R/C to C/L Conversion – BF109 ARTF from Hobby King
The guys from Hobby King are selling some amazing stuff, meant of course for R/C but offering possibilities for us carrier-deck flyers. This little monster is marketed as an R/C racer, somewhere near to scale, with a fibre-glass fuselage and a foam + balsa-veneered wing. Jan Odeyn mentioned to me recently that he’d built one to fly R/C, and that he’s cast an f/g cowling/spinner for it too.
Looking at his photo (below) and the Hobby King website (CLICK HERE) I immediately thought of converting one of these to a C/L BF109T (the version intended for use on the German Aircraft carrier “Graf Zeppelin” in WW2). The tough fuselage and slippery wings should be perfect for Class 1 (and ought to be adaptable for BCD use). It should also be capable of taking some punishment with that fibreglass body, so I took the plunge and ordered one.
It arrived within a week from the Hobby King UK depot. On opening the box, the first thing I noticed wasn’t actually there – the build instructions! The H-K helpline rapidly sent me a link allowing me download the assembly words and pix, so that problem was easily solved.
Looking at the kit, it’s clear that conversion and assembly is going to either be very tricky if internal control runs are chosen due to the limited access and space available, or very straightforward if external leadouts and bellcrank are used. Hmm, hard choice!
I’ve decided to go electric with this one – it will be my first – as it is really designed for that form of power and a lot of hackery would be needed to install an I/C engine and tank (although it’s by no means impossible). That means a Jan O-type handle and throttle set-up with insulated lines (or maybe electronically using 2.4ghz R/C).
To put the task into perspective, here’s some pictures. The first shows Jan Odeyn’s completed R/C version, while the next set shows my kit as it arrived. I’ll keep you up-to-date with construction as it proceeds (starting sometime in January).
Initial thoughts on the conversion include going for BCD this time as it’s simpler, fixing the ailerons to give a slight down bias for lift and also some roll bias for line tension. It will have to have a substantial but light bellcrank-mount embedded at the root of the port wing, and as the kit fortunately does include an undercarriage that will be built in and beefed-up as well.
Sounds easy…? We’ll see!
|Hobby King ME109 ARTF
The kit contents straight out of the box…
Not a lot of space inside for installing mechanical linkages and a bellcrank, but not impossible – easier option is external…
Foam wing with balsa veneer – a little re-shrinking required – plus whopping great ailerons and chunky rudder/stab…
Nose-on view – no hatches marked so its down to bravery and a razor-saw to get access to the interior (see Jan’s model)!
Wingspan: 1029mm (40″)
Kit Cost: About £45.00