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Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

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Old 06-27-2009, 01:59 PM
  #1  
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Default Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Table of contents

COCKPIT: Posts 3 ~ 4, 6

ENGINE Choices: Posts 5 ~ 7, 41

Fin/ Rudder Mods: Post 29

Landing GEAR DOORS: Posts 14

Pilot: Posts 32

RETRACTS/ Stock Mechanisms: Posts 35, 38

RETRACTS/ Optional Retracts: Posts 16, 34

Secret/ Hidden Fuselage Hatch: Posts 9, 11, 15

Videos: Posts 39

Vortac Bomb Release Mechanisms: Posts 20, 27

WHEELS (Main Gear), Scale Specs, & Aftermarket Wheel Choices: Posts 12
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Old 06-27-2009, 02:00 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

First off:
I suggest anyone and everyone who has not installed their cockpit kit to proceed immediately to post #3

Secondly:
I will attempt to keep a Table of Contents post updated. If you have any question, PLEASE see the Table of Contents post(s), beginning with post #1. Maybe you question has already been answered, having Table of Contents posts will help you find the answer(s) without having to read ALL of the other posts that have nothing to do with your question(s).

Let me start by stating: Please feel free to add your input to this thread. Like ALL threads that I start: I highly encourage others to contribute, I don't want to be a 1 man show. My goal is to see as many of these P-47s as possible at upcoming warbird events, and I hope that they are ALL great looking and great flying. I'm not looking to have the best P-47: I'll do what I can to mine, and hopefully help others to make the most of their's.

On the other hand, PLEASE: let's keep this thread focused on building and/ or modifying the Top Flite .60 size P-47 ARF, and that aircraft only. If we keep the posts simple and straight forward, other builders will have an easier time navigating thru these posts to find useful ideas.

Here is link to Top Flite web-site with info on this ARF:
http://www.top-flite.com/airplanes/topa0955.html

Here are specs (INCLUDING Engine Recomedations) from Top Flite site:
Stock Number: TOPA0955
Wingspan: 63 in (1600 mm)
Wing Area: 730 in² (46.5 dm²)
Weight: 9.5-10.5 lb (3970-4540 g)
Wing Loading: 30-33 oz/ft² (91-101 g/dm²)
Length: 56 in (1420 mm)
Requires: 6-channel radio w/8 servos
2-stroke .60-.91 (10-15 cc) or 4-stroke .90-1.20 (15-20 cc) engine
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Old 06-27-2009, 02:02 PM
  #3  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Cockpit/ interior kit installation WARNINGS!

WARNING #1:
The manual is pretty vague concerning the cockpit kit installation: they instruct the builder to install the seat to the floor, but are not at all specific on exactly where the seat should be attached.
If you do the obvious: attach it centered onto the 'pedestal on the floorboard: the foorboard/ seat assembly will not fit if the headrest/ 'armor plate' is installed!

Check it out: hold the seat onto the floorboard, with the seat centered over the pedestal: the seat 'leans back' AFT of the back edge of the floorboard, meaning it would be up against the backrest/ armor plate. And, because the headrest leans forward, AND the seat is seat reaches the area which is leaning forward: even if the seat was to mounted so that it was even with the back edge of the floorboard: the seat would STILL be against the headrest.

That all said, there are 2 options as I see it:
1) mount the seat at the forward edge of the pedestal
2) center the seat, but modify airframe and floorboard so that it can be mounted farther forward, then fill in the area between armor plate/ headrest and aft of floorboard.

I will be doing option 2

WARNING #2:
The manual also suggests the builder "Install the back/ head rest first, followed by the floor, instrument panel, and side panels".
Too late for me: I did it. Now, how am I supposed to wedge that floorboard/ seat assembly into the fuselage? Looks like I'll have to remove that "back/ head rest" in order to install the floorboard/ seat assembly.
I have concluded that the floorboard cannot be installed with the back/ head rest already installed, IF the seat is attached to the floorboard.

Conclusion: I suggest that you do not permanantly install the seat UNTIL the floorboard AND back/ head rest are installed.

Also, I have moved my floorboard forward 3/8", by removing the front corners of the floorboard, removing the bottom part of the lite ply brace that would normally be the forward-most part of the cockpit, and adding sheet plastic to areas which will now be visibly exposed from the canopy.

Pics show
1) my modified floorboard (seat from another P-47 cockpit kit is already permanantly attached/ cannot be removed)
2) right front corner of cockpit with lite ply brace removed, plastic sheet installed and painted
3) left front corner of cockpit with lite ply brace removed, plastic sheet installed and painted
4) rear of cockpit with bottom portion of back/ head rest installed (I HAD to remove the top, angled part since I would not be able to install my floorboard with seat attached othetwise) and 3/8" plastic sheet floorboard filler piece installed (and painted) to fill the gap from my floorboard being moved forward.

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Old 06-27-2009, 06:54 PM
  #4  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Cockpit Kit: Ideas for Adding Details:

Top Flite is now making the instruction sheet for it's GIANT scale P-47 cockpit kit available online:
http://manuals.hobbico.com/top/topq8410-manual.pdf

Altho it is s different scale, the cockpit painting and details shown in this manual can be applied to the .60 size ARF version. Too bad we can't get decal sheets for our cockpit kits.

Painting: I did a little reading in my 'P-47 in detail and scale' book. It states (and shows colors pictures) that the -Ds that were manufactured in Farmingdale, NY and Evansville, IN had the interiors painted "dark dull green", rather than the traditional olive drab OR zinc chromate.
That said, I just happened to have a bottle of "Polly Scale Model Railroad" which seemed to be perfect: Chicago and Northwestern Green, which I promptly used to paint my cockpit kit.


Also, here is a color pic of Top Flite .60 size P-47 KIT cockpit kit, which can also be used to provide ideas for finishing the cockpit kit that comes with this ARF:
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:36 AM
  #5  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Engine Choices:
As usual: there is probably a number of builders who suspect that Top Flite's recommended engine size will make it under-powered, especially if you choose an engine at the lower end of the range. Many believe that having more power 'will get you out of trouble'. I believe that too much power is more likely to get you into trouble. But, to each his own.
I for 1 do not believe that Top Flite, or ANY manufacturer for that matter, would deliberately recommend an engine that is too small to power any of their planes: it just doesn't make sence. So if they say a .90 4 stroke will safely power this ARF: I believe them. They have bever mis-led me in the past, and I can not figure any reason why they would do so now.

That all said: I will be using a Saito 1.00 GK in mine. I WOULD have purchased a .91 GK, but I found a great deal where I got the 1.00 for the same price as the .91: about $275 SHIPPED:
http://www.airlandhobbies.com/c-211-4-cycle.aspx

WHOA, I just checked again: price went up to about $310 for the 1.00 GK, but .91 GK is still about $275. The 1.00 must have been mis-priced when I ordered it, but I got away with it. Looks like they discovered their mistake.

I chose the GK version because it will blend in very well with the provided black, dummy radial kit

Spinners/ Prop Nuts:
Because I am choosing a Saito over O.S. (as I always do, personal preference): I will need a different spinner/ prop nut. The 1.00 has a metric thread prop shaft: 8mm x 1.25.
Both Tru-Turn AND Harry Higley make spinners/ prop nuts suitable for this engine and airframe. In fact, after browsing Tower: I am convinced that the spinner which comes with the kit is a Higley spinner nut with a coat of paint on it, I'm guessing this one:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXL724&P=SM

For the Saito 1.00, you could use this one:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXL720&P=SM

If you choose that spinner, I recommend buying a matching lock-nut:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXL742&P=SM

But I am going a different route, I have ordered a Tru-Turn spinner and Dave Brown adaper nut:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXCRT7&P=SM
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXB957&P=SM

If you will be using a Saito .91 OR .82: you will need a different spinner/ prop nut because those engines have a different/ smaller prop shaft (7mm?), but they are available also.
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Old 06-28-2009, 02:13 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

a little note on the cockpit kit, when I installed the TF cockpit, for the kit version I needed to install the floor, then the instrament pannel which required some trimming to fit, then the cockpit sides,then like you noticed the seat which I had to place as far back as I could to get the pilot I had to fit, on the headrest I made a balsa piece to fit into the rear area and then glued it in at a angle, using a small piece of balsa with a angle to brace the headrest so it wouldnt vibrate loose over time.

also you will like the TT spinner, I ended up using the same one that you have ordered, I did need to cut down the supplied screw since it bottomed out on the crankshaft of my OS120 fs
I have one of those Higly hubs and it seemed a little to small compared to the scale photos I have, and if you want to double nut the engine there a little odd looking with the small nut and the button on the end.

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Old 06-28-2009, 11:34 PM
  #7  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Very nice thread and just in time, I will be picking up one of these ARF in about two weeks, for an engine I will be mounting an OS 91 ( the recomended low end ) I too think the 91 will pull this bird just fine.

We are having a war meet in about 3 weeks or so, my intentions are to have this bird ready by then. Once I get my bird I will be pitching in my build.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:37 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Tim, looks like you are flying out of my old club, PCC I have got to visit the new field with my new P-47 [8D]
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:29 AM
  #9  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Corsair Jock,
I've posted this in the other thread but think this would be a good spot for it. I did cut the hatch out to make mine electric. The top sheeting and stringers are not cut out for you. They build the hatch then run the stringers and sheeting right over it, then cover it. This makes it pretty tough to find it. What I did was use a set of hemostats and stick pins from the inside where I needed to cut. Then I used my xacto to get between the former of the fuse and the hatch. Once I found that I used the xacto saw to do the rest.I peeled the covering off the top also so I could wrap it into the bay and around the hatch edges. I have covering on the way.
So it is a delicate process but if you take your time it's not too bad... I'll clean mine up a bit and cover it. Two 4s 5000 mah Thunder Power Pro Power 30c packs will fit nice. Make sure that any packs you plan on using are not bigger than 1 5/8 thick(height), if they are they will not fit on the top shelf. If you want to use a fatter pack or a single 6s you will need to remove the top shelf with a dremel and install the pack deeper in the fuse... so it can be done but will take more work. Two 3s 5000 would fit real well on the top shelf... just check your height of the pack if you plan on using the top shelf for you packs it can't be thicker than 1 5/8 and that is a tight fit... and would take a small amount of dremel work to slip in and out nice

Here are a few pics of the hatch cut out after... I'll post more once the covering shows up and I finish it up.

Thanks
Ron
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:22 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods


ORIGINAL: CARS II

Tim, looks like you are flying out of my old club, PCC I have got to visit the new field with my new P-47 [8D]
yes I am, our new field is nice just up the road from the old one, thanks to Ken our president he did a awesome job I would live to see them side by side,from the looks of the ARF there's alot of lightening holes built into the fuse I am curious to hear the over all weights that the ARF's come out at.
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:18 PM
  #11  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

The Secret Hatch:

Ron101 has posted pics of this as well as details on how to utilize it in post #9 (Thanks, Ron101).
Here are a few more details about it:
Just like the Top Flite '60 size' Mustang ARF: this T-Bolt ARF also has a hidden hatch built in to it, presumedly for the purpose of accessing battery packs IF one chooses to convert this T-bolt to electric power (which Ron101 is doing).

The hatch has a pair of wooden dowel pins on the aft end, and a pair of hold-down magnets on the front end. All that needs to be done to make this hatch useable is to carefully slice the covering (and maybe some balsa sheeting?). Hopefully, others who have already 'discovered' this hatch and intend to use it, will post pics and more info on it.

Apparently, altho Top Flite is not promoting thier new line of warbird ARFs as being potential electric flyers: they have chosen to make it a little easier for those desiring to convert them to electric power. And BTW: I have the Mustang ARF and I have converted it to electric power: flies great, and looks great: there are no holes in that streamlined cowl, and no engines and/ or muffler sticking out from it.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:53 PM
  #12  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Main Wheels:

If we judge the scale of this 'Jug' to be 1/7.76 (based on dividing the wingspan of the full scale by the wingspan of this ARF), and full scales had 34" diameter tires: then scale main wheel size would be about 4.38" diameter. Good Luck like trying to squeeze wheels that big into the wells. The problem with after market wheels is that as the diameter increases: so does the width, and the width is usually too wide anyway in proportion to the diameter.

To complicate matters: the wheel wells in this Jug are relatively shallow, probably because they are so close to the leading edge of the wing (less than 5/8" at closest part, compared to 7/8" on the Top Flite Mustang ARF).

The included main gear wheels appear to have Dave Brown hubs, but the relatively small dia hubs (in relation ot overall wheel diameter) and smooth, but stiff foam tires leads me to believe the tires are made by someone other than Dave Brown.
In any event, they are NOT the same ones that come with the Mustang: the Jug ones are slighter taller, yet significantly narrower (remember the afore mentioned shallow wheel wells?). I measure them to be about 3.3" diameter x 0.8" wide. That all said: it becomes a bit of a challenge to install anything larger and have them be able to fit cleanly into the wells.

Once again, I have chosen to replace my stock wheels with a set of 3 1/2" threaded Dave Brown wheels. They are only marginally taller than the stock ones, and about 0.04" wider, but they have larger diameter hubs that will make them look better than the stock ones.
I considered Sullivan, Robart, and a few other wheels all 3 1/2" diameter, but they were all wider, and usually about double the weight of the Dave Browns.

Today, I was experimenting with my retracts, RoboStruts, and wheels and realized that even with the Dave Browns: I need to remove some of the wheel well in order to get the wheels to retract completely. Not a problem for me, but it emphasizes the need to keep the width as narrow as possible when considering substitute wheels for this Jug.

Note: the reason that I have to remove some of the wheel well is because of addtional wheel offset caused by using RoboStruts makes the wheels bottom out in the wells. If I were NOT installing RoboStruts: I would not have needed to remove any material from the wells.

And BTW: my set-up DOES leave room for the gear doors to fit into the wells as well.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:02 AM
  #13  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Hi from spain everybody,now i will put the pics and news of the build of my plane in this treahd,here i leave some pics of the gear well modifications ,for the inner doors ,this is the first time i do the inners doors,
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:09 AM
  #14  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Hi everybody from spain.Here i leave you some pics of the gear well,and the modification for the inner doors.
this is the first time i do inner doors on a plane

Somebody knows where i can buy an apropiated air cylinders for the inner doors can fit into the wing??
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:12 PM
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Ron101
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Finished cover the hatch...it's a really nice tight fit
It was a bit of a pain to find where to cut .. but came out well in the end
To repeat... they don't cut the balsa sheeting out for the hatch, this is left for you and 6 stringers.. be very careful not to cut the pins that hold the hatch in place


I also started weathering and adding panel lines... I need to airbrush it and add paint chips still
I'll work the hatch lines into my panel lines and weather it all...to help hide it

also started mocking up the cockpit... I'm going to use parts for the ARF cockpit and the kit versions cockpit
the ace's of iron 1/7 pilot fits great... I have a vailly aviation full body pilot on the way.. I'll cut it off and make a full body pilot out of the two (ace's of iron top and vailly aviation lower)
the century jet WWII looks awful... total junk

I have my motor , air retracts, servos.... everything to complete it is here...

I'll post more soon

Ron
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:29 PM
  #16  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

some pics of the retracts and the today´s work
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:08 PM
  #17  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

What might one see inside that hatch?


edit:

ah, batteries! I see!

Is that battery tray already there or optional for electric use?
What would be inside that hatch area if one were to use glow power?
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:30 PM
  #18  
Ron101
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods


Is that battery tray already there or optional for electric use?
What would be inside that hatch area if one were to use glow power?
Yes the tray is already there... two 4s packs are a good fit
if you want to run a 6s pack you will have to remove the tray.. and mount in lower

if this was nitro .. the hatch is above the fuel tank... one could mount switches , air valves, charge jacks and such if they wanted

Ron
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:36 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods


ORIGINAL: mike early

What might one see inside that hatch?


edit:

ah, batteries! I see!

Is that battery tray already there or optional for electric use?
What would be inside that hatch area if one were to use glow power?
Mike,

At this link you can see some of Ron's pictures of the open hatch:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/fb.asp?m=8881483

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Old 07-10-2009, 09:34 AM
  #20  
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Vortac Bomb Release Mechanisms:

Finally got my bomb drop mechanisms installed, along with bellcranks and controls. Only thing needed is servo installation, which will be in center of wing.

NOTE: Vortac has been out of business for several years now, so thier products are in short supply and high demand. Bombs and release mechanisms can be found at eBay, but be ready to pay $$. I am always on the lookout for more bombs, so if you have any (Vortac only please) and are looking to get rid of them: please contact (e-mail) me.

Not visible, or barely so if they are: fishing line connected to the Carl Goldberg bellcranks. The other end of the lines are already routed thru the wing, where they will eventually be connected to a servo.

I mounted a short, fat pieces of balsa aileron strip to the upper ( inside ) sheeting of the wings, then mounted the bellecranks to a round piece of 1/8" lite ply, which was then glued to the previously mentioned aileron strips.

The ( painted white ) Votac mechanisms are mounted in the correct scale location, BUT they are not all that scale looking: full scale ones 'hang down' much lower, but it would have really complicated the installation by mounting them to fabricated pylons, AND exposed them more, making them more susceptible to damage IF an 'accident' occurs.

2 pictures without flash, 2 with flash:
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:48 AM
  #21  
Ron101
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Sweet!! bombs
you know what you just reminded me I have a set of vortac bombs hiding in a box...
I got to add them like you....
But I'm thinking maybe use two micro servos.. one for each side... then I can have two shots

that will be fun

nice work

Ron
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:59 AM
  #22  
CorsairJock
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

ORIGINAL: Ron101
.......................I'm thinking maybe use two micro servos.. one for each side... then I can have two shots.......................Ron
Actually, I have been considering that also, and still have that option. BUT, I wonder if the full scales did that (dropped them on seperate passes), because these pylons are kinda far away from the aircraft centerline, so I'm wondering how well they handled with a 500 lb bomb on 1 wing, but not the other?

I have a pair of these mounted on a Top Flite Corsair (F4U-1D), BUT those pylons are inboard of the main gear/ much closer to the centerline than on a P-47.
Picture is of it carring a pair of Wing Mfg. 'fuel tanks', with the Vortac release clips installed on them (yes: they are droppable). Sorry for poor picture quality, it was late in day.

Both units are operated from same servo, BUT like my P-47 installation: fishing line is used, so they are strictly 'pull to drop', so servo pulls one way, then the other way to drop the other 'payload'. That said: they CANNOT be dropped simultaneously.
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:28 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Whats do you think would be a good gas engine for this plane?
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:14 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Zenoah 20cc or the Saito FG 20.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:40 PM
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CARS II
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Default RE: Top Flite P-47D Thunderbolt ARF .60-.91: Building & Mods

Today finally came, this morning I got out of bed and off to the hobby shop got my bird and runned back home to start building, the quality is batter thant OK I'm sure they will improve in time, lots of goodies with the Top Flight kits that the others don't offer. One thing is for sure it beats the heck out of building.

Can't post pics.at the moment, wife took the camera with her. My plan is to build as it comes nothing added, nothing remove. For servos I have a few high end digitals servos that need to be put to work.

Boms................mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.
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