If Flite Fest has one purpose, aside from bringing together the FT community, it's for showcasing amazing projects like this one from the guys at Horizon Hobby.
Craig and Gavin brought along their huge 12ft wingspan German bombers, based on the JU88 and JU188, made especially for the event. As Josh Bixler said in the video, these planes really do capture the spirit of Flite Test!
If you'd like to see more, this article will delve deeper into these two aircraft, the original history of the designs, and the build logs of the two models.
A little bit of backstory
As previously mentioned, these bombers are based on the Luftwaffe's JU88 and JU188, both twin-engined warbirds that saw service in World War 2. The JU188 was designed as an advanced successor to the original JU88.
Below is the JU88.
Compare it to the JU188. The most notable differences between the two bombers is the bulbous cockpit of the JU188 that provided high visibility. Other upgrades from the JU88 included additional guns, a larger tail fin for better control at high altitude, and more powerful engines.
In all, more than 16,000 JU88's were rolled off the assembly line throughout the war from 1936-1944. The bomber was found to be highly versatile so keeping the same basic body design, the plane was configured with over 45 different variants for various applications, more than any other twin-engine German aircraft of the period.
These variants made the same fuselage able to be employed effectively as a dive bomber, fighter-bomber, attack bomber, heavy fighter and night fighter.
Here's a great mini-film produced by the British Air Ministry about the JU88 from 1943. Remember! "If you don't first spot 'em, how will you stop 'em?"
The challenge was simple - build two WWII aircraft in just thirty days. Craig and Gavin took the challenge to a whole new level when they built these massive German bombers with 12 foot wingspans. What we really loved about this build is that building materials can all be purchased at a local hardware store for under $100.
They used two E-flite Power 60 Brushless outrunner Motor 470Kv for each bomber. Also notice the twin 5000mAh 6s batteries used to power each one of these beasts!
The project used standard pink insulation for much of the body. Below are four pieces cut to tapers that form one of the two main fuselages.
The tail empennage is reinforced with wood which also helps give the tail its shape.
This is what the inside of the tail looks like without the foamboard cladding.
The wings are made of foam board. You can see here that they're reinforced with wood.
More wood is added to make a strong central spar.
These aluminium tubes are for sliding the wings together.
It's always a good idea to keep weighty objects around the shop.
The motor is mounted.
They smoothed gaps in construction with sandable putty.
You can see how large the front of the fuselage is.
One of the four separate engine nacelles made for these two planes coming together.
It's a pretty mean looking machine.
The engine cowlings.
Fun fact: the original JU88 had inline engines, despite appearing to have radial engines due to the circular radiators up front.
The tail also has a spar. On a model this large, it's a good idea to have this sort of support for critical surfaces.
It's always a good moment when you get to 'mock up' the various parts of your plane.
You can see the removable wings here and how they slide in with the metal tubes.
One of the models sports retractable landing gear.
Wing bolts to secure the detachable wings.
Check out these heavy duties (all important) control linkages.
One of the partially finished aircraft!
Flights and Flite Fest South
All ready for the off!
The big camouflaged JU188 lines up on the runway and punches the throttle.
And it's up without a hitch.
They both did look fantastic up there in the evening sky.
Drama as one wheel is stuck in the well!
A skilled landing brought her home safe on just two wheels.
We're looking forward to what Craig and Gavin put together next!
If you're planning an epic build of your own, we'd love to hear about it. Checking out the Flite Test Forums is a great place to begin. Also, make sure you take a look at our monster plane build tips video for some insight into how we created our own huge aircraft from our favourite foam board. Go and build something amazing.
Article written by James Whomsley