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Old Nov 14, 2014, 02:30 PM
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J-Power Sky Angel 1000mm "Mini" P-38 Lightning

There have been other threads where this plane is mentioned, but AFAIK, not one dedicated to it, so I thought I'd start one. Here's what little I know about it, and welcome clarifications or other input.

This is an older plane, and was sold under the Sky Angel or J-Power name brands. It's a 3S with counter rotating props. Four channel, with retracts, but no flaps. I bought mine on Amazon for around $160.00 It was available in either the California Cutie (Spelled wrong, ironically. Californid Cutie) or the Silver Marge scheme.

Mine arrived in horrible condition about a year ago. Both tails were broken off in the box, and the rudders were in several pieces. The wing was warped, and squashed in several places. The horizontal stab was warped and everything else had nicks and scratches in it. There is basically no packing in the box, all the parts are in bags and just float around in the box. The long road from China really tore it up. Assembly is ALL glue, not a screw anywhere. Even the control horns have to be glued on. The ESC gets sealed in the booms, and there is no getting to them once the plane is put together.

I built it, repaired the tails as best I could, and straightened out the surfaces. I maiden'd it about a year ago, and it was a total fail. Banked hard right and nosed in. It was repairable, so I installed an Orange Rx with a gyro, and tried again today. Same hard bank to the right, tail heavy, and eventual crash. This time was fatal, it's not repairable.

You can still get the airframe kit on Amazon for about $60.00 so I bought one. nom, another board member here bought one and is building from kit format. I have an airframe on the way, and will post pictures as I go. This may help nom (and anyone else interested) will be able to see what the complete plane looks like, and can go forward with buying motors and the like.

Below are some links to different sources for the plane, parts and substitute replacement parts, I have found. I welcome all suggestions, advise, and critiques as I rebuild. The P-38 Lightning is my all time favorite WWII fighter, and I so want to make this plane a successful flier.

Links:

Amazon Kit: http://www.amazon.com/J-Power-P-38-R...&keywords=p-38

Amazon PNP: http://www.amazon.com/J-Power-P-38-R...&keywords=p-38

Amazon Airframe: http://www.amazon.com/Skyangel-SA-31...&keywords=p-38

Stock props, spinners and other parts: http://www.atomikrc.com/collections/...ni-rc-airplane

Alternate props from the Freewing B-17. Simular diameter and pitch, and can be had CCW. Have to drill it for the larger shaft: http://www.motionrc.com/freewing-b-1...p/#spare-parts

Spinners to fit above props: https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...0mm%5FPNF.html

Manual: https://system.netsuite.com/core/med...95e57&_xt=.pdf

Some pics, and my failed maiden flight...

1000mm P-38 Maiden (1 min 7 sec)
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Old Nov 14, 2014, 02:44 PM
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Subscribed! Dan when you get a chance can you take a pic of the motor and motor mount? I am used to having the firewall point the motor down and to the right but there is no motor mount just 2 plastic areas to screw down a possible mount?

This bird will be a belly lander. I think the control rods will be easier if I feed them through the tubes and it looks like I will need to use either .047mm or .039mm rods attached directly to a dubro micro horn via a z bend. I also plan on possibly putting landing skids near the servos and servo arms to protect them. I plan on using 9g tower pro sevos with servo arm easy connectors attached to the servo arms. Based on the slot for the control rods it looks like the elevator and rudder servos are installed upside down. If was going to have retracts I would put a metal servo for the steerable wheel. As far as the motors something in the 300 size range (26-28mm) should work and since I have no retracts I am hoping a 1500-1800mah lipo will fit. The canopy will be glued with canopy glue and the rest will be glued with Foam Tac, Gorilla Glue, and Epoxy.

No gear doors were included in the kit but the air scoops were included.
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Old Nov 16, 2014, 11:04 PM
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Thanks for the PM pointing me here Nom.
Looks like yours came in great shape, congrats!

Dan - where did you set the cg?

Funny, earlier today I placed orders for the following parts to build my kit (also arrived in pretty bad shape from Amazon... but would have installed carbon fiber throughout it anyway so not that big a deal):

two 2826 1400kV motors (anyone know what kV the stock ones are?)
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=34108

master airscrew 8x6 3 bladers, will cut to 7x6
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXVJ19
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXYNB1

Accd to online motor/prop calculators this should give >50mph top speed and ~900g thrust at ~20A and ~200W per motor. Not a speed demon but that's ok I have other planes for that.

two 30A ESCs
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=40685

3S 2200 60C Zippy Compact
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html

Will give these spinners a try (correct 1.75" diameter) but since they're meant to screw onto 2mm bell motor shafts not sure yet how they can be adapted to larger Turnigy prop shaft
http://www.motionrc.com/fms-800mm-p40-v2-spinner/

Various 9g servos I have in the parts bin.
Like Nom mine'll be a belly lander, and get a silver paint scheme since I've already got a 1.5m J-power in green.

Looking forward to seeing how you guys build yours, and who can get theirs in the air (and safely down) first!

tally ho
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 12:32 AM
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I'm hoping mine comes in as good of shape as Ben's did. If not, as Amazon is usually good with returns, I'll likely send it back, and roll the dice on getting a good one. It shipped, and should be here by Friday.

I'll take a bunch of pics when I start disassembly of the crashed one, and post them. Hopefully, that'll help you out. I found two LH stock props, they are shipping too. There are some RH stock ones on to be had as well, but I'm looking at nearly $10.00 each with shipping. I still have one each CCW & CW 7X6 from the B-17, so I may go with them, before I kill two $10 props.

I had CG as recommended, right at the little bumps in the wing, 50mm. I plane on adding some steel ( a 5/16" nut, maybe) to the nose cone before I glue it on. I'll use a small amount of UHU Por or something I can break free, to adjust the nose weight after what is hopefully maiden #3...
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 07:48 AM
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Thanks for the links Dan - if the MotionRC spinners can't be modded to work I'll likely try the ones from Atomic in your link.

What battery did you use?

Strange and sad yours went in twice, sounds like in about the same way. My larger Lightning couldn't be much nicer and gentler to fly, although it did take a bit of adjusting to get the fore/aft CG correct.
At first she required quite a lot up up trim to fly level so I added a few big washers and 2 nuts to the nose. Then I went from 2700 4S to 3300mAh and got rid of the weights.
In roll she's always been rock solid, until I lost a motor on flight 50....
Maybe one of your motors or ESCs (the right one I'd guess) is bad?

Pretty ambitious to fit retracts to such a small Lightning!

Yours looks like it came even more damaged than mine, though the warped horiz stab isn't a problem if you bury a strip of 1x3 carbon from tip to tip (which is a very good idea to add torsional rigidity to the whole airframe).

Forgot to mention that I'm also planning on fixing the rudders and saving a little weight of 2 servos there. Don't use them much on the 1.5m P-38.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 12:42 PM
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I'm using a 1300 3S. It fits well in the limits space available. It's also what the manual calls out, so I figured I wouldn't push it one way or the other.

Yes, both crashes were very similar. The second flight was a bit longer, I fought it to keep control, but it looked much like the one I have on video. I did manage to keep it airborne for about 45 seconds. Ironically, it landed in damn near the same spot, those rocks are deadly. I'm thinking my problem was something tweaked in the airframe. Rudder's misaligned, booms not straight, or wing warpage. I say this because I had enough time to play with the throttle a bit before the last crash. It didn't make any difference in how much, or how little throttle I gave it. The excessive right roll I was seeing was almost the same. The tail heavy aspect was pretty obvious too. I may try some washers on the motor mounts, to induce a bit of down thrust.

I don't think I have one motor running faster than the other. I calibrated both ESC's separately, and both motors spin up from 0 to idle at the same time. Same with shut down. If I go to idle, and then use trim to reduce RPM in smaller increments, they both shut off at the same time. I don't have a tachometer, but both sound about the same at higher RPM as well.

I may leave the retracts out for the next build. There is a huge rats nest of wiring for them, as well as the extra servo for the steerable nose gear. I'm thinking of adding the drop tanks from an FMS 800mm P-51. They'd look pretty scale, and would give me some landing skids to protect the props if I belly land her. I'm also going to swap the Orange Rx I have for a Lemon RX with a gyro. I started flying with them a few months ago, and am very impressed with their performance so far.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 01:14 PM
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I have one and it's a GREAT flying plane. Not terribly well designed, but a great flyer once sorted out. I bought the "PNP" version a while back from Atomik. Arrived with some tail damage, but easily fixable and a good time to make it stronger with c/f.

I spend a CONSIDERABLE amount of time mocking it all up so I could cut all servo leads to length and crimp on new terminals. Mine is all stock, running a standard Rx all the way rearward in the pod, with a thin 1800mah 3s lipo. Balances and flies great. I have at least a dozen flights with zero issues, knock on wood.

The steering arm for the nose gear is a joke but I left it in. I hammer it and get airborne asap and once it lands (on pavement) I go pick it up--no taxi back.

I removed the main gear doors as the won't stay closed and I didn't feel like fussing with them.

I forget the amp draw at WOT, but it was up there. You'll kill a little 1000-1300mah in short order.

Here's a few pics...
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 01:47 PM
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Nice! Good to see this thread is getting some attention!
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 02:01 PM
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Sammy70, can you let us know where you set CG?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLTRI View Post
Sammy70, can you let us know where you set CG?

Thanks!

If memory serves it was right at the recommended, maybe a smidge off.

I'll have to recheck sometime and let you know...
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 06:33 PM
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Nice pics Sammy !
It's funny just how much it looks like a 2/3 scale 1.5M J-Power. Thick details, chunky overall shape, but still somehow looks like a great flier.

Those stock spinners look too good... just ordered a pair from Atomic (for almost $20 w/ shipping :/ )

Good idea with the customer servo wires to minimize the rat's nest. I'll be doing the same.

How long are you flying with 1800 battery?
The stock motor kv is still a mystery...

Without a nose gear there's plenty of space for a 2200mAher, and minus the gear and rudder servos she'll weigh about the same.

Might also run a strip of carbon across the elevator which would make it stiff enough to use a single elev servo.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

How long are you flying with 1800 battery?
The stock motor kv is still a mystery...
I fly 5-7 minutes no problem. If memory serves the motors were 1500Kv as opposed to the 1900Kv in the JPower "Funfighter" type planes.

I found an old post where I mentioned the stock amp draw--with a strong 2200mah fresh off the charger WOT was 39a

It would be a very short flight with a 1000-1300mah pack, not to mention very hard on the pack.

Found a few other pics...
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:10 PM
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Excellent pics!

J-Power lightnings of any size just looks tuff
And share the same wing flex lol
Mine's already got 1x6 carbon in the bottom of the wing to fix the shipping damage and help out the stock tube.
39A for two motors isn't bad at all. 2x30A ESCs will be perfect.

Cool so the 1400kVers I ordered should be fine, may try them with the full fat 8x6 props before cutting them down to 7. Like the $10 price vs. $30 for stock ones from Atomic as well.

Yeah I'm with you on the larger battery. I've puffed enough smaller ones... The 2200 60C Zippy Compacts should be able to take 5 minutes+ of WOT if I were so inclined. Which I won't be.
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Old Nov 22, 2014, 12:00 PM
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Airframe Unboxing

My airframe arrived Friday. Thankfully, it appears to be in perfect condition! I took a quick unboxing picture, amazing at the lack of any shipping protection. All the pieces are just thrown in a box, with an attempt to tape the bags to the side of the box.

The only damage I can see so far is a slight crush to the bump on the bottom of the wing were the formation lights are, and a tiny scuff one wing tip. Both rudders and tails are intact and straight. One rudder has a weaker hinge line that the other, but it's not broken. I'll strengthen it with some tape.

It also doesn't have any decals. This is a good thing for me, gives me a chance to try out some Calle Graphics. There is a P-40 like shark mouth livery I've seen, think I'll go that route. I may work on it a bit today, but have decided I'm going to replace the aileron servos with some good metal gear servos from Motion RC. Once you install those servos, there is no replacing them, as the wiring gets buried under the engine nacelles. I want to be sure they last a good long time.

Quick shot of the unboxing below. Also a link to a video of GBLynden flying his version of the plane (thanks to P40flier for the heads-up on the video). I didn't want to steal his video, and post it, so I just added a link to the page. I'll try and post some detail pictures of my wrecked P-38 later, showing the firewall and some other details. Any requests for specific areas?

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...44481&page=817
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Old Nov 22, 2014, 12:12 PM
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Graphics

Here's the livery I'd like to do. Gotta love any warbird with teeth!
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