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Archive Our Projects | RC-Warbirds Blog
Mar 29 2011

Build Log: TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20 (final)


The F-16 had it’s maiden flight last Saturday.
Here are some pictures and a video of it’s first flight.


Considering the gusty wind conditions (the P20 F-16 is lighter then the EDF version), I’m quite happy with the result.






Enjoy !!

Mar 27 2011

Build Log: TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20 (part7)

It’s been quiet around the F-16 for far to long !!

In the meantime the pipe has arrived from Grumania in Germany.
A piece of art. Super light weight and double wall !!



Installation of the pipe was done in a few minutes.
As Ilja had send me the weight of the pipe I was able to set the CG before the pipe arrived (how many sheets of paper do you have to roll up to get 80 grams??)



As soon as the pipe was inside the plane I did the first test run of the engine.
During the first run I noticed that the engine did not throttle up smoothly – if JetCat says that the fuel line from pump to turbine needs to be at least 110cm (not mm) = 1.1 meter, then better follow the instructions.

Fuel line extended and “TATAAAAAA…” the throttling up is smooth.


Enjoy the video of the JetCat P20-SE with KeroStart spooling up…

Jan 22 2011

Build Log: TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20 (part6)

Done !! (well except for the pipe which has not arrived yet).


Once the jet pipe has arrived from Gumania the engine can be started and the plane will be ready for maiden.



In summary: a very nice plane to build – quick and easy.
(a pre-installed rudder -which was also available from Tamjets- will make the installation even quicker).


Jan 18 2011

Build Log: TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20 (part5)

Nearly done

To mount the Dubro 600ml (20oz) tank as close to the CG as possible, I have installed a wooden frame over the retract bay.
The top surface of the wood is coated with a thin layer of silicone. Once dry the “anti slip” effect of the silicone allows me to install the tank with 2 velco straps. This makes removal easy.


The turbine bay and servos are protected by a layer of TamJets Heat Shield Blanket and fire retardant foam tape.
The TamJets Hopper Tank is installed beside the main fuel tank near the steering servo.


The retracts are operated by one of our AirPower EV-2 electronic retract valves. The brakes are driven by a AirPower EV-1 brake valve.
As the gear doors stay open once the gear is out, I decided to use a single action EV-1 valve for the doors as well.
The door open airline is connected to the retract down airline. This will open the doors as the same time the gear is deployed.
The door close airline is then connected to the EV-1 valve which is driven by a separate delay mixed channel on my JR Transmitter.
Once the gear is retracted, the door close valve is activated automatically after a 2 second delay (servo speed setting) and closes the doors.


The Turbine pump and ECU, fuel valve and kero start valve are all located in front of the cockpit area to make it easier to set the correct CG later (I calculated with a pipe weight of 80grams).


The last item still missing (it slowly travels to Singapore by German Post) is the Grumania P-20 Pipe for the F-16.
Double wall, titanium pipe with only 76grams.. very sexy..

Mini Titan

The pipes are custom made and available from Grumania and of course via our webshop

Jan 11 2011

Build Log: TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20 (part4)

Welcome to Part 4 of the building log. I’m close to finishing the F-16 now.
I manufactured 2 rails from plywood and glued it to the main fuselage former and fuselage sides.

The rails are a bit to low for the proper thrust line so 6mm plywood doublers are added at the mounting location.


A plywood triangle at the rear further supports the rail on the fuselage walls.



The JetCat P-20 fixed in place (with DIY mini FOD) ..


Jan 6 2011

Build Log: TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20 (part3)

Next step:

Taileron servos and tailerons installed.
This step is very well prepared from the factory. Just slide them in and attach the horns. Done !!!

TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20

TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20

Cockpit “glass” cut out and glued into place with Pacer canopy glue.

TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20

After it dried for 24 hours, the Pilot moved in.

TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20

As his previous home was a HET F-18, I had to rebuild the cockpit floor from glassed balsa sheet.

Jan 2 2011

Build Log: TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20 (part2)

Happy 2011 everyone !!

I finished the installation of the retracts and routed the airlines.
The intake duct is installed – I will have to cut it down later to install the fuel tank.


The EDF Version I’m converting does not have a rudder, so I decided to modify the plane and cut/install a working rudder for those cross wind moments.



The pictures below show how I cut out the rudder, added balsa to close the rudder and fin.


At the end I added a layer of light glass to the rounded edge so it an be painted. Looks quite good after the paint job.



The Rudder Servo is a Hitec HS-85MG which is installed in the small box below the rudder. A pin from the rudder will go into the small groove in the servo arm to drive the rudder.




Dec 31 2010

Build Log: TamJets F-16 with JetCat P-20 (part1)

after playing around with various airframe options for the new JetCat P-20 I have decided to start building on a TamJets F-16 in 1/12 scale (below videos helped me a lot to make up my mind ) and plant the little turbine into this model.

Other candidates for the P-20:
- Jet Teng BaeHawk
- Jet Teng L-39
- Schuebeler Bae Hawk
- Schreiner/Savex L-39
- Aero-naut Panther
- Aero-naut Rafale (120mm fan version – not sure if this will work with the P-20 as the pipe might reduce power to much….)

Some videos of the Tam F-16 with P-20 in action:


The following components will be installed in the F-16 (they can be found on in our webshop):

- Tailerons: Hitec HS-5665MH (2x)
- Rudder: Hitec HS-85MG (1x)
- Steering: Hitec HS-225MG (1x)

Retracts: Tamjet Mini Air Retracts (4mm wire)
Brakes: TamJets Brake (4mm wire)
Wheels: MPI Wheels with 2” for the mains and 1.5” for the nose
Retract Valve: Airpower EV-2U (1x)
Brake and Door: Airpower EV-1U (2x)

Turbine: JetCat P-20
Tank: Dubro 20oz Tank
Air Trap: TamJets Airtrap tank

RX: JR RD921 9 channel 2.1 Ghz


Starting the build – First Task:

- Cut gear doors
- Install Retracts, doors and cylinders

TamJets F-16 with P-20

I first tried to cut the doors with a saw but had some issues with chipped paint so I switched to a hot knife which worked much better.
Although my version of the F-16 was already from the new batch (with some additional re-enforcements to the retract mount), I decided to add one more layer of carbon to the front of the spar (to much I guess but it looks good….kind of…… ).


I also added the additional block to the wing mounting area (although it would not be required).


Gear door hinges installed and air cylinders fitted (the nose door cylinder comes from a TamJets Gear door install kit, the main cylinders are Airpower 12mm stroke cylinders).


Mar 2 2010

HET-RC Mini Air Retract MOD

RC-Warbird het retract modificationIf you have used the HET-RC Mini Air Retracts before (3mm or 4mm version) then you  know that the nose gear strut is held in place by a grub screw which hold on to a grove in the wire strut.

In many cases if you would like to reuse the retract in another plane at a later stage you would need to either reuse the existing nose wire strut or fabricate a new one including the groove. The same is required if you would need a special length nose strut.
In addition the groove might weaken the wire and cause it to snap if it is not cut in properly.

Here is a simple solution which allows you to use any kind of wire without the need to cut a groove.

Materials required:
- A small piece of 1mm aluminum sheet
- A cap screw with the same thread as the grub screw

het mini air modification First cut a 7.5mm x 19mm long strip of the aluminum sheet.
Make sure the retract mechanic is in the gear down position, position the sheet on the retract unit directly over the grub screw that usually hold the wire strut. The sheet should sit flush at the top with the retract spacer that keeps the 2 retract halves together. The strips long end should now point along the wire leg.
Mark the position of the grub screw on the sheet, remove the sheet from the retract unit and drill a hole through the sheet at this position. Use a drill of the same size as the grub screw.

Next place a normal wire strut (without grove) into the retract unit. Completely remove the group screw.
Use the cap screw to fix the sheet in place. Shorten the cap screw so that it does not touch the wire strut inside the unit.

Install the steering arm on the wire strut, make sure the wire strut reaches into the retract unit all the way.
Mark the position of the steering arm on the aluminum and bend the aluminum sheet around the arm as shown in the first picture above. Make sure there is a bit a clearance between arm and sheet as otherwise the nose gear steering will not work.

Once bend around all the way, mark the position of the wire strut on the sheet and drill a 3mm or 4mm hole depending on the retract unit type you are using.

Cut the remaining length of the aluminum sheet. Test the steering and retract movement. It might be required to use a drum sander (e.e. Dremel) to sand a rounded edge into the aluminum sheet where it meets the air cylinder in order for the retract to fully lock in up position.

het retract modification by rc-warbirds

I hope this helps some of you.
I’m looking forward to some feedback.

Your RC-Warbirds Team

Feb 16 2010

Spark Eliminator by Tom

Tom was so kind to allow us to post his version of the spark eliminator on our page.
He uses the below version very successfully with his 12S powered nitro/gas –> electric conversions.

Let’s hear more from Tom:

Here’s an idea I use on all my high powered models (6s-14s) which allows me to power up (i.e. "arm") my models without having to take off a wing or canopy. Currently, very few products are sold that allow you to safely and efficiently switch high voltage/current systems.

As most of us know, there is not an easy way to get around (i.e. arrest) the dreaded "Spark" when connecting large batteries to models, and hence tend to ruin connectors over time (be sure to occasionally check them!… my heli friend lost his $1400 heli due to a "carbonized" connectors).

ANTI-SPARK-MAXI-SWITCHSuch spark arrestors have previously been discussed in RC Groups and a few applications have been mentioned. I opted to use Anderson Power Poles (better contacts and higher current rating) and a new arming switch sold by MPI.
As for the spark arrestor, I used a 1.8 ohm 5 watt resistor, which by use of a momentary button, is applied across the arming circuit (allows the ESC’s onboard filtering capacitors to gradually charge instead of trying to instantaneously charge, hence the spark). 

To arm my model, I simply press this momentary arming button, then while held in, I attach the main arming jumper, releasing the momentary button. This main arming jumper is made from two Anderson Power Poles and a short wire jumper.

I have this setup installed in over 6 larger planes of mine and has worked flawlessly. It also makes it very easy to disconnect power upon landing. Thought I’d pass on the idea…


Thanks Tom !!
Should you build your own version of Tom’s spark arrestor, make sure to drop us an email and let us know how it worked out for you.

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