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Ready to fly my Spitfire?

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Old 05-13-2008, 05:50 PM
  #1  
Tjen il-vec
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Default Ready to fly my Spitfire?

Hey everyone!

Well, after some hours on my Carl Goldberg Chipmunk and low wing flight experience for several years including a P51 stand off scale and some other low wingers I was wondering if I'm ready to take my reasonably scale Spitfire to the air.

It's a 76' Retlas Spitfire which I have ready for a couple of years but never had the guts to fly it. This due to some reasons like the weight and the big Saito Fa120 up front.

I'm not a brilliant pilot but I fly my Chipmunk like I drive my car without any problems doing everything with it as far as this plane can handle. But I would love to fly the Spit but I seem to be a little reluctant. Maybe because I somehow keep telling myself that the leap from the low wing experience and he hours on the Chipmunk to actually fly the Spitfire is too great.... ?

What is the best thing to do?, just get over it and fly the damn thing or is my opinion about this correct?

thanks in advance!

Tjen il-Vec
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:58 PM
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jetmech05
 
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

get someone with a lot of warbird time to stand out on spot with you..he can trim for you or just talk to you...now go fly your Spit...I just maidened the 150 sized Jug with a Satio 180 up front and was surprised at how gentle she is..even will do the falling leaf stall with flaps up..(you know stalls pick up speed levels off stalls etc etc)
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:08 PM
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

It will take off and fly just like the Chip, no problem there at all. It will just land A little faster and if you have A good flap system and play with it in the air to get the feel for it then the landings aren't too different either.
Just go fly it.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:39 PM
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alfredbmor
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

How many scratches does your car have?

If you know somebody who actually flies a WWII model airplane, he can help with your first or second flight, but IMHO they are a bit different than some sport models, they just doesn't fly with out an engine, (They are just like bricks with an engine) they like airspeed even on landings, I would say that is the worst part of them.
Just keep a reliable engine up front and relax, I am sure that you are ready (Chips are not that easy too). Also, you may want to train a little bit more with your chipmunk flying at lower speeds and trying to recoverit from stalls at safe altitude, that will make you a better Spitfire Model Pilot.
I wish you the best of lucks.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:45 AM
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speed367
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

I have flown several Warbirds and the only real diff. is that they need speed. When landing keep the speed up or it will snap over on ya other than that its just a plane and fun too fly. Good luck


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Old 05-15-2008, 10:02 AM
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

Fly that Spit! Don't yank her off on takeoff and land with a little mor speed that the Chip. Best of luck to you.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:35 PM
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

Yup, like the others say, it's not that bad. On take-off, remember all the normal tail-dragger traits. Once it begins to roll, release as much elevator as you can without nose-over, and allow the tail to fly. Don't lift until you're absolutely certain you've got flying speed, and do a gentle climb-out. This, of course, until you learn its REAL slow-flight behavior.

I've found a fast wheels landing is best with my Mustang. I'll turn final at about 1/4 throttle, reduce to idle, do a final dive on the runway (about 20-30 degrees down), and then level out at about 1-2 feet, and allow it to slow until the mains touch. If I touch my mains 50yds from the threshold, the tail's still flying 50yds further on, and another 50yds or so to stop'er.

Just learn to enjoy "flying the tail" and then spend some time learning the low speed limitations of the model. Then keep some margin of safety available.

My mustang was my second plane, first low wing, first aileron ship, and it tops out at 100mph. It knocks knees alot, but it's really a nice ship.

Fly the tail.

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Old 05-15-2008, 04:24 PM
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

Make sure the CG is within the suggested range. Make sure the sufraces move only the amount suggested, not more.

The Spitfire was supposed to be an excellent flying airplane. The Chipmunk is supposed to be a bit of a crank. Models very often act like their big brothers. You already got a handle on the badder of the two.
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:41 AM
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Tjen il-vec
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

Hey guys!

Thank for the fantastic help on this issue! The Chipmunk is an airplane I try to fly like I'm flying a warbird, that is; practicing on the landings using rudder for steering and gas for angle. So far it turns out well and as far as 'scratches' goes, I fly 3 years without any major damage. More caused by a dent in the ground or a bit to steep landing causing the LG to bent a little. But that only happened 2 times (I need some blank wood to knock on right now )

The main reason I haven't flown the Spit yet is a psychological one I guess... The airfield I fly had more than enough room to land on, even if you need to bleed off airspeed and height. So why do I see any problems I they fly jets on our field as well?

There is of course one thing to keep in mind, that's the weight of the Spitfire and the fact that it actually flies like a warbird; best up to speed and considerable speedy landings. This all together with the experience on the P51 and Chipmunk it should be no problem.... rationally!!

So the only thing that stand between me and the maiden of the Spitfire is having the guts to relax, open the throttle gradually and enjoy!

I keep you all informed as I plan to maiden her very soon!

Thanks!

Etienne [8D]


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Old 05-16-2008, 07:29 PM
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alfredbmor
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

Etienne:
This is something that have helped me to keep me from any maiden flight disaster. After the usual tuning and range check I take off normally and fly the plane in circuits at a safe altitude above the first part of the runaway, there is also where I trim my planes, then if I am not comfortable I have enough time and area to land even if I have a death stick.

Happy landings!!
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:25 AM
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

Hi!
It's all about wing loading!
Warbirds arn't any more difficult to fly than any other airplane...Why should they??! The reason some newbies have difficulties with them is the higher wing loading warbirds usually have compared to low winged sport airplanes . But if you build them light, which you always should, and have wash-out built in the wingtips...warbirds fly just as good as any other airplane.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:42 AM
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

Good point Jaka, washout is important in warbirds, especially those with elliptical wings, like the spit. My 'stang has 2 or so degrees in it, and that gives great stall behavior. Warbirds aren't aerobats, so there's little penalty in applying some washout in them.

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Old 11-15-2008, 04:47 PM
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ukrally
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Default RE: Ready to fly my Spitfire?

Hi Tjen,
have you flown the spit yet ? and is it still in one piece.
Iv'e just finished my retlas spitfire after ten years on the build, tried a maiden this week but problems with the OS 120fs engine stopped play
cheers Mick
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