Question 25: " Dear Jack, I have a Top Flite .60 Corsair that I have glassed and in the process of finnishing. I installed a Saito 1.50 and was wondering if this was to much power ? Should I beef up the firewall ? The finnished weight ( scaled out to the max ) is approx. 12 to 13 lbs. She has retracts, gear doors, retractable tailwheel, flaps, panel lines and rivit detail. I went all out on this bird since it is my favorite of all aircraft, and I have wanted to build and fly one all my life. I have flown 1/2a planes, trainers , an Avaistar, and a fourstar forty to date and consider myself an intermediant flyer . Should I fly another plane and gather stick time first? If so what plane do you recomend ?Also how do you think this plane with the engine and weight specified would fly? I do consider myself a top noch builder and have low profile servos for ailerons, high torque for flaps , and super torque ( 107oz ) for rudder and elevators.I have researched the flite charastics for a lot of different models and the real f4u and have been aquainted with the basics. I would greatly appriciate your input on these questions and lastly I Love This Site."
Jack: "Hello Warloc: Nice to hear from you. Sounds like you have a very nice Corsair ready to try it's wings. Although you are on the heavy side with your plane it will fly at that weight and I think you will find it flies very well if it's properly balanced. This is the most important step in the build of this plane and if you have not given it a great deal of attention go back and make sure you are right on the money with the CG and you have good lateral balance as well. Give yourself every chance of being successful.
You built it the way I always build my Warbirds. You have plenty of power, You have flaps, You have Retracts and it sounds like you built a very nice looking scale Warbird. In my book you get an "A" there. Now make sure you have the answers to these questions and I need you to say" yes" to them before we even think about flying your new Corsair. Have you balanced the airplane in CG and in lateral balance making sure you do not have a heavy wing? Did you use a generous amount of epoxy to secure the firewall?. Is the fuel tank mounted securely where it cannot shift and change the CG? Is your onboard battery pack large enough to handle those big muscle servos? Is the battery secured so it cannot move? Do the retracts retract and lock in the up and down position with no binding? Do they hold air pressure in both the up and down positions. Do you have all of your hinges firmly glued in place and are all of your linkage connections backed up with safety clips? Are all of your servos mounted with the right number of screws? Have you checked the servo arm screws on all of the servos to make sure the arms are mounted securely? Do the main gear have a slight bit of Toe-in so the model
will track straight on it's takeoff runs? Are the wheels secured with good wheel collars and are the axles notched so the wheel collars cannot slip off? Is the tail wheel steering secure and solid? Is the rudder solidly mounted and not sloppy? Have you given all of your flight control surfaces a good tug to make sure they are solid? Did you balance your Prop? Is it secure on the front of that big 150? If not and the motor backfires it will blow the prop right off the front of the motor. Does the motor run reliably and idle consistently? Have you cycled the batteries and made sure they are in good shape and have power to spare? Do you have nice fresh fuel? This is a pretty good list but it all has to be right.
Have you flown a plane with flaps? I'd recommend that if you have not you go back to the RCWarbirds site and review the technique article on basic flight. I think it covers the first flight of a new warbird pretty well and the techniques that are written about in that article work. Last let me say that if you fear the first flight and you know a good pilot that has experience flying model warbirds and you personally have seen him fly, consider allowing him to put the first flight on your new Corsair and get it trimmed out before you take the controls. I know from my experience that having an airworthy airplane that you know will fly is half the battle because it allows you to focus on what you are going to do on the first few flights. Leave the hot-dogging to later and learn your new airplane. There is plenty of time to show off a bit once you have a real handle on the plane and you are comfortable with basic flight maneuvers. Don't push the envelope because you are going to find that a high powered warbird is a real thoroughbred and they are all business in the air. You need to stay ahead of the model and apply your transmitter inputs smoothly and pay attention to your airplane. Fly with a partner and have them keep you informed of other aircraft that are flying so you can stay focused on your plane. I think that you will find that model warbirds are really great airplanes that demand a lot of respect from their pilots. Learn the plane and it will be around for a long time and you'll take her home intact with a smile that you couldn't pry off your face with a bulldozer. Send us a few pictures of your new pride and joy and Warloc, best of luck with your new F4U. Jack Devine "
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Question 26: "Hey Jack, I've got one of those h9 ultra stick arfs with 4 servos in the wing. The crow setup is a blast and slows the plane down to a crawl. Would the crow setting be useful on a warbird? WHen the flaps went down the ailerons could move up a little to add washout. What do you think? Thanks, "
Jack: "Hi Craig, You got me on this one. I have used the crow settings on gliders to make those spot landings and you are correct that crow is really putting on the brakes but I have no practical experience with it on a powered model. Some of the guys that fly the 3D type aircraft could probably answer your question. I've never done it so I just don't know. Crossing traditional lines has made our hobby grow in many ways and because guys have tried new things we have learned a lot about the flight envelopes planes are capable
of withstanding. The big difference I see is that most Warbirds fall into the Heavy category and most have fragile landing gear when the landing loads get vertical rather than more horizontal. It might work well on the light wing loading models like the Ultra Stick but I'm not sure if it would be the same on a typical warbird that has much heavier wing loading. I wish I could offer you a better answer but I simply don't know. I hope you share what you learn as you play with these possibilities. Good luck Craig! Jack Devine"
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Question 27: "I've heard that the Zero has difficult ground handling qualities because of its long-legged gear. What's your experience? I also understand the plane has terrific flight characteristics, once airborne. Again, your experience? I'm now in the process of deciding which Zirolli giant scale warbird to build. It will be my first project of this type. I have "smaller" warbird experience and other giant scale experience. Any thoughts as to which model is the best one to start with? Thanks,...Steve"
Jack: "Hi Steve, I have owned two Zeros in my model flying years and found both of them to be outstanding airplanes. They do have a tendency to be a little challenging while you are taxiing the model because you have a very high angle of attack with the plane sitting on the gear and both of mine would lift the tail wheel very easily especially when flying at a grass field. On pavement I found them to be one of the best all around planes out there. They fly beautifully and have extremely effective flight control surfaces. Flaps provide a very stable landing platform and I would not consider building a Zero without them. The Ziroli Zero is a nice airplane as is the Yellow Aircraft model. I don't think you could go wrong with either of those models. Which ever you decide to build spend the extra time making sure your gear mounts are solid and well reinforced. I have seen the landing gear depart more than a few Zeros on the crash videos that are out there and I don't recall seeing them fail in any other way. The long gear makes a big lever if landing speeds are high and it just adds another vote to making use of Flaps. In closing I would say that the P-47 Thunderbolt is in my opinion one of the best flying model warbirds available. The plane has a great wing and can really perform if it is powered correctly. I tell lots of new Warbird pilots the same thing and I don't think any of those that chose to build the P-47 were disappointed.
Good Luck!! Jack Devine"
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Question 28: "Hi Jack, I am in the process of building a Top-Flite P-39 and this will be my first warbird. I have read good things about the plane and how it performs, however I have never seen anything about it here. Do you have any experience with flying this model or do you know anyone who has flown one? I enjoy this web site and all the great information it has to offer. Thanks for all the good work you guys do!"
Jack: "Hi James, The Top Flight P-39 Airacobra is a nice airplane that allows pilots without tail dragger experience to try a warbird. The P-39 has excellent ground handling characteristics and it flies very well. The torque tendencies on this plane are less than on a fighter that has a tail wheel but it will still need some right ruder on takeoff. Build lots of speed before you let the model rotate and climb out slowly until your sure you have stable airspeed. Build the flaps because they will aid you in landing more than I can say. The flaps also add a ton of low speed stability and that equals added stability on approach to landing. I would recommend you stay on the high side of the recommended power range and install the retracts. Study the nose gear as you install it and make sure you have good control through the wheel. Some nose wheel controls for steering get very sloppy as the gear rotates up into the well and you need to be absolutely sure that the retraction sequence is smooth and maintains positive stability. The p-39 has a very nice presence in the air and really does not have any bad flying habits. Build it straight and you should have a great airplane. Good Luck with the new airplane? Jack Devine"
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Question 29: "Jack, I have a completed h9 p51 with a saito 100 in it for power, my flying experience so far in 3 yrs. has been with several superstar ARF's and several Avistars, I built a spacewalker ARF for last summer and enjoyed it very much, a very nervous 1st flight with it went well, have had no issues with it and usually warm up with the avistar.. My question is about the hanger 9 p51, I am confident I can fly it, but am still way nervous, I am planing on an experienced guy from the club taking it up for the maiden. Is there any advice you could give me to ease my nervousness?? I think as long as It comes off the field slowly and I take my time, trim it out, then practice slowing it down for characteristics, then try some low speed passes, and then a landing I should be fine. What do you think, I am finding advice around this plane to be very wide spread from its a wicked torquey demon, to a gentle flyer.. Any help you could pass along will be greatly appreciated. thanks"
Jack: "Hi Gene, Nice to hear from you. I have seen several of the Hanger 9 Mustangs fly and they are light in the air and with a bit of power in the nose and they are very nice flying warbird. The ARF advantage has always been realized with lighter wing loading and I think this is very true of this airplane. The 100 four stroke motor should fly your new warbird with authority. I do feel the stock landing gear are far below the quality of the rest of the plane and I wish the ARF manufactures would take a real hard look at that fact. Putting good landing gear in these planes would only increase their popularity.
I totally agree with your desire to let a more experienced pilot get it trimmed out for you before you take the sticks. Just make sure that you know and have witnessed the test pilots flight capabilities. You get a lot of piece of mind from a pilot that you know can really make a plane perform and he should be able to easily handle any trim adjustments without the anxiety the first flight can bring to a new pilot. Don't get me wrong Gene the first flight on any plane has always had a way of dramatically increasing the pucker factor.
Your flight expectations are focused and I really like that. Learning the basic flight characteristics of your new Mustang should be first priority. Get it up good an high and bring back the power and make the plane stall. What happens when you get to slow. Nice to know that before it happens when you have about five feet of altitude. Warbirds are normally very predictable once you know the flight envelope and it will keep things from surprising you when you start to develop your landing techniques. The ones I have seen were floaters on approach and with a little practice you should be able to set it down pretty accurately. It will have a tendency to nose over in grass and I blame that on the small main gear wheels and the retract angle on the main gear strut. Make sure your motor idles reliably and has smooth transition back to power when you want to add power. That alone will save you a ton of grief. I sure wish this model had flaps. If I had one it would get flaps and the landings would get easier and more consistent because of them.
Manage you power conservatively with the big four stroke up front. Torque is definitely an issue because you can run a pretty aggressive prop with the extra torque of this type of motor. Power transitions need to be smooth so the plane has the opportunity to deal with the torque without having to input tons of flight surface input to correct the flight attitude that the sudden increase in power induces. Add power slowly and learn to use the rudder especially if you have not flown with the rudder consistently in the past. Rudder is critical to making a war bird fly correctly.
I think you have a good plan in place and if you stick with it you should get a lot of enjoyment out of your new P-51. Good luck Gene and keep us posted!!! Jack Devine"
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Question 30: " Hi Jack, what can you tell me about the flight characteristics of a Top Flite P-39? I will be building mine with flaps and retracts. Thanks, Marek"
Jack:"Hello Marek, The top flight P-39 is a good flying airplane and I'm happy to hear that you are adding flaps. I beat this drum every chance I get because Warbirds need them and they work. It will save a ton of wear and tear on your model and it will make landing much easier. Ground handling the Aircobra is pretty easy as the steerable nose wheel stays in contact with the ground well into the takeoff roll so you maintain good directional stability. The plane will lift off on it's own when you have sufficient airspeed and fly straight out until you have enough altitude to make a safe turn. You will still need some right rudder input but it will be less thanif the plane were a tail dragger. In the air I don't think you will find any surprises but be careful at low airspeed. Landing approaches should be steeper than what you are use to with planes that are not equipped with flaps and you manage a flap down decent with the throttle not the elevator.
I mix a few degrees of down elevator to compensate for the flaps and that usually will prevent any needed trim changes as you head for the threshold of the runway. As you turn final and head toward your chosen touchdown spot slight changes in throttle will control your decent. If you get to steep just ad a LITTLE power and the glide will flatten out. if you are too flat on the approach back the throttle down and the flaps become big brakes and the decent will steepen. It takes a few approaches to get this down but you will be a better pilot once you learn it. I recommend independent aileron servos for a much tighter control of this plane. If you miss an approach add power slowly and let the plane start flying again and rebuildthe airspeed until you are safely back in the flight envelope. Make all of your throttle changes slowly and smoothly and you will like how this plane performs. All in all the P-39 is a nice airplane and should give you many
hours of great flying. Good luck and let us know how it goes! Jack Devine"
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Question 31: "Hi Jack, I am in the process of finishing my Byron P-40 and have a couple of questions. My P-40 has the Precision Eagle 4.2 & three blade Pow'r Prop w/PurrPow'r. I have been thinking about getting the two blade prop adapter for the first few flights and was wondering if there is very much difference in the performance between the two and three blade props. Also, will the Precision Eagle provide enough power for this airplane? While I do not want or expect a P-40 with unlimited vertical performance, I would like to not use all available power from the engine just to keep it in the air. Lastly, the P-40 has a reputation for being hard to handle on the ground. Is the Byron any easier to handle on the ground than the Top Flight P-40? While I have not flown a Top Flight P-40, I have flown Fokker DR-I's and didn't have too much trouble with them. Thanks, Jerry"
Jack: "Hi Jerry, I really like the Byron P-40 and the 4.2 won't have any problems hauling it around. It should fly fine with the purr power three blade system but you will definitely see more speed with a two blade prop. The engine will rev higher and the airspeed will come up considerably. The trick with the P-40 and I don't care what size it is is to manage the throttle. Torque induces the left turn tendencies and bringing up the throttle slowly and allowing the rudder to begin to have some authority will make a huge difference in the way this plane responds. You have a tendency to just jam the throttle and get it in the air and that is a mistake that could easily cost you your airplane. The narrow & tall gear is a bad combination if you are aggressive with throttle changes. This will be even more so with the three blade prop up front. The Byron P-40 has great flaps and I hope you use them. It will reduce your landing speed by half. That reason alone should make you want to get very familiar with the flap switch. Double check all of your landing gear before you fly too. Make sure your mains and tail wheel lock down and are solid. Spend some time making sure your wheels roll easily too.
The P-40 is a great airplane but it has a definite personality all of it's own. Learn the plane and you should have a blast flying it. Good luck Jerry! Jack Devine "
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Question 32: "Dear Jack, Just bought the nwht corsair as a die hard pappy fan I'm psyched. Could you please e-mail me instructions with pics on flap set up. Lastly do you recomend a st 3250 as far a 2 cycles go Thanx, PJ Miller RCACF Orlando, Fl. Have read all your posts on the nwht your an asset to the hobby esp warbirds!"
Jack: "Hello PJ, Thanks very much for your kind comments. I have a pretty good knowledge of the NWHT kit line and the Corsair is one of my favorites. All of these planes fly very well and with a bit of extra work they can be an outstanding model. I don't think they are Top Gun designs but everyone will know you are flying a Corsair and if you do most of the modifications it will be a very nice airplane with really good sport scale looks. They build very light and because of that the wing loading is light and the wing design gives you a model capable of really high quality flight.
The modifications I do on the Corsair include the installation of retracts on the mains and tail wheel, three section flaps, cockpit with seat and armor plate, front landing gear doors, elevator and rudder counterbalances, scale radial cowl baffle and armement and scale wing oil coolers. The wing needs a little modification to make the gull curve nice and smooth and if you do all of this you will have a great looking Corsair. I have many pictures of the mods and I would be happy to share them with you. Send me your email address here at RCWarbirds and we can use the internet to exchange our information and pictures. I look forward to hearing back from you"
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Question 33: "Do you know anyone that might have the plans for a Handley Page "Halifax" Bomber. My grandfather flew them in the war and I would like to build him one for his 81st birthday coming up. Thanks Josip Peleskei"
Jack: "Hello Josip, I heard back from my friend in the UK and he found a plan source for the Halifax. The model has a 79" wingspan and the plans are available on the internet. To access the web site go to www.modelflying.co.uk Scroll down the home page to "modelshop" and enter Halifax in the search the shop box and then key the GO button. Once it comes up scroll down the page until you see the picture of the Halifax and it lists the plan code as RSQ1767. It looks like a very nice model. I have a 79" B-17 and it is a blast to fly. Nothing like a four engine model"s sound in the air. Those little OS .25s make the nicest Music!! The plan is available via mail order and if you run into any problems let me know and I'll recontact my friend. Good luck with the Halifax and keep us posted. I'd love to see some pictures of your plane as you build it and especially when you get it done. Jack Devine"
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Question 34: "I'm looking for an engine recommendation for a Northwest Hobbies P-40. I estimate the finish weight will be around 20 lbs. I've considered the US41, Zenoah G-45 and the Quadra Q52. There is a big difference between the US41 and the other engines in regards to price. Is the price difference worth it? This would be my first gas engine and I want to get the most for my money but not pay extra because someone's company name is bigger than another's. Thanks Ron"
Jack: "Hello Ron, The US 41 will fly the P-40 from NWHT but I sure wouldn't look for any performance out of it. You can get a nice increase in horsepower from the US 41 by using a good header instead of the standard exhaust system that comes with the motor and using a Quadra 52 Carburetor on it with the better muffler. I saw several of these fly in Texas at Bomber Field last September and I was very impressed with the power increase. I used this modification on my NWHT FW 190 and it flew that plane very well but the 190 is a smaller and lighter plane than the P-40. There is a good amount of space in the cowl of the P-40 so you can install just about any single you could want in this plane. I have a NWHT P-51B and a Bearcat that I used G-62's in and they fly with authority and have really good climbing ability and are capable of large loops and other steep climbing maneuvers with no sign of loss of energy and they cruise right along in level flight. They fly pretty well at about half throttle in level flight and have all the power you need when you want to start the climbing maneuvers. Of the motors you listed the Quadra 52 would be my recommended choice because it gives you the extra power that lets you easily transition into the more high performance flight envelope. If you don't need the power just throttle back but when you need it it's there. I think you will really like the way this plane flies. It will be a little tricky on the ground like all P-40s are but once it's airborne you will really love it. Build the scale split flaps too as they improve the landing performance tremendously. Your landing gear will thank you for it!! Good luck Ron and keep us posted of your progress with the Kittyhawk!
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Question 35: "What is the best warbird for a novice just graduating from a high wing trainer?"
Jack: "Hi David, I don't even hesitate with this suggestion. The Great Planes .40 size P-51D Mustang is a great kit and a superbly flying airplane and it makes a great transition plane into a Warbird. This is a fun scale airplane with lots of options and you can really build a very nice looking model with this kit. It is capable of every warbird maneuver in the book and it just a solid all around plane. I have built three of them over the years and all three shared the outstanding flight characteristics one would expect from a Warbird. The kit is reasonably priced and will be a great transition airplane. When you are ready to move on into a bigger or a more scale warbird you will have no trouble marketing your Mustang to another modeler preparing to take the same steps into more advanced aircraft.
The plane is fairly easy to build and fairly quick too. The last one I built had on OS SF .61 in it with retracts and That plane is still alive today and it must have a thousand flights on it. That would be my recommendation. Good Luck! "
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Question 36: "Jack, I am getting a Midwest AT-6 Texan with a YS 120, Robart retracts, oleo struts and flaps. What can you tell me about this airplane? I am mostly concerned with the flaps during landing. Thanks, Bill"
Jack: "Hello Bill, I think you will find the Midwest AT6 a great airplane in the air but it is not the easiest plane to control on the ground. The landing gear is narrow so you need to be ahead of the plane as it is very easy to ground loop. On take off add power slowly and be ready to apply a lot of right rudder input. Jamming the throttle stick will get you into trouble quickly and make a takeoff a hair raising event. Just come up slow on the power as the tail comes up and the rudder authority increases you can slowly reduce the right rudder input and the plane will head for the sky. The YS 120 will have plenty of power and if it is adjusted correctly is one of the best running motors out there. They can be a little tricky to set up but once you have it dialed in you can just about forget about the needle valve and just enjoy flying. Landing the T6 can be a problem if you touch down with too much airspeed. Because your model is built with Flaps you have a big advantage here. When you land a AT6 hot it will jump right back into the air and then it starts to porpoise up and down in a escalating series of bounces and the model usually ends up with broken landing gear or it flips over and hammers the vertical stab/rudder assembly. The flaps will eliminate 90% of this problem. Make sure your flaps are working properly before you fly and you will most likely need to add a bit of down elevator when you deploy them in flight. There is a lot of flap area on the Texan and the plane will climb when you drop them in flight. You will increase drag and the plane will slow down very quickly and you will need to manage the throttle stick to control you final decent to touch down. Notice I said manage the throttle and not the elevator. A proper approach will have the plane heading toward the runway with the nose down to maintain airspeed. I'm not talking about a dive but a steeper decent than you are probably used to. Long low approaches are going to get you into trouble with this plane because if you get to slow it will snap and it will damage if not destroy the plane. Add power to reduce the decent and reduce it to increase the decent and steer your plane to your chosen touchdown spot with the rudder. Bill you have to learn to fly with the rudder if you ever plan to master the AT6 Texan. That
I assure you. They fly very well at speeds high enough for safe flight and they are very maneuverable in the air. This is a Warbird in every way and it should be flown like one. I think you will really enjoy this plane. Good luck Bill and make sure you let us know how your new AT6 flies. Jack Devine"
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Question 37: "Hello Jack!. I am getting ready to fly my Ziroli Zero that I have spent months building. It weighs about 28 pounds with a G62. How much throttle should I use on landing? Just wondering if you had any experience. P.S. Great work on this site!
Jack: "Hello Mark, It sounds like you have a great combination set up in your Zero. This is one of the nicest flying planes in the Ziroli Kit line. It really flies the wing and it goes where ever you tell it to and the feel is very light. You don't have to wrestle a zero around the sky. It turns beautifully and is capable of any maneuver in the book. As I mention in just about all of my responses to big Warbird flight it is very important that you learn to use the rudder and couple it with aileron and elevator commands. Clean turns require slight rudder input and takeoffs require right rudder as well to keep it tracking straight down the runway. The Zero's rudder is the secret to making this plane really fly the groove.
I hope you built the split flaps on your Zero. The flaps prevent the problems that occur while in the landing routine with this plane. This plane likes to fly and when you back the throttle down on final approach it will carry a great deal of airspeed for a good distance and it usually means that you will be very long on your initial approaches. With the split flaps you have two large brakes and the speed will bleed quickly and you will find a need to add a little power on final and manage the decent with the throttle. Keep the approach steep and manage the decent with the throttle. The flaps will slow the model quickly and you will have to add a little power to maintain the approach. Adding power flattens out the approach and reducing power makes the plane sink faster. Keep that in mind and the throttle stick becomes one of your best landing tools. Zero's have long main gear struts and landing with too much air speed has a real bad tendency to remove the landing gear. Watch any of the crash videos and you will see a Zero leave it's landing gear behind as it tumbles down the runway. The flaps make it much more stable and they reduce the landing airspeed to a walk without sacrificing stability and it saves the gear and the plane. In light to no wind situations you can three point this plane without too much trouble but if you are landing into a headwind be careful of trying to get the tail down because it will jump right back into the air. If that happens resist the full power input like the plague. Bring the power up slowly and let the plane fly and use the rudder not the ailerons to steer the plane. If a wing stalls the opposite aileron input aggravates the stall and the plane is uncontrollable in that deep a stall. With the flaps you will avoid all of this. Landing is the most difficult area of flying a Zero but if you think about what I've said and walk through the landing sequence before you fly and know how to manage it you will have many years of enjoyment out of this plane. The G-62 is in my opinion one of the most reliable RC motors out there and it will haul this plane with power to spare. Make sure you have it set up so you can achieve a reliable idle and smooth transition to higher power settings. Double check everything before you even start the motor because the new plane jitters are always there and it is very easy to let something small slip by. I use a checklist and it has saved my airplane more then a few times. Keep us posted Mark on the first flight and most of all enjoy that new Zero!!!! Good luck! Jack Devine "
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Question 38: "Dear Jack, I am a 14 year old and I have been flying for a little over a year now. I hope to get into the giant scale warbirds section of the hobby. I can fly solo on my Hobbico Superstar Select 40 now am looking into purchasing another plane. Since I am planning to eventually get into warbirds, I was wondering what I should get for a second plane. I only have so much money that I can spend, but I hope on getting a summer job at a local airport which will help with my money problems. What do you think would be an ideal plane for my second one? Should I get a warbird right away, or get something else? Also, what type should it be (a kit, an ARF, etc)? And lastly where would you recomend that I purchase this second plane? Thanks, Aaron M."
Jack: "Hi Aaron, Nice to hear from a young modeler that is interested in getting into Warbirds. I think you will find this adventure will be very rewarding and in the process you will meet a whole new group of RC friends and I think you will find them as some of the friendliest in the hobby. You need to make the transition into a Warbird type airplane and a built up kit is much cheaper than an ARF but you need to way the price against your time and building ability and the cost of completing a kit built airplane. Under some conditions the ARF makes perfect sense although I've always enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing my creations fly.
Warbirds are different in the air than trainer type aircraft and they require more attention. You fly a Warbird all the time. They fly where you tell them to but they don't enjoy the recoverability of a trainer type aircraft. This should not alarm you I just want you to understand that there is another learning curve in front of you. The more complex Warbirds require you to be ahead of your plane at all times while it;s in the air but as you practice and get some flight time under your belt you will totally enjoy the realism a nice scale warbird can bring. A high speed low strafing pass right down the middle of the runway is an experience and you will know exactly what I mean once you have made a few of those passes. Don't get into this alone and make sure you talk to some of the other Warbird guys that fly where you fly. You will find a wealth of knowledge that they will be willing to share and it really improves the survivability of your first warbird when you have some experience standing there on the flight line when you take the sticks for the first time and become a Warbird pilot. Take the time to learn the airplane and get normal flight routines down before you go after the more advanced stuff. Lots of new Warbird pilots don't heed that advice and end up taking their first Warbird home in a trash bag because they were behind the airplane at a critical time during flight. You have to walk before you can run so to speak.
My favorite entry level Warbird is the Great Planes 40 size P-51 Mustang. It is a fairly easy kit to build and it is a really nice flying airplane that has a lot of potential to let you grow with this plane. You can easily install retracts but it flies just fine with the fixed gear that comes in the kit. A good running .46 will make this plane perform very well and if you really want to ring it out you can switch to a .60 size engine down the road a ways and really have some high speed fun. Stay away from the big power until you have had the time to learn this airplane if you choose to build one. There are several good flying ARFs out there to and checking and comparing them will also help you make a good choice if you want to go the ARF route. Global, Hanger 9, VQ Models are all good places to start looking.
In closing Aaron, just make sure that you take the time to do this right. Ask all of your questions and seek help when you need it. There is no reason to not take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that exists in this hobby and it will help you make a successful transition into warbirds and really enjoy a great area of this hobby. Keep us in the loop and let us know if we can be of any help. Good luck and let us know when you have become a Warbird Driver!!! Jack Devine"
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Question 39: "Hi Jack, Any feedback for me in regard to the Byron P-47????? How does she fly and what is your opinion???? Thanks, Steve "
Jack: "Hi Steve, I think you will really like the Byron P-47. It's a great airplane in every way as far as I'm concerned. I have had mine for about five years and it has the Sachs 4.2 motor. With a 22 X 10 it flies with authority. The kit itself was not the easiest kit to build and I found it more difficult than the Byron Mustang and the Byron Corsair. I have built three of the Corsairs over the years and still have two of them in addition to the P-51 and the Thunderbolt.
I have never noticed any problems with this plane in the air. It tracks straight and true and is really quite easy to fly. It requires lots of right rudder on take-off and it turns really well with a little rudder input accompanying the ailerons and elevator. The flaps are very good and they slow the plane very quickly. Be aware of that because the flaps will peel of the airspeed and you can get into trouble if you are not applying throttle to compensate for the flaps. I scared the hell out of my self doing what I just described the first time I flew my Byron P-47. Keep your decent to touchdown steep and if you are going to make those long slow approaches do it without the flaps. I much prefer the flaps because the actual touchdown speed is much lower and it's just a ton easier on the airframe, especially the landing gear. I'm sure a G-62 would fly this plane very well too. They have enough power and are one of the most reliable motors out there.
I have a good friend in Louisiana that has one too and he has been flying his for many years as well. I have seen a few other fly as well and all of them were good flying planes. Check all of you mounting points regularly and make sure everything is nice and tight before you fly. I'd rate the Byron P-47 a solid nine on the scale and have nothing bad to say about it. The Byron/Robart retracts work very well too. Make sure you check the wing bracket set screws after every flight. They have a way of loosening up. Good Luck Steve.Jack Devine"
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Question 40: "Hello Jack! I emailed you the other day about landing procedure on my Zero. Just thought I would let you know that I flew it today for the first time. One word, Great. I was totally impressed with the way that this plane flew. No one know the sense of accomplishment that goes along with successfully building and flying your first giant warbird. I am especially proud that this was only the second plane that I had ever built except for ARF's. I let my good friend Brent Evans fly it the first time. I was just to nervous. I did however, take the plane off and do some high speed low passes. To much fun!! I should be landing it in the next couple of days. We have not tried the flaps out yet. She does come in kinda hot without them. Thanks again, Mark"
Jack: "Hey Mark, Congratulations! You are officially a Giant Scale Warbird Driver. Thanks for letting us all know that the first flight went very well and for mentioning that you let a more experienced pilot get your Zero in the air the first time. That was the right thing to do and I wish more of the first time guys would do the same. We would sure have a lot fewer broken warbirds. Zero landing speed is going to be very high without the flaps. Zeros have very clean lines and are very slippery in the air and because of their design they penetrate the air very well and consequently don't slow down well. The primary function of the flaps is to slow the airplane down and they will do that very quickly. The added bonus is the improved low speed flight stability. Your approaches will need to be steeper and again control the angle of the approach with the throttle not the elevator. It takes a little practice but once you get this flight concept you won't go back to flying without the flaps.
I hope you have many seasons with your new plane. Remember to do a complete preflight check before every flight and if you need to make a checklist do it. A good preflight will identify the vast majority of problems before they start to threaten the survivability of your plane. Keep your flights to standard maneuvers until you have some solid stick time with the new plane. You won't regret taking it slow. Thanks again for the great picture Mark!
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Question 41: "Hello Jack, I've been reading about warbird landing procedures, and notice a consistency to recommend "flying" the plane in, instead of "floating" the plane in. The problem is that no one describes the difference adequately. Would you have a nose down AOA until flare? Thanks,"
Jack: "Hi Jon, It's nice to hear from you. Flying a warbird all the way to the ground on a landing approach is really the only way that will allow you to achieve consistent, low speed touchdowns with the flaps on your airplane extended. Way to many warbirds are lost every weekend because of the long slow shallow approaches where a stall is a heartbeat away. When you are low and slow and your warbird starts to stall your tendency is to try and raise the wing that is dropping with opposite aileron input and this just induces
a deeper stall. The next instinct is jam the power stick wide open and now you have an airplane that can't fly because of the induced torque from the revving motor. There is no happy ending here.
The right way to do it is to increase the angle of attack by approaching from a steeper angle and let your flaps do what they were designed to do. They slow the plane very quickly but they add an increase in low speed stability too. As you reduce power and drop your flaps set up a sink rate that will allow your plane to touchdown right over the threshold of the runway. On the numbers as the full scale pilots say. If the plane is slowing to much add a little power and you will flatten out the decent and increase the airspeed. To steepen the approach reduce the power and you will see a dramatic increase in the braking effect of the flaps and the decent
will increase as long as you keep the negative angle of attack and keep the plane flying straight toward the end of the runway. As you approach the threshold of the runway reduce the throttle to idle and begin to flair the plane into the landing attitude. Most Warbirds can be landed on the main gear and as the speed starts to drop once the main gear wheels touchdown stay off of the elevator and the tail will set down on it's own. If you are going to three point the landing you let the plane get into ground effect chop the throttle and gently start back on the elevator and the plane will settle into a nice three point landing. Too much up elevator can cause the plane to jump right back into the air so bring the elevator in slowly. Steer your approaches with the rudder not the ailerons and the wing will
stay more stable. It all takes practice but once you learn it you will get consistent at making great landings. Warbirds require good management of the rudder and you will be a much better pilot when you learn to use it. The landing routine is effective when you fly it correctly and you need to get away from the long slow approaches. Using that method in crosswinds even more exaggerates the problems. Practice the basic landing routine and I tell new people to run through it on the ground and visualize the commands and really familiarize yourself with the flap switch location, retract switch location so you can find them quickly and more important accurately.
I mix about 6 degrees of down elevator into the flap switch and this normally prevents the climb that occurs when you lower the flaps and keeps the plane flying level with reduced power but not idle. High power settings with the flaps down will make the plane climb significantly and it puts a lot of pressure on the flaps. If you have to come back up to a high power setting for any reason let the plane gain a safe airspeed and then real in your flaps and go around and set it all up again. Practice makes you get good at this and there is nothing more satisfying than a greased landing. Good luck Jon! Jack Devine."
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Question 42: "Jack, My current project is a TF Corsair Gold Edition. On the RealFlight G2 simulator, I'm learning how to fly this warbird and my landing are starting to smooth out nicely. This simulator can not only simulate planes, but it can also simulate flying fields. I'm also learning to fly at my flying field with all it's peculiarities such as runways size, tree layout and adjacent roads. The runway at my flying field runs north-south. Very close to the north end of the runway is a road that runs east-west. It is sometimes unsafe and distracting to the drivers when landing approaches from the north crosses the road at low altitude. The club recommends that landing approaches from the north start parallel to the road (going east-west). As the plane approaches the north end of the runway, the plane does a 90 degree turn south to the centre of the runway and land. With this landing approach, the plane never has to cross the road at low altitude. This is very do-able for a sport plane, but might present problem for warbirds. However, this does remind me of something I read in Corsair history books. Isn't this how the English pilots landed their Corsairs on carrier decks in WWII? There are no warbird pilots at this club. Can you give some advice on this type of landing procedure? Thanks,
Jack: "Hello Joshua, Nice to hear from you. The circle approach that you are describing was used by many of the allied forces pilots during WW II and with great success. The around the corner approach gave them a much clearer view of the deck of the carrier as they approached for a landing and the additional vision advantage helped the pilots make better carrier landings. The British and the Australians also did it. From what I've read it was a preferred approach method because it kept the approach visual for the pilot
because a straight in approach normally removed the visual contact with the carrier deck because forward vision was totally blocked by that big radial cowl as you tried to see around the front of the plane.
Flying over that road on approach sounds like an accident waiting to happen to me and if you have to learn this circle approach I would get busy flying and learning this approach. Another thing that would help you immeasurably is flaps. They will add a ton a braking action on your approach and allow much steeper approach angles so that if you have to fly over the road you could maintain enough attitude to safely cross it.. The round about approach will also work but you need to efficiently manage your power settings and not slow the plane too much. A tip stall is usually just moments away if you allow the plane to slow down too much which always leads
to a low speed stall. Manage your throttle stick and let your flaps do their job.
I hope you stay involved with the Warbirds and take the time to practice your approaches onto your field and you should be able to master this landing technique. There is nothing like a Warbird! Good luck Joshua. Jack Devine"
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Question 43: "Hello, I have completed my Ziroli P-51 and I am ready to fly it. It is powered by a zenoah GT-80 and yes, the heads stick out of both sides of the cowl. I have lots of stick time on 30% and 35% aerobatic planes. Without adding weight, the CG came out just a bit nose heavy from the suggested 8 3/4 CG point. I thought that I might fly it this way initially as nose heavy planes seem to fly a bit more sluggishly, which may be good. I am not sure how much flap to dial in for takeoff and how much for landing. I fly off of an 800'x40' grass runway. Is there anything that I should be aware of before I take my first flight? Thank you, Ralph in California"
Jack: "Hello Ralph, A GT 80 in a Ziroli P-51 sounds pretty fast. I've been very impressed with the smooth running reliability and power production of that motor so you should have a good setup. The Ziroli Wing is a good one and I don't think you need flaps to take off with that kind of power up front but I'd be very cautious with throttle management. Bring the power up slowly and be ready with generous amounts of right rudder. The big rudder on a P-51 doesn't require too much airspeed to be effective so you should find the plane very manageable on the takeoff run as long as you don't get to full power too quickly. On the first few flights let it get some altitude and airspeed before you turn and you should not have any problems. The P-51 is a go where you tell it to fighter and is smooth and very responsive. It needs rudder in the turns to keep things crisp and at WOT this thing will haul rear end!!! Landing is pretty typical warbird. Make your approach steep and make the flaps do what they were designed to do. You will immediately feel the increased stability and you will visually see the model slow down very quickly. You will have to ad power on your approach and use just enough to keep the glide slope clean. Start your flair four feet or so off the runway and land it on the main gear and let it roll out and the tail will come down all on its own. Three point landings are possible too but you need to learn the plane pretty well so you visually recognize the stall point. Avoid the stall because bad things start stacking up very quickly when you walk that line. Fly your Mustang to the touchdown spot and it will be around for a long time. Good luck Ralph! Jack Devine"
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Question 44: "Hi, Jack. I am planning to buy the Top Flite P-39 as my first warbird and I was wondering how well it flies. Does it have any bad habits on the ground or in the air and is there anything special I should do to ensure that I will be able to fly it again? Thanks. Aaron"
Jack: "Hi Aaron, The Top Flight P-39 is a very nice airplane and it flies very well. The tricycle landing gear with the steerable nose wheel makes ground handling easier than a tail dragger so I don't see much difficulty there. This plane is one that like to get airborne very quickly and you can get into trouble there. Manage the throttle so power comes up smoothly and stay off of the elevator until you reach a safe enough speed to enter the flight envelope. Climb out moderately and do not turn until you have some altitude. Once you achieve flying speed you will find the P-39 is very responsive and like I tell all new Warbird pilots you need to learn to fly with the rudder if you are not already doing that. Warbirds do not turn correctly without rudder input and if you want to unlock all of the potential this airplane has you will need to have full use and coordinated control of the rudder.
Build your model with the scale split flaps. They will really improve the landing capability and once you use them and nail a good landing you will really appreciate the stability they add to your approach and they will reduce landing speed considerably. There is not a valid reason I can think of for not adding the flaps.
Next is the retracts. Because this plane uses the tricycle gear you have a bit more work to do to install them and I recommend some additional reinforcement especially on the steerable nose gear. Things get a little tight in the nose wheel well area and I prefer a pull/pull steering control system on the nose wheel because it improves the control of the steering. You also need to develop a mechanism that keeps the nose wheel straight as it retracts so the wheel does not get turned and only get half way retracted. You should always cycle the gear on this plane when you are in level flight because the steering is coupled to the rudder and this causes the nose wheel to be misaligned with its wheel well if you are entering a retraction cycle with the plane in a turn.
I'd also recommend at least a .75 two stroke for power and mine has a Super Tiger .90 and it flies very well. A good .90 size four stroke would also work well but remember that things are tight in the nose of this plane so there are some distinct advantages to using a two stroke motor.
All in all the P-39 is a solid airplane and not one you see everyday at the flying field. It will be a great conversation starter when you show up on the flight line. Take it easy for the first few flights and really feel the plane out. If you have a good warbird pilot in your club you might have him put your model in the air on the first flight and get it trimmed out. After spending hours building one of these kits the anxiety that can pop up as you taxi out for that first flight can be very high and its easier to handle when you know you are about to fly a model that has already proven itself in the air. Good luck with you Airacobra! Jack Devine"
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Question 45: "Hey Jack, first of all, congratulations with your site. I love very much big warbirds and here I can see much. Now I am building a spitfire Mk xiv, this is from a plan on internet that I have enlarged to 1,25 m(49 inch). But on the plan there is no center of gravity marked. Know you how to find this? Please if you now it, send it to me. I thank you very much."
Jack: "Hello Mathieu, I am not familiar with the particular plane that you are talking about and having enlarged the plans to build it you would have to modify the CG and scale it up proportionally any way. In my experience you are usually safe balancing the model at 25% of the root Chord of the wing. Realize going into this that a tail heavy Warbird will be almost impossible to fly. Measure the wing at the center chord and balance it at a point 25% of that distance measurement back from the leading edge of the wing and you
should be good to go and fly. Most planes are just slightly nose heavy at 25% and after you have seen how it flies you can adjust the CG from there. There is a pretty complex formula to figure the CG point and I have it written down in a file somewhere on my computer and if you would like to see that I'll see if I can find it for you. I have had good luck with the 25% measurement and it has worked well on my warbirds. I hope you enjoy your Spitfire! Jack Devine"
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Question 46: "Mr. Jack, my name is Donnie Williamson im in Austin Texas, im building a totally scale century jet 100in glass corsair, its my dream bird...have never even flown before, crazy I know, this is my plan tell me what you think, get a pc flight sim practice...practice...practice...get a trainer plane there's 2 r/c airfields near me lessons to fly, touch and go's alot... then maybe a 40 size afr corsair till im ready for the big bird with a buddy box, have a friend who's a pro r/c pilot he can do crazy things with the corsair and will help me on the buddy box aways on down the road, having never flown tell me what your plane would be to get to be able to taxi, take off, circle airfield and land the big bird as the ultimate goal here? also planning to put a gyro on rubber of big bird thanks allot"
Jack: "RC Huey Pilot, A big Corsair is a lot of airplane and I hope you are sincere in developing some RC flying experience before you tackle a big Warbird. The simulators will get you familiar with the radio and let you learn the basic flight functions with the advantage of never destroying an airplane. They will help you learn take off and landing procedures and these are the two mandatory ones so that part of your plane is solid. Your first plane should be a high wing trainer type aircraft and even as you start flying this airplane get the help of a good instructor and use the buddy box to get the trainer mastered. As you start the real flying part leave the hotdog stuff alone until you can takeoff and hit a landing in both directions and feel pretty comfortable doing it. Lot's of guys want to be doing loops and rolls on the first flight and I'm here to tell you that is the worst thing you could do. Once you get the hang of RC flight then you can push the envelope as far as you care to but getting involved in complex aerobatics before you are a good basic pilot often has you developing really bad habits that will be difficult to deal with later. You do yourself a big favor by learning to do this right.
The CJ Corsair is a very nice airplane and it should give you hours of enjoyment once you have it ready to fly. A Corsair is all business in the air and it will fly exactly where you tell it to. The control surfaces provide crisp and clean control and the Corsair is capable of flying the entire envelope of Warbird performance once you have enough experience to issue the proper radio commands. You will have tons of hours invested in this project and if you follow your plan I see great success and a big payoff at the other end.
The first Warbird I would recommend is the little Great Planes P-51. This is a .40 size airplane that is easily equipped with retracts and flies like it's on rails. Mastering the little P-51 should go a long ways in letting you make the transition into the big Corsair. Warbirds are not 3D planes and they should not be flown in that manner. Stick to Warbird maneuvers and your Corsair should give you many flights of very satisfying stick time. Wait till you see the people that will come to watch!!! Good luck and keep us posted on your progress. One other suggestion is to take the time to read the Techniques articles about Warbird flight here on RCWarbirds. Just click down to the bottom of the homepage and you will see them."
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Question 47: "Jack, just acquired a TP P40 with robarts, OS120fs and it has flaps. It weigh at 13.6lbs and I can't get it in the air. Maybe not enough ground speed but will try that this weekend. Last time as it left the ground, it seemed to almost do a torque roll to the left. Very little damage and it is all fixed. No one else in my club has gotten it off the ground either. Is this plane going to be "unflyable"? Thanks, Jim "
Jack: "Hi Jim, At 13.5 pounds your Kittyhawk is definitely on the heavy side but I think it would still fly at that weight. I own one equipped the same way with an OS 1.20 and it weighs over twelve pounds but it flies very well. It is not an easy to deal with plane on the ground and it will ground loop very easily if you don't pay attention to the take off run. It sounds like you are either flying off of a grass field or have a short runway and with a plane with this type of wing loading both of those conditions are bad news. The torque roll you talked about is under almost every circumstance caused by allowing the plane to fly before you have enough airspeed to maintain stable flight. The big problem here is that your reaction is to nail opposite aileron when you see that roll begin and that just deepens the stall. We have talked about this condition on a heavy Warbird many times here on RC Warbirds and if it happens it usually leads to a badly damaged model and some huge dents in the pilots ego.
My suggestion is to find a field that has a very well trimmed long grass runway or a field with the luxury of a paved one and try and fly the model there. Make sure that the balance on the P-49 is dead nuts on because you need everything in your favor. Drop your flaps to about one third deflection as you turn on to the runway for takeoff. Don't use any more than that but the additional lift created by the flaps will help you get airborne and add greatly to stability as you rotate on the takeoff run.. This is Most important!!! Make sure the landing gear tracks straight and that means you will need to adjust a slight toe in angle on the main gear axles. The Robart rotating retracts have some play in them and if your landing gear is toed out it will create a ton of drag and this will really compromise the takeoff roll. Take the model out into the street or your drive way if it is level and roll the plane on it's landing gear. It needs to roll easily and roll straight. Adjust what ever is necessary to get that done. Once you are satisfied that the gear is in good shape then head back to the field and let's try this again.
Set your flaps and with the model heading down the middle of the runway bring the throttle up slowly but steadily increasing power. The tail will come up long before this plane is ready to fly and the usual reaction is to add up elevator when you see the tail lift. Don't do that. The P-40 is going to take a left turn if you let it and it is going to take lots of right rudder to prevent it. As the ground speed increases and the tail lifts ease out the rudder input. Once the tail is flying the rudder becomes very effective. Force the model to run on the main gear and build up airspeed. When you cross the minimum safe flite airspeed the model will lift off with just a hint of up elevator. You have to give the model a chance and letting it gain sufficient speed will prevent the roll tendency on takeoff. Establish a gradual climb out rate and DO NOT TURN. Fly straight out until you have at least 50 feet of altitude. Retract the flaps and start your first turn and keep the banking angle as low as possible. Use the rudder in addition to the ailerons in all turns. You will never master the P-40 without the rudder and if you are not use to using the rudder you need to start working on changing that right now.
If your 1.20 is running correctly and propped correctly it should produce more than enough power to fly a 13 pound model. Four strokes make good torque so don't be afraid to prop it a bit heavy. I have a 15 X 10 APC prop on mine and it works well.
In the air I think you will find the P-40 a very nice model to fly. It will respond well to your flight direction inputs and if it is balanced properly it will perform any warbird maneuver in the book. They really have a great looking wing in flight and in a nice tight turn you really get a great looking airborne profile out of this airplane. When it comes time to land things are going to be all business so you need to practice the routine and know what you are going to do before you fly. Get your landing gear down and on the down wind leg drop the flaps to the full recommended down position. If you have good airspeed the model will probably start a gentle climb. Back the power down just a bit as you do your base leg turn and as you turn to final you are going to control most of what happens from here to touchdown with the rudder and the throttle. Your approach angle needs to be steep. Approach the runway at about a 35 degree nose down angle and let the flaps do their stuff. Adding power will decrease the sink rate and reducing power will increase it. Keep the nose down and fly the model over the threshold of the runway and at about three feet begin your flair. Bring the throttle completely to idle and let the plane settle in on the main gear. Once the gear touches down the airspeed will fall off quickly and apply just enough up elevator to keep the model from nosing over. Do not force the tail down because that could cause the plane to jump right back into the air and you don't want that. As the speed drops off the tail will come down and you will regain good steering control once the tail wheel is firmly planted on the ground. Turn wide and slowly until you are at normal taxi speed because with the narrow mains it can get very tricky.
I'd bet the farm that this model will fly just fine but getting it into the air is going to take a no mistakes takeoff run. I think you will find the flaps very effective and they will add a ton of stability to your landing approaches. If this is your first flap and retract plane take the time to learn your radio switch positions so you can find them quickly to deal with the flaps and retracts. You need to be focusing on the model and not fiddling with the radio when you are bringing your P-40 back in after that last "Mission".
Give yourself every advantage and practice the routines before you fly. It becomes a routine with practice and with practice you should be able to really get all of the potential out of your new Warhawk.
Good luck Jim and let us know how that first mission goes!! Jack Devine "
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Question 48: "Jack. I am building my first warbird, a great planes gold edition spitfire. I would like your advise on were to start for the flap settings ( how much mixing of elevator should I start with ?) I would also like to know if a 120 O.S. four stroke would be an acceptable engine for the aircraft ? The web site is great, I have read a lot of information on warbirds and am glad to see a site that we can go to for advise"
Jack: "Hi James, Nice to hear from another new Warbird guy. The Top Flight Gold Addition Spitfire is a nice airplane and it should have tremendous power with a 1.20 in the nose. The motor will help you balance this plane because it builds a bit tail heavy and if you have to add nose weight it should be power instead of lead. Two things on the Spitfire are worth mentioning. The narrow landing gear makes it a handful on the ground and you will need a good bit of right rudder on takeoffs to counteract the prop torque that the 1.20 will make large quantities of. Power has to be applied slowly and steadily with the Spit. If you jam that throttle stick wide open you will induce a left turn that you will not be able to correct and it will ground loop and that is real hard on wingtips and landing gear. Make sure that the tires on your main gear turn freely or it will be up on it;s nose before you can blink. I don't think you need the flaps for takeoff with all that power but you will need them to slow the plane down to land it. Full deflection of the flaps should be about 50 degrees and they are very effective. You need to use a little caution when you fully deploy them because your airspeed will decay very quickly if you are at low throttle settings. I like to play with the flaps early in the flight just to get an idea where the stall limits are and also to see if a bit of down elevator needs to be trimmed in to compensate for the added lift generated by the flaps. On my big birds about 6 degrees of down elevator works well and 4 to 5 seems about right with the smaller models.
Just realize that those flaps do improve low speed stability but they increase drag even more so you are going to have to fly your new Spitfire all the way to touch down and manage your decent into landing with the throttle. It takes a little practice but once you get it down you won't go back to your old landing routine,
Do a good job balancing the Spitfire. Nose heavy will make taking off difficult and tail heavy is just really bad everywhere. Take the time to make it right and it will pay huge dividends in a really fun to fly airplane. Good luck and let us know how that all important first flight goes. Jack Devine"
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