My first attempt at a replacement for my late lamented Top Flite is the H9 20cc size P47D
I transplanted all of my radio gear, servos etc… from the Top Flite and contemplated a number of updates/changes etc…
Should I try to 3D print a better cockpit? The provided instrument panel in particular looks like it could only be accurate if the instruments were updated to 2020 standards! I decided to go ahead with the supplied until I decided how much I liked this particular model before going to the additional trouble.
I also contemplated and decided to put my retracts in the wing and even ordered a retractable tail gear. When that didn’t fit I tried another and spent a fair amount of time fabricating linkage to make it work correctly. Don’t believe the Horizon web site… The nose retract they recommend simply can’t work as the tailwheel retract for this airplane!
I did find some plans for and 3D printed some wire guides to make wiring the bird easier and then crimped up some multi-connectors to make it hassle and error free.
After all that the bird was beautiful but heavy… compared to my Top Flite this bird was 3 lbs heavier and when I flew it I immediately found that it just didn’t track like the Top Flite and the thrust to weight ratio is anemic as well. The extra 3 or 4 inches of wingspan just can’t compensate for the increased weight. Now maybe my repaired power system is not operating as it was…. I don’t believe so but it is possible. Or maybe the power system is just to small for this slightly larger WS and appreciably heavier craft. Again, perhaps but there is no way the recommended Power 60 would be better. I love the power 60. It’s an underrated and amazing motor, but it isn’t going to outperform the Hacker A60.
I flew one flight on the airplane and was so disappointed I took the airplane home and stripped my radio gear, retracts, etc… aside from the servos and wire guides… out so I could put it up for sale immediately. Eventually a friend of mine purchased the plane and he and I are installing a DLE-20 he has. Maybe with that power plant it will find a new lease on life.
For me, I have my eye on an airplane that is similar in size and weight to the Top Flite… Hopefully my third P47 will be a charm! For me, the H9 is to heavy for its size to fly the way I like. I suspect that many warbird guys would love this plane, but anything I fly needs to fly well first. Looks, scale detail, etc… all have to take a backseat and this was not my impression of the H9.