B-24 Liberator Giant Scale RC Model Airplane – Maiden Flight

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Taken on August 26, 2012 @ Houston’s Johnson Space Center RC Club. This was the maiden flight of this beautiful plane.

Mike Laible – Pilot, Herman Burton – Flight Engineer
Lee Ray – Videographer
Music by John Williams, “Saving Private Ryan”

Entire maiden flight video (without music) is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbPR4mB0TZ8

The model is a B-24 Liberator, World War II heavy bomber. The subject is an exact copy of a plane, Homeward Angel, that flew out of Attlebridge, England, 8th Air Force, 466 Bomb Group. The 466th Bomb Group was part of the 8th Air Force and was stationed at Attlebridge, England, during World War II. The 466th BG flew 231 combat missions. The subject was picked because a friend’s grandfather was one of the waist gunners, Kenneth Kramer. Coincidentally, after deciding on this subject, it was found out the the tail gunner was named Harold Burton, Sr., no relation to Herman Burton, a partner builder of this RC model.

The subject airplane was built from 1/9th scale plans drawn by Don Smith. The wingspan is 146.3″. The finished plane weighs about 53 pounds. Power is four OS 110 alpha series 4-stroke engines, each having a Hayes 12 oz. Slimline fuel tank. Three-blade Master 15 X 7 propellers fit behind Tru-Turn hubs on each engine.

Panel lines were installed using 1/32″ Chart-Pak tape. Tulip gel was used to simulate approximately 15,000 rivets. Rivet and paint details by Larry Hultman.

The entire aircraft is covered with 0.6 ounce/sq.yard fiberglass cloth, filled with 2 coats of West epoxy resin. The paint system is PPG K-12 primer, with Glass-Kote epoxy final color coats of olive drab on top, light grey on bottom, insignia red on engine cowls and rudders, with black leading edges’ de-icing “boots”. Decals were made by Aeroloft Designs, out in Mesa, Arizona, and were dry ink transfers.

Fourteen servos provide power to the primary control surfaces plus the four engines, all handled by the pilot with an Airtronics 10G 2.4 Ghz computer transmitter. An additional 9 servos power the two air systems, 50-caliber machine gun turrets, bomb bay doors and the rear pneumatic tail chock that extends below the belly of the plane to prevent the tail from scraping the tarmac. The co-pilot uses a Futaba T7C 2.4 Ghz transmitter for these functions. The type of servos range from tiny Hitec mini-servos on the throttles and miniature air clylinders, to metal-gear Futaba high torque servos for the control surfaces.

There are two separate pneumatic systems for this plane. One powers the pneumatic disc brakes, custom built by Dennis Aircraft uniquely for this plane. The brakes fit inside the retractable main landing gear machined-aluminum hubs built by Century Jet Retracts (CJR). Scale 1/9th rubber tires and wheel coverings by CJR add a nice touch of realism to the tricycle landing gear.

The second air system provides compressed air for the retractable machine gun belly turret air cylinders, and the fuselage rear underside chock air cylinder. The top turret has azimuth control for the machine guns. The front turret has both azimuth and elevation movement for the guns. The cockpit is fully detailed and is outfitted with 1/9 scale pilots. All turrets have scale crew member gunners, plus detailed guns and ammo belts.


William Crowder says:

that was so awesome it made a grown man cry thank you grate job

helir00 says:

Great work – takes alot of time them rivets, pain in the arse – as I found
out my a scale Heli I built.

Lovely build – next one is ? 

Jeff Denham says:


loveaodai100 says:

Incredible video! Thank for posting it. My dad was a crew member on board a
B24 flying from Italy. I finally was able to take a ride on one of the last
flying B24s recently and I am still overwhelmed by it all. The model in
this video is equally incredible. I think the model maker is nearly as
brave as the original crew members to allow it to take flight!!

caesarillion says:

Scale reenactment was tops. Thanks, Paul V

greenseaships says:

I just maidened my 9-foot B-24D today and I wanted to tell you guys what an
inspiration this model was to me during the construction. Of course mine
doesn’t come close to this one, but it’s the best I can do to come close to
this kind of magic! Thanks!!

supersportryder says:

The man with the yellow hat has done well.

rich r says:

What the hell do these guys do for a living? Who has 50k to throw at a toy
airplane? I know these are not (toys) but you play with (toys) when you
aren’t working right? I need a better paying job ha

phishertube says:

I would be terrified to fly it, it is so gorgeous and authentic looking.
Nice work men.

Jack Ripper says:

Oh that model is so beautiful! My dad was a B24-J nose gunner. I wish he
was here to see this video. Thank you!

Juan Brunet says:

Congratulations, very nice plane and excellent Maiden flight !!!!!

Byrdfan says:

This gave me goose bumps watching. My dad flew these during the war. This
video did the plane and those who flew them proud. Great model. Took more
guts than I have to actually fly it 

welshpete12 says:

A beautiful model . One of the best I have seen . But it would have been
nice to hear the engines .

Paul Rude says:

now you just need some flak and some bombs and you could do a very scale
reenactment with some other B-24s and some fighters. great model!!!

Paulo Justimbaste says:

So nice

greenseaships says:

With gas and some humidity, you even get contrails! WICKED!!

caz1914 says:

My dad would was proud of his service time as all of these brave men should
have been, it would be a different world if it weren’t for our soldiers
past, present, and future

HSTMDad says:

I would rather have heard the engines. That music was, for me, ghastly.
Anyway, the aeroplane looks fantastic!

Craig Ferguson says:

A true piece of flying art. It was my pleaseure watching this plane
fly. Impressive building skills my friend. What a beautiful take off and
landing. Good job.

Andy Wells says:

Great model, and well-flown. Did it ever occur to the maker of this video
(and SO many others) that modelers and pilots LIKE to hear the sound that
the plane makes?

Jean Carton says:

outstanding job!!! perfect!!

Tanner Morren says:


Celso Dornelas says:

sensacional !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Laible says:

For everyone that has served this country, the plane you have just viewed
is in honor of you.

Happy 4th

Mike Laible

caz1914 says:

My dad was the flight engineer and top turret gunner on one of the B-24s,
wish he could see this video.

Adam Pasquale says:

You forgot the thrust reversers how can a plain stop with out the thrust
reversers activated ? Using the grass may put stress on the landing gear of
a big skale model like that. Hey nice flying you make it look so easy. 

Corsairman22 says:

With or without the music, beautiful job! To bad you have to put up
with all the illiterate tards on YouTube. 

LegitAverageZombie1 says:

only if it could drop firecracker bombs or something c:

MusketeerinFlorida says:

Outstanding!Beautiful B24 and the filming/music score really came together!

Alvise Venza says:

It’s wonderful! It could be used for movies props! In which scale is it?

Olivier Bourgeois says:
Chase c says:

All I can say is beautifully beautiful beautiful!!!!!!!

Chase c says:

I just can’t bare how amazing this plane/ RC is

Chase c says:

What an amazing plane

8ballmajik says:

Century Jet retracts throughout or just the hubs?

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