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84" Gee Bee Y

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  • 84" Gee Bee Y

    I was lucky enough to acquire this model last month and have been working on it since- manufactured in maybe 2008 by Green Models and sold by Hobby Lobby the airplane was assembled but never flown. It had a gas engine installed at some point but was sold to me without which suited me fine as I prefer electrons for fuel anyway. There isn't a whole lot of information out there regarding this model but it flies well from all accounts and I have a CG so what more could one want?
    The first order of business was to cut in a hatch for battery access- a later version had a hatch from the get go with a considerably larger opening than I created. An E-Flite Power 160 motor was installed using an X-mount from smallpartscnc.com and runs on 10S (5000mah) through a 120 Amp HV ESC. I lugged the fuselage outside the other day for a quick wattmeter test- 80 Amps, 2900 watts with an APC 20x10 prop so lots of power, if a bit over propped. I may go to a 20x8 or just reduce throttle travel a bit as the motor is rated at 70 A max.
    I reinforced the gear with bracing to the rear as the full-size aircraft had and also added same to the tail planes (which are purely cosmetic). The dummy radial is a 1/4 scale vac-formed kit from parkflyrplastics.com, strengthened with balsa to hopefully prevent the prop blast from blowing it apart. The pilot figure came with the model and I thought he looked pretty good for the period so promptly cut his head off and installed a servo in his chest- his head now swivels with the rudder. A scarf hides the joint and belts and some paint completed the little guy.
    I made and used a "Vanessa rig" to do an initial balance check and as I've not used this method before was an interesting experience and certainly the way to go with a model this size. I was pleased to find that with the flight batteries against the firewall (as I'd hoped) and the radio system 2200 LiFe battery amidships balance is achieved without additional weight. Sweet! I also used the rig, with a fish scale, to weigh the model and it's a bit over 15 lbs., which seems about right.
    Anyway, I'm really looking forward to flying this thing come spring- I've always loved "Golden Age" airplanes in general and Bee Gees in particular. Happy New Year to all!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    The Gee Bee Y is the best flying of the Gee Bee designs. Lots of wing.

    Looks great!


    • #3
      Originally posted by Twowingtj View Post
      The Gee Bee Y is the best flying of the Gee Bee designs. Lots of wing. Looks great!
      Pogo, agreed looking very good. Twowingtj, I am showing my age here, but do you remember the Coverite Kit of the GeeBee Model "D"? Not the same cool factor as the racing GeeBees, but close. I built one and installed an OS .61 FSR ABC. What an idiot I was as the model would have flown great with an OS .46 or EQ. It had a very thin airfoil section, but it flew well, but not great. Happy New Year, guys. Best, Steve
      Captain: Got any ideas?
      F/O: Actually not.
      — Captain Chesley B 'Sully' Sullenberger III and F/O Jeff Skiles—


      • #4
        Thank you guys. The model is in amazing condition considering it's age (the covering etc.) I feel fortunate to have it- hopefully the glue joints don't disintegrate when it takes to the air!
        Steve, I just looked up the "D" version you had and it sure looks like the Y except for the cowl as it had an inline, rather than radial, engine.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Finished one of the last little projects this morning. For a belly pan this model used a piece of plastic sheet that was screwed on after fitting the wing- I didn't get this with the model and wouldn't have used it anyway (to avoid extra assembly at the field). I made one from 1/32" ply, permanently attached to the wing.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Elbee I do remember the Coverite GeeBee D. Came close to getting one several times. Always had to default to the round cowl though.

            Pogo That's a good mod on the belly pan. More durable than stock. Your power choice should fly it really well.

            Happy New Year guys!