Thunderbolt - Semi-scale model of the famous P-47 Jug.
Quote: "It was in the mid 1960s, when a Mr AS Jones - known to his workmates as 'Airspeed' gave me a wing from a control-line stunt model. Those of us who came up through the more tricky sides of our hobby, namely free-flight and control-line, might just remember a stunter called Calamity Jane (oz3952) it was 50in span and powered by a .35 motor. Anyway, Airspeed gave me this wing saying, 'It looks a bit Thunderbolt-ish'. I agreed, and reverently put the wing on the rack in the workshop. A year or so later, I was looking for a model to use for control-line display work, when the idea dawned. I dragged out Calam's wing, drew a fuselage on a scrap (and I do mean scrap) of paper, and built a semi-semi-scale Thunderbolt...
Then it came about that I found myself again looking for a model to progress with—that is, with ailerons. Guess what caught my eye? Yes, the semi-Thunderbolt.
The conversion to radio took a couple of evenings, and by the Sunday I had a radio model with ailerons. On the field, the throttle was opened, model released,lift-off, roll and crash! Luckily only a wing tip was damaged, and soon repaired. The next Sunday there followed exactly the same performance! Undaunted, the following weekend, just alter the lift-off stage, it didn't roll, it flew straight and, after five minutes of a very shaky flight, a sort of crash-landing saw the model down more or less in one piece. "It flew—it flew!!" I exclaimed, delighted.
I learned to fly ailerons on this model over the next few months not to be recommended, but that was the way it happened. Now, this is the point in the story where the actual Thunderbolt featured here comes to light.
A new wing was built, nearer to the correct Thunderbolt shape, but still at a larger scale than the fuselage. The next stage of the proceedings was to build a better fuselage to go with the goon wing. This was flown, with no real problems - and this is the model featured in this article. I did actually try a further mod, in the shape of a nearer-scale wing, with the correct dihedral, but for some reason this arrangement simply did not *look* right. That setup was flown, but found to be very touchy - possibly due to the wing being only 48in span, and especially if full control movements were applied. I therefore reverted to the larger wing, as depicted here, and the model in this configuration is a steady performer and a delight to fly. The construction is of standard type, so if you have built a couple of sheeted models before, no problems should arise..."
Thunderbolt, Radio Modeller, April 1979.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Article pages, thanks to RFJ.
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