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Newbie seeking advise on updating an amazing old build

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Newbie seeking advise on updating an amazing old build

Old 01-14-2022, 09:04 AM
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Default Newbie seeking advise on updating an amazing old build

Hello all, iv recently gotten into the rc plane hobby after many years of dreaming about flying. I'm not very familiar with the online forum world so be easy on me if I'm doing something incorrect. To start iv got a bit of a story if you have the time, if not scroll to the second paragraph. I started in the hobby by building a couple very basic 3d printed planes with lightweight pla. During the process of building these 3dp planes google got the better of me by recommending an estate sale near me which was for an older gentleman's lifetime collection (or so it seemed) of hand built balsa planes. Of course the coolest plane of his collection caught my eye and as the auction came closer to an end I found myself needing to own it. The auction didn't say much about it other than its a 68" Boeing P-26 Peashooter with transmitter. Incredibly detailed model that I knew would be a once in a lifetime chance to own. However the pictures didn't tell the whole story but it appeared to a very well done scale model rc. When I say scale model I mean it has every detail from the real thing, even the pilots headset wire with plug and all the avionics hand painted in. So I end up winning the auction along with a couple other really cool planes that were too cheap to pass up. I go to pick it up at the guys house and the estate manager hands me the fuselage and immediately I notice how heavy it is. A quick peek behind the cowl and I realize it has a 3 cyl radial nitro engine. Needless to say I'm ecstatic because it's everything I thought and more, seeing as how I paid for it sight unseen. It came with lots of paperwork and different photos of real planes. Even home photos from a plane in a museum to use as reference. Also came with a full size zerox copy of a news paper article by Dan B. Santich about his p26 build which I'm guessing is where the plans for my plane came from. You can find the article if you google Dan b santich p26a. Only reason I'm telling you this is because everything was dated from 2009. Which is when I'm guessing the plane was built. Fast forward to today iv gotten the engine (a saito fa170r3) on a run stand, freed up and adjusted all the valves as they were gummed up with old fuel. Cleaned the carb and as much of the engine I could access without disturbing the main block and jugs. I was able to run it for a few seconds however since I had the carb apart it needs to be tuned.

So here's where I'm in need of some advice. The engine is being run on a sonic tronics/McDaniels rc on board glow driver (i couldnt get it to power on) which is being powered by a 4 c cell nicad battery pack. It's got hitech servos which appear to be good but maybe dated, as well as futaba 6 channel reciever and transmitter. Aside from the glow driver everything else is being powered by 3 separate 4 aa cell nicad battery packs. Seems odd to me but what do I know, that may have been the only option back then.

Finally my main goal is to try and update the electronics. I have a spektrum radio and would like to fly it with that and a spektrum receiver. Also it would make me feel better to have more modern servos as well. But most importantly (to me) I'd like to be able to use a lipo battery to power it all. I'm not sure if that's even possible but ideally that's what my novice mind would like. I just don't know how to power it all without going thru an esc which I wouldn't need because it's a glow engine. I haven't had much luck finding any info online about this conversion as rc plane topics are all over the board. Whenever I Google something about rc planes I get so many random links. So maybe some of you more experienced builders could share some of your hard earned knowledge, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, I'll be looking forward to some ideas to get this thing up to modern standards

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