NOTE:  DUE TO MEDICAL TESTING,  KIT PRODUCTION HAS BEEN STOPPED UNTIL THE TEST PHASE IS DONE

 

RETRO FIT COWL FOR TOP FLITE GS MUSTANGS

The Top Flite GS 1/5 scale Mustang overall captures the essence of the Mustang better than most of the sport scale Mustangs in my opinion.  However the OEM cowl isn't nearly up to the rest of the kit's appearance.  So any effort to do a detailed and realistic TF GS Mustang should start with with a cowl having the best possible shape and appearance. 

The areas that could use improvement were:

* Take the prominent "drooped hook" out of the upper cowl profile
* Improve the air intake shape to make it more scale-like
* Add the Mustang's subtle upper cowl bulges behind the spinner
* Use a spinner as close to the scale diameter as practical
* Blend the cowl into the spinner's contours
* Make the cowl look like part of the fuselage - not just slipped over the front

The design objectives were:

* Minimize any changes to the fuselage or firewall structure
* Keep the cowl weight gain as low as possible

 

Here's the result!

This is the first cowl kit installed by Gordon McLean who helped with the final kit details.  Underneath the cowl the fuselage has not been altered and the original side and down thrust are retained.  Note that the cowl profile along the top now blends smoothly into the spinner.  The spinner has been increased to 5-1/2" diameter and the thrust line has been raised 1/4" to improve the top fuselage profile. Raising the thrust line thus eliminates the "hook nose" appearance other cowls have.    It also allows Gordon's DLE-55RA engine to be fully enclosed inside the cowl.  These changes - along with the scale 'bulges' to cover the valve covers, the air filter covers and the realistic exhaust system - make the nose of the Top Flite Mustang look much more like the full scale Mustang.     

 

              

Right click to enlarge the following pictures - use the back button to return

The first two pictures are of Gordon's Mustang.  The last picture is a pre production cowl that was used to verify fit and to determine the optimum glass thickness.  The flush fitting engine hatch comes fully formed with a matching flange formed in the cowl (see below) and includes a recess for the air filter covers.  These covers are included with the kit along with an exhaust kit and miscellaneous parts including 4-40 self locking flat head screws and T-nuts with pads for attaching the engine hatch.   The cowl extends past the leading edge of the wing on top to properly blend the cowl contours into the top of the fuselage and to the front of the wing saddle as well to fill out the lower contours of the cowl.  

              

The kit is very complete.  There's lots more room inside the cowl due to the larger spinner and raised thrust line.
The 2.1 Moki here is mounted on a mock up motor mount.  The cowl and hatch weigh about 13 oz before making any cut outs.

The cowl modifies the contours of the fuselage nose without changing it,  from the windshield forward to get the most realistic shape and outline possible.  Permanently attached to the fuselage, installing it requires a completely different technique than attaching the  cowl that comes with the kit to the firewall.  The installation is fully detailed step-by-step in the 24+ page illustrated manual.  For this reason the cowl is recommended for builds where other modifications are planned on fuselages that will be glassed.

 

As you can see this cowl maximizes the scale appearance of the Top Flite ARF/RTC GS Mustang kits as no short cowl can
(adaptability to the builder's kit has yet to be determined).   

The availability and cost of the cowl kits will be announced when kits are ready to ship. 

 

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