E-Flite has been updating a number of their existing warbirds in this size class to include the latest round of upgraded electronics, including 3 and 4S capable power systems, upgraded digital servos and often a livery change and/or some tweeks in response to past user feedback.
It was inevitable that they would eventually get around to one that I could not resist and of course the the P47 is the one for me. I consider it the ultimate WWII aircraft. Showcasing all that allowed America to come out on top in that epic struggle, it was powerful, fast, tough and reliable, heavily armed and armored and we made a bunch of them! (15,000+ I believe) Many were assisted down the assembly line by my Grandfather in Evansville, Indiana! How can I not love the Thunderbolt?
So, as soon as they started rolling out the newest version, I put one on order with my local hobby store.
After about 10 flights with mine. Here is my list of what I really like and dislike about the new bird.
The new electronics are great.
Upgrading to a 4 cell power setup gives the bird the power it needs to perform like a warbird
The new SMART ESC and AS3X receiver allows for plenty of data to keep an eye on battery usage, temperature, etc… to insure she continues to fly well.
The servo upgrades seem to work with precision and the plane just overall flys nicely as a result.
The plane is actually pretty light, especially considering the available power, even when you load all the armarments on board. It keeps the airplane relatively light on the wing which results in easier takeoffs and landings.
I’m sure there are some who were hoping for somethin different but the Kansas Tornado is a reasonably easy to see and, at least to my eye, attractive scheme.
It seems to be almost imposssible to fit a large enough 4 blade prop on a model P47 to look really scale but at least we got a 4 blade with a somewhat appropriate shape!
I do not understand why E-Flite wouldn’t have put a few dollars into the retracts to give them working Oleo struts. As light as the bird is, they would not have had to take much abuse but it sure would be nice to have something to take a little of the shock in the case of a poor landing.
Combine the lack of functional struts with these rock hard tires and you have zero shock absorption in the landing gear. Are decent foam tires with “any” give whatsoever so hard to source? Add to that the pressed in diamond pattern on the tread which looks just silly… OK, maybe I’m being overly dramatic, but it seems so easy to have done it right!
While I like the general idea of a 4 blade and I get that properly sizing one for scale looks is difficult, I don’t trust any airplane where they claim you can run 3 or 4 cells without a prop change. I mess with prop changes frequently on my aircraft to get the performance I want so I’m very aware that adding 33% more input voltage to the same prop means you have made huge sacrifices somewhere. Likely its just a compromise that is mediocre for either. It would have been nice to get 2 props with the aircraft… each actually matched to a 3S or 4S setup. My observation so far is the prop is probably overloading the 4S setup a touch and pulling more current than it needs to and likely underloading the 3S setup and therefore not getting as much power out of the system as would be possible with a correctly sized unit.
I like the removable rockets and bombs, but why is the centerline fuel tank fixed? I took care of that issue, but my solution is a bit more permanent… involving some side cuts. The plane flys even better without any of the extra drag and that is how I fly it most often.
Overall I am enjoying the P-47 very much and I am already keeping an eye out for some replacement struts and/or tires… even if I have to turn to my 3D printer to solve the latter. She flys very nicely and with the AS3X in the background, is especially stable even with some adverse meteorological conditions.
I have been flying more and more on my 4S 2800 LiHV packs and with proper throttle management, nice 6 minute flights are the norm. I’m just getting comfortable enough to be working on nice scale takeoff and landings as well as experimenting with making the manuevers more scale like as well. She can certainly fly like a sport plane if desired so making scale manuevers is something you have to be intentional about.
As I get more flights on it and make any modifications, I’ll be back to report but overall I expect this bird will remain in my fleet for some time to come.