Road to Top Gun — Smoking WACO YMF-5

Apr 02, 2014 No Comments by

Mitch Epstein a regular competitor at Top Gun, will again be flying his very impressive WACO YMF-5 civilian biplane in the Expert class. Mitch’s WACO is a modified AMR kit powered by a powerful Moki 215 radial engine, turning a 32×18 propeller.


Mitch covered the biplane with Nelson fabric, finished with automotive Dupont basecoat/clearcoat paint, and used homemade graphics. For radio gear Mitch uses a JR 10x transmitter with a 2.4 module, and onboard he has dual LiFE 6.6V 2300mAh battery packs and switches. Feeding the radial engine is a 50oz fuel and next to it is a 50oz smoke oil tank for his ”Showtime” smoke system’s variable speed pump.


Some changes Mitch made to the AMR kit were to add corrugations to the ailerons, Airfoil shaped flying wires, scale hinging on the ailerons and elevators, full instrument panels and cockpits, rib stitching with pinked surface tapes, scale tailwheel and fairing, wheel pant fairings, landing gear upper fairings, hidden cowl mounts and all attachment hardware using #0 Philips head screws.


The “N” struts are modified in order to replicate the adjustability of the full scale. Rib stitching was replicated using short pieces of fishing line glued over the ribs and covered with pinked edge tape. Paint used was DuPont automotive basecoat/clearcoat in order to obtain the shiny finish of the original. I also installed a navigation and landing lights.


Now over 5 years old and with approximately 50 flights, Mitch says the WACO really feels dialed in! Mitch has placed 4th in the Expert at the 2010 Top Gun event and also received the pilot’s choice Best Civilian. The WACO also earned a Best of Show at the 2010 WRAM Show. Mitch’s WACO was also featured in the December 2010 issue of MAN and was this issue’s cover plane.



Featured News, Gerry Yarrish, Road to Top Gun 2014, Scale

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.
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