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FMS P-47G Razorback High Speed PNP from Diamond Hobby Review

With its scale looks and a claimed top speed of more than 100 MPH (160km/h), this model truly is a thunderbolt!

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Introduction

FMS P-47G Razorback High Speed PNP

Wingspan:38.6" (980mm)
Wing Area:261 sq in (16.8 sq dm)
Weight:42.3 oz (1200g)
Length:34" (865mm)
Construction:Expanded polyolefin airframe and drop tank; polycarbonate canopy; plastic pilot bust and scale details; plastic wheels with rubber tires; nylon propeller with plastic spinner
Wing Loading:.16 oz/sq in (71.4g/sq dm)
Claimed Speed Range:Up to 104MPH (167.4km/h)
Servos:Four FMS FMS-092 9g metal-geared digital; two FMS FMS-093 9g nylon-geared digital
Transmitter:Airtronics SD-6G six-channel spread spectrum aircraft
Receiver:Airtronics 92224 six-channel spread spectrum aircraft
Battery:Predator 2600mAh 4S 35C with JST-XH balancing plug and Deans Ultra-Plug compatible power plug
Motor:FMS PAEP 3648 outrunner; 770Kv
Propeller:FMS 10.5x8 four-blade
ESC:FMS FMS-DT70 70A programmable brushless
Operator Skill Level/Age:Intermediate/Advanced; 14+
Manufacturer:FMS Model, 3/F, Building B, 3rd Industry Zone, Matigang, Dalingshan Town, Dongguan City, PRC
Available From:Diamond Hobby, 553 Capital Circle SW, Unit 4, Tallahassee, Florida 32304
Price (USD):$209.99 plus applicable tax and shipping charges

To sum up my recent experience with the FMS P-40B high speed PNP from Diamond Hobby in Tallahassee, Florida:

Wow!

This particular review came about during a phone call I had with Jim Ogorek at Diamond Hobby regarding a tech question I had about the P-40B. Jim offered to send me its hangar mate for review, namely the FMS P-47G Razorback High Speed PNP.

Developed in conjunction with Diamond Hobby and RCInformer.com, this bolt-together, all-EPO model features the same high power propulsion system of the P-40B in an equally compact airframe spanning a mere 980mm, or 38.6". The big difference between the two may be in the P-47G's more aggressively pitched four-blade scale prop as opposed to the three-blade prop on the P-40B. In one of their videos linked below, Diamond clocked their high-speed prototype Jug on radar at a screaming 104 MPH (167.4km/h) right out of the box.

For those who prefer their warbirds on the slightly tamer side, Diamond Hobby also sells a standard speed version which may be found here.

Dear readers, get ready for another fast ride from FMS as soon as we take a peek at the history of the prototype.

Prototype

The Republic Aviation P-47 Thunderbolt and its variations were among the largest and heaviest fighter aircraft ever to be powered by a single piston engine. Capable of carrying half the weight of the Boeing B-17 bomber - although with far less range - the P-47 was a very capable and effective fighter even with a fully loaded takeoff weight of nearly eight tons.

The all-metal Thunderbolt, also nicknamed "Jug" or "Juggernaut," was powered by a Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp two-row, 18-cylinder radial engine producing 2000 horsepower (1500 kW). Pilot comfort in the armored cockpit was a priority with comfortable seating, plenty of room and even cabin air conditioning.

Designed by Alexander Kartveli, the P-47 traces its lineage to the AP-4 demonstrator of 1939.

The FMS model denotes Little Chief, the famous P-47G flown by 1st Lt. (later Colonel) Frank W. "Klib" Klibbe of Anderson, Indiana (1920 - 2008). Klibbe was a highly decorated, seven-victory ace of the 61st Pursuit Squadron, 56th Fighter Group in 1942. He saw action in WWII, Korea and Vietnam and helped to establish in-flight fueling before retiring from the United States Air Force in 1972.

Kit Contents

The model comes with the following goodies:

  • Preassembled and decorated fuselage with 770Kv brushless outrunner motor, 70A ESC and 9g digital metal geared tail surface servos
  • Preassembled and decorated one-piece wing with digitally controlled landing gear, 9g digital metal geared aileron servos, 9g digital nylon geared flap servos, LED navigational lights and electronic servo distribution box
  • Horizontal stabilizer with prehinged elevator and fiberglass reinforcement tube
  • Scale four-blade propeller and simulated variable pitch hub
  • Preassembled canopy with hand-painted pilot bust
  • Simulated guns, pitot tube and removable drop tank
  • Bagged and labeled hardware with extra parts
  • Foam glue, phillips screwdriver and 1.5mm allen wrench
  • Photo illustrated assembly and setup manual
  • ESC programming manual

Needed to complete the model:

  • Six-channel or greater 2.4GHz computerized aircraft radio system
  • 2200mah 25C 4S lithium polymer battery; Diamond Hobby recommends the use of their Predator 2600mAh 35C 4S battery
  • Suitable battery charger

If the P-40B was impressive, the P-47G was equally so. The colorful display box surrounded a sturdy foam tray with all components securely and neatly placed. The paint job and decal placement were excellent and showed real care in their application. While many PNPs and ARFs have decals which come in sheets, the P-47G has individually placed numbers and letters. The only things missing were nomenclature stencils, but the scale Hamilton prop made up for that a bit with its carefully placed nomenclature and trademarks.

It's always nice to see a detailed pilot bust in any model, but he's way too large and out of scale. Other than that, FMS did a superb job of capturing the scale proportions of the real Thunderbolt. Panel lines and rivets are crisp and clear and the entire airframe is mercifully free of unsightly injection marks.

Here are the airframe parts as they come from the box:

Assembly

Wing

All that needs to be done in order to complete the wing is the installation of the aileron and flap control horns and pushrods. This and the rest of the steps needed to complete the model are made easier by the easy-to-read manual rewritten by Diamond Hobby and RCInformer.com. Those pushrods come with ball links screwed in place, but some adjustment will be necessary. I simply did what I'd done with the P-40B, namely to connect the wing to the receiver and power it via a spare ESC. That way, I could electronically center the servos without having to manually move them to the point where I could install the pushrods.

FMS uses an ingenious control box which serves as a servo junction and flap control unit. This speeds up connecting the wing to the receiver and eliminates the clutter of multiple Y-harnesses.

While the photos in the P-40B's manual showed a different model, this manual showed a P-47G which made for faster installation of the pushrods once the control horns were installed.

Hardware for both ailerons and pushrods were in marked ziplock bags and came with spare hardware. This was a plus I'd pointed out during the assembly of the P-40B and as I'd said then, spare metric hardware makes for easy repairs and maintenance down the road.

Powering up the wing in order to mechanically raise and center the servos also meant powering up the wonderfully bright nav lights and the retracts. The retracts worked perfectly as did the flap servos with nice, slow deployment.

Beefy, slop-free ball joints at the control horns and snap-on clevises with short lengths of fuel tubing serving as safety retainers make for the sort of strong, no-nonsense setup a model with this kind of performance envelope calls for.

Installing the wing to the fuselage with four machine screws completes the wing assembly.

Tail

Since the vertical stabilizer is molded into the fuselage and the rudder already installed, completing the tail means installation of the two halves of the horizontal stabilizer and its fiberglass reinforcing tube.

The left half of the stab/elevator is first inserted followed by the tube, the right half and the hardware. The installation differs a bit from the P-40B with its dual elevator pushrods and a set screw used to help secure the halves of the shaft which connect the elevator halves.

As with the wing, I used the radio to center the pushrods and once done, the ball links were snapped in place.

The supplied 1.5mm allen wrench may be used to fine tune the alignment of the rudder and tail wheel pushrods up at the servo if necessary. I use a Dynamite 1.5mm driver which fits perfectly and won't strip.

The next step, strangely enough, is to install the backside propeller hub to the propeller. I saw no need to do so right away, so I skipped the step until I was ready to install the prop.

Completion

Installation of the receiver, the prop, the battery for the CG check and the simulated guns and pitot tube complete the P-47G.

Since Jim at Diamond Hobby is an Airtronics fan, I used the same SD-6G I used to fly the P-40B. The receiver is the original 92224 six-channel unit which came with the radio and which I'd been using in the very same model I originally used to review the radio.

As mentioned earlier, the aileron, flap and gear/LED leads from the control box eliminate a tremendous amount of clutter in the battery compartment, reducing all of the connections at the wing to three simple servo plugs per the illustration on page eleven.

Two of the most important photos are also shown on that page. They show the difference in the battery location between the so-called "standard speed" version with its 2200mAh 3S battery and the high speed version with its 2600mAh 4S pack. The 2200 is inserted all the way forward while the 2600 needs to be installed as shown and secured with the preinstalled hook-and-loop strap.

Verifying the proper rotation of the motor and setting the control throws are next with suggested throws of 10mm aileron, 8mm elevator and 7mm rudder. I discovered on the maiden flight that 7mm wasn't quite enough throw to offset P-factor on takeoff, but it's a good start. The SD-6G doesn't have a dual position flap switch, so I used the recommended 10mm mid down setting as a starting point which later proved to work well. 35 percent expo for the ailerons, 10 percent for the rudder and 25 percent for the elevator were programmed in and proved to work well.

20mm aileron, 15mm of elevator and 12mm of rudder represent the high rates for those wishing to put their own Jug through some really extreme aerobatics.

Final assembly consists of installing the guns, pitot tube and prop. The guns are a relatively snug tab-and-slot fit on the LE of the wing and are secured by the supplied contact cement. The small panel on the wing below where the pitot tube is installed will first have to come off. A small bit of double-sided tape holds it in place inside. A #11 X-Acto knife or equivalent will make quick work of the tape. The pitot tube is installed with the small triangle at the end of the tube facing upward.

FMS recommends balancing the propeller before installation, but as I'd done on the P-40B, I intentionally installed it without balancing to see how true it would run out of the box. Fact is, it's nicely balanced as is.

The vacuum-plated hub and spinner nut add a nice touch of scale detail to the Thunderbolt, but a hole through which a tool should be placed to tighten the spinner is lost to scale correctness - and the fact that the spinner is plastic with a threaded metal insert. Although I was able to do a fairly good job of tightening the spinner by hand, I didn't wish to take chances. I removed it and reinstalled it with a dab of blue Loctite thread locker compound for added safety which did a superb job of holding the spinner in place.

Time to head to the R/C field.

Flying

Once more, I found myself at the Coachella Valley Radio Control Club near Palm Springs with a very fast FMS model in hand. Club videographer George Muir was on hand as always to record the maiden flight.

After checks of range, CG and control surfaces, it was time to get started.

Ground handling was excellent as expected. Diamond Hobby recommends taking off with the flaps retracted and that's how I set up for my first takeoff.

I noticed right away that the P-factor was higher in the P-47 than the P-40. Making things more difficult was the fact that I hadn't programmed quite enough rudder throw to compensate.

I kept it lined up as best I could and got the model airborne. Now is when the fun could begin.

Once the tail was off the ground, the model was off as if it had been catapulted in the air. It was a considerable distance downrange even before I raised the gear and made the first left turn into the pattern.

Did I happen to mention that this was one fast model even at low throttle?

Trim was almost perfect, needing only a click or two of left aileron. Smooth, straight and fun flight was the order of the day here, even while flying at about 1/2 to 3/4 throttle for George's benefit.

In short, the Jug flew like a sport plane with plenty of power on tap. Opening up some of that power resulted in, well, let's simply say ballistic speed and unlimited vertical climb. While editing the video, I turned up the soundtrack of a low runway pass just before I went to nearly full throttle.

Electric aircraft might not have as visceral a sound as an internal combustion engine to many people, but the Doppler effect of the Jug blasting by needs to be mixed in album format and sold on iTunes. It really is that great.

As fast and as powerful as the model was, I immediately felt comfortable flying it because of the sharp, accurate handling. The ball links on the control surfaces do their work well. I never go all out on a maiden flight, but it wasn't long before I felt comfortable enough to do a large loop and barrel roll. Again, smooth , straight and fun.

Believe me, I almost didn't wish to land it. As I was about to touch down, I realized that I hadn't extended the flaps. Even without the flaps, the video shows my very first landing as one of the best I'd ever done during the maiden flight of a warbird.

The second flight off camera was just as much fun, but it was flown primarily to land with flaps extended. Down came the gear, down came the flaps and down came the Jug for an even better landing. The flaps really do make a difference and are definitely worth using.

Aerobatics and Special Flight Performance

The usual repertoire of loops, rolls, stalls and turns are as close as the transmitter sticks. if it's doable by a four-channel warbird, it's doable on the Jug. My sample's very first rolls and loop are in the video and it did both beautifully.

Incredible speed is also on tap. If one wishes to bore some really fast holes in the sky, the P-47G is more than up to the task and it will do so with real aplomb.

It isn't simply fast. It's fast and controllable, not to mention fun at any speed.

The Doppler effect during fast flybys is icing on the cake.

Is This For a Beginner?

No. This is a fast, responsive, low-winged warbird which will not self-correct as a trainer would. It simply goes where it's pointed, not to mention that it does so rather quickly.

Easy assembly and setup might well tempt a beginner, but this model absolutely requires the skills of an intermediate to advanced pilot, preferably advanced.

Flight Video and Photo Gallery

This is Diamond Hobby's YouTube pre-release teaser trailer:

FMS P-47 980mm Razorback Teaser Trailer from Diamond Hobby (3 min 38 sec)

Here's their entire presentation:

FMS P 47 980mm Razorback Full product demo Diamond Hobby (14 min 57 sec)

Finally, yours truly takes this baby for a ride:

FMS P 47G Razorback High Speed PNP - RCGroups.com (3 min 5 sec)

Conclusion

FMS has unquestionably gone from also-ran status to serious contender in just a few short years. The FMS P-47G Razorback High Speed PNP as designed with input from Diamond Hobby and RCInformer.com is, quite honestly, a knockout punch.

Stay tuned for RCGroups.com reviews on upcoming FMS 980mm warbirds. We'll look at the Kawasaki Ki-61 "Tony" and Bell P-39 Airacobra just as soon as they're released.

Two thumbs up as high as I can give. This model is a must-have.

Thanks once more to Diamond Hobby's Jim Ogorek for being kind enough to offer this model for review. Mike Greenshields of Global Hobby Distributors is a real friend on whom I can always count for support equipment. I was fortunate to spend some time with Mike at the 2015 AMA Expo in Ontario, California where he presented me with the new Airtronics SD-10GS radio. As I'd pointed out earlier, Jim is a big Airtronics fan, so rest assured that future FMS reviews will be flown with this incredible new system.

Angela Haglund and Jim T. Graham are the folks here at RCGroups who make certain that all of our reviews are ready for publishing on behalf of our worldwide audience. Thank you for stopping by and have fun here at RCGroups.com!

Pluses and Minuses

Pluses galore, including:

  • Incredibly fast and fun to fly
  • Beautifully finished and detailed
  • Individually applied letters and numbers
  • Model represents an actual historic aircraft
  • Extra hardware will aid in repairs and maintenance
  • Excellent manuals as rewritten by Diamond Hobby and RCInformer.com
  • Electronic servo distribution box eliminates clutter
  • Beefy 70A ESC easily handles the power
  • Does not have to be flown fast in order to fly well
  • Parts and outstanding technical support by a US-based company
  • Metal-geared digital servos plus slop-free ball links equal outstanding control

The only minuses are almost not worth mentioning, but mention them I must:

  • Recommended minimum rudder throw is a bit short
  • Pilot bust is out of scale
  • Foam beneath the drop tank bracket mounting area is unfinished
Last edited by DismayingObservation; Jan 14, 2015 at 11:05 AM..
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Old Jan 25, 2015, 04:23 PM
pathfinder is offline
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That's the I like it! uh huh
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Old Jan 25, 2015, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by pathfinder View Post
That's the I like it! uh huh
Get down tonight!

I'm glad you lke it!
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Old Mar 09, 2015, 07:46 PM
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Problem with my P-47g Razorback

Hi, I'm fairly new to flying. I picked up a used Razorback , took it home and bound it to a spectrum DX6i. Fully charged the battery and every thing worked except the motor. The prop would nug a little but that's it. Also when powerd up the prop was hard to turn by hand, when powerd off the prop turned free and easily . I would really appreciate any help or ideas. Thanks
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Old Mar 27, 2015, 01:02 AM
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First thing you need to do - take the prop off. Whenever you power-up an airplane to test any electronics, especially the motor, do so without the prop. It might sound old school but you can seriously hurt yourself or someone else, and the 3648 outrunner on your P47G is no joke.

Does the ESC arm? If not make sure your throttle on your TX is all the way down. If that isn't the problem, see if the motor works with another ESC.
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