GWS Tiger Moth 400 : TM400 - RC Groups
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May 12, 2009, 01:36 PM
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GWS Tiger Moth 400 : TM400


I bought a white "NPS" TM400 from an RCG member and finally got around to painting it and putting it together. Wanting a military-looking scheme that was still "high visibility", I chose to paint it with British WWII "invasion stripes" - borrowing the paint scheme from a Fairey Swordfish. I decided to power it with a rewound Esskay 400XT, 9 turns of 22AWG on a 3S 1250mah Rhino Li-po turning a GWS 9050HD prop. This setup really moves the plane along, but I think I need to tweak the thrust angle a little as it tends to yaw left with power. I fab'd my own firewall mount, as I don't have a stick-mount that fits the 400XT... so I just need to add a washer behind one of the X-mounts.

Anyway - she flies pretty good at 22oz AUW (18oz w/o battery). I think my maiden flight she was a tad tail-heavy - so I built a battery tray that lets me slide my battery all the way to the face of my motor. Now she balances just in front of the back cabane strut on the top wing.

I have some GWS floats that I'll put on her too... I have a duck pond behind my office building.

EDIT --- 5/5/09 --- I've got well over a dozen flights on the plane and recently had to replace the ESC. I'm using a rewound 400XT and it can really pull some amps now. I've tried a prop as big as a GWS 9070SF and the motor and battery stayed cool with 1/2 throttle cruising. But the 18A ESC was a bit over-worked and gave up the ghost when I really ran the plane through her courses: I was in a steep climb using a GWS 8060SF prop -- about 3/4 throttle and going almost straight up -- I know I was reaching the prop limit because it started to make the tell-tale "bbbrrrraaaaapppppp" sound -- when she sputtered and died. I had plenty of altitude to glide the plane in, but the Moth was grounded for the day. I have since replaced it with a Super Simple 20A ESC.... hopefully it does the trick.

Also, just today I added a set of GWS floats --- I hope to put her on the lake this weekend. We'll see if the little 400XT has the "oomph" to get her off the water. If not, then I'll upgrade the motor to a spare BP2410-08 and 10x6 APC prop.
Last edited by warhead_71; Jun 14, 2009 at 08:58 PM.
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May 29, 2009, 02:08 AM
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Nice Paint Job
May 29, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Thanks. She flies great too with a Rhino 1250mah 3S Lipo. I had to cut through the firewall and build a battery tray that let's me slide the battery all the way forward into the cowl of the plane to get her to balance properly... CG is about 1/8" in front of the rear cabane struts, where they attach to the top wing. I have more pics here.
Jun 06, 2009, 02:15 AM
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any video?
Jun 06, 2009, 11:34 AM
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I hope to put her on water tomorrow... if the weather holds out. I'll be flying with another RCG member, so I'll try to get him to shoot video for the ROW.
Jun 07, 2009, 03:39 PM
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Video added. RCG member "Ashdec" and I went down to Montrose Beach in Chicago and flew off of Lake Michigan. He flew his Polaris seaplane and I flew 3 different planes: Drake II, BluBaby, and the Tiger Moth. We both had problems early on: Ashdec's motor came loose (the screws that hold the X-mount to the motor pulled out -- screws were too short), then I had the ESC cutting power on my Drake... I think maybe the ESC is wore-out -- it was getting pretty hot with only half throttle. But the Blu-Baby flew fantastic off the beach, and the TM did great with the floats.

Not very good quality -- sorry.
Last edited by warhead_71; Jun 07, 2009 at 03:52 PM.
Jun 08, 2009, 08:24 AM
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Very pretty - I can not imagine flying anything that pretty. It still makes me nervous to fly my Parkzone Citabria, and plan to make my second plane (a blubaby) really ugly in hopes that it will help keep it in the air? If I get that done I will head off to Horner - if you see a bad ad for Dow in the air stop by.

Your vid may not have been high qual, but it did an excellent job picking up the razzing of the kids at the beach .
Jun 08, 2009, 09:26 AM
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Yes, I have the bad habit of adding a lot of detail to my park-scale models. I should be content that they fly and not spend so much time "modeling"... but with the bad flying weather we've had this year I just couldn't let the plane sit on a shelf and wait for blue skies... so I kept tinkering with it. It does look good in the air though.

Those pesky kids kept jumping in "my puddle", so I landed short the one time out of fear of hitting one of them. Though it would have served them right for chanting "crash, crash, crash".

Ashdec and I had a great time flying at the lake and we plan to fly again somewhere in the city... maybe Botanical Gardens since they have a nice big pond. Since you are in the city too, you are welcome to join us next time... PM m with your contact info and we'll try to coordinate something. I also fly at Winnemac Park all the time (Foster and Damen), but with baseball season in full swing, the park is often too crowded this time of year... so I need a backup airfield.

P.S. I have a big BluBaby that you are welcome to fly... I train a 13-year-old with it... it's very "tame". It's in my blog... I call it the "NightOwl" because I also fly it at night with LED lights.
Jun 08, 2009, 09:36 AM
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I would love to see you guys fly, and do let me know when you do. That said, this summer I kind of have an anti-schedule. I am off for the summer (no classes even offered, and first semester down I am not going to get any of the internships that in this economy are going to the grads), and my wife is doing all sorts of continuing ed that ends up on weekends, so for me it is easier to get out during the week and harder on weekends. That said, if you let me know I will try to stop by. I will pm you my contact info.

As to the blubaby, I would love to see it, let alone fly it.

and thanks!
Jun 08, 2009, 10:55 AM
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If you want to get on water "cheap", I have to sing the praises of the TM400 on floats... it really handles well in the air and ROWs easily. An excellent aileron trainer on wheels, and slightly faster (heavier) on floats. If you are just starting out on water, I highly recommend trimming the plane on wheels, then adding GWS floats... which are pretty much plug-n-play.

White "NPS" TM400 $47
GWS floats $9.50
dirt-cheap FC 28-22 motor $5.95
SuperSimple 25A ESC (overkill - but same price as 18A) $8.99

That's about as cheap as it gets, plus you'll need 3 servos. I used the 9g Hextronic all the way around, but I could probably have used lighter 5g's on the rudder and elevator. Another $11 either way.

On that motor I'd recommend a GWS 9050HD or GWS 8060HD prop -- and use Loc-tite on those grub screws!!! I'm using a rewound 400XT with GWS 8060SF, a much smoother motor and it's rewound for torque... but I still have to manage the throttle or I'll explode the prop with too many RPM.

I had to modify the fuselage so I could fit my lipos in the battery area and balance the plane with the much lighter brushless setup: I built a battery tray that extends through the firewall to the front of the cowl so I could get batteries farther forward for balance. Anything from 1000mah to 1700mah 3S will fit in there now.
Jun 10, 2009, 02:01 PM
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Ashdec got some good photos of the Tig flying off a lagoon by the Chicago Botanical Gardens.
Last edited by warhead_71; Jul 27, 2009 at 03:57 PM.

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