Guanli PBY Catalina - RC Groups
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Jan 21, 2011, 07:02 AM
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Guanli PBY Catalina

Hi all

First post here. I've had a Catalina for a while, but haven't flown it. After reading as much as I could find here, there are a few mods I'm doing:
  • I've split the fuselage, and extracted the ply formers. I'll be building a new battery box, and also a ply box section to tie the wing mount plate to the ply formers
  • I'm completely replacing the electronics (Will reuse some in one of my tanks), and will be using 2200mAh LiPo battery, 2.4 radio gear and brushless motors (I'm thinking 2212-15 with three blade 8040 counter rotating props)
  • Making the floats retractable
  • Install retractable undercarriage
  • Glassing the entire fuselage & wing

I've got everything pretty much mapped out, and know how it'll be done, apart from the retracts for the landing gear. I'm wanting to make it a true amphibian if possible, but do realise this may be wishful thinking. I also think I'm not going to be able to make scale main gear in this scale (It's somewhere between 1/23 and 1/25), but I'd like to make it as close to the prototype as possible.

Has anyone done retractable gear on one of these?
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Jan 21, 2011, 03:20 PM
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Cougar429's Avatar
With the weak wing you are pretty weight limited, so adding gear may be putting it over the line. I found on mine even upping from a 1500 to 2100MAh pack was enough to make a huge difference.

Initially I did a bit of carving and glued in some C/F tape to the bottom of the wing to add strength for very little weight. Other than a complete radio and brushless system installation the only other major mod was to glass the bottom of the fuse.
Jan 21, 2011, 06:20 PM
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I am reducing the weight.

I built 2 for friends . ..........Put the bare wing on a flat surface. Check if the LEFT side is still heavier. Add 1 of 2 nails to the right wing tip for a NOT CRAZY perfect balance. With all the modifications you are doing. I would do a FINAL in the water, left right, wing balance check.
You have taken care of the BIGGEST problem with the planes hull. Stock, ALL had leaky seams.

Almost forgot. I am changing to 2 Hyperion 12 mm motors & 11.77 to 1 gearboxes. Each motor & gearbox weighs 1 oz. Plus the batteries are the small A123s. The 2 or 3 blade GWSs props should be plenty of thrust on a long scale takeoff.
Heavy seaplanes can become fast tugbouts.
Jan 22, 2011, 07:44 PM
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All good info. I've given up on the idea of a true amphibian, so I will whip up some "Scale=like" undercarriage that is removable. Still going to all the rest though
Jan 23, 2011, 08:42 AM
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You could do a TRUE SCALE .....Beaching gear setup....The wheeled cradel that was used to roll it on land and into the water.
Couple of LGB outdoor train tracks.....Or a rc tractor PUSHING the plane on the dolly into the water. It then starts the engines just before entering the water, leaves the dolly, gone.

Retrevial ......Could ....Be the reverse. Or just gently beach it in wind or river current.

Would look better than the flight itself.
Mar 07, 2011, 07:35 PM
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It's slow going. So far I have:
  • Replaced the float supports with ones cut out of ply that look more like the original
  • Carved rebates out of the wing for the float supports
  • Buried push-rod tubes in the wing from the float retract to the engine cowling (Servos for the float retract s are mounted in the cowlings)
  • Buried plastic tube in the wing from the aileron servo rebate to the engine cowling
  • Buried a channel in the wing between the two spars, running from the engine cowling to the wing root
  • Shortened the engine cowling to a more scale length (Yes, I know the diameter is too big, but it still looks better)
  • Made new engine mounts for the brushless motors
  • Moved the engine mounts and cowling closer to the wing root
  • Fibreglassed the wings, 25g/sqm on the underside, 18g/sqm on top

Photos coming soon. Now to work on the fuselage. Hope the damn thing can take off when I'm done.....
Jul 30, 2011, 05:44 PM
Registered User
I just was surfing on youtube and if you type in biggest PBY there is a huge one with retractable undercarriage and also retractable wing tip floats. Very very nice it was. I am planning on building one when I get some time in the next couple of years so I am quite interested in seeing photos of the progression of yours.

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