So, how does the Freewing F-14 Tomcat fly? In short, pretty darn awesome! The distinguishable shape of the F-14 looks menacing in the air and the flight characteristics are fantastic. As discussed in my assembly review of the airplane, there are some tricks I’d highly recommend in setting the airplane up which at the end of the day, provide a great flying airplane. This comes from not just flying this particular airplane, but also flying the Freewing production prototype (stock and tailerons only) as well as the twin 70mm F-14 I helped design, test, and fly for my folks at JetHangar.com. They have all exhibited similar characteristics and fly very much the same.
AIRCRAFT SETUP & CG
In my assembly review, I covered the installation of two 6s 30C 5800 mah batteries that I’m using in the airplane. To maintain the CG, the battery area was modified so that the batteries could be pushed as far back as possible up against the swing wing carry through spar. This maintained the CG well per the manual (87mm measured back from the leading edge of the forward most hatch cut on the overwing fairing hatch) which has shown to be about perfect! Also the manual provides a trim elevator setting (31mm measured Continue reading →
Finishing up our FMS P-51 “Lady Alice” transformation, it’s only fitting to provide a flight review of the model (with info on how I set it up) along with some video! In short the airplane fly’s awesome and looks incredible in the air in her “Lady Alice” coat of colors. If you’re just catching this for the first time, you can catch my previous articles and videos on the whole foam warbird re-finishing process here. Give it a shot, it’s worth the effort!
Aircraft Setup & CG
It took a couple flights to dial in so I thought I’d present what my final control throws and CG location converged to. First off, to clarify the instructions, the recommended CG is 110mm as measured from the leading edge of the wing root (NOT the leading edge of the wing saddle). This ultimately proved Continue reading →
It’s time to finish off our FMS RC P-51 “Lady Alice” Transformation! In this installment we’re doing our paint prep and painting. Last time we covered filling in all of the oversized panel lines, smoothing the airframe out and sealing it all in with multiple coats of polycrylic to provide a protective finish. You can catch that post here; also, you can catch my assembly review and paint stripping methods here. There’s much to cover, so let’s get to it!
Primer, sand, repeat… This seems all too familiar given our filler process, but the first step in preparing this airframe for paint is to lightly sand the polycrylic’d surfaces with some 180 grit sand paper. This is mostly to Continue reading →
Continuing with refinishing our FMS P-51, in this installment we’re smoothing out the entire airframe including filling in all of the oversized panel lines. From there we’re applying our protective coats of polycrylic which will provide our surface in which we can do our paint preparation. If you missed my build review and paint stripping methods, you can catch that here. Let’s get to it!
It’s no secret, the panel lines on these foam warbirds are huge. When I took on this project, I knew that was one of the first things I wanted to rectify. The overall shape looks so good, smoothing out the finish would only make it look that much better. So, enter Continue reading →
I had originally intended for our last article and this one to be a single write-up. However, as I continued to write more and more on the construction, I realized that the article really needed to be split into two. Also, since detailing and the application of raised rivets is extensible to more than just speed brakes, I figured a single article on this process would be good since it is a process that can be applied to aircraft as a whole. As with the last article, I’ve also included a how-to video to help illustrate the process which is at the end of the article.
Let’s Get Things Ready
Last time we built our speed brake assemblies to where we had 4 fully functional speed brakes that could be installed into the airframe. However, detailing the internals is quite a bit simpler with the speed brakes outside of the airframe and broken down into their components. The first item of business was to finish the inside speed brake by adding the sheet metal close out surface on the inside. This was cut from 1/64″ ply and glued onto the basswood stiffeners that create our hinge mentioned previously. Continue reading →
All I wanted was to install bulkheads…but somehow ended up with 4 speed brakes instead…
We have a pretty sizable article this week which is the first in a two part series discussing how the speed brakes were built, actuated and detailed for our Frankel F4D Skyray. In addition, I’ve put together a couple how-to videos to support (the first being below). So, let’s get to it!
Fuselage ready for surgery.
In our previous article, we completed (mostly) our dorsal assembly. With that completed, we can finally move on to work on the fuselage. Typically I would go to the wings next (I generally like to work on the largest parts last), but in the case of this build, we need to have bulkheads installed in the fuselage first before working on the wings. This is so that the wing mounts and spars can be setup in the foam cores before they are sheeted.
So, this originally was going to be a quick task; cutting hatches, installing bulkheads, that’s quick right?!… Continue reading →
A while back, my Friend Brian had a minor incident with his 1/4 scale TBM P-40. Though, it didn’t result in any physical damage to the airplane, it did result in an impact to the “stand way off scale” exhausts on one side. Being made of thin plastic, they ended up crushed and unsalvageable. We originally thought we’d make a quick plug and do some resin castings, but as we looked at the exhausts more, we realized just how out of scale they really were and how much they just didn’t look right at all. So, enter the 3D printer! Within a few days, we were able to draw and print some replacements that came out awesome! Before we begin, if you’ve not read my Q&A on 3D printing, you can read that here to get a better understanding of the process and materials. Also, if you’d like to see video of this P-40 in action I’ve embedded the video from my YouTube channel at the bottom of this article. Don’t forget, if you are looking for help with some 3D printing, I can help! Just shoot me an email through my contact form.
A comparison of the stock exhausts to the final 3D printed exhausts
The CAD Model
First things first, we had to make a CAD model of the exhausts. In looking at the original plastic exhausts, they were completely out of scale. We used the basic dimensions as a starting point, but then Continue reading →
Last time we finished up construction of our rudder/dorsal assemblies and built our offset rudder hinge. So, now it’s time to clean these assemblies all up and make them as ready as they can be to be installed onto the fuselage. The installation of the dorsal onto the fuselage will occur once all of the construction of the fuse is finished however. The primary reason for this is so that all work on the fuselage can be done without the dorsal being in the way as the fuselage is rotated around while it’s worked on.
Primer – Sand…repeat, repeat, repeat… With the dorsal and rudders being glassed (see Part 5 for that discussion), the first item of business is to start the Continue reading →