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Old Nov 17, 2014, 07:00 PM
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acesimmer's Avatar
United States, NV, Fernley
Joined Oct 2011
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86" KMP P-38 D gas to electric build and conversion

A couple of months ago I exchanged a 74 Honda C75 for two spitfires and a KMP P-38 Lightning. I spent a couple of days converting a Spitfire 60 ARF over to electric and finished it today. Well, that was a horrid build due to very bad quality. To make it worse. I finally got it on its legs and it just flips over standing still. The CG is dead on but the wheels are raked to far back. Time to just burn it I'm thinking.

So with that said and feeling that I just wasted time and effort on a bit of oriental crap! I decided to pull out the P-38 and see what needs to be done with that. A little story on this model. My mate had it sitting in his garage for the past five years gathering dust. So I asked him about it. It came with two complete sets of fuselages. One in the green/silver and the other set in D-day stripes. Three complete sets of extra wings two canopies and so on. So I did the deal. The other Spit is a Top Flight model which is completely built and just needs paint and finishing.

So I began fitting the parts together to get an idea on size etc. I inserted one wing tube into one side and straight off found the inner fuselage sleeve to be off center. Well, bloody hell I just had nothing but issues with the Chinese Spit and now this!! I'm so peed off I was ready to just burn both of these models and get back to building my own composite models. From what I understand his the KMP P-38 was supposed to be a decent plane in its day. I would have thought that with the nice glass work that they would assemble using alignment jigs the way I do on my big EuroFighters.

Anyhow, I have almost got the tube straight with the inner wing fitting much better. A little more work and it should be okay. Now one thing is that I only have one center fuselage and two cowls. So I'm thinking to maybe pull a mold off these single parts which would then give me two and a half complete and flyable models if I made some new glass work.

My question is.. Have any of you built and flown this make and model. Is it worth making the parts so that I have two ready to fly?

I plan on running two counter rotating out runners with 6S per side. I can locate the batteries in each cowl along with ESC's. I just need to build cradles and cut out a flip up hatch in the cowl side.

Please let me know of any builds.
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 10:15 PM
DELTAS RULE
corsair nut's Avatar
tehachapi, CA
Joined Jan 2006
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saaaaweeeet! looking forward to this one!!!!
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Old Nov 18, 2014, 06:57 PM
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Pollock Pines, CA
Joined Aug 2002
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Ace, look at all the trouble in a positive way...................... The crap gives you plenty of excuses to have a beer or many.

Den
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Old Nov 18, 2014, 07:43 PM
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United States, NV, Fernley
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Positive my butt!! I now found something a bit odd. Like I said that I had two pairs of fuselages. One pair does not have any panel lines nor rivets etc. Also the top bit which I think is the blower is a separate glued in piece. On the second pair which is the invasion striped version it has a bunch of details and also a different setup for the rudders. I'm beginning to think that I have one model which was a prototype while the second is the production model? Interesting....
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Old Yesterday, 11:12 AM
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USA, VA, Arlington
Joined Jul 2002
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I really Loved my electrified KMP P-38

Yes build both! I built one of these monster KMP P38's in 2007. Here are some pics and here are the specs best as I recall them.
two AXI 41xx's
two Jeti 77 opto plus ESC's mounted right next to the motors as the RCG guru's advise.
10s lipos one "gas tank" lipo pack powering both motors. The lipos were placed in the center Command Pod and the plane balanced perfectly with no need for extra weight.
Props were counter-rotating. I think the starboard/right motor had the pusher prop and rotated "in". There are YouTube videos of full scale P38's starting up that will give you the right counter rotation location.
Below are some pictures. And here is a link to a video of the maiden. It ended badly so I only got one flight. I believe the culprit was the weak, single elevator servo which failed on the maiden. Build yours better; stronger and redundant. I would invest in a couple of high quality thin wing servos (metal gears, etc). Sailplane specialty shops sell these for around $80 each. Place them close to the elevator Hook up two for the elevator and make all the servo horns and links very strong.
As I write this I recall how cramped the fuselage was and what a rat's nest of wiring I had what with the long wire runs from the ESC's to the single battery pack and the air lines for the retracts. So much spaghetti! Because of the long wiring runs I used 12guage high quality silicone wiring and I added a couple of inline capacitors that you can buy from lots of places now; EspritModel and even HobbyKing. These capacitors help smooth out the energy flow and dampen spikes making the ESC's strain less. There's lots of RCGForum debate about where to place the ESC's on multi-engine planes. I opted to keep them next to the motors
Here is a link to the video:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/i050h6lrsj...aiden.mpg?dl=0
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Old Yesterday, 08:44 PM
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Lax... Thanks so much for the info. I agree with the thin wing servos for elevator. That was already in the plan. I'm also going with Etracts for the gear. I'm thinking to drop the bats in the motor nacelles on custom mounts with the ESC's inside the cowls. I'll make hatches in the lower cowls for bats.

I have been going over all of the parts that I have. I wish that I could find a second center fuselage and the inner wings. If I had those I would have two complete kits. Unless someone has these sections from a crash or old kit then I may have to pull molds off the one that I have. I guess that I could foam cut a second set of inner wings if I have to. Do you remember if the elevator required a lot of up trim? I have read that in some P38 kits that it is required. I guess they got the tail incidence wrong?

I have a Spit to repair then I'll begin building or molding this baby. I have a couple of really nice 750 KV motors that I'll drop in on 6S 40 C 5000 per side. Thanks again for the input.
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