Road to Top Gun: Behemoth Beaufighter

Road to Top Gun: Behemoth Beaufighter

Three time Top Gun Champion, David Wigley recently completed his test flights of his amazing 1/5-scale Bristol Beaufighter and Also won Best in Show at the 2013 WRAM Show.

 Top Gun: Behemoth Beaufighter

MAN highlighted some “in primer” sneak peeks of David’s amazing in progress twin fighter project earlier last summer, and we have to say, it is one of the most ambitious projects we ever seen.

 Top Gun: Behemoth Beaufighter

 Top Gun: Behemoth Beaufighter

His amazing twin engine WW2 aircraft is powered by a pair of BME 102cc gas engines and David will be replacing his extremely successful Westland Wyvern, which has timed out for Top Gun competition. Just like all his other scale warbirds, the Beaufighter is built using traditional balsa, plywood, lite-ply construction That he finished with fiberglass and resin.

 Top Gun: Behemoth Beaufighter

Dave designed and scratch built the entire project from 3-view drawings, illustrations and and photos, along with measurements taken from a real airplane in a museum. The landing gear alone took over a year to complete with 3D CAD modeling and CNC machining work. David took 5 years to complete this amazing twin and he will be competing with it at Top Gun in 2013. If past history and performance is any indication, we suspect competitors at Top Gun next year will have their work cut out for them if they intend to best David with his amazing new Scale Competition weapon!

Good luck David! We can’t wait to see if compete at this year’s Top Gun Scale Invitational.

Special thanks to Lou Cetrangelo for providing this video

Updated: July 20, 2015 — 9:49 AM


  1. there’s a couple of us up here in Canada building 106″ versions of the Beau…yes lots of work and research involved, so many different variations of the same Marks

  2. Beautiful aircraft, great still pictures but what video? About 90% of the content was pics. Would have been to see the retracts work. Not disappointed but wanted more!!!


  3. Richard… the video is at the bottom of the page, just above the comments… :^p Lou Cetrangelo posted it to youtube and we have the link/player above.

  4. Thanks for the info Gerry. I will check it out.

  5. I have been lucky enough to watch this project evolve. One would never expect less than this from Dave, he always puts together something quite special.

  6. Gerry, Richard is correct. I watched the video uploaded to Youtube and it is more of a slideshow. Not much video. It’s still an excellent example of a warbird.

  7. Congratulations, Dave!! Looks like a winner!

  8. I can’t wait to photograph this bad boy at Top Gun.

    Richard, I think most pilots leave the gear down during test flights just in case there is a problem and they need to land quickly. Wwould have been nice to see the landing though. 🙂

  9. Way to go Dave I can’t wait to see it at TG. Good luck my friend.
    Mike Barbee

  10. Too many slides, but the slide at the 11 second mark made a huge impression on me. I would love to see all R/C planes photographed in a similar way as it totally changed my impression of the size of the airplane!

    For photos and videos, I hope for detail shots of any cockpits (pilot, gunner, etc.), retracts and engines. I like to marvel at the skills some people have.

  11. In two words, ABSOLUTELY AWESOME.

  12. Looks the part a real beauty
    Currently Scratch building 1/6 Mk-2

    Larry Pierce

  13. The video was just a sneek peak… Can’t give it all away at one time.

  14. A Spar filure but it only bent a little, not a complete break! Somewheres in the center section left hand side, I lost a few that way, but my spars sheared off! Great Plane! Ray Hamlett.

  15. Danny Carozza

    World Class plane from a world class guy

  16. Dave, having seen this plane in it’s development over the past two years at the scale seminars you and Roy gave, courtesy of the Mid-Hudson R/C Society, I can only say this is an awesome plane from every angle you look at it. Best of luck at Top Gun and will see you again this year in January at the next seminar. Thanks for taking my and Sean Tokle’s suggestions on lofting from drawings as topics for demonstration at this year’s event. Hope you bring this plane to the seminar. Best regards, John Sohm

  17. Awesome Dave!! Can’t wait to see it in person.

  18. My goodness… the Bristol Beaufighter is beautiful!!

  19. Wow guys it looks like I really stirred up some interest here! Thanks for all the positive feedback. I really prefer to finish a project completely before I test fly it but I got time crunched this year. With the Wyvern timed out at Top Gun, I knew I had to have the Beau ready or I wouldn’t be able to go. With the weather here in the Northeast I figured I’d better get some flights in and get the bugs ironed out before the winter. So I pushed really hard for the last three months and prioritized tasks to only things that were needed to get it flying. That’s why the markings aren’t completed in the slides/video. (They are now) I agree that it’s too bad Lou didn’t get the landing on video but I can’t blame him; everyone wanted to watch instead of manning the camera. I left the gear down for the first flight just in case. I have since flown about 10 flights and I’m getting it “dialed in”. It really flies nice with the gear up. The only real issues I’ve had are with the main gear doors. They function just as the full size did with cables, springs, and pulleys. Everything else is good.
    Thanks again. More to come!


  20. VERY interested to see you compete at Top Gun in 2013 -you should kill them!
    I,m at plans stage only, and have a serious soft spot for Beaus.In my ATC cadet years , i cadged two rather long flights in a RAAF target towing one.An assymetric test flight on a Saturday, then a towing flight on the Sunday-fantastic weekend!So you will understand my enthusiasm for you, Dave.
    GO for it!
    Adrian, Australia.

  21. 1954 was a long time ago, but you never forget.

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