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This thread is privately moderated by herk1, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Feb 06, 2014, 03:53 PM
Herk pilot emeritus
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Build Log

Mini-warbird retract mod

There are lots of mini-warbirds available these days...but unfortunately they either come with fixed landing gear, or no landing gear at all. So I modded my FMS 800mm mini Bf-109 with the smallest set of electric retracts that I could find. The retracts I used are these:

They do not come with struts. They fit a 3mm strut wire -- which is fatter than really needed for this small of a plane. And unfortunately, they do not come with securing screws to hold the strut you need to improvise something for that. My improvisation was to file a small notch into the strut, then secure it with a #2 by 3/8" screw that I had in my supply from a previous RTLFasteners order. You have to be careful not to tighten the screw too much, or it will strip/ream the plastic.

The stock landing-gear mounts are held on with a rubbery contact cement, so they pulled off with a steady pressure without tearing any foam. I covered up the remaining evidence of the original gear-mount depressions with some 3mm Depron (photo).

I mounted the retracts in a thick part of the wing (where the original gear mount was located), then bent the struts forward so as to site the wheel-wells more forward, to minimize nose-overs/tipping. (Yes, I know that the retracts on the real Bf-109 swing the other way.)

The attached photos pretty much tell the rest of the story.
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Feb 17, 2014, 08:30 PM
Scratch building addict
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Nice job. nice pics. At 18.8 gm these don't make sense on a true "mini" to me. I consider anything over 25 inches in wingspan to be pretty much "full size" but I guess some people consider a 30 incher mini. I'm hoping there's something lighter out there?
Feb 22, 2014, 08:06 AM
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Yes it would be nice if there were some smaller E-tracts suitable for the 650mm-wingspan class, like the Skyangel "funfighter" series. Then you could have your cake and eat it too -- a clean, low-drag airframe for high-speed runs, plus takeoff/land capability as well. My RC club has a nice hard-surface it's kind of a waste to be throwing hand-launchers around out there. And some of them aren't so easy to hand-launch -- so landing gear would help out with that problem too.
Sep 05, 2015, 12:56 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by herk1
They do not come with struts. They fit a 3mm strut wire -- which is fatter than really needed for this small of a plane..

Looks really good! How are they holding up? Would you do anything different?

Can you please tell me what 3mm wire struts (in your photos) and wheels you used?

I think I have wheels that will work, but I'm lost on which 3mm wire struts, with tension bend, to used, or might suggest.

Thanks in advance,

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