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DH Tiger Moth RAF 912mm (PNF)

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Official Flite Test Build Log & Review



Hobby King - DH Tiger Moth RAF 912mm (PNF)
by: Eric Monroe (shadow74)




The Tiger Moth can be best described as Iconic, it was developed from the very succesful Gipsy Moth and designed by Geoffrey De Havilland in the 1930s to meet Air Ministry specifications for a new preliminary Trainer for the RAF. The most noticable feature that distinguishes the Tiger Moth from similar DH bi-planes is the distinctive swept upper wing, which allowed better access for a pilot while wearing a parachute. The Tiger Moth went on to become a huge success all over the world and was used by several airforces, it wasnt replaced by the RAF until 1952 when the DH Chipmunk entered service, the "Tiggy" is to this day a very popular choice with pilots all over the world and is known to be rewarding to fly.
This Hobbyking Tiger Moth is a high quality, totally in house design & development that is exclusive to us. Made from tough EPO, it is easily the most scale foam Tiger Moth available and is just dripping in molded scale detail. Small enough to transport easily yet large enough to have real presence both on the ground and in the air, it is the perfect size for a foam scale bipe. Being Plug and Fly, the motor, ESC & servos are all pre-installed and a lot of the work is done but it would be fair to say that a little more assembly work is required than many PNF models, which you would expect from a bi-plane.
The flight characteristics of this Tiger Moth are simply outstanding, you will be hard pushed to find any foam model in its class to match it. The excellent 9g servos are perfectly matched to the control surfaces and the low kv motor is perfectly matched to the 10" SF prop, which gives the Tiger Moth lots of prop wash over its control surfaces for better control when flown at scale speed. Throttle up and realistic aerobatics are a synch, you just wont tire of this superb scale model. The Hobbyking "Tiggy" has everything, quality, scale detail, practicality, amazing performance, toughness and superb looks, it is a must have for the hanger of any scale RC pilot & enthusiast.


Specs:
Wingspan: 912mm
Length: 772mm
Wing Area: 24.2g/dm2
Wing Loading: 26g/dm2
Flying Weight: 620g~680g
Servo: 9g x 4
ESC: 20A w/BEC
Motor: 28mm 1000kv
Prop: 10x4.7SF

Includes:
All Hardware
Rigging Wire
Glue
Instructions
(waterslide decals pre-applied)

Requires:
Your Own 4 Channel TX/RX
1300mAh 3s Lipoly Battery

(the previous description/specs are directly from the Hobby King website)




Let's get started:

This is my second build log/review and I must say, it just keeps getting better. I was really excited to build and review the Spad and now I get to continue in this time period with the Tiger Moth.






The build:


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The box as it arrived.










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Hobby King and their manufacturers really do a nice job packing the models carefully for shipping.










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All the parts come neatly packaged in sealed plastic bags to prevent damage during shipping. Thumbs up!










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This is a parts layout of the entire model.









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Installing the horizontal stab/elevator was super easy.....it lined up perfectly. I am very big on test fitting parts before gluing.










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Before installing the vertical fin/rudder, I took a hobby knife and cleaned out the excess foam left after removing the parts from the mold at the factory. Make sure that you DO NOT cut in the wrong place, or you will cut the hinge. Cleaning out the gap allows for smooth rudder movement as well as makes the model nicer to look at.










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Test fit the vertical fin/rudder. Then glue into place.










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Make sure to fit these braces in place to find out the proper placement. they only mount one way, you will find that one side of the brace actually follows the contour of the fuselage. After lining these up, apply glue to install permanently.










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Before installing the stab braces, use a hobby knife to remove the tape from the horizontal stab. The tape is used to keep from contaminating the point where the stab braces are glued to the horizontal stabilizer. If paint was left there, the glue would stick to the paint and not the foam leaving a very weak attachment point. After time the glue would just pull the paint off and you would lose your stab braces. Taking the time to mask these areas shows that the manufacturer really cares about making a quality model.










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Make sure to fit these braces in place to find out the proper placement. they only mount one way, you will find that one side of the brace actually follows the contour of the fuselage. After lining these up, apply glue to install permanently.










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Cutting these out can be kind of tricky, and you only get one shot at it. I used a small very sharp pair of scissors to do a rough cut first, trimming away most of the bulk around the part. then I went back a second time to do the precision trimming. When doing the rough cuts, be careful with the sides of the windshield where the bends are formed into the plastic.....when cutting, it is easy to crack the parts on those bends. Take your time with this step and you will be glad you did.










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The windshields are pre-painted, taking your time when cutting them out will also help to prevent scratching off the paint.










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Now that you have the windshields cut out, it's time to glue them on. I checked them to make sure they fit well, made a small cut or two to ensure a perfect fit and then glued them on. Be sure to use a small amount of glue here or it will run down the side of the fuselage and make a mess.










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To quote Josh Scott, it's time to install the "face". Apply glue on the sides and the bottom of the fuselage and fit the engine cowling in place. DO NOT glue the battery hatch by mistake.










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Snap the battery hatch into place.










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So far this Tiger Moth is going together very nicely!










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Next we are going to install the landing gear and the lower wing. The landing gear had a zip tie on it to hold things together during shipping. Go ahead and remove the zip tie now.









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After removing the zip tie, I noticed that the landing gear cross braces actually moved in and out of the center section like pistons. Admittedly I was pretty impressed by this. That is really going the distance in my humble opinion.










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The screws used for holding the landing gear in place also secure the lower wing.







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Before installing the landing gear and lower wing, go ahead and connect the included Y-harness to the two aileron servo leads. Depending on how tight they fit, I sometimes wrap a small piece of electrical tape around the connections to make certain that they don't come loose inside the aircraft.









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I noticed that the landing gear stud plates were loose. I applied some glue to keep them from floating around when fastening the gear/lower wing.









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Use a phillips screwdriver to screw the landing gear and lower wing to the fuselage. Make sure to hold the lower wing firmly to the wing seat when tightening the screws, so that there is no gap between the wing and the fuselage.










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There is a right and a left landing gear brace to provide support to the main gear.










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When gluing the landing gear braces in place, make sure not to use too much glue or it will run out. I applied glue to the gear side first, then lined it up with the fuselage and let it dry. After gluing both braces to the gear, I went back and applied the glue to the fuselage side of the braces and glued them in place.









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Use a hobby knife to remove the masking tape from the top wing in order to prepare for installing the cabane struts and wings struts.










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Test fit the cabane struts, then glue them into place. I tend to use glue rather liberally when installing struts, due to their structural importance.










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The outer wing struts are directional, following the contour of the wing. Pay close attention when installing these.









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I purposefully test fit one of these backwards in order to show how the angle of this strut is backwards. (The strut with the pitot tubes faces toward the leading edge on what would be the pilot's right hand side.) Once you have these properly placed, go ahead and glue them in.










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Make sure to remove the battery hatch when gluing the cabane struts to the fuselage to prevent it from getting glued in place.










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Use the wing strut locking plates to keep the wing struts from pulling back out of their attachment points. Make sure that the beveled edges face outward.










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After putting the locking plates in place, I used a small pair of needle-nose pliers to push them on tight.










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The Tiger Moth comes with nice rubber tires. Slide them onto the landing gear and use the included e-clips to keep them from sliding back off.








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There are only two e-clips and they are VERY small. Use caution not to lose them. If you do, you can use a small wheel collar, or even a piece of fuel tubing to keep the wheel from coming off.










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Installing the aileron control arms and control horns comes next.










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Use a hobby knife to clean out the aileron lines the same as we did earlier on the rudder. Glue the aileron control horns in place, then install the control arms. The control arms fit without enlarging the hole in the servo wheel.










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Here is a close-up of the tail control hardware. Notice that the rudder has a smaller control horn.










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Glue the elevator and rudder control horns in place as pictured. I used a small drill bit to enlarge the holes in the elevator control horns slightly to accept the clevis easily.










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To install the prop and spinner, first run the rear nut in until you have sufficient clearance between the engine cowl and the trailing edge of the prop. (medium thread lock can be used in order to help hold the rear nut in place.)










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After balancing the prop, place it on the motor shaft. Next slide a washer in place then run the next prop nut in and tighten it up. the last nut is for the spinner to attach to. (see pic above) The spinner is simply pressed onto the outermost prop nut.










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Press the spinner firmly into place.










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The Tiger Moth even comes with wire to make fully functional flying wires. I chose to leave these off for the maiden flight.










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All finished and ready for radios!






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This is really a beautiful airplane!









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Josh Bixler took it up for a flight and I chased him around with my Angry Bird Quad-copter to gather some aerial shots.






My 2 cents:


The first thing that I noticed on take-off was how gentle this airplane flies. It flies a lot slower than the Spad, but has quite a bit more control response. As with any tail dragger a little right rudder is needed to keep it tracking straight on take-off. The motor has plenty of power and made climbing to altitude easy. I flew a few circles, did a few low buzzes over the field and then tried some entry level maneuvers. I did a hammerhead stall turn, a loop, and a roll. The Tiger Moth does all of these with ease. (Now that I have flown it, I would recommend putting the flying wires on the aircraft. During some of the light maneuvers I did notice a slight amount of flex in the wings.) This airplane is capable of nice slow flight, however it did have a tendency to tip stall into a spin if flown too slowly. After a few more easy laps around the field I lined up for a final approach on the driveway and it just floated right in. I always tend to carry a bit of power and a bit of altitude on final approach, until I know for certain that I have a good landing in the works. My full-scale flight instructor always insisted on this. He would say that the most worthless thing to a pilot when flying, is gas left in the can and altitude above you. I guess it stuck with me. (Better to have some altitude and be able to try again....remember there is no shame in a go around.) After the Tiger Moth touched down, just like the Spad it tracked very well considering there is only a fixed tail skid.
I would definitely recommend this airplane. It is great for an intermediate skilled pilot or above. Hobby King has yet another winner in this bird!



Cheers!

Eric Monroe (shadow74)



If you make the Tiger Moth part of your fleet, we would love to hear about it! Post your experiences, pics and vids to the forum.


 
#4
Hi Eric,

I am looking at buying this beautiful Tigermoth as well here in Aus - just some quick questions:

- how did you find fitting a battery in that compartment? I am looking at a Turnigy 1300 nano-tech, 70x34x22mm

- Just where is the CG on this plane? worst thing would be to crash it on the maiden because of poor balance... and I can't find details of it online, except for a similar model from HK (says 80mm from leading edge of top wing), need to make sure!

- Finally, is there any video of you guys flying this plane? The photos are great =) Perhaps it'd make a great episode for Flite Test! =D