Death of a Dive Bomber:

The VQ Warbirds Aichi D3A “Val”

One of the things that is most humbling about this hobby is just how unforgiving it can be. Those of you who were at the monthly meeting in June saw the Aichi D3A Dive-Bomber that I had built from the VQ Warbirds ARF kit. I probably had close to 45 hours in that airplane and 2 whole minutes of flight time. None of that matters now.

The allies anti-aircraft fire was accurate and relentless!
The wing of the VQ Warbird was extremely strong. The fuse, not so much!

What the heck happened?

The airplane taxied fine, rolled down the runway fine, rotated into the sky fine, and required about 3 clicks of aileron and 6 clicks of down elevator. It seemed a little twitchy like it was a little tail-heavy but other than that it flew amazing, looked amazing, and when I dropped the flaps it slowed down and lumbered along like it was getting ready to line up on a carrier in Pearl Harbor! I raised the flaps and decided I would test out my bomb drop! I gave her 2/3 throttle and after passing myself and heading toward the east, I climbed vertical in preparation for an immelman turn to gain altitude and test my bomb dropping skills. Then it happened, complete power failure! I was hanging vertical at the end of the runway with zero power and about 35′ off the ground. I didn’t have enough altitude to gain speed and pull out deadstick so she spun in. That was it.

The Powerplant:

This airplane is the first that I have installed a non-Castle ESC in. Usually I opt for the bullet proof and fantastic Castle Talon 90 in everything I fly, whether it needs it or not. The powerplant I chose was a new Tomcat Motors G46 from Motion RC and their recommended ESC, the ZTW Mantis 65A / 5A BEC. The setup seemed like it was the cats meow on this plane. The motor was massively beefy and with the 14×8 3 bladed prop, it pulled about 57A on the ground.

Until I wipe out the next one, fly safe!

Ralph Grant
El Presidente

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