The F-18 is my favourite modern jet! In 2011, I bought the just released Freewing F-18 Super Hornet – version 1. A few years later it experienced a sudden death. I knew Dan Black had a F-18 version 2 , so I bought it. This plane now has 124 flights and really looks beat up. Peter Foto had a Freewing F-18 version 3 Super Hornet and since he had purchased the just released Freewing F-18 C, I asked about buying his old F-18. He said yes.
Incidentally, Peter won a cash award from Motion R/C for his incredible paint job on his new Hornet in the RCAF 150th anniversary colour scheme.
In January, 2020, I picked up Peter’s Super Hornet and began looking for other national colour schemes. Knowing Chris Klepsch would be a good resource person, I gave him a call. After a long chat, he started sending me pictures. We decided my F-18 should represent the Israeli Air Force “Hammer Squadron” with an Eagles head on the fins. I sent Chris’ picture to Callie Graphics with some minor personal changes.
And so I began.
All surfaces needed some filling, sanding and reshaping. I used carbon fiber ribbon to reinforce weak and cracked areas. Finally I rebuilt the landing gear boxes and cut out rudders in the fins – then off to Home Depot to purchase small containers of paint to replicate the Israeli Hammer Squadron paint scheme. Construction and painting took approximately 10 weeks.
In June, Eric Klepsch helped set up the programming for the model and recommended other “need do” items. On July 10th my Israeli jet got Erics’ final inspection and fine tuning before his two maiden flights. He suggested then installed a gyro to eliminate some wing wobble, then made one more flight. NOW IT WAS MY TURN!!!!
Rebuilding this model during our Covid lock-down was very good therapy for me.
Cheers, Ted Pritlove
P.S. Thanks to Peter Krautter for the photos and for posting this article.