way. Do this right and you'll be another Warbird Junkie like the rest of us here. You'll meet great new people and you'll be proud of the fact that you have become a Thunderbolt Driver. Good luck Rob!"
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Question 3: "I am currently building (almost done) a Pica FW 190 D-9. To get the engine in the cowl, (only the chrome valve cover tops will peek out a bit) I have had to drop the engine rails 1/8" from where the plans have them. When complete, it will weigh in @ approx. 11 Lbs.With a 63.5 inch Wingspan, Spring Air retracts, and split flaps. Power will be provided by a Saito .91 4 stroke. The prop I plan to use is a Master Airscrew 13x8 3 blade. I may also use a Master Airscrew 14x6 2 blade, or an APC 14x6 2 blade. I have flown R/C for about 17 years, but never any scale birds. I have owned a number of built up kits as well as a few ARF's. These have been all low wing sport type planes, 25-40 size, as well as a couple of pattern ships. I consider myself a good builder & pilot. Now my questions are:
-What tenancies if any might I expect from this plane?
-Are my choices of prop / engine in the ball park? I might add this is my first 4 stroke as well !
-The instructions say NOT to use any flaps on take off, only landing. Do you agree? ( I fly off a 300 foot close cut grass strip)
-My plan is to cover the plane with silver Super Coverite and paint a scale color scheme.It should look like metal under the paint if it is scratched. How far should I take the details on a first scale model of this type? Any other comments or suggestions would be most welcome. Ken Park Swan River, Manitoba Canada"
Jack: "Hi Ken! Welcome to our new flight forum here at RCWarbirds .com. You have made an excellent choice with this plane and I'm sure you will find it a very nice airplane to fly. The D-9 has a long tail moment and good size flight control surfaces and is very responsive in the air. I have several Pica Models in my hanger and the D-9 is one of my favorites. I powered mine with an OS .90 FSR which will tell you how long I have had that plane. Pica models tend to build tail heavy and you need to know that. Balance on this model is critical and you need to spend whatever time necessary to get the C/G set correctly and make sure the lateral balance is correct too. I did not care for the tail wheel linkage on this plane as it is very hard on the bottom of the rudder. Check that linkage after every flight and if you have a problem fix it before you fly again.
The Saito four strokes are great engines and will produce really good power. I have a static scale prop and spinner for mine that I install if I'm showing the model but I fly with a 2 blade 15X6 prop. I'm sure you will find that your Dora will fly fine on any of the props that you mentioned but you will not get the same level of performance out of the 13 X 8 three blade. If you are interested in scale flight I would recommend the three blade prop but if you want the high speed performance a 14X 8 APC will get the job done. Changing props on this motor will most likely call for a bit of retuning too so make sure you check your high and low speed carb adjustments every time you change to a different prop. Keep the mixture settings slightly rich because lean four strokes tend to backfire and it will throw the prop and spinner right off of the airplane. Make sure the prop nut is tight before you fly.
I don't know what you used for landing gear so I'll just tell you what I know. I used Rhom air retracts in mine and I have them set at the correct 74 degree retract angle. This brings the two main gear wheels closer together and you loose a little stability compared to a 90 degree retract but it looks right on this model. I also added the scale outer doors to dress things up a bit for ground display and the doors that come with the kit work but you need to soak them and bend the airfoil shape into them if you want them to fit correctly. They can be a problem on a grass field that is not mowed regularly and if I'm flying from that type of field I remove them. Take off will require right rudder and with the three blade prop you will need a bit more input to keep the plane straight on the runway. As the ground speed picks up you slowly reduce the right rudder input and let it run on the mains until you know you have enough airspeed for flight. Just a touch of up elevator is all you need to get airborne. Don't jerk a Warbird off of the ground. Establish a moderate climb rate and do not turn until you have some altitude. On a new model I leave the landing gear alone after takeoff and make sure I have a stable airplane before I start looking for the gear switch. Once you are sure the plane is flying OK, Put the gear up and then take a few laps and enjoy your new airplane. If you loose the engine or have any unexpected events pop up on this first flight or on any flight for that matter, evaluate your airspeed and altitude before you make any critical decisions. If you are low and slow make sure the gear is up and set it down as softly as possible going straight ahead. If you have enough altitude to make the field set up to land and leave the gear up until you are certain you can make the field. A gear down landing on a bad surface will do much more damage than a belly landing. Hopefully you have your engine running great and this situation never occurs but you need to think about it and have a plan just in case it does. A belly landing that keeps your plane in one piece is better than a violent cart wheeling crash any day. What ever you do, do not try and stretch a dead stick landing. This is where lots of warbirds end their flight careers. They get too slow and stall and they snap before you even know what happened and the ground gets involved all to quickly. If you have good reliable equipment and you maintain it properly, hopefully you never have to face this situation but being prepared to react is the secret to being able to take your airplane home at the end of the day with it still in one piece.
You should not need the flaps for takeoff but I don't attempt to land any of my Warbirds without flaps. The flaps help you create the right approach angles to landing and help keep the plane stable as the airspeed drops off. This plane will slow down very quickly when the flaps are deployed and you will need to manage your decent with power adjustment not the elevator. Get up to a safe altitude and try the landing routine a few times to get a feel of how the flaps effect this plane. Put it into an approach angle with the flaps down and as the plane descends adjust your throttle setting. Adding power flattens out the approach and decreasing power will increase the sink rate. Once you get the feel of this your landing will improve dramatically. Do not do long low approaches with a warbird.
Overall in flight this plane is a ten anyway you look at it. It responds cleanly and quickly to your commands. Don't hot dog until you are very comfortable with the way it flies. I also feel that you will be surprised at how effective the elevator is. If you have a dual rate selection on you transmitter for the elevator start on low rate at about 70% of the recommended throw. This will relieve some of the sensitivity and make your flight smoother. Cranking this plane wide open and making a nice low high speed pass with a little aileron and top rudder so you can see a good top profile of the plane is thrilling. You have a great start on the Warbird addiction Ken. Good luck!!"
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Question 4: "I recently purchased a Pica Spitfire 1/5 scale. The airplane is built well and true. It has Likes Line Retracts and is powered by a US 41 engine.The plane is new and has never been flown. It does have flaps. Im a little concerned about the weight which is 25LB RTF. What can I expect this airplane to fly like.I thought it might be underpowered but the folks at Pica say the wing will be my saving grace on this one. The builder chose the US 41 because it fit in the cowl nicely. Thanks, Lee; PS The US 41 is fully broke in and turns a zinger pro 18/10 at 7400."
Jack: "Hello Lee, The 1/5th Scale Pica Spitfire is a nice airplane and coming in at 25 pounds with a gas motor in it is in the ball park where most modelers finish this plane. As with most Pica Kits the Spitfire can build very tail heavy and balancing the airplane can take pounds of weight in the nose. I'd suspect that yours has a bit of lead in the nose too but the good news is that it will fly beautifully at 25 pounds. The Spitfire wing is a very efficient wing with lots of surface so the wing loading at 25 pounds will not be an issue. What ever you do Lee make properly balancing this plane a primary issue. I tail heavy Spitfire is a crash looking for a place to happen. There is also an update on the CG location on this airplane depending on when your kit was originally produced. Give Pica a quick call and they can fill you in.
The US 41 can be a very good little engine and from the numbers you posted it sounds like it is running very well. It will get even better with a bit more running time as all gas engines do. The Quadra 50 carburetor, another Walbro unit is a big improvement in performance for the US 41 and make sure it has a non restrictive exhaust on it. The less back pressure the better. The motor will get louder as you clean up the exhaust restriction bit it will come way up in power too. You'll have to balance that issue with your flying fields noise restrictions.
Flying the Spitfire is huge fun. This is a very clean airframe and an all business fighter. Balanced properly it will flow from one maneuver to another and you will think it's on rails. They require full time attention but I don't think it will give you any surprises in the air again if you have the balance correctly positioned. I hope you are getting the picture of how important the balance is. You will have a great airplane if it's set up correctly and a handful of problems if you don't. I'd recommend you keep your control throws to 60 % of the recommended full throws for the first few flights because you will find the elevator especially at full throw is very sensitive. The Spitfire has huge elevator authority and your flight will be much smoother with less elevator input. Some guys solve this with a bit of exponential that limits the movement of the elevator with light stick application.
The landing gear on the spitfire is very narrow and tracking on takeoff will require a good bit of right rudder to keep the airplane tracking straight down the runway. Bring your power up slowly and let your Spitfire run on the mains and build up airspeed. The tail will come up very quickly and you will want to get on the elevator and you will regret that early in the takeoff run. It will literally fly off on it's own with just the slightest hint of up elevator when it's ready to fly. Keep your course straight ahead as it rotates and gain some altitude before you make your first turn. Retract your landing gear when you have the safety of some altitude especially if this is one of the first big models you have flown with retracts. You might have to look for the retract switch and taking your eyes off of a Warbird at low altitude is a very bad idea. Get your trims set and feel the plane out. Do some climbing and turning and see what the performance level of the US 41 is. If you have plenty of power, you will really have a lot of fun with this plane. If the power is not real high just realize that it limits some of the aggressive flying that is possible with a Spitfire and you will have to become more energy conscious. No matter what you have for power you need to use the rudder to successfully fly this airplane. Coordinate rudder and aileron input and your turns get smooth. Spitfires drag their tail in turns if you are a aileron/elevator pilot for turning. Try adding rudder if you have not flown that way before and you will be surprised at how clean your maneuvers become with coordinated rudder control input.
Landing: Use the flaps! They will keep the Spitfire very stable as the speed comes down and make the landing sequence much more predictable. I preach this for one reason, It WORKS! Make a gear down pass until you have gained a few flights of experience with the plane so you can visually insure the gear is down and you have a good platform to land. Make your intentions known to everyone on the flight line so you can concentrate on your plane. Fly the down wind leg and keep your power up and start backing down the throttle as you start your base leg turn. Drop your flaps. As you turn on to final and start the final decent manage the approach with the throttle not the elevator. Reducing the throttle steepens the approach and increasing the throttle flattens it out. This take a little practice but if you stick with this technique you will nail your landings and they will be consistent. Make any directional corrections with the rudder and keep the wings level with the ailerons. It amazes me how many R/C pilots learn to fly without the rudder. If you are ever going to master Warbirds you need to get to know that the left stick is not just the throttle stick. Avoid long low approaches. You have no safety cushion with no altitude. Watch a real warbird land. They approach at a 35-40 degree nose down attitude and you will clearly hear the changes in throttle. Your model needs to be flown the same way. All in all I know you will like your new Spitfire. They are great airplanes. Good Luck! "
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Question 5: "I have a kyosho P51 mustang. I just installed Retracts but on the flights it wants to noseover. I have checked the CG and it was all good. When I had fix Gears installed it was fine. I have one bad attempt on take off and don't want to have another, any sugg that you could provide would be helpful, Thank you Alex (SEAWOLF) "
Jack: "Hello Alex, The problem of nosing over while taking off and landing your Mustang are attributed to the landing gear and I'd bet my bottom dollar on that. Two conditions can cause this and this is how I'd take this problem on. First take a look at the plane sitting on the main gear and hold the tail surface level while you do this. Looking from the side, is the axle on the retract unit located even or slightly ahead of the leading edge of the wing directly above the axle. You can also get a good picture by looking straight down from above the model being supported the same way. Is half of the wheel protruding out in front of the leading edge? This is a common condition with retracts and you can usually shim the rear retract mount rail to correct this condition if it exists. The axle has to be at
least even with the leading edge of the wing. Second possibility is a wheel that does not turn freely under landing loads. Ideally the wheels should have a slight toe in angle with the plane sitting still. I don't know what retracts you are using and it does make a difference with this particular problem. If the strut is on the outside of the wheel it will further toe in as the landing loads are induced to the gear and just the opposite is true if the strut is on the inside. It will toe out as the load is applied. Either way excessive toe angle change with the landing forces being applied will cause the airplane to nose over as well. Check your wheels very carefully and make sure they roll easily and true. Some of the less expensive tires out there can be big problems too. Try and bleed as much speed as possible before letting the mains touch down and don't immediately get on the elevator to force the tail down. This can lead to an unwanted takeoff and a stall that is almost always bad news. The plane should settle in on the mains and as the speed bleeds of the tail should come down on its own. Give the gear a good inspection considering both of the conditions that I have described and I'll bet you find your problem. Let us know what you find. Good luck with your P-51. "
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Question 6: "Hi Jack. I am getting ready to build a Top Flite Giant P-47. I have a Sachs 4.2 motor I'm planning to use in it. My question has to do with the prop. I'm considering using the Iron Bay 4-blade prop with this ship. I know you get a little less thrust out of this prop than a 2-blade prop, but I like the scale looks of it, and you can really fly it (as opposed to changing it out before the flight!). It seems to me that the 4.2 should be plenty of power even if you lose a couple of pounds of thrust due to the 4-blade prop. Do you have any experience with this prop system? Sonny Stokes"
Jack: "Hi Sonny! I'm sure you will like the Top Flight giant P-47 and the Sachs 4.2 is on the high end for power for that particular airplane. It will build several pounds lighter than the Iron Bay/Byron P-47 and that is a plus because you will have less airplane to haul around the sky. I don't have any experience with the four blade prop system for the P-47 but I have the Byron Mustang and a Byron Corsair. The Mustang has the Four blade reduction unit on it and I love that plane. The Corsair has the Three blade prop direct drive system with the 4.2. Both planes fly just fine with the scale props but neither has blistering speed that a lot of pilots think they need to have. The Mustang has the Mustang 50cc in it and originally had the Quadra 42. I installed the larger 50 with the hopes of gaining some performance but the additional power available is not turned into usable thrust because the blades flatten out badly above 3500 rpm and you actually loose thrust. The best I could ever get the Quarda to turn the prop was about 3200rpm. The 4.2 on the Corsair turns the three blade about 6500 RPM and it hauls the Corsair around very well. It does however have the same flattening problem that the Mustang has. I have talked to Iron Bay and many other Byron owners on the phone and over the internet and there is huge interest in developing a new blade for these systems built out of Carbon Fiber but so far Iron Bay is flat not interested and even bringing it up and talking with other prop makers seems to have hints of Law Suit written all over it for copy right infringement. I'm sure not a lawyer but I can't see why buying a better prop for your airplane should be grounds for a law suit.
You sure can't beat the looks of a scale prop on a Warbird and if it will fly with that prop it's even better. I can't see any reason why the 4.2 and the four blade prop would not work on the P-47. It won't be a speed demon but it will produce very realistic scale flight. The 4.2 produces really good levels of power and they are very reliable engines. Spend the time necessary to balance the prop and you will see a huge decrease in vibration. I know it will work and I'd love to see your airplane fly when it's done. One thing for sure you will have a captive audience when you fire this monster up and that big prop circle comes to life. Make sure you paint the prop tips so they are visible when the motor is running. Keep us posted on your progress Sonny. Good Luck"
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Question 7: "Hi Jack, Question: " I built the Top Flight Giant Corsair and decided to put a G-62 Zenoah engine in it. It flies great! I have a problem with the tail swinging back and forth at high speed. I changed the push rod to rudder out with pull -pull cable and it still swings back and forth but not as bad. Is there anything that can help this problem? I was told that this is a problem with Cosairs, but watching film on alot others I don't see them doing this". Thanks, Harold Mahoney"
Jack: "Hi Harold, I have seen this problem on several models of the Corsair and it's caused by the buffeting of the rudder in the disturbed air that comes off of the back of the canopy. Loose rudder linkage is usually what causes you to se it especially at high speed and with the G-62 I'm sure your Top Flight Corsair has plenty of power. Even with the installation of the pull-pull cables check and make sure the servo holds the rudder steady when it is powered. Some servos have dead centering spots in the potentiometer and they don't hold the neutral position very well. Having made the problem better by getting away from the pushrod and going to the pull-pull setup makes me want to bet that the cables only partially stabilized the rudder. Turn your radio on and see how well the rudder holds. I'd bet you'll find the problem. If you don't have a retracting tail wheel make sure that the fixed tail wheel is tight as well. My .60 size Top Flight Corsair did this very badly when I first started flying it and redesigning the rudder linkage cleared it all up. Let us know what you come up with and we can share that information with the other Corsair drivers out there. Good luck Harold!
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Question 8: "could you please tell which of the four warbirds are the easiest to fly. could you rate them 1-10
top flight p-51
top flight p-40
top flight corsair
top flight p-47
I am just at the end of a long building project on the gold top flight corsair. I should have asked this question before I started. Thanks harley shadoan"
Jack: "Hello Harley, I have all four of these airplanes and enjoyed the Gold addition Warbirds. The best flying in my opinion is the P-47. It is a well designed aircraft that has the most effective airfoil and the best wing in this kit lineup. It's very effective at high speed and with the scale flaps is a very stable low speed aircraft in the landing configuration. About the only thing I didn't like about the P-47 is the landing gear fit when the plane was built per the Top Flight plans. It was difficult to get the wheel completely in the wheel well and a lot of modelers were very disappointed when they could not attach scale gear doors and get them to properly close. Aside from that the Top Flight P-47 is a great Warbird. In flight I'd rate it a solid 9.
The Mustang and the Corsair are about even as far as flight goes and both of these planes fly very well too. The Mustang is easier to get into the air and has better rudder authority on takeoff so it's easier to keep it going straight on a takeoff run, The Mustang is a very nice plane in the air and is an all business, go where you point it, fighter. Landing stability is good with the use of flaps and the plane can be built with a high degree of scale appearance quite easily with all of the accessories that are available for it. It gets a solid 8
The Corsair is an airplane that can bite you if you are not versed in the proper takeoff procedures and it has a bad tendency to jump into the air before it has achieved a stable flight airspeed. You must let it run on the main landing gear and resist the desire to feed in the up elevator command from your radio. It will fly on it's own if it is properly balanced and powered and other than the takeoff procedure it is a great airplane to fly. It looks good and it flies beautifully and I have to say the Corsair is my favorite WW II fighter. A new pilot will be well advised to have a known good Warbird guy get your Corsair up and trimmed out before you take the sticks. It will greatly ease the nerves and help you concentrate on the proper takeoff and landing techniques. Take a minute to read the Technique article a little bit further down on this forum and I think you will find some valuable information on the right way to fly a Corsair. The Corsair is a nine in the air but a 6 in takeoff and landing until you learn to fly it so over all I think I'd rate it at an 8 too.
The P-40 is my least favorite Top Flight kit but that is not to say I don't like it too. It is a beautiful plane in the air with some of the best looking lines out there. The narrow main gear makes takeoff a struggle for any pilot not familiar with the importance of right rudder on takeoff. It will ground loop quicker than you can blink and it usually damages the landing gear when this happens. You need slow steady application of power and lots of right rudder for takeoff. Landing with flaps is not too bad but you need to stay focused on that narrow gear. It's a good idea to install wingtip skids on this plane while you learn to fly it. Many of these planes do not survive their first flight because of pilot inexperience. In the hands of a good pilot familiar with a P-40 this plane will fly with the best of them. That said for a new Warbird guy the P-40 gets a five.
I don't think you have made a mistake building Corsair but I hope you take the time to learn everything you can about the flight characteristics of the Corsair before you attempt to fly it. Give yourself every advantage possible and understand the techniques that you need to be successful. Once it's airborne and trimmed you will love this airplane. The flight experience is a thrill a minute and one you won't get tired of. A good Corsair driver is good because he knows the airplane. I hope this helps. Keep us posted on how it flies. "
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Question 9: " Jack, Are you the same person who has built and flown the Northwest Hobby Technologies Corsair? I too am "affected" by the Corsair. My interest in the Corsair is for sport flying with minor detail and retracts. Can you share some information on your Corsair experience. My Corsair, as designed, does not include flaps. I have been assured that it will fly and land very well. My engine of choice is a BME 2.8 cu in twin, as I already have one. Comments will be greatly appreciated. Larry Wilson AMA159332"
Jack: " Hello Larry, Yes I am the same guy that you see probably too often on the RC web sites talking about NWHT planes. I have built three of the big Corsairs and one of the 72" span models. I'm currently working on a threesome of NWHT Bearcats that are being built for customers. This latest group will bring the total to 17 kits from NWHT over the past five years that I have built. There wasn't a bad plane in the bunch. All of them were Warbirds with the exception of a Gee Bee R2 that is also a really nice airplane. That twin that you mentioned should be a great engine choice for your Corsair and with a few scale mods these planes are very competitive in the Sports scale classes of RC competition. You can really make the points for flight scores as they are some of the best flying models out there. I have a ton of information on how to do much of the scale detailing and I'd be happy to share that with you. Contact me and send me your email address and let me know how far you want to go with your Corsair."
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Question 10: "Jack, I have almost completed the Jack Stafford B-24 Liberator. I am using four GMS .25 engines with 10-4 props. I have flaps but no retracts. It weighs ~12lbs. Can you offer any insight as to how this bird will behave. I have been flying for 14 yrs and this is my first multi engine bird. Thanks, Tony Levorse"
Jack: "Hi Tony, The Stafford B-24 is really a nice model and if you have it completed at 12 pounds you were careful in construction. The 25s will provide more than enough power and I'm sure you will spend most of your flight time at half throttle or less. Four good running 25s will haul your B-24 with authority but before you even consider flying it make sure you have four reliable engines. I don't have the B-24 in my hanger but I do have two B-17s and I'm sure you will have the same flight experience with the B-24. First flight is a very busy time on a multi engine airplane and flight safety at startup is something you need to be constantly thinking about. Never try to start or for that matter fly a multi engine plane by yourself. You need at least one assistant and secure the plane before you start an engine. Develop a sequence and do the same routing every time. It is so easy to forget about the danger of multiple spinning props. My good friend John Kang (another B-17 guy) had to have over 140 stitches put in his hand when on of the .40 size propellers bit him as he unconsciously reached through a spinning prop to deal with a balky engine. I like to start on the right wing and start the outboard engine and then work my way across to the left wing and start each engine individually and make sure that they peak and idle while only listening and watching one engine. If I'm satisfied with the way it runs I shut that one down and move on to the next engine and do the same until I have individually started all four engines and given each one my undivided attention. Once I'm satisfied with each engine individually it's time to make some real sweet noise and a four engine model sounds very special. You will immediately have everyone's attention because there is no sound like four little glow engines coming up on power. Bring the airplane to full power three or four times and make sure each engine responds to the throttle commands at the same rate. They need to rev evenly and they need to idle down evenly. Take what ever time it takes to make this happen and you should have good performance from all four engines. I personally find it very difficult to bring each engine to the same RPM at wide open throttle and I spend my time making sure each engine transitions from idle to full power at the same rate rather than looking for the same RPM out of each motor. A two or three hundred RPM difference will not be a problem. Run the engines slightly rich and do not attempt to lean them for peak rpm. You might get away with that on one or two of them but it won't happen on four. Don't ask me how I know that. I'd much rather have a slightly sluggish engine that stays running than one that leans out and quits.
Takeoff is pretty straight forward and one advantage of the B-24 is the dual rudders. The second big advantage is that you retain directional control through the steer able nose wheel for most of the takeoff run. Keep your takeoff run straight and as the speed comes up apply very gentle up elevator and it will fly right off when it has built up enough airspeed. Get some altitude before you turn and once you are flying at a safe altitude ease back the throttle stick and just cruise around and enjoy your Liberator. One engine out will not pose much of a problem. If I loose an engine I don't panic but I make the necessary changes to set up for landing immediately. Be careful turning into the wing with the dead engine and try using more rudder input on turns. It's easy to cause a spin if you turn to sharply and the idea is not to panic and start over controlling the airplane. Make gentle turns and try and maintain a safe altitude. Land with your flaps down and they will add a lot of stability to the plane as it slows down. Set up on final and reduce the power and let the flaps do their job. The plane will bleed off speed quickly and manage the decent with little additions of power. Don't make big throttle changes especially with a dead engine. That will induce a Yaw that is hard to fly through. If you have to go around bring up the power slowly and fly straight out until the airspeed comes back up and you have a bit of altitude. Do not try and turn when you are low and slow. Even if all four engines are running do not try to turn out of a missed approach. Model bombers fly like real bombers. They respond more slowly than single engine planes but they are really a wonderful experience in the air. I'm sure if you spend the time getting the engines all sorted out and running reliably you will really enjoy this plane. Respect the complexity of a four engine model and you will have success with it. They require full time attention but when the wheels touch done after that first perfect flight you will enjoy an accomplishment that very few modelers ever get to have. Ask any multi engine pilot and he will tell you exactly the same thing. I hope you have a lot of patience and like to talk to people because when you show up at the field with your B-24 center stage is going to be where ever you set your plane down. It's such a thrill to have some of the older guys come up and tell you about what the real ones were like. We loose a lot of those brave men every year and when you get a chance to talk to one of the few that are still with us make sure you show them the respect they have truly earned and I guarantee you will make a new friend that day. Our models make them young again even if it's only for a few minute flight. That aspect of this hobby alone has made it very worthwhile to me. I hope this information helps and best of luck with your new B-24. Post some pictures here on the site and keep is up to date on your first flight. Good Luck Tony! Jack Devine "
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Question 11: "I am about to purchase my first r/c airplane, a Hangar 9 Alfa trainer. Two questions, one, any thoughts about this plane and second, can I learn to fly alone. I live in a very rural area, no clubs around and no fliers around either. I know having an experienced flier to teach me would be the way to go, but there's one within 100 miles...I been waiting 30 years to do this and I'm not letting not having a teacher stop me now.....Thanks.....Joe"
Jack: "Hello Joe, I really can understand your situation with being in the boon docks. I grew up in a small town in western Montana and had the same situation. I read every magazine I could get my hands on and one day just broke down and bought a small three channel kit, motor and radio from a hobby store in one of the big towns in Montana. The radio was a Kraft gold four channel and the kit was a Goldberg Eaglet. The kit was actually pretty easy to build and I followed the directions to a tee and had the plane ready to fly in a couple of weeks. The first flight was a disaster and I broke my new airplane but it was fixable so back to the drawing board. The first flight taught me a several valuable lessons like little RC planes do not do well on windy days, a little bit of control stick input creates alot of
change in the flight path of a model airplane, and when panic sets in your fingers do things to the radio sticks that simply are not natural. I way over controlled the airplane and when I should have been concentrating on slow level flight and very gentle turns I had the engine revving to the moon and enough control inputs to make the plane stall even at full power.
Here's the point. RC airplanes are not difficult to fly once you learn how they fly and can visually recognize what is happening when the plane changes flight attitude. The little Eaglet has a lot of dihedral in the wing and actually really likes to fly straight and level when you let go of the sticks. The Alpha Trainer from Hanger nine is also a good starting point and has a good bit of dihedral in the wing too and it is a full four channel airplane and has ailerons where my first one didn't. Being a complete kit you will get everything you need for the plane and will just have to purchase the ground support equipment to fuel and start your plane.
Rule number one: Do Not fly alone. Especially in a remote rural area where help is not readily available if something major goes wrong. A cell phone would be a must on my list too. You need to have an assistant with you and have them securely hold on to the airplane as you start it. The plane should be absolutely ready to fly when you arrive at your flying site. Batteries need at least 18 hours on a wall charger to be safely charged and make sure they get that much time. Check and recheck your plane and make certain that all of the control surfaces are firmly attached and then range check your radio. Turn the plane on and with the antenna on your transmitter completely down start walking away from your airplane while deflecting the control sticks. Have your assistant watch the plane and let
you know if they see any type of abnormal movement or chatter coming from the control surfaces. You should be able to walk a couple of hundred feet away from the plane and still have complete control of the flight surfaces. The elevators, rudder and ailerons should move smoothly and respond immediately to the stick movement. Stand over your plane and visually go through all of the flight controls and make sure they move in the right direction. Straddling the fuselage with your legs and the leading edge of the horizontal stab touching the back of your leg, look down at the model and move the right stick all the way to the right. The right aileron should come up and the left one should go down. Move the stick to the left and the left one should come up and the right one should go down. With no stick
input and the trim slide centered the ailerons should be even and level with the trailing edge of the wing. Don't take this lightly!! If I had a nickel for every RC airplane that crashed because a control surface was hooked up backward I could retire. Check the deflection of the elevators and the rudder as well. On the Alpha the nose wheel is connected to the rudder servo so the nose wheel steers the same direction as the rudder if it is hooked up correctly. I have seen plenty of planes that the nose wheel was turning left and the rudder went right and the poor airplane was doing it's best to go in two directions at the same time. When you push the left stick forward the carburetor should open and when you pull it back it should close. Left and right on the left stick should make the rudder and the nose
wheel move in the same direction as the stick is moved. Forward and backward on the right stick controls the elevator. Pulling the stick back makes the elevator go up and the airplane climbs and pushing it forward makes it come down (Very Quickly). You may already know all of this but this is where you start and this is what has to be right before you can even think about flying.
You set up the plane so all of the controls are set and respond as if you are in the cockpit of the plane. Remember that. When you turn the airplane and start it flying back toward you , you can tell the airplane to turn right by inputting a little bit of right aileron and a little bit of right rudder and use just enough up elevator to keep the plane flying level. As the plane is flying back at you your command to turn right is going to look like a left turn and this is going to spook you. Remember the plane no matter what the flight direction is always flies from the cockpit viewpoint and that is what you have to make your brain understand. For some guys this is a piece of cake and for others it's a frustrating struggle. Again the plane looks like it is turning left when you are inputting a right turn set of commands until you move your brain back to the cockpit. Then you will see that the plane is doing exactly what you told it to. Once you learn it your flying abilities will accelerate quickly because like most things you get better when you practice. When you first start out you have to concentrate on level flight and very gentle turns in both directions. Pick a calm day to fly. If it's windy wait a day or two. Give yourself every opportunity to be successful. I much prefer teaching a new pilot on a buddy box and I would tell you to drive to a field where someone could help you if it were at all possible. Even if you just spent one day with a good RC pilot you would learn more than I could tell you here in a hundred pages. A good instructor can have most student pilots executing good safe turns and maintaining level flight in two or three flights. Avoid any hotdogging like the plague. You won't be ready for that until you can turn your plane in
either direction and can shoot an approach to landing and ultimately take off and land on your own.
Your Alpha trainer should fly at half throttle pretty easily if you balanced it properly and you don't need speed to learn to fly. Stay away from the high power settings until you are comfortable with the plane. Always practice safety and plan your flight before you fly it. Set goals and fly them over and over until you master the basic flight skills. Loops, rolls and all of that can come later when you understand how to enter them and recover from them. You don't learn that in a few flights. To give you an idea of how much control input is usually necessary think about this. If I held a quarter over the top of each of your control sticks you should not have to move that stick beyond the outside diameter of the quarter to successful control the airplane. Erratic stick movements make an erratic flying airplane. You want smooth control inputs and don't snap the sticks and let then fling back to center. Your fingers need to move the sticks slowly and smoothly paying very close attention to what the airplane is doing in response to your stick movements.
Let us know where you live and let's try and get someone to help you get started. If that is not possible than we can continue here but let the guys here at RCWarbirds have a shot at getting you some help. I want you to learn how to do this so you can really start to enjoy this great hobby. If you do it right you will enjoy this forever. Get back to us here and we will see what we can do. Good luck Joe! Jack Devine"
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Question 12: "Hi Jack, My name is Rob Arias and I just completed my P-47 63" Thunderbolt with much help from the RC Warbirds website. I'd like to thank you for your help and I'll post some pictures on the website of the completed project next week. I need some help with my next project. I ordered a NWHT 85" Corsair and expect to receive it within the next couple of weeks. I spend quite a bit of time preparing before jumping into a project and have read all the posts in the RC Universe forum on how to build these kits. I read your piece on flap conversions and would very much like to add this feature to the plane. You mentioned in the RC Warbirds Forum that you have quite a bit of documentation on this particular conversion and other conversions and offered to share this information. In addition to the flaps I am considering simulated rockets and a functional bomb (minus the explosives of course). Is there any way I could get whatever documentation you have on modifications for the NWHT Corsair and if you have them, pictures of these conversions? I am most interested in specific details of the flap conversion. Many thanks again for all your assistance. Your expertise has been invaluable. Respectfully, Rob Arias"
Jack: "Hi Rob, This is one area I think I can really help you with. I have built three of the 85" NWHT Corsairs and did all of the modifications that you described to all of them and it leaves you with a very nice airplane that not only looks good but flies like you wish all of your other planes did. The modifications are all pretty straight forward but the key thing to realize about the NWHT kit line is they build from completely different concepts than standard built up models do and you need to understand the basic concepts in order to produce a good strong airframe and if you do it correctly you will be amazed at how strong these planes really are. I have built all of the fighters with exception of the P-40 and have also built the Gee Bee R2 and will soon start on the Laird Super Solution. A total of 17 kits from the NWHT lineup so I am very familiar with them. Some of the basic construction is mandatory so you don't compromise the strength of the airframe and once you see the concepts and understand the assembly procedures these are very easy to build and they assemble very quickly. Adding the scale counterbalances to the rudder and the elevators, getting the gull shape of the wing more scale, installing the scale oil coolers in the wings, retractable landing gear and flaps really enhance the appearance and the flaps make landing this plane a walk in the park. They fly well without them but with them they are outstanding. The rest of the modifications are primarily for appearance but when complete you will have a Corsair that you can be very proud of. I have been working with a Canadian modeler on one of these over the past few weeks and he is about 80 percent finished with his model and has taken many pictures throughout the build and I intend to make them available so other modelers can take advantage of the concepts and basically walk right through the modifications to the kit. Send me your email address here at RCWarbirds and I'll contact you via email. I'm going to see if Jim would be interested in posting some of this information on the NWHT website and I'll offer it to Paul for use here on RCWarbirds .com as well. I look forward to talking with you Rob. Jack Devine"
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Question 13: "Hi Jack. I want to get into warbirds and i really like the looks of the top flite 60 size p-47 and p-40, wich of these two do you think would be the best first time warbird? Dan."
Jack: "Hi Dan, Of the entire series of Top Flight Gold Edition warbirds the P-47 is the best flying model of the bunch and the P-40 is probably the most difficult to get into the air and to land. The P-40 flies great once it's airborne but with the tall very narrow main landing gear it is a difficultplane to master on the ground. The rudder is very ineffective at low ground speed and this plane will turn left as soon as you start adding power. If you jam the throttle stick you will not be able to control this turning and you will most likely run out of runway and jerk the elevator to get it airborne and you will loose your new P-40 because it will stall and roll right in on the left wing. With that said and a bit of practice you can master the critical throttle application and as the speed slowly builds add enough right rudder to make the plane track straight down the center of the runway. As the tail lifts the rudder gains authority and controlling the tendency to turn left becomes very manageable. You continue to let the model run on the mains and when the model has reached sufficient airspeed it will rotate with just the slightest tough of up elevator.
I can't say that in my experience the P-47 has a single bad habit. It has nice wide landing gear and an extremely effective wing. The wing airfoil design was developed by David Selig specifically for this plane and he created one of the most effective wings model aviation has ever seen in a mass produced kit. It's all business in the air and very docile to manage on the ground. It needs a good .90 size engine to perform if you add the scale flaps and retracts and I would go on record here with the statement that if a warbird kit has a flap option, build the flaps. They will help you make much better and more scale landings and your landing gear will thank you for it for ever. It will slow down to a walk and retain much of it's stability while you are on your landing approach. If you have never flown a warbird expect a real treat but know form the start that they will fly differently than most other planes. Have an experienced modeler check your plane over very closely before you fly it and if you find anything that is not right fix it before you fly. If you have built a plane or two before
you should be able to build any of the Top Flight Warbirds and there is plenty of help on the R/C sites to assist you if you have any questions. I have had all of the Top Flight Warbirds accept the Spitfire and the P-47 was the best of the bunch. They really got this one right. Good luck! Jack Devine"
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Question 14: "Hi Jack....Looking to start my first scale fighter project. I've been flying for a few seasons now. I have a red box Top Flite Zero and a Top Flite Giant scale P-47..... Which one should I build? thanks, Jim"
Jack: "Hey Jim, Nice to hear from you. Seeing that you have a couple of flying seasons under your belt and considering the choices you have as your first scale Warbird project I would recommend the Giant scale P-47. The P-47 in both the 1/7th scale and in the giant scale edition is in my opinion the best flying model in the Top Flight inventory. It has a great wing airfoil design and Top Flight really did their home work here in bringing Dr. David Selig onto the design team. He created an airfoil that is extremely effective all across the flight envelope and it makes the P-47 a pleasure to fly. The Gold Edition kits offer a high degree of improvement in kit
quality and reading the assembly manual and following directions should produce a model that you can be very proud of. I don't think you will find much argument that bigger airplanes fly better. That's a fact. The P-47 has great flaps to help improve the low speed stability and will get right with the program when you open up the throttle. The plane is fast with a G-62 and much more agile to fly with a motor in the 45 to 50 CC range. There are tons of really great P-47s to model and great documentation available for most of them. Robart makes a good main landing gear and tail wheel for retracts. There are several other manufacturers that have them
available for this plane as well. Once you try Giant scale you will treat yourself to a whole new world in radio control airplanes. I have nothing bad to say about the Top Flight Zero but the red box kits are from the older generation of Top Flight and are not as easy to assemble as the newer Gold Edition kits are. The Gold Edition kits have lots of parts but the engineered fit is very good. An average modeler with a few kits under his belt should not have any problems with the P-47. Remember that there is lots of help available here Jim if you run into any problems. Good luck with your building adventure. Keep us posted on your progress. Jack Devine"
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Question 15: "Hey Jack, I'm flying a TF,P-47 (63"WS) with flaps and have been trying to get a steeper angle of decent on landings as you suggest. My plane is a very stable flyer at low speed with the flaps, but I have had trouble attaining a 40 to 45 degree angle on approach by throttling down exclusively. I was wondering if it is advisable to nose down with elevator in order to get the appropriate angle of decent? If so, I was considering dialing in more flap to elevator down mix to accomplish this automatically. Your thoughts? Rob"
Jack: "Hello Rob. You are correct in using the elevator to get the nose of your P-47 down on final approach and start your decent to tough down. Once you establish the glide you will see the real benefit of your flaps because they become speed brakes as well. with the flaps lowered to about 50 degrees nosing the model over into the approach will not produce an increase in airspeed in fact as you lower the throttle the plane will slow down veryquickly. once you get it coming down than you change from controlling the approach strictly with the elevator like most RC pilots do and you use the throttle instead. Changes in throttle are slight but increasing the throttle
flattens out the approach and decreasing the throttle steepens it. Wind conditions also will change the way the plane reacts to the flaps and the throttle changes so you have to develop some feel with this technique. Practice flap landings on calm days and after shooting a few approaches you will really start to se the effects of the power changes you make on final approach. The real danger with Warbirds comes when you do the long slow low approaches because you don't have time to react to stall conditions that pop up when you get too slow. The P-47 is a very stable airplane and in the case of your Top Flight Jug it has an exceptional wing. You won't find your
Corsair as forgiving once you get it built and you try that low and slow approach. The P-47 will buffet a little and normally just drop the nose as you approach stall speed. The Corsair will snap violently and if you are low and slow you just lost your model.
I mix what ever down elevator I need to keep the plane flying level once the flaps come down at a medium power setting. It is usually 5 or 6 degrees. Induce the nose down attitude on final from your transmitter by applying light down elevator and then reduce the throttle and watch the plane. The nose will stay down but the speed will start bleeding off too. As the speed bleeds off the decent will increase and you manage that with light applications of throttle. Once you get the feel of this Rob it will make your landings text book and your planes will be around for a long time because of it. It's all technique and you have to practice it to get good at it. I always ask new Warbird pilots to really pay attention to the way a real warbird is landed the next time they go to an air show. Watch and listen and it all starts to click. It's managed with power. By the time you reach the threshold of the runway with your model, you want to be less than five feet in altitude and you should be flying to a spot on the runway. The spot is where you make your final flare with power coming back to idle and lightly touching your model down on the main gear. Let the model settle in and DO NOT force the tail down with up elevator. The speed will bleed off very quickly once the wheels touch down and the tail will settle in on it's own. Use the elevator just to keep the model level because too often pilots land a bit hot (Too Fast) and then nail the elevator to get the tail down and the plane jumps back into the air with not enough airspeed to safely fly and the ugly plane wrecking stall is seconds away. Jamming the throttle makes it even worse because the induced torque from the prop is going to accelerate the stall of the left wing. To correct you naturally nail full right aileron and this starts the stall of the right wing and with both wings stalling there is only one thing left to do and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. A badly broken airplane.
When you are going to miss an approach for what ever reason you need to be ahead of your model. Add power slowly and steer the plane with the rudder not the ailerons. Give your wing surfaces every chance of creating lift. Do not try to turn until you are safely flying again. Fly straight out with the wings level and as the speed comes up get the safety cushion back and get some altitude. Let your nerves settle down a bit and breathing here is a good thing. Think about what happened on the missed approach and then correct what ever you did wrong. Use the same routine and once you really nail a good landing it all starts to make sense. Practice it and it becomes automatic. Good Luck Rob!"
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Question 16: "Jack- You've encouraged me in the past to pursue the P-51 with the reduction gear drive. After a recent question to Lurch concerning the motor that came with my kit I'm concerned about it's ability to fly the plane appropriately. I know you have this same bird so what engine are you using? FWIW this is an older Byron kit with the one piece wing set up. Thanks! Mark C.Thompson"
Jack: "Hello Mark, Nice to hear from another vintage Byron owner. I built my P-51 with the reduction drive and the first motor was the old reliable Quadra 42. I flew the plane for about seven years with that motor and though it was never a stellar performer with that big four blade prop, it was a beautiful sight every time it left the ground. There are none like it. It had a distinct sound and a beautiful big prop circle that came from the yellow tips I had painted on the Byron blades and no other Mustang that I have had or had seen fly ever looked that good in the air. Lots of Mustangs were much faster and much more capable of high performance maneuvers but not a
single one of them looked like my Byron in the air. I had the only Byron Mustang that I had ever seen in this area that had the four blade reduction drive and I had had mine for over eight years before I had ever seen another one. I had read much about the Byron reduction unit and I thought the fix in the performance category would be a larger engine so I purchased the Byron update kit and installed the new Byron Mustang 50 in my P-51. The Mustang 50 would spin the prop up over 700 RPM faster than the Quadra 42 but the ironic thing was even with the extra RPM it created less thrust because the soft prop blades flattened out and lost pitch at the higher RPM. The problem with this system is that the increased power was useless because of the prop. I called Iron Eagle shortly after they announced they were buying the Byron line and talked to the owner about what I conceived the problem was with the prop blades. After all the technology was over twenty years old and huge strides had been made with Carbon Fiber props. The carbon
Fiber props are renowned for their ability to maintain pitch at higher RPM and I felt that is someone designed a better blade and retrofit them to the reduction unit that the plane would see a quantum leap forward in performance. He told me they had no plans to change the prop material or design and the very same problem occurred on the Corsair and the P-47 Thunderbolt with the purr power multiplied systems. The Corsair has a Three blade prop driven by a 4.2 sachs and the Thunderbolt had a four blade prop driven by the same engine and both of these planes flew ok with that system but lacked the performance you would expect to see from a 4.2 cu in motor. Again the problem is the blades.
I was working with a guy in California last summer that builds carbon fiber props and he was considering making a replacement blade for the reduction system. We discussed the issue in detail on RCU in the Warbird Forum and immediately some guys came on and told him he would be liable in a lawsuit if he did build and market the blade. The guy that started making all the noise was just sure he would get sued and I asked this guy why I could by props from numerous vendors for the rest of my planes. I wasn't locked into any specific brands on any other plane and I just don't see why I'd have a problem here. All the legal stuff spooked the guy that was thinking about doing the prop blades and I don't know where the issue rests as we speak. It's a dam shame because I think it would really have improved one of the coolest systems out there Scale aircraft. I still have no regrets about keeping the Mustang stock but I would still like a chance to try the Carbon Fiber blades. By the way My Mustang is the one piece wing too!! I hope this helps. Jack Devine"
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Question 17: "Hello Jack: I am getting ready to fly my new Byron Hellcat. While I have extensive experience flying giant scale models like 35% Extras, etc., my warbird flying is limited. In reading the landing procedures for the Byron Corsair, I was curious if your landing approach for the Hellcat would be much different. I have let my club's warbird guy fly the maiden flight already, he trimmed everything out and said it was a very stable flyer. Seems with the very thick airfoil of the wing and its large wing area, this plane should be as easy for me to land as it was for our club expert. Can you give me any other advise on landing this model? Thanks Mark."
Jack: "Hello Mark, The Byron Hellcat is probably the best flying Warbird in the Byron line up and it will land very similar to the Corsair. It has larger flaps and a much larger wing and that combination just adds to the stability. Be careful to make sure you have down trim programmed in when you lower your flaps to full deflection. If you have anything over about 50 percent power with the flaps down your plane is not going to want to land and it will climb constantly if power is any higher. The big difference in the warbirds is the effect of the flaps and the necessity of managing your landing with minimal elevator input and good use of the throttle stick. This is very common on Warbird models and if you use the technique you will have great luck hitting accurate landings time and time again. I wouldn't fear your Hellcat but I would absolutely have great respect for it. It will not do some of the maneuvers you other non warbird planes will do and as long as you fly it in a warbird fashion you should not have any trouble. Stay ahead of the model and avoid low speed turns. I think you will really like your Hellcat. I don't have the Byron Hellcat but my son and I both have Ziroli Hellcats and they fly beautifully. I have seen two of the Byron Hellcats fly and they were magnificent airplanes. Good luck with your Hellcat. Jack Devine"
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Question 18: "Is a ZDZ-80 single too much engine for the Top Flite Giant Scale Corsair? I am in the process of building the Top Flite Giant Scale Corsair. I am not building this to look at all like a warbird color scheme and want to mock it up more like a Reno racer. My question is, do you feel a ZDZ 80 is too much engine for this airframe and plane?. If so why, If not what are some of the
things I should take into consideration when assembling this models such as stress areas that you feel should be beefed up. Thanks"
Jack: "Hi Brad, This is sure a new category but I'll tell you what I think. If you build the plane strong and keep it as light as you can I'd think you could get some pretty impressive speed out of the Top Flight Corsair. There is no way that engine is going to fit inside the cowl. I'd think you would be looking at a good 1/2" or so of the cylinder head sticking out of the bottom. As for power the entire ZDZ line of engines all produce really good power and propped correctly it would be FAST. With the increased speed capability comes a huge increase in airframe stress. The weakest area of this plane is the retract strut well in the wing because you carve deeply into the main spar to obtain clearance for the strut. I would be laminating the main spar with strips of Carbon Fiber glued down with a quality slow cure epoxy. I'd also beef up the trailing edge in front of the flap area with another spar at the rear of the wheel well. Level flight isn't going to present any problems that the wing would struggle with but the hard yank and bank turns is a whole different ball
game. I remember watching the unlimited models fly at Madera and the wings were bent in some really strange looking curves as those planes streaked around the pylons. Kevlar thread is another source of great strength and you can glue it in along side your spars as well. None of the new high strength materials are cheap but they add amazing strength with very little weight gain. Another area that will require your attention is the firewall. With 80cc's of fire belching monster bolted on the front big reinforcement is necessary here as well. Don't use anything but good slow cure epoxy up front. As you fiberglass the fuselage make sure you bring the glass around the front and onto the firewall surface. I'd also epoxy a piece of four inch fiberglass tape like you use on the wing center joint around the circumference of the firewall to make sure it stays put. Last but certainly not least is the tail feathers. They are huge stress areas in high speed flight and built stock they will not hold up to what you will be capable of doing to them with the 80 up front. Add an extra spar to the horizontal stab and both elevators. Make sure your hinge lines are tight and use plenty of good quality hinges on the flight surfaces. The control horns need to be attached to hard wood blocks built into the flight control surfaces and I'd recommend the control horns that have the back up plate on the other side of the surface and bolts that pass completely
through the surface and into the backing plate to secure them. You need good strong metal geared servos and an individual servo for each surface. One for each elevator half and one for the rudder and another to steer the tail wheel. Do not use the same servo for the rudder and the tail wheel. Keep all of the pushrods supported as they pass down through the fuselage and as a minimum 4/40 links everywhere and make sure everything has a safety link or clip at each end. You loose a flight control surface at 150 MPH you are going to loose your airplane. The vertical stab/rudder is another area that needs to be reinforced with carbon fiber. You need the rudder to make a Corsair turn correctly and the faster you go the more you will need the rudder. If you use the torque rod for the rudder make sure you run it through a brass or teflon tube that you epoxied into the rudder base block. Just drilling the rudder and running the rod into the hole in the rudder isa wreck waiting to happen. Make a strong support/bearing for the rudder linkage and try to use a pull/pull system to control it. I think you just need to be smart about this and don't compromise anything. An airplane that is going to be subjected to the extreme stresses that a race planes are subjected to need to be built to a different standard than a plane just used for pleasure flying. Safety should be your main concern and taking every step you can to insure in-flight stability and integrity of the airframe is a mindset you have to keep to pull this off. Going fast is not simply bolting huge horsepower to the front of the plane. Your project sounds really fun but keep the safety end of this on the front burner. Do it right and you will have an amazing airplane that will dazzle the folks at the flying field but do it half assed and you are inviting disaster. Good luck with your Reno Corsair. Jack Devine "
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Question 19: " Thanks for posting my question on the Corsair by NWHT. I am painting mine now with the System 3 paint by Jerry Nelson. I did not think one could paint with a foam brush......Yep. My inquiry is about scale flaps and oil coolers on the wing. I am assured it flies well without them, but I sure would like to have them. I will build another NWHT warbird in the future, time & $ permitting. Larry "
Jack: "Hello Larry, It is a bit of work but adding the flaps and oil coolers to the Corsair wing really add to the overall look of this NWHT kit. I did this to all three of mine and just assisted another modeler in getting his done. I have some pretty god pictures of the flaps and if you want to email me I'd be happy to discuss the technique. The flaps are very effective and really make this plane a pleasure to land. The flaps are attached to the trailing edge of the wing with Robart hinge points with two hinges per flap section. The servo drives the inner flap and the middle and outer flaps are slaved to the inner section with a plywood wedge between the inner flap and the middle flap and a steel rod between the middle flap and the outboard flap section. It takes a bit of patience to get them to work smoothly but knowing where the problems will pop up saves you a good bit of trail and error because there are no plans or directions to tell you how to do these modifications. Let me know if I can be of any help. "
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Question 20: "I'm building my first warbird, the Ziroli Corsair. I'm not familiar with landing procedures with flaps so here is my question : When I'm going to land I need to put out my flaps and readjust my angle of descending by the speed of the plane (throttle)
So when it's too fast my plane goes up, when it's too slow it will stall. At the right speed my plane will fly level with the flaps out. How do I know what is the right speed ? When I'm going to do my maiden flight I will have to set up my radio to adjust my elevator when I put down my flaps, but I need to know at what speed it's supposed to fly level to make the right mix between flaps and elevator. If you can give me some advice on this I would be very grateful"
Jack: "Hi Ronnie, First let me say that the Ziroli Corsair is a super airplane and it flies beautifully. Properly set up it is a great airplane to land as well. It sounds as though you have not flown a plane with flaps before and I find that is very common with new pilots in the Warbird arena. Your flaps are going to increase lift as you lower them but equally important to understand is they create a ton of drag too. It's two very different forces at work and understanding them will help you learn to use them to your advantage. It's like when you were a kid and were riding in a car and stuck your arm out the window as the car was traveling down the road. When the palm of your had was level with the road you just felt the pressure of the wind but when you turned your hand up, up went your arm and when you turned it down you could feel the dramatic pressure change pushing your arm down. It only took a little change in the position of your hand to feel the pressure changes and those changes are what your flight surfaces are doing to your airplane. Flaps create the largest pressure changes on the airplane and at 40 to 60 degrees deflection they create lift which in turn becomes stability and they create drag which becomes the brakes that slow the plane down.
Go back to your arm hanging out the car window. When you turn the palm of your hand forty to sixty degrees moving it like your flaps move you feel lift as your arm wants to go up but you also feel a great deal of drag wanting to make your arm go backward. I've talked to lots of modelers and used the arm out the window scenario and they quickly understand what I'm talking about. The point is to understand what the forces are that are at work here because it helps you understand how flaps effect your airplane.
Once you lower your flaps the attitude of the plane will change. You should not use your flaps at high speed and they should not be used above half throttle. Speed and throttle position both dramatically increase the pressure on your flaps and they deal with lots of pressure at lower speeds and you risk damaging them with high power or high airspeed and a flap failure on one side of the wing is almost always a fatal situation to the airplane. Just don't use flaps in a situation that they were not designed for.
The routine is pretty straight forward. As you start to enter your final flight circuit, make everyone on the flight line aware of your intentions and call the landing. Lower your landing gear as the plane starts to approach you. You should already be at a reduced throttle setting. Visually verify the gear are down and if you need to fly another circuit to do that that's fine. Just make sure you have solid landing gear before we start lowering flaps. With the flaps down you need to make sure the landing gear will support the plane so we don't have flaps striking the ground. You will severely damage the flaps if that happens so make sure the gear work correctly before you fly. Learning to land a warbird is not difficult but it is one of the busiest times of the entire flight for the pilot and spreading the tasks out a bit and giving yourself time to think about what has to happen really gives you the opportunity to do some other critical things like breathe.
Once the gear is down it's time to drop your flaps. I suggest hooking your flaps to a three position switch when you first start using them rather than to a proportional knob. The first position set at half flaps and the second position giving you full flap deflection. Again far less to worry about and you are not fiddling with a knob you are concentrating on your flying your plane. Reduce the throttle to half and then lower the flaps to the first position. I couple the flap switch to my elevator on all of my warbirds and mix about six degrees of down elevator at full flap deflection and that will give you three degrees at half flaps and six when you push the switch to the full flap position. Another thing you don't have to worry about so it makes since to take advantage of that radio capability. As the flaps come down as you are going down the back side of you landing pattern let the plane slow down. As you turn to base maintain your throttle setting and bring the flaps to full down. As you turn final keep the nose of the plane pointed at the spot on the runway you are going to touch down on and reduce the throttle to establish your sink rate. If you are coming down to quickly just add a touch of throttle and the decent will decrease use the elevator only if the throttle does not make the necessary adjustment in the glide path. Keep the wings level and make any directional corrections with the Rudder not the ailerons. This is really important and a primary reason some new Warbird pilots struggle because they don't use the rudder and if you are ever going to be a good Warbird pilot you have to learn how to use the rudder. It's not just important for landings but it is used all through the flight. If you have learned to turn with ailerons and elevator commands try adding the rudder in a turn and see how much cleaner your turns are.
Maintain enough throttle to keep the plane stable and as you cross the threshold of the runway reduce the power to idle and flare your decent at about two feet above the runway and let the airplane settle in on the mains. Do not force the tail down with the elevator. It will come down all on it's own as the plane continues to slow down. Applying the up elevator to get the tail down increases the angle of attack of the wing and it can cause the airplane to jump right back into the air and it's usually followed by a stall as you try and level the plane back out. Just avoid that situation and stay off of the elevator once the mains are on the ground.
If for some reason you miss the approach and are going to fly around and set it all up again be very careful to add power slowly and DO NOT try to turn. Let some airspeed build and if you are going back to high speed flight retract the flaps. I work hard at making the entire landing procedure a routine and I try and do the same thing every flight. Once it becomes a routine most of it becomes almost automatic and your landing become very consistent. Once you get it down you'll enjoy the landings just as much as you do the flight time and it's a great feeling when you nail it right on the numbers and taxi back in with a grin that they couldn't pry off of your face.
Practice the procedure on the ground a few times and familiarize yourself with everything before you try and fly it. You will do fine if you just think your way through it and realize that one thing leads right into the next one and it gets to be a natural transition. The only way you will ever master this is practice it but practice the whole routine. It works! Good luck Ronny and I hope you really enjoy your new Corsair. Jack Devine"
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Question 21: "Hello Jack, I have been flying for 5 years now from trainers to a Goldberg Extra 300. My goal large warbirds. I have Realflight simulator and can land every warbird on there including Twinman's P-38. My question is how well will this relate to actual warbird flying? Hope to be flying in Dayton soon. Thanks, Mike"
Jack: "Hello Mike, I don't have the realflight simulator and have only played a bit with it when the hobby shop had it on display. I found it to be pretty realistic as far as the way the plane responds but kind of strange relevant to orientation of the area in which you are flying. I'm sure it will help you fly and simulators have helped train pilots for many years so I'd think it would help. I don't have enough experience with them to give you a valid opinion.
With your experience with the trainers and the Extra you have some valid flight experience and getting into Warbirds should not be a huge transition. Stay away from the real high performance fighters with big power and cut your teeth on some of the more forgiving warbirds that are out there. The P-47 is a great one. It has lots of wing and great flaps and that is a great combination. The Top Flight gold edition P-47 is one of the best flying warbirds out there. Start with something you will have success with because if you do this right you will be flying model warbirds for a long time to come. The feeling of the power and agility of a big fast warbird is exilerating and you will really enjoy it. Sorry I can't be of more help."
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Question 22: "Dear Jack, I am studying the various aspects (inasmuch as possible...) of what to expect when taking my Meister F4 Corsair to the air for the first time and am wondering..is there a trick to taxiing such as flap position, when to retract the flaps and how much throttle is typically needed? The weight of the bird will likely be at or just below the model spec of 35 lbs. What do you have to say? Karl."
Jack: "Hello Karl, Typically speaking most model warbirds do not use flaps on takeoff. That is not to say they can't be used but most models have enough power to become airborne without the add lift created by partial flaps. If you decide you want to use the flaps 30 degrees of flaps should be more than enough to get the plane into the air and I would not attempt any retraction of the flaps until I had 100 feet or so of altitude. Throttle application is critical on a warbird and you want to apply the throttle slowly and steadily. Rapid movement of the throttle stick will result in an uncontrollable turn to the left as the plane reacts to the huge increase of torque. Until the rudder is flying it will be very ineffective and once the tail wheel lifts you loose the tail wheel steering. As the model drifts left and you don't get enough correction out of the rudder you try ailerons to correct the low left wing as the plane begins to take off prematurely. The aileron input stalls the right wing and thru drag of the deflected aileron on the left wing further stalls the left wing. An unrecoverable situation is at hand and this very situation has cost more warbird pilots their planes in RC and often their lives in full scale than any other single mistake. Warbirds have very high power to weight ratios and you have to manage that relationship to be a successful pilot.
Add power slowly and let the ground speed build. The tail will lift all on it's own and as you cross the minimum flight speed threshold the plane will lift off with just the smallest of up elevator input. You have to maintain enough right rudder from the moment you start the takeoff roll to maintain a straight down the runway direction. The balance is the proper amount of throttle application and just the right amount of right rudder. Use the ailerons just to keep the wings level and turn with the rudder and the ailerons and the elevator all working together. Too many pilots learn to fly model airplanes without using the rudder and you won't get away with that on a big warbird.
You didn't say what you were using for power and that will also be a player in this. The higher power you bolt on to the plane the more complex some of this becomes. High power engines can induce torque at low airspeeds that no amount of right rudder will overcome. It's learning the balance that will make you a better pilot. All of the Meister kits fly very well if they are built straight and you will enjoy the airplane once you get a we flight logged on it. The RC warbird website has an article on it that I wrote a little over a year ago. It is in the technique section and if you read it and follow those guidelines you will become a better pilot. There is nothing automatic about it. It takes time and practice and if you think about what has to be done and practice doing it your flying abilities will improve dramatically.
I hope you have great success with your new Corsair and don't hesitate getting back to us if you have any more questions. Jack Devine"
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Question 23: "Dear Jack, I need your advise for my new model ARF kit engine and some advise in handling Kyosho Corsair flying characteristics. Kyosho recommend 4 stroke .53 engine but this plane weight approx. 6.1 to 7.1lb. Will a Saito 56 engine be underpower or should I go higher engine? What would you recommend and prop size? Does all Kyosho flying will drop a wing when landing or on slow turn? Hope you can reply me the soonest as I am in the process to get the engine right. TQ you in advance. Regards, Jong"
Jack: "Hello Jong, The Saito .56 is a good motor that produces better than average power so I'm sure it would have enough power to pull the Kyosho Corsair around without any problem. Landing is the real critical time for all warbirds and low and slow flight is simply very dangerous. Corsairs usually don't give much warning of an impending stall and they will snap to the left when it happens. Because ARF kits are normally very light you have an advantage because of lighter wing loading but a disadvantage of not having flaps. I personally don't like warbirds without them because flaps add to low speed stability and in landing configuration with gear down and low throttle settings they are often what keeps the model alive and in one piece. Once you have the model ready to fly take it up high and chop the throttle and let it fly straight and level until the airspeed drops to the point where you plane stalls and stops flying. Observe this several times and I'm sure you will find that the plane becomes very predictable and you will know when your airspeed is too slow.
Takeoff is critical because you need to manage throttle application very carefully too. Make power application slowly and let the plane run on the main gear and it will lift on is own. You will need right rudder input on Takeoff to keep the plane tracking straight down the runway. Once it rotates let it build speed and fly straight ahead and start climbing. Once you have a good fifty feet of altitude then fly the pattern. With good airspeed I think you will find your little Corsair a very nice airplane to fly. If you go with the Saito .56 I'd fly it with a 10X8 prop and I think that will be a good match. Good Luck! Jack Devine"
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Question 24: "Howdy, Jack..I was just reading your advise to the gentleman from the "boondocks" and came up with this question...I am planning on building a Meister 100" Corsair with radial power and was wondering about the throttle input coming from the left stick. Won't the throttle simply return to idle once you go with throttle up, since the left and right input on the left stick is for ailerons? Perhaps since the airplanes are different the radios will be quite different as well, eh? Help me understand please, if you don't mind.Thanks, Karl."
Jack: "Hello Karl, Your radio is a MODE one radio so the throttle on that radio is meant to be on the right stick.
The up and down movement on a Mode one radio on the left stick controls the elevator and it is a spring loaded self centering stick on Mode one radios. The vast majority of modelers in the USA fly Mode two radios and the controls on mode two are just the opposite. The spring loaded self centering stick on Mode two radios is on the right side of the radio. Which mode radio did you learn to fly with. They are both available and I would advise you to stick with what you learned with as you may make some quick decisions about the flight attitude of your plane and have your brain in MODE one mode and actually be flying on a MODE 2 radio. It could be disastrous.
Look your radio over real well and if you have the stick on the right side that does not self center when you let go moving the stick up and down you have a Mode One radio. If the stick that does not self center when moved up and down is on the left you have mode two. It is a pretty simple service operation to have a radio shop change your radio over. I would not recommend taking that on yourself.
The Meister Corsair is a great airplane and I'm sure you'll love it once you get it ready to fly. It's a big airplane but the big ones in my opinion are easier to fly. Good luck and I hope this information helps. Good luck Karl. Jack Devine"
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