JPower P-38 (Sold By Banana Hobby) - Page 363 - RC Groups
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Jan 25, 2013, 06:38 PM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
Originally Posted by WestTexasKing
Kurt, probably a good idea to use steel anyway.
I've used small aluminum hardware for years in RC Motorcycles, and am sure with four 3mm bolts per retract they'd be strong enough, the cost is just tough to justify when the difference is only 10g or so on such a relatively large plane.

Work progressing on the V2 kit slowly but surely.
Larger main gear mounts installed with blind nuts and the 30mm steel capscrews.
Front get set up and mounted, just need to fashion the steering link.
Elev and rud servos mounted and wired (forgot how tricky this was!). All servo wire extensions and Y connections secured with dental floss and shrink wrap.
Tomorrow will solder ESCs (40A Turnigy Plush) to motors (Turnigy SK3 1150kv) extend battery wires and maybe splice in the UBEC.
She's coming together!
Last edited by Kurt; Jan 31, 2013 at 09:15 AM.
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Jan 30, 2013, 10:42 PM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
Almost finished with Californid Cutie 2.

I love how the V2 removable-canopy gives so much better access to the electronics than the V1, but the 6 screws going from central fuse into the wing didn't hold them together as securely as I liked. Plus the center section itself seemed pretty weak so before gorilla gluing the wing to the fuse drilled and CA'd 3mm CF rods that run from deep into the nose back about 2/3 way into the wing.
Used a jig/support to guide the long drill bit into both, pretty nice fit if I do say so.
It's mega sturdy now.
The engine boom-to-wing joint was a bit rough so I filled in the gap with lightweight spackle, sanded and painted now it's much better.
All servos work as they should, gear operate smoothly, Castle 10A BEC wired in and both motors spool up smoothly and in synch.
Only thing left is to hook up the servo linkages, including the nose-wheel steering one which will be a bit fiddly.
Going to be tough waiting another month or two to fly her, but will make spring time that much more worth waiting for!
Jan 31, 2013, 05:15 AM
Plane Fanatic
DeathWarmedUp's Avatar
Nice work Kurt!

I have been working on a HK V1 since September (bday present) and its nearly ready. A small Flood event has postponed things but I so want to finish my baby. Anyway, best of luck with yours.
Jan 31, 2013, 09:09 AM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
Originally Posted by DeathWarmedUp
Nice work Kurt!

I have been working on a HK V1 since September (bday present) and its nearly ready. A small Flood event has postponed things but I so want to finish my baby. Anyway, best of luck with yours.
It's definitely no quick and easy assembly that's for sure... but the results are worth it.
Good luck with yours as well. I put over 30 flights on my V1, loved every one of them until the last when the pilot made a fatal mistake...

Originally Posted by AussieHoppy
Are they still producing the 1400mm P38? Seems most places ate out of stock...
Doesn't seem like it. I don't know if JPower/XUAV or whoever is out of business or what but as far as I know nobody is selling them anymore.
If you can wait a few months supposedly FMS is working on a V2 of their 1.4M P-38, which should be the one to have.

If you can't wait there's a nice looking (haven't seen a build or flight test yet) 1.2M with removable, fixed gear:
Or a cool little 800mm one:
Jan 31, 2013, 02:46 PM
Yes it was Abby Normal
Killer Planes has placed an order with JPower or whoever the distributor is for a shipment of the P-38 Lightning. I pinged Steve (Killer Planes) Laughlin about two weeks ago regarding his order....(I want a green one). Killer Planes website still states sold out as of today 01-31-13.

Hopefully Killer Planes may have a fresh supply very soon:

Feb 05, 2013, 10:11 PM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
And she's flightworthy, if only spring would hurry up!
The tail linkages are a bit mismatched: 2mm rods for the elevators (I noted that these flexed a little under compression on my V1) and thinner stock ones for the the rudders.
The nose wheel steers nicely, if a bit sloppily due to play in the HK steering system. When the wheel is retracted the clevis kicks the steering arm up just a bit so the wheel "turns" about 20degrees near the end of it's travel. A CA'd strip of CF keeps the tire from catching on the wheel well when dropping it back down.
It's very cool to push down on the canopy and feel and see all 3 struts compressing
There's a bigger gap in between the motor covers (held onto the nacelles with epoxied magnets instead of those tiny screws that inevitably rip out) and the spinner than I'd like. I was a bit too conservative setting the new motor mounts in place. Won't affect the flight but if it bothers me too much will cut 1 or 1.5mm off the prop adapter on the Unimat lathe.
The yellow spray paint I used on the (black) spinners also doesn't quite match the OEM yellow but for now I can live with it.
Epoxied two servo horns into either side of the battery hatch and one sticking through the rear of the canopy to make removal of these two magnetized pieces easier.
When it warms up just a bit I'll give her a couple coats of Testors matte clear spray to even out the surface and provide a little hanger-rash protection.

Don't want to completely finish her TOO early... going to be hard looking at her sitting in the hanger for the next month, month and a half, before she takes to the skies!!!

No doubt she's not the prettiest, or most accurate, or finely detailed P-38 out there but she will be a sturdy, quick, thrilling, and sweet handling plane to fly and that's what is most important to me.
Last edited by Kurt; Feb 06, 2013 at 08:28 AM.
Feb 05, 2013, 11:00 PM
Build Something
subsonic's Avatar
Originally Posted by Kurt
And she's flightworthy, if only spring would hurry up!
Looks sweet Kurt!

If it were mine, I'd definitely be looking at how I could reduce that gap to the spinner. You've got time, break out the lathe I say! I'm always looking for excuses to use mine, and did so on my P38 spinner backplates. A note on getting access to hold the motor still, if the friction balance is just right between the prop nut, prop shaft and prop, you should be able to tighten the prop nut while just holding the prop. Try and put a little grease on the prop nut threads and see if that works. If so, you can reduce that gap down to <1mm and it will look sweet!

While you're at it, squirt some of the matching spinner paint on the cowl and it would blend in real nice

Don't wish your winter over too soon, I'm just warming into Summer over here!

Feb 05, 2013, 11:28 PM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
Thanks Sub!
Yeah I'll probably cut down the prop adapter at least a bit, depending on how much deeper the three little screws can go into the motor before hanging up on something.
I know when these motors were on my V1 I tried many times to tighten the prop nut by just holding the prop and spinner but the shaft always spun. So I fabbed up this tool which only needs about 3mm clearance (there's almost 7mm now) to grab the adapter:

We're having a very mild winter, only about 1/2 the snowfall we typically have by this time and above average temps, but I'm still ready for springtime :P
Last edited by Kurt; Feb 06, 2013 at 08:27 AM.
Feb 08, 2013, 12:56 PM
Is landing Mandatory
I bought my P-38 about 2 years ago from Bannana Hobby and the retracts packed it in before I ever flew it, no response from B H so I just left it. Now that I found this form I want to get it the air. I'm sure it's posted here somewhere but I haven't started to read through all it all. What has everybody done to replace these crappy retracts? A simple swap out would be great.
Thanks in advance
Feb 08, 2013, 02:03 PM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
Assume you have the 'V1' model with servo-actuated (vs. worm gear or "servoless" retracts), it's very doable but will take some work.

I like these from PW-RC, a couple bucks more than others but they have a metal trunnion and are very solid:
for nose gear:

They'll require some cutting of the foam to fit these in a V1, esp the nose gear that needs a completely new mounting system, but the effort is worth it IMO.
Photo of my V1 nose gear retrofit:
Feb 08, 2013, 02:30 PM
AMA 353531
rdeis's Avatar
FAQ with some gear links:
Feb 10, 2013, 05:01 PM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
Well turning down the prop adapters wasn't feasible, since the motor has a "stub" that sits inside of the adapter.
So went to plan B to close up the gap between the spinner and the motor cover: build up the motor cover.
3" wide x 5/32" balsa cut, gorilla-glued, spackled and sanded. Then shot along with the spinners and blade tips with Testors yellow. Of course the green paint peeled up horribly after removing the tape (low-tack, ha!) so repainted the green part as well.
I sanded the lower half of the built-up balsa to allow my home-made tool to fit, if necessary.
Looks much better!
There's some relatively minor, but still potentially problematic vibrations on both sides when the motors spool up so will give balancing the blades and spinners a try.
She taxied around the garage smartly, nose gear steers great.
Feb 10, 2013, 09:18 PM
Foam air frame tester
d3c0yz3d's Avatar
That's a great way to fix that problem. I have the same issue with teh motors i have upgraded to and not keen on cutting down the engine mount.

Wish i had a V2, the effort i've gone to on fitting FMS gear doors and servoless retracts is next level. Oh well.
Feb 10, 2013, 09:48 PM
Plane Fanatic
DeathWarmedUp's Avatar
Nice Job Kurt,

I ended up fitting some new motors but got lucky and fitted easily with a bit of trimming of the Spinner Backplate. I totally stripped mine when I got it and reglued everything. The two outer fuselage came apart so easy as there was only a few spots of glue on each. So, I took the time and also added Carbon in places to strengthen and stiffen her up.

Hardest mod I did was fit the 'Turnigy MCR-A Retract System' but well worth it:

Still need to work on the doors (or may just forget them or do the cut out mod). I will get some photos up sometime.

Anyway, I maidened her yesterday - WOW, loved it. Just wanted to put battery after battery through her. Take off and landings were great on our close mowed grass field but I do need to try and lengthen the nose retract (small mod this week) as the props were trimming the grass a little if she popped into a small hole in the field.

Cannot wait for this weekend to get her up again. Now to work on my Mosquito retracts and get her in the air.

Oh, and mine is a HK V1 from AU warehouse but they are out of stock as usual.
Feb 10, 2013, 10:21 PM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
Originally Posted by d3c0yz3d
Wish i had a V2, the effort i've gone to on fitting FMS gear doors and servoless retracts is next level. Oh well.
I'd love to see pics and details of the FMS gear door install!

Originally Posted by DeathWarmedUp
Hardest mod I did was fit the 'Turnigy MCR-A Retract System' but well worth it:
whoa that looks like a nice system, at a very reasonable price! Definitely would love to see pics.

I've spent way more time than I care to admit on first my V1 servo-less retracts, and now the V2's.... but take offs and especially landings are so much fun it's a worthwhile challenge.

Glad to hear you're enjoying yours so much. I can't wait to take mine up!

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