MONSTER-SCALE B-25 MITCHELL Paul LeTourneau's Amazing Panchito
Model Airplane News|November 2020
MONSTER-SCALE B-25 MITCHELL Paul LeTourneau's Amazing Panchito
When it comes to amazing, monster-scale warbirds, one of our all-time favorites is this awesome B-25 Mitchell built and flown by Paul LeTourneau of Oconto, Wisconsin. For several years, Paul has been wowing the crowds with his bomber at several warbird events including the annual “Warbirds & Classics over the Midwest” in Fond du lac, WI., and the “Warbirds over Delaware” event in Bear, DE. Paul’s B-25 draws a crowd whenever it shows up on the flightline, and he does an amazing job of piloting his classic twin-engine WW II bomber.
GERRY YARRISH

Recently, we caught up with Paul to chat about his B-25 back story. Here’s what he told us.

Model Airplane News: Paul, we’re always impressed when you wheel out your B-25. Tell more about your monstrous Mitchell bomber.

Paul LeTourneau: I built the B25 back in the winter of 20022003, and it first flew in 2003. It took 7 months to build it and back then I had painted it in a drone director scheme. I started the project by enlarging a set of Nick Ziroli plans from its original 101-inch span to 160-inches. This brought the B-25 to 1/5-scale, and I used typical balsa and plywood construction, but all the hardware used was super-sized. The outer wing panels have strong aluminum carry-through tube spars and they plug into the wing center section, which incorporates the engine nacelles and main landing gear.

What about the finish?

Paul: After much sanding and filling and more sanding, I used 1/2oz. fiberglass cloth and two coats of Zap Finishing Resin. After stripping off the original paint scheme, (back in 2013 I think), I recovered the airframe panel by panel with adhesive backed aluminum tape from McMaster Carr. All the panel lines are reproduced and the flush rivet details are included. After the aircraft’s vinyl markings were added, I applied a clear over coat to seal everything up. I made all my own mold parts for the canopy, bombardier’s nose section and turrets, and the fiberglass engine cowls and gun blisters.

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November 2020