Here we are at the start of 2021 and we have hit an incredible milestone on this blog and YouTube channel…we have hit 30,000 subscriptions on YouTube! There was incredible growth on the channel in 2020 and to start of 2021 with this milestone, I really can’t thank you enough! It is all a result of your support in following along on these misguided adventures and I think you dearly! The RC community is such a wonderful group of folks, I liken it to having a large extended family.
So, a big milestone should have a big giveaway and as a thank you, in conjunction with Legend Hobby, we are giving away a new in box SEAGULL MODELS CURTISS P-40N WARHAWK 33cc-50cc 80″ with scale electric rotating retracts! The model features an 80″ wingspan and can be powered with a 33cc-55cc gas engine or electric power system. It comes in scale green covering and is ready for markings to be applied be it the kit supplied markings or full custom set.
HOW TO ENTER
Please use the form below to enter. The contest starts today and ends at 7:30 PM March 29. The winner will be announced on my YouTube channel on 9:45am Tuesday March 30 It is completely free to enter and there are multiple ways to enter as well…Continue reading →
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.
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! 🙂
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:
MARKINGS – 834th Bombardment Squadron “Scorpio” (custom markings from Callie-Graphics)
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 resultingContinue reading →
At the point I had finished the assembly of the VQ Warbirds Beechcraft Bonanza Vtail we were still on Coronavirus quarantine here in SoCal and all of our flying sites were closed. Well, when our fields opened up again I could not wait to get the airplane in the air! So, the first day out I brought her along and promptly logged 6 flights on the airplane. It took a few flights to get dialed in, and once tuned, I fell in love with the flight characteristics. It has great power and speed and looks awesome in the air with that characteristic vtail.
WHAT’S IN THE AIRPLANE
To recap from our Assembly review, the VQ Warbirds Bonanza Vtail is a nicely sized ARF of all wood construction coming in at a 62″ wingspan. At final ready to fly weight of 9.75lb the airplane flies beautifully and has a really wide flight envelope. The power from the E-flite Power 52 and Master Airscrew prop is awesome as the airplane is quick and maneuvers extremely well (and is happy performing any sort of non-scale high performance aerobatics). Here are the final specs and equipment that are in the airplane:
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, it took a few flights to get the Bonanza Vtail dialed in. Most notably, the airplane wanted to carry down elevator for trim and also would climb at full throttle. I adjusted the CG and thrust line to try and mitigate those characteristics and ultimately they didn’t make significant enough differences to continue exploring (i.e. a much larger thrust line change would be required than I cared to explore as it would require realigning and remounting the cowl). Ultimately, I moved the CG a bit further forward than the recommendation (stock location definitely felt tail heavy) and then addedContinue reading →
There’s something about the less traditional aircraft designs that really draw me in. Most notably they are the v-tail and the delta wing/tailless aircraft. Maybe it has to do with the less conventional nature, I’m not really sure, but when I saw the VQ Warbirds Beechcraft Bonanza Vtail, I was pretty excited about the model. The bonanza is an icon in the private aircraft world and one of the few production aircraft I’m aware of that features a vtail into its design, especially in the private aircraft industry.
Though, commercial and private aircraft aren’t typically in my wheelhouse (I love my military aircraft!), the Bonanza Vtail is one that I do really like the looks of. The Vtail gives an unconventional look to an otherwise conventional airplane and the proportions of the wing and the long tail moment really should make for a really good flying model. Add to that the really nice covering and look of the VQ Warbirds Bonanza Vtail model, it was not a hard sell to get this one in my hangar.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
This is the second VQ Warbirds airplane I’ve had the pleasure to assemble (first was the B-24 Liberator) and in each case, I have been thoroughly impressed with the quality of the build of the airframes. Pulling this airplane from the box, I was reminded of this as the airplane was a beautifully built and finished representation of the Bonanza. The parts count is generally low, but there is quite a bit of hardware included for pushrods, etc. One of the nice things that became readily apparent was that all of the control surfaces were pre-glued at the factory, so that alleviated one extra step in the assembly process which was nice!
In addition to the airframe, I picked up my power system and servos of course which are listed and linked below. I love keeping the looks of a scale model intactContinue reading →