Road to Top Gun — Spectactular Spitfire

Road to Top Gun — Spectactular Spitfire

Part of the talent pool that is the Long Island Sky Hawks RC club, Lou Cetrangelo will again be competing at Top Gun with his very impressive Spitfire Mk. IX. Powered by an 110cc 3W inline twin cylinder engine, Lou’s airplane started out as a CARF-Models ARF Spitfire kit. Lou engineered it so the engine cowling was as clean looking as possible with little or no extra cooling openings.


He first considered water cooling but that was too complex with removable wings. Lou ended up with an air duct system that takes the air from the scale scoop at the bottom of the cowl and routes it between the engine’s cooling fins.


Airflow then exits through an air duct to the starboard side of the fuselage, through the right wing panel, and out the radiator opening.


He added two 12V computer fans in the ducting to improve cooling during idling and taxiing. Lou used RC telemetry to monitor the head temperature, and after a lot of patience and a year of trial and error, he tweaked the cooling design until it worked reliably. The Spitfire has a span of 102 inches, is 88 inches long, and weighs in at 36 pounds. Lou is using a JR 2.4GHz radio system with Hitec digital servos, Sierra Giant retracts, and four A123 2300mAh battery packs from NoBS.


The Spitfire is painted with Klass Kote epoxy paint, using masks that Red5 Designs created from his own artwork. Lou added his own wing blisters, dummy navigation lights, strut covers, spinner, and muffler using the scale exhaust ports.





Updated: March 22, 2014 — 10:38 AM


  1. The only give aways are the main gear legs themselves.

  2. Love the Spit, I have a 1/5 scale Pica that needed extra help with cooling but the muffler I used was too restrictive. I would like to see the exhaust system on this spit and does it actually quiet the sound to meet most club restrictions.

  3. Hello Lou beautiful job and good luck at top Gun

  4. I’ve seen it fly and it’s an outstanding plane, Lou did a great job.

  5. VHi Lou, congratulations, excellent work and many successes in Top Gun.
    Jaime Arango O

  6. How makes that engine?? What a sweet clean install!

  7. Beautiful and very nice install on the engine! Good luck at Top Gun!

  8. I was cheking the pictures and the plane is beatiful!!! just I have a question for my education, how do you get cold the engine? because acording with the pictores the cowling is close (no air flow)

  9. The spitfire is just one word fantastic . This is what flying is all about ,I would like as my last wish before I leave this earth ,is to have a flight in a MK 9 Super marine Spitfire and have what must be the ultimate experience of flight . I would just like to say to the owner of this beautiful spitfire ,you have built your spitfire to perfection . I am just starting out at the age of nearly 66 learning to fly ..and I just would like to have that thrill of piloting my little RC aircraft ..i will get there as the saying goes… take the lumps and bumps and patience .Thank you , Archie .

  10. Your spitfire is excellent ,hope to fly like that some day , trainee RC flier . Scotland

  11. It is, truly spectacular..

  12. Saw this Spit fly last year at TOP GUN, spectacular flyer! Super nice guy too, willing to talk about his work. The annoucer always highlighted it during the competition, even though he kept saying it was a 3 cylinder…

  13. Hello Lou. love the spitfire, and best of luck at Top Gun, from your friends up here in Canada…

  14. When stationed out at Suffolk Co. Air Force Base, several of us Started an RC club Called the Suffolk Falcons. Some out there might remember Don McGovern and Gene Rogers they were both members also. Nice to see RC is still healthy up there. By he way I am and East Rockaway Kid. Moved to Missouri through marriage and Retired Military Service.

    1. Last name is WETHERINTON, mot etherington

  15. Great job, beauty of a plane. As a spectator I hope to see you at top gun. Jerry (Gerald)

  16. Great Looking aircraft. Good Luck at top flight.

  17. F A N T A S T I C !

  18. very nice–wonder what it sounds like…at that large scale i would consider nav lights, radio antennae lines and a few other details (pneumatic tyres, hydraulically sprung LG?), but that’s just me;

    who can’t love a Spit of any dimension?

  19. How does the cooling work. I can not find a build on your plane.

    1. Hi Don:

      Sorry I just saw your post. I still fly the spit regularly at my club field in Long Island. Here is the quick answer to your question on keeping the heat down.

      Cooling was a challenge but it works well using intake air from the lower scoop and the cutout around the “K” in the cowl front. After passing through the cylinder fins the air is ducted out the right wing radiator with the help of two 12 volt DC fans.


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