Tiger Moth on floats...
Finished mounting my floats on my Tiger Moth last night.
I'm sitting here at work counting the hours (only 3.5 more!) until I leave for Lake Parker in North East Kingdom, Vermont this evening.
So, I thought I'd vent some of my excitement and anticipation by posting a pre-flight report here.
(It's all I can think about!)
Building/assembling/mounting the hollow floats, from foamfloats.com, was a bit of a challenge for a non-builder/modeler like myself - To paraphrase Michael Jackson - I'm a flyer not a builder -
Anyway, I took my time, and I think I did a pretty decent job.
Sorry, no pics at this time - maybe I'll have a chance to post one before I leave this evening.
So, they're glued, covered and mounted and (hopefully) ready to fly.
I've moved up to an 8 cell nimh pack, but still using the stock IPS motor.
I reinforced the bottom wing only, with strapping tape.
I'm very confident the wings will carry the weight, but a little worried about having enough power - we'll see.
If it turns out to be under-powered, I'll upgrade to the dual IPS - opinions on this would be most welcome.
Weather report for West Glover, VT is not ideal, but I'm optimistic.
Wish me luck, both for good weather and a successful maiden.
I know there's a couple of Squadron members who fly their TMs on floats, I'd love to hear some advice and also what set-up you use.
-Keeping my fingers crossed,
Eight cells, especially NiCads, can be tough on the IPS motor, unless there is a notable voltage drop when you go to full throttle. You may incurr some nasty glitching, due to the arcing you will get across the brushes in this small motor, when running 8+ volts. Check everything out on the bench first, assuming you get this in time. A 7 cell, 350 or 500 mAh NiCad pack is a good way to go when loading up the IPS motor. Ran this on a friends TM and the results were very good. Tried 8 cell, 720 mAh pack on my Pico Cub, with IPS motor, and fried the motor after one flight.
8 cell 2/3 AAA nimh 370 mAh
OK, lets clarify. 720 mAh is full size AAA nimh cells and are rated for the speed 300 GWS motors. I have been using 8 cell 2/3 AAA nimh 370 mAh for 6 months on my IPS tiger moth with no problem. I replaced the motor after 20 hrs flying because the brushes wore out. I don't think I would use 8 cell nicd though. My tiger moth is very heavy with reinforced struts and leading edge of 1/8" wood dowl and lots of epoxy from 6 wing breaks before I installed the leading edge and reinforced in the middle with a brass tube bent with the wing angle. Eight nimh 370 mAh cells is the way to go for a heavy tiger moth. Installed the 16 inch foam floats from foamfloats.com and WOW, what fun. Contrary to what they say water is softer than ground and you can't miss the run way. Follow the directions and observe the cog and you can't miss. Good Luck
Keep 'em up,
whew, ok those were the pictures, here's the story:
First off -
Stock built TM-strapping tape wing tip to wing tip (lower)
IPS-A motor w/ heatsink & 9070 prop
8x300mAh NiMh cells
foamfloats.com 16" hollow floats covered w/ ultracote
Arrived at the lake about 7:30 pm, breeze was negligable.
I hand tossed the plane the first time just to make sure it would carry the weight.
It had plenty of power to stay aloft, but getting altitude was a bit of a challenge.
First landing was the smoothest of all of them - just lined it up pretty far out & dropped power slowly until it touched down.
Taxiing was easy at 1/2 throttle.
Tried to ROW, but couldn't gain enough speed for lift off.
Plane wasn't rotating up on step, floats too far forward.
Hand tossed and flew through 2 packs until it started to get dark.
Next day I moved the cg of the plane further forward over the floats and made a couple more attempts between rainy/windy periods all day.
Flew a couple of packs worth anyway, once without floats over dry land & trees in a stiff but steady breeze.
That was fun - was able to hover & float up & down vertically with the nose pointed into the wind.
Next & last day, moved the weight forward as far as I could get it without replacing the balsa hard points.
This time it seemed to balance much more lightly on the floats.
I powered up and was definitely able to gain more speed - unfortunately, the plane kept circling left & the left float kept dipping.
I tried moving the left float further out from the center than the right figuring that would shift some of the weight onto the right one.
That didn't work.
Later on, with time left for just one more attempt, I noticed that moving the left float more towards the wing tip had made the struts on that side act springier & contributed to the problem.
I moved the float back to where it was, and hung as much of the battery out under the right wing as I could.
There was a light breeze blowing onto the lake, so I had planned on taxiing out & turning around to take off.
As I throttled up, it got up on step right away and picked up speed quickly straight ahead - I could see it was barely holding on to the surface, so I fed in some up elevator, and away she went...
That was really cool
I wanted to do it again, so I lined up for a landing, dropped down too hard & flipped up on the nose.
Soaked the electronics, lost power, and it was time to pack up & head home.
Had a great time, even though I only got to ROW once.
Probably going to get a dual IPS for next time - I could only climb for the first couple of minutes of a fresh pack, and even then it was a struggle.
Also interested in trying the new GWS floats, they look lighter than the foam ones.
Anyone know when GWS floats will be available?
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