Thread: Build Log Mike's P-47D Thunderbolt 48"
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 02:05 PM
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Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
557 Posts
Build Log
Mike's P-47D Thunderbolt 48"

Here it is......

This is my best flying Aircraft! The picture here is after about 25 flights. The amazing thing is that this 2.5 pound plane flies amazingly smooth and on rails. I compare this plane to my others by saying this is a Cadillac compared to my other planes that are Pinto's. I LOVE THIS PLANE!

The Build
This build log will provide a lot of pictures and detail of the building process, techniques & methods. It will be presented by a novice builder so that both beginners & experienced modelers can understand and follow along.

Cheat Index:
For those who want the short story, I have began to compile quick links for this build log. Here are the highlights:

Hotwire Foam
The Keel
The Fuselage
Foam Sanding Techniques
The Firewall
The Tail Section
Making The Cowl
Wing Saddle
My Mentors Projects
Foam Wing Cores Cut
Top Hatch Cut
Vaccum Forming The Canopy
Wing Sheeting
Aileron & Wing Tips
Wing Fitting & The Fuselage
Fiberglas The Fuselage
Sanding & Priming
Covering with Ducolam
Putting It All Together! Paint
Maiden Flight Video
Slow Fly-By's Video & flight report
Free Rough Drawings Made Available
Open Canopy Installed
Good Video - Morning Sortie

The Aircraft:
The P-47 Thunderbolt was considered by many to be the most significant fighter aircraft of World War II. Built in greater quantities than any other US fighter, the P-47 was the heaviest single-engine WWII fighter to go into production and the first piston-powered fighter to exceed 500 mph. The multi-roll fighter was twice the weight of other WWII fighters of that era. Not only was it big, but it was lethal. With 8 wing mounted .50 caliber machine guns that could deliver 13 Lbs of lead each second the pilots finger was on the trigger, the Thunderbolt was a force to be reckoned. It had self-sealing fuel tanks and was the first to drop napalm bombs and the first to fire 5' rockets from the wings (according to When loaded with armor-piercing incendiary (API) rounds the .50 caliber did considerable damage to light armored vehicles, trains, and aircraft. Seven of the top 10 European Aces flew the P-47 Thunderbolt against the Luftwaffe. Thunderbolt’s knocked 3,752 enemy aircraft out of the air while destroying another 2,800+ on the ground. This aircraft was capable of taking direct enemy hits and still flying. The heavily armored plane sustained 824 combat losses, only .07% of the Jugs didn't return from a combat mission, the lowest total of any Allied fighter.

About my RC Plane/Modeling experience:
I have flown RC planes on and off for the past 20 years. I have built 3 or 4 kit planes over the years....
1. Carl Goldberg Eaglet 50 with a .25 k & B motor - My trainer plane that got me going into this hobby 20 years ago.
2. Generic P-51 stick & monokote plane (.25 - .40 motor). Of course I opted for the .40 motor and learned quickly that I was not good enough as a builder and pilot. Plane flew for all of 20 seconds before it became a flying lawn dart.
3. Carl Goldbert Piper Cub - slow flyer, semi-scale plane that was (and still is) a blast to fly. I converted this to electric power last april.
4. Stearman Bi-Plane - I don't even remember who made this kit but it was crap and I never finished it.

left the hobby and now I am back.
I have built flown several RTF foamies including the multiplex easy-star, multiplex twinstar, e-flite p-47, e-flite Corsair.

I am writing all the stuff about me because I consider myself a complete novice when it comes to scratch building and it is my hope that my perspective of this process will help encourage other "lurkers" to this forum to consider giving it a go. Whatever happens here, go easy on me guys. Not only am I a novice but I am not very creative or mechanically inclined.....

I plan to build this plane with the help of a experienced model builder. I will be using drawings made from 3 views. The size of the Thunderbolt will be a little smaller than 1/10th Scale. It will not be an exact scale replica, but a fun scale flyer. I have not figured out the color scheme or many of the little details, but will keep you posted.

Wingspan will be around 48" and fly on a Rimfire 42-40-800 Outrunner Brushless Motor. The Model should weigh in around 2.5 pounds. The plane will be foam & balsa.

More to follow.

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Last edited by tr6world; Dec 09, 2009 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Updating Cheat Index
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