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  1. When it comes to really looking scale, it’s in the details that we make the most progress in giving our model’s that “used” look. For my 1/3-scale Fokker Triplane, I wanted to bring a better scale look to the front end so I installed a resin cast Oberusel rotary engine available from Nick Ziroli Plans. This is basically a German built copy of the LeRhone engine. This 1/3-scale kit includes the front of the engine as well as four cylinder back halves as well as induction intake pipes, cylinder heads and valve rocker details all resin casted in white. Overall this kit is nicely detailed with lots to look at but it does need to be painted before installing it in your airplane. Being 33% scale it fits all sorts of Fokker designs including Glenn Torrance Models, Ron Weiss and Balsa USA kits. Prep work After removing the engine cowling, I placed the main engine piece over the Zenoah GT-80 to check the fit. It fits nicely over the front housing and propeller hub, and I added some stick on foam str*ps to make a snug fit. I also painted the bottom of the engine compartment area black to add some depth behind the engine. As with all resin cast parts, before you can paint the engine, you have to wash all the parts in warm soapy water. I used dish detergent in an old p*t and an worn out toothbrush to really give it a good scrubbing. If you do not do this important step, your paint will easily chip and peel off. Be sure to really get into all the nooks and crannies with a good scrubbing to remove any mold release material that may still be on the parts. After washing the parts I use a covering heat gun and speed the drying process. Now is a good time to also remove any rough edges and flashing left over from molding the parts. Fine sandpaper and a sharp X-Acto blade does a good job. To get a good glue joint between the parts, I sand the parts with a belt-sander to produce a smooth flat surface between any mating parts. This includes the front and backs of the cylinders, and the tops of the cylinders and the cylinder heads. For this project, I used the new ZAP “Brush-On” CA adhesive and applied the glue with the built-in brush applicator. It is very easy to apply a nice thin layer and avoid drips and excess adhesive dripping over the edges. Here the back halves have been glued in place. Some fit perfectly while others need a little trimming to produce a smooth and flat surface. It is important to match up the cooling fins on the sides of the cylinders. Once the surfaces have been sanded flat, GLue on the cylinder heads and then the rocker arm details. Medium CA works best for a good bond and for filling in seams. Once the cylinder heads have been glued in place. You have to add the induction intake tubes. You can either trim the tubes to fit between the cylinders or you can trim away a little cylinder material to produce the clearance so the tube ends can be glued flat to the backside of the engine case. A Robart grinding bit makes quick work of the job. Here you can also see the foam str*ps I added to the center opening to fit around the model’s engine. After the parts are all glued together I couldn’t help but put the engine in place and see how it would look with the cowl in place. The fit is perfect. Aging with Paint The process of making a model part look real, is to detail it layer by layer and do the same thing as is done with scale pilot figures. You start with a base coat, apply highlights and undertones and avoid solid colors. The steps are as follows. Since the back of the engine has to painted too, I start with the back and check the coverage of the base flat black paint. I used flat black primer from Krylon applied with a rattle can. Be sure to spray square to the cylinders so you get the black in between and deep into the cooling fins. Also shown here is the lifter tubes I added made from brass wire and glued to the backs of the lifter arm details. Once the back is dry, paint the front of the engine as well. be sure to cover all the parts and recesses, you don’t want to see any white. Once the base flat black undertone has dried, spray on the silver base coat. Do this at a shallow angle to the engine to minimize the amount of silver that gets in between the cooling fins, then let dry. Here’s one of my tricks so to speak. I then apply a light mist of Master Modeler “Burnishing” Aluminum over the Krylon silver. I mist onto all the smooth larger areas and then when dry, I use an old tee shirt to buff the parts to a smooth, new appearance. The is done to the engine case and the bottoms of the induction tubes. The difference is subtle but noticeable. Again, I placed the engine on the Triplane to get a feel for how the engine is starting to look. The rest of the detailing is mostly done on the lower 4 cylinders that will be visible below the cowling face plate. I now take Master Modeler flat black and thin it with mineral spirits for form a thin wash and I just paint it on and wipe it off over and over until I get the look I am after. You want it to fill recesses and seams and build up slowly with less color on the outer surfaces. This really brings out the fine details like the bold heads around the engine case and the spring details around the lifter arms. You can also add a wash of light brown to add oil residue here and there. You really can’t make a mistake. If you apply too much, just wash it away with more mineral spirits before it dries. Next since this is a German rotary engine, it differs from the LeRhone engine in that that the induction tubes were made of steel and not brass or copper. So, they heated up a lot and produced a black and worn look that I reproduce with gloss black, flat black and Rub-N-Buf silver paste. Again, no solid black paint coats. Apply thin washes and scrub the parts with your brush. Flow it on and let it dry then flow on more. In a few areas like around the neck, apply blotches of glossy black to make it look baked on. Also add more black washes around the base of the cylinder and around the bolt heads. The post Install a Scale WW1 Engine appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  2. Know as the guy who brought us “Warbird Alley”, our good buddy and all-around nice guy, P.J. Ash from Search, Arkansas, has a new project for Top Gun this year in the form of an awesome looking Soviet MiG 15 jet. P.J. will be competing in the Pro/Am Jet class. Taking three months to build, the model is from the CARF-Models composite kit, the MiG 15 will be guided by a Spektrum DX18 transmitter with all Spektrum equipment onboard, and will be powered with a Kingtech K-100 turbine engine. The scale retracts are upgraded Down and Locked units with full gear door operation and the c*ckpit is fully detailed with parts from iflytallies.com. The pilot is from Warbirdpilots.com. P.J. went the added step and added an amazingly realistic highly weathered finish using Tamiya paints. J.J. applied the paint over a silver finish and then used tape to lift the paint off in spots to show the under-color making the MiG 15 look weather worn and heavily used. Scale Nomenclature markings are from Tailormade.com. The post Road to Top Gun: Soviet MiG 15 Jet Fighter appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  3. Now here’s a great-sounding engine! Detlef k*nkel designed and made this four-cylinder, V-construction four-str*ke with a transmission reduction of 1.7. The 220cc engine’s shaft power is 25hp max. Intended for ... Continue reading ... Join our premium membership! The post Homemade Big-Block 220cc V4 Powerhouse appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  4. Recently, Stratolaunch Systems Corporation, (founded by Paul G. Allen), successfully completed the first flight of the world’s largest all-composite aircraft on April 13, 2019. With a dual fuselage design and a wingspan greater than the length of a football field, the Stratolaunch aircraft took flight at 0658 PDT from the Mojave Air and Space Port. Achieving a maximum speed of 189 miles per hour, the plane flew for 2.5 hours over the Mojave Desert at altitudes up to 17,000 feet. As part of the initial flight, the pilots evaluated the aircraft’s performance and handling qualities before landing successfully back at the Mojave Air and Space Port. “What a fantastic first flight,” said Jean Floyd, CEO of Stratolaunch. “Today’s flight furthers our mission to provide a flexible alternative to ground launched systems. We are incredibly proud of the Stratolaunch team, today’s flight crew, our partners at Northrup Grumman’s Scaled Composites and the Mojave Air and Space Port.” The test team conducted standard aircraft t*sting exercises performing a variety of flight control maneuvers to calibrate speed and test flight control systems, including roll doublets, yawing maneuvers, pushovers and pull-ups, and steady heading side slips. They also conducted simulated landing approach exercises at a max altitude of 15,000 feet mean sea level. The Stratolaunch aircraft is a mobile launch platform that will enable airline-style access to space that is convenient, affordable and routine. The reinforced center wing can support multiple launch vehicles, weighing up to a total of 500,000 pounds. “We all know Paul would have been proud to witness today’s historic achievement,” said Jody Allen, Chair of Vulcan Inc., and Trustee of the Paul G. Allen Trust. “The aircraft is a remarkable engineering achievement and we congratulate everyone involved.” The post World’s Largest Plane Makes First Flight appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  5. Model Airplane News readers are an innovative bunch, and they’re always coming up with ways to make their models better while saving time and money. Here are two workshop secrets for ensuring secure servos, every time. Share your own techniques for securing servos in the comment section! Secure servo connections When you install servos in a wing or fuselage and use long servo extension leads, the connector between the two can come lose during flight due to vibration! A simple safeguard is to slip a length of heat-shrink tubing over the connectors and apply heat with a hot air covering gun. This will make a secure connection that’s easy to remove with a sharp X-Acto knife later on. Servo Tape Tips When you use double-side foam servo tape (like 3M attachment tape), always clean the servo case with some rubbing alcohol and then apply some clear tape to the case before applying the foam tape. For a proper bond, make sure the surface you stick the servo to is also clean. If your servo case is d*rty and has left-over foam tape adhesive in it, be sure to clean it before reinstalling the servo. “Crayon Away” (available at Wal-Mart) works great for removing that leftover tape residue. The post RC Workshop Tip: Secure Servos appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  6. With so many great-looking scale model ARFs to choose from today, one of the neatest ways you can make your particular Pitts Special or P-51 Mustang stand apart from the rest is to install a great-looking instrument panel for your pilot figure to look at. (You did install a scale pilot figure, didn’t you?) There’s som*thing special about a model with added c*ckpit details, and everyone always takes a peek inside. Top Flite T-34 Mentor with full c*ckpit detail. To do a really good job of outfitting the front office, do a little research first to find out which types of instruments are appropriate for your model. Piper Cubs with wooden props would not have manifold-pressure gauges, and an F-86 Sabre Jet wouldn’t have a magneto switch. Some instruments have their bezels inset and flush with the panel, while others have the entire instrument face and the mounting flanges installed on the outside of the panel. You get the idea. Decide how much detail you want to add. Sometimes, all you’ll have room for is an instrument panel and a pilot b*st. But if you have sufficient space, you can extend it to a half- or full-depth c*ckpit. This way, you can add side panels, a pilot seat, a control stick and rudder pedals. The amount of detail is up to you. Here are five great ways to add the magical details that will bring any model to life. 1: WOOD INSTRUMENT PANELS A homemade wooden panel for a 1/4-scale Pietenpol Air Camper. For vintage, open-c*ckpit airplanes, make your panel out of thin plywood layers. Cut the main back panel out of lite-ply or aircraft plywood, add a front faceplate with the instrument holes cut in it, add some photos of the instruments, and sandwich the entire assembly together with a thin sheet of acetate over the instruments to represent the glass plates. Stain and varnish the wood; then add some small scr*ws to complete the look. 2: PHOTO READY For an enclosed c*ckpit, bringing life to the model is as easy as installing a scale pilot b*st. There are dozens available so pick one that’s appropriate for your aircraft. And for som*thing for him to look at, add a simple photograph of an instrument panel. Take a photo of a commercial panel, or go on the Web and download an image of one. Print out the panel in the size you need on glossy, photo-quality paper. Cut the panel to shape, and glue it into place with some spray adhesive! 3: READY-MADE INSTRUMENT PANELS Ready made instrument panels are available from many sources and they add greatly to the realism of any scale, or sport scale model, kit built or ARF. The easiest way to outfit a c*ckpit is to use commercially available panels and just stick them into place. Some manufacturers offer custom-made panels for specific airplanes, but others make generic ones. You can trim them to size and make them fit a variety of different models. Separate scale instrument dial faces are also available from companies such as iflytailies.com. 4: c*ckPIT INTERIORS SE5a panels from Arizona Model Aircrafters’ kit. Top Flite T-34 Mentor c*ckpit interior kit With enough room available, you can build an entire “stage” to support the instrument panel. Some kits are available, but you can also make the parts out of bits and pieces from the workshop. Cut out pieces of heavy paper or plastic to form templates for the sides, rear bulkhead and c*ckpit floor. Tape them together to form the final layout and to see how everything will fit. You may have to trim some existing bulkheads to allow the templates to fit. Use the templates to develop the separate side panels, and work on each panel individually until it is complete. You can add kn*bs, switches and levers made of pinheads and str*ps of wire or thin aluminum. Paint each of the completed sections, and then add them to the inside of your c*ckpit area. If you are using a full-length pilot figure, make the seat and seat belts to hold him in place. 5: FINE DETAILS Above: Sopwith Camel interior kit from Arizona Model Aircrafters. Above: Super Cub cabin detail parts from E-flight. The little things add much to the realism of any c*ckpit. Designed to fit the Super Cub 25e, this kit will have your Super Cub looking compet*tion ready. Hiding the RC gear is a fringe benefit and besides, adding instrument panels and c*ckpit details is just plane fun. Give it a try, and see what a difference it makes! The post 5 Tips to Dress Up Your c*ckpit appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  7. Recently, I found out that home repair stores like Home Depot stock in their hardware section Rare-Earth magnets ideal for use as engine cowling attachment devices. They come in all sorts of sizes and types and for my ongoing workshop build-along for the Sopwith Camel, I used 1/4 inch and .47 inch diameter x 1/8 inch thick magnets. And, the best part, there are very cheap to buy, often less than $4 for a package of six or eight depending on size. The fiberglass engine cowl shown in this post comes from Fiberglass Specialties. So the first step was to make some lite ply retainer plates the magnets would fit in. I laser cut these 1×1 inch squares with the proper size holes cut in the center. The magnets are a snug fit in the holes and so a few drops of thin ZAP CA glue is all that’s needed to hold the magnets in place. They sit flush on both sides of the plates. Next use 5-minute epoxy and glue the magnetic retainer plates around the cowl ring on the fuselage as shown. Tape holds the plates in position until the epoxy has set. I placed the matching cowling retainer plates on top of the fuselage magnets and then made a plywood ring that’s a snug fit inside the cowling. I pushed the cowling and cowl ring into position with the double stack of magnetic retainers setting the proper gap distance. I then used some thick ZAP CA to tack glue the cowl ring inside the cowling. Below you can see the plywood ring tack glued in place within the fiberglass cowling. Notice the cutout area to clear the engine’s carburetor. Here you see the completed installation of the plywood cowl ring. I first CA glued in several sections of fiberglass take (2 oz. weight), and then I built up a fillet using a mixture of 15 minute Pacer Z-poxy and micro-balloons. THis thick mixture is trowelled into place with a mixing stick and smoothed into place before the mixture set up. I then applied 5 minute epoxy to the second row of magnets on the fuselage and quickly pressed the cowl and cowl plate into position using an index mark to make sure everything was lined up properly. I used tape to hold the cowl in place until the epoxy cured. About 20 minutes later, the epoxy had set long enough to all the cowling to be removed as can be seen below. I applied more 5-minute epoxy around the edges of the square plates to fill any gaps between them and the cowl ring. I also cleaned off any access epoxy from the face of the magnets with some solvent. That’s it, the strength of the .47 inch magnets is more than strong enough to hold the cowl in place even with the engine running at full power. All that’s now left is to clean off the engine cowl, paint it and finish off the rest of the Camel’s build. Give rare earth magnets a try. They are a great way to hold model parts together and eliminate those u*ly scr*w heads in your next scale project. As a side note, I also use size 1/4 inch x 1/8 inch thick magnets to hold the main hatch cover (canopy and machine gun h*mp), in place. The post Magnetic Engine Cowl Attachment appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  8. Here’s another great project from veteran model builder Rick Michelena. This time, Rick does some fun ARF math: P-51 + P-51 = F-82! He writes: The great element of RC modeling is this: using your imagination allows for any subject to be modeled. Over the past 30 years, I have witnessed the tremendous change that has occurred in our hobby with the introduction of foreign-made ARFs. In fact, when one club member showed up with a Giant Scale Planes .40 sized Mustang ARF, I immediately thought about turning this into som*thing rather unique. Here is my process for turning two .40 ARFs into an IMAA big bird. I ordered two of these .40 sized Mustangs from Giant Scale Planes. These birds have painted fiberglass fuselages and are available online for only $99. This photo shows the pre-painted fiberglass fuselages. These will make a great platform for my new multi-engine IMAA legal F-82 twin Mustang. I have placed the two fuselages on my saw horses. As far as dimensions, the original wing span is 53″. However, the IMAA rules for a monoplane is 80″. Therefore, I am going to slightly cheat on these dimensions by cutting my own foam wing. As an aside, the stock wings come covered in painted iron-on material. In South Texas, iron-on finishes tend to wrinkle in the summer heat. Therefore, my collection of giant scale warbirds consists of models I have built, fiberglassed, and painted. Since I will not use these wing panels, I have donated them to another club member. I have been cutting foam wings for 30 years and have all the equipment to do this. Therefore, I have cut two outboard wing panels for my “stand-off” F-82 twin Mustang. I also have cut a foam center section. I made 3/32″ balsa wing skins and attached them with “foam safe” contact cement. I then attached 1/2″ balsa str*ps for the leading edge. I used yellow carpenter’s wood glue and taped the balsa planks in place until the glue cured. The core on the bottom shows the balsa plank attached to the leading edge. The wing core on top shows the leading edge after shaping. I ordered a set of Century Jet .60 sized retracts and made gear mounts in the foam core center section which I had built earlier. As you can see, I used wing dowels in the front of the fuselage, and I used a single 1/4-20 metal bolt on the rear of each fuselage. I also made a single center flap that is attached with four Du-Bro giant scale hinges. This is the top of my center section. When I designed the wing core, I made channels in the wing so that I could route my wires and retract lines. Here is a tip. While this wire looks like FUTABA wiring, it is really 20 gauge security cable. I have a friend who owns the biggest home security business in town, and while watching him work one day, I noticed the wire he was using. It comes as a shielded “four conductor” wire. Therefore, I simply str*p the covering, remove the green conductor wire, and insert the other three wires into my drill, twisting them together. As a result, I have all the servo wire I need. I simply solder my servo leads to this wire during final assembly. I could not use any of the tail feathers included in the kit. Therefore, I simply cut another foam core and made some attachment points. Remember that the fuselages will be fixed eventually at a given distance on the center section. Therefore, the horizontal stabilizer will be held in place by pins and bolts. Here is how my “stand-off” F-82 twin Mustang now sits on my saw horses. I will be using Thunder Tiger PRO.46 ABCs in this project. Therefore, considering that I will be using 10 X 6 propellers, I chose to make the center section 24″ long. This means the distance between the propeller tips will be 4″. The outboard panels are now 28″, thus providing a total wingspan of 80″ which is the IMAA legal requirement. As you can see in the frame-up photo, this “stand off” F-82 doesn’t look bad. However, it is now time for filling, sanding, fiber-glassing, primering, painting, and detail riveting. I will save those details for another time and possible future article because I have many secrets to share. Here is my finished product. I increased the outboard panels to make this project IMAA legal. In fact, the increased wing area makes it easier to fly. I had a great time building this model. Therefore, I am thinking about ordering a Top Flite Giant Scale Mustang in the ARC version. I will order one additional fuselage and build my own center section while using the kit’s left and right wing panels. Yes, flying RC models is a great hobby. However, I also enjoy owning airplanes that are quite uncommon at the field. By developing building skills, your next dream RC project is only limited by the effort you are willing to put forth. The post Turn Two Mustangs into an F-82 appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  9. Definitely considered an “Influencer” today, Frank Tiano is world famous for his many amazing RC events which he hosts at Paradise Field in Lakeland, FL. Of course his first ever serious event is, and has continued to be, the Top Gun Scale Invitations. Having just celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018, Frank has redefined how scale events are run and has set a very high standard for excellence. We chatted with Frank recently and asked him about his involvement in the RC hobby and industry. Here’s what he had to say. MAN: As the man who gave us Top Gun, can you give us a short version of how you pull such a major and important event together? FT: Well, the event relies on several factors to be a success. Of these many factors, not one is any more important than the others because they must all work together to contribute to Top Gun being the most colorful, exciting and the largest Scale event in the World today. Those components include lots of Sponsorship, (the kind that writes a check), a great Model Club with dedicated volunteers, (currently, The Imperial RC Club in Lakeland), intense media coverage, schooled and knowledgeable judges, and great coordination. Top Gun is a business as well as a fun event. Its budget approaches $100,000 and there is an extensive payroll, prize money and costly rental fees. By learning from past mistakes and aligning ourselves with the right kinds of companies and people, we get a lot of bang for our buck, which hopefully, will ultimately produce a successful event. MAN: What do you see as the most important issues for the future of RC (scale or otherwise)? FT: That’s easy. We simply cannot allow one or two companies to be in control of the entire industry. When that happens, it stifles new developments. If a new item becomes available but the large distributors have so much control that they refuse to allow that product to become available to the public, it suppresses some growth. I think that is a shame that there are principals in this industry that cannot see eye to eye. I have never seen an industry where competitors actually “hate” each other. If they would swallow their “freeking” egos they could do a lot for the growth of the sport. By combining their resources, they could start channeling their efforts in a different way and perhaps be very successful in educating more folks, especially younger ones, and turn them into true hobbyists. MAN: With your involvement in RC scale, Zap and the RC industry in general, what’s the driving force or motivator that keeps you excited about the hobby. FT: That’s an easy one! I love life and I love some of the finer things it has to offer. I’m not a sailboat or yacht guy, don’t own a full scale airplane and don’t have multiple homes throughout the country or abroad. What I do enjoy is the ability and freedom to take a mini vacation once in awhile, go to nice places for lunch or dinner and purchase what I need for my hobby. Being able to do this keeps me excited, but only because it all revolves around model aviation! When I started in this business, over 30 years ago, there was som*thing like 6,000 serious hobby shops large and small. Today there are less than 2000! There are many reasons for this and we, the modelers, (the ultimate purchasers), are somewhat responsible. Greed, on the part of several larger companies, is responsible for the balance. If we continue to show little or no support for our local shops, soon their numbers may be in the dozens and we just might find ourselves tripping though the puzzle aisle to find that “Made in the USA” Du-Bro fuel tank! The post Up Close with Frank Tiano appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  10. Top Gun regular Mike Grady is again competing this year with his well proven, Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress in the Unlimited class. David Payne will again be the bomber pilot. Mike’s B-17G is 1/9th and is finished in the B-17G “Nine–O-Nine” colors flown by the 323 Squadron, 91st Bomb Group and completed 140 missions without a single abort or loss of a crewman. Mike built the model from the WingSpan Models kit and it has a wingspan of 138 inches. The fuselage is 99 inches long and the model weighs 68 pounds ready for flight. Four Hacker A 60 motors and speed controls , powered by four Thunder Power 7700mAh 4S LiPo packs power the aircraft. The batteries are configured in two 8S circuits. Each circuit draws about 5500 watts at full throttle, using Master Airscr*w 16X10 three-bladed propellers. Robart struts, wheels and brakes are used. To aid ground handling, differential breaking is used to correct yaw at taxi speeds. They are operated by BVM electric brakes. The full-size bomber was flown by the 323 Bomber Squadron, 91st bomb group and entered service in February of 1944. By April 1945 it had completed 140 missions, including 18 trips to Berlin, dropping over a half million pounds of bombs, racking up some 1,129 combat hours. The crew completed 140 missions without a single abort or loss of a crewman. The model is finished in silver catalyzed urethane, covered with about 250,000 Pro Mark dry transfer rivets and fasteners and painted with Model Master enamel. The painted finish is wet sanded and tape pulled to add weathering and rivet detail. Pro Mark insignias and nomenclature detail are added after the painting. Mike chose Spektrum radio gear and JR servos. A Spektrum DX-20 has recently been added along with an IGyro for flight stabilization. The post Road to Top Gun: B-17 Nine-O-Nine appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  11. Some will say that the longevity and popularity of any event lies in its ability to adapt to a dynamic environment, expand to accommodate change and welcome participation from new sources. Event originator and promoter, Frank Tiano, seems to have accomplished these objectives with his event that passed it 30th continuous year in 2018. The Top Gun Scale Invitational remains unique and enjoys a worldwide reputation for bringing the best scale RC competitors together for an intense compet*tion with the victor being crowned “Mr. Top Gun.” (Opening photo) In 1989 Mr. Top Gun #1 was Bob Fiorenze, who competed with a F/A-18 Hornet built from a Yellow Aircraft kit. 2018 Mr. Top Gun j*ck Diaz This title has been bestowed upon a small number of outstanding modelers/fliers who clearly have what it takes to earn the honor. Some of them are so motivated, talented, and persevering that they’ve earned it multiple times. Guys like Terry Nitsch, David Hayes, Charlie Chambers, Dave Wigley, Bob Violett , Jeff Foley and j*ck Diaz have scored multiple wins and bested all challengers. Mr. Top Gun Winner List 1989 Bob Fiorenze F/A-18 Hornet (Yellow Aircraft kit) 1990 Ron Gilman Expert F-86 Sabre Jet (BVM kit) 1991 Mel Whitley Expert Hawker Sea Fury (Scratch built) 1992 Charlie Nelson Expert Waco VKS7F (Scratch built) 1993 Corvin Miller Expert Globe Swift (Scratch built) 1994-1996 Terry Nitsch Expert F-86 Sabre Jet (BVM Kit) 1997-1998 Charlie Chambers Expert P-61 Black Widow (Don Smith Plans) 1999 Terry Nitsch Expert F-80C Shooting Star (BVM Kit) 2000 Jeff Foley Designer Bf-109E (Original design) 2001 Terry Nitsch Expert Rafale B-01 (BVM kit) 2002 Bob Violett Designer F-100F Super Sabre (Prototype BVM kit) 2003 Jeff Foley Master Bf-109E (Original design) 2004 Terry Nitsch Expert F-100F Super Sabre (BVM Kit) 2005 Greg Hahn Expert B-25D Mitchell (Enlarged Ziroli Plans) 2006 Bob Violett Masters F-86 Sabre Jet (Prototype BVM kit) 2007 David Ribbe Masters MiG-15 (Prototype BMV kit) 2008-2009 David Hayes Masters Rockwell Thrush own design 2010- 2013 Dave Wigley Masters Bristol Beaufighter own design 2014 David Ribbe Masters MiG-15bis own design 2015 j*ck Diaz Expert Fouga Magister Avonds kit 2016 Peter Goldsmith Expert F-104 Airworld kit 2017 j*ck Diaz Expert Fouga Magister Avonds kit 18 j*ck Diaz Expert Fouga Magister Avonds kit Where Does Top Gun Go From Here? After an amazing 30 years, what will Top Gun look like in another 10 years? That’s really tough to say; it’s hard to imagine the models getting more sophisticated or the level of prefabrication improving enough to make a huge difference. Since the rules require that the model be of a man-carrying aircraft that pretty much rules out anything newer generation warbirds than the F-22 and F-35 as subjects. That pretty much ensures that the existing line of choices of model subjects will remain pretty much as it is. Of course, there are gains to be made in the area of electronics and accessories such as c*ckpits and markings, but we’ve pretty much covered those bases by now and whatever improvements to be realized are likely to be minimal. It’s conceivable that the entire event could be held on-line with the competitors participating from home via data links or other means. Programmed flight plans could be easily developed and employed, creating yet another component to be purchased rather than “built.” Eventually, the actual model airframe may become a very secondary issue to the compet*tion! Regardless of the path, Frank Tiano will undoubtedly make the necessary corrections to ensure that his “baby” will further mature and adapt the modeling climate to provide the compet*tive and entertainment value on which its reputation is based. Will this great event continue to grow, enjoy that reputation for bringing the best of the best together and field some of the most spectacular RC scale models to be seen anywhere? That’s a great question as certainly, it’s earned it! Will it remain as we see it today? Those questions can only be answered by Frank Tiano who, in fact, was asked at this year’s banquet. He looked around the packed room and solemnly responded, ”Right now, I don’t have an answer.” There are valid arguments on both sides of the issue but Frank will make the decision on the event’s future after looking at everything; he’s that kind of guy, count on it. Regardless of which way it goes, a lot of RC scale modelers around the world owe a lot to this guy! –Rich Uravitch The post Mr. Top Gun Winners: A history of Scale Excellence appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  12. Lou Cetrangelo of Saint James, NY will again compete at Top Gun with his amazing and well built Corsair. A Ziroli design, the Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, which he will be flying in the Pro-Am Sports Propeller category. Lou loves cool engines, so a new DLA 4-cylinder engine from Goldensky RC is bolted to the firewall. It is a bit overpowered at 128cc, but it looks and sounds great turning a 26×14 3-blade carbon-fiber prop. With its optional slanted plug configuration, it fits nicely in the stock cowl. It features two ignition modules and two exhaust stacks. The fuselage and cowl are fiberglass from Ziroli Plans and Lou cut out his own wing, stab, fin, and rudder ribs using the plans as a template. The receiver is a 12-channel PowerSafe spektrum with the T1000 telemetry module. In addition to the reception of the four receivers and battery voltage it also monitors the cylinder head temperature and engine RPM. For stability he is using an iGyro with a GPS module for gain control. The receivers are a mix of Spectrum and Hitec RCD. To power the electronics I am using dual two cell 2,500mAh “No BS” A123 batteries and a 4,000mAh 2 cell LiPo for the two ignition modules. During construction Lou added a full c*ckpit with a pneumatically controlled sliding canopy. The main and tail gear doors are molded fiberglass with 3D printed inner doors for a scale appearance. The retractable tail gear is from Sierra Giant Scale and the mains are by Robart. Both are operated by air as well as all the gear doors. The plane weights 46 pounds but it flies very well. Lou is using a 3-blade semi-scale carbon fiber Biela 26×14 prop. Lou says he must have over a hundred flghts on the Corsair. One of the best parts of flying the Corsair is its very distinctive sound at near full power. The Ziroli fiberglass fuselage comes with a separate tail section that is attached later on in the construction, and it made working on the Corsair a bit easier. Lou cut slots in the elevator and stabilizer for scale hinging and used a length of music wire with an internal control horn for control. He also fabricated two elevator horns from G10 fiberglass material attached to an aluminum rod for internal control. Though a wing kit is available, Lou cut out all the parts himself with a band saw and scroll saw. The tail gear is from Sierra Giant Scale, and Lou’s Spektrum DX18 built-in sequencer feature will be used to operate the landing gear and gear doors. He installed a separate air valve for each gear and door as well as for a functional sliding canopy. For increased scale detailing, Lou made up framework parts for the inside of the landing-gear doors using 3D printing from shapeways.com. Klass Kote epoxy paint and clearcoat was used for the finish, and the total weight of the Corsair is 40.5 pounds. The post Road to Top Gun: FG-1D Corsair appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  13. When it comes to firing up gas or glow model-airplane engines, safety always comes first. That’s why Model Airplane News editors always recommend that you secure your airplane first and then use an electric engine starter to fire up your model airplane’s engine. A high-quality tail restraint and a powerful engine starter are both at the top of the list of essential field equipment. [SPONSORED CONTENT] FIVE SAFETY POINTS FOR STARTING YOUR ENGINE ONE. Use a positive restraint to prevent the airplane from moving forward once the engine starts. The Tail Anchor from Sullivan Products does a great job of holding your airplane in place. It has a long sp*ke that you drive into the ground, and two padded tail restraints that brace the model at the front of the stabilizer. These restraints are easy to disengage and lay flat on the ground when you are ready to taxi to the runway. TWO. Even though you are using an electric starter, don’t try to start your plane’s engine by yourself. Have a friend secure the model before you engage your starter. You’ll have to push the starter cone firmly onto the model’s spinner or prop hub, and if your model is only secured with a restraint, it can lunge forward when the engine starts up. Also, with one hand on your plane and another holding your starter, it is difficult to get to your radio’s throttle stick should you have to quickly adjust the idle. THREE. Hold your starter straight and aligned with the engine’s centerline. If you hold the starter at an angle to the spinner, the cone can “walk off” to one side. If you are applying a lot of forward force, you can damage the model or the propeller, and at the very least, the rubber insert will come out of the starter’s aluminum cone. FOUR. When you set up your model at the flightline, position your starter battery and the power cord so that they are clear of the model’s propeller. If you typically hold the starter with your right hand, have the power cord come straight back and around you, with the battery behind and to the left of you. FIVE. Always use a fully charged starter battery, and make sure that the clips connecting to your battery (or power panel) are properly secured so that they deliver the most power to the starter. If your starter and battery cannot easily start your engine, avoid the temptation to have someone reach in to help swing the propeller. This is dangerous and defeats the purpose of using the starter. Using these few tips will minimize the chances of damaging your model and will maximize your engine-starting efforts, all while keeping you safe during the process. Be sure to always clean your starter; don’t just leave it on the ground where it will get d*rty. Have a space for it in your field box, and treat it with respect. Replace worn-out starter-cone inserts with new ones as old ones will slip and won’t deliver all the torque produced by the starter motor. Worn inserts also tend to slip out of place, leading to damaged propellers or models. SULLIVAN STARTERS A PERFECT MATCH FOR YOUR ENGINE THE MEGATRON STARTER This two-f*sted starter is designed to handle engines up to 5ci (80cc) depending on the engine’s condition and compression ratio. It has two steel handles and steel endplates, and features a big 3-inch aluminum cone with a durable silicone rubber insert. It can operate on 12V or 24V and has a maximum of 100 amps. The torque output is 600 oz.-in. at 12V and 1,200 oz.-in. at 24V. VALIDUS GRS PROFESSIONAL ENGINE STARTER The Validus GRS is Sullivan Products’ biggest engine starter yet. Meant for the professional pilot who needs a starter that can handle the really large engines (up to 350cc), it features a 3-inch aluminum nose cone, a tough silicone insert, and heavy-duty 6-gauge wire with standard battery-post connections. And it is comfortable to hold, with double hand grips molded to fit the shape of your hand. With 1.75hp, the Validus provides huge starting power. Stall torque is 225 in.-oz., and it has a maximum amp draw of 600. Priced a $479.80, this is the mother of all electric starters. THE HORNET STARTER This handy little starter really packs a punch. For small airplane engines up to .15 size, it has a high-rpm motor, a heavy-duty bronze switch, and a reversible silicone drive adapter. HI-TORK & DELUXE – HI-TORK STARTERS These original standard Sullivan starters are suitable for most sport engines, and are capable of starting large two-str*ke engines up to .60 size and many 1.20-size four-str*ke engines. THE DYNATRON STARTER Regarded by many RC modelers as the gold standard, this starter is a field-box essential. It has amazing starting power and can handle most engines up to 2.4ci (40cc). The post Safe Starts: Maximize your field time appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  14. From our good friend and long time MAN contributor Pat Tritle, this DIY construction project is for his WACO Model-SRE biplane. Intended as a sport scale lightly loaded flier, the WACO has traditional built-up wood construction, and, Pat offers last cut parts and formed plastic parts are also available to make the build just a bit easier. The model is built to 1:10 scale with a top wing span of 41.5-inches. Construction is primarily of balsa in the old school stick frame style of construction. The wings are built up “egg-crate” style to simplify and speed the building process. The wingtips and tail section outlines are bowed over foam board forms to make for strong yet very light structures. Power is provided by a Suppo 2212 Outrunner motor along with 6, sub-micro servos to run the elevator, rudder, ailerons and fl*ps, and a 1300 mah 2S Lipoly battery provides flight times in excess of 15 minutes. The wings are removable for ease of transport, and the battery and radio components are accessed through a simple hatch on the bottom of the fuselage. The plans will soon be available at our www.airagestore.com website, and it will be featured in a future issue of MAN, so stay tuned for updates. The post Coming Soon! WACO Model-SRE Construction Article appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  15. You don’t often see an RC version of the Japanese Aichi D3A (called “Val” by the Allies), let alone a monster scale version. This impressive Tora Tora Tora “torped* bomber” is a real stunner and the work of Jörg Albrecht. At a massive 1/3.2-scale, the Val weighs in at 147 pound, and it has a 14.5-foot wingspan. Powered by a Valach VM R420cc, 4-str*ke, five–cylinder radial, it has power to spare. Thanks to RCGiantScalePlanes for taking this video at the Icare Airmeet. The post Giant Scale Val Takes Flight appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
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