The Bomber Crewmen are the first pilots I sculpted for sale and were the beginnings of Best Pilots. When I was sculpting them, I dared to think "wouldn't it be cool if these some day end up in a Top Gun model?" Well, Mike Grady has made that thought a reality!
At the 2015 Top Gun International scale competition, Mike Grady teamed up with pilot David Payen and entered his outstanding 1/9 scale b-17 in the Unlimited Class. Placing 3rd in class, Mike earned an impressive 91 static points, and David earned the Best Multi-Engine Performance award for his scale-like handling of the model in flight.
This B-17 is a 1/9th scale Wingpan kit. The span is 138 inches and the fuselage is 99 inches long. Weight is 65 pounds. The model is powered by four Hacker A60 electric motors and ESCs. Since it is all electric, each motor is individually-controlled so that the outboard motors provide differential thrust to off set the yaw inherent in a model with a large vertical stabilizer and tail wheel. Four Thunder Power 4s 7700mah batteries are used wired in two 8s circuits. Each circuit draws about 5500 watts at full throttle using Master Air Screw 16X10 three bladed propellers cut down to scale. The pictures I sent were taken on a day with 15 mph steady cross winds and occasional gusts to 30 mph. The airplane fly's like a trainer. The model also has pneumatically powered individual breaks to provide better steering and additional yaw control at taxi speeds. Just like the real B-17 you can lock up one brake and rev up the opposing outboard motor to make a scale turn. I use an 18 channel Spektrum Transmitter, eleven JR servo's and JR gyro's. The model is finished using catalyzed urethane primer and aluminum color coat. Model Master enamel is used for the top colors and is is wet sanded and tape pulled to provide a weathered appearance. About 250.000 Pro Mark dry transfer rivets and fasteners are used for added eye candy under the top coat paint. The model has about 6000 hours so far and was built from the inside out so that significant interior detail could be included in hard to get to spaces.