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VQ 80″ RARE BEAR RENO RACER MODEL
The Grumman F8F Bearcat was one of the best piston-engine fighters to see operational service with the US Navy. It was also the last of a series of piston-engine carrier based fighters, which had been initiated with the FF-1 of 1931. It was designed primarily as an interceptor-fighter that would operate from carriers of all sizes. It never saw see action in WWII, as it was delivered too late, but surplus Navy Bearcats played an important role in the war in Indochina with the French Armée de l’Air and the Royal Thai Air Force. Eventually, Bearcats found their way into the civilian market and were featured attractions in the Reno Air Races in Nevada. Rare Bear is a highly modified Grumman F8F Bearcat that dominated the Reno Air Races for decades.
The Bearcat that became Rare Bear started out from what was a severely damaged wreck when discovered by Lyle Shelton in 1969. It had been abandoned next to a runway in Valparaiso, Indiana after it crashed there from a throttle-on torque roll in 1962. Shelton began the rebuild and made some major modifications during the rebuild involving the installation of a more powerful Wright R-3350 (from a Douglas Skyraider) in place of the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine that is standard for a Bearcat. The rebuild was finished with the first flight on 13 September 1969.
Just a week after its first flight in 1969, the Bearcat appeared in its first National Championship Reno Air Race, sporting the name “Able Cat”, where it finished a respectable 5th in the Unlimited Class, despite the lack of preparatory and flight test time. During the 1976 air race in Mojave California, Shelton experienced an engine failure and had to perform a belly landing. The aircraft was not raced again until 1980, when it was renamed Rare Bear. From 1980 until 2011, Rare Bear scored more than 11 victories in the Unlimited Class at RENO. Now you can own your very own replica model of the famous RARE BEAR…
The VQ 80″ RARE BEAR RENO RACER is not a standard VQ BEARCAT, this model is specially manufactured at the factory with the following updates:
Fully Sheeted wing
- Reinforced Firewall area to support up to 50cc class engines
- Specially designed RARE BEAR style Cowling, turtle deck and canopy
- Accurate Markings/Color scheme painstakingly recreated in the 80″ model
- Material: Laser cut balsa and ply
- Wingspan: 80″ (2020 mm)
- Length: 60.6″ (1540mm)
- Weight: 15.6 – 16. lbs (7.1 – 7.3Kg)
- Radio: 8 channel, 9 standard servos***
- Engine: 30cc -50cc gas *** Please note a 35cc flies this quick, a 50cc is going to be fast!***
- Electric: 3000-4000 Watt brushless DC motor. (***see below)
- Optional SIERRA LANDING GEAR and scale SIERRA BEARCAT Wheels available (recommended for this model or you may use VQ Electric BEARCAT Retracts with oleo Struts which are also available***
- Optional 5″ Machined Aluminum 2 Blade Spinner Painted to Match factory covering.
- Optional 5″ Machined Aluminum 4 Blade Spinner Painted to Match factory covering.
- Pre-painted pilot
- Covered with pre-printed PVC film
- Factory Painted fiberglass cowl
- Functional inner gear doors operable by servo
- Functional flaps to allow slower landing speeds
- Replica radial engine cover
- Cowl hatch for fuel tank/electronics/battery access
Width at Firewall: 10″ x 10″
Width at opening: 8.5″ x 8.5″
Depth to motor mount: 7″
Build notes / recommendations:
- Like most heavy metal WWII Warbirds the Bearcat needs significant weight up front to balance. The combined weight of the engine, fuel tank, rx batteries, and ballast needs to be approximately 2700g (6 lbs) to balance on the CG. Since this is far more than a typical 35-40cc power system weighs you might consider a larger power system rather than adding dead weight. Also consider placing your rx battery forward of the firewall.
- Strengthen the motor mount, cowl blocks, servo blocks and other critical joints with extra glue and or screws.
- Drill and pin all of the pre-installed hinges for safety.
- Fabricate and install a support for the rudder linkage to prevent unwanted flexing.
- For the optional retracts consider replacing the c-clip on the VQ brand axles with a wheel collars.
Recommended Electric Setup (Not Included):
- Dualsky XM6360EA-10 218Kv motor (3081 Watt peak rating, 1694 Watts continuous)
- Dualsky XC10036HV 100A HV ESC (130A peak)
- Battery: 2 x 5S 35C 5000mAh lipos in series (10S)
- 2-blade Prop: 18 x 12
- Ramoser VarioProp 16D scale 4-blade Prop hub with 15.9″ to 16.6″ blades