Spitfire wing with flaps and retracts

by scottie | March 21, 2014 | (32) Posted in Projects

I have been toying around for ages with an idea to build a Spitfire with a level of detail that raises the bar so too speak,no disrespect to the guys here at Flitetest,theres nothing wrong with David's Spitfire :)

My last take on the Spitfire was quite detailed but it still wasn't 'right' in my eyes so I've gone back to the start and decided to build a Spitfire from the ground up....(hopefully it will fly too ) 

Please keep in mind,this is a modification that I am still working on and will no doubt go through a few more changes but I wanted to share what I have done simply to show that it can be done and perhaps inspire others to try modifying their birds :)


I have already covered the tail surfaces on another article so this ones for the main wing and the next will be the fuse,anyway...pictures....


well obviously this is the finished wing,well almost,it is a prototype but how too get here...

standard FT wing pattern,notice that the  bottom is basically a duplicate of the top

some extra scoring to help with folding


new spar,this needs cutting too allow for wheel

 mechanical retracts,I opted for these simply because of price.I didn't want to pay a lot for electric retracts if this didn't work...they only cost £4.67

the trusty dremel with a router attachment....



 trial fit of retract

the inside reinforcements...

remember I said spar needed cut

connecting rod for retract and ply doublers


Now you have hopefully noticed that the edges of the wing,mainly the trailing edge and especially the wing tips have been rolled down to a fine a point as is achievable,I used the same roller as I did for the tail surfaces.

This needs too be done to achieve the desired finish.


aileron and flap ....

reinforcement and control horn...

additional support for retract mounts and servo installed.


now the following was a must have for me,I was sick of having a hard landing and stripping out the servo gears then being forced too cut the wing to replace the servos so I added removable servos  :)

now at this point you basically have to fold the 2 halves together too form the wing,same as every othe wing you've made on any other spitfire build,bearing in mind this is no ordinary wing...take your time if your trying this :)

after much stressing and trial fitting.... you get 1 of these , hopefully :)


admittadly,my 1st attempt was a failure but I was able to save the wing enough that I am happy to try it in a model.

radiator cover which perfectly hides the flap servo.

some pictures 

I learned as I assume most of you will have too,making 1 wing or half a wing is relatively easy,problems arise when you need to makes it's other half :(

any custom parts that you make,copy or make a patern for the other side BEFORE you glue it on

the 2 halves together....

I hate to admit this but I never really gave a huge amopunt of thought into the instal of the retract servo,I spent weeks thinking about and planning the wing as you see it.This is actually the very 1st mock up I've made and I think it shows in the bodged job of the retract servo......

over all I'm not too happy with the retract servo,its a little under powered :( it will have too do tho for this build at least until I have tried it in flight.

So there we have it,the basics of my newly designed Spitfire wing,fully enclosed,aerofoil shape and tapered wingtips with retracts and flaps....all I need now is a fuselage and some sleep :P.

A shameless plug...working on the fuse now :)

Any comments or questions ask away and please rate...

Oh yeah...the video....


cheers    Scottie


PaladinDG on April 2, 2014
Very cool... great build photos! Thanks for sharing
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scottie on April 3, 2014
glad you like,thanks
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Yogenh on April 3, 2014
I can't wait to see it all done. I bet it will be just great!!!!!
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scottie on April 4, 2014
I have the fuse to finish them final assembly...then hopefully a maiden...looking like its going to be near 1.5kg so shes going too be heavy :/
thanks for the encouragement :)
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RCEM-Joey on April 4, 2014
Wow nice,
Now I want to build a Spit!
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Aquanot on April 4, 2014
i like your mod :)
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scottie on April 4, 2014
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Nicolas on April 5, 2014
That looks really awesome. Seems like it has a lot of work to get it to fit. I hope there were no stability issues in the wings.
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scottie on April 5, 2014
yeah it was a fair bit of work but in my mind I knew what i wanted too achieve so it was well planned out...well except for the retract servo ;-)
Haven't flown it yet,need too finish the build 1st.
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Yogenh on April 3, 2014
I love it and do you have plans on how to do it all? I would love to try them myself.
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scottie on April 4, 2014
I havent really got plans as such,I kinda just make things up as I go along.
Imagination is a great thing :),if I can figure out how too get my drawings onto a downloadable format then I will post them .

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LordVader on April 2, 2014
Very cool article, love the retracts and all. Is That a larger version of the spitfire? I have the same retracts and I am gonna give it a go. Thanks for sharing.
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scottie on April 3, 2014
thanks and no it's the same size as a standard FT Spitfire
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flyboymaxwell on April 3, 2014
WOW! This is taking dollar tree foam board planes to a hole new level!!!! Great job!!!!!
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scottie on April 3, 2014
thanks very much
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JamesWhomsley on April 4, 2014
Mate, you just had to outdo me in every way didn't you haha! Fantastic job there mate!
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scottie on April 4, 2014
Mate...im sorry :(...my bad ....
don't knock yourself tho james,i've seen your birds in the forums,theres nothing wrong with them....well apart from maybe a maiden ;-) lol
I've been building models for a very long time,this is testing my building skills to their limit,trust me anyone can make a mod like this and make it look good,aint much point if it wont fly tho :/
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Captain T on April 2, 2014
Where did you get the retracts? Very cool
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scottie on April 2, 2014
I get most of my spares from here.....
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Yogenh on July 13, 2014
I would love to know how it did flying. If you could post a vid of the flight would be great!! Just can't get over how great a job you did on it.
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scottie on July 14, 2014
Thanks Yogenh,
I don't have any flight footage :( the Spit is a write-off,tho I still have the wing ;).
I took a brilliant design and modified it so much it looks great but didn't fly,well not very well.
The problem was the CoG,I knew it had changed due to all the modifications I made,I glide test most of my scratch builds but the Spit was just too heavy to throw for a proper glide test so on 1st attempt at a taxi take off I broke ground,tail lifted and in doing so I lost rudder control,the landing gear hit a bump and sent her sideways into the roadside...she broke in half right at the cockpit.
Attempt 2,after a quick repair was a hand launch at high throttle.Unfortunately by this time the landing gear servo had burnt out and the gear was locked down.
She flew briefly but the CoG was so far out I lost her and she broke clean in 2 :(
I'm not done with the Spit,I have been thinking of building 1 in the same fashion as my P51,I hope that at least will have more luck with the maiden .
Thanks tho for your interest,I'm sry I didn't get any flight footage.
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Yogenh on July 14, 2014
Well I really hope that you fill us on how the next one gos. I still think that the wing is great and all the work you did on it. Like I said you did great work and help others do things like that. Hope that you have lots of good luck with others
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hsquier on January 30, 2016
Hi, thanks at first for sharing.
How did you connect the retract command (oriented center to tip) to the retract servo (place in the center) ?
I have the same problem : all retract I can find are oriented mustang style landing gear (wheel retracting from tip to center) and not spit style (wheel retracting from center to tip).

Thanks for reply, henri.
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scottie on February 12, 2016
Hi, its been a while since I made this but if memory serves me correctly, you are right,the retract was the wrong way round.I had to take the unit apart and reassemble it , I then simply ran a connecting rod to a servo located in the centre of the wing.there is some photos in the article above showing the connection, hope this helps ;-) .
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smiling albert on March 19, 2019
Do you think this process would work with smaller size models eg
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scottie on March 30, 2019
No is the simple answer.....
it didnt work on the normal size model due to the fact it messed with the CoG too much.

Give it a go tho , you may well have better luck than I did :-)

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Spitfire wing with flaps and retracts