Please email Jeff your questions by click on "Contact Us".
Please label your email "Jeff: Question".

Some questions and answers will be posted in this section.

Page 4: Questions 73-74, click links or browse page.
Q73 Servos for Don Smith P-51D ? Q85 Scale fiberglass Spits ?
Q74 Corsair whistle sound ? Q86 Real aluminum sheeting ?
Q75 Husky 240 engine ? Q87 Balsa wing spars on large Sea Fury ?
Q76 Clarke Spitfire ? Q88 Ziroli Corsair fabric covering technique ?
Q77 Ziroli Corsair FS-2 problem ? Q89 Ziroli Corsair wing incidence ?
Q78 Bearcat info ? Q90 Largest ME 109 kit ?
Q79 Pilot for Fiberclassic P-51 ? Q91 Adhesives for large rcwarbirds ?
Q80 In line twins ? Q92 How big is allowed ?
Q81 Merging Meister and Ziroli Corsair plans ? Q93 What B-17 kits are available ?
Q82 Wood sizes when enlarging plans ? Q94 Junkers 10 kit or plans ?
Q83 Operating cowl flaps for Corsair ? Q95 How to enlarge plans ?
Q84 First warbird pick ? Q 96 Composite ARF P-51 info ?

Question 73: "I am working on a don smith P-51D and would like to know what servos I should use for the elevator and rudder the rudder servo will control the tail wheel as well and what servos to use for the wing. Thanks nick"

Jeff: "Hi Nick....I would recommend one Hitec 605 (or equivalent) for each elevator half or a Hitec 700 (or equivalent) for elevator if coupled and running off one servo. I also recommend a Hitec 700 (or equivalent) for the rudder/tailwheel combo. A Hitec 605 for each flap and aileron is plenty. Good Luck...Jeff "

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Question 74: "Dear Jeff: How can I duplicate the "whistling death" sound of the F4U Corsair? I understand that the "whistle" was caused by the cooling system setup in the leading edge of the wings, is this so? Can I accomplish this in a 1/5 scale Corsair by opening up the intercooler and oil cooler vents? Thanks Lou "

Jeff: "Hi Lou...I am afraid you have stumped me there. My guess would be if you perforated the oil cooler and had a small escape out the backside, through the bottom wing sheeting, with some kind of channel, you may be able to duplicate. I am not really sure. I would say that you would not want to let the air flow back and trap into the wing cavity, as all you will do is increase drag. Stumped....Jeff "

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Question 75: "This is Tom from HIGH TEK MODELS. I have been looking for a big engine for a project I will be doing. I can not find any info on the Husky 240. Where do I buy? Static thrust? and so on. Can you help? Thanks and God bless"

Jeff: "Hi Tom...I won't be much help. This Husky 240 was home made by a guy in FL. However, he no longer makes them. Bob Campbell (the foam airplane guy in Ohio) has a Husy 240 inline twin. You may send him an e-mail. I do not have his contact tho. I am sure you are aware, but you can always look into the 3W240. Jeff"

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Question 76: "Hello Jeff, I read on one of your answers you have built the Clarke Spitfire, I have been looking for a good 1/4 scale Spitfire kit for a few months now and was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing some of your experiences regarding this particular model, as I would like to visit Clarke Industries in October when I am at home, to look at their kits. I am thinking of using the Clarke Merlin II engine but cannot find any reviews regarding this engines. A colleague of mine sent me some info about a scale Merlin engine designed for the "1/4 size" models, but I have lost the web address for the site, any thoughts on this one? Thanks for your time Dave"

Jeff: "Hi Dave. Yes, I built the Clarke Spitfire. It is a nice kit and goes together nicely. Flies well also. I made significant changes to the setup and got away from much of the scale hookups, opting for more open and typical installations. Mainly, ditching the pull/pull cables on the elevator and removing the torque tube ailerons and 1/16 wire and swingee hinges on the flaps. I felt this was a more secure set-up. Less prone to failure and better actuation. My Spit came out at 46 pounds, requiring 4 pounds of lead in the nose to balance. I had the older Merlin I, which was an inline 104CC composed of twin Quadra 52 engines and throttle coupled advance. I was a little disappointed in the set-up, which used 22x8 3 bladed props. The power was lacking, and the plane was quite slow. The blades basically lack the necessary pitch in order to turn a 3 bladed prop. Granted the engine is not broke in and will improve over time, but I would prefer a 2 blade prop set-up. This is made difficult by the special hub/spinner set-up, which pretty much limits you to this set-up. It is my understanding that the Merlin II, set-up with Sach's engines and electronic spark advance is a much more powerful engine, and easier to set up, but I have no first hand knowledge. The fiberglas fuse was nicely done and the formers fit well with a little sanding. The wing built quick and easy. The cockpit kit went in nicely as well. Another thing I would like to see changed is the use of the resin cast wheels, replaced with more durable set-up. But, again, with the axle/scale wheel set-up, you are forced to use this set-up unless you make some changes to the gear legs. The gear themself are very robust and I really like the air u/spring down approach. this always ensures gear down if you develop a leak. Overall, I think it is a very nice kit and was fun to build. Also, John Clarke is the most accessible and helpful designer I have encountered. He answered my every question without hesitation. You can check out the plane/kit, etc., on John Clarke's website at Good Luck...Jeff "

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Question 77: " Hey Jeff, I was just reading the question about the FS-2 on the Ziroli Corsair. I am having the same problem but it matches the plan perfectly. Was just curious if you guys came up with a solution. Thanks."

Jeff: "Kerry...the key to this part is to align the bottom side (wing saddle side) so that it is flush with the angled former(s) bottom side where it contacts the wing. You will more than likely need to trim and fit the notches to the formers, but do not be concerned with this. As long as the formers are properly placed, these define the wing saddle, and this outer piece can just be trimmed to fit. It is helpful to have a partially finished center section to check as you go. Jeff"

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Question 78: "Info on f8f Bearcat I can't find it in any plane books "

Jeff: "Signal/Squadron Publications is the best source, but it has been out of print for some time. I did a search on ebay and found this book up for sale. See the link: This is your best bet. Jeff "

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Question 79: "HI again, Jeff can you suggest where I can get a good pilot for a Fiberclasic P-51? I would prefer a panted one. Tanks David F"

Jeff: "Contact John Clark at Clarke Industries He has lightweight rubber pilots that come painted or unpainted. Another good choice is Dynamic Balsa , who sells resin cast pilots. Jeff "

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Question 80: "Jeff, This is a great sight and rcwarbirds should be proud to have someone of knowledge as part of it's staff. I have seen many fighters using in line twins. How are they linking the engines together? Keep up the great work, Jim"

Jeff: "Thx Jim…appreciate the kind words. While I am not an engine expert, I do know that typically the inline twins will have either a one piece crank or a 2 piece that is coupled or keyed together. Many of the commercial engines use a universal one piece engine crank case (3W, DA, etc.), while many home brewed engines, such as the inline in my Avenger, use a long thru bolt to bolt the two cases together. There may, or may not, be a spacer between these two engine casings. That’s about the extent of my knowledge on that topic. If you have further questions, you may want to address them to Karl Allen here on RCWarbirds. He is an engine guru. Thx and take care….Jeff"

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Question 81: "Hey, Jeff, how is the big Corsair coming along? Did you get it marked already or is it still in the blue paint? Anyway, I was wondering about Meister and Ziroli interchangability for the F4U Corsair. I hear the Ziroli has correctly shaped airfoils for the wings and tail, but the Meister fuse is more correct scale. Can I put these two together? I want the correct foil shape and flaps. Meister doesn't have either. Thanks Jeff. Karl."

Jeff: "Hi Karl…The Corsair is still sitting with one flight logged and no graphics. I am still awaiting the gear return. I have the graphics, just need to put them on. I hope to get at least one more flight before it snows here. As for your question: I just happen to have advice on this subject, while not directly related to the Corsair. A few years ago, I looked at doing the same thing with a P-47. I had bought a Meister from a friend of mine. But, the flat bottom wing was really thin, and just did not look right. With the flat bottom wing, not as much surface area is needed on the top side of the wing. When you get in to a semi-symmetrical or symmetrical airfoil, the top surface of the wing will tend to have more surface area, resulting in more curvature on the top side. This results in a thicker wing. When I attempted to fit a Ziroli wing to the Meister fuse, I found that the top wing airfoil was not even close to mating to the Meister fuse saddle. The rib shape was all wrong for a good fit. There would be a lot of rework required to get a good fit. This could be easily achieved while in the building process, but being already built, would create a bunch of work. I would assume the Corsair would be the same deal. If you want to fit a Ziroli wing to a Meister fuse, you will have to be prepared to enlarge the plans to the appropriate size. You will then have to draw in a new wing saddle using the Ziroli root rib as a reference. Draw the new saddle onto the plans with a +1 to 1.5 degree positive angle of incidence. If this is done prior to building, it would not be at all difficult. Good Luck…..Jeff"

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Question 82: "Hi Jeff, I have some excellent Mick Reeves FW190A plans at 1/5 scale which I intend to enlarge to 1/3. One question I would like you to answer please, if you will... what would you advise as to scaling up of the wood grades, would you stick to the suggested thickness, or increase them pro rata? thanks for the great advice already posted. Chris"

Jeff: "Hi Chris....a 1/3 FW190.....very nice. I have plans to build a 1/3 Spit from Mick Reeves plans down the road. As for wood thickness, it really is a judgment call that comes with experience. In many cases, you can use a different type of wood, while maintaining the original thickness, and come out with a part that is just as strong, yet lighter than if you were to go to...say 3/16 ply over 1/8 ply. I will give you some general guidelines that I use when enlarging. For the fuse, I will stay with light weight 1/8 lite ply for all fuse formers, except for the wing leading and trailing edge, where I will use 1/8 aircraft ply. The front firewall, especially on a plane this size, will be from 1/2 inch ply. You will need the nose weight anyway, and this will make for a strong front end. I will typically use 1/8 lite ply for the wing saddle area, but go to 1/8 aircraft ply if there is a lot of structure attached to is, as on my 1/3 Corsair. Use 1/8 x 1/4 hardwood for the fuse stringers. I get a piece of 8 foot aspen pine board from the lumber yard and rip it to 1/8 x 1/4. On a plane such as your FW190, I would recommend keeping the tail as light as possible. Sheet the tail with no more than 3/32 balsa. For the wing, use a spar of hardwood the actual size of the enlarged plans. Again, I get a piece of 8 foot aspen and rip it to the appropriate size. For the rib, I would use 1/8 ply out one rib bay past the gear. Then, on the gear rail area, use a half rib (one that goes form the leading edge to about one inch aft of the spar (this will allow it to lock to the spar) and glue one to each side of the 1/8 ply rib that the gear rail attach to. This will give you a 3/8, 15 ply gear rib that is incredibly strong. From the gear, out to the tip, I like to use 3/16 balsa ribs. There are light, just as strong as 1/8 lite ply, and give you a good gluing surface for the wing sheeting. Use at least 1/8 aircraft ply for the wing spar joiner. I would recommend building an I beam in the spar, by gluing 1/16 ply, centered
in between the ribs and spars. This is the ultimate in strength and light weight. Now, I hate doing this personally, it is very time consuming and tries you patience. I have begun to use vertical grain 1/8 hard balsa on the front and back side of the spar. This creates a "box" spar, which I have found to be plenty strong. You could also use 3/16 ply if you wish. Sheet the fuse and wing with 1/8 balsa. Now, when you enlarge all of these pieces, the notches will, of course, grow...especially on the fuse formers. Since I will stay with 1/8 for these fuse formers, I will simply strike a mark along the center line in the slot to be cut. I have found the easy way to notch these for 1/8 inch, is to use a table top saw with a dado blade. I cut along that line and go 1/4 inch deep. I end up with a perfectly tight 1/8 x 1/4 groove for the stringer. A tight fit that almost needs no glue. If you cut by hand, just use this strike line as a guide to get the appropriate size slot. One word, be sure you check all slot and notch sizes before you cut the wood. There is a lot of information here, and I hope I covered the critical areas. IF you have any further questions let me know. Once you blow the plans up, shoot me any specific questions and we will get the answer. Good I will go back to work on my small 110 inch FW190....Jeff"

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Question 83: "Im building the Ziroli Corsair and am planning to install operational cowl flaps. I have two questions:
(1) How much pressure would air put on the flaps at normal speed. ( I am using springs to push the flaps out and a servo to pull them in) I need to know this so I can calculate what proportions I should use when choosing my servo and springs. (2) Are there any Corsair cowls for Ziroli that are made for the flaps to be cut out? What would you choose? If not, how would you cut them? Thanks in advance!

Jeff: "I would just get the standard cowl available from Ziroli. Just cut the cowl along the panel lines for the flap cutout, that are embossed into the glasswork. Best to use an xacto blade and just keep scribing until you get thru the glass, this will give you a zero clearance and sharp cut, without losing any cowl material. As for springs, I would say you should get some fairly soft springs. You want springs that are just stiff enough to barely hold the flaps open, so that ANY wind pressure will close them. Go to the hardware store and start shopping for some softie springs. If you are interested, I have a schematic showing a servo operated cowl flap set-up. It is pretty easy to install/set-up. I can scan and send you the drawing if you like. Jeff "

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Question 84: "I'm considering which Ziroli plane to build as my first GS warbird. I have several years experience with gas aerobatic planes and am a good builder. I'm currently considering the Stuka, Dauntless, Zero, or P51. I like the looks of the Zero, but I've heard it has squirrely ground handling characteristics. I know the Dauntless and Stuka are rock solid. Do you have any recommendations for me? Thanks,...Steve"

Jeff: "Hi Steve…if I had my pick for the first warbird, it would be the P-47. With it’s wide track gear and great wing, there is no such thing as a bad flying “JUG”. As far as a pick from the list you provided, I would say that it really comes down to what you are looking for. The Stuka and Dauntless are a bit more “in-depth” as far as building goes. The stuka, with the gulled wing and “flying” ailerons and dive-brakes will take some patience, similar to the Dauntless in making the swiss-cheese divebrakes and flaps and 3 piece wing. The stuka can get snaky at low speed with those little wingtips, and failure to stay on top of it can lead to a wing snapping stall. To be sure it is a nice flying airplane. The Dauntless as well is a very nice plane. The P-51, while not my favorite, builds pretty straight forward and flies very nicely as well, but is a higher performance airplane. Personally, I would go with the Zero, especially if you like the lines. Having flown many Zeros, I can tell you that they indeed HAVE NO bad handling characteristics. The Zero design is one of the most natural planes designed for flying. It has a fairly wide ground track on the gear, and a long tail moment. This allows for smooth take-offs, and allows the plane to groove thru the air with ease having that long tail. The only drawback I can think of is that is has fairly long gear legs in the scale manner, which requires better landing techniques to keep the gear and wing in tact. That said, it lands very easy and soft, and I think it would be no problem. The long tail will require more noseweight to be added than is normal. The plane, as the spitfire, has a long tail moment, but has a very short, almost no nose moment. I would bank on the Zero as the easiest/quickest to build and best flight performance, from your choices. Good Luck…Jeff"

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Question 85: "Could you give me some names of manufactures of fiberglass fuselages in one/fifth scale that are really good in scale fidelity, n-brad"

Jeff: "Off hand, the only good source I can think of in that size would be a Mick Reeves design from Bob Holman, or the Yellow Aircraft design. The Reeves is dead on in scale appearance. Yellow is close. Good Luck...Jeff"

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Question 86: "Hi Jeff. Just wondering about finishing my 1/3 scale P51-K in aluminum sheeting for that authentic look, would you say thin sheet like litho plate or coke can style is too heavy? I want to get that ripple and dent finish. Thanks Bill"

Jeff: "If you want to use real aluminum, I would recommend using litho-plate. I have seen this done with success. It is pretty thin and it is not really that much heavier than the chrome tapes that everyone uses, but some would disagree. At 1/3 with aluminum, you may find it tuff to stay under 100 pounds...not that it would matter with a 13 and some odd foot wing. Good Luck, Jeff"

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Question 87: "Hi Jeff, I am going to build a quarter scale Sea Fury from Bates plans and am in the process of ordering wood. On the plans there are numerous 1/4" fuselage longerons that are specified as balsa and the wing spars are also listed as 1/2" sq. and 1/2" X 3/8" balsa. I seem to be having a problem finding balsa in these lengths, (as long as 70"). I was wondering if it would be acceptable to replace these with poplar that I ripped on my saw or is that a poor choice of replacement wood. I would use spruce, but I can't seem to find any locally (Lowes or Home Depot) any suggestions to the problem??? Thank You, Bernard"

Jeff: "I would recommend using the hardwood you have ripped as you state…I would not use balsa in this are on this large a plane. Sounds like a great project…good luck"

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Question 88: "Jeff I am building a Ziroli corsair and have been keeping up with your project. All of the photos and procedures you had on your site were a very big help. This is my first scratch built plane. I need some info on the fabric and dope you used on the rudder elevator and wing panels, I have never used this before. All I have ever used is the iron on fabric. Any info you could give on this would be appreciated. I am in the process of building the wing panels now , I am sheeting the wing with 3/32 with 1/16 where the fabric panels are. Thanks Kerry "

Jeff: "Hi Kerry….there are a couple different techniques I use, depending on the finish I want/use. First of all, I also use iron on fabric….Solartex. If I plan on using pinking tape, which is actually women’s hair tape from Walgreen’s, I will use dope. You can get butyrate dope in quarts from aircraft spruce and specialty. See their website at and enter dope in search field. Do not spend excess money at the hobby shop using Sig dope, etc. It is over priced and is no better than full scale dope products. It will be much cheaper at Aircraft Spruce for the same volume of product. There are two types of dope out there…..nitrate and butyrate. You can apply butyrate over nitrate, but not the other way around. I would not recommend using nitrate dope at all. It is great stuff, but not as popular these days in the full scale world. It is a little trickier to use than butyrate dope. Nitrate dope tends to continue to shrink and tighten over time. If you are not careful, and get it too thick or uneven on 2 sides, it will warp and twist things. I have seen many full scale planes in my day with scalloped trailing edges that were not supposed to be there. This has happened due to too much dope applied to the surface and pulling in, as it shrinks, on the trailing edges of the flight surfaces. Butyrate dope has mild taughtening, but once dry, does not continue to shrink.

I like to use Solartex fabric as it tends to hold the best, is easy to apply and does not seem to sag over time. Balsa USA carries this fabric. You could get it from your hobby shop as well. Iron on the fabric and apply the pinking tape (women’s hair tape). Take your butyrate dope and thin it about 40 percent with regular lacquer thinner from a hardware store. Using an acid brush, I will apply 2 coats to just the pinking tape to seal it up. Then I will apply 2 thin coats to the entire fabric surface. After dry, lightly wet sand with 400 or even 600 grit, just to take down any “bumpies”. Then you will prime and paint. Now, if you only have fabric on the panels and use no pinking tape, or cut your own from the iron on material, then I would say this: After you iron on the covering, etc., just brush on 2 thin coats of Minwax poly-crylic, available at the hardware store. This water based product will shrink the fabric just a bit when dry. It is clean, cheap and easy to apply. Then wet sand, prime and paint as aforementioned. Now, the reason I do not use Minwax with the women’s hair tape, is that, the water based product will attack the hair tape and shrivel it up. I guess you could always use dope to seal the tape and then Minwax the fabric, but I figure since I already have the dope out….why not just dope the whole thing. A friend of mine seals his hair tape with a 50/50 concoction of epoxy/alcohol, and then finishes it off with Minwax. The last method, as in full scale, would be to get non-adhesive back fabric and apply it ala full scale. Meaning, dope everything down in place. This is overly messy and time consuming for a model, and would only recommend if maybe competing, but most guys competing do not even do this…….some do. I am sure there are a few others ways to do this, but these are the methods I use. They are a branch off of my full scale dope and fabric days. There is nothing more fun than fabric covering a full scale plane. I have done 2 Aeronca, one cub and half a Pitts Special. We use household type irons on these babies, and 6 inch brushes and air guns to apply the dope. Man….what a good time. Good luck with your Corsair. Jeff"

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Question 89: "Hi Jeff, I might have a problem. I set the indcedence on the stab of my Ziroli Corsair at 0. Then I emailed Ziroli and found out it should be +1 on the stab and +2 1/2 on the wing. Can I set the wing different to compensate for this? Thanks, Kerry"

Jeff: "Hi Kerry…..the answer is that I would not recommend it. Changing the wing incidence will affect the lift of the airplane, stall and landing characteristics, more than the tail plane flight. I wouldn’t change a thing. Originally, Ziroli did set the stab at 0 degrees. This will not hurt anything. It will just make the plane fly a tad bit tail low. So little that you would be hard pressed to notice it. It is a simple elevator trim situation. It will not present any ill affects in flight, and nothing to be weary of. If you are concerned about it, I would cut the stab off and reset it before I would change the wing incidence. Personally, I would leave it."

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Question 90: "Jeff: I want to build the largest ME-109 available on the market. Who makes the largest kit and where can I purchase it? I live in Moncton, New Brunswick Canada. Regards, Greg"

Jeff: "I am with you Greg. I saw a 50% from France. Man what a beauty. I would like to have one about 1/3 scale, which is around 130 inch span. However, the limiting factor is the spinner. Having built a 120 inch P-40 and shopping for 3 months to find someone to make a large enough spinner, I know the tuff road to “spinner-ville”. The other limiting factor is lack of plans. I really only know of 3 sets of plans out there. The rest are fiberglass/foam kit version. The only plans that I know of are from Claude Baskins (thru IMP) at a small 65.5 inch span See for info. Dave Platt has plans at 80 inches. See for info. Platt makes a nice plane that is very scale and flies great. I have had 2 of these. Meister offers plans at 84 inch and 102 inch span. While the Meister is a nice flyer and relatively easy to build, it suffers from a flat bottom wing. But if you like to build from plans, and out of wood, then this is the largest wood kit around. See for info. Another option is American Eagle who carries a 102 inch Me109 as well. This is a Meister knock of, but offers a fiberglass fuse with foam cores wing and tail feathers. The nice thing is that the wing is semi-symmetrical. See for info. The best looking Me109 in terms of looks and large in size would have to be Pat McCurry’s Me109, consisting of fiberglass fuse and foam wing panels and tails. It spans 101 inches and makes a very nice scale model. See for details. These pretty much covers the Me019 kits out there that I know of. I still am thinking of blowing up Dave Platt’s plans to 130 inches, but would want to find a spinner manufacturer first. I know the local machine/spinning companies are a good source, as this is where I got my P-40 spinner. Good luck. Jeff"

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Question 91: "Hi Jeff, When you build your huge models, what method and types/brands of glues and adhesives do you use. Do you tack with CA and then bead with let's say Probond?? That is the information I really need. Thank You Bernard "

Jeff: "Hi Bernard…I use a lot of ½ inch balsa, first off. When I plank a wing, for example, I lay down one sheet at a time, as opposed to edge gluing a bunch of sheets to make one big one. I will mark the sheet outline on to the ribs. Where the sheet ends, and between the ribs, I add ½ inch balsa to span the rib, and have the sheet land on. I then sand the balsa to the rib contour. Then I will do as you say. I put Elmer’s Pro-Bond exterior grade wood glue (used for a safeguard against humidity over interior type) on the rib caps. I then run medium CA along the perimeter of the balsa sheet. I then put the balsa sheet down on the wing. This way, there is no need for T-pins and the CA will hold the sheet in place while the wood glue dries. I do the same with the fuse, adding ½ inch balsa along the fuse stringers where the balsa sheet ends. This balsa weighs next to nothing and really beefs up the structure. On my big corsair, I went with 6 inch wide sheets. It costs a little more, but there are fewer seams to deal with this way. On my 10 footers, I generally use 4 inch sheets. When it comes to Epoxy, I use the best. I would recommend for everyone to get some T-88 structural adhesive epoxy for structural work. This, opposed to Devcon, etc. I figure a 3K model is worth it. T-88 is the real stuff, used on real airplanes. It mixes just like regular epoxy you are used to. It is used for home-builts. If it is good enough to hold the real ones together, it is good enough for a model. You can get T-88 at some woodworking stored in your area. If not, check out It is really cheap. Only about $17 for 2 pint size bottles you mix. This, compared to $11.99 for Hobby-Poxy at the LHS for 2 six oz. bottles, or $2.17 at the local Wal-Mart for the small Devcon syringe tubes. So, in short, these are the 3 main glues/types I use. Happy building…..Jeff"

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Question 92: "I had a question regarding just how large and heavy model aircraft are allowed to get. I know this is a warbird website, but you folks are building some of the biggest models I've seen,.. and my specific interest is the concorde.
AMT models has built a 1:10 scale concorde complete with jet engines. I had heard it could never legally be flown because of it's weight (180 lbs). Is there a weight limit on these models? It seems I remember that Byron orignals built a huge B-29 that weighed well over 200 lbs,.. in fact I think I remember it being registered with the FAA as if it were a real aircraft. Is there a absolute weight limit these models cant go over? If so what is it?, and what would you have to do to get around it? Thanks."

Jeff: "Under AMA ruling, a model that weighs over 55 pounds must be certified and waivered to be flown at an AMA field. There are many constraints on their flying, even with the waiver. The waiver applies to any model airplane weighing 55-100 pounds. An airplane weighing over 100 pounds, cannot be flown under AMA guidelines/regulations. Now, if you go outside the AMA, which many of us do to realistically take advantage of the available technology, there are no limitations as to the size of a model airplane that can be flown. It must meet the criteria of a model, meaning not a man carrying design. At that point (man carrying), you get in to ultralight and full scale FAA and FAR requirements. However, as far as a model goes, you can fly a model of any size at your local sod farm, your big backyard, your brother’s farm, etc. You just cannot go to an AMA field to do the flying. Now, I work in the aviation industry, and to my knowledge, there is no ultimate weight for a model. Now, I could be wrong, and I would ask anyone to the contrary to correct me. I know the CAA is involved over in France, with the giant scale stuff, but that is a result of the LMA and its’ structure. Jeff"

Editors Note: "When I flew the 150lb C-47 for the Byron Expo "Striking Back" we were not covered by AMA. We flew on private property and were insured for millions of dollars. We flew planes up to 500lb in front of 20,000 or more people doing four shows in a row one week each year for six years. Now I fly a 70lb B-17 and it is covered by the AMA under it's experimental clause. It must be built to AMA specifications and have PCM radio with fail-safe, redundant batteries, heavy gauge wires, etc and weigh under 100lbs. It must be inspected each year by an AMA inspector and flown twice in his presence to show pilot competence and that it is air worthy"

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Question 93: "Hi Jeff My name is Ed. I am interested in building a B-17. Could you recommend a kit to me. I would appreciate knowing the manufacturer----the size of the aircraft-----and where I might buy this kit in Massachusetts. Thank you Ed "

Jeff: "Hi Ed…well there are a few options. Depends on the size you are looking for. There is the MArtuka kit, around 77 inch span, I believe. These are the old Royal kits. Check a hobby magazine for info. You can try to find an old Westcraft B-17. It is 120 inch span and is a glass fuse with foam wings. They are out of business, but there are some old kits out there for sale. Another option would be American Eagle’s B-17. It is based on, and the same size as, the old Westcraft B-17. It is also a glass fuse with foam wings. For American Eagle, check: If you want larger, all wood models, the 2 that come to mind are the 136 inch B-17 from Don Smith plans, and the B-17 from Bob Holman (I think this one is around 120 inch span as well). The Don Smith is a real builder’s kit. Makes a nice model, but a lot of work. Personally, I would opt for the Bob Holman B-17. I prefer the way it builds. It is also a bit to build, but I am more used to the way this plane would go together. Plans are available for these 2 models thru the respective designers. See and for these designers info. Kits for either can be ordered from Precision Cut Kits (PCK kits) at or All American Kit Cutters at Both can be found on the net, or in many of the hobby magazines. Good luck. Jeff"

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Question 94: "Hi Jeff: Hoping all is well with you, and wishing you and yours a Happy & Joyous Holiday Season. I need some help in trying to locate a 1/4 Scale or larger Junkers 10, in either a kit or a set of quality plans. I lost my J 10 due to an onboard battery short at our last Warbird meet. The bird was kitted by B&J Models in Red Hook, NY about 1990 and unfortunately they are long out of business. If you know of any possible sources for this majestic Warbird, I would deeply appreciate knowledge of same. Sincerely, Bill - Retired: USAF "

Jeff: "Hi Bill…thx, and best of holiday wishes to you and your family as well. The J10 is an abstract model to be sure….didn’t they call that the “tin donkey”? I do remember seeing an article by John Tanzer in Model Airplane News a few years back. It was some type of construction article on the J10. Not sure of the specifics, but this is all that comes to mind. Maybe MAN has a set of plans available thru their plans service. Try giving them a call. I may have the issue at home still. I will check. That’s about all I can offer you. Sorry I could not be of more help. If I come across anything, I will try to pass it along. Jeff"

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Question 95: "Jeff, whats the "correct" way i could enlarge the b-17 plans from don smith? would like to be 1/6th scale..... wheres a good place to take then to be done?. and do i take don's plan set and tell them i would like then to be 1/6th scale? thanks"

Jeff: "Hi Donnie.....I just take mine to Kinko's. It is advantageous if you can find a Kinko's, like the one by my house, where it is self service. Then you can check to make sure the copier is working OK. You want to check with them to be sure they calibrate their equipment. Many people also transfer to CAD. Many people feel that copying causes "stretch" problems. However, this is all the plans designer's like Ziroli, Vailly, etc. do. They just copy. The important thing is to check the calibration frequency to make sure they keep their equipment up. I have enlarged over 20 sets of plans, and have never had issues with fit of parts. In the few cases I did, it turned out to be a result of the original plans being in error (they didn't fit before I enlarged them). If you take them to be enlarged, you will need to tell them the percentage enlargement you would want. So you will have to figure that out. Jeff"

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Question 96: "Hi Jeff, I want a big wwII bird and it's gone a be my first one. What is the best plane to start with? There so many on the market! Do you know anything about the Composite ARF P-51? Is it a good flyer? Thanks Andre"

Jeff: "Hi Andre…yes, the Composite ARF P-51 is a fine ship and a good flyer. It is basically the same as the Fiberclassics P-51. However, I would not recommend it as a first warbird. The Mustang is a high performance airplane that requires you to keep on top of it. Many people do not realize that the mustang is noted for high speed stalls; especially if you pull a tight, high banked turn. Not knowing your previous flight experience, I would say that you need a good amount of time with a fairly high performance tail dragger before getting into a Mustang. If you have this experience, then it should be no problem. It assembles quite quick and easily. But, it is a fair $ investment. If you are new to warbirds, I would receommend the P-47. Of most all warbirds, it is probably one of the easiest flying planes with its’ wide gear stance and good stable wing. You can check in to a Top Flight P-47 for built up, or a Yellow P-47 kit for an almost ARF type kit. Both are great flying planes. However, I still stress that you need to have experience for success. As long as you keep the speed up and come in with power, you’ll be OK…these birds don’t glide like the aerobats. If you want a Mustang, I would recommend starting with the Top Flite ARF. It is a good value for the money and no where close to the $ investment of the Composite ARF. If you want to build it, Top Flite also has a built up version at 85 inch span. Success with the Top Flite can lead into the Composite ARF. Best of luck. Jeff"

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