VQ Warbirds B-24 Liberator 110″ ARF Flight Review

This is where the work pays off!

To close the loop on the on the VQ Warbirds B-24 Liberator, this week we’re going in depth on the radio setup, CG and flying of this beautiful scale model!  This is such an impressive airplane and it truly does not disappoint in the air.  This is one that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having it in my hangar and I’m looking forward to bringing it out to some events later this year.

Interestingly, when mentioning heavy bomber aircraft of World War II, undoubtedly, the first bomber that comes to many peoples’ minds is the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.  However, few realize that the Consolidated B-24 Liberator was built in greater numbers than any other US bomber of WWII.  Given the B-24’s distinctive twin rudder design and high aspect ratio “Davis” wing, the 4-engine heavy bomber provides an unmistakable shape.  The airplane was designed for a purpose and it served that purpose well throughout the war with over 18,500 total B-24s from 1940-1945.  The B-24 served in every branch of the American Armed Forces during the war and in fact, offered greater range, greater speed, and greater bomb load capacity than the B-17.

 

WHAT’S IN THE AIRPLANE

To recap from the assembly review, this B-24 Liberator is a great sized ARF of all wood construction coming in at a 110″ wingspan.  At final ready to fly weight of 26.5 lb the airplane doesn’t even notice it at all in the air.  From day 1, this airplane flew straight as an arrow requiring only just a couple clicks of aileron trim on the maiden.  The power from the 4 Himax motors and Master Airscrew props feels absolutely perfect for the airplane as it has plenty of thrust at full throttle, but still cruises around at partial throttle easily and efficiently.  Here are the final specs and equipment that were used in the airplane:

 

AIRCRAFT SETUP & CG

In flying this airplane, I found that the recommended CG and control throws in the manual were spot on for the model and I found no reason to adjust any of them.  The airplane does have a big high aspect ratio wing and you do visually see the resulting Continue reading

VQ Warbirds B-24 Liberator 110″ ARF Assembly Review

The B-24 Liberator…4 Engines = 4x the fun!

I had really hoped to get this together much sooner, but life sure had other plans I think.  Anyhow, I thought it would be worthwhile to provide all of the supplemental information specific to the assembly of the VQ Warbirds B-24 Liberator especially since the Model Airplane News review article that this was assembled for has now come and gone.  Disclaimer up front, this is a pretty extensive assembly write-up, but I figured it best to put it all in one place for anyone who finds this article.  The goal is to provide all the information you need to get this great looking and flying airplane in the air with as much ease as possible.

Meanwhile over Europe...

Now, as ARFs go, this B-24 Liberator definitely takes some work but you are rewarded with a beautiful looking and flying warbird that’s a great size at 110″ wingspan.  As a whole, the assembly was fun and the model went together quite well.  It’s a 4 engine bomber, so the joy is getting to install anything propulsion related 4 times!  Oh, and if you’d like a sneak peak at the flying, then here’s my initial thoughts video that I did prior to the release of the MAN article. 🙂  I’ll be doing a separate flight review article and video here soon once our fields are open again.

The airplane comes as a blank canvas without any kind of markings applied which provides some great opportunities for customization.  Trying to find something out of the ordinary, I came across the B-24s from the 834th Bombardment Squadron, also known as the “Zodiacs Squadron.”  The one that really drew my attention dawned the nose art of “Scorpio” having a caricature of a scorpion with an aviator helmet holding a bomb with a gun turret on its tail.  CPL Phil Brinkman, a commercial artist assigned to the squadron, painted the nose art for each of the aircraft which were themed by the 12 signs of the zodiac.  Interestingly, the “Scorpio” nose art was later adopted as the squadron logo.

I should note before we get started that if you’ve never assembled an ARF before, they are a great way to start out in getting an understanding of radio and propulsion system Continue reading

Setting up a Multi-Engined Electric Aircraft (F7F Tigercat)

If 1 is good, then 2 or more is better…when setup right!

We as modelers are collectors.  We’re always collecting something related to our awesome hobby, be it RC gear, kits, or the like (you should see my hardware stash, when I go to the hobby store, I usually buy things in multiples).  And of course we always have those kits we’ve stashed away for a rainy day.  A couple years ago, I received an ASM F7F Tigercat ARF kit.  ASM was a line of ARFs distributed by Hobby People and they made some really awesome and unique airplanes (mostly twins).  Unfortunately the company no longer exists and the kits are no longer available.  But, if you find one at some point listed online, they’re definitely worth a look if the subject aircraft interests you.

As an airplane I love the F7F Tigercat (one of my favorite multi-engine warbirds) and so was absolutely stoked to receive the kit!  I promptly collected all of the gear for it but was busy finishing up some other projects and so put it in the que for a later date.  Well, that later date didn’t seem to come until a few months back when a friend staying with my folks, who’s always looking for an RC project during his stays, offered to help get the basic assembly done for me on the airplane.  The last couple weeks I’ve been finishing up getting it flyable (hence some delay in my articles and videos 😉 ) and I thought that Continue reading

Hawker Sea Fury – 5-blade Electric Conversion

5-blades of Sea Fury Heaven…but it Takes the Right Motor

sea fury - pics 548The Hawker Sea Fury is one of my favorite propeller warbirds.  I guess the simple yet elegant lines of it combined with the beastly (and exotic) radial engine and 5-bladed propeller just have a certain appeal to me.  Though it came 2 years too late to support WWII operations, it had a nice stint in Korea; not to mention was one of the fastest single piston engine airplanes ever produced.  So, it’s not surprising then that so many Sea Fury’s have adorned the course at the Reno Air Races.

sea fury - pics 367A few years back, Thunder Tiger offered a small line of 1/7 scale RC warbird ARFs that were quite nice.  The lines of the airplanes were good and they flew incredibly well.  The kits included the Sea Fury (military and September Fury racer schemes and the best looking Sea Fury ARF out there for some time) and an F8F Bearcat (military and Rare Bear racer schemes).  I was fortunate to acquire one of the Sea Fury kits when they first came available and of course it had to be electric with a 5-bladed prop!  So, I thought I’d use that to talk a little bit about designing an electric propulsion system for your propeller airplanes.  First off though, here’s a little video of my Sea Fury in action, 5-blade prop and all! 🙂  It sounds just as good in person, no sound system needed!

The power system for the Sea Fury is as follows:

  • Motor: NeuMotors 1515/2Y with 6.7:1 gearbox
  • ESC: Castle Creations Phoenix 110 HV
  • Battery: NeuEnergy 10s 5,000 mah Lithium Polymer
  • Prop: Zinger 16×14 prop (aluminum hub with wood replaceable blades)

In sizing an electric power system (we’re talking propeller airplanes here as opposed to EDFs), the first question to ask is “what do I want my power system to do for the airplane?”  What I mean is, Continue reading