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Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Old 06-13-2012, 04:09 PM
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Spitfire222
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Default Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Hi everyone,

I'd like to share with you and document my build of a Top-Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9. I purchased this kit way back in 2006, and started building it in 2009. Unfortunately, grad school and other events took priority, and I had to put my RC hobby on hold, including this build. After graduating, finding a job, and moving halfway across the country, I am finally settled in to my new place (which has a 2nd bedroom that I converted to my workshop/hangar), and ready to continue and finish this plane. I'm already having the pleasure of remembering how much I enjoyed building kits!

As I mentioned, when I started building it, I got as far as completing the top half of the fuselage. Luckily, the airframe survived the move without a scratch, and I was able to pick up right where I left off. I hope to be able to not only share my progress, but also get some help and advice from everyone here, especially those who have build one of these before.

Now, since I have been inactive in the hobby for some time now, I feel like I'm not up-to-date with whats going on. For example, I am still using 72 MHz, though I hope to upgrade to 2.4 soon. Also, I've noticed there are new engines out there, as well as the continuing evolution and improvement in battery technology. I hope you guys wont mind me asking for your help/advice to get me up to speed.

On that note, here are some plans for this kit:
Radio: Unknown, see below.
Servos: Most likely Hitec digitals, since I already have them.
Engine: Unknown.
Retracts: Yes, Spring-Air 74 deg Focke-Wulf retracts (with William Bros narrow-profile wheels)
Flaps: Yes.
Finish: Fiberglass.
Mods: Internal elevator horn, sliding canopy, more-scale tailwheel, exhaust, cowl, and gun hood. (I also purchased the cockpit kit when I bought the plane).

This will be my first warbird, first fiberglassed plane, first retractable-gear plane, and first flap-equipped plane. A tall order, but I'm confident I have the building and flying skills for this one. By the time the plane is ready to fly, I should have gotten plenty of opportunity to knock the rust off of my thumbs.

Ok, I need your help/advice for the following!
Radio: I'm eager to upgrade to 2.4, but am unsure what new radio to buy. I'm torn between a Hitec Aurora 9 (especially since I've exclusively used Hitec equipment until now). However, I've always had an eye on JR radios, and the XG8 really caught my eye. However, they don't seem to be available in the US? Can anyone provide more information about this radio? Should I just go for the Aurora 9?

Engine: I'm seriously considering an OS .75AX, or an FS-110. The .75AX would be cheaper, and fit in the cowl and more in line with my budget. I do have an older FS-91 though, how would that work? For the record, I know that I need to try and keep the weight as low as possible!

Finally, photos! I'll start off with photos from when I started the build back in 2009. Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:19 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Vincent,
Good luck on your FW build...one of my Fav's! I fly an A model 102", the butcher and dora are some mean machines.

As far as your radio goes, (hopefully this thread will not turn into a brand battle) but I have experience, and great experience using DSM2 technology from Spektrum and JR. I love both systems. For the price, bout nothing beats the DX7, that was my first 2.4 and loved it. Recently, I have moved to the 11X for programming and servo slave functions (i stopped using all y harnesses in airplanes, using extra ports in the reciever and programming them to whatever control surface I want is a plus). The programming on the spekrum and JR stuff is super simple, and the radios are top notch. Now, if you search the threads you'll hear of the "brownout" but i'v seen failures with all brands, not just JR. If I had to guess, I would guess most of it would deal with people not fully understanding the setup, although quite easy, be sure to read up on it. Tech support from horizion is top notch as well. IF you do go with 2.4, do yourself a favor, and run 6v to your reciever.

Now, I have nothing bad to say about the other brands and systems either, just only experienced with JR...so maybe more of a bias opinion, but I have nothing negative from what I use. Now..lets see some pictures!
Old 06-13-2012, 04:51 PM
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vertical grimmace
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

I would strongly suggest a DLE 20 gasser. I have one in my Pica D9 and it is a perfect combo. Super fast with a 16-8 prop. This will be a fun project. I will be watching closely. Good luck!
Old 06-13-2012, 04:54 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Sweet! I'm on board this one..[8D] I don't know how far you are with the fuse but from experience, now is the time to install the railings for the sliding canopy per you pictures.

If you want to go glow.. a saito 125 is what I had on one TF FW190 but like mentioned, I'd go with a DLE 20 if gas.
Old 06-13-2012, 05:01 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Thanks for the info! I'll have to take another look at Spektrum too. I will be sure to take my time to read up about proper 2.4 setup. Luckily, I already use 6.0 V, so that's not a change. I'm also considering using Li-Po's or Li-Fe's for the onboard power though.

I should mention that I did some searches on the XG8, and couldn't find much. What I did find seems to indicate that the radio is not available in the US (yet?), and I see it's either not available on JR's website, and it's pre-order only at HorizonHobby. Anyone know if it will be available in the US, and when?

Here are the latest photos now that I've re-started work on the plane.

1. First thing was to start up where I left off! Turned the fuse upside down and added the bottom-half-formers/structure.
2. Finally shaped/sanded the fin LE. I had also hacked some holes in the rear sheeting for my elevator linkage mods, but I went with a different idea, so I re-sheeted those holes.
3. Couldn't resist putting on the canopy and gun hood. The ABS gun hood is awful, as is the cowl. I'm considering scratch-building the gun hood, and definitely either getting an aftermarket cowl, or laying up my own.
4. View of the elevator linkage. At first, I wasn't going to use the supplied joiner wire, and scratch build my own elevator connecter. But looking at it now (with 3 more years engineering experience! haha), I scrapped my original idea, and simply JB-Welded an anodized Al control horn on the joiner wire. Much simpler, and probably stronger than my original idea!
5. Just a shot of the Spring Air retracts. They seem great so far, can't wait to see them in action. (The plans indicate to place the air tank in the fuse, but I'm pretty sure it will fit in the wing somewhere).
6. I deviated from the manual and built up most of the rudder off of the plane first, which allowed me to drill out lightening holes. I think it could stand to have some more drilled out too. I will still tack glue it to the fin for final shaping per the original instructions.

That's it for now! I've currently started adding the bottom-half stringers, and I'm working on the custom exhaust and tailwheel. [8D]
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:04 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Check out my last build..

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...=topflit+fw190

It may help when it comes to the canopy.
Old 06-13-2012, 08:40 PM
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DavidAgar
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Nice build so far. You can get an after market gun deck from Fiberglass Specilaties as well as a cowl. As for radio's, it comes down to personal choice. I am a Futaba guy and have been for years. Each brand has it's own pro's and con's so it comes down to what you want and where you want to go in the future. I will be following your build and good luck, Dave
Old 06-14-2012, 07:38 AM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

A little inspiration. My Pica version with DLE 20 installed.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:57 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Thanks for the words of encouragement, the motivational photos, and the advice! I looked into the Fiberglass Specialties replacement parts, but I'm considering scratch building a gun hood, and laying up my own cowl. If they don't turn out well, I'll bite the bullet and buy the FS parts.

As mentioned earlier, I'm working on gluing in the stringers, but I can't finish doing that until I've worked out the sliding canopy. I can't work on the sliding canopy until I assemble the canopy itself, and I can't do THAT until I purchase a block of balsa to replace the missing 2nd turtle-deck balsa block. [] Should be able to get the supplies I need and work some more on the plane this weekend.
Old 06-14-2012, 10:40 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

That's crazy.. Every one of these kits was missing the second piece of the turtle deck. I ended up copying the fuse deck, copying the diagram of the shape the turtle deck back and taking some 3/32nd balsa and making the turtle deck. Saved a lot of time and weight.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:56 AM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build


ORIGINAL: Ramstein44

That's crazy.. Every one of these kits was missing the second piece of the turtle deck. I ended up copying the fuse deck, copying the diagram of the shape the turtle deck back and taking some 3/32nd balsa and making the turtle deck. Saved a lot of time and weight.
Glad to hear I'm not the only one with a missing turtle-deck block. I think I'll go ahead and try your idea of scratch building a built-up turtle-deck. I was planning on hollowing out the balsa blocks anyway to save some weight, and scratch-building it should save even more. With all of the additional stuff I want to add to it, I'll take any weight savings I can get.
Old 06-15-2012, 06:23 AM
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Ramstein44
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

It'll save a lot of weight and time on all that sanding to shape.. I'm building a skyshark Dora now and I'm where you are on the build.
Old 06-15-2012, 10:58 AM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Anyone got a spare Top Flite FW-190 canopy? Mine is cracked in the kit I bought.

Ed
Old 06-15-2012, 01:26 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

I had one of my TF kits for sale with all the fiberglass specialties parts, but it didn't sell, the box wasn't perfect but the kit is so this one is going to get built.

for a canopy you might get in touch with top flight they sometimes have spare parts collecting dust in a corner some where I picked up a TF Zero canopy from them for my AT-6 conversion a while back,I have the pica kit as well I can see if there comparable, u.s.wing sells a pica knock off canopy on ebay, I will check it in a few hours and post what I find
Old 06-15-2012, 03:22 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Topflite unfortunately no longer makes parts for this kit. Most make their own canopies. There is a rumor that Topflite is planning to make an ARF of this particular kit. I'll believe it when I see it though...
Old 06-15-2012, 06:57 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

they didn't make the Hollywood zero parts either but had a canopy lying around can't hurt to ask
Old 06-15-2012, 08:46 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

ORIGINAL: edbu1
Anyone got a spare Top Flite FW-190 canopy? Mine is cracked in the kit I bought.

Ed

Hi Ed,

Contact me off the board, I may be able to help you out. I am working with another RCU member who has made a plug of the TF canopy and, if all goes as planned, I will be able to offer canopies for the 190 in the next couple of weeks.

[email protected]
Old 06-16-2012, 07:05 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Great flying plane, I lost mine to dead stick after a ton of work. You might consider electric.
Old 06-16-2012, 09:03 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Hobbico was already out of TF D-9 canopies in 2008 when I checked (although they still had other parts).

GeneH
Old 06-17-2012, 06:55 AM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

ORIGINAL: jeffk464

Great flying plane, I lost mine to dead stick after a ton of work. You might consider electric.
Electrics are not immune to deadsticks. Generally that equates to total loss of controll. Sorry, not a fan of electrics here. I like the sound of an engine in my warbird.
Old 06-17-2012, 07:32 AM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

My skyshark FW190 D9 is electric. The motor and receiver power systems are separate setups to prevent total power loss. Personally, I agree with vertical on the sound. That's why I'll be placing a sound unit in it. All the convenience of electric with sound better than gas.

Spitfire, The modifications on this kit are almost endless.. Whats your plan on the canopy? I 've even seen through robart, a retracting tail wheel that could be used for this..
Old 06-17-2012, 12:03 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Hi everyone,

Glad to see the ongoing discussion. Yesterday, there was a fun-fly at the local club, so I decided to go and submit my membership application and fly! I still got some work accomplished on the canopy (which is my current area of focus), and went shopping for supplies I'll need later. Here are some photos of the progress.

1. The framework for the built-up turtle-deck.

2. I made one rough turtle-deck as a "proof-of-concept". Satisfied with the design, I built a "good" one.

3. A view of the sheeting job.

4. A view of the tracks for the sliding canopy. A "T" shaped block attached to the turtle-deck will guide the canopy, and there is a hole at the aft end for removal/installation of the canopy. The plywood pieces in the front are supports for the rare-earth magnets that will secure the canopy closed.

5. Top view.

6. The previously mentioned magnets.

7. I nervously cut the canopy into front and rear pieces, and cut out the canopy framework from plywood.

QUESTION:
What is the best glue to adhere the plywood framework to the canopy? (i.e. last photo) Epoxy, RC-56, ?? Thanks for your advice!
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:02 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Got some more work accomplished. Now that I finished the sliding-canopy tracks inside the fuselage, I finished gluing the stringers and the pushrod tubes. I also glued the canopy frames, and can now begin to frame-up the entire canopy with the turtle-deck in order to get the correct fit and geometry. I probably wont glue anything until I fiberglass the turtle-deck so that it can be mostly finished before glued to the clear canopy. (I don't want to attempt to glass it while already glued to the clear canopy). I've ordered 0.5 oz/yard fiberglass cloth, which will arrive in a few days. Doing this will also help me practice my glassing technique on a "replaceable" part, instead of the main aircraft structure itself. I have glassing experience, but not with such thin cloth, nor with attempting to get such a smooth finish. After that, I'll finish the rest of the canopy framing.

Until the cloth arrives, I'll just be working on sheeting the bottom of the fuse, as well as filling any gaps, imperfection, etc as I go.

Deviating from the manual, I most likely wont be working on the tailwheel area until I get the (planned) custom machined tailwheel from some work friends, which unfortunately could be a few weeks from now. That's alright, since I have plenty of other things to work on in the meantime. I will be attempting to scratch-build the gun hood, and I still have the entire cockpit area to keep me busy.

That's all for now, enjoy the photos!
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:31 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Spitfire,

Nice build so far. This WAS my favorite airplane. Best flying plane I have had so far. I lost mine about 18 months ago and a piece of me went with it. Not sure what happened but I suspect a brown out. But who knows 99% of crashes are pilot error. None the less mine had an OS .91 Fx great power plant just touchy to get tuned. About 2.4 Ghz systems IMHO I've had Futaba and it was fine I guess but I am using the Hitech Aurora 9 currently and really like it. Not to start the wars but the price of the recievers and the programability is what I found nice- plus the telemetry. I do not thing you can go wrong with any of them really. Just preference related in my opinion. I am not sure of your budget but I have a good pair of used spring air retracts , a brand new Fiberglass Specialites Cowl and the used SkyShark Spinner that I would make a deal on. They are great additions. The cowl is a must in my opinion the stock one was always a bother.. I wanted to get another kit but can't justify what people are asking for them at the moment. Let me know if your interested. I will let the retracts and spinner go for a song and a dance the cowl I would like close to what I paid just because it is untouched. Good Luck and I am interested in seeing how your build turns out. Couple pics of the old girl for you before the spinner.

Z
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:54 PM
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Default RE: Top Flite Focke Wulf Fw-190 D9 Build

Hi Z,

Thanks for the info, and that sure was a beautiful Dora! Shame that it's no more. I already have the set of Spring-Airs for it, but I may be interested in the cowl and spinner. I will send you a PM. On that note, what are your thoughts on the Spring Air gear? Were you happy with their performance? The supplied air tank seems a bit small; if you used it, how many up-down cycles could you get?

Question:
I have a quick question for you guys regarding the cockpit kit. (I decided to get started on fitting it into the fuse now). The instructions indicate that the aft bulkhead fits right at the end of the cockpit deck. However, when I cut it out and test fit, it seems much too tall (see photos). Is this normal? Should I simply trim it to size? Thanks in advance for any advice.
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