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Road to Top Gun: Mike Barbee’s King Air C-90 — Update!

Road to Top Gun: Mike Barbee’s  King Air C-90 — Update!

Over this past weekend we saw that long time Top Gun competitor Mike Barbee successfully test flew his new King Air C-90. This electric powered twin is amazing and it is very difficult to tell it from the full-size aircraft. Congratulations Mike, see you in a few more weeks! (Photos by Jenni Aldeman).


C90DIf you’ve thought that electric powered airplanes aren’t all that exciting, wait till you get a load of Mike Barbee’s latest Top Gun entry, the King Air C-90 twin. Teaming up with pilot Frank Noll, they will be competing with the King Air C-90 in the Team Class. The 25% scale King Air twin is built from a Bob Patton design, and has an impressive 155 inch wingspan and is 110 inches long.




Mike Barbee C-90

The retracts are air-powered and his own design. Power will come from a pair of geared electric, Kontronicks motors with 200 amp Kontronicks speed controllers. The 3-blade propellers are from Vario and are ground adjustable for  pitch.  Flight testing with begin with 21 5/16 pitch to start with. The Fuselage is fiberglass, and the wings have foam cores that are sheeted. The paint job is military, (the only one painted these colors), and it the Navy Military Heritage scheme.


This will be Mike’s 27th year attending Top Gun and during that time he has entered 10 different airplanes. Mike has been flying RC for 37 years  and specifically with scale aircraft for the past 30. Mike is also the President of NASA, the Special Interest Group of the AMA which supports and promotes scale in RC, Control Line, free flight and helicopters. Mike is also the East Coast Chairman for U.S. Scale Masters Association. Mike will also be flying his big Grumman FM-2 Wildcat at Top Gun in the Expert Class.

Updated: August 23, 2017 — 4:34 PM
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  1. Awesome Mike! Can´t wait to see it at TG!

  2. Nice work Mike. Can’t wait to see it fly….Good luck at Top Gun!

  3. Wow. Super nice!


  4. Real nice looking plane, you did a fantastic job.

  5. Nice. Can’t wait to see it.


  6. Another beautiful plane from Mike! Does anybody know the cell count and configuration for the LiPo batteries?

    1. 12S2P/5500, so it’s 12s/11000mah per side. props are 21.6 inch varioprops currently at 16 pitch.

  7. Really nice. But after working on Beech aircraft for ten years the first thing I noticed was there are no pitot tubes. I hope he sees this and can fix before the contest!

  8. Typical terrible ‘MAN’ writing, does anyone at this magazine ever “PROOF READ” before they publish? “Flight testing with begin with ….” one of many horrible grammar errors. When I read MAN, every issue I feel like I am reading something a bunch of 3rd Graders wrote. Do something about it already, it is very embarrassing for our hobby to be represented by a publication written by rank amateurs.

    BTW – A wonderful plane, Mike Borbee.

    1. The airplane is awesome! Good job Mike!
      Kinda have to agree on the writing. It’s doesn’t show much proof reading skill. Detracts from the article it’s so bad.

  9. Fantastic plane. Worth going to Top Gun just to see it up close. Would love to see some photos of the fuselage build process. A real work of art.

  10. It’s Mike Barbee, idiot!

  11. Wonderful finish and a mechanical marvel! I guess you had to rent a hangar for final assembly?

  12. A very nice hanger indeed…………..

  13. Wow…! What a beautiful bird. Hope you mount a camera inside the cockpit looking outside.
    Michael Reiman

  14. I used to work on the real ones at Atlantic aviation in Wilmington, De. Wow! perfect in every way. Really looks good.

  15. How high does it go?
    How fast does it fly?

    Mike, you have truly outdone yourself this time. This looks amazing.

    Good Luck at Top Gun.

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