Tower Hobbies WW II Foamies: P-51, Corsair, Hellcat

Tower Hobbies makes a line of foam PNP airplanes at the $105 – $120 price range that are really good planes for the money. My Millennium Master is the civil aviation part of that line. The warbirds are a Corsair, four flavors of P-51 and a Hellcat. These are plug-n-play foam planes that fly well on 3s and are tough. The Corsair seems to be the toughest, as you can see by the number of them in the photo below.

Smiling faces. Before the Gaggle. Photo: Dave Schaefer

We fly them aggressively, all at once and generally in the same area. This presents several challenges to the pilot and generates lots of energy among the group. Just keeping up with your own airplane is sometimes a challenge. It is inevitable that two of them share the same airspace at some point. These planes are amazingly tough and still fly well after multiple major repairs. This is defined at our club as a Gaggle.

E-flite UMX Pitts S-1S

I’ve always loved the Pitts Biplane. It’s a great looking airplane and quite popular in the world of RC.

After such a great experience with the UMX A-10, I got the Pitts, hoping that it would be as much fun… and it is. It’s a great flyer, very nimble and has plenty of power to get through most any maneuver right out of the box.

Like the A-10, this one is also Bind-n-Fly. The battery that you fly it with only has ne connector, so you do have to buy a special splitter to be able to connect to a balance charger via the power port and the balance port. That connector was $5 I think.

It flies on a 2s 200 mah lipo. Flights aren’t terribly long, maybe 4-5 minutes at full throttle. This one also has the ASX3 stabilization and it works beautifully. For being as quick and as tricky as this plane is, it is still pretty stable… incredibly stable for a plane this size. It’s tiny at just a hair over 17″ wingspan.

Again for the $125 or so that this thing will set you back, it’s a great buy. I managed to fly this airplane into a chicken wire fence at full throttle on a downwind run. It literally slammed head on in to this fencing. I had to buy a new hatch cover. That cost $8 and I was right back in the air. It’s tough!

E-flite UMX A-10 Brushless EDF

I’ve always loved A-10s. This airplane is a blast. It’s powered just right to have fun with, using the suggested 2s 800 mah lipo battery. The unique sound is what you would imagine a mosquito this size to make, but a lot louder.

This is a Bind-n-Fly (BNF) airplane, meaning that you need only a transmitter and a battery for the airplane to fly it. All of the onboard electronics are in place and ready to fly on this airplane.

You will need to beef up the fuselage on this plane. The section forward of the wing is very thin and the first time you have a hard landing one of the sides will likely cave in a bit. Fixing it is easy enough, but beefing this area up with clear tape is suggested. I also put a foam cross member just forward of where the battery goes. You can see it in the picture. This went a long way to shore up the sides.

This plane is lots of fun. The ASX3 receiver in it helps you fly it. It’s very easy to fly really. I don’t use the wheels. I hand launch it with my left hand with my right thumb on the elevator/aileron stick. I generally end up in full up position on launch. It dives toward the ground but always recovers. From there, just hang on!

Tower Hobbies Millennium Master EP – Foamie Paint Job

I’ve always liked Tower products and this Millennium Master plane looked like fun for the money. It flies really well for a foam plane. It actually flies as well as any of the wood planes I have. It’s small and lightweight, so winds over 10-12 mph keep it in the hangar.

I did a little research on painting foam aircraft and found that Krylon Short Cuts seemed to be what I needed. It’s gentle on foam, but if you spray too close to the foam, the accelerant will eat the finish off of your foam, so be careful.

My plan was to cover the existing scheme. The purple covered very well in two coats. The yellow didn’t cover at all. After several coats of yellow and the stock trim still showing, I had to paint the fuse purple as well and do it that way. So the paint covers well in dark colors at least.

A roadblock I encountered in doing this is that masking tape, even the soft blue tape, pulls the original paint off of the plane. So if you mask it and paint it, everything between the tape and the foam comes off on the tape. A little more research and I saw about people using Post-It Notes to mask with.

I grabbed a stack of Post-It Notes and to my surprise, I realized that the notes of today are all sticky on the back with only a small edge being not sticky. They used to be the opposite of that, with a row of sticky across the top.

So I laid out about ten Post-It Notes sticky side down, in a line, overlapping them by about a quarter inch. Then I put regular masking tape on the non-sticky side to hold them all together. Then I was about to cut that to make straight lines or whatever I wanted to do, essentially making masking strips out of Post-It Notes. I didn’t take any photos of that process. I will the next time I paint foam and will post them here.

Freewing Avanti S EDF Jet

I’ve not had a jet. Well, I had a Dynam A-10 (terrible piece of junk) that I ended up stripping and throwing away), but not a real EDF jet.

I have done lots of reading and You Tubing and decided to get in line to buy Motion RC’s Freewing Avanti S. When it finally shipped, it got here in two days and it was on! This one came in the very same day that I finished the Sportster Bipe, keeping me moving and productive 😉

It came in a pretty nondescript box and in good shape. If you’ll watch Motion RC’s “Build” video, it really is that simple. A manual really isn’t even needed with this jet, maybe if you’re a complete newbie.

Below are some images of the jet being put together and one of the final product. I love the lights 🙂

I haven’t flown this yet but I am confident that it’ll fly well. It balanced with the leading edge of a 5000 mah 6s battery flush with the leading edge of the battery tray.

Edit 8/2/17

I flew this baby on 7/31. Its flies great. I’m not quite used to the speed. I’ll ease myself in to it. But it flies very well. It’s stable and tracks like butter in a banked turn. I found the ailerons quite touchy when configured per the plans. I’ll increase expo on the ailerons and flatten the stick out a bit in the middle.

I didn’t fly it until late in the morning so I only few it twice. It gets hot down here in Texas this time of year. It needed about 6 clicks of down elevator and about 4 clicks of left aileron trim to achieve straight and level flight at medium speed on the maiden flight.

I didn’t use flaps on landing and my landings were long. Very smooth, but long. This plane is very docile on final and I had a 45 degree crosswind. Next time I fly it I’ll work with the flaps and slow down and shorten the landing.

I can’t wait to really dig in to this thing. This is my first proper EDF. I love the way it sounds like a vacuum cleaner on the runway, but when you pour it to it, this 12-bladed fan develops an amazing “WHOOSH!!”

Freewing Avanti S 80 mm EDF Jet