Dago Red Build for September Warbird Races!

Don’t forget about the Electric Warbird Pylon Racing coming September 28th to Gizzie Field!

Dago Red or in racer speak “Race Number Four” is one of the iconic warbirds from the annuals of Reno Air Racing. This was one of my favorite Mustangs and it deserves the spotlight right up there with Strega, Miss America, Miss Ashley II (May she and Gary Levitz rest in peace), and of course the current word record holder Voodoo.

About the Build:

Since this will be the only electric warbird race this year, I want to do something fun for the event. My desired specifications are as follows:

  1. Gotta be a P-51 Mustang.
  2. Must be at least 1/7th “scale” (Wingspan around 64″)
  3. Can’t be a foamie. Has to be Balsa!
  4. Has to be based on a Reno racer.
  5. Has to have retracts etc. No hand launches!
  6. 6S power mandatory.
  7. Has to Fly for 4 minutes at full throttle and 8 minutes as a sport flyer.
  8. Goal is 110mph flat and level!

I settled on the VQ warbirds version of Dago Red. It looks great, has scale mustang lines and has all the low drag options with modified low drag scoop / air inlets, sleek low profile canopy, strong build for high G speed. Ordered the plane and the retracts w/oleo struts for about $400 bucks. My only complaint with VQ is that their shipping is a little steep. I think it was $50 bucks to get the thing via FedEx.

It all starts with the power system:

110mph in a bird this big is going to require some serious wattage. 2200 according to calculations. While going with a higher voltage than 6S could be doable, I was afraid that if I go too heavy I won’t be able to get the CG right and the extra mass will cause her to snap out of turns around the pylons. A problem like this requires eCalc’s PropCalc. If you have never used PropCalc for setting up your power systems, you don’t know what you are missing. It’s the best $10 buck’s a year you will ever spend. I have used it on all my builds and it pretty much guarantees successful performance.

With 110mph as the goal, this bird will require a LOT of power and need to twirl a high pitch prop. The kit recommends a .46 size motor on 4S which will get us to about 62mph. I ran at least a dozen scenarios and finally ended up with the one in the graphic above.

  1. Rimfire .80 motor (the 500kv gave it that kick it needed) I have great results with Electrifly motors and won’t run anything else other than the XPwr or Torque motors by Extreme Flight.
  2. 3700-5000mah 6S battery standard 4.2v/cell. If I run a higher voltage Graphene 4.35v/cell battery it will be even faster.
  3. Castle Talon 90 ESC. Total amperage pull of about 89A. I have run Talon 90’s at 107A with no problems. Best ESC on the planet and I have at least 6 of them on the parts wall! Get them on sale at Castle’s website. They run specials all the time!
  4. 14×14 propeller. Yes I said 14″ pitch! The model won’t even get fully on the prop until about 73mph due to propeller stall.
  5. Estimated average speed of 109mph. I figure it could do about 125 on a full charge Graphene Battery!

Luckily all the components above are on the parts wall except the APC 14×14 propellers. I ordered them from APC’s website and picked up (2) 13.5×14 and (2) 14×14. I wanted an extra one to send to Wendy at Tru-Turn so they can design me a custom slotted mustang spinner for her!

Next Steps:

  • Order some high torque servo’s. I’m probably going to go with the MKS versions since they are bullet proof and this bird will need some serious torque servo’s at those speeds.
  • Check the parts wall for a spare Bavarian Demon Cortex Gyro so she flies on rails.
  • Check the parts wall for a Futaba Reciever.
  • Start the build so she is ready to maiden before the 28th!

Stay Tuned…

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