Top 10 RC Warbirds
Model Airplane News|March 2020
Flying these fighting machines will make you feel like an ace!

When it comes to excitement and performance, nothing comes close to a warbird. Today, there are more military frontline classics available than ever before, and they all really get the adrenaline flowing. The Model Airplane News editors have tested a lot of warbirds, and we’ve compared our flight logs to select our top 10 favorites. If you want to feel like an ace at the flying field, then check out this article. We’re sure you’ll find something to add to your RC squadron.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL P-51D

Mustang 20cc ARF

MANUFACTURER

Hangar 9 (hangar-9.com)

DISTRIBUTOR

Horizon Hobby (horizonhobby.com)

WINGSPAN

69.5 in.

PILOT SKILL LEVEL

Intermediate

ASSEMBLY TIME

20 hours

RADIO REQ’D

5-channel

POWER REQ’D

20cc gas or equivalent glow, or Power 60 electric motor

HANGAR 9 P-51D 20CC $399.99

Joining its stable of great-looking WW II warbird ARFs, Hangar 9’s 20cc P-51D Mustang is a well-designed, lightweight model of this classic bubble canopy equipped fighter. Featuring all-wood construction with precisely fitting formers and ribs, the P-51 is designed using CAD, so the parts fit; pushrod routing and correct equipment placement is assured in the design process. The Mustang comes covered in pre-decorated, self-adhesive covering in a scheme that enables you to duplicate one of two different full-scale fighters. The wing panels are retract-ready, and E-flite retracts drop right into place. Optional scale struts are available. You simply plug in to replace the stock wire struts. A large molded fiberglass cowl and vacuum-formed exhaust stacks are supplied, along with a sizeable molded plastic spinner with the correct outline. Rounding out the goodies is a pilot bust, complete with a cockpit with sidewalls, a seat, and a formed instrument panel. The fuselage features a good-sized removable hatch to allow easy access to all the innards, such as batteries, radio gear, and linkages. You also get a complete hardware package.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL

B-24 Liberator Bomber

MANUFACTURER

VQ ​Warbirds (vqwarbirds.com)

WINGSPAN

110 in.

PILOT SKILL LEVEL

Intermediate to expert

ASSEMBLY TIME

80+ hours

RADIO REQ’D

6-8+ channels (11-23 servos)

POWER REQ’D

Four .25 to .35 two-stroke engines, four .40 four-stroke engines, or four .25 to .32 electric motors

VQ WARBIRDS B-24 LIBERATOR | $995

This impressive 1/12 scale ARF B-24 Liberator is an amazing project. It provides not only excellent quality and flight performance, but also a unique RC warbird experience. This model is for the serious builder, offering many scale details, functions, and options. VQ Warbirds also sells an almost-ready-to-cover (ARC) version. The bomber comes as a blank canvas with various decals available; none of the markings are applied, so you can customize the finish. Several scale details are included, such as Fowler flaps, roll-up style bomb bay doors, multiple gun turrets, and dummy radial engines for the nacelles. In addition, the nicely covered model has a great assortment of panel lines and rivets printed directly onto the covering material, and comes with a complete hardware package. (Custom scale retracts are available.) Assembly is straightforward, and the parts’ fit is excellent. In the air, the B-24 Liberator is stable and tracks extremely well in banks and turns.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL

Douglas AD-1 Skyraider

SCALE

1/6 (2 in. = 1 ft.)

WINGSPAN

100 in.

LENGTH

78 in.

PILOT SKILL LEVEL

Expert

ASSEMBLY TIME

500 to 800 hours

RADIO REQ’D

6-channel (8-10 servos)

POWER REQ’D

62cc-85cc gas engine

ZIROLI 1/6 SCALE AD-1 SKYRAIDER (PLAN SET) | $60

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