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Old May 17, 2015, 04:07 AM
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Build Log
PeterF's Falcon Models 1/4 scale Tiger Moth

1 Introduction

I have been planning on a scale Tiger Moth for some time and had my eyes on the Falcon Models kit, waiting to buy it when ,my bench was empty. Then Falcon Models shut down for a while just as I was ready to buy so I bought a Duncan Hutson kit from Traplet. As soon as Falcon Models started trading again, I bought a kit from Falcon Models and sold on the unstarted Traplet kit. The Falcon Kit really is an excellent kit, much closer to scale than many of the other scale kits. Things like the wing aerofoil are very close to scale, which does complicate things as there is less depth to install standard servos like for example the Flair kit. There are also some nice features, such as the cabane struts, which are proper small scale versions of the full ones using spruce with steel ends rather than piano wire with balsa covering. In some respects this means there is less for the builder to make, and I'll make no bones about it, this does make it an expensive kit.


2 Kit contents

The photos show some of the kit contents. All of the balsa and ply is CNC routed rather than laser cut giving very clean gluing surfaces and no instances of burn back on the thicker components. There are a large number of epoxy glass sheet components such as mounting plates, control arms and drilling jigs. There is a sheet of laser cut steel components which are items such as cabane strut fittings, wing mounts, interplane and flying wire brackets etc. There is a glass fibre cowl made in 5 sections with the side doors being free to open in a scale like manner and along with this is a glass fibre fuel tank and ABS moulded seats. There is a substantial hardware set to go with the kit including nearly all the nuts and bolts required and a scale sprung undercarriage and tailskid set, with the silver soldering completed, just requiring assembly. Finally, the flying wires are supplied from the Swiss company that draws them from stainless steel with proper threaded (left and right) ends and scale clevises. Details can be found at Falcon Models Tiger Moth.

I thought I would add this build log as there are many references to the other kits on RC Groups but not to this one. The build is underway so some of the early posts will be catching up, I always photograph my builds so I have a record on the plane if I need to do any repairs in the future.
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Old May 17, 2015, 04:09 AM
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3 Fuselage side frames

The first stage of the build is to make up the fuselage side frames as a hopefully matched pair. The front of the longerons are a pair of nicely machined ply components with slots cut in for the balsa framework and formers along with all the mounting holes for the strut fixings and undercarriage fixings. These are glued to the rest of the longerons. Before starting the build I bought a Proxxon FET saw, I wish I had bought one a long time ago, doing simple jobs like scarf joints becomes a real doddle. The front frame is then built up, followed by the rear. Two of the front formers are then glued in, the firewall and the rear of the cockpit and quite quickly a sense of the scale of the plane becomes apparent. Some of the metal fittings are also attached at this stage. The rest of the formers in the cockpit area are then added, trying hard to keep everything square and in it proper place. The control box / tunnel assembly is also started at this point in time, but it is not yet glued into the cockpit at this stage, it is slotted in so that some of the component parts are held square whilst the glue dries.
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Old May 17, 2015, 04:11 AM
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4 Fuselage in cockpit area

The engine bearer frames are now added, supporting the beech engine bearers a man can never have enough clamps. The rest of the engine framing is added which are used to support the cowl and the epoxy glass engine bearer plate, predrilled and sized for a Laser 15 are also added. The control box / tunnel build continues with the rudder control arm being inserted and sheeting being applied to some of the tunnel top. Cutouts are made in the tunnel sheeting for the joysticks. Servos (Hitec HS-5625MG) are installed per the plan in the tunnel for the rudder and elevator operation. The elevator control arm is assembled and glued to the rear cockpit former.
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Old May 18, 2015, 07:03 AM
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Loving it! This one's on my 'must build bucket list', so I'm eager to see how it turns out.
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Old May 18, 2015, 12:39 PM
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5 Aileron control

I have always thought that the aileron controls using wing servos was a bit of a get out on this model. There is a lot of effort to get the elevator and rudder controls very scale like, but then the ailerons miss out on the scale actuation. Scale actuation is harder than in the Flair or Duncan Hutson Tiger Moths because the wings on those are thicker than scale and a low profile servo can be installed with a disc flush with the wings lower surface. This is not possible with the wings on the Falcon Models kit which are to scale and hence much thinner. The solution on the Falcon Models kit is to use thin wing glider servos with the horn protruding below the wing, clearly not a scale representation.

I then saw the Falcon Models build by Ron Thornhill in the UK and he had changed to a single central servo and pull pull arms in the wings, see http://www.modelflying.co.uk/albums/...um.asp?a=34930 I also found the Dennis Bryant plans for a 1/5 scale Tiger Moth and a build log for one. These plans have scale actuation in the wings using a single central servo actuating a large gear, with a smaller gear on the disc to make sure you get the full +/-90 rotation, see http://www.rcmf.co.uk/4um/index.php?topic=89292.200. Clever. . Those gave me the inspiration to go down a similar route.

I am nowhere near doing my wings yet, so the wing end of the arrangement will be sorted out when I get to it. I have however, got the control box end done. I could have fitted a servo into the centre of the control box with a long arm penetrating the floor of the fuselage, but decided I did not want the pull pull system direct on the servo arm. Therefore, I have taken inspiration from the rest of the model and built a pair of plates into the control box to take a new control arm, cut from some spare epoxy glass and drive this from the single aileron servo. The control arm is close to the full size one. This has meant cutting an extra hole into the control box to take the new servo as well as slots for the control arm support plates and a hole for the rod between servo and control arm. The photos show the new components, the control arm fitted and the servo fitted and hooked up temporarily with only a 2mm bolt at the moment. The free end of the servo will have a second mounting block glued onto the inside of the side frame. The aileron servo, like the other two will be hidden under the seat and pilots body and legs.
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Old May 18, 2015, 12:41 PM
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6 Control tunnel and servos

A small update, the control tunnel is now glued into the fuselage framework and the servo mechanisms connected up. The third photo should show the aileron hook up in situ with the closer to scale like appearance than the plan, the new epoxy glass horn resembling (roughly) the actual aileron control arm in the scale location.

The one thing I thought about when setting up the servo controls was what position on the horn was required. Therefore, I took the throws on the plan for the 3 control surfaces, then using the control surface chords I back calculated how much throw was required at the epoxy glass control arms and hence the servo horn locations. I am hoping that when I finish the build I will not have to adjust anything in here.
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Old May 21, 2015, 12:52 PM
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Looks great Peter - I'll definitely be following this thread
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Old May 30, 2015, 04:56 PM
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7 Cockpit floor and rear fuselage frame

With the control tunnel in place along with all servos I sheeted the cockpit floor, needing to make a cut out for the aileron control arm. Attention was then placed on the rear framework of the fuselage installing the formers to bring the side frames in. Before pulling in the side frames I made small cuts half way through the spruce longerons right behind the cockpit with the razor saw. This is to give a sharper bend than just pulling the longerons in, the slits were filled with epoxy before bending. The bottom cross braces were then installed, the lengths of balsa individually measured and cut based on the width at the top of the side frames.

The rear of the side frames is bought in at a tighter angle between the last former and the rear of the side frames as seen in the final 3 photos. There is a horizontal former, F10. As with the earlier bend in the longerons I cut half way through them with the razor saw to give a good bend and then packed the cuts with epoxy before pulling in. The side elevation plan has a different dimension in this area to the plan view and I know some other build logs have noted the hole in F10 being in the wrong place after the build. I chose to go with the side elevation and used the lower tail plane rib to set where the hole should be. This meant I had to cut 3mm off F10 to get the hole in the correct place. In retrospect I may have been better off leaving F10 its full length and moving the hole forward by 3mm by filling it with some dowel and re-drilling it. Anyways, it is all glued in now and will work regardless of the solution adopted.

A lot of care was taken during these parts of the build to make sure that the side frames remained vertical to the cockpit and on the centre line of the cockpit to make sure the plane built true, well worth the extra effort in the long run. I will also add some triangular balsa pieces at the bends where I cut through the longerons.
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Old May 30, 2015, 05:01 PM
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8 Sheeting the fuselage

The first thing after finishing the rear fuselage frame was to make up the aileron return arm that goes below the cockpit, I have pretty much made up my mind that I will also have the return wires as well as those connected to the aileron control arm.

The next stage is to sheet the turtle deck and other upper sections of the fuselage. The rear sheet is a little larger than required to allow for vagaries in the build, this needed a little trimming before attaching. It was then glued down along one edge and then when set pulled over with lots of masking tape and glued onto the formers and the second edge.

Before starting the front sheeting, the instructions remind you to attach the clevises for the cabane flying wires, remember this or you are in for some fiddly work afterwards. I would also recommend that the throttle servo is also installed before the sheeting, I found this out as the throttle servo was left until after the sheeting. Oops, now I have some tight work in the next installment as this is positioned below the front sheeting. Some small framing pieces are then added inside the sheeting around the cockpit doors and this reveals that the fit of the sheeting is not perfect, other build logs have also shown the need to add some small filler pieces and trim other bits back to get the doors to fit.
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