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  1. #1
    BIGDAMMODELS's Avatar
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    Ziroli P-61 Black Widow overhaul

    A very close friend of mine has dropped a project off in the shop with interesting lines and heritage...and she's wall to wall assembled...114" of pure twin engine WWll delight...what a select jewel...I look forward to her maiden in the near future...she's of Greg Hahn origin and build...Ziroli design...she's been through a couple hangers...understandably has a few head knod's in her history...and now rest here......superbly built and modified by Mr Hahn himself during construction throughout....a good thing of choice, but...we'll get to them Mods later...lol...but such a great piece of RC that shows very little signs of her age... great craftsmanship throughout...we gonna part her down to the glass and epoxy on the inside, and bring her back pristine flying once more...we hope to keep the same basic items for flight, minus some minor things more modern suited for us, but nonetheless, bring her back up to speed for a few more Sundays of joy...I'll get up some pics and show a little as we go...please chime in here anyone...anybody flying one...I'm excited to be rebuilding such a classic girl....Bill

  2. #2

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    RE: Ziroli P-61 Black Widow overhaul

    Hi Bill,

    A friend of mine and I built and fly the same model. We opted for the scale ailerons and spoiler version. Ours has two G-45's with on board FEMA starters, Robart gear, wheels and brakes and we take turns flying it. We opted for 2 transmitters - one for the basic 4 flight controls and brakes, and the other for flaps, retracts and starters. It flies great and you will really enjoy your new model.

    What engines are you going to use ?

    Jerry

  3. #3
    BIGDAMMODELS's Avatar
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    RE: Ziroli P-61 Black Widow overhaul

    Thanks for chiming in Jerry...same here...spoilers and ailerons...there will be 2 receivers and batteries for redundancy.....engines are the old reliable 38's with mag ignition...I drooled on the wing a time or 2 today removing a few things...how's she land?...warm, hot, predictable?...Starters?..your design?...Bill

  4. #4

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    RE: Ziroli P-61 Black Widow overhaul

    Hi Bill,

    The on board starters are from Germany (they were sold here by Hobby Lobby). They work great !! They run from a 10 cell NiMH pack of 1300 mah and we can run them for a weekend without any noticeable reduction in cranking power. The electric motors spin the crankshaft at about 1500 rpm. There is an automatic clutch that disengages as soon as the engine starts. The motors and gears take up some room in the nacelles, so I opted to place one 32 ounce tank in the center pod and feed each engine with it's own line and clunk. It works great and after a 10 minute flight at full throttle, we still have 12 -14 ounces left.

    It flies well - not as nimble as the average warbird, but has a lot of presence in the air. It will do a full aileron roll with the scale spoilers. Rudders are very responsive at all speeds. It goes where you point it, and we land it with just half flaps. The flaps are enormous on this bird and half flaps seem to provide the perfect balance between lift and drag. It will tend to float in ground effect. You will have to practice the takeoffs - as this warbird tends to leap into the air. That's not a problem, except it doesn't look at all scale. Gain plenty of ground speed and gently pull back on the elevator and it will just fly right off the ground in a nice flat take off.

    I know you will enjoy this bird, and I wish you well - you don't see many of these at the fly ins.

    jerry

  5. #5

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    RE: Ziroli P-61 Black Widow overhaul

    she's of Greg Hahn origin and build...Ziroli design...she's been through a couple hangers...understandably has a few head knod's in her history...and now rest here...
    His P-61 went through a couple owners here in South Florida, and flew from our field.
    Glad to hear she's still flying.

  6. #6

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    I know it's 2 years and a week old but I'm curious as to any updates on this or other Ziroli P-61s. I'm finishing one and am a real fan of this plane so always read anything I see on one. Happy holidays everyone.

  7. #7

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    I'm finishing up an almost 3 year off and on build on a Ziroli p-61. Was trying to post pics but won't let me. Any ideas? Was looking at the DLE 35 rear exhaust for power. Any thoughts on these?

  8. #8

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ahh finally was able to get it uploaded.

  9. #9
    kram's Avatar
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    Really good to see some renewed interest in the P-61

    I have two Z-61's, both built by someone else, one a master, one not

    Got the black one with G-62's in 2004, it's had some hard knocks and major alterations, but still airworthy. She and I have a lot of history, including my first successful engine-out flight 8 years ago. That was the beginning of my education in 61's: they fly MUCH better engine-out than P-38's: just stay calm, figure out which engine, figure out how much rudder you need and fly it home.

    The green one several years later, with G-38's, built by Bill Fuouri (sp?) is a beauty queen and a sweet-flying dream

    I also have a VQ-61 that I've put many flights on and I have mastered the art of slow landings with it. I struggle with that on the big ones, largely because my black one had a wing warp when I got it: bit me several times and I didn't fix it til a couple of years ago: then redid the flap servos and linkages, etc: still trying to find the right mix to bring it in soft and slow.

    Of course, with the G-62's it's a snarling, over-powered beast that is impressive at shows, but makes the front end considerably non-scale.

    I'd appreciate it if all you guys with serious Z-61 interest would harass Darrell at Sierra gear to make a set for it. I've been after him for at least 5 years, but I can understand that just one guy who wants two sets is not gonna make his profits soar. I have found the Robart gear adequate for smooth landings on smooth fieldsClick image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Mark,
    If you're posting pictures, me too!

    Take off video:
    I love the sound of twin G-62's
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A5VUc9Zu00
    G. Samuel Parfitt

  11. #11

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    Originally I was going to use DLE 55's then someone mentioned this would be way to much power. So now I'm looking at DLE 35's. In your opinion, do you think that would still be enought power? Marginal? Or should I try to cram the 55's in there?

  12. #12

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    Personally, I always put as much motor as possible in a plane as I can always throttle back but I can't exceed 100%. Also, more scale size props can be used. Also, I build heavy so bigger engines are better on my planes. But that's just my opinion. You have to choose what's best for you and your plane and whatever you choose should work. I understand that Greg builds light so the plane may fly just perfect with a smaller size engine. Greg used to sponsor Fuji, and if he built that plane when sponsoring, I'm guessing he used Fuji 43's.
    When I'm at the field, I'm happy just to see a warbird there. I go to a lot of meets and I can count on one hand the number of ziroli P-61 that I've seen.
    Last edited by samparfitt; 03-18-2014 at 06:11 AM.
    G. Samuel Parfitt

  13. #13

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    That's what I was thinking. I like using scale props. I've had a lot of them from solo over the years. Even though the dle55's will hang out a little more but would carry a larger 4 blade prop better.
    thanks for your input.

  14. #14

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    Waiting on retracts from Robart. Should get them sometime next week. Going with a set if DLE 55's. So I can go with the scale props. Also should get the pilots from Lyle from BestPilots next week as well. I built mine with the spoilers so hope I won't be regretting that when it comes to the day I fly it. I will keep you guys posted on my progress. I expect I should have it ready for he maiden by end of April.

  15. #15

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    The spoilers work great and turn the plane.
    Video test when plane was being built:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiYlh...ature=youtu.be

    Build thread:
    ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD
    G. Samuel Parfitt

  16. #16
    kram's Avatar
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    AMEN to that!

    I'll go one up on that and say I believe the spoilers ALONE would turn the plane fine.

    Aviation legend has it that Northrup designed and built the P-61 wing to turn with spoilers only: that he added little little ailerons just to get his test pilots to climb in the plane and fly it!

    If you look at the scale pictures of the time, there is only a small aileron on each wingtip: most of the hinged control surface on the TE of the wing is massive outboard flap

    That's how my Z-61's are built (see pix): much smaller ailerons than the option samparfitClick image for larger version. 

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    I think the spoiler-induced turns are much smoother, sweeping, than an aileron turn and I believe they may be partly responsible for the sane behavior in the event of engine-out on a P-61

  17. #17
    kram's Avatar
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    My green oneClick image for larger version. 

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    Same small ailerons, huge outboard flaps

  18. #18

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    I see it looks like you reworked your linkage for the flaps. I probably should of done the same. I did mine as per the plans and I've wondered if it would have enough leverage to keep them from getting sloppy.

  19. #19

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    Kram, what engines are you running in yours? I'm still going towards the dle55's on mine I think.

  20. #20

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    This is one I am considering locating plans for. Missed my chance at a full set on Ebay for $40, stupid account was looking for some pin from a device I never got. Hoping one day to see the real one they are restoring flying.
    SIG Brotherhood # 3
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    http://www.facebook.com/pages/B-17e-...18159428244374


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