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P-38 Lightning Brotherhood

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Old 01-11-2014, 11:15 AM
  #51
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ragtop:

Yes, my Yellow went in a lot less violently than yours. You can see from my post-crash engine test photo, it could still stand up and run engines.

The main frame is somewhere in the back of my storage shed, although it has been extensively cannibalized

But as you describe, there were a lot of disjointed seams, outside and inside, and wingtips were a complete loss and it looks like your "reconstructive building skills," not to mention patience, are a notch or two or three above mine.

Can't wait to see yours fly!
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:19 AM
  #52
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Next: my love affair with the VQ-38, although it didn't start out very prettily!
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:44 PM
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Hi Kram
I second that! I have spring air type uc on my VQ P38 and the nose gear frequently fails to lock down due to weak spring vs slipstream. I usually have to conclude each flight with some rather non-scale aerobatics just to get the F$%*en nose gear to lock down. Im thinking about fitting the Robart 105 deg spring down unit.
My P38 flies ok on a pair of OS 70 surpass I woud not say that it is over endowed with power
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:58 PM
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A very inspirational friend of mine, Alain, told me the best model P-38 joke ever.

He was 3 times the aerobat pilot I ever was, although he couldn't glue a canopy on very well

After living here for several years watching me wrangle P-38's, he moved to CA to do his post-doc work in something I can't pronounce and joined a large semi-urban flight club out there.

"Mark," he reported to me on a return visit, "I'm surprised to find that RC P-38 pilots in California fly them just the same as you guys back here in Iowa. You bring your planes out to the field on the prettiest days, you spend an hour prepping, then you spend two hours standing on your head tuning the engines. Then you pack up and go home!"
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:03 PM
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Membership list updated on post two

Welcome race66, triumpman49, and rvnrcer
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:17 PM
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flyingpiggy:

Ten years ago, I wrote a website comparing construction of the VQ-38 to the KMP

I spent quite a bit of effort and time with first the kit gear, then some high quality Spring Airs

Although I never had exactly the problem you describe, I found issues with strength of strut that eventually made me convert to Robarts 639/640 set

It adds $300 to the cost of the plane and requires some building mods, but was WORTH 100 TIMES THAT IN STRENGTH AND RELIABILITY.

If ya wanna try and stick with the SpringAirs, there's discussion on that old thread with pictures. I remember the springs being plenty strong, so I suspect yours have a hitch in their mechanism somewhere that needs loosening or shaving off.

or maybe they make them with weaker springs now

KMP vs VQ P-38: Side by side construction

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Old 01-11-2014, 01:29 PM
  #57
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flyingpiggy:

Yes, that was exactly my assessment of my white VQ-38 with OS 70 FS's: perfectly adequate power, but it didn't blow anybody's skirt up on a high-speed fly-by. Which is, of course, about 40% of the reasons for flying a P-38

But I would be hard pressed to name an engine more reliable than the OS 70 FS. In over 115 flights with that plane, I never experienced an engine-out.


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Old 01-11-2014, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kram View Post
ragtop:

Yes, my Yellow went in a lot less violently than yours. You can see from my post-crash engine test photo, it could still stand up and run engines.

The main frame is somewhere in the back of my storage shed, although it has been extensively cannibalized

But as you describe, there were a lot of disjointed seams, outside and inside, and wingtips were a complete loss and it looks like your "reconstructive building skills," not to mention patience, are a notch or two or three above mine.

Can't wait to see yours fly!
kram
I doubt that, I'm just cheap...LOL. If you ever want the shed space back, let me know!

Yeah, I am really looking fwd to it flying as well. I need to find a better field as I doubt this one will like the carrier landings necessitated at my current field. I have tried bringing warbirds over the fence and holding them just above the ground to let them settle on the mains, and almost always run out of field. Pretty much have to fly them into the ground and let the drag from the grass slow them, and that still uses a lot of the field. Nice big flat fields are in short supply around here, too many hills and trees!


I did not intend to post build pixs here, but you guys are interested, I'll post a few....let me know

Here's todays project, finished cutting basic 1/8 lite ply motor boxes, single layer CF laid down at a 45. Will give it a few hours, cut them free and trim them nice and neat before the epoxy gets too hard. Will then put a layer at 90 degrees on the other side. I figure since I am going to be putting batteries in and out, and didn't carry the X bracing thru that area, I would need to add a/c ply doublers anyways, for the ouch or two it will add, just wrap them in carbon fiber and make them nice and strong. When I do the other side, that battery area will get one layer at 45, and one at 90 degrees

Mike
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kram View Post
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.
Kram, Robart shows them as discontinued, Sierra is about $1000. I have asked the same question on a build thread and the response was " there was no problem with them" I hope someone with a new set will respond. Anyone out there?

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Old 01-11-2014, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingpiggy View Post
Hi Kram
I second that! I have spring air type uc on my VQ P38 and the nose gear frequently fails to lock down due to weak spring vs slipstream. I usually have to conclude each flight with some rather non-scale aerobatics just to get the F$%*en nose gear to lock down. Im thinking about fitting the Robart 105 deg spring down unit.
My P38 flies ok on a pair of OS 70 surpass I woud not say that it is over endowed with power
I have Spring Airs in my VQP61 and the nose strut does the same thing...My solution is to circle the field a couple of times and it will finally lock.The mains come down right away but not the nose.I think the air pressure is slow to bleed off.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:52 PM
  #61
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WAIT A MINUTE!

You told me where to get props for my P-38 and did not assign me a number?
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:13 PM
  #62
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Wow!

Robart doesn't make the Yellow gear anymore!

I would call them on that.

But even if they can put a set together for you, it might take a while.

Sierra gear does have quite the sticker shock. I guess all I can say is I AM TOTALLY SURE THEY ARE WORTH IT.

Of course, "they're worth it" doesn't necessarily mean you can afford it.

Congratulations! Your thread is #3 on the hit list.



mt
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Branaum View Post
WAIT A MINUTE!

You told me where to get props for my P-38 and did not assign me a number?
HaHa, yeah, but that was on the Mustang forum. Hopefully a new set of props will help heel that P-38 "crusty scab"

Welcome aboard Jim, you are officially #18

Mike
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:37 PM
  #64
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Next Chapter: The VQ-38

My buddy Rich and I collaborated in 2003 on the VQ vs KMP comparison linked above.

Read there for details, but basically, the VQ was a nicely engineered little ARF. I built the white "Lucky 13" version and put OS 60 2-strokes and 3-blade props on it.

Their crappy wood selection required some reinforcement and replacement at stress points and I had to throw all of their foreign hardware away, but otherwise well worth the $600 price tag

I flew that first one with the Spring air gear modified a little. It was, well, springy, and not at all scale looking and frustrating on grass runways

The pre-built 4 Fowler flaps are quite ingenious: they work off two retract servos and really make the plane a cream puff at slow speeds

I only put 8 flights on that one in 2004. Showing it off in a "squadron flight" with 3 other 38's at the Multi-Fly 2004 in Omaha, I got caught up in the excitement and let everybody else land first and in front of God and TwinMan and all the multi-engine experts in the Midwest, I committed the worst possible P-38 sin: I ran out of gas on my last oval and it went in hard. (obviously, both engines don't run out of gas at the same time!)

The debris field was much wider than the picture shows. Photograph was after "The Gathering." Although the Bisson mufflers took a hit, the OS 60's seemed OK and I had already learned to love the plane. I swore they would fly again.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kram View Post
Wow!

Robart doesn't make the Yellow gear anymore!

I would call them on that.

But even if they can put a set together for you, it might take a while.

Sierra gear does have quite the sticker shock. I guess all I can say is I AM TOTALLY SURE THEY ARE WORTH IT.

Of course, "they're worth it" doesn't necessarily mean you can afford it.

Congratulations! Your thread is #3 on the hit list.



mt

They removed a lot of gear listings from the website a while ago, but if you call they will make it.....at least that's what I have heard. As far as the yellow struts, I'm not sure, they look machined to me, and they look like they have a glass bead finish, which is great prep for paint. The retract unit has the same finish . Mine are from around 2008-9

I have spoken with Charles at Yellow a few times, and he has always been very helpful.

Mike
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:01 PM
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ragtop:

My experience with the Yellow makes me say you need a flat runway at least 500 ft long to get it down safely.

I don't know if your electromotion may lighten your wing load and improve that.

I must say that longer runways REALLY make the process of getting a heavy warbird down a lot less stressful

We have a 1200 ft runway 2 hours from here (Owatonna) and landing a big heavy twin there is about 4 times as easy as our local 600 ft strip.

Long runways give you time to set up, adjust your final power slowly, level off, grease it in right in front of you, then plenty of room to coast and stop.

Instead of Swoop, Drop, Plop and Stop! (And go around if you misjudge something)

If you have a friendly place like that, it's well worth the drive. At least for maiden


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Old 01-12-2014, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kram View Post
ragtop:

My experience with the Yellow makes me say you need a flat runway at least 500 ft long to get it down safely.

I don't know if your electromotion may lighten your wing load and improve that.

I must say that longer runways REALLY make the process of getting a heavy warbird down a lot less stressful

We have a 1200 ft runway 2 hours from here (Owatonna) and landing a big heavy twin there is about 4 times as easy as our local 600 ft strip.

Long runways give you time to set up, adjust your final power slowly, level off, grease it in right in front of you, then plenty of room to coast and stop.

Instead of Swoop, Drop, Plop and Stop! (And go around if you misjudge something)

If you have a friendly place like that, it's well worth the drive. At least for maiden


mt
I suppose brakes applied slowly would help. Did you have brakes on your Yellow?
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:32 AM
  #68
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I did not have brakes on my Yellow.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:13 AM
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VQ Story (continued):

By 2005, I was starting to see that I couldn't build 38's as fast as I could crash them, so I changed my strategy

I got a green VQ-38 from Tomas and a white one off RCU Classifieds and had my excellent highly skilled friends Dave and Chris assemble them for me

Not only did they do a fine job, but they tolerated an enormous amount of meddling from me about design and gear mods: most significantly adaptation to the Robart 630/639 retract set.

I didn't use any of the original kit hardware and I switched the fuel tank caps out to the much more reliable Sullivan model.

I tuned the engines precisely, then retuned for Bisson mufflers and a tight cowl and I changed glow plugs every year. I never disassembled the wing tips from the center sections, carried the whole plane in a custom blue foam cradle.

All this insanity, and the excellent low speed handling with the VQ Fowler flap system, turned these 38's from a rarely-flown fright into an everyday take-'em-out-to-the-field-and-fly-'em planes

I put 119 flights on the white one, 138 on the green one. The closest thing I ever had to an engine-out was a weak engine on takeoff roll that I aborted late and tore up the nose a little. this turned out to be due to a brass sliver the size of a mouse eyelash in the needle valve.

I never had a landing gear failure

I will try to attach a one-minute video of the green one flying (OS 60 2-strokes turning MAS 11X8 3B's

Oh, yeah, I also had Chris assemble a VQ-61 for, which has been a tremendously fun plane over the years for me, as well

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5ndsHN7hE8
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:19 PM
  #70
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I ended up with the Nitroplanes P-38 from eBay that was linked to back on page 1. I didn't realize it was posted here, probably cost me some money! I can't wait to get this one together but I'm deep in a P-40 project so I'm not sure if she'll fly in 2014 or not. I'm leaning toward 15 or 20cc gassers so I think the ASP four strokes are going back up on eBay to try and recoup some of what I spent.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:16 PM
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My buddy Rich flew a Nitro-Planes 38 for a couple of years.

Not very scale, but it flies nice and looks kinda like a P-38

He lost it to unknown causes, possible radio malfunction the first flight of 2013

He has a new one in the box he inherited from my uncle Gerard (RIP), but I think he's mostly been working on the second iteration of the Yellow this winter

His Nitro-38 flew really well on OS 70 FS's and the cowls didn't seem very wide to me. Make sure you check dimensions before you make the switch to gas
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregandhollie View Post
I ended up with the Nitroplanes P-38 from eBay that was linked to back on page 1. I didn't realize it was posted here, probably cost me some money! I can't wait to get this one together but I'm deep in a P-40 project so I'm not sure if she'll fly in 2014 or not. I'm leaning toward 15 or 20cc gassers so I think the ASP four strokes are going back up on eBay to try and recoup some of what I spent.

Welcome to the P-38 brotherhood!
Sorry if one of my links cost you some money, what link is it so I can fix it??
I thought I linked the 52" P-38 here on RCU, and the 90" on ebay. The 90" isn't currently available new, but come up for sale once in a while, which is what I linked. I do know where one is sitting at a LHS...if anyone is interested.

Like kram said, they are semi scale, but do fly nice. There are a couple buld/mod threads you can reference

Mike
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:35 PM
  #73
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Nitro-Planes 38
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:00 PM
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Thanks guys!I knew it wasn't Top Gun worthy scale but not too bad of a representation. The squared boom edges will bother me. I have two full time jobs and a 2 1/2 year old little girl so kit building a giant warbird isn't in my foreseeable future, I'd been looking for a P-38 ARF to pop up for a while now. I'm glad to hear it flies well. I do think this one looks better than the silver scheme they offered it in.

I have an RCG 20 in a P-47 that I flew about a gallon of fuel through last year and was very happy with it so I'm going to measure that along with the cowls of the P-38 and see where I stand. I hope they work out because they're cheap and so far I've been really happy with the power and reliability. They'll be overkill but I'd also like to use three blade props.

Mike, no need to worry about the links. The auction ended on Friday anyway (I bought the 90"). Posting links like that can only help somebody find something that they otherwise may not, just this time I might have had more bidding against me! I don't think I did all that bad on price considering I should be able to sell the engines and get a couple hundred bucks back.

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Old 01-13-2014, 06:40 AM
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvnrcer View Post
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.
I hope you will share some build pictures as you progress
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