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Oct 08, 2017, 12:33 AM
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D-Rock's Avatar
Build Log

Fighter Face off: Fun Scale I-16 Rata vs. Infield Engineering P-36 Hawk!

The Project

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Hi guys, Paul Kohlmann and I are excited to announce our latest joint project- a Fighter Face Off! Paul and I have been chatting and planning this for some time and we are now ready to start building. I have been impressed with Paul’s designs for years and after chatting on the phone a couple of times, we hashed out the idea of doing a project together. After meetings at several Masters events, we had the overall plan laid out- we would each do a 60” model of an aircraft that saw action against one another. I would do the I-16 and Paul would do the P-36.
Some of you may be saying that the US never fought against the Russians in WWII and so the Hawk and Rata would not have been combatants, but that’s not the case. Hawks were sold to the Finnish Air force and they used them quite successfully against the Soviets during the Russo-Finnish war of 1939-1940. And while both their Air Force and Army were small in comparison to the Soviet Union’s, they gave the Russian military quite the drubbing before being numerically overwhelmed. In fact, given the poor showing of the Soviet forces, this emboldened a certain dictator to proceed with his plans of “Lebensraum” and begin Operation Barbarossa the following year.
Paul and I will be doing parallel build threads and will be providing progress till the day we finally have the Rat meet the Hawk!

Link to Paul's build

Last edited by D-Rock; Oct 08, 2017 at 09:06 PM.
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Oct 08, 2017, 03:21 AM
Scale Builder
No offense intended towards my good friend Derek but Paul got the better end of this deal! I think the P-36/Hawk 75 series of aircraft are among the sexiest around. The Rata, well, not so much. Fortunately I know without a doubt that there are many out there who would disagree with me. Thus I am sure that both designs will meet with great success. Very much looking forward to watching the progress and best of luck to both of you.
Oct 08, 2017, 11:44 AM
Live to fly!
doc-e's Avatar
FINALLY!!!!!!!! Been waiting for 4 years for this!!
Oct 08, 2017, 01:30 PM
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portablevcb's Avatar
What a great idea. Will be cool to follow this.

Oct 08, 2017, 01:48 PM
Registered User
A Build off ? Or a build followed by Combat ?
And if aerial Combat.. how ? Streamers ? Ramming
Last edited by Bare; Oct 08, 2017 at 04:05 PM.
Oct 08, 2017, 03:04 PM
Come friendly bombs ....
balticS2's Avatar
Splendid! That's our winter entertainment sorted.

I like both of these aircraft very much. And both you and Paul do a nice thread.

Oct 08, 2017, 03:27 PM
Registered User
raipe's Avatar
Awesome! following with great interest!


ps. I've read that some of the educated war experts share your view of the influence of Finish success against Russia in the winter war to Hitlers rush to head out east.
Oct 08, 2017, 09:03 PM
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D-Rock's Avatar
Thanks guys, Paul and I have really been looking forward to this project.

Doc-e- thanks for hanging in there all these years, I hope this will be worth the wait

Chad, no offense taken lol as I know how much you are fond of the Curtis Hawk series- from the round noses to the pointy ones- I'm also a big fan and really know Paul is going to do her justice.

How about a little history on the Rata

Last edited by D-Rock; Oct 08, 2017 at 09:20 PM.
Oct 08, 2017, 09:04 PM
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D-Rock's Avatar

The Aircraft

The Polikarpov I-16 was the premier Russian fighter during the 1930s and at the time or the German invasion consisted of over 88% of the Soviet fighter force. Famous historian Walter Boyne likened the I-16 to that of Rodney Dangerfield, in that it receives no respect for its significance- and for a period of time, eminence on the battle field. It was the first monoplane with retractable landing gear to enter into front line service. Early version had an enclosed cockpit and later versions carried a wide variety of weapons including cannons, rockets and bombs. It was a test bed for ram-air engines, retractable skis for winter operations, and was a parasite aircraft on the TB-3 bomber (one hung under each wing of the TB-3).
There were many different versions of the I-16 in its years of service from 1934 to 1950- yes Spain flew this aircraft until 1950! Not bad for an aircraft that the Germans called cannon fodder.
But this reputation was not always the case. During the Spanish Civil War and flying for the Republicans, the I-16 was far superior to the Fiat CR-32 and Heinkel He-51 biplanes it faced in the Spanish skies. It was also an even match for the very early versions of the Bf-109s- at least until they were upgraded with a more powerful Jumo engine. Later over Manchuria, it faced off against the Japanese Nate and Claude and these fixed gear fighters proved to be a closer match. During the Russo Finnish war, the I-16 was outclassed by the Fokker D XX1s and by its partner in the Fighter Face Off- The Curtis P-36 Hawk.
There were a plethora of versions throughout the production run but the main types were the 5, 6, 10, 17, 18, and 24. Almost as many nicknames were attached to the I-16. The Republicans called it the Mosca, the Nationalist called it Rata (Rat), the Soviets called it Ishak (little Donkey) and the Germans called it… well we already covered that.
The I-16 was very maneuverable and top speed of just under 300 Mph. It was a very robust aircraft, often and in the later years a necessity, able to take severe damage and return to base. Some Russian pilots in times of desperation turned to Taran (ramming attacks) to bring down German aircraft. Surprisingly, some of the pilots would actually survive the collision to fight another day. Due to its wing loading and maneuverability, the full size I-16 was a bit of a challenge to fly. But those that learned her habits really liked her virtues and we hope to represent the full size with an easy to fly model.

Oct 08, 2017, 11:01 PM
It's a fine fiddly business.
Robert R's Avatar
This is very interesting. How big will it be? Will it be a belly lander or have landing gear.

There is a 1:1 I 16 about 15 minutes from my home. I believe that it is air worthy. If you need a photo of anything, it would be a great excuse to visit the museum.

Oct 09, 2017, 09:06 AM
The Junk Man
I am interested in the size too. Your builds are usually out of my preferred size range but I like watching.

Oct 09, 2017, 01:44 PM
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D-Rock's Avatar
Thanks Robert, I may take you up on that.
The wingspan is 60" and I'll post some greater details on the design later tonight.

Oct 09, 2017, 11:59 PM
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D-Rock's Avatar

The Design

The Rata is laid out like my other Fun Scale designs, looking like a larger free flight model. By that it utilizes stringers and limited sheeting. The model construction is fairly straight forward and utilizes balsa, light ply, some reg ply and basswood. The design concept for my Fun Scale series of models is to create a light weight model with close to scale outlines- something that captures the essence of the full size without all the stress of flying a competition model.
There are a multitude of drawings out there of the 1-16 and with the one I chose to use was only deviated in outline in a couple of areas. The airfoil was replaced with the one I used on the Bearcat- this has proven to be a very nice flying airfoil. The retracts were simplified (more on that later) and the retraction location rake into the wing was reduced. The version the model most closely resembles is that of the mark 10- but very easily could be created to look like an earlier or later mark. The wing span is 60” (like my Hurricane and Bearcat) and I am shooting for an AUW between 5-6 pounds. Often the comment I hear about the I-16 is that it has no nose moment. Looking at it does seem that way but you have to consider the design as a whole. In that I mean the fuse is very short overall, and the point from the top view CG is not really that short. The smaller 30” version I did years back required no additional ballast. And the Bearcat needed 7 ounces in the tail to get the balance point. I have a suspicion I will not need much nose weight if any on the larger Rata.

I typically like to use ready available equipment and the power pack and servo sizes are that of the 1400mm foamies. A 42-60 500kv motor and 17-25 gram servos are used throughout. The retracts are 3.5 kg clones that you can pick up from multiple places for about $20 per pair. Power will be from a 4 cell 3300-4000 mah battery- so if you had an old foamy that went to the hanger in the sky you already have most of the equipment needed. Some versions of the full size had flaps but most pilots found them dangerous to use and quite often they were bolted in the up position and so we have not added them as part of the model. A 5 channel receiver will work just fine, so if you have a 6 channel you can add some additional option if you want.
I will go into greater detail as the build progresses and I hope to be able to post progress on the model soon.

Oct 10, 2017, 08:42 AM
Registered User
BuildItWright's Avatar
Double the fun! This will be exciting with 2 builds to follow! Subscribed!

Oct 10, 2017, 10:16 AM
Got my attention! A 60” wingspan Rata is just about the perfect size for me

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