The P-38 Project - Updated 3-11-2002


Wingspan - 108"
Length - 70.5"
Engines: Two Ryobi 31cc Gas engines, 16 oz tanks.
Removable outer wings for transport.
Large inner flaps (Outer flaps will be optional.)
Retractable landing gear - Eurokit gear and struts.
12 servos
. - Yikes! What a mess of wires this will be.
Two receivers and batteries, one in each fuse. This reduces the servo lead length and adds some redundancy.
Weight: Hopefully under 25 pounds, probably 25-30.
Expected cost: $1400

I always was interested in building a P-38. I went to the 2000 Joe Nall Fly-In and saw three, giant scale P-38's fly. After seeing these in the air and on the ground I definitely wanted to build one.

So, I started looking at plans and kits. The Zirolli plans looked like the best option. I stared looking into it more and realized that this was going to be expensive. The Ziroli kit is good and deserves lots of detail. This detail costs serious money and time. I figured at least $3000 for decent engines, scale gear, fiberglass molded parts with detail and other things. I figured almost a year of work to finish. This would not be an everyday flying plane. So, I was not prepared to invest the serious time an money for something that I would only fly at events like warbird Fly-Ins.

I looked at other options and things just came into place. I found a good deal on two Ryobi 31cc engines. These have good power and are surprisingly light. This awakened an earlier Idea I had. I already had plans by William Schwartz for a twin 0.40 size P-38 with an 80 inch wing. These were minimal plans, but were good enough for a start.

So, I have taken the plans and scaled them up to a 108" wing to match the size of the Ryobis. I basically had to redraw almost everything as the original plans had little detail and did not scale well (i.e. 1/4 balsa now was 0.31.) As I added detail I found other problems. But, things slowly came together. This is a "Semi-Scale" design. It will have the look and size of a P-38, but not all of the detail and some things changed for better flying characteristics. I plan to finish it in a color scheme similar to the above picture.

The picture below shows status. However, I have decided to build a new set of fuselages. The existing "stick-built" design is hard to work with. Also, I built one backwards (accidentally built two right sides.) Now I am currently working on a fuselage designs based on a box core. This makes the wings much easier to fit. Also, the strength is internal. Fitting the landing gear in the old design required cutting out much of the strength of the old design.

For Constructions picures, click image.

For information on the plans, click image


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