Got my P-38, retracts or no? - RC Groups
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Jun 14, 2001, 01:56 AM
Flying slowly along..

Got my P-38, retracts or no?

I got my JR P-38 kit tonight at our club meeting. I would first like to say that i am VERY satisfied with the quality of the kit in general. I recieved a lot of comments asking me if I was going to add landing gear to it or not. My response was that i was going to try and keep it as simple as possible, and also as light as possible. Comments were then made that I should think about running 480's to offset the weight penalty of the retracts.

I feel that the addition of landing gear will only make this plane harder for me to tackle, IE: taking off and landing. I feel that keeping it light and belly landing it would be far easier for me.

Please give me your thoughts on the matter---Rob
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Jun 14, 2001, 02:16 AM
Registered User
You have got it right, fly it with no gear. The model is a super flyer but you should keep it as light as possible. 6v Speed 400's on 8 cells with CAM 5x5 props works quite well. The only trick is the launch, take a couple of steps and throw it level and fairly hard, fly out level till you get up on step (those high pitch props don't pull very well at low airspeeds). Once up to speed the plane really scoots and is quite aerobatic. The model slows well for landing, so you shouldn't have a problem.

Another set up that works well is 7.2v Speed 400's on 10 cells.

Anyway, Keep it simple and have fun. Save the retracts for something a bit larger.

Good Luck,

Mike Hines
Jun 14, 2001, 02:24 AM
Flying slowly along..
My fellings EXACTLY. It seemed like some tonight were treating the kit as if it were made of glass. I always prefer function over form, so I'm just going to build it light and simple, like I intended. Thanks for the input---Rob
Jun 14, 2001, 05:35 AM
Former Durafly Brand Manager
Stuart Warne's Avatar
Yes, i would have no undercart, to have a non-retractable U/C would spoil those beautiful lines of the P38.
This is a kit that i have thought hard about getting have you got any pictures of it in construction, would love to know if you made any mod's.

Jun 14, 2001, 08:34 AM
i maidened a friends p38 that had the 480's,10cells and fixed wasn't a pretty flight!slow and sluggish,on verge of a stall.
light is definitly better!...........gregg
Jun 14, 2001, 09:13 AM
Sloping off....
leccyflyer's Avatar

Though I've never flown a scale twin your first thoughts sound right to me- keep it light and don't bother with the retracts at this stage.

The comments re using 480's to counteract the weight of the retracts are all well and good in terms of power loading but do nothing to improve the wing loading.

The model is heavier and needs to fly faster, the 480s are thirstier, so you then need to put bigger cells with more capacity in to get a reasonable duration, so the model gets heavier, the landing speed gets faster and before you know it you've just come second in a jelly-nailing competition.

Then it also depends on your field - if it's grass the issue is whether the tiny retracts can handle landing on grass without getting bent out of shape.


Jun 14, 2001, 10:00 AM
Serenity Now!
jbrundt's Avatar

My firsthand experience with this plane is to omit the retracts and do whatever you can to keep the weight down. Weight has this tendancy to creep up on you while you're building and the JR P-38 doesn't offer much that you can do to reduce the airframe weight so you have to choose your equipment carefully.

You're right on the quality of the workmanship. It's georgeous. I was especially impressed by the lightness and craftsmanship on the balsa wing panels.

For those that would like to see I have pics at I have finished the repairs to mine and I'm just waiting for a chance to go fly. Yesterday would have been oerfect but the wind was gusting over 30mph...sheesh. Looks like I'll have to wait for our club's e-fly on the 23rd.

Keep us posted on your progress Rob.

Jun 14, 2001, 02:18 PM
Registered User
J Bergsmith's Avatar
I just bought a P-38 kit today. Nice quality, very easy to build. I will also be using the 400 motors to start out with, also 10 cells, maybe 1250 cells.
Jun 14, 2001, 08:12 PM
Flying slowly along..
I just noticed something...My kit came with the wings and tail surfaces already covered with white ultracoat!! It seems that they've updated the kit.

I don't have any pics yet, but you really can't go wrong with this one.

Jeff, how did you attach your canopy? The video shows a little latch near the rear of it. I haven't really gotten far into the kit yet, but the instructions do seem a bit sketchy. Parts count is pretty low though, so it shouldn't be that tough. I am going to take my sweet time building this one. i've already decided on an Olive Drab paint scheme.

Be patient guys, I'll be asking a lot of questions---Rob
Jun 14, 2001, 08:42 PM
Master of disaster
Travis's Avatar
Don't even think about retracts unless you have a smooth (non-grass) surface to ROG from.

From what I have seen the 480 is not that so
much better than a 400. In order to compensate for retract wieght I think you would need to go brushless.

It can be done but once all this is packed
into a lighting the wing loading is gonna
be so high your gonna feel like a NASA test
pilot every time you fly!
Jun 15, 2001, 01:08 AM
Registered User
byoung's Avatar
Did you get your own Bungee launcher set up?
I'll have mine at the Boeing E-Fly.
Jun 16, 2001, 11:14 AM
Serenity Now!
jbrundt's Avatar
Originally posted by byoung:
Did you get your own Bungee launcher set up?
I'll have mine at the Boeing E-Fly.


I got the launcher built and already have bungee from my hi-start. I just haven't used it yet. It looks like next saturday at the e-fly will be the first time to try it out.


Jul 26, 2001, 11:54 PM
Registered User
Kevin Murray's Avatar
Rob - Where did you get your kit from ? It a print mag test it was mentioned about a delux kit, it included covered parts. It was discontinued - It said.
Jul 27, 2001, 12:30 AM
Electric Airplane Junkie
bhchan's Avatar

definitely no retract.The plane is not strong enought to support retract. The Mosquito you saw I flew at Modesto is equiped with 2X permax turbo(?) 450's running parallel on 7 x 2400 turning 7 x 4. Launching is easy on this power setup, the 450 is a low rpm turning but high torque motor.

Jul 27, 2001, 02:47 AM
Speed Demon
GregG's Avatar
Rob, I'd leave it hand launch to keep the KISS priciple working. You'd torture yourself to add the retracts and all it's linkage. If it was bigger, I'd say do it but not on this one.
Brian, you ought to bring that beautifull Mossie up to Woodland Sat. morn for the WWII meet there. That would impress the heck out of that crowd, you'd fit right in!