Home RC Airplane Reviews World Models (Airborne Models) P47 Review
World Models (Airborne Models) P47 Review Print E-mail
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World Models P-47 Review

History

Republic Aviation's P-47 Thunderbolt, also known as the "Jug," was the largest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single reciprocating engine. It was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of WorldWar II, and served with other Allied air forces. The P-47 was effective in air combat but proved especially adept at ground attack. It had eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing. When fully loaded the P-47 could weigh up to eight tons. The Jug was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-59 twin-row radial engine, capable of producing 2,535hp and propelling the plane to a maximum speed of 433 mph.

Intro

Feeling a little disappointed by Hobby Lobby’s Hun Hunter I kept my eyes open for another P-47 that might fill my Thunderbolt void. Over the course of the summer my interests began to grow and I branched out to include balsa airplanes in my hangar. Once the balsa door was opened I discovered a whole new world of airplanes were now available for my choosing. Not looking to start with a high end perfect scale balsa plane, a friend directed me towards http://www.airborne-models.com/ a site I had stumbled across once before but didn’t give it much attention for some reason. I was surprised to actually peruse the selection and see some awesome deals! Some planes were in the perfect parkflyer 40” size, came with retracts, motor and pilot figure all for $120! Not a bad deal in my opinion, so I dropped many hints to my lovely assistant and amazingly she listened as I received the P47 Thunderbolt for my birthday! Isn’t she great?

Kit Contents

The kit comes very basic which is fine since it is understood that some minimal building is required. Everything comes pre-covered and some of the holes are pre-drilled. The CA hinges are already in place in the ailerons and elevator which is a nice touch. The retracts are installed and waiting for a servo to move them. I was very pleased with the kit, everything looked clean, well covered/cut and the plane was super light! I was surprised at how small the motor was and was unsure what kind of power it would be capable of producing. In addition to the small motor I was also surprised the kit included a folding prop, the type that are usually reserved for gliders or planes that belly land.

Assembly

There is not too much to do to assemble the P47. It should only take a few hours to install the servos and slap on the wings and tail feathers, but I always manage to much longer when building an airplane. The ‘instructions’ (if you can call them that) that were included in the box left a lot to be desired in way of clarity. Putting together an airplane is not rocket science but these instructions were vague and looked like they had been run through a fax machine 5 times before being folded up and shipped in the box. Nevertheless, I pressed onward and upward, I had a plane to build!

Installing the aileron servos and control horns was a cinch and quick step. Installing the retract servo was a bit of a pain. I had to cut away some wood just to make the servo fit even though I was using only a HS65 with Karbonite gears. Once I had the servo installed it was a pain getting the landing gear linkages hooked up to the servo arm. After cycling the gear a couple of times I noticed that the servo arm was hitting part of the wing and binding up. I spent more time cutting wood in the tiny space to get the proper clearance. They really do not give you a lot of room for the retract servo.

After fussing with the retracts I moved on to the tail feathers and they went along smoothly until about an hour later (after a Tuna Melt break) I noticed that I had forgotten to connect the elevators together with the supplied connector. Feeling very embarrassed and angry I was forced to cut two of the elevator CA hinges as well as 2 of the rudder hinges in order to slip on the missing piece. Needless to say I WON’T be making that silly mistake again. I was able to fashion some narrower hinges and slide them besides the ones I had already cut, so things ended up ok in the end.

Using the stock power setup everything went together quickly and perfectly in regards to the motor mount, motor, prop and cowl. The wing attached to the fuselage via a wooden tab along the trailing edge and two plastic bolts near the leading edge of the wing. I understand companies need to save money but I was very underwhelmed with the plastic bolts that hold the wing together. When they are tight they do seem stable enough, but they are difficult to screw in since they are so bendy and twisty. I will probably end up replacing them with metal bolts at some point in the future.

Other than the bendy bolts I was extremely pleased and impressed with the kit quality of the P47. I should also note, it wasn’t until I was ¾ of the way done with the build that I noticed each small bag of parts had a number on the bag that corresponded with the appropriate step in the instruction booklet. I will admit had I noticed this sooner, things probably would’ve gone smoother for me. So don’t be stupid like me, pay attention to the numbers! :)


Features

Even though the landing gear wheels are small I really appreciate the retracts on this bird. When they are locked in they are strong and stable. The wheel wells are big enough to accommodate larger wheels if you want to try taking off from the grass or a snowy mountain top. The covering was nicely done with no bubbles, wrinkles or crinkles but the scheme is a little weird in my opinion. In the air the less than scale lines and rivets disappear as the bird glints nicely in the sun.

First Flight

All eyes were on me when I went to the field for my maiden flight. I was the new guy with a new plane and just like NASCAR, I think everyone was hoping for a crash. It was a cold and very gray day but there was little to no wind so I wasn’t too concerned. Running the prop and motor up the night before I knew the P47 should have more than enough power to get up in the air. I taxied on the runway, checked my control surfaces for about the 200th time and decided to let ‘er rip. The plane didn’t roll very far before the rear wheel popped up and I could tell she was ready to leave Planet Earth. I gathered even more speed before finally pulling back gently on the elevator and the plane jumped to the sky gracefully like an Olympic high jumper. I immediately executed a nice gentle right turn to stay within our field’s flying area and it wasn’t until about 20 seconds in that I realized the plane needed ZERO trim. She was flying perfectly and balanced. I was thrilled. I flew for about 5 minutes before deciding to bring her down safely and to see how much battery was left. Landing on maiden flights is always a little stressful because each plane slows down so differently. Some tip stall, others become nose heavy and my last P47 became extremely touchy to elevator input. I made my approach and called it off since I was way too high and had too much speed. I kept my gear down on the final circuit to get a better feel of the drag. I finally brought her in and porpoised a bit but managed to bring her down in one piece fairly gently. After rolling on the runway for 10 feet the gear collapsed under the plane to everyone’s delight but there was no damage.

Flight Characteristics

This plane is a beautiful flier. The real Jug was known for being the heaviest fighter but the wing loading on the World Models P47 is so light she flies with little effort. Inverted flight takes a little down elevator, but not an excessive amount. What does seem excessive is the snap rolls! This plane can snap roll faster than a greased pig through a wooden fence. Very fun and surprising to say the least! I did not experience any tip-stalling when slowing down, more than anything the nose dips until it gathers enough speed to maintain level flight. The stock motor provides and healthy dose of amps and watts which equals POWER. The folding prop is a little weird for me and I wonder if I’m losing some power while using it, but more testing must be done.

Takeoffs and Landings

Takeoffs are as easy as throttling up and pulling back. The plane does not dance around or torque excessively to the left or right while taxing which makes it nice if this is someone’s first tail dragger. The plane slows down well, but beware the elevator is much more touchy when much of the airspeed has been bled off. The important thing for landings is to make sure that your retractable landing gear is indeed locking out otherwise they may collapse when the plane take a turn on the ground (see video of my first day out).

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

No. I would not recommend this as someone’s first plane. A warbird is never a good choice and although the plane feels very docile in the air it doesn’t have self correcting features that a high-wing trainer would have. Also the retracts could give some beginners grief and I’m not sure if they could withstand the hard landings that beginners like to dole out. If someone has had some time on a high wing trainer they could maybe fly this plane if they had fast thumbs or an instructor/buddy box, but it would probably be best suited for someone’s 3rd plane or 1st balsa build. For a warbird it does very well.

Durability and Stock Motor

In contrast to Hobby Lobby’s P47 Hun Hunter and all the motor problems I had, the World Models P47 is a clear winner. I am truly impressed with the amount of power the little motor produces! So impressed I’m a little scared. The stock motor is rated at 15 amps bursting to 18 amps with the watts hanging around 180. That is what the stock motor is supposed to do on the stock setup with a 3S Lipo battery. After putting the plane on the watt meter I was surprised! With the 11x7 folding prop the plane pulls 24 amps and produces 261 watts of power at Wide Open Throttle. I don’t fly at WOT and so I thought all would be fine, but I’ve noticed after a 6-7 minute flight that the motor is VERY hot after landing. Too hot in my opinion. I put a small 10” prop on the beast, but the pitch was too high so I will see what more testing brings. I am pleased with the stock setup but I’m not sure how much more the little motor can take if it pulls that kind of wattage. Watch this page for updates

Conclusion

The World Models P47 was given to me as a birthday gift and what a wonderful gift it has been. This P47 is nothing like its real life counterpart in terms of weight and maneuverability. The plane is built well, light and flies great with the stock setup. The retracts work well, they’re not the biggest, but they seem strong enough to hold up against some bad bounces. The plane looks great in the air with the funky paint scheme and the awesome D-day stripes. Loops, rolls and inverted the plane does them all fairly well. With retracts, scale pilot, motor and prop it seems like a steal for only $119! A well made model by World Models.

Rating: A

Pros

  • Light wing loading
  • Great coating job, no wrinkles
  • Strong Stock Power System (maybe too strong)
  • Retracts are snappy and work well once they’re dialed in
  • Will make you feel like a stud while buzzing across the sky

Neutrals

  • Funky covering scheme
  • Hooking up the retracts can be a pain

Cons

  • The instruction booklet could use some work, larger print, better pictures.






 
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