A few weeks ago I was messing around at the park with my Tiger Moth, and a friend and his son happened to be there shooting pictures of his Super Cub. I decided it would be a great idea to try to fly through the soccer goal, but misjudged the depth as the plane was flying towards me, and pulled up a little too early. Here are pictures of the results:
So I took my moth to the park a few mornings ago – the wind was pretty steady between 20-25 mph, with gusts up above 35 mph. Throwing all caution to the wind (get it? ha!) I buzzed around the skies for a while to see how the moth handled things… Check out the video to see the results:
Here’s a little gem of a video I shot back in January – just after I cut ailerons in the upper wings of my Tiger Moth. This flight started out great – smooth air, clear day, etc. Then I started playing fast and loose with the sticks, tried to go inverted too close to the ground and the rest is… well… you’ll just have to watch it.
Yesterday was great: My in-laws were in town for a visit, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Jacob brought his mini cub, so we took it and a couple of my planes to the park to play around for a while.
There was a lot of crashing – and one extremely close call.
We had a great time, and shot some video:
I nearly lost my Tiger Moth in the clouds one day last week…
A few weeks ago I first flew my new Tiger Moth 400 with the brushless mod. After getting it trimmed well, it flies pretty well with a few caveats:
- There is still quite a bit of prop torque
- With ailerons on only the lower wing, this plane does not axial roll very fast, and loses a lot of altitude when it does.
To fix the prop torque, I’ve adjusted the motor to point down and to the right – this helped, but did not eliminate the problem. I think I need a lighter-weight prop on it. I’m currently using a 10 x 8 that is very stiff and pretty bulky. I will try a lighter prop – probably one similar to what is used on the Super Cub.
To fix the roll rate, I’ve tried upping the throw on the servos for the ailerons to their max (110%, actually, which is all my radio will do). This helped a bit as well, but the real solution is to cut some ailerons into the upper wings as well. I hope that this will help with the roll rate as well as keeping a more consistent attitude in flight during rolls.
Tonight I finished adding ailerons – here is what I did, step by step:
First, a few shots of the plane before the surgery:
I began by measuring the size of the lower ailerons and marking a similar size with a ball-point pen on the upper wing:
Then I cut it carefully with my razor. I did many light passes rather than try to cut through the whole thing at once. This leaves a very clean and straight cut:
Look, a brand new aileron!
Next I used 80 grit sandpaper to shape the cut edge of the aileron so there would be clearance for it to pivot up and down:
Then I cut slits into the cut edge of the aileron, and inserted my plastic hinges. I just used leftover hinges from when I built the plane:
Once the hinges were glued in place with epoxy, I glued control horns (again, left over from the build of this plane – it came with lots of extra parts) to both the upper and lower ailerons, being careful to try to line them up. Then I cut slits into the upper wing and glued the hinges of the upper ailerons in place.
Here’s a little video of them in action:
Have a helpful hint? Could I have done something better? Leave a comment!
The weather finally cooperated today, and I was able to get out and maiden my new Tiger Moth. While I’ve still got a lot to learn about flying with 4 channels instead of the 3 I was used to on my cub, this plane flies great!
Well, Christmas has come and gone, and I scored a bunch of stuff to feed my RC Planes habit:
- Keychain FOB Form Factor Camera – Perfect for shooting aerial footage
- A Bunch of servos
- Brushless Motor and Speed Control (GH2212-13 Motor)
- Little Flashlights For Night Flight
- El Cheap-O 6 Channel Radio System
So, now I have all the guts that an RC Plane needs, but I had no airframe to stick it all in. So, a few days after Christmas I headed to my local hobby shop and picked up a GWS Tiger Moth 400 model kit:
Why did I pick this particular model? Well, first of all, it was in my price range (aka cheap) and secondly it looked to be enough of a challenge to keep my interest, but also be a heck of a lot of fun to fly. Also, this is my first 4 channel plane, so I wanted to choose something that would be a relatively slow flyer.
Building it took a lot longer than I was expecting, and the instructions have a few errors in them – there are 2 I will point out: It has an incorrect measurement for cutting the guide tubing for the push/pull rods that run from the electronics compartment to the rear of the plane. Secondly, the plane comes with a bunch of different sizes of some of the parts – in particular, the retaining bracket that holds in the landing gear wire is one I fouled up. The instructions said to put in part C10, so I grabbed the first C10 I found and glued it in. Many steps later, the instructions finally get around to putting the landing gear wire into the bracket you glued long ago. Mine didn’t fit. I dug through the parts I had left and found several other brackets, also marked C10, with different sizes to accommodate different landing gears. Watch for this.
Other than some other minor issues with trying to follow the instructions, the build went well. There are 2 modifications I made to this plane right from the start: I did not install the stock wheels, instead choosing some ultra-light foamies that will work better in the field where I fly. Secondly, I did not mess with the supplied motor and gearing for the prop – instead I installed my new brushless motor listed above. This required a bit of creative mounting for the motor, but the results look great and hopefully will fly just as well.
Some pictures of the build process and finished plane:
I’ve checked the center of gravity, and I’ve done some glide tests with it to make sure I won’t have any nasty surprises in the air the first time I fly it. With this brushless power system running off of my SuperCub’s 9.6v NiMh battery pack, this plane will hover perfectly vertical. As soon as I can get some 12v LiPo batteries, I ought to have a nearly unlimited vertical climb. 🙂
I’ve also attached my new video camera to the top of the top wing, and have just been waiting for the weather to cooperate so I can take it out for a maiden flight. The weather man promises that tomorrow looks like the day, so stay tuned for an update soon.