The wait for my dream Spitfire is over.
After having and flying my 80” Phoenix Model P47 for a few months (my biggest warbird at the time), in May 2021, I decided to try something bigger, I ordered a 1:4.75 scale Spitfire (95”). It is also Phoenix Model and distributed by Tower Hobby. Unfortunately, it was on back order and estimated to be shipped in a couple of months. But they have been changing the shipping status month after month, and it is still on back order now.
While waiting for the Spitty to come, I spent time to collect all the electronics and power components for it. I also bought an 80” Black Horse Spitfire from MotionRC (it is still in boxes, a backup plan if I don’t ever get the 1:4.75 scale one).
Then, in mid-September this year, as I almost gave up waiting for the 95” Spitty, and was about to start on the Black Horse. I found on RCGroups, someone in Riverside who had 5 flights on a 95” Spitty ready to fly for sale. I was so excited and, after exchanging texts and messages, the wait is over! I went to Temecula and brought my dream Spitty home.
The plane was equipped with all Hitec HS-645MGs which are analog servos. I changed them to digital D-645MWs except for the rudder, I used JX PDI-6221MG for more torque and less expense.
I also custom made 9 pins quick connectors for the wings and fuselage (picture below).
Here are the specification and setup of the Spitty:
Length: 86” (2184mm)
Wingspan: 95” (2413 mm)
Motor : Rimfire 65cc
ESC: Castle Phoenix Edge HV160A
Propeller: Xoar 23x14x2
Spinner: Falcon 6”
(I will change them to Biela 24x10x3 and also Falcon 6” spinner for more scale)
Battery: 2x 6S 5000MAh 55C in series (12S)
2x 2S 2200MAh LiFE for receiver
1x 2S 1000MAh for retracts
Servo: 6x Hitec D-645MW (2 Aileron, 2 Elevator, 2 Flap) and 1x JX PDI-6221MG for Rudder.
Radio: Tx: FrSky X10S Express (2.4GHz) + R9M 2019 ACCESS module (900MHz)
RX: Archer SR10 Pro (2.4GHz) + R9 Stab OTA (900MHz) in redundancy
(In case the main RX browns out, the long range R9 will take over)
I went over and double checked everything. Then came the exciting and also scary Sunday! The maiden day!!!
Compared to the weight and location of the batteries (8000MAh) from the previous owner, I use much lighter batteries, but it was still nose heavy (picture below, thanks to Fredrick and Brad!). I decided to maiden it with nose heavy since the weight of the nose was reduced quite significant compared to the original setup from the first owner.
Thanks to Fredrick Lorenz for helping as a wingman in my maiden flight, and also so sorry to folks down the runway, as the Spitty created a big cloud of dust when I tested the power before takeoff.
When the plane lifted off the ground, as expected, up elevator trim was needed, also right aileron. After less than a couple laps of adjusting, it flew straight. Although, I had too much throw for elevator and ailerons so I had to adjust my thumbs movement during the maiden flight.
After the maiden flight, I moved the batteries further back and achieved the CG marked by manufacture, and reduced the throws. The Spitty seems to be happy with that. It almost flies inverted without down elevator.
Thanks to Lewis Dotson for perfectly captured both of my flight videos! Links of videos below.
Also pictures from Tom Gluggio, Pete Kwei and help from other friends!
Maiden flight: https://youtu.be/LbpRA-AB4gw
Flight #6: https://youtu.be/UQSIbAmVGgw
Spitfire landing: https://youtu.be/6Tv2MEfOHlk
P47 landing: https://youtu.be/DOhqsAPyBTc