It’s time for the top posts of the year! Here, in descending order, are the top stories from 2016, ranked by their number of views. Missed one? Just click on the photo or title to go to the original post. And as we send the last newsletter of 2016, we want to thank the folks who’ve emailed us feedback or spoken to us in person at an event or show. Your enthusiasm drives the Model Airplane News team to find and post interesting, informative and (we hope!) fun stories to send out to you every Friday. Here’s to 2017!
10. Super-Size Skyraider
Custom-built by Phil Clarke of Fighter Aces for world-class pilot Ali Machinchy, this 30% scale Skyraider is based on an 80% enlargement of the 100-inch span Nick Ziroli plan. Phil notes, “The structure has been heavily modified to cater for the weight and size increase to allow the model to be successfully passed through the Large Model Association Over 20kg Inspection. The 180-inch-span model weighs in at 182 pounds and is powered by an impressive Moki 400cc 5-cylinder radial.
9. Titanic Triplane
RC Fokker Dr. 1 models don’t get much bigger than this! Expertly flown by world-champion pilot Gernot Bruckmann, this 14.5-foot-span aircraft has a seven-cylinder, 820cc Wallach engine in its nose and weighs in at 194 pounds, giving it the title of “World’s Largest RC Triplane.” What do you think Herr Von Richthofen would say about this one? Thanks to RCtothefreak for taking this video at the Modellbaumesse Lindinger airshow.
8. One of a Kind Soviet Bomber Takes Flight
Built and flown by Rainer Mattle, this monster 99-pound model is powered by six 15cc ASP gas engines and an electric pusher motor. Built up from wood, the 16-foot-span plane is also equipped with 16 servos, brakes, and steerable nose wheels and can be disassembled into six modules for easier transport. Kalinin K-7 might be just what you’re looking for! With a wingspan close to that of a B-52, only one full-size K-7 was ever built, and it crashed after seven flights due to a tail boom structural failure, so it’s doubtful you’ll run into another RC version at the next giant-scale fly-in. Thanks to RCHeliJet for taking a video of this monster model at the recent Hausen Am Albis event in Switzerland.
7. Awesome Bomber Landings
Landing a scale warbird can be tricky, especially if it’s a heavy-metal, multi-engine bomber or transport aircraft. In this compilation, the father and son video team of Pete and Dean Coxon highlight some terrific bomber landings they’ve captured at RC events throughout the United Kingdom. Enjoy!
6. Jumbo Jet Takes Flight
This 16-foot-span 747-400 gives new meaning to the phrase “jumbo jet!” In this video, Adi Pitz’s 747-400 scale model puts on a show at the Hausen Flight Day in Switzerland with pilot M. Brauer at the controls. The largest plane Adi has ever built, it has over 2,000 hours of work into it! The 747 is powered by four Hammer Engines turbines, each with a thrust of 14kg, and it’s controlled by Weatronic radio gear. The 131-pound giant has sequenced landing gear and is 17.8-feet long. Thanks to RCHeliJet for taking this great video at the Hausen Flight Day 2016 in Switzerland.
5. Indoor 8-Foot-Span A-10
You wouldn’t think an 8-foot-span aircraft could easily navigate an indoor flying venue, but pilot Daniel Hör makes it look easy with this A-10 Thunderbolt II! Powered by two Electro Accu ducted fans using a 4S 1200mAh LiPo pack, the Depron foam plane uses 12 servos and is equipped with an onboard camera. At 1:30 into the video, the big jet slows down to an unbelievably slow pace! Thanks to RC Media World for taking this video at the Modell-Hobby-Spiel in Leipzig, Germany.
4. NATO Tornado
3. Speedy Green Machine
This unique aircraft is an experimental Jet-Bee is a Gee Bee from CARF models that’s powered by a Frank Turbine FR250. This 1/3.2-scale aircraft uses a Powerbox Mercury SRS and is piloted here by Christian Göbel at the Jetpower Fair recently held in Bad Neuenahr Ahrweiler, Germany. We think the Granville brothers would be proud!
2. Half-Scale SAAB Jas 39
There’s big and there’s BIG!!! This new RC turbine powered jet aircraft is the work of Frank Schroeder who has posted several images online covering its construction. It is a 1/2-scale Saab JAS 39 Gripen and it is 279.53 inches long and weighs in at an amazing 260.15 pounds! With a thrust output of 220.46 pounds it has 18 liters (just under 5 gallons). Certainly at the upper range of the Large Aircraft Association’s regulations, this amazing jet is amazing to watch fly. Thanks to Patrice G. for sharing this video.
1. Oops! Crash Compilation Video
It happens to the best airplanes, and these cringe-worthy crashes (and near-miraculous saves!) are a reminder to all pilots and spectators that there are no guarantees at the flying field. Thanks to RCScalePlanes for this compilation video.