Droppin’ off a load and watching it explode…in my Spad…
Well, we’ve talked through the assembly and painting and weathering, at last, it’s time to talk through flying the Legend Hobby A-1 Skyraider. You’ve probably figured out by now that I love how this beast flies! It has incredible presence and with the new paint and bomb drops, it presents much like the real thing in the air. It has been extremely fun and frankly I would fly the airplane every weekend if I could and I can’t wait to get it out to some events (if they happen this year).
A LITTLE HISTORY
The A-1 Skyraider was first conceived in June 1944 to meet a US Navy request for a new carrier-based, single-seat, long-range, high performance dive/torpedo bomber. Designed around the Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone engine used in the B-29 Superfortress, the result was one of the world’s largest and most powerful single-engine/single-seat combat aircraft capable of carrying weapon loads greater than that of the Boeing B-17. Coming too late for WWII, the Skyraider served from the late 1940s into the early 1980’s worldwide proving instrumental in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Being among the first aircraft to perform strikes in North Vietnam in 1964, Skyraiders proved essential in close-support missions over South Vietnam due to their long loiter times, large bomb load capability and ability to perform accurate strikes when needed. Being a piston driven attack aircraft in the jet age, the A-1 Skyraider became a flying anachronism and was affectionately nicknamed the “Spad” after the WWI French biplane.
I knew at the moment I received the Legend Hobby A-1 Skyraider 86″, that it needed the full treatment. It’s such an impressive looking and good flying model and there’s just something about the A-1 Skyraider that I love. That’s not to mention that the model is actually a fairly scale representation of the airplane as well! So, in my research of the A-1 Skyraider and collecting of books and plastic kits, I came across a specific scheme I liked and so it was off to the races to repaint and weather the airplane!
During the Vietnam conflict, the A-1 Skyraider proved essential in close-support missions over South Vietnam due to their long loiter times, large bomb load capability and ability to perform accurate strikes when needed. For the repaint, the scheme chosen was George J. Marrett’s personal aircraft in Vietnam from 1968-1969 which carried the moniker of “Sock it to Em,” a tag line from the 1960’s comedy show “Laugh-In.” The aircraft operated with the 602nd Special Operations Squadron (SOS) from Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base and George completed 188 missions with over 600 combat hours in the aircraft. He even wrote about the aircraft and his missions in his book “Cheating Death.”
ABOUT THE MODEL
One quick note about the model itself if you’ve not seen my Assembly Review. This particular model started as a Legend Hobby Southeast Asia camouflage A-1 Skyraider ARF and was dressed in the kit supplied markings for the initial flights. Though the colors are good for an ARF, they weren’t correct to the Federal Standard colors of the full size. So, being the scale perfectionist that I am, I had to do a full paint work up on it! It’s important to note that what makes a repaint like this possible on this mylar covered ARF is that the airframe comes from the factory with a flat clear coat sprayed over the glossy mylar/monokote. As a result, it takes paint exceptionally well with very minimal prep work. Without that clear coat, considerable prep would be required to ensure paint adhesion on the covering material.
Cruisin’ into town and looking all around…in my Spad…
Having grown up in the hobby, there are certain models that I recall seeing as a kid that have inspired a fascination for that aircraft well into adulthood. One such aircraft for me is the A-1 Skyraider. Having seen two immaculate representations with folding wings at the US Scale Masters in the late 80s/early 90s (built by Diego Lopez & Gene Barton), it started a long fascination with the Skyraider for me. There was something about the airplane that I just liked and having since seen the full scale Skyraider fly, they are an impressive beast! Being a piston driven attack aircraft in the jet age, the Skyraider was a flying anachronism and was affectionately nicknamed the “Spad” after the WWI French biplane.
So, needless to say I was very excited to see the Legend Hobby A-1 Skyraider came to market! At 1/7 scale sporting an 86” wingspan, it offers a very nice sized ARF with an accurate scale outline. It also includes some really nice details through a fully detailed cockpit and an assortment of external tanks and rockets. A Skyraider isn’t a Skyraider without external stores afterall! Additionally, each of the three external tanks pylons come setup to accept E-flite payload releases which means the external tanks can be made droppable very simply. So, with a little 3D printing the sky’s the limit as to what this model can and will carry! More on that to come as for this article, we’re talking through the assembly of the model. I have a full repaint planned which we’ll talk through next where I’ll touch on the stores mods I made and then we’ll finish it up with a full flight review…but, spoiler alert, this model flies incredible! (see my first flights video at the bottom of this article)
ABOUT THE MODEL
The Legend Hobby Skyraider kit comes available in multiple color schemes (US Navy Gray/White, US Navy Blue, AF Camo) without any markings applied or as an ARC. Of course, markings are included, but coming as a blank canvas, this also allows for full customization and there are so many great color schemes for the Skyraider to choose from! This particular model is the Southeast Asia camouflage ARF and was dressed in the kit supplied markings for the initial flights. Having a very unique and characteristic shark mouth, the model represents Skyraider BuNo 137628 which was assigned to the 22nd Special Operations Squadron (SOS), 56th Special Operations Wing (SOW) that flew from Operating Location Alpha-Alpha (OL-AA) at Da Nang, South Vietnam.
When one thinks of the late generation Russian fighters, the SU-27 is at the top of many lists. However, for me, the MiG-29 is the one that has fascinated me more. I think because it was a relatively new fighter in Russian service when I was a kid which created a certain ere of mystery surrounding it. Plus, as a design, it has a nice look that I’ve also kind of liked.
So, seeing the new Freewing MiG-29 come to market in its ever so unique Slovak digital camouflage trim scheme, I was very intrigued. Given the large size and the scale features, it looked like an extremely nice airplane and I’m happy to report it lives up the expectations! The airplane looks and flies great and has a great scale presence in the air that’s so distinctive.
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
Not surprisingly, the Freewing MiG-29 came in quite a large box which was packed well and efficiently. Unboxing the model, you truly start to get a sense of the size as well as the quality of the finish (it’s quite smooth). Everything is broken down into the major components, so assembly was quick and painless. Note that for receiver, I’m using a Spektrum AR8010T 8 channel receiver.
The assembly of the MiG-29 starts with gluing the separate nose piece in place along with the 4 plastic clips along the seam. I used foam tac to do that which worked great. There is also a forward wood plate that gets screwed into place that provides a Continue reading →
The Ta 152H, Kurt Tank’s high-altitude fighter-interceptor!
The Ta 152H as a design is an extremely unique looking aircraft and is one that I have always been fascinated with. So, when I saw the FlightLineRC Ta152H 1300mm, I was excited to see it! So, I finally picked one up late last year for a rainy day and the model really captures the unique lines of the airplane well with accurate colors and paint in a really nice flying airframe.
Of the German Focke-Wulf designs from WWII, I have always liked the looks of the long nose 190s, especially the D9. There were so many evolutions of the design including the very capable high altitude Ta 152H, which featured a lengthened fuselage and rudder, high aspect ratio wing and pressurized cockpit. Being one of the fastest propeller driven aircraft of the war and capable of intercepting the high altitude B-29 bomber, it ultimately came too late to make an appreciable impact as only about 25 or so were built.
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
The FlightLineRC Ta 152H was well packed and assembled quite simply only requiring just a few steps and a few fasteners. The long wing comes in two pieces, which is glued together first over the wing spar. Once joined, the plastic mounting joiners were glued as well and the wing was then mounted to the fuselage. From there the tails were installed and fastened into place and those were the primary assembly steps. The kit does include a number of detail parts which are a nice touch and include the wing pitot tube and guns along with the lower wing antenna and fuselage foot step.
With the airplane assembled, it really looks fantastic and characterizes the shape of the Ta 152H beautifully. The finish is quite smooth and the stock paint work isContinue reading →
2020 GIVEAWAY! (See “How to Enter” Section to enter!)
I have to say, since the start of this blog and YouTube channel, it has been an incredible journey. The people I’ve met and helped, the friends I’ve made and the opportunities it’s brought have been absolutely amazing. It is all because of you guys and I want to say thank you to all of you who follow along across all my social channels. My whole goal in starting this site was and always will be to help folks in the hobby with quality information on building, finishing, setting up models, etc. and I will continue to do so for as long as I can.
So, as a thank you, in conjunction with Legend Hobby, we are giving away a new in box Seagull Models P-47D ‘Little Bunny’ ARF with Himark electric retracts! This is a model that I’ve recently completed that I’ve thoroughly been enjoying. It is a nice looking and well-built ARF that lends itself great to any type of power system (I opted for electric). Here are a few pics along with my first flights video. My assembly review will be posting soon, so be on the lookout for that on my YouTube channel! (entry info below video)
HOW TO ENTER
Please use the form below to enter. The contest starts today and ends at 7:00 PM Oct 29. The winner will be announced on my YouTube channel on 9:45am Friday Oct 30. It is completely free to enter and there are multiple ways to enter as well…More entries means more chances to win! Also, a customized link is provided to send to your friends that provides even more entries if they enter using that link. So, good luck to all of you and thank you for entering! A huge thank you to Legend Hobby for this amazing donation. Be sure to check out their website and Facebook page for more info on the kit and to see the great assortment of models that they offer.
I’m really excited to let you in on the most recent arrival into the shop, the all new Legend Hobby 86″ A-1 Skyraider. This is a model I’ve known about from its inception that I’ve been extremely excited for! The Skyraider (also known as the “Spad”) is a massive propeller aircraft design that could carry an incredible amount of ordnance and is an airplane that I’ve always had a fascination with ever since seeing Diego Lopez and Gene Barton compete with theirs at the US Scale Masters when I was a kid. This Legend Hobby offering is such a badass model and captures the lines of the Spad perfectly! So, we will be starting this one very soon and I hope you will enjoy following along on the process! Here are a few mockup pics. I can’t wait to start! 🙂
One of my favorite jets from last year was the E-flite F-18 Hornet. The way that airplane flies I just fell in love with (that’s not to mention the gorgeously scale landing gear 😉 ). At the time, I even considered repainting it into a Blue Angel color scheme, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out about the E-flite F-18 Blue Angels!
Please note that I did a full review of the original E-flite F-18 Hornet offering last year. We will cover some of the same items here that we did in the previous review, but this being a Blue Angels, I did some small modifications here that are worth talking through. Those include some paint work on the exhaust nozzles along with the removal of any weapons on the airframe. It’s a Blue Angel which means, she should be as slick as possible!
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
This incarnation of the E-flite F-18 features the same components and assembly as its previous counterpart. It’s a very easy assembly starting with the installation of the vertical tails followed by the horizontal tails and finished up with the installation of the wings. The kit features a selection of tail numbers (I chose #7 of course!) and so I cut a couple blue pieces from the spares to cover up any screw holes along the airframe. All together, the airplane looks fantastic and I love the Blue Angels colors personally. Oh, and I would be remiss not to mention my favorite feature of the scale landing gear, they’re sick!
One thing to note regarding the horizontal tail installation, the control horn in the stabilizer engagesContinue reading →
The aerobatic cargo plane has been kind of a thing lately and upon seeing the E-flite EC-1500 twin 1.5m Cargo, it most definitely looked like a fun airplane. Being fully aerobatic with reconfigurable ailerons and flaps to suit the desired performance and aircraft response along with an operational cargo door, there was no question I would have fun with one in the hangar! And, I KNEW that I had to drop something…the only question was what would it be?! 😉
Though the model isn’t painted in a scale paint scheme out of the box, the model itself is actually inspired by the C-27 Spartan which has served in the US military and Coast Guard as well as many other forces around the world. Truth be told, I wasn’t too aware of the C-27 Spartan as an aircraft, but I quickly learned through watching videos of the full scale online that it was an impressive beast. It’s is the only cargo aircraft I’ve actually seen execute a legitimate knife edge and it’s pretty awesome to behold! So, as it turns out, those epic knife edge passes with this airplane are indeed scale! 😉 Oh, and you’ve probably noticed the C-27 Spartan livery on the model…I couldn’t handle it, I had to make it a true C-27 and I love it!
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
The EC-1500 assembly was a very simple process as the parts count is very low being broken down into only the large components. The vertical tail is attached first and is held in place by two screws. From there, the horizontal tails slide into place over a carbon tube spar and snap into place. I found the snap lock on the tails a really unique features as I’d not seen this before on previous models. Also, there is an elevator torque rod with plastic paddles which slip into each base of the elevators resulting in a hidden elevator pushrod setup. Next, the wings are placed onto the fuselage over the main wing spar and held in place via four nylon bolts. The wing features hard mounted connectors, so no need to keep track of servo connectors or wires at all. Lastly, to wrap it all up, the props are placed on each of the motors.
With the airplane together and on the bench, it’s a pretty cool model to behold. It’s a good size and the cargo bay door is awesome! I can’t sayContinue reading →