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  1. #1

    Thunder Tiger Trainer – Repair, Refurbish and Conversion to Electric Power

    I purchased on craigslist this Thunder Tiger Trainer N40TT which included a FM transmitter and a small box of miscellaneous parts. The plane is really old, dusty and rusty. It needs repair to the wing covering and a major repair to the horizontal stabilizer. I wanted the experience of refurbishing a balsa plane and the price was right so I decided to take on the challenge.

    Here are photos from the craigslist ad.

    Overall view.
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    View of damaged horizontal stabilizer.
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    Last edited by CheapSunglasses; 04-20-2017 at 07:37 PM.

  2. #2
    A thousand pints of lite. Joker 53150's Avatar
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    Looks like a good starting platform. How is the rest of the structure?
    Joker

    Balsa dust is a wonderful thing, make some today!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Joker 53150 View Post
    Looks like a good starting platform. How is the rest of the structure?
    The wing and fuselage are good. I'm just worried about the tail feathers. The vertical stabilizer also has a crack along the leading edge.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    A thousand pints of lite. Joker 53150's Avatar
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    Is that vertical stab fully sheeted, or is that covering? If it's sheeted you may be able to get by squeezing a little glue in there. The safe money says to tear into it and make sure it's secure, otherwise your flight may be a little short!
    Joker

    Balsa dust is a wonderful thing, make some today!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Joker 53150 View Post
    Is that vertical stab fully sheeted, or is that covering? If it's sheeted you may be able to get by squeezing a little glue in there. The safe money says to tear into it and make sure it's secure, otherwise your flight may be a little short!
    It appears to be a solid piece of balsa. Right now I'm planning to glue and/or place a piece of heavy duty packing tape along the leading edge.

  6. #6
    I removed the nitro engine, throttle servo, fuel tank, FM receiver and switch, landing gear and control rods. After removing the old hardware, I thoroughly cleaned the plane. I used Simple Green cleaner with a micro fiber cloth to remove the dirt, dust and grime. I blew out the interior of the fuselage with canned air. I put the remainder of the plane (airframe with three servos) on a scale and it weighed 2lbs 1 oz.

    Fuselage interior before.
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    Fuselage interior after.
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  7. #7
    I don't like to keep stuff that I'll never use and I also don't like to throw stuff away that someone else could use. So I placed two ads on eBay. One for the engine parts and one for the transmitter parts. Bidding starts at $5 for each. I'll find out if one man's junk is another man's treasure...

    Engine parts main photo on eBay.
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    Transmitter parts main photo on eBay.
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  8. #8
    A thousand pints of lite. Joker 53150's Avatar
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    Good luck with your sale. I did something similar with a plane I bought at a swap meet - I wanted the plane, but not the nitro engine that was in it, so I asked the internet if it was worth anything. The engine was un-used and had no muffler, and to me it was a paperweight. Turns out it was a desirable brand/size/vintage and sold for more than I paid for the entire plane!
    Joker

    Balsa dust is a wonderful thing, make some today!

  9. #9
    I tested the throttle servo that I removed from the plane and it did not work, so I decided to do some internet research on Airtronics servos. I found out that the Airtronics servos on this plane have the older type connectors and that their wiring configuration is different than “standard” modern day servos. I switched the wires at the connectors by pushing on the tabs with a T-pin. Once I changed the servos to the “standard” wiring configuration they all worked fine. Now that the servos are working, I plan on using them instead of replacing with new ones. I’ll keep the throttle servo as a spare.

  10. #10
    A thousand pints of lite. Joker 53150's Avatar
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    Good catch, I ran into the same issue with a 1/4 scale Cub I rebuilt last year.
    Joker

    Balsa dust is a wonderful thing, make some today!

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