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  1. War was coming to the ocean called “Pacific.” Imperial Japan, in need of oil to feed its growing ambition, squirmed under the stricture of an American embargo (implemented because of Japan’s aggression toward China). Japan would not be denied its self-proclaimed destiny, so Tokyo’s warlords cast covetous eyes southward to the petroleum-rich Dutch East Indies, ripe for the plucking. The Pacific was to be “their” ocean, and the only major obstacle was the U.S. Pacific Fleet based in Hawaii. The focus of the two-year-old war in Europe was about to swing dramatically to what would soon be the world’s largest theater of operations. To U.S. servicemen in 1941, Hawaii was a tropical paradise and a “dream” duty station. Army air and ground forces enjoyed a pleasant tour of duty; after all, the only potential enemy was 3,400 miles to the west. In 1940, the Pacific Fleet had moved to Pearl Harbor from San Diego despite the objections of Adm. J.O. Richardson, “CinCPac,” who felt that basing the fleet in Hawaii was no more a deterrent to Japanese aggression than leaving it by the mainland; furthermore, it made a tempting target. His objections were overridden by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who replaced him with Adm. Husband E. Kimmel. His Army counterpart, Gen. Walter Short, had no more influence than Kimmel on Roosevelt’s decision. Meanwhile, the Army, Navy and Marine airmen on Oahu basked in the joy of flying in a pleasant climate, even amid growing concern about Tokyo’s actions in China. Many of the fliers at Hickam, Pearl and Ewa (“Evva”) would later clash with Axis aircraft in other sorties around the globe. Lt. Francis S. Gabreski, currently America’s highest-scoring living ace, remembered duty in Hawaii as “wonderful.” He said, “Unless you had the duty that day, you flew from eight a.m. to noon or so, maybe did some paperwork then had the rest of the day for surfing, fishing, or chasing girls.” “Gabby” Gabreski met his future wife in Hawaii, eventually trading his P-36s and P-40s for P-47s in England. Status of forces On the morning of December 7, 1941, the U.S. Army Air Force had about 230 aircraft in Hawaii; the Navy and Marines had about 170, plus 70 to 80 each on the aircraft carriers USS Lexington (CV-2) and Enterprise (CV-6). Lex was delivering Marine scout-bombers to Midway, 1,100 miles northwest of Honolulu. “The Big E” was en route home to Pearl Harbor, having delivered Marine fighters to Wake Island. The Army had 45 bombers in Hawaii, though 33 were obsolete Douglas B-18s, barely capable of 200mph. A dozen B-17D Flying Fortresses represented the USAAF’s best striking arm, with excellent range and payload and a 25,000-foot capability. At that early time, however, it had not yet been realized how ineffective high-altitude bombers would be against moving ships. More promising were 13 Douglas A-20 attack bombers, later demonstrably effective in the Southwest Pacific. Defending Hawaiian skies were 152 “pursuit ships” of various numbers and performance. The largest contingent was 99 Curtiss P-40B and C Tomahawks, with decent armament and speeds approaching 350mph. First delivered early in 1941, they were the most modern fighters available. Dating from 1938 was the Curtiss company’s earlier entry, the radial-engine P-36A. Though claiming a 310mph top speed, the 39 fighters with Pratt & Whitney R-1830s lacked the altitude performance of the -40s and packed a less lethal punch. Owing to export contracts for Britain, France and other nations, however, Curtiss was unable to deliver enough P-40s to its own country, so the second-line -36 soldiered on. Some squadrons flew both types interchangeably. The P-36 may have been lacking in speed and firepower, but it was two-and-a-half laps ahead of the petite Boeing P-26. Fourteen of the fixed-gear, braced monoplane fighters remained in Hawaiian squadrons, and though the “Peashooters” had been considered hot ships in 1934, they were now more than 100mph slower than the opposition—fit only for proficiency flying. The other USAAF aircraft on hand represented a variety of obsolete observation and liaison types. By far the most significant naval aircraft in Hawaii was Consolidated’s long-lived PBY flying boat. Newly named “Catalina,” the big twin-engine patrol plane equipped two air wings with a total of 69 aircraft. They were based at Kaneohe Naval Air Station on the east coast of Oahu and were largely responsible for long-range patrol of Hawaiian waters. However, the Pacific Fleet commander, Adm. Kimmel, realized that he had too few PBYs to provide adequate coverage of all the approaches to the Hawaiian Islands. America was heavily committed to the ill-named “Neutrality Patrol” covering the Atlantic, where American-flown PBYs had been involved in destroying the German battleship Bismarck seven months before. The Navy service wing at Kaneohe owned nearly 40 utility and scout-observation Grumman, Beech and Sikorsky types. There was also a small fleet-aircraft pool with 21 replacement fighters and dive bombers. Marine Air Group Two, based at Ewa, comprised two scout-bomber squadrons with 29 Douglas SBDs and Vought SB2Us, a fighter squadron with 11 Grumman F4Fs and a utility squadron with eight “cats and dogs.” Naval aviation’s offensive arm was built around its three aircraft carriers. As noted, Lexington and Enterprise were ferrying Marine planes to Midway and Wake, while the Saratoga (CV-3) was loading more leatherneck fighters in San Diego. Each flattop had nearly identical air groups, nominally flying 36 SBDs, 18 fighters (Saratoga had Brewster F2As) and 18 Douglas TBD torped* planes. One of the luckiest breaks in American history was that all three PacFleet carriers were out of port on December 7. Because so many battleships were destroyed or damaged during the attack, and because submarines were largely irrelevant owing to the scandalous failure of their torped*es (a problem that persisted for nearly two years), carrier aviation became America’s only way to conduct a war in the Pacific. Japan’s Sunday punch In contrast to the rather anemic American forces, the Japanese Navy committed itself wholeheartedly to the Hawaii operation: all six fleet carriers, embarking 427 aircraft plus cruiser-based floatplanes for reconnaissance. The carrier air groups owned 144 Nakajima B5N torped* planes, 138 Aichi D3A dive bombers and 138 Mitsubishi A6M fighters, arguably flown by the most experienced naval aviators on earth. Certainly, they had a high degree of competence, having trained relentlessly over the previous several months. The effort that went into the aerial torped*es alone was significant. Pearl Harbor was shallow—only 40 feet deep in places—and the challenge was to get torped*es to level off before they plunged into the muddy bottom. After the British Navy’s air attack on Taranto Harbor in November 1940, the Japanese naval attaché examined the damage done to Italian battleships (U.S. intelligence was aware of this) and concluded that it was possible to make torped*es run shallow enough. Fitting large wooden fins to the torped*es’ aft ends proved to be workable; otherwise, Oper-ation Hawaii probably would not have been executed. The Japanese navy’s standard torped* plane was the Nakajima B5N, which entered service in 1937— the same year as America’s ill-fated Douglas TBD. Reasonably fast and armed with the world’s finest aerial torped*, the Type 97 Carrier Attack Aircraft (later called “Kate” by the allies) represented a lethal threat against enemy ships. It also proved effective as a high-level bomber and performed well in both roles on December 7. The counterpart of the Douglas Dauntless was the Aichi D3A, the Type 99 carrier bomber (aka “Val”). Despite its spatted, fixed landing gear, the Aichi demonstrated excellent stability and, therefore, accuracy in addition to a decent top speed—nearly 250mph. The crews assigned to Operation Hawaii drilled incessantly before deploying, both against stationary and moving targets. Toward the end, they frequently recorded hit rates upward of 50 percent on maneuvering ships. The Japanese Imperial Navy possessed an air-superiority design unlike any other in the world in the Mitsubishi A6M Type 0 fighter. Fast, long-range, agile and well-armed with cannon and machine guns, it was flown by competent, aggressive pilots, including combat veterans with kills over China. All three Japanese carrier planes became first to last warriors, flying from 1941 through 1945. In contrast, most of their American rivals were largely replaced by newer, more capable planes before 1945. The notable exceptions were the Flying Fortress, Catalina and Wildcat. Japan’s newly created First Air Fleet was easily the most powerful naval aviation force in existence. Six fast carriers were specially trained and equipped for the Hawaii operation, with adequate escorts and tankers to support a prolonged sweep of the largest ocean on Earth. org*nized into three divisions with two flattops each, the Carrier Striking Force (Kido Butai) was led by Vice Adm. Chuichi Nagumo, an experienced surface officer. He commanded Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku and Zuikaku. His lack of aviation expertise was more than offset by his excellent staff, including two of Japan’s ablest airmen and planners: Cmdrs. Minoru Genda and Mitsuo Fuchida. The latter would lead the first of two waves against Hawaii with a total of more than 300 planes. Kido Butai departed Japanese waters on November 26, steaming the northerly route where weather was thick and shipping rare. Though U.S. intelligence picked up radio signals indicating that the carriers were out and headed east, the information was never used; nor did the decrypts of Japanese diplomatic codes clearly show that only Pearl Harbor had been divided into targeting grids. Arriving at his launch point some 200 miles north of Oahu, Nagumo ensured that his aircrews were carefully briefed to recognize specific targets. At 0600 on December 7, the first 183 planes were launched in only 15 minutes—an accomplishment in itself—and deployed off the northern tip of Oahu at 0740. Ten minutes later, the fighters and dive bombers turned inland and aimed at Army air bases at Hickam and Wheeler fields plus the Naval air stations at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor and beautiful Kaneohe Bay on the east coast. Bellows Field, the Army facility south of Kaneohe, was mostly ignored, as it was known to be the home of an observation squadron. Meanwhile, the Nakajima level and torped* bombers skirted the southwest coast, arriving above the harbor at 0755. They overflew the Marine Corps base at Ewa, which Zeros strafed with eerie efficiency. By then, of course, the surprise was complete, despite the fact that a destroyer had sunk a midg*t submarine an hour previously and because of the fact that the huge formation detected by radar north of Oahu was deemed to be a dozen B-17s arriving from California. “Don’t shoot!” Vice Adm. William F. Halsey, commanding the Enterprise task force, had placed his ships on a war footing in November. Taking no chances, he had launched 18 Dauntlesses southwest of Kaula Island toward Pearl Harbor that morning. The SBDs found nothing remarkable between their carrier and the shore, but they flew directly into the Sunday surprise. The first “the Big E” knew of Pearl’s peril was a frantic radio call from a young Dauntless pilot: “This is an American plane! Don’t shoot!” Over the next half hour or so, Japanese planes shot down five SBDs while American gunners downed a sixth. Three pilots and two radiomen were killed, and three more fliers were wounded. It only got worse. After the carrier launched a futile search-strike that evening, the Wildcat escorts were diverted to Ford Island. In yet another snafu, gunners on the ground assumed that any airborne planes were hostile. Three F4F pilots were killed by “friendly fire.” The Big E’s revenge would be deferred for six months, but the debt was repaid with compound interest at Midway. Nowhere was the efficiency of Japanese bombing and strafing more evident than Kaneohe. Of the 36 Catalina flying boats based there, 27 were destroyed, and six were damaged. Only three escaped enemy attention; they were on scheduled patrol missions. Some of the best flying of the entire attack was by the Nakajima B5Ns that skimmed the waters of Pearl Harbor to deliver their Type 95 aerial torped*es against “Battleship Row.” The pilots had only seconds to descend to drop altitude, pick their aim points, release and pull out. The outboard ships took a succession of hits from the powerfully efficient torped*es: West v*rginia (BB-48) and Oklahoma (BB-37) were sunk at their moorings. Arizona (BB-39) took an armor-piercing bomb that detonated a magazine and exploded, taking more than 1,100 men with her—half the American fatalities on that day. The two inboard battlewagons—Maryland (BB-46) and Tennessee (BB-43)—sustained relatively light damage and were under way again in weeks. Nevada (BB-36), the only battleship to work up steam, became an immediate target as she headed for the harbor mouth. Bombers and torped* planes jumped her as she pushed along at 10 knots, and her captain wisely beached the behemoth off Hospital Point rather than risk its sinking and blocking the channel. Two other battlewagons were also hit: California (BB-44), moored alone off Ford Island, was sunk but eventually refloated; Pennsylvania (BB-39) was damaged in dry dock. The old Utah (AV-16) was destroyed on the opposite side of Ford Island, but fortuitously, she absorbed Japanese ordnance that would have been better expended elsewhere: she was the Pacific Fleet’s training target vessel. Antiaircraft efforts Legends arose from the smoke and twisted wreckage in the harbor and onshore that day. Popular music contributed to the mood with the jaunty tune, “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition,” a statement attributed to the chaplain of one ship as he encouraged the antiaircraft gunners blasting away at enemy aircraft. Ashore, the mood was decidedly less festive. Under peacetime regulations, live ammunition could not be issued without written authorization from a commissioned officer. At Army posts such as Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks, soldiers clamored for machine-gun and antiaircraft ammunition that remained locked in storage. Career noncoms—the “lifers” often disliked by rookies and draftees—reportedly declined to issue ammo, even with bombing and strafing in progress. Yet common sense more often ruled, and Japanese aircrews remarked on the speed and ferocity of AA fire. The Pacific Fleet report stated that some ships opened fire within two minutes of the attack; most did so within seven minutes. The Navy alone fired 4,620 three- to five-inch shells and 276,000 rounds from automatic weapons. The most common antiaircraft weapon was the three-inch gun, firing a shell with a fuse that detonated a bursting charge. Sixteen were in place to defend the harbor, plus those aboard ship, and photos show the sky pockmarked with black flak bursts. A few Japanese planes were downed by heavy flak, but a confidential report later admitted that many of the 68 civilian deaths were caused by falling shell splinters. A variety of automatic weapons was employed both afloat and ashore. Probably the most effective was the Browning .50-caliber machine gun—a 1918 design with a cooling water j*cket around the barrel. Mounted on a pedestal with sights high over the bore, the .50s put out a sustained rate of fire that could knock down a single-engine aircraft. One of 15 Navy Medals of Honor that day went to a .50-caliber gunner, Chief John Finn of Kaneohe Naval Air Station, who remained at his gun despite multiple wounds. Another Navy machine gunner was Mess Attendant Doris “Dorsey” Miller, the West v*rginia’s heavyweight boxing champ. Though not trained in gunnery, he proved his fighting spirit aboard a sinking ship as well as in the ring. Elsewhere, infantry weapons such as .30-caliber tripod-mounted machine guns and automatic rifles also came into play. Interceptors aloft Few USAAF fighters got off the ground that morning: 14 P-36 and 11 P-40 sorties were logged, mostly from the 46th and 47th Pursuit Squadrons. The P-40 pilots claimed six shootdowns; the P-36s four more. At least one P-36 fell to U.S. gunfire over Schofield Barracks. Two second lieutenants from the 47th Pursuit became famous for their efforts. Kenneth M. Taylor and George S. Welch had barely returned from an all-night poker game and were badly in need of rest when the Japanese arrived. Still partly dressed in civilian clothes, they drove to the alert str*p at Haleiwa, scrambled into their P-40s and took off. In a 30-minute fight, they intercepted enemy aircraft near Ewa and shot down four. They claimed to have hit dive bombers, but they probably bagged level bombers. Low on ammunition, they landed to rearm and were back in the air in barely 15 minutes. Later, over the north shore, they chased more bandits; Taylor was wounded, while Welch claimed a fighter and a dive bomber. Legend has it that “Wheaties” Welch and Ken Taylor were nominated for the Medal of Honor but were awarded Distinguished Service Crosses because they had taken off without authorization. True or not, no Army men were given the MOH for that day, although 15 Navy officers, noncoms and sailors were recognized with the nation’s highest award. The second wave One hour behind the first wave were 168 more planes from Kido Butai. By now, there was no need for stealth: they crossed the coast heading directly for Pearl, though more fighters turned to port to keep the pressure on Kaneohe and starboard to “cap” Wheeler. Other Zeros pressed southward for Hickam and Ford Island. The dive bombers attacked Pearl Harbor from the northeast while the level bombers overflew the southeast of Oahu, passing south of Honolulu and turning west for Hickam and Ford and east for Kaneohe. The second wave met far heavier opposition than the first and sustained greater casualties. Twenty of the 168 (12 percent) were lost, compared with nine of the first 183 (five percent). AA and flak took a toll on the survivors, however; a surprising 74 planes returned to their carriers bearing battle damage. By the time the last raiders regrouped over Ewa and turned their black noses north, 90 minutes had elapsed. In exchange for 29 aircraft and five midg*t submarines with their crews, Imperial Japan had crippled the United States’ Pacific Fleet. More than 2,400 Americans were dead or dying; nearly 1,200 were wounded. Eighteen ships were destroyed or damaged, though some later returned to service in the Atlantic and Pacific. The total Army, Navy and Marine aircraft losses were 347 destroyed or damaged. However, Nagumo’s failure to launch a third strike—especially to destroy the Pacific Fleet’s vulnerable oil reserves—proved to have strategic consequences. A terrible resolve It would take time and effort, but America’s materiel losses were redressed by an awesome industrial effort on the mainland. Meanwhile, Army and Navy hatcheries turned out tens of thousands of fledgling airmen and the skilled artisans to support them, train them and put them over Japanese targets. On the 50th anniversary of the attack, Zenji Abe, one of the Imperial Navy’s best dive-bomber pilots, visited Pearl Harbor. “What I think now is why we had to attack,” he said. “Why could we not seek the natural resources that we needed by peaceful measures? If there had not been Pearl Harbor, the unhappiness of mankind could have been limited to much less.” He thought a moment, then added, “As a soldier of the foremost line, I regret it very much.” Another attitude was expressed by Zero pilot Takeshi Maeda, who insisted: “We don’t have to apologize because we did it by order.” However, like most Japanese veterans, he said that his comrades were told that notification had been given to America moments before the attack. That was the intention, but the Japanese embassy in Washington was painfully slow in decoding Tokyo’s message, and that resulted in the appearance of a sneak attack that outraged America and, in Adm. Yamamoto’s words, “… awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.” The post Remembering Pearl Harbor appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  2. Would you believe that this beautiful twin is 20 years old? Steve Holland spent three years building this model and first flew it in 1999. Powered by two 74cc Zenoah gas engines, it has flown around 800 times, most recently at the BMFA Nationals show at RAF Barkston Heath in Lincolnshire, UK and filmed by Tbobborap1. Steve notes, “I put it aside 7 years ago after a full size display at Kemble and got it back out for the Nationals. I had to replace the batteries, one throttle servo and a choke servo. Some of the paintwork was blown over, it still needs a complete respirated which isn’t worth doing until the minor wing skin issues on the wing fairings are rectified. I flew it at home before bringing it too the Nationals just so I could be current on it again. It weighs around 140 pounds and is half scale at 22 foot span. The model still is quite old school radio wise with for receivers each with their own power supply and a separate battery powering the fl*ps. When it was first flown it was on 35MHz with a Futaba 9Z radio system. It’s now using Futaba 2.4MHz. It’s interesting to note that the original Futaba 3303 quarter-scale servos are still fitted. Some of the younger pilots couldn’t believe the size and relatively low power compared to modern servos. The retract system is home made using commercial Phesto air rams onto a welded steel frame work which folds pulling up the main legs. The main legs were made by an old friend and wonderful engineer Alan Dew from Ford esc*rt shock absorbers he found lying around.” The post Monster DeHavilland Comet appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  3. If you really want to make your scale airplane come to life, and make it look as though it’s been flying around for a while, you need to do some weathering, ... Continue reading ... Join our premium membership! The post Pro Weathering Techniques appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  4. There’s been lots of progress this year on Gerry Yarrish’s Nieuport 24 project. Here is a video taken earlier this year showing off some of the early construction details. Stay tuned, there’s a new update video coming soon. The post Workshop Video – Nieuport 24 Update appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  5. Andy Johnston must take his RC modeling very seriously … why else would he spend over 3 years building a true-to-scale, rotary Bentley engine spending another 2 years building an Avro 504K from plans, specifically for the engine? The 9-cylinder powerplant has cast-iron liners that are 1mm thick, aluminum finned barrels and a total of 347cc displacement for a range of 700 to 3500rpm with a 25.5×23 prop that has a scale blade shape. The engine spins, just like its full-size counterpart! The Avro 504K is enlarged to 27% scale from 1/4-scale David Boddington plans and has a 116-inch wingspan. It is covered in linen solartex and has freehand markings. Andy notes, “The Avro was designed around the Bentley with the provision for exchanging it for a Zenoah 62. The Avro’s maiden flight was on 31st March 2012 with the 62 (and 3kg lead up front, the difference in weight between it and the Bentley) to prove the airframe and it was a great success so a further six flights were made to complete the CAA tests on that day before making the swap and further tests. The Bentley engine build started in August 2004 and the maiden flight in the Avro was in April 2012. There are no noticeable effects of gyroscopic precession from the rotating Bentley affecting the handling unduly, just a slight difference in left and right which may be due to torque and the coa*se-pitch propeller. Twenty-two flights with Bentley to date.” Enjoy this video, courtesy of tbobborap1, our videographer friend across the pond. The post Incredible Homemade Rotary Engine appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  6. 12 RC Airplane Crashes from 2019!! It happens to the best of us, whether you are flying a foamy park flyer at the local RC club field, or are a show pilot performing at national events across the country, serious “rekitting” of airplanes are a facto of life. Here are 12 of more impressive ground penetr*tion tests we’ve seen courtesy of TBOBBORAP1. The post The Best of the Worst! appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  7. In the early 1980s, I happened to see an ad in Model Airplane News for JR radios. Ultimately, I purchased a JR 4C-4S (4 channels, 4 servos) AM rig that did everything it was supposed to do. After a while, I wanted an FM radio system and so returned to the JR brand and discovered the JR Max 6. This one set the hook with its two auxiliary channels and those awesome servo-reversing switches. I have remained a JR enthusiast ever since. Next Generation The newest addition to the JR Propo line is the JR T14x4 carries on the tradition of quality and dependability, the T14x4 distributed by Dee Force Aviation (deeforce.net), is a true nonshared, full 14-channel 2.4GHz radio system. Using JR DMSS (dual modulation spectrum system), the T14x4 features a dual stream, telemetry communication system. Voltage telemetry is built in as standard in every DMSS receiver, and other add-on sensors installed in your airplane can provide real-time feedback for propeller rpm, as well as altitude, motor or engine temperature, propeller or heli rotor blade rpm, and more. In addition to the data on the display, you can set various alarms to monitor aircraft conditions without taking your eyes off the aircraft. Priced at $699.99, you get a professional full-range system at a sport flyer price. Unique Features When you pick up and hold the T14x4 in your hands, you’ll instantly notice its modern styling and ergonomically recessed case back, which is comfortable whether you are a “fingers” or “thumb” flier. I especially appreciate the soft feel rubber coverings on all the switches. The T14x4 has very smooth-operating CNC-manufactured control stick gimbals, which are adjustable. Also, the radio uses the JR XBus serial port communication system. When paired with the JR RG812BX XBus receiver, the T14X4 is capable of connecting up to four servos per channel (56 total) with the XBus serial connector. The servo harness is available separately. The T14X4 system is compatible only with matching DMSS receivers, including the RG812BX (see sidebar). Included with the T14x4 are bind plugs, a large JR Propo decal, stick-on transmitter type labels, and an instruction manual. A downloadable manual is also available. The main features include the easyto- read, backlit main screen; 30-model memory; Airplane, Helicopter, and Glider program options; an SD card slot for data sharing, storage, and updates (SD card not included); LiFe 6.4V, 1400mAh 2S transmitter battery; integrated charging circuit with automatic shutdown; 9V AC/DC adapter (included); selectable stick modes (1 through 4); scroll/push bar and four-b*tton data entry keys; dual trim options; dual side slider levers; fail safe, assignable switch functions; programmable throttle cut; and two programmable timers. QUICK SPECS Radio: JR T14x4 Manufacturer: JR Propo (jrpropo-jp.com) Distributor: JR Propo/Dee force (deeforce.net) No. of channels: 14 (nonshared) Modulation: DMSS Band: 2.4GHz Programming: Airplane, Sailplane, Helicopter Model memory: 30 Modes: (1, 2, 3, 4 selectable) Transmitter battery: LiFe 6.4V 1400mAh Street price: $699.99 Be sure to watch for the upcoming March 2020 issue of MAN for a compete radio system review. The post JR Propo T14x4 DMSS Radio System appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  8. After several years of RC modeling use, the compact laser cutter from Full Spectrum Laser, is still going strong and has been almost completely maintenance free. If you’ve ever wanted to get a laser cutter for your workshop, check out this product review. This easy to use unit is designed especially for hobbyists and small home businesses wanting production quality results. The 5th Gen Hobby Laser Cutter has a 20×12 inch work area and has a glass water-cooled laser tube rated at 40 watts. It is ideal for most RC model builder projects and it has several features that are normally found on more expensive units. The table-top 5th Gen 20×12 Hobby Laser Cutter & Engaver is the perfect choice for any serious RC model builder. The laser light is invisible so a beam splitter superimposes a red LED marker over the laser, so it can be positioned on the workpiece. Quality CNC manufactured parts and optics The 40Watt Hobby Laser is very easy to run and you can control it with any PC or laptop. The driver program that controls the laser allows you to “print” you designs directly to the laser using any program that allows printing. That includes CorelDraw, AutoCAD, (or any other CAD program), PhotoShop and even MS Word! This job was done using Microsoft Word as the program. Precise and easy to use, the Hobby Laser makes short work of all hobby related materials from Balsa and Lite Ply to birch plywood, fiberglass sheet (G-10) and even cast acrylic material. From cutting model parts to engraving RC event trophies, this 40 watt laser cutter and engraver is perfect for any RC modeler’s workshop. Precision parts cut from all popular RC building materials. The best thing about this laser cutter is that it is industrial grade and it is manufactured in the USA so there is no problem with service and replacement parts. It is ideal for the serious RC modeler and it is a great first step to starting a home business. Besides laser cutting model parts, you can also engrave trophies, (both wood and acrylic) and it has many accessories to do top shelf laser work like rotary etching on bottles, glasses or other cylindrical parts. This is the original drawing scan loaded into the laser driver program. It appears in the window and the pink section shows what has already been engraved. The finished engraving enhanced with water colors applied by hand and brush. One of several awards made for the Old Rhinbeck Aerodrome Annual RC Jamboree. The plaque is made of Alder wood. Impressive cast acrylic awards engraved in mirror image on the back to show through to the front of the award. When it comes to building models, what ever you can draw with CAD, can be cut exactly to size. Identical parts can easily cut and can be positioned to minimize waste material. Any wood can be engraved, this one is a laminated cutting board intended as a wedding gift. 5 tips for great laser cutting 1. Read all the instructions that come with the laser cutter. You do not want to learn as you go. You can damage the machine if you run the gantry out of the work area. If you can’t figure som*thing out, contact customer service. 2. Never disable any safety features and always wear safety glasses intended for laser use. Make sure all cooling systems are working properly to avoid damaging the laser tube. 3. Make test cuts and keep an operation logbook so you can determine the proper settings and speeds for various materials. This also will give you a baseline so you can judge the performance over time of the laser cutter. 4. Always use the fastest speed and the lowest laser power settings needed to complete the job. All jobs should be completed with one pass. If you use more than one pass, the edges will get over heated and reduce the quality of the cut or engraving. 5. Never cut metal parts or PVC plastic. Metal will reflect the laser and can damage the optics. PVC material produces a corrosive vapor when laser cut, this can damage the optics as well as precision CNC manufactured parts in the laser cutter. Most instruction manuals will show acceptable and unacceptable materials to use. The post Tips and Highlights of Laser Cutting — with Video appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  9. One of our all time favorite warbirds is the giant scale Top Flite Corsair ARF. And on its first flight we shot this never seen before flight video. Shot by MAN photographer Hope McCall, the test flight went off without a hitch! The DLE 50cc gas engine is a perfect match. Check it out! The post Top Flite Corsair Test Flight appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  10. Name: Evan “HeadsupFPV” Turner Age: 16 Hometown: Maryville, Tennessee Matt Rudd**k: How did you come up with your call sign? Evan Turner: Well, my friend (the one who got me into mini quads) and I were out flying our mini quads around some trees. This was one of my first flights. I don’t think I had more than 10 flights on a quad. We were standing under a shade tree and (being inexperienced at the time) I was unaware of my surroundings. I actually managed to hit my friend in the face with my mini quad. I was flying extremely slowly, but the propellers cut his face and he had to get eight stitches. Therefore, HeadsupFPV has always been a fitting name for me. I do not think of this as a laughing matter, and since this experience, I have been very diligent about flying in a safe manner. In the end, though, the friend I hit in the face flies with me weekly and we have remained great friends. MR: How did you get started in the RC hobby? ET: I got started with RC airplanes when I was 7 years old and I’ve been flying ever since! I got into drone racing about 2 years ago, but my first drone race was in 2017 at Joe Nall [a weeklong RC event held in May at Triple Tree Aerodrome in Woodruff, South Carolina]. My grandfather owns a full-scale airplane and that is what sparked my interest in aviation.\ MR: Do you prefer racing or Freestyle flying, and why? ET: I prefer racing simply because of the compet*tive aspect. I am very compet*tive and in Freestyle, it’s all subjective on who’s better. There’s no real compet*tion to that side of the hobby. In racing, there is always a definitive winner and there is a lot of strategy and skill involved. It really suits me for what I enjoy. Although I might be a good racer, I envy the creativeness and skill of anyone who can fly Freestyle. I am not very creative and overall just an awful Freestyler. I have fun doing anything FPV related though, and I have made countless friends from all around the world that I will have forever. That is what RC is about to me. MR: What’s your favorite piece of gear right now? ET: My go-to setup right now is a HyperLite Floss 2.1 frame with 5-inch arms, HyperLite 2207-1722 motors, PiroDrone F4 OSD FC, and a prototype HobbyWing 6S ESC. MR: What’s the most challenging part about flying FPV? ET: The most challenging part of FPV to me is racing strategy. In FPV drone racing, strategy plays a huge role in winning races. There are many strategies used by different pilots; some like to go slow and wait for other pilots to crash, while others prefer to go as fast as possible and attempt to make other pilots crash while catching them. MR: What’s one piece of advice that you give to new FPV pilots? ET: If you get into racing, don’t take it too seriously. It’s just a bunch of guys flying their drones in the middle of a field. It’s not the end of the day if you end up losing a race because of bad video, midairs, etc. Just have fun. You will have your good days and your bad days, but most importantly, no matter how well you are flying, you should be having fun. That’s what matters. View the full article
  11. Kick up your aerobatic performance with this deceivingly-easy-looking maneuver, the Rolling Loop. A challenging maneuver, the pilot, needs to utilize all the control inputs while performing it smoothly. A basic loop can also be described as a 360-degree circle. When you perform a loop with one integrated roll, you need to match the quadrant points. For example, you must have 1/4 of the roll complete by the time you are at the 90-degree point of your loop (see diagram). You will then need to have 1/2 of the roll complete by the time you are at the 180-degree point of your loop. Similarly, 3/4 of the roll must be complete at the 270-degree point of your loop, and you will have fully completed the roll when you have completed the full 360-degree loop. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE “ROLLING LOOP” When performing a maneuver such as the rolling loop, you will notice a great demand for rudder authority (especially on the downward segment of the maneuver). With this being said, make sure that your model’s rudder servo has enough torque and that there is no rudder play of any sort (from gear slop, etc). Once you have catered to these needs, begin the maneuver. As with all new maneuvers, perform them at a high altitude until you become familiar with them. Also, most pilots naturally prefer to roll in one direction. If you prefer to roll right, for example, it is best to roll right when you do this maneuver the first few times. After you have become proficient, you will be able to roll either left or right when you execute the rolling loop. Begin by orienting your model parallel to the runway. In the language of aerobatics, we call this position relative to the runway the “Center.” When the model approaches the “Center” of the aerobatic box, begin the maneuver. In this example, we will perform the maneuver from left to right. We will roll left, so when left aileron is initiated, you must be at a high power setting (throttle settings will vary depending on your model’s power to-weight ratio) and begin to add enough rudder (right rudder) to make the model perform the first 1/4 loop. Continue to hold a little of aileron. You will, however, need to add power and change your rudder deflection accordingly to maintain a round shape (for the loop). At times, you will need to change your aileron input. Some models react differently when rudder is applied (for example, the roll rate may change). Be cautious with your control inputs, and above all else, make sure that you reach your cardinal point. In this step, you are 25 percent complete with the loop, and therefore, your model should be in a perfectly vertical attitude. At this point, begin to decrease the rudder input so that the model will “fall” over the top of the loop to maintain the round shape. You will, however, have to keep on the rudder at different points so that the model tracks straight (in heading). Now, at approximately 50 percent complete with the rolling loop, decrease throttle, as you will soon enter the downward leg of the maneuver. Regarding elevator input, get ready to push, and remember to stay on the left aileron for a constant roll rate. Keep on the left aileron (ever so slightly), and begin to add left rudder to maintain the geometric shape. Your goal is to have the model in a straight downward attitude when you approach the 75 percent completion point of the loop (as seen in the next step). You are now at the rolling loop’s 75-percent completion point. Go heavy on the rudder input (meaning, a lot of input will be required), as you need to keep the round shape of the maneuver. Also, you may have to change the aileron rate when you add extreme rudder. Last, remember to make any corrections with the elevator to keep the model tracking straight (in heading). To reach your cardinal point (where you first began the maneuver), you may need to add more throttle and rudder input. Also, now is the time to begin to decrease your aileron (when you approach the “Center”) to complete the maneuver. The maneuver is complete! Take a breath, and enjoy the rest of your flight! The post Mastering the Rolling Loop appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  12. With the wing finally assembled and joined to the fuselage, we can get to the best part of heavy metal warbirds — installing the landing gear. For the 85 inch Skyraider we started the planning early for the retracts installation. With most ARF warbirds, the wing and the attachment points for the recommended retracts will already be worked out, but with all plans built airplanes, you got to make sure things are going to fit. Earlier in the build-along we covered the part where were actually used the retracts as spacers to set the position of the plywood ribs that would support the mounting rails for the gear. In this project we are using the electrically driven 148E 90-degree rotating gear from Robart Mfg. So lets get back to the workbench and see what’s involved. Also not this procedure works for all model airplanes using similar gear. The gear is driven with its own driver unit and everything is plug-n-play. The gear cab work with anything between 4.8V and 9V but for reliable operation you should keep the battery voltage close to the upper end of the range. For convenience, Robart also sells a voltage regulator that delivers 9V and it can take up to 25V or input power. I will be using a 11.1V 3S Lipo pack to supply power the egulator. The driver can be powered directly from the receiver or with an aux. battery pack as I am doing. Here early in the construction of the Skyraider wing, the gear, along with a 4-inch Top Flite Corsair style wheel, is placed over the plans. This showed whether the gear would clear the main wing spar, which it does. But it also showed that the 148E set was wider than the reduced gear drawing on the wing top view. This showed that we would have to adjust the rib spacing while building the wing. So with the ribs glued in place and adjusted for the dihedral angle, so the gear struts would end up square to the ground, I made the mounting rails by laminating three layers of 1/4 inch birch plywood. Note that the rails have to be trimmed to clear various bolt heads that protrude from the gear’s trunion frame. Here you see the wheel well areas on the sheeted wing and the rails glued in place. Note that I have added 1/8 inch thick plywood str*ps to the rails so the top of the gear frames would clear the wing’s top sheeting. Also not that where the wing’s main spar has been trimmed away to clear the gear strut, I added a 1/4 inch doubler to reinforce the area. Here the gear has been placed on the rails and the clearances have been checked. it is also important to make sure the gear frame attachment tabs lay flat on the two rails. If they do not and you scr*w the gear into place, you can tweak the frame and cause the mechanics to bind. Here the gear has been installed. I marked the rails through the attachment holes and I drilled 1/8 inch holes all the way through the rails. I then used 6-32 x 1-inch-long pan head sheet metal scr*ws to secure the gear. Powering up the gear individually I retracted the gear and checked the clearance around every possible contact point. Gear doors will be added after the Skyraider has been test flown. With the wing and landing gear installed, the Skyraider finally is now standing up on its feet! A milestone moment for any model. Here you see the gear in the down position. Note that the gear struts are 90 degrees to the ground and are parallel to each other. The two black set scr*ws on the axle support fittings are used to adjust and lock in the wheel/axle toe-in angle. This is very easy to do once the gear have been installed. Once you dial in the toe-in angle, use a drop of Zap Thread Lock to prevent the set scr*ws from becoming loose. So that’s it for now. Lots more to come so stayed tuned! The post Warbird Retracts Installation appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  13. When it comes to WW I events and biplanes, one popular design remains the British R.A.F. SE 5a. Here are some older pix of some popular MAN plans built airplanes. This collection of popular RC biplanes comes from our own, Rich Uravitch who was very much involved with the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome’s WW I RC Jamboree and mission events back in its hay day. A member of the original Dawn Patrol troop, Rich designed and built several WW1 sport scale flyers including this great flying SE5a. Published in the March 1985 issue of MAN, Rich’s SE5a has a wingspan of 50 inches and was powered by a then new to the hobby, 4-str*ke glow engine. The SE5a has 800 sq. in. of wing area and is 40 inches long. The prototype was out fitted with a 4-str*ke .60 and was, according to Capt. Rich, a sweet flying bird. And yes, Rich’s designs are ideal for today’s electric power systems with very minor modifications. A Plan set for this fun flying sport scale SE5a are still available at the Air Age Store at: http://www.airagestore.com/r-a-f-s-e-5a.html If you are looking for som*thing to compete with at the annual Mission event in 2020, this might be a good place to start. You can also find other great plans by clicking HERE. The post Throwback Thursday: RC WW1 Scout! appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  14. AMA has partnered with Horizon Hobby to offer an RC pilot training program for those new to the hobby. The Horizon Hobby RC Flight School has a team of coaches across the country who have volunteered to help teach the fundamentals of flight. Anyone who wants to learn how to fly and has an eligible model can register to attend one of the classes. RC experience is not required. The free classes will take place at AMA clubs and will be taught by qualified instructors. New pilots will learn how to operate a transmitter and will complete a takeoff, a Figure Eight flight pattern, and land on their own. Before attending a class, modelers must purchase an AMA three-month trial membership through Horizon Hobby for $19.95. Some common questions and answers, pilot registration, and information about how to find a class, how to find a coach, and how to become a coach, can be found at www.horizonhobby.com/flightschool. View the full article
  15. Our good friend Eduardo Esteves back in 2011 shows off his amazing P-47 Razorback. Eduardo’s CARF-Models P-47 was built at Frank Tiano’s shop by Denny DeWesse with the help of Octo de Paula developing the very first functional engine cowl fl*ps and scale exhaust. Landing gear were supplied by Scale Sierra and a complete c*ckpit interior by Propag from East Europe. Powered by a MOKI 250cc radial engine, it was originally equipped with a Xoar 2-blade 32X18 prop, which was then replaced with a Solo adjusted hub with CARF carbon fiber blades. Eduardo used a JR 12X radio system, but later upgraded it for to a PowerBox c*ckpit SRS and PowerBox gyro with GPS. The builder replaced rivets and some panel lines and Pro Mark supplied masks and markings. The Razorback is finished and painted with KlassKote. The post Thunderbolt Tuesday appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
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