Dick Sarpolus' Consolidated PBY4-2 Privateer



Designed by Dick Sarpolus.
Free plans from Spring 2012
Park Pilot.



If “No way!” was your immediate reaction to seeing this airplane, you might want to reconsider. A foamy-profile is easy to build and fly, the basic airframe is low cost, and a four-engine bomber is not much harder to build than a fighter.

The four electric motors and ESCs will cost more, but the RC gear is the same, there’s only one battery, and the real mission is doing this stuff for fun. The Consolidated PB4Y-2 is not often seen at model fields, and that makes it even more attractive.

If you saw the resemblance to a B-24 Liberator, you might have realized that the PB4Y-2 is the U.S. Navy’s single-fin version of the B-24. It came along late in World War II doing maritime patrol work and bombing in the Pacific. The PBY4-2 was a spyplane during the Cold War, and saw some combat in Korea. It had 12 machine guns and carried a good-size bomb load with a long range. When the design was finally retired in the 1960s, more than 700 Privateers had been built.

My model design takes a few scale liberties so that it can use the same foam wing cores I’ve based my other warbird designs around — and to ensure good flying quality. The airframe outlines are close to correct, and enough detailing is provided suggest a true warbird. Just fly the Privateer in a scalelike manner when the hardcore scale guys are around, and save the loops, rolls, and inverted passes for when they aren’t looking.

Read the entire build construction article in the Spring 2012 issue of Park Pilot.



Overall proportions are not exact scale, but it surely emulates the PB4Y-2 four-engine Navy patrol and bomber aircraft. You might recognize it as the Navy’s single-fin version of the B-24.





Smooth and steady, Dick flies his PBY4-2 Privateer over the flightline for a camera pass. The model is easy to build from plans, and the materials are not costly. The greatest expense you’ll be facing is the four brushless motors and matching ESCs.





Sure, the ESCs, receiver, battery pack and wiring are all in full view, but hey, it’s the bottom of the wing. The drag won’t hurt the performance.





Despite the intimidation of four motors, the model is easy to hand-launch and fly. It can fly like a scale model or an aerobat, but loops and rolls are anything but scalelike.





The Privateer has good lines, and you gotta love those Catalina-style blisters on the fuselage sides.


The specific equipment carried on my PBY4-2 consists of four BP Hobbies 2208-14 brushless motors and 20A ESCs, four GWS 7 x 4 propellers, a 3S 2200mAh LiPo pack and three small Corona servos. I also plan to add a multiple bomb release.

Launch the Privateer with an underhand toss at near-full throttle; it will climb right out of your hand. This stuff is fun.



Guns in the nose, tail and two upper turrets. Let’s just call those propellers U.S. Navy “safety orange.”





The Privateer handles like an aerobat. It could almost pass for a C-130 in a banked turn that tight.





With four motors, the Privateer has the speed and power to climb out very quickly from a hand-launch.





Click here to download your free Consolidated PBY4-2 Privateer Build It Plans.



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4 comments

Thanks for this beautiful build. Have you built or will you build a B-17 for the rest of us?

Greate/nice Consolidated PBY4-2 Privateer.
Czech republic

I do not see where you recommend the servo locations for rudder and elevator. Photos are not clear. Please advise. Thanks.

I'm almost done with assembling the PBY4 and cannot find your recommended CG location. I assume it's at the plywood wing joiner but would appreciate your recommendation.

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