GWS PT-17 vs TM400 ?? - RC Groups
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Feb 26, 2004, 07:20 PM
eyedoc's Avatar

GWS PT-17 vs TM400 ??

I am going to buy a GWS bipe in a few days but I am not sure if I should get the PT-17 or the new TM 400.

I need some suggestions on which is better.

Does any one out there have both? If so which do you like best and why?

Thanks for the input!

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Feb 26, 2004, 07:26 PM
Velcro = lawn dart
Goleith's Avatar
ill be following this too.. i have been wondering which one to get also.
Feb 26, 2004, 07:38 PM
Registered User
I had a pt-17 and was very disappointed in it. I had to add all kinds of weight to the nose, even though I use heavy kan batteries. Also the supports kept coming free, even with good landings. The final straw was while I was dong a roll, two of the suppoerts gave way which resulted in a apin and a crash. This is a great plane to look at but I would not buy it again. I have no experience with the tm or tm400.
Feb 26, 2004, 08:06 PM
Hooked On Flying!!!
I have a thread going on the TM400 but have not had the chance to maiden as it has been snowing here for the last week. It looks like maybe saturday we will get break. We got about 3' yesterday and last night and about 8" so far today and snowing heavy now. I do have the Wattage PT17 and like this plane but it is heavy and is more suited for a large grass field or dedicated RC field. It flies like a small gaser but very good looking plane. I will psot my experiences and opinions on th TM400 as soon as available.
Feb 26, 2004, 10:57 PM
eyedoc's Avatar
I really haven't heard much on the PT-17, but obviously docjackson has had trouble.

Most of what I see on the TM is positive, but I can't find much on the TM 400.

Keep the comments comming!!
Feb 26, 2004, 11:07 PM
Registered User
I do not have the tiger moth400 but have a ton of flights on my original tiger moth and at least 30 on my PT-17. I love the Stearman and it flew fine right out of the box. I needed to add just a bit of weight up front but the plane is very sturdy and handles loops both inverted and outside without any flex. I find it to be a lot of fun and handles winds as well. I love the Searman. I think it would be unfair to compare the stearman to the original tiger moth but my experiences with it have been great!

Feb 26, 2004, 11:23 PM
Suspended Account
sarge's Avatar
I did briefly own the PT-17. It was by far the worst build of all the GWS models. The struts are agravating, and refused to stay attached, even though I used epoxy instead of the GWS glue. I've built many, many GWS models, and never had that kind of trouble before. The plane required more than all the clay supplied with the kit to get the CG far enough forward. Mine also fell apart mid-air. Very nice looking plane (probably the best GWS straight out of the box), but mine was a dog. The original TM is one of the best planes in it's class ever made. I have the TM400 on the way, should be here in a day or so. If you can wait a few days, I'll give you my experiences with it, and offer some advice about which one I prefer. I have to say, though, that if it flies better than a brick, and doesn't require a pit crew to work on it, I'll be recommending the TM400.
Feb 27, 2004, 04:37 AM
Permanently Banned
my friend has a tiger moth 400 with himax brushless. He has to open up the front of battery housing and push the 1050 kan pack quite a bit forward to get the right CG.
Feb 27, 2004, 11:26 AM
Senior Soil Sampler
tim61's Avatar
I have had the chance to fly both airplanes, both with brushless power and lipolys. Both are wonderful flyers. I have witnessed them fly on stock motors, but like all the GWS planes, they really come alive on brushless power. And the weight reduction through lipo use is another critical factor.

My personal favorite is the Tiger Moth. I think it has a more scale profile, but both look and fly great. Both need to have the stock struts replaced with stronger units for best performance. We hand made some for both, but are having duplicates laser cut out of light ply. They should be available from in the near future. This mod is a big improvement in performance and appearance.

Feb 27, 2004, 11:33 AM
Senior Soil Sampler
tim61's Avatar
I should also mention that the Tiger Moth with a Himax 2700 brushless, Cobri 2.8:1 gearbox and Tanic 3s 1500 lipoly's will fly for around half an hour on a charge. While I am a high speed warbird fan, I have to say that my new favorite plane is the TM400. I find myself practicing skills with it for extended periods, and mastering these skills in just one or 2 flights. Last weekend I spent 15 minutes flying inverted, till I pretty much had it wired. Then it was 20 minutes or so of slow flying, down low, right in front of us on the flightline. Weekend before that it was touch an goes....for 30 minutes! What a truly great airplane. I am really looking forward to summer.....80 degrees, a lawn chair, and my TM400....a perfect day!
Feb 27, 2004, 12:20 PM
Registered User

Flight Characteristics??

Tim 61,
Sounds like you have some hands on with the TM400. What are the flight characteristics of the TM400?. Someone told me biplanes would be more sensitive to wind with the extra wing area. I also heard biplanes are more draggy and would not glide like a low wing. I am also interested in the TM400 and was hoping you could give us some info on the handling. Any bad habits, stable. predictable, landing, gliding, how does it handle wind ??etc. Thanks, and enjoy your new plane..
Feb 27, 2004, 12:53 PM
Registered User
I fly the Stearman, and it's an excellent flyer. Very scale, and very slow if required.
I did replace the EPS300C with a EPS 400C "C" gearbox and motor, and retimed the 400 motor, so had no COG problems due to the extra 30 grams in weight up front.
I have had no problems with the struts breaking loose, maybe because I roughened up the contact surfaces of the mounting pads with a sharp knife before 5 minute epoxy.
I also cut a rectangular hatch in the right side of the fuse, and hinged it, as a battery compartment. See the picture below.
My battery is velcro'd to the front firewall. I use Kan 1050 8 cell packs and a GWS 8x6 prop.
Climb performance is very good under full power.
Feb 27, 2004, 02:02 PM
Registered User
james1787's Avatar
Great Pic!! It looks rather scale with the building in the background
Feb 27, 2004, 02:13 PM
Senior Soil Sampler
tim61's Avatar
Both the Tiger Moth and the PT are easy flyers. Typical of GWS planes, they make lots of lift, and have no "bad" habits. With the brushless set-up, they will ROG in about 6 feet if you are in a hurry. Steep climb outs are no problem. The most striking characteristic for me is how fast they slow down when you back off the throttle. I was used to brushless GWS warbirds, which we have clocked on radar at over 60MPH. Those bad boys just keep up the momentum when you back off, but the Moth and PT are totally different. Backing off is like putting on the brakes. It is pretty cool once you get used to it. You can fly them very slow and easy. They don't "look" right being horsed around at full throttle, so I like to back it off and fly smoooooth! It looks great, and you have loads of power in reserve to pull out if you need it. Wind is a little hairy, as they do get tossed around a bit. They are perfect for calmer air, but a breeze doesn't make them unflyable. Just makes it harder to fly smoothly. Landing is a snap, and I feel they make excellent tail dragger landing trainers. A nice 3 point landing is rewarded with spectator applause. A rough landing will result in a nose over, but I have never damaged one doing this. We replace the silly GWS wheels with more scale looking light weight foam units.

The replacement struts are a must, as we have seen the stock ones collapse on outside manuevers. I would also recommend drilling some small holes in the strut mounts, and matching fuse and wing areas to make epoxy rivets for a stronger mount
I am currently building a Tiger Moth 400 that I am glassing with cloth and WBPU, and adding wind screens and flying wires. Should be a lot of fun when she is done!
Last edited by tim61; Feb 27, 2004 at 02:19 PM.
Feb 27, 2004, 02:18 PM
Senior Soil Sampler
tim61's Avatar
Hey, I just remembered, you can see video of the 2 planes I have flown here:

Go to the video link, and select the Biplanes. These were taken a few weeks back, with me flying the Moth, and the owner of E-flightline Hobbies, Jeff Small, flying the PT.

And, no, I don't work for E-flightline. I am just a VERY satisfied customer!


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