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TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

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Old 07-28-2003, 04:22 PM
  #1  
N55340
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Default TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

I've selected the TF DC-3 for my winter project this year. Just wondering if there are any pitfalls in the construction. The manual looks pretty straight forward, although it is going to take some time to build.

I plan on building the split flaps and scale rudder, figuring if I'm going to put that much time and money into something, might as well go all the way.

Anyone powered this kit with wankels? I figure they will have enough power, but they are going to need lots of fuel. If anyone has used the wankels, how did you arrange the fuel tanks?

Any thoughts or suggestions on my project would be appreciated.
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Old 07-28-2003, 04:40 PM
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mulligan
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Default TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

Scale surfaces are the way to go. To be honest, I don't see how it's that much extra work anyway. And the offset hinged rudder is too cool.

The manual is very good. Lots of detail and lots of helpful tips. My kit was pretty good, with only a few poorly sized notches, etc. No pitfalls, per se.

I put the retracts in mine and added fuselage windows and nav lighting, which ratcheted the cool factor up another couple of notches.

I used the Wankels, and they are great. Very good performers; reliable and plenty of power for the plane. Even on mine, with an added on-board glow system and a fiberglass & paint finish, the plane could easily have flown on one engine, although I never had to.

I set up the fuel tanks as recommended in the manual- twin tanks placed at the center of the wing. There were NO fuel draw issues.

Another thing I did was to ditch the Wankel mufflers. Instead, I brazed a copper fitting to some copper tubing to fashion a scale-appearing exhaust.

I lost her some time back due to loss of radio contact. But I was so happy with it, I have another in progress... if I can find the time to finish... again.

- George
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Old 07-28-2003, 05:01 PM
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N55340
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Default TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

I bought the exhaust headers that OS now sells for the wankels which should give a good scale appearance. Good to hear the luck you had with your wankels. What kind of flight fimes did you get?

I'm sort of excited about this project. Already have spent a small fortune on the kit, engines, retracts, fiberglass cowls and fairing, etc. and haven't pulled a single piece of wood out of the box yet. Maybe this weekend if I can get my bench cleaned off.
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Old 07-28-2003, 05:38 PM
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Default TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

Yeah, it's a good project to get obsessed with.

You can count on standard flight times- near 15 minutes, as you will be near half to 2/3 throttle most of the time.

It's interesting to hear about the exhaust headers available- I'll have to look into that for the new one.

Another thing... with all that I had in the plane, I had ten servos. So I went with 55 oz.-in. torque mini servos to save a little weight

- George
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Old 07-28-2003, 05:44 PM
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N55340
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Default TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

10 servos? Did you use dual elevator servos?
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Old 07-28-2003, 07:49 PM
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Default TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

No:

2 aileron
2 flap
2 throttle
1 rudder
1 elevator
1 retracts
1 lights (servo used to throw onboard switch)

- George
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Old 07-28-2003, 08:12 PM
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rusgmil
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Default TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

Built one about 3 years ago. 9lbs with Robart retracts and no flaps. Great kit. Installed Magnum 30 4c's, but I would not go any smaller.
With some minor changes the wing can be built in 3 pieces. Makes building the nacelles and mating the wing to the fuse much easior. I used the center line tanks and also instal two 2oz header tanks inside the leading edge next to the nacells.
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:05 AM
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rryman
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Default TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

I thought the TF DC-3 was one of the best kits I ever built. I also did the flaps and scale rudder-definitely worth the effort and doesn't take that much longer. I also used the Robart scale retracts. After talking to a friend who built one with the fixed gear, i don't think it took any longer to put in the retracts. With the gear desinged the way it is, I just don't think it would take a rough landing very well. I finished mine as an AC-47 "Spooky". flies great.
Randy
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Old 07-29-2003, 02:00 PM
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Default TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

Geez, I would have thought the wankle was way too small. After reading this I will have to reconsider. That would be a really cool engine for that plane. I wish I wouldn't have sold the 2 I had. Oh well, have to look for them again. I fly at 4000 feet altitude to start with, do you think that will make much difference. I don't want it under powered by any means, but after re-thinking it, I don't want it way over powered either like most of my planes are.
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Old 07-29-2003, 09:29 PM
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Default TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

Perfect fit.

Definitely not underpowered.

Not overpowered either- you can achieve scale flight between 1/2 - 2/3 throttle.

I honestly don't know about altitude effects for these engines, but just based on the air density ratio, I don't think your power fall-off will be too much (which applies to all engines).

- George

P.S.

I spent a little time in Billings and Colstrip, Montana- some of the prettiest scenery I have ever seen.
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Old 10-18-2003, 06:27 PM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

It would appear that I have the same set up as your self.
I have just started to build my TF DC3 I have built the tail wing and I am shortly going to start on the scale fin and rudder. I intend to put landing light and navigation light on and I would like to cut out and fit clear windows along the fuss but I am a unsure if this might have any effect on the strength of the fuss.

I have offered the Wankel engines up to the engine cowls they look really good.

like you I can't wait to see this plane in the air, Maybe next spring.

Les.
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Old 10-20-2003, 11:55 AM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

One thing I did not like about mine was the soft 1/16 sheet used to sheet the outer wing panels. I put my finger through it a couple of times. I would go buy some stronger stuff at the hobby store. I wish I would have.

I am up to working on the cowls.

How did every one cover theirs? I was thinking about glass at one time, but now I am thinking the monokote route might be easiest.

Thanks
Scott
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Old 10-20-2003, 03:44 PM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

I fiberglassed mine. Pretty and it solved the 1/16 sheet issue, too. And, frankly, I think it's easier than monokote when you consider all the curves and corners on this thing.

I had lights and all on mine, too. I recall that I had to shave the mid-height stringer (the big one at the horizontal joint of the two halves), and I moved the window locations up just a tad from scale. That way there was about half of the material of that big stringer still remaining- no structural issues. To put the windows in the exact scale location, you'd have to build a large box surrounding all windows BEFORE you put the skin on, so you have a nice frame for the plexiglass.

- George
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Old 10-22-2003, 04:48 AM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

George, very interesting,I've been trying to work out how to make proper windows for mine. I'm well into the wing construction at the momment, I've fitted the robart retracts and intend to fit 2 RCV 58 s. I'm a bit concerned about the outer wing panel sheeting being only 1/16 thick.
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Old 10-22-2003, 03:21 PM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

George
I have been thinking about glass, but I have never done it before. What is your method. I have read all the others and I have no idea which is the best or easiest.

Thanks
Scott
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Old 10-26-2003, 05:47 PM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

Ok, have a couple questions for you. Somewhat new to this topic so please don't kill me if all this has been covered before.

First, I can fly single engine planes with reasonable success. Ended the season flying the same two I started the season with, but I have never flown a twin. I was reading through some of the posts and they are suggesting a couple of twin trainers. Both of the options appear to be in the $150 range. My real desire is to build the DC3, which is about $175. Should I skip the trainer? If I kill the DC3 I am only out an extra $25. Seems like I could avoid a huge expense by skipping the twin trainer. Some reviews give this plane great flying characteristics. Should I find someone willing to sell an old Hobbico Twinstar? What if I use the flight simulator for a while?

Second, I have one OS-52. From the sounds of it this may be overkill for the DC3, but again since I have one I only need to buy one more. Would this be an ok engine? How much of it will fit in the cowls?

Finally, we fly off a grass field. Will the Top Flight Retracts hold up to the extra punishment? The field is relatively smooth.

Thanks.
Todd
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Old 10-26-2003, 11:19 PM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

Todd:

So long as both the engines are running in the DC-3 it's not a difficult plane to fly. With one dead it can be a bear. Nowhere nearly so bad as many others, but still easy to lose.

The $155 for a Twin-Air 45 is not extra money youo will be "Out," consider it an insurance premium.

Further, if both it and the DC-3 survive your learning you can sell the Twin-Air to the next felllow wanting to start twins.

Strongly advise the purchase and flight.

Bill.
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Old 10-27-2003, 02:46 PM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

I built this bugger when it first came out. Flaps are a nice thing to have but go with the retracts because unless your are really good at soldering the stock gear sucks. I lost both wheels first landing with minor scrapes. I did the windows too with no trouble. Mine flew with OS 40FS's. Really nice sound. Another guy at the field flew it with 52's. Yes they are overkill but who says you have to ram the throttles to the firewall. And one more thing, the 1/16th sheeting is a pain. Upgrade or go with glass.
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Old 11-06-2003, 11:50 PM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

I did mine up in AC47 Air Force Communications colors. She's covered with 21st Century fabric. Powered by two Tower Hobbies .40s, she flies great. I also have Robart retracts in her. The DC3 is a great project and what a attention getter at the field! Good Luck guys!
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Old 11-09-2003, 07:31 AM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

greetings fellow fliers,
this is my first ever post to the great rc universe . i have built a TF dc-3 and after 3 amazing flites ,the 4th was disastrous.takeoff roll , 30 ft . plane rises off ground does right roll into grass. repair time.5th and 6th flites exactly the same.i find it hard to beleive that after three amazing , addicting flites , that i keep making the same mistake?????? i have flown a p-86 twin mustang for three years and have never encountered this before. can anyone shed some lite on this for me ???? the plane is in 4th repair stage and i hope some help co mes before ???????? thanks

just realized that i was in the wrong place to post this.sorry tried to delete need to figure out how
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Old 11-30-2003, 09:55 PM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

I have TF DC-3 construction pictures and a construction video that I created for my club. You can view them online if there is any interest.

http://www.rcdon.com/html/ec-47n_project.html

Thanks,

Don G.
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Old 12-03-2003, 06:33 PM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

I too built the TF DC-3. All in all it was a nice kit to build. The options I chose are Scale rudder, Split Flaps, Retracts and I built the wing in two pieces with a carbon fiber spar/wing tube.

I chose the OS .52 FS but will probably pick up a couple of .40 FS instead. The .52's are great motors and I will put them in a mosquito I am starting. The DC-3 is very overpowered with .52's.

I glassed it and spray painted it in the Canadian Coast Guard colours.
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Old 04-28-2004, 03:59 PM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

It's been a while since anything was added to this, and I have been waiting to add this for near 6 months. I bought the kit in my first year of flying, I was hooked when I saw it and thought it would keep me busy building and by time I finished I would be good enough to fly it.

I built the kit, with flaps and home made retracts - our field is a little bumpy at times as the other users are sheep, cattle and horses and did not trust the look of the Robart set for strength. Also glassed the whole plane and sprayed. Final weight is a little heavy at 10.5 lbs but only marginally over the max weight. Hauling it around are two Enya SS40 (plain bearing engines) which are more than adequate. Also, with respect to keeping both fires lit I installed a device called the !QUOT!Intelligent Glow Switch!QUOT! which is available in the UK. This device monitors the plug temperature and gives a burst of power if it cools off. The plane is based on one running in New Zealand - I just saw these really cool images of this plane (ZK-AWP) on one of the full size DC-3 web sites.

First flight was not good (September 2003) crashing just after take off and crunching the nose in but not doing any structural damage. Various things got in the way of the repair, and I have only just finished this and got it into the air. 3 flights this week and what a plane, sounds great, looks great and flies really well in a scale manner. My first flights were with 11 x 7 props as I did not want to risk my expensive 3 blades and these were the only 2blade matched pair I had to hand. Engines peaked at 9,300rpm, I know a little low but it was enough to get the plane up in a good take off run (no horsing it into the air) but it kept the 2 stroke sound to a real good beat with both engines in sync.

Peter.
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Old 04-28-2004, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

Looks great, Peter.

I'd like to see your gear design. Do you have a CAD drawing or even a sketch- what materials did you use?

I've built 1 1/2 TF kits, and I'm scratch building a 1:7 scale, so gear design is something I'll have to do.
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Old 04-29-2004, 04:52 AM
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Default RE: TopFlite DC-3/C-47 questions

I have two flights on my T.F.DC-3 powered with 2-OS40 4cyl engines. This provides plenty of power, but the airplane actually jumps into the air in about 25-30 feet which is un-nerving. Is this common to any of you others flying this plane? Once in the air, it trims out perfectly. Thanks in advance......[8D]
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