No, that's not my A-10 Warthog model airplane above. But that represents the goal. Ever since I first saw an A-10 at the 1987 Reading Air Show in Reading, PA, I knew that airframe and straight wing would make a great radio controlled model airplane. It took 16 years, but I'm finally building one. Of course, everyone else seems to be flying real micro-turbojet engines now, but I'll be powering mine with twin ducted fans. The entire plane, engines and all, will be built for roughly the cost of one micro-turbine engine alone. However, there is at least one large-scale A-10 out there flying with TWIN turbines--a little rich for my blood.

I'm building my plane from a design by George Miller. The plans were purchased from Mike Beaulieu's plan service, Scale RC Models. It's a 1/9th scale design having a 78" wingspan and 70" fuselage length. It will be powered by twin OS .45's or K&B .48's driving Turbax ducted fans. I expect the project to take about a year, due primarily to the need to spread out the cost, but also due to limited building time. I will post my progress here for anyone who might be interested. Let me thank you now for taking time to check out my project.


Entry No. 1 - July 25, 2003

The first step, of course, was buying the plans, which I did back in May. As you can see from the photo to the right, the three sheets, when rolled out, take up nearly all of our family room floor. I have attached a few close-ups of the plans. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.






Since this is not a kit, I decided to have the shaped parts, i.e. ribs, formers, etc., laser cut. I was surprised at how reasonably priced these services are. My parts were cut by Tank's Hangar Aircraft Modeling. This involves sending in the plans which then have to be scanned. The scans are modified into a file, or files, used by the laser machine itself to cut the parts. Other parts, like spars, wing sheeting, and leading and trailing edges have to be purchased separately. As of this date, I have the laser cut parts and am in the process of making the list of what wood I need for the rest of the parts.






While I was waiting for the parts to be cut, I decided to start on some scale missiles. It's probably just as well that I do these first since, if I wait until the plane is done, I'd probably never get to them. The missiles, after all, are what helps make a fighter jet cool. The new breed of jets, like the

F-22, are cool enough, but give me a fully loaded F-15 or F-16 any day for looks. For now, these missiles will be just for static display on the A-10. Weight is a major concern with any model aircraft, but especially with large ducted-fan-powered models. Drag may be another issue, but at the speeds we fly, probably not a real concern. Also, I have seen many failures of retractable landing gear, and on first flights. The last thing I want to do is belly-land on my hand-made and somewhat detailed missiles on the first flight! Click on the thumbnails for larger images and additional close-ups.

These missiles are built completely from scratch. Fortunately, standard model rocket tubes come very close to the scale diameters I need. Standard nose cones had to be cut and sanded to shape. The fins were cut from plastic sheet material. I searched the internet and contacted the

manufacturer, Raytheon, for details. I wonder what they thought when I asked for details like specific dimensions, colors and labeling! One message said that they are not permitted to release this information and that I should contact the Air Force. I have to believe that the information is indeed in the public domain given the high detail and, I assume, accurate decals of labels and warnings found in plastic scale models. They did, however, send single-sheet flyers of both the AIM-9M Sidewinder and AGM-65 Maverick missiles. I wanted to make these as close to scale as possible. I'm even attempting to add a miniature TV seeker-head under a clear plastic window on the nose cone. Finding the perfect nose-cone window is proving to be more difficult than I thought. Click on the AGM-65 thumbnail to see what I've tried so far.

That's it for now. I'll post more when I've made more progress. (7/25/03)

Entry No. 2 - September 4, 2003

The Sidewinders are done. Now all I need to do is build a plane around them. Click on the thumbnail for more details and larger images.

Entry No. 3 - May 22, 2004

First, let me thank everyone who visits my site and takes time to write with questions or comments. It makes it all worthwhile. When it comes to my A-10 project, most want to know how it's coming along. Unfortunately, personal circumstances are such that the project is on hold. I hope to get back to it again soon, though. I really appreciate the interest! Thanks again.


Entry No. 4 - February 11, 2005

Woo hoo! It is a red-letter-day at the Marsh household. At long last I was able to purchase the balance of the wood needed to get this project going again. Even so, it will be a slow-moving project. What you see here is known as "a big pile of lumber." If this were a kit, most builders would feel they paid too much! The parts should be cut to length and properly shaped. However, what I'm building might be called a "short kit" in which some of the parts are precut, like ribs and formers, but everything else has to be hand cut and hand shaped. Against some advice, I went with one of the less expensive suppliers of balsa. However, it all looks pretty good to me. A few sticks were warped, but not so bad that they can't be used. The sheeting and plywood look fine.

A few days after receiving the wood, I made the first cut! Almost immediately, while staring at this long square piece and realizing that I had to somehow carve, cut, sand or otherwise force this thing to look like the drawing, I wondered "Dear Lord, what have I gotten myself into?" Then I figured I might as well dive in head first and started outlining the final shape on the blank piece. Somewhat nervously, but cautiously, I started carving, careful not to go beyond those lines. The next thing I knew, after some final sanding, I had a part the was ready for use. My Dad used to tell me that in his day kits arrived as big blocks of wood. You had to carve and cut everything. I guess this is a little like that.

Entry No. 5 - February 25, 2005

Both rudders have been built up and sanded to shape. They're ready to be glassed. The fins are well under way, but could only be built so far as they will be integrated with the spars of the horizontal stabilizer, which has been started as well. For more photos and details on the construction of these components, click on the thumbnail images.

Entry No. 6 - March 4, 2005

The elevator halves are complete and ready to be glassed. The fins have been attached to the horizontal stabilizer, and the control linkage for the fins has been installed. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos.

Entry No. 7 - March 12, 2005

The empennage is nearly compete and I have started the fuselage. Click on the thumbnail to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos along with some construction details.

Entry No. 8 - March 20, 2005

This week was a little discouraging. First, I managed to shatter two fuselage formers. Then, when I started on the center wing section, I discovered that none of the ribs matched. The plans were drawn wrong and, as such, the parts were laser-cut wrong. The spar slots in the ribs didn't line up, and some ribs were taller or shorter top-to-bottom than others. As it turns out, the fuselage formers repaired nicely and I was able to recut the spar slots in the ribs without too much trouble. Click on the thumbnail to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos along with some construction details.

Entry No. 9 - March 27, 2005

The fuselage is starting to look a little like an A-10. There's still a lot to do on the fuselage, though. The wing center section is well along, and the right outer wing panel has been started. Click on either thumbnail to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 10 - April 7, 2005

This past week and a half or so can best be described as flitting around from one item to another. The left outboard wing panel was constructed to the same level of completion as the right panel. Spars and balsa webbing were added to these panels as well as to the center wing panel. The ailerons have been built-up and sheeted and are ready to be glassed. Both engine outer nacelle panels, or hatches, have been built-up and sheeted with 1/64" ply and are also ready to be glassed. One wingtip has been started, both of which are being carved from solid blocks of balsa. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 11 - April 17, 2005

There's not a whole lot to show for the last week. I finished glassing most of the control surfaces, but they don't look any different, so there's no real point posting photos. I did decide to make the engine nacelle inlet nozzles rather than buy them, though. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 12 - May 18, 2005

There has been progress, just not very visible progress. The elevators have been attached to the stabilizer, and I finally got around to finishing the AGM-65 Maverick missiles. I think they came out OK. Click on the thumbnail images to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 13 - May 31, 2005

Finally, some progress to report. The empennage has been attached to the fuselage along with the remaining bottom fuselage panel. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 14 - June 11, 2005

The control linkages for the rudders and split elevator have been added. I built the inboard flaps and glued the wing panels together. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 15 - July 10, 2005

Things are moving at a snail's pace right now, but I am making some progress. Both sets of flaps have been built and fiberglassed and the control linkages and servo have been installed. I have begun installing the servos and linkages for the ailerons.

Entry No. 16 - September 3, 2005

There has been very little progress over the last few months. I did sheet the nacelles, though (the nacelle hatches were done a while ago) and finished installing the aileron servos and linkages. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 17 - November 5, 2005

Things have pretty much ground to a halt on my A-10. I can't do too much more until I get the landing gear. After that, I can sheet the wings and do the planking on the top of the fuselage. Meanwhile, I made a fiberglass frame for the canopy.

Entry No. 18 - December 4, 2005

At last, I got the landing gear. Now things can move along again. Prior to the arrival and installation of the landing gear, I started making the wing skins. Now that the gear is installed, I can start sheeting the wing. Click on either thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 19 - December 27, 2005

The wing has been fully sheeted and the drooped wing tips have been carved and sanded to their final shape. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 20 - January 14, 2006

I've been working on odds and ends since the last update. First, I finished the installation of the nose wheel landing gear. More details are behind the image links in the A-10 Gallery, but I made a short video of the push-push steering system I used. Click HERE to see that. I also worked on the cockpit kit and installed it into the fuselage. Finally, I started planking the upper fuselage. Click on any of the thumbnail images to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details. The latest photos are always at the bottom of the gallery page.

Entry No. 21 - January 22, 2006

The upper fuselage planking is complete. I also started work on the weapons pylons. Click on either of the thumbnail images to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 22 - February 3, 2006

This is a special entry. I'm afraid that Hunter Dan's head just wasn't in the fight. Remember him from before? He was the only pilot candidate that met the height requirement. Anyway, construction on the plane had to be put on hold until we could get his head on straight, literally. This sequence is not for the feint of heart. Click through at your own risk!

Entry No. 23 - February 12, 2006

Once I got going, I decided to make all eleven pylons. I was going to skip the ones under the fuselage. I made the section under the wing that brings it flush with the fuselage. This will get permanently glued on later. Then, I started glassing the wing. Click on either thumbnail to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 24 - March 11, 2006

Wow. Another month has gone by. Where does the time go? I completed fiberglassing the wing, top and bottom. The access hatches for the aileron servos and landing gear have been cut out. Meanwhile, I've ordered the wheel well nacelles, engine nacelle exit nozzles and custom short tuned pipes for the K&B 7.5 ducted fan engines. Once the fiberglass parts arrive, I can start the finish work on the fuselage.

Entry No. 25 - March 18, 2006

The fiberglass wheel nacelles arrived. I had to cut out the clearance holes. The pre-tuned pipes for the engines also arrived. The engine nacelle exit nozzles arrived as well, which will allow me to get back to working on the fuselage. That's for another update, though. Click on either thumbnail to go to the gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 26 - March 26, 2006

I put together some pages with some interesting info and to help anyone who is thinking about building the George Miller A-10. Click on the thumbnail to access those pages. Hope they prove useful.

Entry No. 27 - April 2, 2006

I had hoped to be a little further along on the engine nacelles before posting an update, but I can see it's going to be a while before I finish them, so I'll post progress. Basically, the inlet and outlet nozzles have been attached, the nacelle pylons have been covered with thin plywood, and I have started on the fillets. The holdup is waiting for the fillets to thoroughly dry before I can sand them to shape. Click on the thumbnail image to go the A-10 gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 28 - April 15, 2006

I completed the fillits on the engine nacelle pylons and started work on the fuselage fillits above the rear area of the wing. Before doing that, though, I had to fix the gaps between the wing saddle and upper surface of the wing itself. Click on either thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 29 - May 7, 2006

The fillets above the wings are just about complete. The rough spots need to be filled in and sanded smooth. The Turbax 46 ducted fan units arrived as did the Perry fuel pumps. I had a bit of a setback when I learned that you can no longer buy fans for the older K&B .45's, which I have. I have gone back to my original plan of using new OS .46 VX-DF engines. It will be a while before I get those, though. Click either thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 30 - May 28, 2006

Every square inch of the fuselage has been covered with fiberglass cloth and I built the gattling gun. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 31 - June 5, 2006

I've been working mostly on details now. I made a HUD for the cockpit, installed the ejection seat and pilot and mounted the canopy. In addition, I made the Pave Penny laser seeker pod and airflow smoothing strakes. Finally, I mounted the weapons pylons. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 32 - June 18, 2006

I made the tray to hold the retractable landing gear servo and valve and installed it in the fuselage. I have also been testing some ideas for the nose wheel gear doors. Click HERE for a short video of the test. I also sheeted the inside of the engine nacelles aft of the fans. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 33 - July 1, 2006

I did a complete mock-up just for fun and to check the weight--about 17-18 pounds less two motors, radio gear, counterweight and paint. Just about right. I also worked on a few more details. I made the air conditioning inlet/outlet vent on top of the rear fuselage and the APU exhaust vents on the sides of the fuselage. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 34 - July 18, 2006

I have started to paint the A-10. The control surfaces have been given two coats of primer while I have only just started on the wing with one side getting its first coat of primer. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 35 - August 2, 2006

Spray it on and sand it off--that's pretty much the mode I'm in right now. The wing and control surfaces have been given two coats of primer, but much of the weave in the fiberglass was still evident, so I'm sanding down to the cloth and will apply a third coat of primer. Watching this stage of the build is, I'm sure, about as exciting as watching, well, paint dry. I'm making progress, but there's not much to show for it as yet. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 36 - August 12, 2006

Still sanding, and sanding, and sanding. Actually, I finished sanding down the wing and I'm preparing the fuselage for it's first coat of primer. I masked out the area inside the canopy frame and finished a few other odds and ends on the fuselage. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 37 - September 17, 2006

The fuselage has now had two coats of primer, both of which were sanded down between coats, and panel lines have been added with chart tape. The fuselage is now ready for its final coat of primer. The wing has been given it's final coat of primer, but I have to go back and spray over the chart tape that I added for panel lines on the wing. I almost skipped the panel lines, but if the final result looks as good as the preparation, I'll be glad I decided to add them. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 38 - November 6, 2006

Well, it's just about finished. The only thing left to do is mount the engines to the fans and run the fuel lines and throttle linkages. I was hoping to have the engines by now, but it will be a few months before I get them. If weather permits, I might even do the maiden flight this winter. More likely, though, it will be in the early spring. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 39 - December 23, 2006

While waiting patiently for the engines, I started to set up the fuel tank and run the fuel lines. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 Gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 40 - January 28, 2007

I have finally posted some of the documents I either created or found during the course of this project. Included are a spreadsheet detailing wood requirements and documentation on Sidewinder and Maverick missiles. Click on the thumbnail image to go directly to the page of documents.

Entry No. 41 - December 16, 2007

I finally got the engines and associated hardware. I'll be working on the installation over winter and hope for an early spring maiden flight.

Entry No. 42 - April 20, 2008

I recently had the pleasure of hearing from George Miller himself, the designer of the model A-10 I'm building. Click on the thumbnail image to go directly to the "George Miller" page to learn more about this interesting and accomplished individual.

P.S. -- I had hoped to have my own A-10 ready for it's maiden flight by now, but business travel got in the way (the nerve!). Stay tuned...

Entry No. 43 - June 22, 2008

Engine installation is complete, and I have had one attempt at engine run-in. I can sum up this first trial in five words--I have work to do! The fans need better balancing, and I have decided not to use the Perry fuel pumps for now. Click on the thumbnail image to go the A-10 gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 44 - August 12, 2008

After simplifying the engine installation, I had much better luck running the engines. After about 10 minutes of running on each, I did a short taxi run to test acceleration. It looks like I'll have plenty of power. I also added counterweight to the nose to bring the plane in balance. The final weight, dry, is 24.4 pounds. Click on the thumbnail image to go the A-10 gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 45 - September 1, 2008

On Saturday, August 16th, I flew the maiden flight of my A-10. It was a good-news/bad-news kind of thing; the good news was that I finally got to fly my A-10. The bad news was that the landing nearly did her in. In fact, for quite a while afterwards, I really didn't think I could fix it. I let it sit for about a week, then dug into the wreckage. As it turns out, it is quite fixable. None of the hardware was in any way damaged, and the damage to the airframe is not as bad as it looks. It will take some work, but it can be done. Click HERE for a video of the flight. It got off to a squirrely start, then went fairly well until landing. I lost one engine and decided not to go around even though I was not set up well for landing. I did a number of things wrong, not the least of which was not getting more experience with ducted fan engines and flight. I'll be working on those errors before the next flight of my A-10. Click on the thumbnail image to go the A-10 gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 46 - November 26, 2008

After nearly losing my A-10 on its maiden flight, I decided to go back and get some much needed experience with ducted fan flight. I'm building this conversion of the Balsa USA Force One, changing it from a pusher-prop to ducted fan. Click on the thumbnail image for more info on this build.

Entry No. 47 - August 30, 2011

Life events have kept me from my hobby for a few years, but I'm back in full swing and can finally take a serious look at my A-10. I think it's safe to say that repairs have finally started. The wing is in much worse shape than the fuselage, so I decided to start there. If I can't repair the wing, there's no point doing much more. Click on the thumbnail image to go the A-10 gallery for more photos and details. There is one other thing to report. As noted above in Entry No. 46, I started to build a single-engine ducted fan trainer. That plane is done and ready for its maiden flight.

Entry No. 48 - November 27, 2011

Rebuilding continues. I have rebuilt one flap and started work on the main wing internals.

Entry No. 49 - December 23, 2011

The two wing sections have been reattached and reinforced. The flap linkages have been reconnected. I am now putting the wing sheeting puzzle pieces back together. Click on the thumbnail image to go the A-10 gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 50 - January 15, 2012

Just about all repairs to the wing have been done. I'm beginning to work on the surface finish. Click on the thumbnail image to go the A-10 gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 51 - February 18, 2012

Work continues on the surface refinishing of the wing.

Entry No. 52 - September 29, 2012

Repairs to the fuselage are coming along well. It will be ready for a fresh coat of paint soon. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 53 - June 1, 2013

Repairs are finished and the time has come for the post-repair maiden flight. The attempt was cut short due to engine trouble on the ground. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 gallery for more photos and details.

Entry No. 54 - June 21, 2014

Scale R/C Models, the only authorized source of the Georege Miller A-10 Warthog Plans, is no longer in business. I have been given the rights to continue to make these plans available. Click on the thumbnail image to go to the A-10 plans ordering page.







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