Dick Sarpolus' Grumman TBF Avenger
Read the entire build article and step-by-step instructions in the Winter 2015 issue of Park Pilot. Below is an article excerpt, build photos, and a free plans.
About the Grumman Avenger
Warbirds are admired for their capability and high performance—creations achieved by talented aeronautical engineering work. Many of them are described by such words as sleek, streamlined, clean, smooth, and fast.
Grumman’s TBF Avenger would not be described by those words; it was more of a truck than a fast sports car. As a capable torpedo bomber, the Avenger was the heaviest single-engine aircraft of World War II. Only the P-47 Thunderbolt came close to equaling it in maximum loaded weight.
The U.S. Navy ordered prototype Avengers in 1940, and two years later, Grumman was delivering them in quantity. The Avenger was also built by General Motors, and the GM planes were designated TBM Avengers. The aircraft replaced the then-obsolete Douglas Devastator.
Future President George H. W. Bush flew an Avenger, was shot down in 1944, and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Actor Paul Newman was a rear gunner in an Avenger (he wasn’t accepted for pilot training because he was color blind).
With its stable platform and load-carrying abilities, the Avenger was later used to carry the heavy radar equipment for antisubmarine warfare and early-warning duties.
Here are the materials you’ll need to construct the Avenger.
The receiver is embedded into the wing and held in place with adhesive from a hot glue as are the servos.
An inexpensive 150-watt brushless motor and 18-amp ESC provide plenty of power to fly the Avenger.