RC planes - Aerosquare

aerosquare header 2012

RC planes construction

Articles about scratch built RC model planes with custom design and models built from traditional kits (not rtf or artf models)

P47 Thunderbolt TopFlite

Details

P47D Thunderbolt TopFlite Gold Edition

Video of my P47 Thunderbolt razorback built from a Topflite Gold Edition kit

Wingspan: 1m60
AUW: + - 4.7kgs
Engine: Saito 100
Retractable landing gear: Robart pneumatic
functional flaps

"Orange tail" color scheme. The fullscale plane belonged to the 366th Fligth Squadron, 358th Fighter Group and operated in Germany at the end of World War II.
I made the finishing with 25g glass clothprimer and airbrushed car paint .
As it was my first "big" warbird I was a little apprehensive for the maiden flight. So stressed that I finally let my friend Jean-Pierre Marie do the first flight, who I fully trust to adjust a motor or fly a warbird. This was indeed the only time I have not maidened one of my models myself!


But ultimately this apprehension was unnecessary. This Topflite P47 Thunderbolt is very predictable and docile
She is able to fly slowly like a big trainer without risking a violent tip stall. But the most spectacular, is still flying high speed low passes over the field.
Still, you should not consider this as a first plane either. Relatively high wing loading requires attention. You have to build enough speed before take-off and land smoothly if you want to keep the gear attached to your plane! The flaps are very effective and should not be seen as a fancy gadget. They have a purpose and will greatly slowdown the approach speed without risking a stall 5 meters from the ground.
P47 Topflite Gold Edition, equipped with a Saito 100 taking offThe Saito 100 provides enough power to fly safely and scale like, but I think a little more power would be welcome.
The Saito is a pure marvel, but what is usually seen as a quality becomes a problem here. This engine is too light, it weighs nothing compared to other engines of the same size. In many cases you would appreciate to have a lighter engine with a better weight/power ratio. But with its relatively short noze the P47 needs more weight to the front to balance properly. Don't forget the fullscale Republic P47 Thunderbolt was powered by a massive 18 cylinder radial engine delivering more than 2000 HP.
I ended up adding 2 receiver packs in the nose (ultimately it is a plus for flight safety) and even 50g of lead to get the correct balance. Finally a 1.20 engine or even 1.50 (there is enough space under the cowl) would be more appropriate and would save the extra lead in the nose.
When I built this model in 2007, electric motors were still quite expensive in this power range. But today, with  high amps lipos packs that have become affordable, cheap chineese ESCs  and brushless motors, an electric conversion is something to consider. Maintenance is easier and that would avoid burnt fuel residue on the airframe. Not talking about the stress of landing deadstick if the Saito decides to quit mid air.
On the other hand, the sound of the 4 stroke engine resonating under the big cowl has its charm and is more "scale like".