Fighter Face Off: Infield Engineering P-36 Hawk vs. Fun Scale I-16 Rata! - RC Groups
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Oct 08, 2017, 01:30 AM
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Fighter Face Off: Infield Engineering P-36 Hawk vs. Fun Scale I-16 Rata!


The Project

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After a bit of a hiatus from RC, it’s time to jump back in with a new project. This one has actually been brewing for a couple of years. Derek Micko (D-Rock) and I have been talking about collaborating for a long time now.

I’ve been a fan of D-Rock’s work since he did his 30” I-16 Rata several years back. In fact, I studied that build quite a bit when I was doing my first design which was a 30” Wildcat in a similar style.

I had the good fortune to meet Derek when he was competing in the Scale Masters just down the road in Woodland Davis in 2014 and again in 2016. After realizing that we both specialize in stick-and-tissue type builds and we both love Warbirds, it occurred to us that it would be fun to collaborate in some way.

In order to make it work, we’d need to align in certain respects. We already design in a similar fashion. We’d also need to agree to a certain size. Since our respective projects have been growing larger over time, we decided to go with 60” for the wingspan. Both projects would use similar electric power systems. And both would be aircraft that had faced one another in combat. Thus the Fighter Face Off was born.

Nailing down the right two airplanes was tough. There are so many great combinations that we must have changed our minds a half dozen times. Finally, we settled on the I-16 Rata to quiet some of D-Rocks fans On my side, I am going with the Curtiss Hawk 75—aka the P36.

The Curtiss may seem like an odd choice, but it’s surprising how widespread this little airplane was. We’ll go into more detail on that later, but in regard to tangling with the Rata a number of Hawks found themselves in the service of the Finnish Air Force during hostilities with the Soviets.

Three years after hatching the plan for the Fighter Face Off, these projects are finally becoming a reality. So here we go!

Link to D-Rock's thread: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...1#post38419571

Paul
Last edited by Longhorne; Oct 08, 2017 at 10:49 PM.
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Oct 08, 2017, 08:00 PM
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portablevcb's Avatar
Paul, Good idea. Look forward to these.

charlie
Oct 08, 2017, 11:07 PM
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The Aircraft


Thanks, Charlie! Good to hear from you. Hope you got all moved in to the new digs.

Like I said earlier, D-Rock and I considered a bunch of different combos. We were trying to find something that wasn’t too overdone but not obscure either. The Curtiss P36/Hawk 75 is a good example of a well-known airplane that has tended to be overshadowed—in this case by its bigger sibling, the P40.

I’ve always thought that the P36 was a good looking airplane, but after spending some time researching it I’ve become a much bigger fan. The USAAF ordered 215 of P36’s but these were used mostly for training by the time we jumped into WW2.

The Hawk 75 export version was more successful, with 900 copies being sent all over the world. Buyers included several European countries but also China, Argentina, and Iran. But the most interesting story is that of the 413 aircraft built to fill French orders. The French flew these in Europe against the Germans and then in North Africa against the British and US. Although the Brits declined to purchase their own Hawks from Curtiss, the RAF ended up with quite a few when some French pilots flew their Hawks to England as France fell. This set of French Hawks found their way to the Pacific to be flown by Commonwealth forces. The remaining French Hawks in Europe were captured by the Germans and later sold to Finland where they fought against the Russians.

And these are just the French Hawks! The story of the other 500 is just as nutty.

Here’s a little more Hawk trivia before we get to the point and build some stuff:
  • September 8, 1940: first Allied kill in western Europe is made when a French Hawk downs a Bf109E. Amazingly, the German pilot is Condor Legion ace Werner Molders, who injures his back in the crash.
  • September 20, 1940: Werner Molders makes his first kill in Europe when he returns to down a French Hawk.
  • December 7th, 1941: Of the few US aircraft that got off of the ground at Pearl Harbor, over half were P36’s with the balance P40’s. P36 pilots claimed 5 kills. The P36 displayed in the Air Force Museum depicts the aircraft flown by Lt. Rasmussen, who flew that day in his PJ’s.

Here are a few photos to get the ball rolling:
Oct 08, 2017, 11:09 PM
Manzano Laser Works
TomJacoby's Avatar
Two of my favorites! I'm anxious to see these two back in action!
-=Tom=-
Oct 08, 2017, 11:12 PM
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Longhorne's Avatar
Glad to hear that Tom. Because you know I'm gonna come a callin'

Paul
Oct 09, 2017, 07:23 AM
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raipe's Avatar
Subscribed big time! Will be a treat to follow a new build from both of you and such a cool subjects!

raipe
Oct 09, 2017, 08:01 AM
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Longhorne's Avatar
Heya, Raipe--I figured that the FAF connection would draw you out

I think I mentioned to you that I have a Fokker d.XXI roughed out and was planning to do it in Finnish colors. Looks like I'll be able to get the same scheme on a little sleeker package here with the Hawk.

Paul
Oct 09, 2017, 10:07 AM
The Junk Man
Nice thread to watch. One of my favorite WWII fighters.

Tom
Oct 09, 2017, 01:00 PM
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JIMA's Avatar
Looking forward to the build. Will you make the plans available?

Jim
Oct 09, 2017, 01:26 PM
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Thanks, gents.

Yup, there should be a buildable plan coming out of this one.

Man, what a crazy night. 60mph winds when I went to bed. Woke up at 0300 to a series of calls about evacuations from several fires burning out of control. Horizon raging orange to the south. Family showing up at our place after mandatory evacuations.

Thankfully the wind died at 0400, but by then the fires were well into urban areas. Awful.
Oct 09, 2017, 01:41 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
Dang, hope y'all are OK there!
Glenn
Oct 09, 2017, 01:45 PM
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Thanks Glenn!

On the one hand I have a free day to work on the project. In the other I have our birth certs, marriage cert, and passports. Forizzle.

We should be fine but I'm hoping to hear CalFire flying soon. It's dead calm but I hear the smoke is too thick for them to operate in.
Oct 09, 2017, 01:48 PM
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JIMA's Avatar
That is terrible Paul. I hope everyone is well and out of danger.

Jim
Oct 09, 2017, 02:41 PM
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D-Rock's Avatar
Scary night, hope all are safe!

D-Rock
Oct 09, 2017, 04:50 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
After all the rain you guys had out there earlier seems the fire season wouldn't be as bad as the past few years. That's scary stuff.. Did the wind shift and y'all are in the clear?
At least with hurricanes we get a week's advance warning. As hurricane season winds down, we are prepping generators for storage and putting those important papers away. My generator got a workout this year, no power (or air conditioning ) for 5 days.
Looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with!


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