George Whenham’s Dauntless


The Douglas SBD Dauntless was built from a Gerry Bates plan.  He produces 100” and 85” versions and I chose the smaller version for ease of transport. For this model I bought a laser cut kit of parts from Unitract International.  I also bought the retractable undercarriage from the same company assuming it would fit perfectly into the wing – wrong.  In a few cases I had to make new formers/wing ribs because some of the laser cut parts were out of alignment.   Also, the dive brakes/flaps supplied were made of thin ply which warped easily so I remade them from fibreglass sheet.  Drilling the holes was a painstaking operation.  The model was covered in glass cloth and painted with Warbirds paint.  Decals were produced by making masking film stencils as with the Pitts Special. I fitted two Spektrum 9-channel receivers, one in the fuselage and one in the wing, so eliminating any servo connectors between wing and fuselage and making assembly easier (there are 8 servos in the wing).  The power plant is a Zenoah G45 petrol engine.  The bomb contains the hydraulic retracts air reservoir bottle.