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P-38 Lightning Brotherhood

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Old 01-09-2014, 05:58 AM
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70 ragtop View Post
Rick, you're number 12...welcome

Phantom pty
I spoke with KMP at the 2012 WRAM show about another P-38, and they mentioned they were working on a 100" version, but haven't heard anymore. Every once and a while a KMP model comes up for sale. They are semi scale, but good fliers, and look good in the air.
Don't see too many VQ's come up for sale
Royal kits every now and then.
There is a 90" balsa built up ARF that you can still find around. I know of one sitting in my LHS, and there was one on EBay now http://www.ebay.com/itm/Giant-Scale-...item3a89858e9c . Again, it is semi scale, there are a few build/mod threads on the plane
There is also a 52" version, balsa build up ARF, semi scale again, but these are available right here on RCU http://www.rcuniverse.com/market/item.cfm?itemId=952395 or on ebay
G&L hobbies makes a kit http://www.glhobbies.com/P38_Lighting/p38lighting.html
G&P makes a kit http://www.rcairplane.net/index8.html
Vic RC made a kit, although I'm not sure if it is still avalible, there is one listed in the classified section, link is to Vic's site http://www.vicrc.com/products_p38.htm
Yellow Aircraft is a great kit that builds fast. http://www.yellowaircraft.com/props/p38.htm
Ziroli is an also a great plane, but it is a big build. There are several kit cutters that can supply a kit, foam wings are available if you want to go that route, glass booms, ect http://www.ziroliplans.com/ziroliplans/p38-doss.html

There are a bunch of foamies out there which fly good, look great in the air, and are a blast to just pull out of the trunk and fly anywhere.

Mike
The VQ is a great flyer if you can find one,even has the fowler flaps.I had one,lost it due to pilot error!!!.I also have the P61 another great flyer. I don't know why they quit importing them.

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Old 01-09-2014, 06:55 AM
  #27
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Probably Lockheed's requirements for copyright fees
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:43 AM
  #28
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Interesting concept: I remember using the "Brotherhood of the P-38" term some time ago.

I started with a Yellow in 2001, and I've kinda lost count since then: let's see: Yellow, VQ's X3, CBA, guest pilot of 2 KMP's, Robart's X2 (one yet unbuilt) and a 93"er I can't remember the name of.

Over the last 13 years, of course, I have learned that the Botherhood (intentional typo) is not only about thrills and glory, but also inevitably about heartbreak and loss and tremendous expense.

Just as I claim to have successfully flown more Lightnings than just about anybody, I also admit to more losses than anybody and many 38 brothers will tell you that a Lightning is a really stunner in the air, on a fast flyby, it also will occasionally make you look like the RC world's biggest idiot/loser. It is an unforgiving aircraft when anything goes wrong.

So, over the last 13 years I have developed some pretty solid (and arrogant) opinions and insights about building and flying 38's, which I will share here, along with photos, if I can learn how to load them on this new format.

Thanks for starting the thread!


mt
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:34 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kram View Post
Interesting concept: I remember using the "Brotherhood of the P-38" term some time ago.

I started with a Yellow in 2001, and I've kinda lost count since then: let's see: Yellow, VQ's X3, CBA, guest pilot of 2 KMP's, Robart's X2 (one yet unbuilt) and a 93"er I can't remember the name of.

Over the last 13 years, of course, I have learned that the Botherhood (intentional typo) is not only about thrills and glory, but also inevitably about heartbreak and loss and tremendous expense.

Just as I claim to have successfully flown more Lightnings than just about anybody, I also admit to more losses than anybody and many 38 brothers will tell you that a Lightning is a really stunner in the air, on a fast flyby, it also will occasionally make you look like the RC world's biggest idiot/loser. It is an unforgiving aircraft when anything goes wrong.

So, over the last 13 years I have developed some pretty solid (and arrogant) opinions and insights about building and flying 38's, which I will share here, along with photos, if I can learn how to load them on this new format.

Thanks for starting the thread!


mt
You and me both brother.... Look at the symbols just above the box that you enter a post. the third symbol from the right is a square with a tree inside.Click it to post pics

Nelson
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:42 PM
  #30
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Welcome kram

Looking forward to some discussions, and seeing some pictures. I read your posts from a few years ago concerning YA struts, and I wonder if those problems has since been resolved??

I'm going the electric route on a YA re-build that will hopefully negate one major source of trouble.

BTW
Phantom pty you're lucky #13
kram you're #14
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:40 AM
  #31
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Tell us more, more. What are the troublesome traits and pitfalls ?
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:51 AM
  #32
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Mike: Please add me to the "brotherhood". We have a former P-38 pilot within our club, and unbeknownst I had just ordered up a set of plans (1/12th). Thanks for sponsoring this link.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:08 AM
  #33
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I had the following happen to me twice. While flying straight and level with my VQ P38,suddenly it rolled inverted,I chopped the throttle and rolled it back over,lowered the gear,and set up my approach.When it passed in front of me I could see the .91 four stroke muffler was hanging by the pressure tube. I had lost an engine and I was in perfect position to set up and land, Lucky!!! As you can tell by this experience dependable engines are critical.Electric motors are probably safer, but nothing is fool proof But the main point is they are hard to fly on one motor and you have so little time to react.

Nelson

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Old 01-10-2014, 06:14 AM
  #34
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Will someone with a YA P38 give the width of the air frame with the wings detached?

Thanks
Nelson
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:47 AM
  #35
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I got 38.5" on the wing with out the carburetor intakes and 42" on the horizontal stab
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:52 AM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karl hibbs View Post
I got 38.5" on the wing with out the carburetor intakes and 42" on the horizontal stab
Thanks and I love the Jefferson quote!
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:32 PM
  #37
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Yes, SWORDSN, to save an engine-out situation with a P-38 requires: 1) Pilot skill, and 2) Luck. No amount of one without the other will suffice. Even the greatest of pilots, if afflicted with engine-out in an odious power/speed ratio or altitude or position in the sky, or late recognition, will fail.

Second, the most common cause of heartbreak & repair besides engine-out is some kind of landing gear problem.

So, my general philosophy for P-38 models is:

A) make sure both fans keep blowing, and
B) overbuild the landing gear

Obviously, the Devil's in the Details for both of those and blithe statements of intent can never be perfectly executed, but those are the basics


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Old 01-10-2014, 07:02 PM
  #38
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This is the Yellow I built in 2000-2001. My buddy Rich built and flew his at the same time and he was a lot of help with parts of the build that were new to me: mine had 3W24's and his had G-38's, both swinging about the same size prop
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:30 PM
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Both our Yellow-38's had landing gear problems from the beginning. As you can see, we fly off a 600 ft grass runway, which was none to smooth in those days before PetroMat. And, although we were both experienced flyers, neither of us was experienced in the landing set-up for 38's, or the higher speeds and wing-loading inherent to the breed.

His first takeoff attempt resulted in a snapped nose-gear shaft. My first landing was "hot:" I got it on the ground pretty smoothly, but when my speed didn't bleed off fast enough, I took a hard left when almost out of runway and all three LG shafts immediately snapped!


That old Yellow gear had cast aluminum construction and just wouldn't take the forces we were putting on it. I had high-tensile custom-machined sleeves to fit over the struts, but had enough time that winter that Darrell (Sierra) made me a set of struts from turned aluminum, with which I used Yellow trunions and Yellow wheels, which worked just fine. Over the next several years, I eventually settled on Robart nosegear for ease of installation and replaceability
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:00 PM
  #40
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Darned things always have that invisible expiration date stamped on them, don't they??

One of Rich's G-38's quit on him the first time he got it in the air, went into a death spiral before he could shout "Hallelujah!" His wife still refers sarcastically to it as his "$1,000 per lap" plane, which is mathematically correct, but still hurtful.

My Yellow flew sparingly for 4 seasons, maybe 30 flights total, including one engine-out that I was able to nurse back for a gear-damaging landing on the runway. In late 2005, I put it up for the 3rd flight of the day and the 3W24's were really starting to purr. At high altitude and a long way from me on the far side of the oval, it suddenly flipped into an inverted Death Spiral that I managed to convert into a flat spin before it hit the corn stubble. Because the gear was up and I cut the throttles, both engines and the gear were fine, but structural damage was so extensive, I didn't rebuild it. Besides, I was working on "the next generation" by then

I suspected an engine-out, but it was so far away from me I didn't hear it happen and couldn't reconcile that to how fabulously they were running. About the10th flight of that engine on a little Gee-Bee, I experienced sudden engine-out several times due to faulty solder joint on the ignition switch. EXCELLENT example if how a tiny hidden flaw that was little more than a diagnostic annoyance on a single engine plane, spelled disaster for a P-38!


Last picture shows me with the Yellow and my growing collection/obsession in 2004. All the others were built/bought from somebody else
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:08 PM
  #41
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Ziroli P-61 and CBA-38 from Tim Johnson. Yellow-38 I built. Robart-38 from Frank Tiano
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:26 PM
  #42
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I am suddenly struck with the probability no one else is interested in this traipse down Memory Lane.

Summary of my experience is:

A) P-38's are really smooth flyers as long as you keep both engines running and your airspeed high.

B) P-38's are really smooth, soft landers as long as you keep your speed high

Takeoff roll is easily controllable and a pure adrenalin rush

They have a unique way of settling into the glide slope for landing that is very predictable and comforting, once you get used to it.

I would rate the 38's I've flown by what I call "heaviness," behavior at low speeds, in a turn or close to the ground, from best to worse:

VQ: a cream puff with the flaps deployed. I put more than 130 flights on one of my 3 VQ's, albeit none with engine-out

Ziroli (Robart): really light on its feet for a 50 lb plane, especially with the flaps out

Yellow: intermediate, split flaps don't really seem to help that much

CBA: lands like a manhole cover. Stall speed about 40 mph. pancakes in at about 38 mph, so you better have it close to the ground then. My CBA only has inboard split flaps, so that may have negative effect

KMP: a "light" flyer, but last on my list because all the 3 I've flown (and watched flown) have serious flight envelope instabilities that seem to get a lot worse at low speeds and close to the ground
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:02 PM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kram View Post
Darned things always have that invisible expiration date stamped on them, don't they??

One of Rich's G-38's quit on him the first time he got it in the air, went into a death spiral before he could shout "Hallelujah!" His wife still refers sarcastically to it as his "$1,000 per lap" plane, which is mathematically correct, but still hurtful.

My Yellow flew sparingly for 4 seasons, maybe 30 flights total, including one engine-out that I was able to nurse back for a gear-damaging landing on the runway. In late 2005, I put it up for the 3rd flight of the day and the 3W24's were really starting to purr. At high altitude and a long way from me on the far side of the oval, it suddenly flipped into an inverted Death Spiral that I managed to convert into a flat spin before it hit the corn stubble. Because the gear was up and I cut the throttles, both engines and the gear were fine, but structural damage was so extensive, I didn't rebuild it. Besides, I was working on "the next generation" by then

I suspected an engine-out, but it was so far away from me I didn't hear it happen and couldn't reconcile that to how fabulously they were running. About the10th flight of that engine on a little Gee-Bee, I experienced sudden engine-out several times due to faulty solder joint on the ignition switch. EXCELLENT example if how a tiny hidden flaw that was little more than a diagnostic annoyance on a single engine plane, spelled disaster for a P-38!


Last picture shows me with the Yellow and my growing collection/obsession in 2004. All the others were built/bought from somebody else



Kram, painful stories...

The yellow looks better than the one I'm rebuilding! What happened to it?
In the end, they are really no different than any other big dollar, heavily loaded warbird, or jet for that matter, except one big thing......they are totally unforgiving if you loose an engine!. You remember the old ducted fan days, everything had to be perfect, and things still went wrong....its kinda like that.

After restoring a couple cars, I am enjoying a smaller challenge, that isn't breaking the bank! I think I'm going keep it 10 footer, as adding lots of details, and making it perfect is only going add weight....anyways I really just want to see how it does with electric power! I'll give it a nice paint job, airbrush panel lines and streaking (lightly), some of Chads rivet decals and weather it, so it will look good, just not "put it on a table and show it off" good

I bought the gear from Jon, the guy flying in the video. He was nice enough to box up the carnage and put it on a bus. They did a great job of gathering almost all the pieces, so it is pretty straightforward putting it back together, just like a puzzle...with lots and lots of measuring. Since I had to split all the seams and jig everything up, I'm taking advantage of the "opportunity" to lighten it up wherever it makes sense. I know I'm putting weight into the repairs, so hopefully I will break even in the end. The big Christmas vacation push was to get the elevator build/install done, boom repairs complete, and re-seamed...which is done.

Now I'm working on the motor mounts. Building lightweight motor boxes which will tie into the front spar and pickup the fiberglass fuse right at the old firewall area. This will take a lot of the bending loads out of the firewall area fiberglass, and will be much lighter than the old 1/4" firewalls. The motor boxes will also give me a place for one set of batteries right behind each motor, with lots of cooling air passing thru.

Plan is for the guns doors to open for additional batteries in the nose as well as switches and air servicing ports. There was about three pounds of lead in the nose with the DA50s., so I am imaging I am going to need weight up there again
The biggest problem I am having now is that after 12 years of no planes, or planes sharing the garage, I once again have a dedicated shop just for planes! The down side is it is in the basement, so I have to plan all my layups and take it out outside which really slows progress!

The link below is has a few videos and pix, including a video of the flight, the crash, and the aftermath. The heart breaker is, I think this might have been the maiden

Mike
https://www.google.com/search?source...=Al+Ayler+p-38

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Old 01-10-2014, 10:21 PM
  #44
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How do you rotate pictures? They are find on my computer, but when I upload, they get rotated??
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:21 AM
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70 ragtop View Post
Kram, painful stories...

The yellow looks better than the one I'm rebuilding! What happened to it?
In the end, they are really no different than any other big dollar, heavily loaded warbird, or jet for that matter, except one big thing......they are totally unforgiving if you loose an engine!. You remember the old ducted fan days, everything had to be perfect, and things still went wrong....its kinda like that.

After restoring a couple cars, I am enjoying a smaller challenge, that isn't breaking the bank! I think I'm going keep it 10 footer, as adding lots of details, and making it perfect is only going add weight....anyways I really just want to see how it does with electric power! I'll give it a nice paint job, airbrush panel lines and streaking (lightly), some of Chads rivet decals and weather it, so it will look good, just not "put it on a table and show it off" good

I bought the gear from Jon, the guy flying in the video. He was nice enough to box up the carnage and put it on a bus. They did a great job of gathering almost all the pieces, so it is pretty straightforward putting it back together, just like a puzzle...with lots and lots of measuring. Since I had to split all the seams and jig everything up, I'm taking advantage of the "opportunity" to lighten it up wherever it makes sense. I know I'm putting weight into the repairs, so hopefully I will break even in the end. The big Christmas vacation push was to get the elevator build/install done, boom repairs complete, and reseamed...which is done.

Now I'm working on the motor mounts. Building lightweight motor boxes which will tie into the front spar and pickup the fiberglass fuse right at the old firewall area. This will take a lot of the bending loads out of the firewall area fiberglass, and will be much lighter than the old 1/4" firewalls. The motor boxes will also give me a place for one set of batteries right behind each motor, with lots of cooling air passing thru.

Plan is for the guns doors to open for additional batteries in the nose as well as switches and air servicing ports. There was about three pounds of lead in the nose with the DA50s., so I am imaging I am going to need weight up there again
The biggest problem I am having now is that after 12 years of no planes, or planes sharing the garage, I once again have a dedicated shop just for planes! The down side is it is in the basement, so I have to plan all my layups and take it out outside which really slows progress!

The link below is has a few videos and pix, including a video of the flight, the crash, and the aftermath. The heartbreaker is, I think this might have been the maiden. You can clearly hear one engine die, and see it pull.......... it slowed up and rolled on its back. There was time, but......
It seemed like they were having a bit of trouble with one engine. The reason for rule number one: engines have got to be running perfect! My opinion, engines should be broken in in a single engine plane, and have at least a couple hours of trouble-free operation before they go in a p-38

Anyways, I'm pushing to finish the mods, glasswork, re-seam it, and get it back on its gear before I switch to other projects.

Mike
https://www.google.com/search?source...=Al+Ayler+p-38

Hope you plan to share pics as you progress in the rebuild.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:27 AM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kram View Post
This is the Yellow I built in 2000-2001. My buddy Rich built and flew his at the same time and he was a lot of help with parts of the build that were new to me: mine had 3W24's and his had G-38's, both swinging about the same size prop
Kram.... Please tell me if the current YA retracts have been improved as I planing to buy a new outfit.If so have you used them?
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:29 AM
  #47
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Hello to all,

Would like to join the brotherhood as the P-38 has always caught my fancy. Have a Royal P-38 and Zero kit, and Royal plans for the Stuka . . . . but will need to sharpen many skills before tackeling them.

Am suscribed and hope you won't mind another "lurker" as I try to let all this info soak in.

Triumphman49
Club Saito #723
Spitfire Bro #19
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:48 AM
  #48
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Please add me to the brotherhood. Working on a Yellow P-38. Have DA 50's with one reversed so will be counter rotating. 3 blade props. Hope to do it in "thoughts of midnight" paint scheme.
I should have it flying by this summer.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:51 AM
  #49
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SWORDSN:

Sorry, I can't tell you how the Yellow struts are built now, since I never went back to them. I complained to the chief-cook-and-bottle-washer-and-sole-owner-but-I-can't-remember-his-name at the time and he was not very sympathetic, but maybe he listened to others over the last 12 years.

You could ask him a simple question: are the struts "cast" or "turned" aluminum? If you have a chance to examine them in person, the difference is very obvious.

Alternatively, Sierra is the best, but will take a while to get, unless you luck out and catch him with "in-stock." Robarts are easier to get and adequate: better than the cast struts, fer shur.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:59 AM
  #50
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Here's a picture of a turned aluminum strut from Sierra gear. Not from that plane, but you can see my point: lots difference in shine and texture of the metal. and a huge difference in strength.
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Last edited by kram; 01-11-2014 at 11:04 AM. Reason: typo
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