Road to Top Gun: Splendid Spitfire

Feb 04, 2013 10 Comments by

As we draw closer to the big 25th anniversary of the Top Gun Scale Invitational, we are collecting more advance “intel” on the planes and the pilots who are planning to attend this world-class scale competition in Lakeland, FL.


The man who practically invented giant scale RC warbirds and long time Model Airplane News contributor, Nick Ziroli Sr., from Sarasota FL., is attending the 2013 Top Gun shoot out and his aerial weapon is going to be his most recent design, a 1/5-scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1.


Specifically it is built to a scale of 2.7 inch to 1 foot,  has a wingspan of 100 inches, has a length of 82 inches and weighs in at 33lbs.

The construction is typical of all of Nick’s warbirds and uses traditional balsa, lite-ply and A/C grade plywood. The engine cowl is made of fiberglass and the over all finish is fiberglass cloth with Pacer Z-Poxy surface prep. The classic sand and spinach paint scheme is with Latex paint. All markings painted except small cockpit emblem from


Power is from a Zenoah G-62 spinning a 22×10 prop and Tru Turn spinner. Radio gear is a Airtronics SD-10G and the retracts are from Robart Mfg., with Robart wheels and tail wheel. If you want to fly your own RAF fighterm plans and parts are available from Nick Ziroli Plans at


Featured News, Road to Top Gun 2013

About the author

Senior Technical Editor About Me: I have a lifelong passion for all things scale, and I love to design, build and fly scale RC airplanes. With 20 plus years as part of the Air Age family of magazines, I love producing Model Airplane News and Electric Flight.

10 Responses to “Road to Top Gun: Splendid Spitfire”

  1. Michael Gross says:

    Good luck Nick!

  2. gman518 says:

    I wish I had a 10th of his talent

  3. Kent S. Carper says:

    Really Nice bird Nick. Good luck!

  4. Allan says:

    The standard coding for RAF fighters in 1940 consisted of a two-letter squadron code on one side of the roundel and a one-letter aircraft code on the other side of the roundel. Nick Ziroli’s gorgeous Spitfire is either aircraft Z in squadron HA, as shown on the right side, or aircraft H in squadron AZ, as shown on the left side. Of course, harried ground crews during the Battle of Britain could easily make such an error, and I assume that Nick has photos that show his Spitfire marked in this way.

  5. Ron says:

    very nice!

  6. Dave says:

    Another great plane from Ziroli!!!!

  7. Del says:

    Spitfire Mk.Ia
    Unit: 234 Sqn, RAF
    Serial: AZ-H (N3277)
    Middle Wallop, Hampshire, UK, August 1940. Forced down near Cherbourg 15 August 1940, aircraft captured and re-engined with DB601 engine.

    I think the markings need to be re painted, highly unlikely that they were painted wrong by ground crew…..not sure if photos exist to show otherwise.

  8. Carl Bachhuber says:


    Great job as usual. Now, when did you say your Hudson is going to be done?

    Carl Bachhuber

  9. faud saade says:

    hi i am from colombia your plane is beautyfull good lock and good yor bless.

  10. Alan Scott says:

    Really nice plane.

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