Ziroli Bearcat

This page will be devoted to modifications on a ziroli bearcat. The bearcat  will be modified for some friendly R/C fly-in racing.  I purchased this bearcat on the internet in the condition you see it here. It is fully built and painted in the 1980s Rare Bear racing scheme.  I seem to have a bme102 on my hands that is looking for a home, so follow along as I put together a slightly overpowered bearcat racer.
My trusty lab technician, Maverick, ready to assist in some R/C surgery.
This plane is all built up and is very light and strong.
Planned  specifications
Engine  BME102
Retracts Robart 145-5
Radio   Futaba
planned prop  Menz 24/12 or 24/12 3 blade.
The original motor box was removed by the previous owner so I have a bare firewall to start with. I purchased aluminum angle at home depot and used it to reinforce the motor box attachement.
Motor box built and attached to firewall. I also epoxied in triangle stock in all the corners for added insurance, plus the new firewall is screwed into the motorbox sides. Top is left open for access and ingition box placement.
Bme 102 mounted on motor box. There is very little room for right thrust and the spark plugs will have to be gound down slightly to facilitate all the right thrust possible.
Another shot of the mounted engine. There is enough room to even fit the stock mufflers.
It fits, but barely. I will have to build a baffle to direct cooling air to the cylinders.
The plug cap clears the cowl sides by 1/8 inch.
The spinner from my radiocraft extra is already painted white and fits just right
Still lots of area for cooling air to enter the cowl.
I decided to re-paint the entire bearcat in PPG paints. Here is the fuse in bare white after stripping and re-primering.
Fuselage with striping tape applied for the purple racing stripe. Below the fuse is the documentation from Bob Banka for the bearcat in 1985 reno air racing colors
I removed the stock canopy and cut it down in size to better match the racing canopy that the real Rare Bear has. Also, you can see the light purple shadow numbers for the tail racing number. These were done with and airbrush and home mixed paints.
Painted lettering to match the scale documentation. The gold was airbrushed with testors model masters gold and the purple outline was done by hand with a fine tip brush.
Here is the fuselage with modified canopy installed, graphics painted on and ready for clear coat. Purple is a custom mixed PPG metallic.
Plywood baffle plate to promote cooling for the BME102
The bear should be capable of "Jet "like speeds, so why not use a "Jet " pilot?
Tail racing numbers done in same custom mixed PPG metallic purple as the main stripe.
The flag looks backwards, but the stars should always face forwards on aircraft.
New bearcat wing under construction. The original was set up for likes line retracts and didnt have flaps, so I figured it would be easier to build another. A call to Ziroli secured the plans plus Precision kit cutters supplied the lazer cut wood wing kit.
The wing was framed up in 2 evenings worth or work. Here the bottom sheeting has been applied and the wing mount blocks are being epoxied in.
Now that the bottom sheeting is done, work can begin on installing the flap and aileron servos which will be fully concealed.
New wing fully sheeted with both flaps built and hinged. Center section is fiberglassed with 2 oz cloth for strength.
Front mounting blocks installed and balsa oil coolers faired into the leading edge of the wing.
The ailerons were made scale to match the real bearcat. Balsa leading edge was added and carved to a rounded shape. Robart hinges are recessed into the leading edge of the aileron.  Here it is pulled out slightly to show the hinge location.
1/16th light plywood was used for the hinge line cover on the ailerons. The plywood is glued to the top and bottom skins with the grain of the ply running chordwise for strength.
Still lacking belly pan installation and final sanding before fiberglassing.
Belly pan under construction
Belly pan finished and sanded to match the fuselage.
Landing gear installed and a wheel well fashioned out of 3/32 balsa and strengthened with some glass cloth on the bottom.
Left flap and both ailerons getting glassed.
Here she is sitting on her new gear for the first time. Now its time to do some fiberglassing.
Another view.
Click here to go to bearcat page 2
Click here to go back to the home page