Warbird Landings Done Right!

Warbird Landings Done Right!

You know the feeling: a  beautiful RC warbird comes in for a landing and everyone in the crowd holds their breath as the wheels touch once, maybe twice, and the plane slows to a halt. Our friends across the pond, videographers Pete and Dean Coxon, attend dozens of RC events in the UK throughout the year, so they decided to put together a compilation of clips of successful landings. Enjoy!

Updated: May 8, 2018 — 10:50 AM


  1. These are super landings , which I can’t seem to be able to do . How do they do it ?

    1. Did you noticed that the wings are level on the approach? The ailerons are mostly used to keep the wings level. The rudder is used to steer the plane. That keep the lift of the wing more stable and give a better control of the descent. Then, proper throttle control bring the airplane to the runway. Ideally, you don’t want to play too much with the elevator to control the descent at is will also change the speed. Remember also that the plane has to fly until the wheels touch the ground. It should not stall before.

      1. As my RAF Flying Instructer used to drill into me “Stick for Speed. Throttle for height”.

  2. Land with throttle not elevator…like the good landings in the video.

  3. Unbeliveable.Nice.

  4. Helps that their Giant scale models

  5. Most of them make a hard tail up landing. That’s a bad habit (speed too high – landing gear stress) and generally unrealistic for a scale aircraft. A good landing is a three-point landing. Watch WWII videos and you will see. Don’t watch actual warbirds landing on a hard runway: some will land tail up because of cross wind or because the exit taxiway if far away and they can use more speed to reach it – or they are not necessarily outstanding pilots.

    1. I agree. Many of the landings in the video were compromised by being ‘too hot’ i.e. too fast on the approach.
      The problem for RC flyers is that they get used to the Ground Speed of the model rather than the airspeed. If the headwind is 10 mph then the ground speed should be 10 mph slower than ‘nil wind’conditions. This judgement takes a lot of practise and relies on the pilot being aware of the wind speed conditions at the time of their flight.

  6. They must have been fighting some nasty winds that day!

  7. “done right”? Are they kidding? Ending on the nose is not done right. I worry about the future of RC if this is what’s currently considered ‘done right’.

  8. Looked about half and half of good and bad landings.

  9. The audio sound of the wind blowing seems pretty strong and even the grass is leaning with a crosswind . Your exactly right a war bird must land under power using only the ailerons to level the plane and rudder for steering until touchdown then you can employ the elevator . Another thing I noticed they never bring the flaps up after landing but keep them down even during the taxi back ,they should be brought back after you’ve landed and taxing back .The Corsair with the folding wings was a nice touch to a good looking plane . Only one more thing I noticed a Lysander nosing up upon landing , this is a STOL and should of floated in , the pilot did do better the next few times .

  10. Using any control during approach (ailerons, rudder, elevator and throttle) shouldn’t be a problem. That’s basic flying. If not, the skill level should be improved before flying a warbird with probably a high wing loading. If you don’t use the elevator before touchdown, you will either hit the ground instead of landing or you will touch the ground way too fast. That’s what we see during most of those tail up landings.

    1. Yes, use the elevator to adjust speed but not to control height on the approach. Of course elevator HAS to be used to flare for touchdown.

  11. Like anything that’s made to look easy, Practice, Practice, Practice!!!

  12. Fun video. Uhh … some of the landings were less awesome than others – good, strong gear though. Love the Jugs. One thing’s for sure: the plane WILL come down!

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