****GWS-38: The Aviation Legend **** - Page 187 - RC Groups
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Apr 25, 2017, 09:16 AM
Gator's here to see you:)
gator's Avatar
Got all the parts and started building the P-38. 55mm spinners and bigger motors too. It's been a chore trying to cast and prep plaster molds to build replacement cowlings if needed but its done and the build started. I added the carbon arrow shaft mod from the motor mount back to the tails as far as possible and it stiffened up the booms nicely. A hot soldering iron made quick work when making the grooves and other access holes.

I also spritzed spray foam into the thin plastic cowlings to reinforce them. I've hollowed out the unneeded foam and they are significantly tougher but still very light.

I'll be mounting the 40a ESCs under the motors on the firewall so balance may be an issue. To counter that I decided to beef up the elevator with a carbon rod and mount the rudder(optional) and elevator servos under the rear boom intakes on either side. I added the servo/ESC/motor feed wires for both booms before sealing them together with Gorilla Glue.

There are more than a few challenges doing the mods but it will hopefully create a better, faster, and more durable plane when it's done. I'll post back as the build progresses closer to paint/detail.
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Apr 25, 2017, 09:26 AM
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I just put my GWS-38 back in the air after crashing it about 5 years ago. I went with bigger motors and P-38F style cowlings, but otherwise its a stock (though reconstructed) airplane.

Flies beautifully, but the extra weight makes slow flight pretty much impossible. As a result, landing speeds are high, and the first landing attempt resulted in one motor tearing out the mount and breaking the cowling. It' been fixed (again), but now I'm debating retracts instead of belly-flop landings.

Moral of the story: Beware of weight gain!
Apr 25, 2017, 11:31 AM
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Suko's Avatar
I had retracts on mine and recommend against it. It just made the plane super heavy and the landings were always high-speed. I'm not sure if retracts will help your issue. I suspect it will just make things worse.
Apr 25, 2017, 11:51 AM
Registered User
That's pretty much what I'm thinking. She's not a real happy camper at anything less than cruise speed, and adding more weight in the form of three servos and a stand-alone BEC doesn't seem likely to help things!
Apr 25, 2017, 01:35 PM
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What AUW did you end up with? Mine is definitely going to be porky with much bigger motors and two 40a ESCs and a UBEC. I intend to fly it with a 4s 3200 so landing may be an issue but top speed won't be . I hate the look of fixed gear under it but I'd agree that retracts will really add some wt and hot belly landings eventually get rough on the airframe if the field isn't groomed like a golf course fairway.

How does it behave in a stall? will it snap roll or stall fairly straight? I expect it'll get ugly with these pinched wing tips

Thanks, Mike
Last edited by gator; Apr 25, 2017 at 01:44 PM.
Apr 25, 2017, 01:46 PM
Registered User
Mine is pushing 32oz all-up. I put a pair of Cheetah outrunners on it (available from BPhobbies). Spinning 10X5 props on a 3-cell pack, it's about 300 Watts total power. On the first flight after reconstruction, I never got past 3/4 throttle. At that setting, it would climb at a 60-degree angle.

Half throttle makes for a comfortable cruise, and it could do almost any maneuver at that setting, except for very large loops.

I tried some glides with power off. Holding the nose level with the horizon, the wings would rock on the edge of a stall. Pulling back to the stall break (at about 5 degrees nose up) produced a consistent break to the right.

So, with that in mind, I landed with about 1/4 throttle. And managed to catch the right prop, as described above. I'm hoping that landing in taller grass.
Apr 25, 2017, 10:50 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by gator
I have plenty of 4s batts so now to find 2 of those ntm 3530 1400kv motors w/mounts and prop adp. They're oos at the Kings warehouse. Anybody have a couple they could part with or a recommendation on a comparable wt/watt/price alternate with a link?? Any leads on a 2 or 3 blade spinner, size and supplier? Found 3 bladed 8x6 props at Banggood for $2.65us if it's worth the effort to do 3 vs 2.
Thanks, Mike
Umm are you making this a pylon racer, because 4s on a 1400kv mtr is ballistic. 3s maybe? I don't want to be downer, but your parts don't seem to be optimized for this plane or each other. Your going to end up with a lot of unnecessary weight.
Apr 26, 2017, 09:58 AM
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Thanks for the input but inconvenient weight comes with an an excessive amount of power. Folding the wings back at wot is not completely out of the question Not all of my toys are built to live a long life, be entirely practical, or accurate to scale so cramming all these parts on this small frame is certainly part of the challenge and the fun of a modded build. The mods I'm using are loosely based on somewhat similar successfully applied mods made by other posters earlier in this thread. It'll haul the mail when I'm done.

This pic below comes to mind......... Completely impractical but interesting in an odd way. I mean, who NEEDS a super charged coffin after all.....
Apr 26, 2017, 10:06 AM
Registered User
As an inveterate scratch-builder, I can agree that practicality must sometimes take a back seat to pure thrill-ride fun. But the GWS-38 isn't available any more, so I'd feel pretty bad if mine turned into styrene confetti. Considering that 300 Watts is making mine go nearly straight up at 3/4 throttle, I'm thinking I've pretty well overpowered mine.

But get video of yours in flight. I'd love to see a P-38 streaking past!
Apr 26, 2017, 10:43 AM
5,200 Led Lighted Bike-Bob P.
**neons**'s Avatar
Thumbs up forge ahead. I had great success with my conversions. Post# 2758 flights are the proof in the pudding. Great slide in landings too on smooth grass. I have exhilarating flights and the crowd loves its display in flight. (me too) Be a Herman Munster and go for it.
**Neons** Bob.
Last edited by **neons**; Apr 26, 2017 at 03:11 PM.
Apr 26, 2017, 11:19 AM
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Hey Balsa, Here's some good news for you at a good price, but you better act quick if you really like this bird. I'm pretty sure these are just about the last of the run to be found.

Yeah Neons' the guy who got me revved up to over power it. Thanks to everyone who posts their success and difficulties. It saves countless other builders/pilots who may never report their experiences. On the other hand I'll probably add too much info but hope it helps somebody who'll come along in the future.

I'd say my build is more time consuming because I researched the whole thread and added what I considered mods for weak spots that'd shorten the planes lifespan and beefed up the timid stock power based on detailed feedback Neon and others posted earlier.

Clearly, after looking at the stock props (which I never intended to use) I'd have to say it's a miracle the plane would even fly on those wet noodles (and don't get me going on those ridiculous spinners). If there was only one upgrade that'd make a HUGE difference to the stock kit it'd be to get some stiff props. My motor upgrade (Yes, slightly overdone ) came after so many warned of the stock motor failures. It'd be a huge shame to lose this plane because of either of those weak links. The rest of the kit is a pretty straight forward twin build.

Last edited by gator; May 01, 2017 at 12:11 PM.
Apr 26, 2017, 11:36 AM
Registered User
Cool! Thanks for the tip on Aloft Hobbies. I just ordered 2 new Lightnings.

You're absolutely right about the stock motors and props. I was sent one of the prototypes as a review model (I used to write for Quiet Flyer magazine). Set up with a 2-cell LiPo, performance was pretty anemic. Going to 3-cell made it fly better, but I ended up frying one of the GWS speed controllers. After replacing those with Castle units, it flew well on 3 cells and better props. At least until one of the aileron servos came loose in flight. The resulting crash broke it into 6 pieces.

After letting it sit in the basement for 5 years, I just finished reconstructing it with much better power. Now I have to figure out how to land it!
Apr 26, 2017, 12:32 PM
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Awesome! Glad to help. Looks like they're out of the silver ones since I ordered a few weeks ago. We'll look forward to your build details and flight report.

Now you have me thinking about how well I secure my servos. lol. This thing is gonna be tough but portly.

This P-38 build has me looking for an excuse to pull the trigger on the very handsome 1600mm Flightline P-38 from MotionRC. It's been out long enough for the group thread to mature with helpful bugs and mods. Maybe after my GWS reaches its expiration date and rapid disassembly.

Here's some interesting FL 38 footage shot from a nose boom.
Apr 27, 2017, 08:41 AM
Registered User
That footage is nothing short of awesome!

Both of the GWS-38 kits I ordered are going into my private stock as back-ups, so it's going to be a while before they get built. When I do, I think I'm going to actually downgrade the motors to something lighter. I'm willing to trade unlimited vertical for the ability to land safely in the grass!

I also have a new-in-box GWS A-10 that I've been hoarding for 10 years. Trying to come up with a decent power system for it, but most of the 55mm EDF units I've found seem likely to overpower it. I loved the original because it was such a nice park floater. Too bad the stock EDFs only had 10-hour lifespans!
Feb 28, 2018, 01:44 PM
Lori, hey, you're home early
CarreraGTSCS's Avatar
I was just on the Aloft Hobbies website and I saw that they still sell this great old model. Good to see that!

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