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Scale Build Off - Scratchbuilt 96" P-38 Lightning

#1
Here is the documentation of my approximately 14-month build of the P-38 Lightning. There were some embarrassingly long breaks and dry spells in between the building, as it was difficult at times to stay motivated to build when I just wanted to grab the transmitter and fly, or relax or do anything else. I finished the build on January 4th of 2017, and at first I felt really relieved because I wouldn't have to spend so much time on it anymore....but at the same time, I miss having a "big" project on the table already. Which is why I am starting another project (more on that later). Here's a few pictures of the completed Lightning to start off (many more in the updated second post....once I update it). Below, in italics, is my original post and the normal text is my comments about it today.

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"I'm glad to say that I will be joining in the 2016 edition of the FT Forums Scale Build Off. Last year I entered my 62" scratchbuild BF109 E-3, which can be found here: http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?16862-Scale-Build-Off-Scratchbuilt-62-quot-BF109-E-3

This year I have decided to build a 96" (8 ft) wingspan P-38L Lightning for the same event that I built the BF109 for last year, which is the NEF event in Akron Ohio (March 18-20, 2016). Since it is an indoor event, I will be building light for the most part; however, this year I am planning to incorporate movable/functional flaps instead of fixed flaps and will (if time allows) be building two sets of wings, one set with a full airfoil and the other set undercambered for slow indoor flying."


Obviously, I did not finish the Lightning in time for the 2016 NEF event (although it was flyable, and I did fly it twice there) but it is done for this year's (2017) NEF. I did make functional fowler flaps on this bird instead of the fixed flaps I used on my Messerschmitt. I did not end up building two sets of wings and settled for only undercambered wings for a few reasons, mainly because the rest of the airframe and power system would not be suited well for higher speeds of flying (relative term, as it flies fairly slow to begin with).

"Specifications:

Wingspan: 96"
Length: 70"
Est. weight: ~3 lbs
Wing area: 5.8 sq ft.

I plan to paint the plane in the colors of Thomas McGuire, the second-highest scoring American ace with 38 kills (right behind Richard Bong with 40 kills, who also flew a P-38). He died during a dogfight because he forgot to drop his drop tanks and stalled at low altitude.

Here are some pictures of the McGuire's scheme of his P-38 nicknamed "Pudgy V" after his wife:"


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pudgy v model.jpg

"So far, I have only the former plans cut out, but the other plans pieces have not been put together yet and no foam has been cut. Due to my schedule with school, I will not be able to work on it very often during weekdays and instead will build on weekends and holiday breaks. I will regularly update this thread when I make progress and will post build pictures as I go along. :)

Note: Build pics/flying videos will be added in the second post as I make progress."


I think I need to work on that "regularly update" part. :rolleyes: I will compile a bunch of build pics into the second post soon. I've been waiting for the weather to cooperate (mainly wind) so I can take pictures of it outside, but that hasn't happened yet.
 
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#2
Reserved for build pics, they will all be compiled here at the end of the build but posted in other posts along the way. :)
 
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#4
First off I have to apologize.....almost 3 months without posting is not good. :( I was caught up with holiday stuff/vacation in December....then I have been very busy with school these past couple months, leaving me with little time to build, let alone post anything.

I've also been recently bitten by the FPV miniquad bug, and unfortunately that has been taking a lot of my money and spare time....it's worth it though LOL.

Limited time has also given me another problem....my goal is to have the Lightning in flying condition (no paint, detail, etc, just bare airframe and flyable condition) by March 6th so I can maiden it at the Akron athletics dome at the indoor before the big indoor event (NEF) on March 18-20. At this point I'm just hoping that I will have enough time to finish it before then. It's looking close, but I think/hope I can do it. :D

Anyways, I'm back, and I will try to update this thread every week from now until completion. I have gotten some work in on the Lightning spread out over these past few weeks. I will post some build pics within the next hour. BTW, this time I will post pics as I build and then compile them all in post #2 once it is finished.
 
#5
Update....tried uploading the pictures, some of them won't upload.....??? I will try again tomorrow and see if I can get it to work.
 

wilmracer

I build things that fly (sometimes)
Mentor
#6
Something might be going on with the site... I'm seeing a lot of 404 errors for images.

Looking forward to seeing pictures and progress!
 
#7
Something might be going on with the site... I'm seeing a lot of 404 errors for images.

Looking forward to seeing pictures and progress!
Yeah I saw that too....and the main FT website was down, the forums were still up though...

Watch out....I'm about to bombard this post with pictures. :D

Edit: Just saw that all the vertical pictures are sideways, sorry about that, I will try to take all horizontal pics from now on...

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#9
Anyone know where to find a 5.5" diameter foam wheel? Need two of these for the mains. 5" would be fine, too. It's difficult to find a wheel this size that is foam and not too heavy....
 

wilmracer

I build things that fly (sometimes)
Mentor
#10
Anyone know where to find a 5.5" diameter foam wheel? Need two of these for the mains. 5" would be fine, too. It's difficult to find a wheel this size that is foam and not too heavy....
I'm running Dave Brown wheels on the P-40 and they do cary them in the sizes you're looking for. I can warn you now that you don't want to leave a "heavy" aircraft sitting on them for a long period of time. They will develop flat spots that won't work out.

Other than that they look good and are very light.

http://www.ohio-superstar.com/dave-brown-product-line/treaded-wheels
 
#12
Awesome, thanks guys! :) I think I will go with the Dave Brown wheels, can't find any weight specs on the Dubro's but their stuff is usually more heavy duty and tend to be pretty hefty as well. Also cost wise, the Dave Brown wheels are cheaper....but I'm still not too happy about paying $14 for a wheel. Oh well.....:rolleyes:

EDIT: Nvm, found them on Tower Hobbies for much cheaper. They don't carry 5.5" though, so I'm either going to have to settle with 5" (which wouldn't be bad for weight reasons, since this is going to be an indoor plane) or cough up the money for the extra 1/2".
 
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kacknor

Build another!
#13
Awesome, thanks guys! :) I think I will go with the Dave Brown wheels, can't find any weight specs on the Dubro's but their stuff is usually more heavy duty and tend to be pretty hefty as well. Also cost wise, the Dave Brown wheels are cheaper....but I'm still not too happy about paying $14 for a wheel. Oh well.....:rolleyes:

EDIT: Nvm, found them on Tower Hobbies for much cheaper. They don't carry 5.5" though, so I'm either going to have to settle with 5" (which wouldn't be bad for weight reasons, since this is going to be an indoor plane) or cough up the money for the extra 1/2".
Just a thought. Durafly's New Tundra sports 5" wheels. They weigh next to nothing but are made form EPP foam. Less that 10 bucks too...

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=81431

JD
 
#14
#15
Got some more work in on the Lightning recently....

Yes these are the two different booms, same exact weight :cool::cool:
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Trying to figure out the fowler flaps for the Lightning. This is the little mock-up I came up with. If anyone has experience with making fowler flaps for RC please let me know how you did yours, I could use some "inspiration".....:D
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#17
Here's some progress from this weekend...not much added visually, mostly internal stuff.

Spars made and installed. Outboard wing panels built. Vertical and horizontal stabs built. Wing spar inserts installed. Elevator and rudder servos installed. All servo extensions installed. Receiver installed. Motors and ESC's installed.

Edit: posted this with my phone, some of the pics didn't upload and some are out of order. Oh well, I think most of them made it....lol. Next time I'll still upload pics from my computer...

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