RCU Review: Great Planes P-40 Warhawk GP/EP ARF

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    Contributed by: Steve Herlacher | Published: January 2008 | Views: 68377 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Great Planes P-40 Warhawk GP/EP ARF

    Review by: Steve Herlacher


    Dealer Info

    Great Planes Model Distributors
    PO Box 9021.
    Champaign, IL 61826




    Available from your local Hobby store


    Great covering scheme
    Painted fiberglass cowl

    No tailwheel

    P-40 Warhawk

    For this review, I'll be taking a look at the Great Planes P-40 Warhawk, an AMA Event 750 Combat Class 1610 legal airplane.

    The P-40 is built up balsa covered in Monokote. It offers an array of choices many different modelers are sure to enjoy. You may choose to install landing gear or fly without, fly electric or glow and I believe it has the ability to fit the needs of many modelers from the sport flyer to the hard core Combat flyer.


    Kit Name: Great Planes P-40 Warhawk GP/EP ARF
    Retail: $139.99   Street: $99.99
    Wingspan: 39"
    Wing Area: 242 sq. in.
    Flying Weight as tested: 38-46oz e
    Motor: O.S. .25 FX
    Servos: 4 Futaba S3115 micro servos

    Items needed to complete the project:

    • Square
    • Hobby Knife
    • Ruler
    • Screwdrivers
    • Drill bits
    • Thin CA
    • Receiver battery
    • 9x6 Propeller
    • 6-minute epoxy
    • Foam rubber padding
    • Fuel tubing
    • Field equipment

    CA hinges
    Notice Wax paper to keep the glue off the wing

    The P-40 arrived without a scratch and is expertly covered in Monokote. After going over it with a covering iron I started the build, which is pretty much straight forward.

    First was the hinging of the ailerons. They use standard CA hinges and I used a pin in the middle to make sure they stayed centered. The Aileron Torque rod is also glued at the same time so I made sure to do a test fit before gluing. I also used wax paper on the inside of the rod so the Epoxy would not get on the wing.

    Futaba S3115 micro precision servos were used on all of the surfaces and they fit perfectly.

    Servos used
    Joiner complete
    I joined the wing but first I had to glue the joiner together, this was done with 5 minute Epoxy and then sanded for a perfect fit in the wings. The fit of my wings together was perfect so I used 30 minute Epoxy to glue the wing joiner in and the wing halves together.

    After they were dry I installed the Aileron servo. Towers site mentions that 2 are used for the Ailerons and a Y harness is needed, but my kit was setup for a single servo and no Y harness needed.

    The Torque rods were the perfect length and after cutting 2 arms from the servo arm worked smoothly for plenty of throw. The ply plate was glued to the wing so the wing bolts would not pull thru the balsa with CA and the wing was then complete and I moved on to the tail surfaces next.

    Wings glued together
    Aileron servo in place
    Torque rods installed
    Stabs glued in place
    Surfaces hinged

    The horizontal stab was lined up with the main wing attached to make sure it was level, and my kit needed some light sanding to make it line up perfectly. The covering was then removed with a hot soldering iron so the wood under it would not be scored or damaged. I then glued in the stab with Epoxy.

    The vertical stab was then lined up square with the horizontal and also glued in place with Epoxy.

    The Elevator used a joiner wire so only one servo was needed. I test fit the wire and made sure the Elevator fit the stab and wasn't too wide or short. I then used 5 minute Epoxy to glue in the joiner wire while the Elevator was on a flat surface with a heavy weight on it. That ensures the Elevator would be straight and no trim problems would show up later.

    The surfaces were then attached with CA hinges just like the Ailerons.

    Horns mounted
    Servos mounted
    Landing gear mount

    The Elevator and Rudder control horns were then installed. However, the pushrods had to be put in the fuse and in the proper hole on the horn before mounting the horns to the surface. I wouldn't have been able to get the Z bend in the horn otherwise.

    The servos were mounted in the fuse and fit the cutouts for them perfectly. The included quick links were used so adjusting the servos was easy.

    The P-40 kit includes a optional landing gear if you are going to be flying from a paved runway, I was so I chose to install it. The main gear is mounted to the hard points in the wing with the nylon straps as shown, then the wheels are installed with wheel collars.

    There is no tail wheel, only a ply skid that they have you glue in a tiny metal washer, as you can see from the picture that only lasted for 2 landings before it started to wear away.

    Tail skid worn away
    Fuel tank in place
    O.S. 25FX engine used and stock muffler
    The fuel tank was assembled and the instructions mention a 2 line or a 3 line tank could be used.

    Since there was no easy access to the carburetor I decided to use a 3 line tank with a fuel dot. Great Planes even included the fuel plug for the filler line in the hardware pack. The tank fits tightly in place and I had to make sure the outlet lines were not too long as they would hit the back of the engine and a fuel line could not be installed.

    I used the OS .25 FX engine with the stock muffler in the P-40, this is a great running engine and had way more than enough power for the P-40.

    The instructions say to mount the engine on the plastic mount by tapping the mounting holes, but I did not trust this so I also put a locknut on the bolt as well. The firewall has already been fuel-proofed and there are tiny pieces of tape over the mounting holes to keep the Epoxy out, nice touch!

    I had to install the throttle pushrod before bolting the engine down or I would have had to remove the Arm from the Carburetor to get the Z bend in place.

    The cowl needed a few cutouts for all the engine parts, first was for the muffler. I made a cardboard template over the exhaust output and then installed the cowl. I knew exactly where to cut with the template so a nice hole could be made without making the cowl look bad, and I was trying to minimize cutting the great looking teeth! They are painted on and looks like under a coat of clear coat so they will not wear off.

    The muffler bolts on from the opposite side so 2 tiny holes were cut for the muffler bolts. I used a 4-40 rod that I cut the end off at a angle for a long drill bit so the holes lined up perfectly. Then the standard holes for the pressure line, needle valve, glow plug and one for the fuel line on the bottom were cut.

    The included canopy was glued in place with canopy glue but I did add a small painted pilot I had in my parts box, what good is a Warbird without a pilot?

    Bolting the engine down
    Throttle pushrod in place
    Template for the muffler
    cut out
    Drilled holes to other side with sharpened 4-40 rod
    Needle valve and
    muffler bolt holes
    Glow plug and fuel
    filler line holes

    The receiver and battery pack were mounted with the included tray per the manual. I used a 1100mah small NIMH pack I had which fit perfectly. The included Decals were then applied and with the wing bolted in place the P-40 was complete!

    Flight Time

    I checked the balance per the manual of 1 1/2" back from the leading edge and my P-40 was nose heavy. I added 1 1/2"oz of lead to the tail underneath the stab and it balanced perfect. The control throws were setup per the manual but I found I could not get enough Aileron throw with the wing in place, my torque rods were hitting the wood where the wing mount blind nuts were. I used my Dremel to sand away some of the wood in the middle and then they cleared.

    The control throws are as follows:

    Aileron Low Rate - 1/8" up & down
    Aileron High Rate - 3/16" up & down
    Elevator low rate 1/4" up and down
    Elevator high rate 1/2" up and down
    Rudder low rate 1/2" left and right
    Rudder high rate 3/4" left and right

    I also added around 60% Expo on my Futaba 14MZ for the Elevator and 40% on the Ailerons.

    I fired up the O.S.25 and ran a tank thru it before flying, it ran perfect just like all my OS engines. I used a 9x6 APC prop and it fit the included spinner with no cutting.

    I set the P-40 on the runway and hit the throttle. The P-40 tracked pretty straight, there is no steerable tail wheel of course so it can take a few seconds for any rudder inputs to have effect, plus you need to be moving.

    After takeoff the P-40 needed more Expo on the Ailerons as they were way too touchy. After the first flight I moved the Expo up to 65% on them and they felt fine after that. I recommend following the rates in the manual exactly as they seem perfect for the model.

    The .25 pulled the P-40 around like a missile, I flew it as a sport flyer but you could also fly it as a pylon racer. I suppose you could do Combat with it like its intended purpose but who wants to take a chance of destroying such a pretty plane!

    Aileron rolls were a blur on high rates, loops could be made fairly tight but if you tried to pull too tight on high rate it will snap out.

    The CG felt perfect and the P-40 slowed down nicely for landing, but can bounce a bit on the runway, or my landings need work :)

    See the P-40 Warhawk
    in action! CLICK HERE


    The Great Planes P-40 is a great .25 size model for Combat, Sport flying, or even pylon racing and at $99 you can't beat it! The ARF goes together very easily and is expertly covered in Monokote which looks great! The nicely painted cowl is also a great addition instead of stickers you may see on other models. Whether electric or Glow you will have a great flying Combat plane that is fast and agile for any type of flying.

    Manufacture Information

    Great Planes Model Manufacturing
    PO Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826

    Website http://www.greatplanes.com
    E-mail: gpinfo@gpmd.com
    Telephone: 800-637-7660

    Available from your local Hobby store

    Comments on RCU Review: Great Planes P-40 Warhawk GP/EP ARF

    Posted by: BUCKSHOTRC on 06/24/2008

    Posted by: BUCKSHOTRC on 06/24/2008
    Posted by: rickygsg on 07/31/2008
    talk about a speed demon im in love. now to break to news to the wife.
    Posted by: Don Cooper on 01/21/2010
    If you reviewed it as a gas model, you should also review it as electric.
    Posted by: scotthowell on 04/26/2013
    I cant wait to fly mine with the ys .50 heli motor. I hope it stays together.
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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