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Old Jun 17, 2011, 10:42 PM
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P-38 M Night Lightning Scratch Build

This is a project I have been wanting to do for a long time. I have looked everywhere for a 1/8 scale kit but could not find one, so I decided to scratch build it. This will be stick built with 1/16'' balsa skin then fiber glassed and powered by 2 DLE-20s. I am going to try to fit a 20-24oz fuel tank in each boom. All of my control arms and pushrods will be concealed internally. All stringers are a combination of 3/16'' x 3/16'' and 3/16'' x 1/8'' balsa. It's going to have pneumatic retracts, operational doors, and removeable wing tips for transportation. I am going to have to make all my cowlings, air scoops, super chargers, and drop tanks from fiber glass. The canopy will have to be heat formed. Of course things will change as it goes, this will take quite a while. Here are some pics of the laying out and cutting of the formers and ribs, for the wing, nacelle, and booms. The formers are made of 3/16'' ply wood.
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Old Jun 17, 2011, 11:22 PM
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United States, AZ, Litchfield Park
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Very nice project splinterz25, and very ambitious. Two DLE -20s sounds like an awful lot of power for a 78 inch span Lightning if I may say so. I've seen similar size twin engine fighter types flown with .25-.40 size two strokes! For the sake of "pilot friendliness" I would definitely recommend that you strive to keep it light and, to that end, 3/16" plywood formers is extreme overkill in my opinion. If it were my project to do I would want to keep the weight under 20 pounds and 14-15 would be even better. Of course this is all my .02 cents and others may disagree. Best of luck with it and I will look forward to more progress photos.
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Old Jun 17, 2011, 11:30 PM
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Looks like he's lightened the formers considerably with the lightening holes he's put in..20's might be overkill..OS makes a .15 cc gas that might be just the ticket..

Got photos of what you are aiming for?

TM

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Old Jun 17, 2011, 11:40 PM
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chad veich if thay made 15's I would go with that, but I want to keep it gas! I'll be drilling holes in all ribs and formers to decrease weight. but I bet I am over 20 lbs when all is said and done. but I will try to cut weight every chance I get.
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Old Jun 17, 2011, 11:46 PM
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twmonroe I was thinking of 15s as well;didn't know OS had 15s gas; I would love to see any photos of P38s especially the night lightning! I just looked at OS web site thay just have the GT55 cc.
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Old Jun 18, 2011, 12:18 PM
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Aerovate also makes one as does JBR as does rcgf. Of all of those I've only heard of the Aerovate till now.

If you google 15 cc rc gas engines you may find even more but at a flying weight of 20-22 lbs..might want to consider something in the 25-26 cc range..most 20 lb and above single engine rc models in a warbird use a 50 cc gas engine..since yours is twin engine..devide by 2 minimum..twin 26's might be enough depending on prop.

Your inspiration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:P-...ht_Fighter.jpg

TM
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Old Jun 18, 2011, 08:20 PM
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thanks for the inspiration photo; that is exactly the bird I can't make out the numbers on the plane in that photo; I am going to contact a guy about documentation for this P-38M if he has it or if he can can get it.as far as the engines for this build I just said DLE 20s because I just put a DLE-30 in my stinson reliant sr-9 check my blog at this site http://http://www.rcgroups.com/forum...r.php?u=344567 so I will play it as it comes with the engines all depends on what it weighs at the end.
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Old Jun 18, 2011, 08:36 PM
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So I've finished the bones of the nacelle; and it doesn't have very mutch weight at all, I think I'm all right with my build plan, so I will just stick to it! here is what it's looking like at this stage.started the booms today checkout the photos.
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Old Jun 20, 2011, 10:14 AM
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Very nice! Can't wait to see it fly!
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Old Jun 20, 2011, 03:06 PM
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Plane in photo is tail number 5272, not sure of squadron..I blew up the High resolution photo in MS Paint. The number is most likely done in a flat grey which makes the black wash it out a bit in the standard res photo on the page.

I'll see if I can find more images for you

TM
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Old Jun 20, 2011, 03:36 PM
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Below is a link to a thread that may be of interest to you splinterz. This is the only Night Lightning model I can recall ever seeing, a converted Ziroli. This is a large thread with lots of good info that may be of use to you.

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_81..._1/key_/tm.htm

G-Pete's finished bird.

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Old Jun 20, 2011, 05:15 PM
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chad veich thanks for the thred it will be very helpful; that is a impressive build hope I can do a comporable job on my build.

regards Bruce
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Old Jun 20, 2011, 05:20 PM
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twmonroe thanks for the extra effort this is a rare bird and hard to find photos esp. color but any are welcome.

Bruce
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Old Jun 20, 2011, 11:54 PM
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http://www.ipmslivonia.org/ipms/Gall...-Lightning.htm (completed monogram plastic model kits with seemingly historic paint (color)

Book that has photos and text on all Lightning versions including the M: http://www.buymovieclassics.com/P38-...109-p3089.html

good contact for photos etc of real aircraft paint schemes: http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/URG/p38.htm

Bit grainy but color photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/15491569@N00/605479203

Seems Revell also did a plastic model of the M. could probably find one in a modem store, should be pretty close to scale and would give you a point of reference

Those are the only other resources I find on it. Best bet would be warbird resource..they usually have good pictures of real aircraft taken during the war from multiple angles..might be black and white but would be able to tell you what actual colors were used on the aircraft, and might even be able to point you to a pilot or two to contact for further information.

TM
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Old Jun 21, 2011, 01:14 AM
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wow to both of you guys for all the help! I have actually built the revell model and that's what got me started about 8 years ago then I did 1/16 scale gillows kit, I don't have the room for a ziroli kit 113" wings so I took the gillows plans and had them increased 100% to 1/8 scale that is my basis and I will be modifiying to suit my needs.
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