Dynam RC P-47D Thunderbolt ARF
|Flying Weight:||53 oz (1500g)|
|Wing Loading:||18 oz/sq ft (55g/sq dm)|
|Construction:||Expanded polyolefin airframe, cowl and simulated drop tank; composite propeller; plastic servo control horns; aluminum propeller collet; fiberglass wing support tube; steel pushrods; clear polycarbonate canopy; plastic and fiberglass scale details; plastic pilot bust|
|Servos:||Four Detrum 9g analog; two Dia 3.6 90 X self-contained retracts|
|Transmitter:||Futaba 6EX 2.4GHz FASST six-channel aircraft|
|Receiver:||Futaba R606FS 2.4GHz FASST six-channel aircraft|
|Batteries As Tested :||Dynam 2200mAh 4S 25C li-po; Sky Lipo 2200mAh 4S 30C li-po|
|Motor:||Detrum BM3720A-KV500 brushless outrunner|
|Propeller:||Dynam 13x7E three-blade|
|Operator Skill Level:||Intermediate; age 14+|
|Manufacturer:||Shenzhen Dynam RC Industry & Trade Company, Building C-2, Nanshan Industry Park, Yantian, Fenggang Town, Dongguan City, Guandong Province, China 523000|
|Manufacturer's Catalog Number:||DY8956|
|Distributor's Catalog Number:||60A-DY8956-P47-ARF|
If the sheer number of Dynam RC products on Nitroplanes.com is any indication, both companies are serious about impacting the hobby market with affordable yet well-made products.
This latest example is the beautiful all-EPO Dynam RC P-47D Thunderbolt available through Nitroplanes as an RTF with a five-channel Dynam radio and a 2200mAh 4S li-po as well as the model I'll be reviewing, an ARF version less the battery and radio.
Both versions have preinstalled servos, motor, ESC and Dia self-contained retracts.
After reviewing two previous Dynam models, namely their Gee Bee Y ARF in December 2012 and their Messerschmitt BF-109 RTF in May 2013, I was approached once again by Nitroplanes' marketing manager Bobby Guarisco to bring this model to the forefront. In fact, I'll be working rather closely with Nitroplanes and their divisions in that regard thanks to Bobby. If I may paraphrase an old broadcast cliche, stay tuned to this space for further developments.
There's a tremendous amount of value in this model. It's also a great example of Nitroplanes' commitment to ongoing customer service and product improvements and I'm proud to present this latest review on their behalf.
Like all Dynam models, some easy final assembly is all which stands between a box of parts and a lot of fun!
According to Wikipedia, the Republic P-47 series represented the "largest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single piston engine." The aircraft earned the nickname "Jug," but history is unclear whether the term was short for "Juggernaut" given its size or its unintentional resemblance to a common milk jug of the period.
Dynam's version of this iconic fighter depicts Hun Hunter XVI, a 1944 P-47D which was sold to the Brazilian Air Force in 1953 and retired in 1958. After being stripped of parts, it served as a static display in front of Recife Air Base in the State of Pernambuco between 1970 and 1987, arriving dismantled in Chino, California from Brazil in September 1988.
The aircraft, serial number 44-90460, was purchased by current owner Neil Melton of Lutrell, Tennessee on October 2, 1996. It was returned to airworthy condition in Rialto, California between 1996 and 1999 and retains civil registration number N9246B.
Today, the repatriated Hun Hunter XVI is on year-round display at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation, Sevierville, Tennessee. The name and paint scheme are a tribute to a P-47D flown in WWII by Gil O. Wymond of the 57th Fighter Group, 65th Squadron. Another P-47D at the museum pays tribute to the 57th as Wicked Wabbit, owned by John Shoffner. Both aircraft often perform together at air shows in the southern and eastern US.
These aircraft represent only 10 to 12 operational Thunderbolts left in the world today; Hun Hunter XVI is even more notable since it is one of only two fitted with a turbosupercharger on its 2000-horsepower (1491kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59 radial engine.
More about Hun Hunter XVI may be found here.
The following comes with the P-47D:
Here's what is needed to complete the model:
There's remarkably little to do here since the aileron servos and linkages are already hooked up, so final assembly of the wings is simple.
It starts - and ends - with eight equal length fiberglass tubes which serve as scale representations of the .50 caliber Browning machine guns found on the real thing. A dab of the enclosed contact cement on each of the tubes secured them to their holes, each pre-drilled to the proper depth.
By the way, that contact cement is great stuff and worth keeping for other projects, especially since two tubes are provided.
A ninth tube adds an additional scale touch, namely as a pitot tube on the leading edge of the left wingtip.
There's another nice touch and one shared with the BF-109: It's possible to add flaps. Even the holes for the servo horns are already drilled. There are also some preinstalled LED navigation lights, but like the BF-109, they have no connector. Wiring them up is up to the builder. A not-so-nice touch shared with the BF-109 is the seemingly dozens of mold ejection marks on the underside of the wing. It's something many other manufacturers have overcome and perhaps Dynam will improve their tooling with the introduction of future models. History shows they can certainly do so; the finish on the Gee Bee Sportster Y is far smoother and with very few marks.
Installing the wing halves is "ARF Assembly 101," but of course, there has to be a catch somewhere which I'll mention momentarily. Insert the fiberglass tube spar, guide the leads for the ailerons and retracts through their somewhat small holes in the fuselage and press the wing halves in place in the fuselage. The fit is somewhat snug, but I have no complaint about that.
I can, however, complain about the very short leads for the retracts. They're almost ridiculously short which makes them somewhat difficult to feed through the hole in the fuselage even after the leads are attached to the supplied (and, I might add, labeled) Y-harness. That means the plugs on either side of the Y-harness must first be fed through the fuselage and the leads gently pulled through as the wing slides into place.
There has been talk on these boards of problems with certain versions of Dynam Y-harnesses. Those which came with the BF-109 and which may come with Dynam's Focke-Wulf Fw-190 are 6" extensions with two sets of exposed pins through which the servos are connected. Those which came with this model and the Gee Bee are regular Y-harnesses with JR color coding.
The wing halves are attached to the fuselage via what the manual refers to as "PA2.3*20mm screws."
Thankfully, I have an electronic caliper for just such an occasion, but doggone it, how hard can it be to add some full-scale drawings of the hardware? Hint: They are, as I suspected, long and skinny phillips head screws and there are some spares enclosed with the hardware bag. I should have known; both the Gee Bee and the BF-109 called for the same screws.
Now for that catch I mentioned. Getting the mounting tabs on the wings to align with the bushings in the fuselage was a study in pure frustration. The solution was to drop a very thin allen head wrench down the hole and move the wing until the wrench bottomed out in the bushing. I'm thinking at this point that I will be storing this model in assembled condition once I finish.
With criticism often comes praise and praise indeed I have for the fit and finish of the P-47D.
Unlike the smudges, an incorrectly glued seam and peeling paint found right out of the box on the BF-109, the paint on the P-47D was flawless and worthy of a more expensive model. Equally praiseworthy was a very pleasant discovery.
One complaint I had about the Gee Bee centered around its cowl, which was for all intents and purposes glued in place by its paint. I'd hoped this wasn't going to be the case with the P-47D and it indeed wasn't.
It's held in place with magnets!
There's no mention of this in the manual, so I will happily mention it here. This setup makes future access to the Detrum 500Kv outrunner as simple as removing the prop and pulling off the cowl.
I can't say for sure if my criticism of the Gee Bee led to the development of the magnetic cowl on the P-47D, but that development certainly makes up for the hardware. They hold somewhat weakly compared to those which slam the battery hatch in place, so I did some temporary reinforcing with a couple of small dabs of contact cement. That way, I can still remove the cowl and install some upgraded magnets in the near future.
Once the control surfaces are plugged into the builder's choice of receiver, the preassembled tailwheel is installed by simply sliding it in its sleeve and tightening the grub screw with the 1.5mm wrench; I opted to use my Dynamite 1.5mm wrench since I know it fits perfectly and won't strip a screw. The factory installation is identical to that of the BF-109 and is a slick, clean setup. Identical too is a small electronic device which the factory plugged into the end of the ESC's receiver lead.
The device is an amplifier, used to boost the signal between the ESC and motor, eliminating a low-speed stutter. It worked well in the BF-109 and I'd find out later that it works well on this model too.
I'd originally planned to use my Airtronics SD-6G radio for this review, a system I had the pleasure of reviewing here on RCGroups.com and which serves as my "go to" system whenever possible.
This was one time it wasn't possible.
Once I'd plugged in a receiver borrowed from another Airtronics-equipped model, I plugged in one of the Sky Lipo batteries and was rewarded with the same pleasant surprise I experienced with the BF-109.
The ailerons lined up perfectly. So too did the arms on the elevator and rudder pushrods. The tailwheel was a bit off center, but that easily rectified at the EZ connector on the rudder servo arm.
One thing remained: Giving the retracts a try.
Nothing. Not even a whimper.
After more than an hour of maddening troubleshooting which indicated that there was no way for the retracts not to work, the answer came via the internet in a recent comment made in my review of the radio.
The digital pulse width generated by the SD-6G is incompatible with the Dia retracts used in Dynam and Airfield brand models.
In short, if one wishes to fly this model with an SD-6G, it will require a change of the retracts since there is no software or firmware upgrade which will allow the radio to operate the existing retracts. It might also be more economically feasible to simply purchase the RTF which gives the buyer a radio as well as a battery, but no setup options beyind servo reversing.
The retracts did respond to my Spektrum and Futaba radios and will respond with the high-end Airtronics SD-10G. I chose to use the marvelous and dependable Futaba 6EX to guide the P-47D, a radio I've used on many an RCGroups review. The models assigned to it are ones I hadn't flown in awhile, so I simply plucked its original R606FS receiver (since discontinued in favor of the seven-channel R607FS) from one and redid the transmitter settings. With the subtrims at zero, the only adjustment necessary was to move the rudder servo arm one spline back and to readjust the clevis on the left aileron a couple of turns.
I should point out that all this was done after I'd assembled the airframe, so if it seems as if I'm a bit off sequence, that's why.
The control throws were set to the maximum on high rate and in the middle of the range on low rate with 20 percent expo on the ailerons, 15 on the elevator and 10 on the rudder as a starting point.
Installing the tailfeathers is about as easy as it gets.
The vertical stab and rudder simply key into place onto the horizontal stab and elevator with its preinstalled joiner wire once the servo horns are installed. The horizontal stab is keyed to fit the fuselage, so there's no chance of installing it upside down.
It's an intentionally snug fit but the assembly is easily pressed into the fuselage. Once in place, two more of the 2.3x20mm screws are used to bolt the tail in place.
This was a real issue with the Gee Bee; it proved impossible to both start the screws and to get them to engage once in place.
Here on the P-47D, the screws actually did their job and did it well with plenty of bite. Once I was confident the tail would be held firmly in place, I removed it in order to dab on some contact cement just to make sure.
Further testament to the well done factory radio installation was the fact that the clevises lined up almost perfectly, with the elevator clevis needing only a few turns inward to level the elevator.
Short of pulling a fully assembled model from its box, that's about as ready-to-fly as it gets.
The home stretch begins with the installation of the drop tank with two more of the ubiquitous 2.3x20mm screws. I opted not to install the tank because no pictures or artwork I found of either the original Hun Hunter or the present-day Hun Hunter XVI show a tank in place. Nitroplanes even chose to omit it from the model they used in their YouTube video embedded below.
Like the BF-109, the P-47D features a simulated scale radio antenna inserted into a slot along the turtle deck just behind the canopy. A dab of contact cement is all that's needed.
I skipped installing the propeller for the time being and completed the canopy/battery hatch with the installation of the pilot figure and the canopy with the help of some Pacer Formula "560" canopy glue. I can't recommend that glue highly enough. It goes on white, but dries clear and strong and can be cleaned up with water while it's still wet.
While it's obvious the pilot and canopy need installing, the manual's final step shows a completed assembly. There wasn't any need to install the instrument panel sticker since the factory had already done so. It's far from a prototypical instrument panel on any aircraft, let alone a P-47D, but it looks a lot better than no sticker at all.
The stickers are pressure sensitive and will lift the paint if the stickers and the model aren't first sprayed with water if repositioning the stickers is necessary. Again, no mention in the manual and while it's a no-brainer for someone experienced in assembling any ARF, it is still something which I feel needs mentioning by the factory.
In what I've come to accept as "Dynam tradition," the stickers feature most of the prototype's own markings. Missing were stencils and the Chevron and Texaco sponsor logos visible in some photos of the full-scale version, but present were some nearly useless stickers with the Dynam logo, a stylized "2.4GHz" logo and other non-prototypical stickers pointing to the battery hatch opening and propeller safety warnings. Some stickers marked "1 2 3 4" and "4 3 2 1" are indicated for the leading edges of the wings above the guns, but again, no photo of the real thing shows those numbers. Applying the stickers in the recommended locations makes for a beautiful stand-off scale model, but some of those recommendations put the stickers in the wrong places, especially the names and stars-and-bars on the fuselage. They're in the right general location and only comparison to a photo of the real thing would show the discrepancy. The stripes on the wings and tail proved to be tricky to install, but after a few tries, I got them in place. However, the color is wrong. The real Hun Hunter XVI has yellow-orange stripes, but those on the model are bright yellow.
A fresh #11 X-Acto blade and a ruler used as a straight edge made clean, quick work of slicing the stripe stickers at the aileron and rudder hinge points. A small phillips screwdriver and my fingernail helped to burnish the stickers into the panel lines which really makes them look like part of the plane.
Getting back to the propeller, the three-blade unit with its weighted collet looks nice...but woefully inaccurate.
The real P-47D used a four-blade prop.
I might upgrade it later on for some scale "bling" if I can find a suitable replacement, but I'll be using the three-blade for the flight tests. A regular two-blade electric prop for some more speed is certainly not out of the question.
As is the case with most of my subjects, the P-47D would take to the air at the Coachella Valley Radio Control Club, an AMA Gold Standard club in a rural, unincorporated patch of desert outside of Thermal, California.
After loading in one of the Sky Lipo batteries provided with the BF-109 and called for on this model, a quick range check and a double-check of the CG and control throws, I began the maiden flight with a check of the ground handling. The landing gear's wider track compared to that of the BF-109 in my prior review made for some really nice handling. It's always nice to be able to taxi to the runway without having to fight the rudder.
That battery is a terrific deal at twenty-five bucks and change, but it isn't often in stock. It can be ordered here if it happens to be available. The issue of seemingly perpetual "out of stock" notices pasted on certain popular items on Nitroplanes.com is one I have discussed with both Bobby Guarisco and Nancy Chung. As with any large company, change comes at a painfully slow rate, but some folks who can help bring it about are aware of the problem.
One thing neither model lacks is thrust. The motor and prop combo isn't particularly fast, but it seems to have lots of both thrust and torque. That much oomph naturally makes any model want to pull to the left and the P-47D was no exception. Before I could compensate with the rudder, she was airborne in a steep climb.
It would have likely continued to climb without a reduction in throttle and a bit of down elevator to get it flying level, but it really wanted to climb under power and rather steeply, I might add. One thing became readily apparent: The low speed handling of this model is excellent. It slowed down to a near crawl with no threat of stalling.
An out-of-trim model tends to translate into a nerve-wracking experience, so I brought it in for some adjustments to the CG and a check of the elevator's physical trim.
Landing the Jug was a real pleasure, coming in straight down the center line with a pretty good three-pointer. Not bad at all for the first time out. The elevator looked OK, so I moved the battery closer to the nose and tried again. The result was a more scalelike takeoff, but it still wanted to pitch up. Some down trim got it flying better, so up came the gear for flight number two.
I still had to fight the sticks when I got on the throttle, but oh, what a sweetheart.
Despite my case of the shakes brought about by the initial flight, I was now able to enjoy flying the Jug around the pattern, even taking the time to throw in a couple of rolls.
One big complaint I had about the BF-109 was the too-shallow control throws due to the very simple radio which came with that RTF version. The exponential and proper control throws afforded by the 6EX brought this model to life; it's always fun to see a warbird do a roll. A computerized radio is definitely in the cards for the BF-109 in the not-too-distant future.
Speed was comparable to that of the BF-109 at a "guesstimate" of around 50 MPH (80km/h), perhaps a bit more. It certainly looked faster to my eye than the BF-109 looked. Like the BF-109 with its identical power plant, the three-blade prop drops the top speed a bit. Cruising was a breeze at between half and three-quarter throttle with not much happening speed-wise north of the three-quarter mark.
I didn't want to press my luck since I still needed video of the P-47D in action, so I somewhat reluctantly brought it in for the day with a landing even better than the first.
The day I'd scheduled for video was perfect, but club videographer George Muir had to leave early that morning; I found out right after I pulled into the pits.
Nice day, nice plane, time to get it trimmed. In went the battery, CG was double checked, off into the blue yonder I went. Sure enough, she still wanted to go up with the throttle. Lots of down trim, same result.
This came to the attention of club treasurer Duane Vander Molen. Duane is one of the best R/C fixed wing pilots I've ever seen, especially when it comes to pylon racing. We both fussed over the Thunderbolt both while it was in the air and back on the ground, discussing possibilities ranging from incorrect down thrust at the motor to incorrect wing incidence.
Conclusion: Stuff a fresh Sky Lipo battery up into the nose as far as possible which was easy to do given the deep battery mounting tray. I'd thought of that earlier as evidenced by my first flights, but feared the model might wind up nose heavy if it were up too far.
The CG still looked good, so off went the model once more.
Two more clicks of down elevator was all she needed. Now the Jug was flying perfectly, with no tendency to climb under power, even with hands off the sticks. If it was a sweetheart before, it was even more so now, inspiring confidence and making the whole experience just plain fun.
Down came the gear for a contest-quality three-pointer down the center line of the runway, this time without having to fight the sticks. The elevator was perfectly level, further proof that Duane and I had properly trimmed the model. I may mechanically retrim the elevator at the pushrod clevis later on, but for now, I can live with some more electronic trim than usual at the transmitter simply because it flies so well.
And fly well it did.
Although the day of the video shoot proved to be somewhat windy, time was not on my side since George's time was limited once more.
As seen in the video, the wind put up something of a fight during the landing, but that didn't stop me from having a blast with the Jug. I generally take it easy on George during these video flights in order to help him keep whatever it is I happen to be flying in frame. That said, I couldn't resist a roll or two during the course of the shoot.
Now that video was no longer a problem, I ran the remaining two batteries through the model after the wind died down. Now was the time for banging the sticks as I put the P-47 through a series of loops, rolls, hammerhead turns, inverted flight, Immelmann turns and even a couple of touch-and-goes.
I'd decided about halfway through that second li-po that I may have found a plane that is going to be taking a ride to the field whenever I go. It was just that much fun.
No model of this type is suitable for a beginner. It's certainly easy to assemble which might tempt a beginner, but a warbird simply isn't a trainer.
If someone comfortable with an aileron trainer wishes to step into a P-47D, it's possible to do so. My recommendation would be to first seek an instructor if this is to be one's first warbird.
|Dynam RC P-47D from Nitroplanes.com (2 min 12 sec)|
|New P-47 Thunderbolt Warbird Review (9 min 0 sec)|
Both Dynam and Nitroplanes prove with each new model that fun, functional, scale EPO model aircraft need not be horribly expensive and the P-47D is a perfect example of that philosophy.
The documentation, stickers, the non-standard pulse signals issue with the retracts and issues with quality control in previous subjects are all that keep Dynam models from what I'd call "world class status."
All of that goes away once it's assembled and flying. This model, quite simply, will hold its own with similar models from more established brands. My example was beautifully made, well engineered, flies great and comes with parts support from a US-based distributor. I give it my highest possible recommendation. Like the Gee Bee Y and BF-109 before it, the P-47D comes at a price rivaling many micro models and it even includes most of the electrics, not to mention the retracts.
The flaps can easily be made operational and I almost did so since I have a pair of unused nine-gram servos, but it would have been outside the scope of the review. I may try it and report back in the comments section. For our readers who may have done so with their own Jugs, please feel free to comment on your findings.
For those who've dreamed about a terrific Jug to blast around the field, those dreams have just come true.
My thanks go once more to Bobby Guarisco of Nitroplanes not only for this sample but for his ongoing efforts to bolster customer service and item availability through Nitroplanes and its sister sites. George Muir and Duane Vander Molen of the Coachella Valley Radio Control Club deserve thanks for videography and troubleshooting in that order. Angela Haglund is one of the chief administrators here at RCGroups.com and makes all of these reviews possible through her vast behind-the-scenes work. Our even more vast worldwide audience is why we here at RCGroups continue to bring you the literal ups and downs of the finest R/C model aircraft on the market today.
Grab a Thunderbolt of your own and I'll see you at the field!
Here are a few examples of the things to like about the P-47D:
|Jul 15, 2013, 06:52 PM|
The only down side to both the P-51 and P-47 are that they are sold by NitroPlanes. This company has probably some of the lowest customer satisfaction of any online store. Believe I speak from experience. But these are still great planes!!
|Jul 15, 2013, 07:16 PM|
As for the customer service, that's something I've discussed with both Bobby Guarisco and Nancy Chung. I know from my written and spoken correspondence with both that some efforts are being made to correct that. It's the sort of thing which is taking time, but I know he's making some real efforts.
Nitroplanes is one of the largest Dynam distributors in the world, if not the largest and I understand that Dynam takes Nitroplanes' input seriously. I've pointed out a few things over the course of several reviews which will hopefuilly NOT find their way on future models.
|Jul 16, 2013, 11:06 AM|
I hope you are right DO. Customer service should be number one regardless of the products they carry. My dealings had to do with getting parts. After numerous emails and several phone calls, I finally gave up. Being there are so many online stores, you would think NitroPlanes would strive to be the best. One can only hope. Please feel free to pass on my views to Bobby and Nancy. Thanks for the input and great review!!
|Jul 24, 2013, 08:37 PM|
Joined May 2010
|Nov 14, 2013, 08:42 PM|
I find the shipping prices really expensive, especially when they don't take the 40 bucks and get better shipping. Even as a deployed service member id pay 40 or more and the usps sticker showed 17 dollars..
|Nov 14, 2013, 10:36 PM|
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