In the Shop with Wayne

So another saga begins. I acquired a Top Flite (TF)  P51 ARF in June. Funny how a pickup with airplanes for sale shows up in the parking lot during a fly-in. I started wondering when to build it and then what I wanted it to look like. I pondered it a few days but went ahead to try to order some parts and an engine. Engine choice was pretty easy. What do you put on the front of an 85″ Warbird….a DLE 55 RA . So one got ordered. Then to the retracts. Just about that time Robart raised the price of their gear 25%…. thanks much Robart. I later found some on Ebay at the old price and ordered those…….still had to decide the livery. During the racing days of Warbirds in St. Louis I had a practice racer that I flew constantly doing laps and making left hand turns. It was a modified Jemco fun scale Mustang that was modified with a sheeted wing and had an OS .40 Rear exhaust engine and a Macs Muffler. It was done in the race colors of Leroy Penhalls #81 Reno racer from 1969-70. Sure would like to see one like that fly again. So that decision was made and Monokote ordered. 

After all the parts arrived I laid it all out on the workbench and proceeded to start another journey of changing the livery on an ARF. So the pics are of N6519D, my little racer, the parts for the airplane and finally the carnage made when the covering is stripped off and ARF that was stored in a hot environment. All the Monokote was brittle and had no shrink left. 

Over the past few.days I’ve been able to get some things done on #81. Mounted the engine after significant beefing up of the firewall to side mounting. This is an old design for a 41cc engine on a vibration mount. Not at all like we do currently. I tied some triangulation shaped braces into the sides and into the back of the firewall. Also changed the hinges in the tail surfaces to Robart Large pinned hinges. To make the engine fit without cutting a huge hole in the bottom of the cowl I’ve added two DLE prop washers in front of the thrust washer. All this is still on the center 10mm tube that goes thru all of it. I also stripped all the hatches and mount covers and made another carnage pile. I’m close to starting the recovering to make it yellow.

As Mr. Ware says “you have to crack a few eggs to make a tasty omelet”. I stared at the beautifully finished cowl that was included in the TF 51 ARF. Waited a couple days because it was so pretty. Finally grabbed a sheet of the 100 grit dry that I had in stock and started roughing up the cowl. Starting was the issue cause once I started there was no stopping. Once sanded, I washed it and dried it and then shot some primer on it. Done. Omelet started. Did the same to the aluminum spinner. The cowl gets mostly yellow with orange trim. The spinner is orange. Feels good to have broken some eggs today.

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