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Only 500 hours to go....

Old 12-08-2002, 09:22 PM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

Thought I would post a few pictures of my Top Gun 2003 project if anyone was interested. Finally got everything assembled and in primer. All servos are installed, engines adjusted (3W's) and ready to start adding scale detailing. 122" wingspan, 48Lbs without paint and bits and pieces, so it will probably hit the 52Lbs mark when ready. Modified Robart gear with three cylinders per wheel. (Needed to lift the scale 6 1/2 inch wheels and brakes which weighs one pound each) 18 Futaba servos/dual receivers
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Old 12-08-2002, 09:22 PM
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Default And another angle

F7f
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Old 12-08-2002, 10:02 PM
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green river rc
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

Looks cool! What kind of plane is it, and where did you get those bombs on the table under it? Post another pic when its done, I just love twin engines!
Old 12-08-2002, 10:41 PM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

Originally posted by green river rc
Looks cool! What kind of plane is it, and where did you get those bombs on the table under it? Post another pic when its done, I just love twin engines!
Sorry, forgot to mention that. Plane is a Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat. Fiberglass bombs are available from Nick Ziroly Plans in different sizes. The Tigercat will also have a huge centerline drop tank added. My good friend Chuck Thatcher has a mold for that.
Old 12-08-2002, 10:49 PM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

Looks great, I'm gonna be picking up my F7F here shortly I hope. Which F7F are you looking at doing color/scheme? Also what have you used for reference? Sorry for the questions just curious.

Thanks
Lee
Old 12-08-2002, 10:49 PM
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Default Tigercat

Here is the full size one.
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Old 12-08-2002, 10:56 PM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

Originally posted by Hellcat
Looks great, I'm gonna be picking up my F7F here shortly I hope. Which F7F are you looking at doing color/scheme? Also what have you used for reference? Sorry for the questions just curious.

Thanks
Lee
Lee, I got some good books on the F7F-3, but since they all pretty much where blue, there are not too many choices. I am trying to decide if it should be a shiny restored version or a well worn and weathered one... Which one are you going to do?

John
Old 12-08-2002, 11:06 PM
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Default Cool!

John, Very nice looking bird! just out of curiosity, How does one get involved in the whole TopGun scene. It was a question I asked at our field today but nobody seemed to know. I am interested in getting some more info on this particular sect of the hobby. Can ya point me in any of the right directions?

Thanks,

WF
Old 12-09-2002, 12:31 AM
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Default TG

Hi WF,

You need to be invited to Top Gun. In my case I e-mailed Frank Tiano and told him that I was interested in being invited. In the e-mail I included a list of scale contests I had flown in previously and some pictures of the planes I had flown in scale. This was in 1999. I got my first invitation in 2000 but did not attend until 2001 with a scale Bearcat

TG is a fun even to participate in. One thing I have learned however is that no matter how good a pilot you are, once you fly in front of those judges and all the spectators you loose about 50% of your flying skills . Must be the adrenalin...

John
Old 12-09-2002, 12:41 AM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

John,

Thanks for the bit of info, I am by no means of that caliber yet, but it definately is a goal that I would seriously like to work towards.

Thanks again,

WF
Old 12-09-2002, 01:21 AM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

Hey John,
I assume thats the Cactus Tigercat you have. I have always wanted to do one of those and drop in a couple of Brison 5.8s Best of luck to ya at Top Gun, I remember seeing pics of your Bearcat (which is one of my favs)

Is the full scale picture taken at Pensicola?

Keep the pictures coming.

Ray
Old 12-09-2002, 01:48 AM
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Default F7F

Hi Ray,

Yes, it is the Cactus Aviation (or 3W/FFC) model. It flies like a big trainer. I have another identical plane just done up in a semi scale version to practise with. Even with one engine out the plane flies great. 5.8's would be fine but i prefer a smooth twin. Especially with two engines. Mine are 3W 48Bi's with Bolly 20x12 3-bladed props. Plenty of power, even at 50 Lbs.

Yup, the picture is from Pensacola. Been there?

Here is the restoration scheme I was thinking about. This plane is owned by the Kalamazoo Air Museum. I like the smoke :-). My practise plane has two smoke systems and a roll with two smoke trails looks sooooooo nice.

John
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Old 12-09-2002, 02:49 AM
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Default 500 hours to go

John,

I have always wanted to compete like you and the others at these scale events, given it some very serious thought. I have even had people offering financial backing if I decided to try it. Tempting to do with the these kind of offers, but 500 hours to go with a few months before the show is just a reminder of what it really takes to get there. Hat's off to you and any other that do this kind of building and flying. Good luck!


Carey
Old 12-09-2002, 02:55 AM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

John:

I will be going to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola the week of Christmas and I will also be going to the Kalamazoo Air Zoo during the week of New Years. Let me know if you need any close ups of the F7F in Kalamazoo. Right now I am working on a Hellcat for Scalemasters so I will be taking lots of pictures at both museums.
Old 12-09-2002, 03:36 PM
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Default F7F

Kirk,

That would be great. I will e-mail you for details. I was actually thinking about spending some frequent flyer miles on a trip to Kalamazoo, but if you can get me the pictures, it will be perfect.

Carey, the 500 hours was done with a little wink wink. I work about 10 hours a week on airplanes, so I really don't have more than 150 hours left before TG, leaving some room for test flying. I guess I better get of the keyboard and into the shop.

Cheers

JC
Old 12-09-2002, 07:10 PM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

Kirk,
hey I may need your picture taking talents as well. The Bearcat that is there, I forgot if it is a -1 or a -2. I plan on doing a -1 version this time around for the nose art that I like. If it is I could use some shots of the cowl and exhaust, especially on the underside of the cowl. I have some conflicting documentation.


John,
I have been to Pensacola, I could set up a cot and live in that place happy as a clam.

Ray
Old 12-09-2002, 07:31 PM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

Ray:
The Bearcat in Penesacola is a -2P and the one in Kalamazoo is a -1D. I will try to get you some pictures of the cowl and exhaust areas. The picture is the one at Kalamazoo.
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Old 12-09-2002, 11:11 PM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

I kinda favor a worn and dirty scale bird myself. I hate seeing warbirds that are so smooth and shiny it looks like the paint job should be on a Ferrari. Take a look at some of the planes at an airport, they've been through rain,sleet,hail,temp. changes, unless of course it has just came out of the factory, or never been flown and been hangared it's whole life. Looking at Squadron/Signal aircraft #79 book, in the center I like the looks of "LINDA" #24, it's been flown hard, and quite a bit looking at her. Whose wheels did you use on yours? I live in South Bend, IN and a trip up to Kalamazoo isn't too bad. Let me know if Chuck H. and myself can Help with some Pics. We plan on a trip up there every so often just to get away and see what we didn't see before. You too Ray!

Thanks
Lee
Old 12-10-2002, 01:46 AM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

Lee and Kirk,
I would love to have as many pics of that -1 as you could take. I like the -2, but I am going to give in for the sake of accuracy on the markings. The -1 has the Felix the cat nose art, which I did before, but I put the markings on the -2 I built.

Thanks gents.

Ray
Old 12-10-2002, 03:44 AM
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Default nice plane

Nice plane good luck at TG. I went to pensacola this summer for the first time man was it nice i need to go back again. took a lot of pics but the low light made it hard. next time I go i am going to take a good digital camera with a million candlepower light strapped to the top of it :0) I did have a digital mivie camera that I have to get the software for this usb device i was given to putt the vhs into my puter then i can grab frames from it and post a few pics as the digital cam took a lot better pictures. next time i also want to go through all the cockpits they have there for you to sit in and get some good cockpit shots for reference. too bad its 18hrs away from me hehehe I need F-14 cockpit shots

Joe
Old 12-10-2002, 05:13 AM
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Default Only 500 hours to go....

In order to get invited to Top Gun, Frank Tiano and his board wants to see that you have competed in several regional contests and the possibly the US Scale Masters. I have flown in almost all of them since it started in 1989. They do not want to see hanger queens and the rules state you must have at least 6 flights on the contest plane prior to leaving for Top Gun.
There is a huge amount of pressure from that a pilot puts on himself. The judges, the crowd, flying with the best in the world. The guys that win are the guys who have prepared. Charlie Chambers, who won both Top Gun and the Masters several times wanted a minimum of 50 flights on his contest plane the month before the contest. He knew his plane inside and out and the could fly it in his sleep. Remember you will be flying with 3 other world class fliers in the air at the same time you are flying. There is noise in the pits and lots of distractions. That is why it is important to have flown in scale contests before and that you have practiced with your contest plane.
Frank puts on a very professional contests with trained judges and lots of knowledgeable support people so it runs very smooth. It is lots of fun for the guy who likes to fly under pressure. If you can fly only when you have the field to yourself and when there is a light breeze right down the runway then you need to go out and practice.
One of the toughest maneuvers required at Top Gun is the slow fly by. The plane is down and dirty with full flaps and gear down and flying right above a stall. The judges are looking for a smooth transition from slow, down and dirty to full speed with gear and flaps up-all in 100 yards. You gotta believe in your equipment and the reliability on your engine to come up to full power.Flying in Top Gun and the Masters is the pinnacle of R/C in that you are flying a downsized replica of a full sized aircraft. It is a lot of fun but not for the unprepared of the faint of heart.
Best of luck, Brian
Old 12-10-2002, 05:25 AM
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Default top gun

yes Top GUn and scale masters is my ultimate goal. My flying skills are rusty but I am confident of my building skills. My ultimate acheivement would be just to compete in one of them events who cares abt winning (even though would be nice to be in the top 10) just to get to that caliber of event is an acheivement of a lifetime.

Joe
Old 12-10-2002, 05:52 AM
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Default TopGun

ProfJoe:
Maybe you should consider team scale if you are not sure of your flying. Build a TopGun quality plane and have a great pilot fly with you. You can usually find a good pilot in your area. Look for a guy who has flown in competition before. A lot of guys have done this. Pat McCurry flew in team scale his first year. Team scale can be even more competitive because you have the best builder with the best pilots. In expert, you have to be good at both, but either you are a great builder and a prettygood pilot or you are a prettygood builder and a great pilot. The winners are great at both.
Team scale is available for both the Scale Masters and TopGun and is a great way to get introduced to scale competition.

Brian
Old 12-10-2002, 05:55 AM
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Default team

yes i thought about that but noone around me to get with so we could work together easier than long distance. i have done small scale events but i havent flown more than a few hours last 3 yrs asd i been building too much for others but i am designing a 1/6th scale lockheed hudson bomber for competition one day soon.

Joe
Old 12-10-2002, 01:32 PM
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Default F7F Wheels

Lee,

The whels and tires are custom made by Glennis, so he will have the correct size in his program now. The mains are 6 1/2" in diameter and 2 1/4"" wide!. By far the biggest wheel I have ever had on an airplane. Nose is 4 1/4". Most restored Tigercats fly with the six spoke nose wheel.
The Kalamazoo Tigercat won the Grand Champion Warbird award in Oshkosh back in 1986 and acording to the pictures I have from that year it looked super shiney and new. But with a little luck, after being flown since 1986, it may look like a "used" fighter today, 16 years later. Anyone been to Kalamazoo lately?


JC
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