The Supermarine Spitfire is an iconic aircraft. I've been meaning to build the FT Spitfire for a while now, but I wanted to make it extra special - to do the Flite Test design the justice it deserves. I'm into foam board as a material to build aircraft, but I want to make the planes look fairly realistic up close, so thats is what I tried to do here.
So the first step was to build the wings, but you've all seen this before. I continued with the fuselarge and powerpod.
This canopy is off my old Parkzone Spitfire Mk II which was never really a success. I thought it would an ideal adition to this aircraft.
I found I needed to move some bulkheads arround to accommodate the canopy.
And here is the fun bit: making the bits and peices to go inside the cockpit, the seat, instrument pannel and oxygen canisters (made of pencils) is very satisfying. All of these bits are just foam board shapes (apart from a few odd square things in the rear to hold extra details).
Now time for some seat belts - We don't want our brave pilot flying out when we go inverted or pull some negative G maneuvers. I used some fabric that I found lying arround, then cut it to size and passed it through a plastic square with holes on glued to the back. This is how the real thing looked too (with a little artistic licence).
Shiny new electronics:
A really high quality peice of kit.
The servo instilation was very easy. Just the Flitetest recomended Hextronic Servo's from Hobbyking.
The fuselarge is joined to the wings including the adition of some curvy peices of card, called wing fillers, to reprisent the curves on the real aircraft. This means the wing is non removable.
And another angle.
Front 'turtle deck' in place. I decided to fit just a simple one peice section different to the plans because I thought it was more acurate to the shape of the real nose. However, later on, I did convert it to be more like the FT design due to the spinner's fiting.
Some more detailing - the radio wire mast.
...And the little thing on the tail for attaching the wire later.
The rear turtledeck was attatched. Looking sleak.
And now for the cockpit sides. I just used the same card that I used for the turtledecks.
I had to do a bit of patchworking to get it to fit just right.
I cut out some paper shapes to add to the ailerons in order to make them look like they are made from canvas covered wood. The paper gives some 3d definition.
I made a tail wheel from some balsa, wire, and a small foam tire wheel.
There are even some balsa sticks to reprisent trimming rods in the canvas control surfaces. I also added exaust stacks.
I had to add paper over the tape that holds the turtle decks on so as paint on top of it will not all come off.
I painted it in Battle of Britain green and brown Camo. I just used normal rattle cans and masking tape. I then added a gloss varnish for a simple shinny finish.
I also painted the early Spitfire and Hurricane black and white underside in the hope it would both look interesting and unique, whilst it would help with orientation. I have always loved this early spitfire look.
I did some detailing with the paints, such as exaust smoke stains.
I painted up the cockpit.
The Maiden Flight
The first test flight went well. No damage on landing. Unfortunatly there are no in flight images as no one was with me on the first flight. However, I did manage to get some from the second flight a few days ago, even though it was extremly cold, the oposite of the last flight.
The characteristics are perfect. It feels like I'm flying a real spitfire (or at least how I imagine it would be like anyway). I found the NTM motor to be slightly underpowered, so I have now swapped it for a larger Turnegy one.
Here are the maiden flight photos:
Quite a nice location for it.
Here are photos of the Spitfire in flight.
Since the first flight, I have further detailed the Spitfire with simple decals printed off the printer. You can see here the motor is too far forward, sticking out of the plane, so I will need to fix that sometime soon for the asthetics.
Here is to many more successful flights with my new warbird!
I would like to thank FliteTest, and David Windestål in particular for desgning this aircraft. Thank you for coming up with such an fantastic model of an equally fantastic full size warbird. It is amazing what you can do with a bit of foam board and some paint.
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